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About hdvoyager319

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  • Location
    Scotch Grove, Iowa
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, woodturning, hunting, fishing

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  1. WOW, thanks for the helpful suggestions on eliminating the coon and groundhog problem. I have several coon traps that are dog proof. The coon has to reach in a tube for the bait. Also, I have a live cage trap that hasn't worked very well in the past. The coon was able to steel the bait off the trap bait platform and get out leaving the trap door still open. I have spent many hours in the smithy and never saw a coon but I did get a glimpse of a groundhog. However, many times I hear the coon in the enclosed area under the roof eves where I can not get in for a shot. The 22 won't work unless I can get a look-see of the coon.. I keep a loaded 22 revolver in the smithy just incase a coon besoms visible for a shot. Since trapping season will be here in Dec.,my current thought is to get a trapper to set traps for the coon. The last time traps were set, I killed one of the sister-in laws cats in a conabare 220 trap. To play it safe, the tapper will need to use snares. I have a book on snares that may work for me to attempt to catch the coons.. A lesson in using moth balls to keep the critters away: I üst to go backpacking in bear, coon and porcupine country. Every night at camp, moth balls were spread a round the tent. The moth balls worked, no animal problems . Neighboring campers had their supplies destroyed by a coon and one time by a bear. Before using moth balls, we had our food supplies which were hung up between two trees taken by a smart bear and the coon raided the eating area even though there was nothing to eat.. The bear, coon, and porcupine problems were in the Adirondack mountains in N.Y. Before using the moth balls, I experienced a bear tripped on the tent guide rope and the coon rattled out cooking utensils looking for food. Another time a porcupine came up to the screen door on the back pack tent and was attempting to eat it's way in.. Smithy update: The inside portion of the chimney was erected yesterday. Next, the exterior portion of the chimney needs to have the tube junction clamp made and the Roofer hired to set the chimney up. I used a Come-a Long and several guiding roads to raise in one joined piece, over 100# of chimney tubing. It took a lot of thinking to work the chimney up between several beams to rest on the Super Sucker Hood. Stainless steel bolts will be used to make the attachment. I am one giant step closer to making the forge operational. I decided to splice a hand crank blower into the air system using a "T" adapter that I had made. The electric blower or the hand crank blower outlet can be blocked individually or they can be used together. The forge is now setting perpendicular in the shop. Now, I can chose to stand on either side of the forge. One side is 6' to the power hammer and the other side close to a huge leg vice mounted on a welding table. I have several large anvils that will be set up for each side. A small 70# Trenton will be the weld setting anvil located under 2' from the fire.. An added benefit is two smiths can be working off opposite sides of the fire, safely.
  2. The cooling reservoir tank is secured to the forge table. The hinged steel lid will keep the coon and my sister-in-law's cats out of the antifreeze. There aren't any dogs in the area. Rest assured the antifreeze will be well secured against any animal intruders. I am glad that the antifreeze poison problem was brought up as I never thought of this problem. Now a little background information: I do have a coon and groundhog invasion in the smithy building. They have dug holes under the buildings footing, in the dirt floor and leave their foot prints everywhere including the seat on my tractor. My Smithy is in an old Hog House surrounded with corn and bean fields here in Iowa. The cats are a real big problem as I will catch it if any one of the cats get poisoned. The only way to keep the animals out is to concrete the floor of a 30' x 60' building, which would be nice but cost prohibitive. .For those who live in cities, the wild animals probably are not a big problem. But for those who live in the farm country, they can be a huge property damaging problem much more severe than just being a nuisance . They leave their piles of scats everywhere, Coon will break into a house thru a hole that they make and live in the attic, or basement. Over the past few years, the coon have chewed a entrance hole thru the roof, and baseboard in our farm house. The coon fur prices have been down for several years. As a result, the fur trapping isn't worth the effort. This accounts for part of the explosion of coon in the farm country.
  3. I will make a steel lid to be placed over the tank so the coon can't get to the antifreeze.
  4. Great!!! now the coon that have holes in the shop dirt floor may pass on to the next world without passing "GO"!
  5. My forge building progress: Today the chimney portion inside the building was completed. It took two of us, a come-a-long and several ropes to lift the chimney bottom two sections into position. The connection joint is made by cutting a piece of the tubing into a 6" high piece with a 2" wide strip removed so the chimney section can be squeezed to be stuffed into the top of the chimney section. The section is then welded to the top end of the tube section to make the male joint. The Female section is made by making 8 each, 4" long slits in the bottom end of the tube. The tabs are pounded out. The two chimney sections are checked for a proper mating. A 3" wide clamping collar was made to go around the tubing joint. Since the Side Blast Forge is water cooled and winter is approaching I had two choices. a, fetch 10 gallons of water for the forging session and then drain the water when thru forging. b, go to used antifreeze. I opted for the used antifreeze that I got from the local car dealer. The antifreeze should not cause the steel tank and tuyere to rust. Antifreeze conducts heat a little better than water. ??Has any blacksmith used antifreeze to cool their Side Blast Forge?? If so, what is your evaluation of using antifreeze in stead of water? Is there any surprise problems associated with using antifreeze as a coolant? Are we having fun yet? Paul
  6. I am left handed so having a box bellows that can be moved to accommodate either a left or right handed blacksmith or student will be a huge plus. How does a Box Bellows compare to a Traditional Bellows and to a rotary hand crank blower to maintain a hot forging and welding fire? The fuel I will be using is Anthracite Nut coal mixed 50/50 with Bituminous Blacksmith coal. I have tried the combination and found that it works. The Bituminous coal keeps the Anthracite coal burning, the flames from the Anthracite coal eats the smoke from the soft coal. They both coke nicely. Since the portable Side Blast Forge is in the planning stage, I don't know how much air will be required for forging and welding. Is the Box Bellows intermittent air blast a problem for welding? From the above comments, it is encouraging that the box bellows is very easy to pump. What are the bore and stroke dimensions of the box bellows that you use?
  7. I am interested in building a Japanese Box Bellows. The Push Rod travels about 4' per stroke, push about 12,700 cubic inches of air per stroke, double action. Push/pull the PushRod 4' per stroke seams like ergonomics issuet because of the stroke length. Has anyone shortened the stroke by increasing the cross section area of the piston? A piston measuring 24" X 18" area would push about the same volume of air with a 29" stroke as by the 24" X 11" area with a 48" stroke. The air flaps would need to be increased in size to allow the free flow of air with the short stroke piston. The effort to move the piston may increase because of the increased area of the piston and the resistance of the outlet air tube's diameter. With the box bellows resting on the ground under the forge, the blacksmith could attach a vertical pivoting lever to the push rod to make pumping easier.. Add a counter weight system to the lever, all the blacksmith would need to do is pull the lever handle and the counter weights would push the piston back while forging. The forge fire wouldn't cool as much because air would be pumped continuously to the fire. The blacksmith would operate the lever back and forth to pump the needed volume of air to the fire. The bellows system would be positioned so a right or left handed blacksmith could pump the box bellows with their dominate arm. My forges, Rivet and stationary, have the rotary blower set up to the left of the forge for a right handed blacksmith. Being left handed, forging and cranking with the same arm is doubly tiring. Has anyone altered the box bellows piston size and/or changed operating push rod to operate with a lever as discussed above?
  8. After reaching welding temperature, how long did you let the billet soak at welding temperature? Did you turn the billet over once the welding temperature was reached? What did the billet's surface look like at welding temperature?
  9. Thank you for this info. I found out exactly what you wrote about in this first etching experience. My mix was FC/Water at a 50/50 concentration. I wrote to Ric Furrer about what I had done. He used a 1:3 concentration. I diluted my solution to about a 1:3 ratio, FC to water. The next knife will tell me if the solution is too weak or still too strong. I do a lot of experimenting but also ask others what they do. There isn't any need for me to reinvent the wheel.
  10. Thank you for the "no flux" welding information. I will give it a try in my Side Blast Forge that I am building.. I have used Borax in the past and it worked for the weld but the hardened flux on the outside of the billet was very hard to remove. I think that the flux may have been responsible for pitting on the surface of the billet. Cleaning the billet by using a side grinder removed a lot of metal to get to the bottom of the pits. I guess that the billet width was reduced by 1/16" as a result of removing the pits. To stack and weld the billet, did you squeeze the billet in a vice or clamp and then weld the ends together? Was the "tab" made from the billet material layup or was it a piece of flat stock welded to the billet?? Was the surface of the billet looking glassey at welding heat? Did the billet's color match the yellow/white color of the forge's interior? I have a one burner home made propane forge. In the bottom, I placed a common firebrick rated at 2200 deg F. The flux didn't eat this brick. However, the surface of the brick was molten at welding temperature. The melted brick didn't stick to the blade billet. I want to build a 72" belt grinder. I have a 1725rpm 2 hp 220vac motor to drive the belt. I will rely on changing pulley ratios to get the speed needed. I will have to order the 15N20 and 1084 thin steel for the billet. I have a lot of 1/4" thick and some thinner 01 steel which is fairly close to 1095 steel in forging and hardening/tempering properties. My coal forge has another weeks worth of work to get it operational.. Currently, I am working on the chimney mounting. I moved the blower from under the forge to the top adjacent to the air inlet tube. This resulted in moving the chimney opposite the Tuyere. Normally, the chimney is over the Tuyere on the same side. I hope that the Super Sucker Hood with a 10" steel chimney will work. If the sucking action of the chimney doesn't start easily, a hood will be made to be located directly over the fire to direct the smoke into the Super Sucker. Once the forge is tested, I will make a entry under Forges with my results, including pictures. Thank you very much for the dry welding information. I will use your information to make my next welded knife blade. On the tang end of my billet, I welded a 2' long piece of 1/2" hot role steel to be used as a handle for the Viking Seax Broken Back blade I made.. the cutting edge is facing up in this picture.
  11. thank you for your return comment. Did you look at Black Bear Forge on youtube for proper hammering technique? There are several other videos on hammering technique. The key to hammering is don't grip the hammer with white knuckles grip. My hammer pivots a little in my hand. When the hammer reaches the top of the stroke, I allow my wrist to swing back. When the hammer comes down, my wrist swing in the down stroke is completed when the hammer hits the metal. Think of hammering this way. If the hammer was held rigidly in the hand with a stiff wrist, the down velocity of the hammer would be much leas than if on the down swing, the forward stroke of the wrist would add significant velocity to the stroke without any mussel or tendon strain. You must get the sensation that the hammer is doing all the work and you are just guiding the hammer to its target. Could you explain how you prepared the individual pieces of the Damascus stack to allow a dry weld. From what I have been told about dry welding is the layers of metal must be clean and flat.. I use borax from the grocery store as the flux. The flux seals out the scale forming oxygen while allowing any contaminants to be expelled from the weld. I use a 1-1/2# round faced hammer for welding. After the stack reaches welding temperature (when the color of the stack is the same as the forge walls or coal embers) and the surface has a molten glassy appearance and the stack has been rotated while heating, I strike quickly and rapidly down the center then pound another series of hits toward the sides Then I reflux the stack and repeat the process on the other side facing up. If I tap on the sides of the stack, the individual layers will look as if they are one welded stack. If a dark spot is seen anywhere in the stack, there is a void in the stack.. If the stack is hit too hard, the slushy melted steel will be expelled from the weld along with the flux and contaminants. welding takes a lot of hammer control with just enough force to expel contaminants and allow the slushy steel to fuse together.
  12. Your completed knife is fantastic with the color contrast in the blade and the burl handle. When you mentioned "stabilized" is this when the wood has dried to ambient conditions or it is impregnated with a plastic compound? Did you heat the FC solution to aid in the etching process? Have you ever tried Muriatic Acid for the etch solution? If you had used it, how was the color contrast of the steel layers? Did the 15N20 stand proud?
  13. You are dealing with nature. As the log dries from the outside in to the center, the outer wood shrinks faster than the wet inside wood. To slow the splitting, melt paraffin and pore it over the ends of the log. This will slow down the drying out of the log. Band the log with heavy strapping but leave the strap about two inches short. The ends of the strap should be bent up at a 90 degree angle to accept tightening bolts/nuts. Since the log is now sporting three straps top, middle and bottom, for the top strap weld vertically two inch long flat stock, spaced two inches apart. Then weld a strap over the protruding flat stock to make a place to hold your tongs and hammers. From what I see in old blacksmith shops, the log anvil base also sported a place to hold the tongs and hammers that are being used for the project. An alternative is to buy 2X12 lumber, cut the lumber to the correct length and use ready Bolts to bolt the lumber together into a anvil base. Add the tong & hammer rack around the top. Make sure the base sets rock solid on the floor. I advise hollowing out the bottom about 1/8" so the anvil is setting rock free on the ground. For added stability, 2X4 lumber can be bolted around the base.
  14. Thank you for the feedback. I did a lot of things wrong. The FC/water ratio of 50/50 was too strong. The blade was etched at room temperature for 10 min. which resulted in the 15N20 standing quite proud. I have the Green Buffing Compound and several different buffing disks, ranging from a hard wheel to a loose very floppy wheel. I buff on a wood lathe. What buffing wheel do you recommend, hard, medium hard or loose/floppy? I can turn the wheel at any speed from 50 rpm up to 3500 rpm . I like the coffee stain approach to pop the 15N20 from the 1084 carbon steel.. After completing the remainder of the process, I will show the knife pictures so the improvement can be observed.
  15. I like your new knife. You indicated that your wrist took a beating while forging. Years ago, I tore up my elbow forging 1/2" bar stock for 1/2 Hour. The pain lasted over 6 months. The problem was very poor hammering technique. First, chose a hammer weight that you can handle. Second, don't have a white knuckle grip on the handle. Don't ware gloves as they will require more squeezing effort to hold the hammer. Hold the hammer mainly between the thumb and forefinger with the fingers around the handle and loose enough to allow the hand to be partially relaxed. If someone was to walk behind you and grab the hammer at the top of your swing, the hammer should be plucked from your hand. Third: Hold the hammer handle relatively close to the hammer head for hammer control. Fourth:The hammer should pivot with your hand/wrist motion. When the hammer hits the hot metal, you must get the sensation that the Hammer, not your arm or wrist is doing the work. Fifth: Wrap the hammer handle in the area you hand is located, with cloth friction tape to aid in you grip retention with less squeezing effort. Sixth: Use the hammer rebound from the struck metal and your back mussels to lift the hammer for the strike. Don't make your swing centered at your elbow. Youtube Video of Black Bear Forge has an excellent video on proper hammering techniques. I am 80 years old. I can forge at least 4 hours a day using a 2# to 2-1/2# hammers without any arm, elbow or wrist strain. While demonstrating, I usually forge for well over 4 hours using a coal forge that required continuous cranking.