The odder or farther into your hobby or work, the more you need a
newsgroup to talk to others about it. :)
Kris-soo-las (the H is supposed to be a K)
(he said so on r.k about 10 years ago;)
With knowledge, the tool choices might be more thrifty? ;)
I have the first three, how many are there?
Atar is quoted on page ix of The Master Bladesmith ;)
Alvin Johnston <--libertarian/librarian (still)
Once the usual stuff is covered you got to have other heads to bounce things
around and spark more ideas.
Permit me to be facetious as a literary license ;)
Undoubtedly. But not nearly as much fun. Some of my favorite tools have
been the ones that didn't work for me when I got them. Same with some of
the books too.
Bench grinder for profiling, angle grinder for everything else, Belt sander
for squaring things up- Learning to do edge bevels on it too lately.
Drill. Forge, anvil and hammers. Files. Files are by far my favorite tool.
One of these days I'm going to make a blade from start to fit and finish
with heat, hammer and files just to say I did.
:/ And very unfinished - but thanks! I'll have a handle on the hatchet and
the Utility blade in a day or two. I'll try to post a pic of the leaf blade
shortly, now that I put a (pre-heat treated) edge to it. It came out pretty
but is still rough. I've got to come up with a large enough quench tank for
the short swords and I expect to be quite a while putting the furniture
together for them. I'd like to do some layered wood and metal fittings for
the leaf blade.
For the quench tank, think vertical quench in a 6" pipe. That's what mine is,
works like a champ. Just be sure to make the baseplate big enough to make the
finished and filled tank stable, or big enough to pile cinder blocks onto. Tall
narrow tanks are inherently tippy, specially when they're filled with something
potentially dangerous. I think there's about eight gallons of oil in mine, and
I can usually get three sword blades through before it gets too hot. So for a
single piece quench, it's more than enough thermal capacity.
This is what I get for posting before the first pot of coffee soaks in... There
will be a flash fire and the potential for violent splatter of both ignited and
superheated oil as the steel penetrates the surface, take appropriate safety
measures. It usually goes out after the blade is completely immersed in the oil.
Keep immersed until the convection roil stops at the surface, the blade should be
down to under 250 degrees by then. 5160 usually comes out of the tank at around
61-62 Rc, a new file will just bite with a hard push.
Been using Vetrinary grade Mineral oil for 5160 and quite happy with it.
Haven't done any really big stuff yet but the ignition has been really
subdued. More like a candle flame around the metal as it goes in and
virtually no splatter. That said, I plan to attach an extended handle to
the work and will wear safety goggles. As already stated, I do hot work in
the back yard and diving for cover is not out of the question either ;-)
Bill: I am like a bad penny...ya neve know when I'll turn up and rear
my ugly head,,as far as Rec. Knives goes, I simply got tired of all the
jerks flaming folks who: 1, know more than they do, and start getting
nasty when those that do know more post something and 2: The flamers
who just like to start trouble when someone tries to help out someone
else who asks for a bit of help. I do not have time for the trolls or
assinine behaviour of so called adults that want to act like 4 year
Todd: Heavy Metals screening?? Oh man..I will hold a good thought. They
doing a test for Hg as well?? Man that would bite if ya had to give up
Charly: 6" pipe?? That's all?? no wonder you can only get 3 blades
until it overheats. But if that works for you..great. My quenching
tank for oil is 16" square and 48" long, 40" of which is oil depth. Had
it made out of 10 guage HR. Got in on wheels so I can move it where I
"Need a bigger target" was my first reaction to the 6" pipe. :/
I went to a stainless steel commercial soda pop tank (~9" dia)
for just butcher knife sized stuff.
Got it cheap from my home away from home... the scrap yard. ;)
JPH, you use commercial quenching oil?
Alvin in AZ
I'm with you on that one! Quick to mark an entire thread as read too. I'm
a lot more partial to this group but it's not as active all the time so I go
scan the knives group when killing time.
For people like me - I'll probably never have more than a single piece of
work at the same place in construction at a time (though I have shown a
tendancy to get a few waiting for fit and finish - I like the metal shaping
better). easy setup and tear down (and stowage) is important for me. My
forge weighs in at about five or six pounds and is an extremely simple (and
portable) construction. My anvil is made from railroad rail iron and has a
angle iron stand that can be taken down and moved around easily. It's a
pretty unusual hobby for a suburbanite slob living in the middle of town ;-)
It's a small building and it could be catagorized as 'object rich'. There
are paths between the stacks and machines. Since it was only me working, a
couple blades a day was about all the output there was, so it worked okay.
I wish there were five of me, so every machine station would be manned at
once. You do with what you have handy. There's a lot of 6" pipe at the
Well, the cadmium test clotted up and I have to get retested on that, but
the lead, arsenic, antimony, and tin tests all came out to below
detectable levels. The barium showed up at 93 micrograms per liter, which
is a little high, but not serious, and given I am baseline on all the
other tests is probably due to another source.
No test for mercury, since the enamels I use don't use mercury.
I have been lax as the last few years as far as getting tested because I
haven't done that much in the way of enamelling. However the lady who
taught me enamelling in checking out other health problems tested really
high for antimony, and elevated for tin, cadmium and arsenic. They think
it was from outgassing using a line of German enamels that I have never
used (the company went out of business a few years ago). I use a Japanese
line of enamels that don't seem to have that problem. Though I will
probably design a fume hood for my small kiln to be on the safe side.
They are talking about doing chelation for my friend, but given that the
line of enamels we are using now doesn't seem to be the problem she will
still be able to enamel without further damage.
I had something like that in mind. Was wondering if I could get away with
using PVC for the pipe and maybe four or five inch diameter. As long as
there is room to accomodate the curvature induced in a clay coated japanese
style blade. Don't ever expect to quench more than two items at a time. As
for tippy - I do all the hot work in the back yard anyway so I thought I
could dig a hole to set the pipe into.
Speaking of vertical. Has anybody experimented with setting a tube
shaped forge standing or mounted upright with the burner at the bottom for
heat treating long blades? I was wondering if I could get the heat
distribution better that way.
Don't use Plastic Pipe. If you drop the blade, it'll melt through the bottom and
you have a spill to clean up, not to mention the toxic fumes that PVC puts off.
The scrapyards are full of big pipe, and getting a cap welded on by a code
welder isn't that expensive. Penny wise and pound foolish.
On the vertical HT box, you'd need to come up with a way of suspending the blade
that wouldn't erode away in the heat of repeated use, and some sort of diverter
at the bottom so the blade wouldn't be exposed to direct live flame, but other
than that, it should work. The next hurdle would be getting the hot blade out of
the box and into the tank before it cools off.
Me, I use electric that's computer controlled, with a saddle to support the
blades in the box so they get up off the floor and don't sag as thay come to
Not too worried about a spill with the tank in a hole in the back yard but
yeah, that thought occured to me. Need to find out what sizes Alvins soda
canisters come in. Maybe even get two welded together. Stainless steel
*does* have it's uses.
I planned to clamp the tang between two mild steel flat stock bolted
together for a handle. If it burns up in, say thirty or a hundred uses it's
no sweat. You're thinking industrial and I am just a hobbyist.
Hmmm. Good point - at least for longer blades. I've already been thinkin
about heat soaks and diversions. Easier to play with horizontally. I bit
harder on the vertical.
Naw. Up over and down. No real difference from a vertical forge - easier on
the blade. I keep getting the feeling you're thinking in terms of
Cheater. ;-) What's that rig cost? How big is it? Does it use under 15
amps? Run on household wiring? Do complex soaks and ramps? - not that I'd
ever consider using something like that. Wimpish.
Hey, high tech where it counts. How much? When I got mine, it was a special
order from Paragon, but now it's in their catalog. How deep? 36" x4"x4.5". It
needs 220, but draws just under 15 A., so a window A/C or dryer outlet will
carry it. Any bigger and Paragon said it would need 3 phase, and OG&E won't run
3 phase into a residential area. Digital controller, any heat/cool profile you
can think of, 2000 degree max, but that might have been uprated in the passing
years since I got mine. Paragon has controllers that go to 2500 degrees, so they
probably have elements that will push the box there too. You'll have to check
with Paragon for current pricing, but I will say this, it's worth the money.
I've had mine for over a decade and it's still going strong. Good service life.
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