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chandlerdickinson

Braided Handle RR Spike Knife

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Been playing with blacksmithing for a little less than a year now.... This was one of my first projects (only about a month in)... Alot has changed since then but still, given what I had at the time... pretty proud of this one...

 

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Just a month in and you are well on your way.
 

A few suggestions that may make things a little easier. And these are only suggestions.

 

I do not wear gloves but if I do, it is a thin leather glove on my tong hand only. I never wear a glove on my hammer hand. I cannot control the hammer with any degree of accuracy if I am wearing a glove. 

 

If you haven't yet, make yourself some different tongs. I noticed that the handles were pretty wide while grabbing the thicker stock of the spike. Very wide grip on the tong handles doesn't allow you to get as good of a grip. Plus you can make tongs that fit different thickness and shape stock. Having a piece of hot iron fly out of your tongs towards your face is a rude awakening. Trust me, this is experience talking (typing).

 

I have cut the handles of most of my hammers short. I see where you are holding yours and that is good for control. If I need a harder strike I use a heavier hammer or get a striker.

 

Just a few things for you to think about. It all boils down to your choice.

 

I like your forge. What was it in it's former life?

 

And your blower is a good idea. PS, your wife might want the fan put back in the bathroom ceiling when you're done. :)

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lol... alot has changed... the forge was just an ash bucket and a brake drum...  served me well for a long time...just recently built a different one...  I am yet short on tongs...  i have tried every improvised thing but it really is time to buy some stock and make some tongs...  as for gloves... oddly i do just the opposite and i like it.. where a heaver insulated on my tong hand and an thinner work glove on my hammer hand... works for me..

 

here's a video of the bucket forge...  very cheap very easy and very hot but the drum/pot was too wide and my heat was just being wasted... my second version uses a smaller rotor and is much more efficient...

 

bucket forge

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Welcome aboard, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many of the IFI gang live within visiting distance.

 

Not bad at ALL for an early project. Wedging the spike in the hardy hole is a perfect example of how a blacksmith does things. Just use a hack saw though, you'll be pleasantly surprised how fast it will cut to depth. The rule of thumb is 3 teeth on the work at all times, 12tpi seems to be the practical limit of how coarse I can find in Alaska. Still, a 12 tpi blade will cut a spike off in under a minute and would split a spike to that depth in say about 1 minute per cut. It'll be more problematical when you're splitting the double after the first cut.

 

Anywho, take a couple spikes and make yourself a couple pair of tongs. You're doing a good job of making end nippers work for you. Very blacksmitherly that is my friend BUT real tongs are a joy by comparison. Do NOT convert your nippers though, use them to open the splits.

 

A blacksmith doesn't have to do everything with a hammer, you can just grab those splits and open them up, nippers are a treat for that job. It's one reason I have farrier's nippers handy.

 

I hate to break it to you though braiding isn't a new thing, not at all. I've been braiding handles since before I found an anvil at all. that's a nice braid you did though. A little practice in uniformly splitting and drawing the quarters down and they'll be beautiful. You either need to clip the spike head or figure the correction for the long part or you end up fighting to get the strands even.

Ayup, been there done that and it's a PITA.

 

For most of what you're doing you don't really need gloves, especially when you've made a pair of round bit tongs to do the braiding. thick gloves really limit your feel and feel is important input to your brain to tell it the steel's condition. The feel through your holding hand and ears will tell you more about the steel's heat than your eyes will, feel and ears aren't fooled by ambient light.

 

Nice set up, dandy solid fuel forge she works a treat. Your anvil stand is too unstable though, you're havint to compensate for it walking WAY too much. It's an easy fix though just cut a piece of 1/2" ply in about a 3' dia disk and screw it to the bottom. It won't get in the way, it's really easy to move around and you can just stand on it to bend stuff.

 

Your video is a perfect example of why a person should just build a fire and use what they have. A smith can do good work on an ASO, it's just more work. Just wait till you find yourself a top tier anvil, you will be in HEAVEN but don't stop to go hunting. Keep on working with that one, she's doing fine under your hand. Build your skills and keep your eyes open.

 

You are going to SOOOOOO fit in here Brother. Seriously glad to have you on the team.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks... will update the profile... alot has changed... i am working with a Peter Wright now...132#  still haven't made those xxxx tongs yet!

Edited by Moderator54
language

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Well DARN! That'll teach me to spend so long replying. Good grief you found an anvil while I was writing?

 

Beautiful job on the forge. The only thing I can suggest is moving the blower up higher. When idled down coal produces volatile gasses that can explode. It's not going to be a bomb, don't get me wrong but it will cause pops, in extreme cases can blow ash and breeze (forge coke) out of the fire pot and often blows back through the blower or bellows. Blowers aren't a big thing where blow back is concerned, they're free air so the explosion just blows through without damaging anything. A bellows on the other hand will contain a significant amount of gas and can explode with a serious effect. This is why, I believe, most bellows are mounted over the forge and piped down to the tuyere. Not all of course, there are plenty of examples of portables with box and accordian(sp?) bellows under the fire pot.

 

Anywho, VERY nice forge, I think you have all the important things right. I really like how you can adjust the side shields to make a pass through of most any size you want. The helper is right where you'll need it most. Do you have another on the far side?

 

I'll be watching to see what you find for the anvil stand. If you search this site for anvil stands you'll see what mine are like and why I like them.

 

You are going to LOVE that beauty. Please, PLEASE don't "restore" that beautiful old lady, she doesn't need anything but maybe a little radiusing on the chipped edges, if that. Her face is flat and smooth, her horn is unblemished with a SWEET point. Her heal looks crisp and the hardy and pritchel holes look clean.

 

I'd just build her a stand and put her to work, she has generations of fine work in her. You have kids to leave her to after teaching them the craft?

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks. She's been on a stand for about a month now. You can find that video and others on my channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/chandlerdickinson

Did not put a holder on the far side. And I don't expect to refinish her beyond maybe a good wire brush cleaning... Didn't think about blow back so will have to consider that... As for the kids. Someday maybe they will grab the hammer from my cold dead hands... Lol

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