Posts Tagged ‘Happy Haven Forge’

Hi Guys!

I  finished skinning the kayak. I have to admit pulling and squeezing the canvas was a good workout for my fingers. 🙂 Of course I made one mistake when sewing the bow and that made sewing the stern more difficult than it should have been. I wound up with two wrinkles on the top that I just couldn’t stretch out. I had a good laugh at myself and I think I worked around it rather nicely. I will say this, I wish I had made a cockpit frame for sewing that section. I now realize that doing so would have made it easier to get and keep the wrinkles out, even with the square opening. I chose to staple the cockpit, mixing the techniques worked, but I think I would have been better off using just one.  Time will tell.

Alternative uses for an anvil and forge. Hahaha,

Alternative uses for an anvil and forge. Hahaha,

Since I used my forge and anvil to skin my kayak does that mean the kayak was forged? 🙂
I forgot to take a picture of the frame after I applied the waterproofer, it has a greenish tint in case you were wondering.
I wet down the skin and let it dry in the sun, since it was about 97 – f or 36/37 – C it would dry faster than I could blow dry it, s on top of my car in the sun. It was bone dry in about an hour. I didn’t see any noticeable shrinkage. Maybe the fabric is already pre-shrunk. Anyway. Next step is to paint it. The only place that I am concerned about is the stern as the seam went a little lower than I would have liked and worry that it will not get fully penetrated with paint and that will cause it to act as a wick. I know, I know people have been doing these for years. The first of anything is always the most fun, I have built two others but not with this type of skin, Soooo…. It is my first, exciting. 🙂
Here’s few pictures of the skinning process. When I am done I will post it and the maiden voyage. You don’t have a kayak until it floats in the water!
Thanks for stopping by!   Vince

The bow running stitch

The bow running stitch

The bow finished

The bow finished

This is how much the canvas stretched about 1-1/4 inches / about 4 cm - towards the stern.

This is how much the canvas stretched about 1-1/4 inches /  4 cm – towards the stern.

Stretching and stitching the stern

Stretching and stitching the stern

Rolling and stitching the stern seam.

Rolling and stitching the stern seam.

Stern with some of the cockpit

Stern with some of the cockpit

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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

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,
In case you forgot I broke my fine 1 year (almost) old vise trying to bend a piece of larger rebar at the end of April. I looked around and couldn’t find a decent forged machinist or post vise here. I had what looked like two good leads, but both of those didn’t pan out. That left me with two options; buy another cast one and hope for the best or make one. I decided to make one. I was often tempted to make Brian Gilberts vertical vise back in the States, but since I had two post vise’s and several really nice machinist vises I had no need to do so. I didn’t make Brian’s vise here either. I took another course and it was a combination of Brian’s and a woodworkers parallel vise.

I had a discussion with my friend about the pivot point for the movable jaw and he mentioned just letting it pivot on the floor considering the way we use the vise. He mentioned having a vise like that where I used to work, I remember the vise and knew that it was actually adjustable on the bottom to make it parallel, very useful in woodworking and not actually pivoting on the floor. Taking his comments into consideration and some of Brian Gilbert’s design I combined those three thoughts and this is what I came up with.

Cutting the jaws

Cutting the jaws

Stationary jaw in place

Stationary jaw in place

 

Materials: 13mm x 7.5 cm x 30 cm flat, 4cm x 6mm x 6 meters flat bar, 3cm sq x 120cm bar, and some 22mm threaded rod, washers and nuts and some welding rod. I used  rebar for the handle.  In the future I can find a length of acme threaded rod I would prefer to use that as the regular TR tend to wear out relatively quickly in this type of use.

The 13mm flat is the base for the fixed jaw on top of the wooden post. This is the same post configuration that I had the old vise on so it is fairly well supported coming off the wall with two stabilizer brackets that I use for a tool rack.

I used the same rod that I used for the jaws as the main adjustable leg support welded on to the 4 cm flat. The heavy leg structure only goes just beyond the spindle. I didn’t have enough to go the entire length and this is the normal set up for post vises on their adjustable legs would end here. It makes sense to me.

I have leaf spring and took a section of it and bent it in the middle. I let it normalize and then heat treated it.  It appears to work, well, time will tell.

 

Side view of vise w/o spring.

Side view of vise w/o spring.

Vise w/o spring or paint

Vise w/o spring or paint

 

What is better about this and what is not. Dare I tell the truth?!!!!
Cons: I still some slight give when the jaws are tight and I go to twist. The jaws do not have a flat face, but the two surfaces mate almost perfectly and will have to use soft and hard jaw plates for a perfectly flat surface. I have to us spacers to keep the jaws parallel. The foot of the adjustable leg will eventually have to be repaired due to being beat on and only being made of mild steel.

Pros: I can smack the hell out of it and it will keep on ticking – if it breaks, bends etc. I can repair it. It is 2.5 inches wider than my old one. I have better clearance on each side. I have a bending jig between the fixed jaw and the base plate (there is a nice space there that I can use to make rings, bends etc using the jaw of the vise). I have a hook on the side that serves as my ground connector and place to hang stuff. I have a useable vise, right now for less than the cost of another cast vise. Replacement in kind is about 60 bucks, my costs in materials is about 40. Time spent building about 16 hours, cutting, cleaning and painting. Satisfaction – :0 :):):):)

 

 

Vise complete with Spring in place

Vise complete with Spring in place

Vince & Mimi (5)Hi Guys,

As you know I have been working on building my first Kayak and I finished it yesterday and today my Friend Evis, his brother Florian, their Uncle and my wife Bianca and the two dogs helped with the launching of the battleship kayak. So nicknamed now because of the high sides, I thought she would have a water line of about 20 cm, but discovered that it barely has a draft of 10cm which is less than 4 inches. Oooppppssssie! for all the gory details open the pdf attachment and it will take you from start to finish.

 

My Kayak is completed 1

 

Okay I know that the shape looks a little more like a canoe than a kayak because of the high sides. The bottom does have a curve from bow to stern so give me that. I hope to incorporate all the things I learned here into my next one that I will be starting on this coming Tuesday or Wednesday so my friend Evis and I will be off to the lakes and rivers of Albania as the season is ready to begin here! Yahoo!

I have posted a few videos to my facebook page if you are interested.

Thanks for stopping by!

See ya at the forge soon!!!

Vince

 

 

Hi Guys,

Okay it would have been easier to just buy one, but then I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of actually building one. I have wanted to do this for a several years, but truthfully I didn’t have the motivation since I owned a Kayak and in the US they are so available what was the point. Here in Albania it turned out that they are overly expensive and difficult to obtain, so we decided to build.

At the end of today we have about 21 hours of work between the two us into the kayak. My friend Evis was a little nervous about getting into this, but now that we have the keel and side stringers on it actually looks like a kayak now both he and I are very happy. There are a few things that didn’t work out as I planned. Imagine that! I was flabbergasted! hahaha. The bow and stern didn’t work out quite as I intended and I will have to figure another way of making them functional and look pretty when done.  The first one is mine and the second Evis’s so he really gets the benefit of what we learn here and there is a lot that we learned.

Originally I was going to screw and glue the stringers to the frame. The problem is that the plywood which is very nice furniture grade plywood is just at 1/2 inch and that makes it difficult to screw into. The solution …. wire ties and glue. I did use on the first stringers the old Eygptian clamp of twisting some string, but we then remembered that this is the 21st century and we have more options. Evis’s brother mentioned the wire ties when he stopped by early in the day. I had read that online and completely forgot about using them. I was enjoying using the twisting clamp, but they were a little slow with the poly urethane glue. So far they are holding very well.

One very important thing to remember; poly-urethane glue is very difficult to remove once it adheres to your skin. It will turn black and it will be on your hands for a week or so. 🙂 Wear gloves from the on start while using this glue.

 

 

 

 

Darn Poly-urethane Glue!

Darn Poly-urethane Glue!

 

Evis Making adjustment to the frames to fit the stringers

Evis Making adjustment to the frames to fit the stringers

The frames, keel and three side stringers are set.

The frames, keel and three side stringers are set.

Me with the skeleton today 3-30-14

Me with the skeleton today 3-30-14

Initial frame set up for testing the keel

Initial frame set up for testing the keel

Keel set in place

Keel set in place

Keel laid with bottom side stringer ready to be tied to frames

Keel laid with bottom side stringer ready to be tied to frames

 

I know it isn’t blacksmithing, but as I said I will not be doing any until I get all this crap out of my shop!!!! :)))  I can’t wait to set sail in a kayak that I actually build. Pretty cool so far.

What my Blacksmith Shop looks like now

What my Blacksmith Shop looks like now

 

Thanks for stopping by,

See ya at the Forge! Soon!

Vince

Hi Guys,

  I have my new hood in place over my forge and had it fired up the other day. I think in order to weld properly in it given the temps off the charcoal I have I will need to have a deeper pot. I will make a square to go around to contain and raise the heat column. For heating the 2-1/2 deep pot works just fine for heating and beating the smaller work that I do most of the time here. So that will work out. The dust blower works fine for that sort of work and will save me lots of charcoal. I do have a hair dryer hookup for additional and constant air flow to make welding operations easier. I am sure welding will be as easy as using my favorite coke in no time with a little practice with my new setup. Because the guy who was going to build my hood got sick I decided to build it myself. I didn’t really have the work bench to do that size project and that is why the tabs are on the outside and not inside. Plus I really didn’t want to buy a pop rivet gun as I don’t plan on doing anymore sheet-metal work after this. That is the plan anyway. So here a  few shots of the forge hood and forge in operation.

Hood Side cutout

Hood Side cutout

Hood Side tabbed

Forge and with new hood warming up

Forge and with new hood warming up

New forge testing the full draft.

New forge testing the full draft.

Before I decided to make my own hood I started to build my bedroom bench and will be using some re-bar for most of it. Re-bar is popular here. I also have made a couple of re-bar tools such as the drift chisel I used to make the first set of eyes in the legs of the bench. I did round up the holes with a drift that goes up to about a ½ inch. The eyes here are about the same diameter as the legs a little under ½ inch. Everything here is in metric and I haven’t quite assimilated completely yet. I still have to convert everything to visualize the diameters and lengths. This project was put in the holding pattern while I finished the hood.

Bench Legs

Bench Legs

This project is on hold for a few weeks as my friend Evis and I built a couple of kayaks. Kayaks are not readily available without costing an arm and a leg. The materials just to build one is still about $350, to buy one here is about $1300 and that is used and not in good shape. So the decision to build one was made.

Here are a couple of shots taken today (3-23-1014) early in the day. The goal was to set up the strongback and get the frames cut out. We accomplished that and only need to redo one that for some reason or other doesn’t line up with the others. No problem, that is why we are going slow and double checking everything. So far it looks good. We are waiting on an epoxy glue that we had to order and after that arrives we will do a test fit and set the keel. Things will really be off and running then.

My Shop taken over by Kayak materialsKayak Plan w-corrections

Kayak Plan w-corrections
Okay I am ready to start Vince - Do you know what you are doing?

Okay I am ready to start Vince – Do you know what you are doing?

I don't know what I have gotten myself into here

I don’t know what I have gotten myself into here

  I know it isn’t blacksmithing, but since I won’t be doing any blacksmithing while this is going on I hope you find it interesting. We won’t know if we are successful or not until we set sail in the water. Evis says he swims really good. Hahaha.

See ya at the Forge!!