Frosty

Blademithing series on History channel

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4 hours ago, Frosty said:

Does ANYONE else have their quench tank in a containment tank

Another good idea that I've got to steal.

However in this case it wouldn't necessary have worked.  You may have missed the fact that he was planning on using the oil heated to near it's flashpoint to temper the sword, it had already been quenched (if I remember correctly).  I believe that he was heating the oil with a propane burner to tempering temperatures and walked away while it was heating (possibly to film part of the "interview" section of the show, which in my mind makes the crew somewhat culpable as well, though simple fatigue may have been part of it as well).  I've seen that technique work very successfully, but I would never leave it unattended, or overfilled...

4 hours ago, Frosty said:

The guys pulling their blades from the oil while they're still hotter than the flash point is I believe contrived drama for the show of it.

I agree, and wish they wouldn't do it.  Some of the more experienced smiths seem to avoid that, so perhaps it has more to do with the excessive for heat treating lighting on set or working with unfamiliar steels. 

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Cue the discussions of "interrupted quenches".

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John,

I am aware of marquenching blades and it's many benefits, but you still shouldn't pull the blade out until after it's surface temperature drops below the flashpoint of Parks AAA as far as I've been taught ("rolling oil smoke" instead).  I think the logic is that the residual heat within the billet reheats the bulk of the blade to the ~400 deg it needs to be at to keep it flexible enough to take out warps for a short time while still staying below the temperature that would prevent transformation (hopefully a better metallurgist will be along to correct me on that if necessary).  I'm still struggling with my timing on that, and I bet with the extra pressure of being on camera, and the unusual lighting, it is hard to do properly.

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Oh, I have no doubts. I just wouldn't be surprised to see someone attempting to justify the too-soon-out-of-the-quench flare as a byproduct of a deliberately interrupted quench. It's my cynical side.

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On 4/25/2018 at 5:48 PM, JHCC said:

Cue the discussions of "interrupted quenches".

Quenchus interuptus? . . . I'm at a loss for words that won't get me in trouble. You're a cruel man John.

I missed why he was heating the oil, I hadn't heard of tempering in hot oil till now. Makes sense unless you light a burner under the oil and leave for a while. It'd take another level of containment. A person would have to close the lid while it was heating and that leaves how you're going to heat the oil in the containment. I'm thinking thermostatically controlled electric heat. 

The film crew is certainly a distraction but I don't know about them taking some of the limited work time the contestants have in a day. It'd be pretty unprofessional to hinder the contest like that. From what IFI member contestants have said it's a pretty honest contest.

Whatever the root cause it sucks to burn yourself out let alone doing it publicly. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty look up Austempering and bainite.   

Interrupted quenches are known from the historical record as they started using higher carbon steel but didn't have a solid heat treat process and so an interrupted quench/self temper process was used and *sometimes* worked...(works better on a chisel than a blade!)

Discussed in "The Sword and the Crucible", Alan Williams; among other places

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Just watched the episode where they made a zande spear to end the show and the guy was eliminated because his haft was too thick.

When they specified the weapon parameters they clearly stated a diameter of at least one and a half inches (I did rewind the DVR and watched that bit again to be 100% sure I had heard it right), unless it was edited out they never mentioned a maximum.

It therefore seems very unfair to me for him to get eliminated because his spear was too thick to fit the air cannon they were using for testing, they should surely have specified a range of minimum and maximum diameters if that was going to be important.

If I was him i would have complained like heck about that, rules are rules but if they are poorly worded then it is not really the competitors fault if he does not comply with them.

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I wondered about that too Dave but I don't record it, or anything so I couldn't replay it. From what members who've competed say it's a pretty honest competition but everybody makes mistakes. The contestant said he didn't get it right so maybe we didn't hear the max spec. Guess I'll have to watch the "Cutting Deeper" version of the episode. Maybe they'll talk about it. I also missed the spear getting shot, one of the dogs was demanding out. 

13 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Frosty look up Austempering and bainite.   

Interrupted quenches are known from the historical record as they started using higher carbon steel but didn't have a solid heat treat process and so an interrupted quench/self temper process was used and *sometimes* worked...(works better on a chisel than a blade!)

Discussed in "The Sword and the Crucible", Alan Williams; among other places

I don't know if I really want to KNOW things about bladesmithing but I AM a curious guy. That doesn't mean I have to make blades. No I don't feel the dark side pulling. Honest I don't! That darned study of various sharpening techniques and electron microscope studies of edges has me reading it a couple times already. It's almost like going skinny dipping in the La brea Tar pits. 

Thanks. Frosty The Lucky.

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9 hours ago, Frosty said:

I wondered about that too Dave but I don't record it, or anything so I couldn't replay it. From what members who've competed say it's a pretty honest competition but everybody makes mistakes. The contestant said he didn't get it right so maybe we didn't hear the max spec. Guess I'll have to watch the "Cutting Deeper" version of the episode. Maybe they'll talk about it. I also missed the spear getting shot, one of the dogs was demanding out. 

Yeah agree there Frosty, it is the only 'reality' TV I can watch because it is mostly about the work not about the contestants. As you say they may have specified the diameter further off camera or given more detail in writing maybe, but in light of the fact that it had such a major influence on the outcome I would have expected them to make that clear in the final edit.

Everybody does indeed make mistakes, even blacksmiths :D

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2 minutes ago, EnglishDave said:

Everybody does indeed make mistakes, even blacksmiths :D

WHAT!?! :o Bite your tongue Dave, twice!

Well, okay he was working on wood and that's not the first time we've seen bad wood end the contest. Like the guy who used a rake handle for a pole arm handle. 

See? Wood. <_<

Frosty The Lucky.

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I've seen *1* episode; saw that the better bladesmith didn't win and never missed missing the other episodes.  Of course when I visit the Mother Ship this year I'll probably watch another as the Hotel will have a TV...

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24 minutes ago, EnglishDave said:

As you say they may have specified the diameter further off camera or given more detail in writing maybe, but in light of the fact that it had such a major influence on the outcome I would have expected them to make that clear in the final edit.

I've seen correspondence from the contestant on that show that has clarified this.  He made the following points:

  1. The directions were for 1.5" diameter, without specifying whether that was an upper or lower limit.  While in his construction phase he asked the producer for clarification and they did not indicate which way the dimension should go.  I think he made the right choice making his shaft all of 1-9/16" max diameter.
  2. He mentioned that the air cannon to launch the spear ID is nominal 1.75" and that even after delivery a 1-5/8" ID ring slid completely over his spear shaft, loosely at all points.
  3. However, even though he checked before shipping, the end of the shaft apparently warped in transit and was visibly out of true.
  4. His opponent was so disappointed that the two couldn't go head to head for the entire test that he indicated that he would be happy to let Jason shave down his shaft to fit the air cannon if possible.  The producers wouldn't allow this.  Personally I think that this again speaks to the character of the contestants and one of the reasons that I am a big fan of the show.
7 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

better bladesmith didn't win

I don't always agree with the judge's decisions (particularly their emphasis on "indexing" of handles), but there have been many instances where a "better" bladesmith couldn't perform as well during the timed challenge.  Unfortunately the show isn't necessarily about who can make better work (which is pretty subjective), but rather who can work within the parameters of the show to produce something that meets or exceeds the challenge tests.  I still find it interesting and have learned some from watching.  The only time I find the show exhibiting some unreasonable bias is when they give the smiths radically different stock or processes to follow to meet the challenge (i.e. cable vs. coils spring, vs. a square block of W2...I forget the fourth option, but clearly the block of W2 was the easiest material to work with).

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I used to like the show until I learned more about bladesmithing. Well, its the same as whole history channel. Just crazy show that really does not have anything to do with history.

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I haven't been around in a while, but wanted to let everyone know that another iforgeiron member made it to the show.  I'll be on tonight's episode (Season 6 Episode 28), Blackbeard's Cutlass

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