Posts Tagged ‘Forge’

Hi Guys!

Just finished up the knife I was making for a friend ours that I had started before the holiday. The first pics are of the annealing tub, it is filled with ashes from a brush burn I did earlier in Nov 14.  Next up is the Master Sharpening tools and station. Hahaha, I forgot to show my my sandpaper station which I put the final edges on with. I do flat edges as that is how I learned how to put edges on. I use a piece of wood with smooth formica and a couple of pcs of wood to hold the wet/dry paper down. Rub-a-dub-dub and the finish will come out. I only have 400 grit right now, but I have an order for some 800 and 1000. I used to use a honing steel and strop for my edges, but don’t have either currently. The knife cuts paper as it is, but not as fine as I have done in the past. Bianca used told me I had to quit testing my chisels on my arm hair because it looked weird to have shaved spots on it. I could see her point. 🙂

Annealing tub

Annealing tub

Master Sharpening Tools

Master Sharpening Tools

The knife is made from a Leaf Spring of unknown origin and is about 6cm wide and maybe 4 or 5 mm thick, I forgot to measure that. The blade was forged to about its present shape and thickness about 2.5 cm. I used Walnut for the handle, nothing fancy, nice comfortable hand fit for the size. The bolster is steel, hammered out thinner and then shaped with a grinder and finished off with a file. I did use some sandpaper to take most of the file marks out of it, but my intention was not to give it a brilliant polish.
2014-12-09 10.05.26This actually works pretty good for these types of knives as the angle iron provides support while I file and sand it. I do use an angle grinder with a flap wheel to remove the bulk of the scale and indents and then I finish it off with a file and my sandpaper sharpening board.

I tried to get pictures of me hardening the edge, but they are a bit blurry. I apologize, but you get the idea. I first saw this somewhere on the internet on one of the Bladesmith sites. Maybe Don Fogg’s I don’t remember. I do know that Wade Brooks has the same type as I saw it in his shop, so I this isn’t something I made up. I heated the blade up slowly until I saw just a touch of yellow coming up to the edge and then I quenched it. I did this three times each time letting the color darken a little more until my final color of a just slightly beyond straw, but not dark straw. The file skates off of it so it is fairly sharp.

Quenching Tank

Quenching Tank

Quenching tank

Quenching tank

I just was very glad to see that I didn’t have any cracks in the blade when I was done. There is however a very slight bend at the start of the curve which I had tried to correct before and it came back. I guess I didn’t relieve all the stresses within the blade well enough. It wasn’t enough for me to redo all the work at this point. I am the only one who noticed it and I only saw it when I put the edge on it. The shine was slightly different on the edge and the sharpness wasn’t the same, so I knew something was off.

Width measurement

Width measurement

Blade and OAL Measurement

Blade and OAL Measurement

Guard measurement

Guard measurement

For those of you who don’t know – I have always left my knives rough except for the edge and unless someone is paying me for it I will continue to do so as I like that look. This is the largest knife that I can make without doing some changes to the gas forge and my forge to accommodate a longer one. That is fine with me at this point. My friend was very happy to receive it and I hope he uses and abuses it for years to come.

Thanks for stopping by!

See ya at the Forge!

Vince

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I finally got back to doing some work in the shop other than wood repairs of the homestead or fab work to enclose a section of property that needed a new fence/wall.

I managed to make two smaller crosses one a pseudo crucifix and the other with a rose. Both have been delivered to their intended recipients and both said they liked them. Success! I did start another more challenging project in the form of a larger knife, blade about 8”x 2.5”x 3/16 max., OAL about 15”. I was hoping to find some brass or bronze to use as a bolster, but that isn’t happening from my sources, sooooo. The plan is to finish it when I return to the shop after Christmas and the New Year. I also have to make a few things to allow me to get a better temper of the blade.

Crucifix starter kit

Crucifix starter kit

Small Crucifix

Small Crucifix

Cross with Rose

Cross with Rose

2014-12-09 10.05.26

I plan to do a few things to improve my shop in the New Year 1st and foremost to finish off the anvil repair. I thought I could live with the large chip out near the horn, but…. It drives me crazy and I would like to use that area without that interference. As I reported before, I believe that the repair actually improved the hardness of my anvil face as it seems to make the work easier, of course that could just be the satisfaction of having made the repair.

It seems that a few of my friends here have an interest in owning a knife made by me, so I will have to take a detour from decorative work to make a few. I hope to do a better job of sharing my work and processes, such as they are with you in the coming year.

It is hard to believe that I have been in Albania for over 2 years now. Time flies when you are having a good time. I hope that everyone has had a good year and is able to feel a part of the Christmas season. Furthermore I hope that everyone is:

Healthy and Prosperous in the coming New Year!

So until next year!

Surfing the Old Year out.

Surfing the Old Year out.

From Albania!

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Vince

Hi Guys!

The process was pretty much the same this time around. This one I made in the new charcoal forge I made and it worked out very well. I made the members of the cross out of flat, twisted them and then flattened them back out again. I counter sunk and chiseled the hole for the rivet, which was a 4mm bolt with the head rounded over, cold, and then cut and hammered into place cold. Overall length of the cross is about 24 CM and 16 wide. I used a piece of galvanized for the INRI banner on top. I have an abundance of small pcs with nothing to do.
I guess the real big difference here was that I actually took the time to make new chisels – I used re-bar like I have hundreds of times in the past, but here the re-bar appears to be to soft. This is the first time I have ever been disappointed by a re-bar tool. In this case it was all three chisels. I think they started to mushroom out before the hammer hit them. Hahaha. Oh well. I finished the body of Christ up with my other chisels and will be making all my new chisels out of the either leaf spring or some breaker bar I have, but that is some big stuff to reduce for smaller sized chisels like I need.

Crucifix Front

Crucifix Front

The process went something like this – 4cm x 5mm thick x about 30 cm long. Mark out and cut arms, legs, head. Shape head first, then spread and shape arms. Mark the beard line and chisel and lift a little. A little fullering under the beard line will make it stand out more. Use chisel and punch to put eyes, nose and mouth on face. On the head and chest cavity you want to round it up on a stake tool to give it a more natural appearance. Flat will work, but rounding it gives a little better look.
Eyes should be about in the center of the face, mouth 2/3 from top and the nose between. This is using standard drawing sizing. Ears which are not an issue here, should be from the corner of the mouth to the outside corner of the eyes. Bodies should be about 7.5 times the size of the head and average shoulders 2 times the head height. So a 2cm long head = a 15 cm long neck to foot plus 2 cm for head for a total of 17 cm with a shoulder width of about 4 CM. Arms width is equal to about the total height for the figure finger tip to finger tip. Just for reference if you ever need it.
Okay back to the body, after I get the arms about right, I figure out the rib lines and fuller the stomach to give it a drawn in look and to define the chest cavity. I am concerned where the stomach section ends as I want to define the loincloth by having it raised a little from it. I add some fold lines and define where the legs enter the loincloth again fullering them a little to define them away from the cloth. Finish fullering the center of the legs I like to fuller it beyond the front on the backside, at an angle, so it gives a little better perception of depth for the legs. Finish rounding over the legs, slight indent for the knees and ankles, flatten feet a little, etc. These elements can be refined as much as you desire to. I wasn’t trying to make an exact replica of a body, but give the impression of one. Now I pick the lowest visible rib and use a chisel to impart a spear wound. I am done.
I use nails that I have squared up the heads a little and put them through the drilled holes in the hands and feet. I do the same for INRI placard. I trim the nails to length and bend over pulling them tight. I guess like anything else there are better ways to do this, but it holds the body very firmly from what I have seen so far and it isn’t seen hanging on the wall anyway. On a larger scaled crucifix you might want to actually forge some square and larger headed nails.

Crucifix Back - nails look like they stick out but they don't.

Crucifix Back – nails look like they stick out but they don’t.

 

Well hope you enjoyed the write up anyway. You know how it is sometimes when you are working, you just keep working and forget to take photos. At least I do. I am lucky I remember to put my touchmark on most things. I wound up putting it on cold. Oh well. I will do better next time, I will do better next time, I will do better next time. Hey I didn’t drift off to Kansas. hahaha. Til next time!

See ya at the Forge!!

Vince

Hi Guys!

        Today I finished my door knocker. I think it came out wonderfully and that is today so I imagine in 2 or 3 weeks I will be sorry I gave it away. Hahaha. You might be wondering why the extra work around the hinge pin area. The one that my friend had on his door was stolen so I made this one sufficiently sturdy that if they steal it they will have to make enough noise to wake everyone up or take the entire door with them. If they do steal it, Albania isn’t that big a country and I have pictures and this is a one of a kind hand. It is stamped with my initials and even has a matching scar to one that I have on my index finger, and the backplate is stamped as well so it will be readily identifiable. The slanted top over the hinge is to keep the rain out in addition to making it more difficult to get off. The topper is a pineapple so the house will be filled with good fortune.

Hand before veins

Hand before veins

Hand with veining

Hand with veining

Side view of finished knocker

Side view of finished knocker

Close up of decorated bolt heads

Close up of decorated bolt heads

Side view of finished knocker

Side view of finished knocker

Finished Door Knocker

Finished Door Knocker

  The red dot isn’t rust it is a reflection coming from somewhere when I took the picture. I don’t have a good exterior clear finish here and the new owners may well want to paint it a color rather than let it just form rust. I will try to get a picture of it once it is mounted on the door. For those perfectionists out there, I know the fingers are slightly longer than correct proportions and the knuckle creases are set back slightly to far. They are like that on purpose.

  This was an interesting project for me and I will have to make another  for myself, probably a hammer and anvil. Maybe a hand with a hammer, hmmm. that would be something. We will see. By that time I might have changed my idea all around. Or maybe my wife will. hahaha.

Til’ next time! See ya at the Forge!!!

Vince

Update: 8 May 2014 – My friend finally got around to mounting the door knocker – He thought is was to grand for his doorway. Not at all! He has a large double door with lots of character and I think the hand is a nice addition to it and so does he.

Door Knocker in place - not too large for the door at all

Door Knocker in place – not too large for the door at all

 

 

Hi Everyone!

    It has been a great two weeks here in Albania. I made a trip to the local steel supplier and picked up a few essentials to compliment the other 80 kilos of scrap rebar in various sizes I picked up when we last spoke. I have been working on my railing and have almost all the components done. On Tuesday I finished twisting the 2nd rope twist for the top of the railing and made the two floor plates to hold the newels. I have one more to make out of slightly smaller material for the wall where the railing (3 strand) will be connected to. The pickets’ bottom railing is the last really difficult thing to make. I have a couple of newel post caps to make and they will be where the railings and the newels get connected.  I am saying newels, one is a true newel and the other is a corner post. I simplified my typing, just for clarification. I did manage to do a couple of stick roses for a warm up the other day and a few leaf hooks the next. Not that I really need any hooks, but you can always give them away as gifts or just hang them on the wall and they seem to get used for something.

Twisting bracket in vise

Twisting bracket in vise

Heating the railing twist

Heating the railing twist

Newel set for twisting

Making the deck plates

Making the deck plates

Deck plates newel posts will be attached to

Deck plates newel posts will be attached to

The deck plates are about 12 cm in diameter and almost 19cm in length made from 12mm (about) bar. The Newels are 5 strands of the same and the railings are 3 strands. Of course the 3 strand was much easier to twist than the 5 strand. I twisted at least 110 cm long each piece. The total railing is only 93 cm long for both sections, it is a corner, and 95 cm tall. The pickets will be 75cm in length. It should look pretty nice when I get it all together.

      I had to replace the heavier of my helper bars for the forge. The newel twists were too heavy for it and it cracked the tube holding the bracket. Sniff, sniff, naw, I expected it to go, it was flimsy at best and it served its purpose to get things going. Most of what I have done will be repaired or at least beefed up at some point.. I used chains and turnbuckles to secure the anvil to the stump after making a couple of stubs for the forging holes. They are what the chains bite into to. It is pretty solid. Next I have to decide where I really want my anvil and stump to call home. I moved it to make the twists and I like its new location. But… if I am making smaller stuff it is what I would consider far from the forge, sort of.  I think it will stay in the new spot; I can always change it later on. I will have to make a trip to the hardware store to pick up some beefy bolts and anchors.

Anvil stub close up (2)

Anvil stub close up (2)

Anvil anchored in place (2)

Anvil anchored in place (2)

The larger vice took a beating and I will have to redo the bolts holding it down. Here again I knew they were a little small to begin with, I am surprised it has lasted this long. One of the jaw plates sheared off and I had to back out the remaining screws  out and replace them before continuing. The smaller vice isn’t set up for that sort of work and is too small for it.  I haven’t been able to make myself understood on this point; hardened bolts so I don’t know how long the new hex bolts I slotted will last. They are tighter than the original ones, we will see. This happened in the middle of a twist so I only repaired the one side and will now wait for the other side to fail before replacing the bolts there as well. Hmmm, I may not be so lucky getting the bolts out though, hmmm, now that all the twisting is done maybe I will change the screws on the other jaw before they break. That’s a good idea, I will do that. Thanks for talking me into that.

Handle for brass brush

Handle for brass brush

     My friend in VAB sent me a new brass brush. I told him to cut the handle off to save on shipping. I put a handle on it, nothing fancy,  and will try it out this weekend on a hook or rose.  I also have a new Initials touchmark stamps as I could not find the one I brought with me. Oh well.  I them purchased from Columbia Marking Tools (http://www.columbiamt.com ). Just my 3 initials VAN on one and my full last name on the other. I went wild with the later. It will last me my lifetime for sure as I don’t have plans to be making many projects large enough to warrant the larger stamp.

      I visited with an Albanian tin knocker and found that he has a hand cranked blower for charcoal and that is all he uses. Sorry no pictures, he wasn’t a photo hound, maybe the next time I visit.  He has a medium size roller and crimper for making flues and other tubes. That is the bulk of his business today. He also makes Raki (Sort of Wine) distillers. He is 70 and does this work to keep moving. It is good to keep moving he says.  At least it is someone to bounce an idea off of if I need to. He had done heavier iron work when he was a young man fabricating window grilles, gates, etc. during the communist regime.

     Of course I have had time to visit a few places. We went on a day trip to Cetinje, Montenegro and Podgorica, MNE. Both are very nice and worth another look to make sure we didn’t overlook some tourist nugget. hahaha.

Nice attempt at reproducing window grille of the Royal era Cetinje

Reproduction window grille of the Royal era Cetinje, MNE

Blacksmith I just missed in Cetinje - bummer

Blacksmith I just missed in Cetinje – bummer

     That’s all for now! See ya at the Forge!!

Vince

Hi Guys,

    Here’s a couple of things I have improved since last week. I managed to put about 2-1/2 hours into cleaning MY beautiful Anvil. Hey, I have to remain positive here. As you can see at 1-1/2 hours the exposed areas are still very dinged up.

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Okay at 2-1/2 hours it is still dinged up buy I can live with it for the time being.

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I do have a welder – It is a Nordica, but it doesn’t run quite right, something, can’t put my finger on it. I had purchased some Turkish Rod that isn’t good for anything, when I get my torch maybe I will be able to use it for filler, wrapping, etc. I was able to get satisfactory welds using some ESAB Rod on my second round of purchasing. I will only be using it from now on.  Regardless. The welder  works and now the trick is to find some decent 7018 rod. The rod I purchased was 6013 and will be fine for all my other work, but for the great Anvil repair I want the 7018 since we have used it with success in past. So Welder is a go! Forge is working without any modifications. They use propane for their gas heaters and stoves here. Yeah!

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As you can see in the picture I now possess a fine slack tub of the finest plastic this side of the Mississippi. J I put some metal sheeting left over from the gutters I flattened out to cover my forge table. One has to make do. My materials sourcing is pretty limited right now. I expect it to get better as I discover new sources.

I plan on getting a vice this week and some shelves and then I will be in business so to speak. Ahhhh a far cry from my illustrious shop in Virginia Beach, but it is a start. I did do a leaf just to make sure that the Anvil surface didn’t deteriorate more from hammering and to make sure I remember how to swing a hammer. This was a test so it doesn’t count. It’s a pin leaf about 3” long from about 5/8” rod. I have to admit that the small anvil makes me work harder than I am used to. I will need to lower it about 2 inches to maximize the effect of my hammer blows. This was a good test all around.

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Almost forgot, apparently some guy with the last name starting with K once owned this.

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 That’s all Folks!

See ya at the Forge!!!

Vince

Hi Guys,

While I didn’t have time to clean up the anvil, I did manage to get a new regulator for my forge hose that allows me to hook up to the gas tanks they have here in Albania. As soon as I got back I hooked it up and played with setting the regulator for setting a heating pressure. There is no gauge on it so I will be doing everything by sight and sound. Hmmm, I need readers and my hearing isn’t good let alone with ear plugs in. hahaha.

Setting up HHF Albania

Setting up HHF Albania

I only heated up an old round file and will make a letter opener out of it later on down the road. As you can see it is a little disorganized now. I do have a bench for the forge to sit on. It is about a meter off the back wall and for anything longer I can turn the forge and put it out the window. Ahhhh, the problems of working inside a Building. I  prefer to work outside but until I get a coal forge going that isn’t happening at all and even after that I might have to work inside.

Old regulator shown with the new one attached - no gauge  and much smaller the new one.

Old regulator shown with the new one attached – no gauge and much smaller the new one.

So things are looking up!

See ya at the Forge!!! Soon!

Vince