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I Forge Iron


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    Albemarle, NC
  • Interests
    wood turning, blacksmithing, geology

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  1. Fixed my blower finally by finding a dc motor that fit and an old laptop power supply to make it go. Set out to make a ginseng hoe but run out of gas and it ended up being a rock hammer. Took me two hours to get the hole made. My punches kept sticking to the steel. Was going to try to make a bigger hole but the angle was wrong on the biggest punch and it did nothing. The handle is from a walking stick I cut in West Virginia about 12 years ago. It was 25 and only an inch and a half wide. So I figured it would be a pretty strong handle. Until next time.
  2. Thanks for the knowledge. I've never made Damascus and only know the legends about the Japanese and Syrians. I just guessed that the more steps you take up in grit the cleaner the shine. Lately I've begun realizing that I can only polish wood so much so I don't have to go through every grit up to 3,000. Never been too good at talking to people or asking questions. I've always tried to figure stuff out myself. It's usually worked out pretty good that way. However this metalworking stuff is quite a bit more complicated than it seems. I can use the advice. Saves me a ton of time and bother.
  3. Nice damascus. I haven't tried any yet since every single attempt I've made at forge welding has failed. That and if I do it I'd like to try one piece of steel folded like 50 times. But can't do anything until I figure out a solution to my blower problem. It was an old hair dryer that had a cool setting. I locked it on cool last year and forgot about it. And it stopped working and melted my adapter that held it on the pipe. I figured no problem and took it a part and cut out the heater wire. The really bad engineers that made that thing was using the heater wire as a voltage drop. Without the wire the motor won't run. It is a 12 volt dc motor! I do not have a 12 volt dc power supply. A battery would die before my forge even warmed up. Luckily I got the blade I was working on finished before the blower trouble became apparent. This one started as a chunk of hinge I had been given. It forged nicely and even got semi hard. The handle is made of teak from an old boat I had 20 years ago. Saved the wood just for something like this. The pommel is carved from a solid chunk of aluminum. Things I learned on this one: If I use 7/16 threaded rod it's easier to cut a slot out of the center and place the tang inside the slot. It really welds up solid. But it's harder to tap. And my 1/4, 5/16, 9/16 and 3/8 taps are worn completely out. Also, starting at 36 grit and going 100,150,220,320,400,500,600,800, 1,000, 1,200, 1,500, 2,000,3,000 then buffing still leaves little scratches!!! Even starting at 500 and going up two more times still left tiny scratches! It's maddening. Hope I can get my blower up and running soon.
  4. Today I got to fire up my forge for a couple hours or so. My mom gave me a bunch of hinges. Well half hinges made of 1/4 inch steel welded to a tube. I have one I cut the tube off one and sanded/ground on it until it became an adapter for my tool rest on my lathe. I cut off a kinda small piece and hammered it into a blade. I don't know if it hardened on the quench yet. It's still 115 in my shop. When it gets down to 90 I'll go up and see how it did. Only had a couple blades harden. Both made from a really, really rusty piece of threaded rod. I use one of them as a utility knife and it has already cut me bad several times. But when your hands are numbed, and deadened by strokes it's to be expected.
  5. This latest one is made from a can opener handle. It's the first one I made using my new 72x2 belt grinder. Saved me hours and hours of filing and using my weak 4x38 belt grinder. I forged it on a Tuesday and had it finished the following Friday. Usually takes 2 weeks. Only gashed my thumb's knuckle once.
  6. I got to hit the forge Monday. Beat out two knives. One was part of a commercial can opener handle. The other was some random steel piece. Looked like it may have been a hinge. They both seemed to harden. Got to use my new 2x72 belt grinder and saved myself a few hours on the old 4x32 sander. Having two horsepower makes a huge difference. I can just about stop my Harbor Freight sander motor with one hand. I can't stop my 72 inch. It'll break a hand first.
  7. Made a belt sander. It's not pretty but it works.
  8. Your welds are far better than mine.
  9. Been looking for an anvil for a couple years now. Finally found one for sale. Unfortunately the owner seemed quite insane and would not even begin to consider my offer. It was an old beat up 42 pound anvil. I offered 50 or 75 dollars for it. He would not budge from the absolutely insane price of $500. He kept going on about his price being reasonable since anvils are so rare. If I spend $500 on an anvil I won't be able to carry it out one handed. Guess I'll spend another year on my two inch thick six inch wide "anvil".
  10. Got to hit the forge on Monday. Made a little knife out of ancient rusty threaded rod found in the woods at my mother's house. The other thing was a broken file. It was a small piece so it's now a large arrowhead or a small spearhead. I mounted it to a broken arrow I have and it looks mean. Shot it a couple times. Kinda fun. The knife will be a work knife since it got nice and hard and is just right size for using.
  11. And here's the one that I welded the tang and placed a pin in the pommel. I concentrated on those two aspects so I neglected others. Plus it's the knife a split my pinky finger working on. Should have got stitches. The wound is healed but it still hurts to move it.The handle is purple leaf plum. I keep finding bits of it and using them. Still getting better at the knifemaking. Not as good as some of the knives posted in this thread. You guys put me to shame. Really good knives.
  12. Here's the one I ground out of Lowe's bar steel. It's how my dad made them. And compared to forging it is super simple to do. How did he get $350 per knife back in 1984? According to Ebay custom made knives go from $20 to $75. Have to find some super glue before I can finish the one with the pin and a welded tang.
  13. I let it cool slowly on it's own. How do you preheat a flux core welder steel? Propane torch? The first weld on it had a small bit attached together. The second one had it all melted together. It hasn't budged and I'm almost to the point of polishing it.
  14. Didn't make it to the forge this weekend. Finally got a welder. Tried the el cheapo one from HF and it would not weld the angle iron I had set up to learn on. Plus it would not stop feeding wire or turn off until the off switch was flipped. I took it back and traded up for the little green one. It could and did weld the angle iron just fine. I completely suck at welding but those two pieces of steel ain't coming apart. So I pulled out the knife I had set aside and welded threaded rod to the tang. I spent a bunch of time filing down a handle made of alternating black rubber and plexiglass. I found that my weld job sucked and it broke apart. I cleaned the metal up best I could and welded it again. This time I did a much better job. My pieces fell apart so I found a piece of purple leaf plum wood and used that for the handle. It has worked out well and I have spent the better part of two days filing on the pommel. I cut the end off because the pommel was too long. And of course I exposed the hole I'd made and tapped for the threaded rod. I sat there looking at that hole and my first thought was a brass bolt I could fill it with. Had no luck finding one. Was at my desk and spied a piece of brass tube I had bought 20 years ago for launch lugs of high power rockets I used to make. And it perfectly fit the hole. I cut off a small piece of tube and stuck it in the hole. I put 8 pieces of 14 gauge copper wire in the tube and a piece of 8th in brass rod I've had forever. Filled the empty bits with JB Weld. Let it cure and filed it down. The hole is gone. The pommel is 80% filed down. Couple more days and I'll be able to start polishing the blade.
  15. I don't consider my hands to be large. The wood began as a large block I split and used for a handle. I filed it, rasped it and sanded it for 3 days and it feels good in my hand so I called it "good enough". The hilt sticks out about half an inch on the sharp side and is flush everywhere else. It just keeps your fingers away from the ouch.
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