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What did you do in the shop today?


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16 minutes ago, Paul TIKI said:

I have a welder downstairs that actually came with the house, sans leads. 

I’m jealous. However, I sometimes joke that I massively overpaid for one of my sledgehammers, but at least I got a free house with it. 

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Oddly enough the welder, the bathroom fan I use as a blower, several chunks of steel, the concrete cylinder I use as part of my anvil stand were all here and evidently not wanted by the previous owner.  So I should thank him for this wonderful new hobby

We paid cash for the house as a fixer upper so we were shopping for places that were cheap and with needed repairs being within my skill set.  Let's just say I have had to add a lot to my skill set in order to male this place a home, and I need to learn a few more things to keep improving on my lovely 100 year old house.

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14 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Unfortunately the heavy scrap where they keep pieces of RR rail is in the far back. (Note: Masked and distanced!) 20 UScents a pound this was a bit over US$20. 

You should have seen me trying to carry a thirty inch piece of track about 150 yards because I couldn't drive down to the part of the railyard where the track was. It highlighted just how out of shape I am. I probably had to rest three times. I was definitely huffing and puffing by the time I got it into the backseat. I could feel my heart beating in my ears. 

Pnut

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Pnut; you need to look into *minions*!  It's handy that I have a University handy full of strong backs and weak minds. I consider it almost a duty  to provide "life lessons" to such to remedy that weakness!

Paul I am quite distressed that you know nobody that can weld; my welding is poor and so I used to trade a cold sixpack on a hot summer Friday afternoon to a small local welding shop. I figured I was getting over US$10 of welding for every dollar of cheap beer...we would also share metal at times; when they needed a piece fast I'd happily give it to them and I'd get drops and other pieces in return.

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You prompted me to think "Who do I know who can weld" and the list is very short, and the nearest person is well over 500 miles away, not not a casual drive to get there.  By his own admission he's not even that good a welder.  I wonder how that gap in my aquaintences happened.

I suppose I used to know several guys who knew how to weld, but that was through working at a couple of places that I absolutely despised and so built no decent relationships there.

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My neighbor across the street builds trailers in his spare time.  My Mechanic can weld. Friends can weld and for noncritical items I can drag out my ancient Lincoln tombstone and run it's extension cord through the window over the kitchen sink and plug it in where the electric stove *used* to be!  (Now we have a propane kitchen range as my spouse prefers gas and NG isn't available in our rural location. Our heat is primarily thermonuclear with indirect thermonuclear backup.)

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Did some rudimentary bending on a friends rebar square dagger. Need to brush off scale and probably blue to finish

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Also have a WIP kiridashi for my uncle, who used to be a blacksmith. Plan on polishing, bluing, and giving a padauk, cypress (from his floorboards, so that’d be cool), or teak handle

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Nice looking work.  Whenever I get around to bladesmithing (probably be a while, I want to be sure of my basics), A Kiridashi will probably be one of my first projects.

T. P. I never really noticed a need for welding on a personal level before I started on this blacksmith journey. Kind of like you don't really think about plumbing until something goes wrong.

I really wish I had a good thermonuclear heating and power setup, but the concentration devices are a bit more expensive than I can muster at the moment, so I have to rely on indirect thermonuclear on a 65,000,000 year cycle.  not as efficient, but I already have the devices necessary to take advantage.

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Monday was nice so I forged another knife. Each one is better than the last. So the rest of this week is polishing and handle making. My walnut boards vanished on me so this handle will be cedar.  Never seen a knife with a cedar handle. I know it's a soft wood but I plan on a thick coating of epoxy on the handle to keep it pretty. Besides, no one wants the knives I make yet.  It'll never get used for anything anyway. I make them for something to do, not profit. I'd never get paid for my time in it. Just like my bowls, can't charge for my time and effort. Would never sell any. I'm lucky to get $20 for a bowl that took 3 or 4 hours to make. I put 3 hours into that knife so far and a couple more getting the blade shiny and still more hours on the handle. 

 

How long can you guys swing a 3 pound hammer? I'm lucky to get 3 hours in before my arm stops working and I have to stop.   Then when I'm almost finished my arm won't swing the hammer anymore so final details suffer. Any advice on how to still be able to use the hammer when 3 pounds feels like 30 and you can't catch your breath or quit sweating, even in the cold?

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When your performance degrades it's time to stop for a while (or a day) and come back later.  Too many times I've tried to power through "just 15 more minutes and I'll be done," only to make an error that took much longer than 15 minutes to correct.

You can try to switch to a lighter hammer, but if you're having the symptoms you described it's most likely time for a lengthy break - especially if this is a hobby.

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I'm still a newb, but I have noticed that I don't need the heavy hammer for everything.  I've taken to a lighter hammer if I don't need to hit something that hard, mainly on things like smaller scrolls (I call them scrolls, but they aren't very good yet) or on leaves.  I don't break out the 3lb hammer unless I want to move a lot of material.

I have also noticed that if I let the material get much hotter I can move more material with fewer swings.  I know, pretty obvious, but I didn't know until I watched several youtube videos.

I also take time to stretch and swing my arm around to limber up when the material is heating.

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Speed with a lighter hammer can help (1/2MV^2);. As I'm in my 60's I found that I tend to start with a lighter hammer and then after I get warmed up, go to the heavy hammers with a short handles and then when I tire go back to the lighter hammer.

As for Thermonuclear collectors ours are called "windows"  The house was built with the correct orientation and an overhang for the summer, Our main room has the south wall double height with 4 large windows on each level.  I have trouble overheating if the sun is out even when it's 16 degF outside.  We also have a stabilized adobe wall separating the main room and the kitchen to act as a thermal reservoir and we have a wood stove by the wall for when the thermonuclear supply is on the fritz.  Generally I will be fine in the mornings with just a sweater till the thermonuclear furnace kicks on.  My wife is cold blooded and so I have to build a fire for her and sweat in a T shirt and jeans.  Our house also has 2x6 walls  and extra insulation, it was build by a local builder for himself and he lived in it for a number of years before selling it on to a couple that doubled the size---same builder, but the addition is not solar.  We just use the main room to heat it anyway!

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Forge thicker before grinding next time. I'm guilty myself of trying to forge too close to final shape then having to go too thin to get hammer Mark's out. 

Not sure from the picture but Is/was the handle portion good and flat before you put the scales on? Looks like a gap from the picture. 

Other than that just dont go too big or small on the handle. Make it fit the hand and comfortable and grippy. 

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Hondo, on my 4lb I can do at least 4hrs, as that’s the longest I’ve gone. Today my back did go out, for the first time in a while (ever?) though I’m not sure it’s from forging. Update on my kiridashi- through the endless supply of stupidity that the Lord has so graciously supplied me, I hardened the handle. Go figure. That means I can’t drill pin holes, so no handle. Not wanting to go back to the forge, I’m just going to keep this one with a blued steel handle and make one for dear uncle joe another time. Second finished knife

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Hondo- wrap your blade in a piece of leather or a plastic bag, and put it in the vise. Take an inch wide, foot pong strip of emery cloth, put it so the abrasive is touching the bottom of the handle (where your fingers would wrap around) and pull it back and forth in a sawing motion to round the handle

JHCC, it’s surprisingly comfortable, so I think I’ll just stick with the steel. It’s a light duty knife anyways, so you don’t have to have a big bulky handle to grip

Definitely room for improvement, though. Next time I’m going to go for a longer(still kiridashi) blade, I think. Also try to leave more material so I can grind out hammer marks. And not HT the handle!!

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On 12/30/2020 at 9:08 PM, Daswulf said:

Not sure from the picture but Is/was the handle portion good and flat before you put the scales on? Looks like a gap from the picture.

There aren't any gaps. The black stuff is when I haven't got sanded yet. The gaps at the top of the handle are made from excess wood that will be trimmed off.  I only spent 20 minutes on it after the clamps came off. I have days more work to do on it.

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Nice work ya'll.

 Never fails, whenever i do a large weld, like wrapped eye axes, a bit of scale and flux always finds itself between my hammer handle and hand/finger. The pain is not so much anymore but man that smell...

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I think i may have been born with a hammer in my hand. Every job i have ever had has involved swinging a hammer to some degree. My typical weekend is fire up the shop around 10:30 or 11, shut down when i have to pick the lady of the estate up from her job at 9. The trick i have found is that i work on many projects at once. That gives me the ability to take a break and do something else. I am starting to feel a little fatigue, and here is something else, a little fatigue not to the point i can not lift the hammer, i go and maybe put the scales on a knife, or hit a piece with the cup brush, even *gasp* sweep the floor. My biggest problem is that i cannot sit still. I can not sit long enough to have a smoke and a pop to rest. About 2 mins tops before i am back up and doing something. I have literally said to my self "Stop, i am supposed to be taking a break." I have found myself trying to have a little lunch and then there i am putting steel in a fire with my right hand and eating a sandwich with my coal dust covered left hand. 

Also depends on what i am working as far as how long i can swing that hammer. I recently moved a 2 1/2" piece of S-7, after about 3 hours of swinging a 4#er it felt like 8 hours of mild 1/2" with a 3#er. 

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