John B

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About John B

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    Dawlish, Devon, UK


  • Location
    Starcross Devon UK
  • Biography
    over 40 years engineer and blacksmith
  • Interests
    promoting and passing on blacksmithing skills
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  1. Don't know about that, all I can do is show them, and then it's up to themself, maybe beginners luck has something to do with it, or just a natural talent, in his favour he did listen, and had the desire. I think he may have got the start of "the addiction"
  2. Had a young man visit on our members day, and after he was watching what was going off, we let him have a play, Shown him what to do, and this is what he made, Pretty good I think for a first attempt.
  3. Hi Frosty, I would still call it repoussee, although on a small scale, the material was worked from both sides to give the definition and depth I wanted. i personally prefer working on lead backing, but this is not practical for current class time and health and safety restraints. I normally make up the pitch blocks, pitch, tallow, fine grain sand but this time I managed to purchase some jewellers pitch and this was a sample run to see how it performed. I took some work in progress pictures although not of a very high quality, just to see where it was going wrong, and as a reminder as to proceedure. In retrospect, choice of subject was not an ideal one, but worked out reasonably well. Just got to decide what to do with it now. Tools used were small punches and chasing tools. Material was annealed, pattern marked on the sheet and embedded onto the pitch and the outline and knot direction marked on. Clarified the route to take, and then chased in the outline, and defined it. I then refined this defining which started to give some depths and heights, I then removed it, cleaned and repositioned it so as to raise it from the underside. I then continued to work it, repositioning it a couple of times until I was reasonably satisfied with the result. Hope this helped sort out some of the semantics, there are a lot of grey areas, which does not help in black and white definitions.
  4. Bit more to do yet when I get time Not engraved but repoussed
  5. Agree entirely Steve, One of the problems using steel of an unknown specification, but if he is using hiigh enough carbon steel, then no need for case hardening, surely it would be a straight forward Harden and Temper to required state for tool's usage.
  6. Case hardening is as you rightly say a hard coating, it does not lend itself to tempering as Hardening and Tempering back affects all of the item not just the surface.
  7. Hi Thomas, Iam not old enough to remember bumping in to Theo for a discussion, but the iron then was fundamentally different to the metals today. One of the main problems these days is that some want immediate results without the hassle of working through things. That is one of the objectives of this site, we pass on our experiences so that others don't have to start from the very beginning each time. Unfortunately it is still expected to give instant results, and that is not always possible, they have to put some effort in. If you try describing "Cherry Red heat" to a colour blind person, (or anyone else ) then that is not particularly helpful. However if you show and demonstrate the heat colour to them, they can better assimilate what you are trying to convey, and thus achieve the result required. There are no APPS available for blacksmithing that I know of yet, so it's listen look and hands on. Here in the UK that is one of the reasons for the National Blacksmiths Competitions held at 10 major shows, it gives interested parties the opportunity to see a wide range of forged items, Traditional and modern, sculptural and artistic, and the chance to see a range of 'smiths working live making named items in a specific time range. What some of these competitors achieve is phenomenal and definitely educational for picking up tips on tooling and techniques. Have fun, get it HOT and hit it.
  8. You may not have had much luck, but the salt and wholemeal flour works, and was the method used before the commercial powders were available or even thought of, and a lot less costly. It is a method I regularly used, as Kasenit over a period of time, tended to rot out the containers it came in, and no better results were achieved. Please dont Dumbify it just because you cannot get it right, it's not a matter of luck, it's patience and application. Pack hardening requires carbon rich materials to be in the container in close proximity with the item to be treated, and a long soak is required for results.
  9. Yes it is that simple, the "Red Heat" wants to be a top end of the red spectrum, put your powder on, reheat and quench in clean water. Before case hardening powders were available, one of the methods used was: Take a spoonful of wholemeal flour, add two spoonfuls of salt, add a little water and make into a smooth paste, Heat the end of the item to be hardened until the paste will stick to it, When you have the item coated where you want it, heat the area to a bright red heat, and plunge the item into cold, clean, soft water and agitate while cooling. The coated area will be appreciably harder. Case hardening is to add wear resistance, and is not suitable for edge tools, ideal for increasing longevity of tooling made from lower carbon steels
  10. Local garages and places like Kwik Fit, Go and ask, and explain why and what you need them for, and if you have something you have made, then take that along to show them, most have springs and other useful stuff in their scrap/recycling bins, Alternatively go around local industrial parks and locate small engineering or specialist vehicle refurbishiing/repair centres and go and ask. Car boot sales are a good source of cheap tools, hammers old files etc Country shows usually have stalls with tools for sale and you can get a bundle of various chisels, or crowbars which are ideal toolmaking materials, and often cheaper than byuying a piece of new tool steel from a distributor. Agricultural machinery repair centres are a good source of heavier section items, power take off shafts, transmission bits etc.
  11. But you should be able to choose one that seems to work best for you. Not just for welding, but for all 'smithing skills. It's the variety that broadens and adds to the experience memory bank.
  12. There is no THE WAY, settle for one that works for you and is safe, more variety you try, more experience and confidence you will achieve. Get it hot and hit it, (but not too hard when setting your welds initially, MY experience)
  13. It's a great hobby , but a xxxx of a way to make a living ! Get it HOT and HIT it !
  14. Thanks for the appreciation Aus, just the tip of of a ginormous iceberg so to speak. A lot of this knowledge seems to be cyclical, a lot easier to pick up now with the internet, Wish it had been available when I originally started (I am still learning, will be pushing up daisy's when I stop). Most of thes were figured out from pictures or examples seen, thats the beauty of the craft, Normally in a coal hearth you are generally working on up to 6" long heat , and do one operation at a time, If it goes pear shaped (wrong) then sacrifice it to the Hearth God and let it be devoured, or make it into something else, Its amazing what can come from a simple error. Get it Hot, Hit it and enjoy.