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About EDL

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    Western Pennsylvania
  • Interests
    Boat racing, wood working, metal working

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  1. Well, as someone who doesn't even have a forge yet, I can't make any claims one way or the other, but that doesn't stop me from learning the science behind it. The term "diffusion bonding" or "diffusion welding" seems to be terms used throughout many industries, and all seem to agree that "fusion" welding is the term to describe melting of the metals in order for them to fuse. Diffusion welding (diffusion bonding and solid state welding) may or may not include heat and if heat is used, is done at temperatures lower than the melting point of the metals involved. The term is found in many, many sources, even including some encyclopedias and such, so I have no reason to think it is any sort of misnomer or that applying heat or not disqualifies the process as "forge welding" is specifically defined as using heat for the process and that it is considered a "solid state" welding process. However, I have seen videos of a smith heating mild steel to the point the surface is, in fact, liquid and can clearly be seen flowing on the surface of the piece. He then takes the two pieces and sticks them together. Without any hammer blows the pieces bond, even if weakly, due to the liquid surface melt. I am not suggesting that this is the "proper" way to forge weld, just that I have seen that. Perhaps in forge welds in the shop sometimes a "liquidus" form of steel is there if heated enough, but by all apparent definitions and process descriptions that I can find, forge welding is supposed to be a "solid state" weld. And Steve, while your referenced definition of the term "diffusion" is technically correct, it is not the only definition. Dictionary.com's definition includes: 3. Physics: a. Also called "migration." An intermingling of molecules, ions, etc., resulting from random thermal agitation, as in the dispersion of a vapor in air. I think "diffusion" is an apt description of "solid state" welding as the molecules or ions of the metals migrate into each other.
  2. What about for planishing type work, say after beating out a PW billet? Making the final billet "smooth" and even, or maybe flattening after drilling it for rain drop pattern?
  3. So, if I understand correctly, setting the weld on a PW billet with a press, you do it in sections, not the entire billet under a die that is larger than the entire billet? I understand not mashing too far so as splay open the end, easy does it. I like the toothpaste tube analogy, that makes sense. Did some reading and found there are two basic categories of weld, fusion and diffusion. Fusion welding is when the metals are melted at the weld area, such as with common welding machines like stick, TIG, MIG, etc. Diffusion welding is a "solid state" process. The metals are heated to a temperature lower than the melting point and then pressed together forming the weld. A couple other forms of solid state or diffusion welding, besides forge welding, is cold welding and explosion welding. Many metals can be forge welded, with the most common being both high and low-carbon steels. Iron and even some hypoeutectic cast-irons can be forge welded. Some aluminum alloys can also be forge welded. Metals such as copper, bronze and brass do not forge weld readily. Although it is possible to forge weld copper-based alloys, it is often with great difficulty due to copper's tendency to absorb oxygen during the heating. Copper and its alloys are usually better joined with cold welding, explosion welding, or other pressure-welding techniques. With iron or steel, the presence of even small amounts of copper severely reduces the alloy's ability to forge weld. Titanium alloys are commonly forge welded. Because of titanium's tendency to absorb oxygen when molten, the solid-state, diffusion bond of a forge weld is often stronger than a fusion weld in which the metal is liquefied. This certainly explains why titanium is so hard to work with in industry (thinking of the issues Lockheed had back when they were first using titanium on the SR-71). Forge welding between similar materials is caused by solid-state diffusion. This results in a weld that consists of only the welded materials without any fillers or bridging materials. Forge welding between dissimilar materials is caused by the formation of a lower melting temperature eutectic between the materials. Due to this the weld is often stronger than the individual metals. Interesting that the forge welds can be stronger than the base metals themselves. All in all, very cool.
  4. Right, I get that, but I was wondering how using a press affects evacuating the flux like light hammer taps do. In my mind I picture it kinda of like keeping air bubbles out from under a decal when applying it. If you press it on in small sections at a time (similar to a hammer tapping on the billet) you get less trapped air and bubbles than trying to pres the entire decal on all at once (like using a press) and end up with bubbles all over it. Does that make sense?
  5. Much reading and video watching on PW billet making leaves a question.... I've read and heard in videos that to set a pattern welded billet (when using borax flux and a hand hammer) to always give firm taps on the first heat and not to go all out pounding as this serves to squeeze out the flux so it carries impurities and scale with it. However, I've also seen plenty of smiths take their heavily fluxed billets and stick them in a press and just smash them down. Wouldn't just mashing a billet in a press like that have the potential to trap flux between the layers and create blisters or bad welds? Is one method really the best to go, or does it really matter?
  6. Yeah, I thought that was strange. I know there are devices that will auto cycle it, but I guess he likes it. Very compact, but I don't know, I can see that air cylinder failing in pretty quick order.
  7. Saw this on YT. Interesting, but I don't think that air cylinder is going to last long.
  8. Aha, Oil Valley Blacksmiths Association. Found them in an article of the Titusvile Herald. Titusville is only about 30 mins north of me. It seems they go up there to do demonstrations once a month during spring/summer. All three of the towns you mention above are within 30 minutes to maybe a little over an hour from me. They don't have a website though. Hmm, I'm an IT guy by profession and I've done plenty of web work. Maybe they might want one!
  9. Steve, the ones I looked at are designed specifically for the beginner or someone that has never forged previously...or so they say. It sounded good, but as I think about it, a day or two is an awfully short time frame to produce a knife, especially for someone that has never done it before. I'll pass on it for now. I'm just going to have to be patient and wait for spring unless I manage to get with a group in my local area over the winter.
  10. Good points. I didn't think of any associations, so I did find the PABA website. I may just contact them and perhaps a smith locally might be willing to spend some time with me.
  11. Just wondering what experienced bladesmiths think on this. There are a couple of forges within a reasonable drive offering knife forging/making classes. They range from single day to several days. I'm trying to determine if this would be worth the cost for someone who has never made a knife or forged any metal? Should I actually get some practice forging before going to such a class? Are these relatively short classes really worth the cost? Assuming they have some value, my thoughts are to perhaps attend one this winter as I won't be making a forge or setting up my own shop until spring (and yes, there is some excited desire to be able to try it without having to wait until next spring).
  12. I owned and flew a powered paraglider for about 12 years (Mac Para Eden II). Started flying it when I was stationed In San Antonio. Needed the motor unit on the back down there, no mountains! I just sold it a few years ago to go race hydroplanes in APBA competition (wife said if I go race boats, the paraglider had to go, one or the other, pick one). I actually started flying when I was 14 in the Civil Air Patrol. I had big dreams of being a fighter jock and flying for the Thunderbirds one day. Alas, it was not meant to be. I took my Air Force flight physical and found I was color blind (even though I can pass the Ishihara color plate test for my FAA physical). I failed the FALANT test for the Air Force (Farnsworth Lantern Test). Briefly considered buying a restored Piper Colt, but tie-down costs, annuals, insurance, etc...yeah, the purchase price is the easy part.
  13. Oh, I took the pipe issue to the township chairman (or whatever his official title is these days) and also to my county commissioner. Same answer, same foot dragging, same refusal to do anything other than to dictate the requirements. So, I replaced it like I said. No one has said a word. Heck, what I replaced was obviously installed by the previous owners and patched by them at some point as well (my house was built in 1900, no idea when the ditch was created). There was about 10 feet of what appeared to be 6" metal pipe that was rusted and falling apart, it was also heaved out of the ground and created a sizable hump at the end of the driveway. Somewhere along the line, they stuffed 4" plastic flexible pipe into it as a fix. Never got any kind of notice or warning that it had to be repaired, so when i got the run around about it, I plopped the 10" corrugated plastic pipe (smooth wall interior) in its place. Has been there going on 5 or 6 years now with no issues...except for the side of the roadbed collapsing in on the exit side, but that was happening even before I fixed the pipe. The ditch, back when it was created, was dug too deep and steeper down that side of the road so it creates a steep incline up to the road. Rain just washes over the side of the road and is eroding away the road bed underneath. Slowly but surely, the asphalt (well, the chips and oil, they are too cheap to actually pave the road) is breaking off and falling in the ditch. We've already had a couple cars drive off into it in the winter and had to get hauled out. There's no gutter or specific drain routers on the road edge, it just drops right off into the ditch. As for the mailbox, I've taken to just using the super cheapy one from the big box store. The post is just set in dirt, no concrete, and as deep as I can get it (the ground around here is heavy clay with a hard pan about 1.5 feet down that's a mother to get through). The box mounts via a couple of thin sheet metal straps underneath with a half circle on each side and is suppose to clamp to the post with two screws. I tighten it just enough so the winds won't blow it off, but when the plow blasts it, it just knocks it off the post with little to no damage. Since doing that, I've found it laying on the side of the road only once. Just slide it back onto the post and done deal. Fortunately, haven't had any episodes of anyone doing drivebys with a bat yet. I'm aware of the issue with the "Fort Knox" mailboxes. My dad relayed a story about one of the neighbors got in trouble for it when some kid went through the neighborhood bashing down boxes using his body like a football lineman. Apparently, he was running down the street with his hands in front of him and just plowing over the boxes, that is, until he hit the neighbors. Apparently, he broke both his wrists and did some pretty hefty damage to the family jewels. Not sure exactly how much trouble he got in, but it cost him a hefty chunk of change according to my dad.
  14. Of course, I wasn't being serious about the hash marks, but I have had several mailboxes taken out by the plows and no recompense by the township or the county (they refuse). xxxx, they wouldn't even fix or replace the drain pipe that runs under the end of my driveway (even though it's on THEIR easement), they said that's on me to pay for and/or do myself (but they were all about telling me all sorts of specs it has to meet concerning slope angles, diameter and type of pipe, etc). I asked them what the heck do I pay my township and county tax for if they aren't responsible for anything? They run a plow truck down the road a few times in winter and mow the ditch banks once per summer. Oh, and as far as the drain pipe, they wanted 15" smooth bore, had to be 2 degree slope over a 12 foot or longer run. Heh, this is for a ditch that is literally 6 or 7 inches deep, if that, and about as wide. I live in a rural area on acreage, this is the tiniest drainage ditch I think I've ever seen. 15" my butt, that would set the bottom of the pipe almost a foot below the bottom of the ditch. Nice water collector for summer mosquitoes. I redid the drain using the front end loader on my tractor and I put in 10" pipe. Sure is better than the 4" mish mash of plastic and rusted out metal pipe that I replaced!
  15. Plow drivers having to replace mailboxes? What planet do they do that on? Around here they paint hash marks on the side of the truck for everyone they can take out.