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camdigger
10-18-2010, 01:42 PM
Along with other things, my father passed on an interest in blacksmithing. I inherited his coal fired portable rivet forge.

The unit was old when he bought it before I was born. It is a low cost unit with a pressed steel pan, light wall pipe legs, cast iron air piping, and a hand cranked centrifical blower. In the 4 decades it sat unused behind a shed in his yard, the pan rusted through, a succession of wren and tree swallow sized birds set up house keeping in the blower, the legs rusted through, and the cast iron lower air piping rotted away.

I undertook to clean it up and resurrect the forge by removing the birdsnest, replacing the air piping with steel piping, and patching the pan. Patching the pan was the most entertaining. Stick welding a patch of 16 gage plate/sheet to a pan perforated with rust was a challenge for a weekend welder...
http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx301/camdigger/Forge%20and%20forged%20projects/PA311346.jpg

My two girls wanted pocket or sheath knives. They managed to lose both the folding lock blade knives they were given within 3 months....:rolleyes:
To give them an idea what went into a knife, I decided that we would make replacements. A sheathed belt knife seemed the simplest and safest.

Along with the portable forge, I inherited a 10' Graham Holme (SP?) chisel plow. The old cultivator had had a rough life. It suffered abuse from too much HP, too many rocks, and too severe duty. Too big for the garden patch and way too small to be of value for it's original purpose, it represents an estimated 2 tons of structural and spring steel and misc other parts:D

On the top of each shank was a coil spring made of 3/8" spring steel rod. Perfect for a flat knife blank.

Earlier, I'd flattened the top of a piece of 100#/yd rail with the mill/drill for anvil.
http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx301/camdigger/Forge%20and%20forged%20projects/Flatanvils.jpg

I mooched some stoker coal from a neighbor, and we were off.

camdigger
10-18-2010, 01:44 PM
I mooched some stoker coal from a neighbor, and we were off.

First the coil spring had to be unwound.
http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx301/camdigger/Forge%20and%20forged%20projects/unwindingspring.jpg

And hot cut.
http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx301/camdigger/Forge%20and%20forged%20projects/cuttingblank.jpg

bashed out to size
http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx301/camdigger/Forge%20and%20forged%20projects/flattening.jpg

All under the watchful eye of the local supervisor.
http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx301/camdigger/Forge%20and%20forged%20projects/supervision.jpg

camdigger
10-18-2010, 01:56 PM
A little cleanup after rough shaping and hot punching hole for the wooden handle pieces, we hardened by heating to a bright red heat in the forge and quenching in water After another cleanup, the blanks were tempered by heating along the spine with an oxy-acet torch set to slightly carburizing flame and running the colors to a light straw at the cutting edge. Then we installed the handle pieces using Gorilla glue and knife handle rivets (from Lee Valley). The handle was sanded to shape with a random orbit sander, and sharpened with a Lansky style (Gatco?) kit by the end user. Then a sheath was made up out of a "belly trimming" of leather from Tandy, holes punched for the seam and hand stitched by the end user.

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx301/camdigger/Forge%20and%20forged%20projects/knife.jpg

The blade was left with the tempering colors of oxidation and the rough, rustic surface from the amateurish forging for a deliberate rustic final appearance.

Both of the end users are estatic with their knives and have managed to keep close track of them for 4 months or so even through an extended camping trip:D Both girls also have a new appreciation for knives.

camdigger
10-18-2010, 02:03 PM
On the down side, after having cranked the blower long enough to make the 3 knives, I can't get them to do it for any of my projects.

I salvaged the blower out of an old vacuum cleaner.

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx301/camdigger/Forge%20and%20forged%20projects/blower1.jpg

It supplies more than enough draft, but howls like a banshee. I found a small squirrel cage blower and intend to replace the one out of the vacuum cleaner.

I also decided to make a stand for the leg vise I aquired at a local farm auction. I sacrificed some stability for portability. Still better than nothing.
and makes use of the leg vise I've been tripping over and walking around for at least 3 years:p :rolleyes:

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx301/camdigger/Forge%20and%20forged%20projects/DSCN0029.jpg

Evan
10-18-2010, 02:17 PM
Good writeup. I will bet that they will still have those knives when they are old and gray. Nothing beats actually manufacturing something that you need to give an appreciation for the value it represents.

gwilson
10-18-2010, 02:39 PM
I'm sorry. THIS is what you are able to do,and you have the gall to challenge Evan? I wouldn't post that knife. I'd have nothing to say,except for that horrible gear faceting thread you were into Evan about.

WHAT shape was the knife handle sanded to? Square all over?(Or approximately so).

Willy
10-18-2010, 02:50 PM
Good post Camdigger.
Blacksmithing is starting to become a lost art, some good basic info here and maybe a spark to pique someone else's curiosity.

Well I see at least Evan is big enough not to take this stuff so seriously and hand out an olive branch so to speak.

Mcgyver
10-18-2010, 03:08 PM
I'm sorry. THIS is what you are able to do,and you have the gall to challenge Evan? I wouldn't post that knife. I'd have nothing to say,except for that horrible gear faceting thread you were into Evan about.

and that makes for less animosity here?

The guy's a begineer at this craft and showing what he did; that deserves such harsh words - we're we only post after mastering something?

lazlo
10-18-2010, 03:10 PM
I'm sorry. THIS is what you are able to do,and you have the gall to challenge Evan? I wouldn't post that knife.

George, that is way out of line. :mad:

If you read his post, he's trying his hand at blacksmithing, and posting his adventures resurrecting an old pan forge and making his first knife.

If you have something interesting to post, feel free. But don't crap on someone's thread because of a personal vendetta.

gwilson
10-18-2010, 03:13 PM
Repeat: I would have said nothing,but for the incredible gall he had in challenging Evan's work,which is light years better. I never have come here to make trouble. This is just too much.

I wouldn't get after a guy about whittling his own toothpick if he stayed in line himself. I do not know Evan,but I have respect for the work and knowledge he has shown here.

Lazlo and McGyver,I agree with everything you two have said. Camdigger is a troll or I'd have nothing to say. Maybe he needs to straighten up himself before bashing the work of his betters.

I'd hope that a 13 year old would have better judgement than to post that piece of work,anyway.

I already asked Mr. Bulliss to stop these threads that go on forever while people bicker about how many angels dance on a pinhead. If he wants to ban me here,I have gotten a bad taste in my mouth over the constant trolling anyway. If I go,so does my subscription to HSM.

I really have nothing more to say. I have not made trouble here before,nor do I plan to.

dp
10-18-2010, 03:20 PM
If you have something interesting to post, feel free. But don't crap on someone's thread because of a personal vendetta.

Here we call it "Don't pull a Camdigger". He's still in my bitbucket.

lazlo
10-18-2010, 03:20 PM
I would have said nothing,but for the incredible gall he had in challenging Evan's work,which is light years better.

Has Evan posted pictures of his first attempt at blacksmithing?

By the way Evan: tip of the hat for your reply to Cam.

gwilson
10-18-2010, 03:27 PM
You just don't get it,do you,Lazlo? Go back to the thread faceting thread and see the things camdigger said to Evan. I don't know either of them personally,so it's not a personal vendetta. I am able to see intelligence and good work,and everything Evan has posted shows it. He doesn't need some piker attacking him.

cuemaker
10-18-2010, 03:32 PM
Mr. Wilson,

Not only do I understand your point, but I feel your point and would have a strong desire to point out the same.

But what you end up doing is quashing the sharing of work. Not just of Camdigger, but anybody that is vocal about issues that come up here.

There is a good chance that Camdigger is quite professional in another field and this was simply a foray into an un-attempted field that was also a learning opportunity for his daughters....As I understand the post, his daughters probably had some hand in the making of the knives...

As a dad, IMHO the work done with your kid should look like a kid did it, as that's the point.

camdigger
10-18-2010, 03:38 PM
Thanks Evan!

Thanks for all the kind words.


As for Mr Wilson, this is my first knife (although not my first shop project:D ). It was also kept rustic and simple deliberately because I was teaching my 3 kids the methodology as I learned the nuances myself. Some of the design decisions were left to the end user. The other two knives have different looking handles as they were finished by someone else. All other vitriol was addressed in the other thread and will not be visited again here by me.

gwilson
10-18-2010, 03:38 PM
Thank you,cuemaker. I didn't see any tiny hands in the pictures. The hands I saw should have some FAINT glimmer of understanding design,at the least.

I mean,if you are going to have the nerve to criticize the work of someone who is obviously very accomplished,at least show your credentials. Don't post something that looks like a caveman bashed it out between 2 ROUGH rocks!

WHY post something like that knife when you have been a total troll?

gwilson
10-18-2010, 03:39 PM
No more vitriol,Camdigger? That's great news. I'll shut up and hold you to it. Enough said.

camdigger
10-18-2010, 03:45 PM
I mean,if you are going to have the nerve to criticize the work of someone who is obviously very accomplished,at least show your credentials. Don't post something that looks like a caveman bashed it out between 2 ROUGH rocks!


One last point of clarification. It wasn't his work I critisized, it was what he intended to do with it.

As for the tiny hands, neither of the girls are tiny anymore. At 11 and 14, both are well over 5' tall. IIRC, SWMBO said they were 95 percentile for height vs age. The forge cranker in the pick below is 8 and is taller than 60% or so of kids his age.

The one holding the hammer is 14. The one holding the dog is 11. and the one taking a turn at the blower handle is 8.

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx301/camdigger/Forge%20and%20forged%20projects/kids.jpg

Oh, and the dog is 12. I make no comment as to my own age...

Evan
10-18-2010, 03:47 PM
I made the assumption from the writeup that the girls did some of the work.



The handle was sanded to shape with a random orbit sander, and sharpened with a Lansky style (Gatco?) kit by the end user. Then a sheath was made up out of a "belly trimming" of leather from Tandy, holes punched for the seam and hand stitched by the end user.




This is about a teaching and learning experience which is more valuable than any other form of education in my book. I did the same with my children and neither has forgotten the lessons learned. The product produced is only a minor part of the experience and if it serves the intended purpose then it is a success. That item, whatever it is, will serve as a reminder of a good time when something was learned.

I ask you all to excuse G Wilson his outburst. I have been in contact with him and he is upset about recent events on this forum. Some of that is understandable but it serves no further purpose to damage this thread to the detriment of the girls that are very likely looking forward to encouragment and approval of their efforts.


Girls,

I for one very much approve of this activity as a truely valuable learning experience. The knives will serve well and are well made for a first effort. Don't give up on us here and show us some more work soon.

rohart
10-18-2010, 03:55 PM
Well I'm going to dive in here, first to say that it's a very nice bit of old-fashioned work.

But second to say that I've rarely seen such a giveaway for why we do it all. You decided to make a stand for the vice. and when you'd made it, it was a good use for the vice. We only spend money on machine tools so we've got something to work on all that stock with. Of course. I understand.

Keep it up. Love the reasoning.

Weston Bye
10-18-2010, 03:57 PM
Good thread Camdigger! I'm always looking for things to do when the two oldest granddaughters come for a week in the summer. I'll add this one to the list of possibilities. They are old enough now, and one of them is interested in an artistic career.

camdigger
10-18-2010, 04:11 PM
Good thread Camdigger! I'm always looking for things to do when the two oldest granddaughters come for a week in the summer. I'll add this one to the list of possibilities. They are old enough now, and one of them is interested in an artistic career.

Thanks Weston.

After he retired, my father used to take whatever kids were around into his shop. He used to spend hours with them making yards and yards of rope from left over baling/binder twine among other things like bird houses, feeders, etc.

The rope makers are moronically simple to make and can provide hours of "busy work" for young hands and Grandpa. Here's one I cobbled up out of scrap metal and spare parts laying around the place in an afternoon 20 years ago. I was always going to clean it up appearance wise, but it worked well enough and long enough to outlast him...
http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx301/camdigger/P2161148.jpg
http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx301/camdigger/P2161149.jpg

It's a rare farm show around here that doesn't have someone demo-ing rope making, often with commercially made twisters.

http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx301/camdigger/ropemakercropped-1.jpg

As a means to pass time, I've been known to splice an eye in one end and back splice the other while making conversation with the demonstrator.

Evan
10-18-2010, 04:24 PM
You know that there is another name for an eye splice... :D

Next project for the girls could be a Marlinspike and a Fid.

Craig Foster
10-18-2010, 04:32 PM
This thread has some great comments in it (forgiving some others). Letís keep this positivity going forward.

Camdigger, great work and thanks for sharing. If the girls get into blacksmithing, this book could make a great Christmas present:The Backyard Blacksmith, by Lorelei Sims. (<ref=http://www.blacksmithchic.com/book.htm.
)

Craig

camdigger
10-18-2010, 04:44 PM
This thread has some great comments in it (forgiving some others). Let’s keep this positivity going forward.

Camdigger, great work and thanks for sharing. If the girls get into blacksmithing, this book could make a great Christmas present:The Backyard Blacksmith, by Lorelei Sims. (<ref=http://www.blacksmithchic.com/book.htm.
)

Craig

Sim's book, Charles McRaven' book and at least 5 more books on blacksmithing and forging are on the reference shelf the girls have access to.

Of all of them, Sim's book is one of the best with all the practical info on almost everything from lighting the forge to assorted tools and methods.

IIRC, there are many color pictures that show the whole process very clearly.

Not to mention the gender thing...

The least valuable, IMHO was Percy Blanchards book from Audels.

camdigger
10-18-2010, 04:51 PM
You know that there is another name for an eye splice... :D

Next project for the girls could be a Marlinspike and a Fid.

I'm told, the next projects for #1 daughter is a small piece of chain mail made from rebar wire and a sheild for a school project on heraldry. That's all I know so far, she hasn't told me what she wants yet.

#2 has already been distracted elsewhere, she finished a hutch for her 2 new rabbits yesterday. If she can't keep them separated from the male rabbit that escaped 4 years ago and has avoided recapture since, we may be in the bunny business soon. Here's your bunny and here's your $2;) :D

DFMiller
10-18-2010, 05:07 PM
Camdigger,
Interesting post. It extra special if your kids get involved!
Last night as I was watching a woodworking show call "Rough Cuts" my youngest started to show some interest and she said "Dad that looks like fun"
Now I need to get her in the shop. ;-)
It's a great motivator! She has never shown any interest. Of course maybe she is getting jealous that her older sister hangs out with me in the shop. But that's because soon she will become the teacher and I the apprentice. I can hardly wait till they cover tool tables in her CNC course so I can acutally get them to work. :-)
Dave

dp
10-18-2010, 05:36 PM
All other vitriol was addressed in the other thread and will not be visited again here by me.

While this seems conditional I'll accept it at face value. And I'm happy to say this is a pretty cool project and a good family activity. It's good to see.

RobbieKnobbie
10-18-2010, 05:52 PM
Great thread, Camdigger. Thanks for posting.

I've had sporadic success at getting my three girls to show much interest in the shop, but when they do, it's a great moment of pride. For them because thay made something themselves, and for you just for having helped them along.

The end result could have been the worst knife ever made, and I wouldn't have the heart to criticize one bit. I think the board could do with more threads just like this one. Seeing other people's work can be inspirational, if not always educational. Either way, it's a lot more beneficial to the community than threads about 'how best to ignore this guy' or 'what I don't like about that guy' (which, in the interest of full disclosure, I did participate in).

john hobdeclipe
10-18-2010, 07:10 PM
So you get the kids together, repair something old, make something new, and everyone learns something together.

I think you are being a great father, and that the kids are very fortunate, very likely in ways that they won't realize until they're your age.

clutch
10-18-2010, 07:23 PM
Your kids will likely remember this long past your time just as I still remember doing things with grandpa and someday uncle (please not any time soon, Lord).

Since beating a knife out of metal is still on my bucket list, I have nothing but good to say.

What do we think the metal is? 1095?

Clutch

camdigger
10-18-2010, 07:35 PM
Your kids will likely remember this long past your time just as I still remember doing things with grandpa and someday uncle (please not any time soon, Lord).

Since beating a knife out of metal is still on my bucket list, I have nothing but good to say.

What do we think the metal is? 1095?

Clutch

I hold the time I spent in my Dad's shop very dearly. Moreso from the era after I left home and before he started to fail physically. I feel I had a great mentor. He never was one to sit around the house and visit. If the sun was up, he was off to the shop, and he fully expected you to tag along. The visiting happened as the work went on. I had little choice, but to pick up a smattering of tidbits along the way. Hopefully, my kids will look back on this as fondly as I treasure my memories.

As far as the exact alloy, I have no idea. The machine the spring came off is older than I am. I don't know if the original manufacturer is still in business - as far as composition goes, I don't need to know exactly - what we did worked. Here's what I can say about it.
1.) It is coil spring material - capable of heat treat.
2.) must be fairly high carbon steel as we had issues drilling it, even air cooled from forging temp. We broke a blank trying to drill the holes for the handle rivets - that's why we went to hot punching the holes.

Evan
10-18-2010, 08:38 PM
I'm told, the next projects for #1 daughter is a small piece of chain mail made from rebar wire and a sheild for a school project on heraldry.

There are plenty of articles online about making chain mail. Just include the search term "SCA" if you look for information. That is the Society for Creative Anachronism of which I was a member for years gone by. One of the best materials for making chain mail is steel coat hangers. Clean off the varnisk and polish it up with sand paper. The wrap the wire around a mandrel of the appropriate size, close spaced. Slip the coil off the mandrel and clip the rings off with good quality side cutters. Piano wire cutters are the best. Then they can be bent open enough to link together and bent back closed. Gas welding is the best way to close them permanently as the same wire can be used to weld.

RussZHC
10-18-2010, 08:45 PM
Good post :D

Why I joined (:confused: , there was not one " little knowledge")...


1.) It is coil spring material - capable of heat treat.
2.) must be fairly high carbon steel as we had issues drilling it, even air cooled from forging temp. We broke a blank trying to drill the holes for the handle rivets - that's why we went to hot punching the holes.

unless you have someone helping you in many fields, there is such a great volume of information out there...it is tidbits like this I find most useful as they can just be stored away until needed ;)

Dragons_fire
10-18-2010, 08:57 PM
Earlier, I'd flattened the top of a piece of 100#/yd rail with the mill/drill for anvil.
http://i766.photobucket.com/albums/xx301/camdigger/Forge%20and%20forged%20projects/Flatanvils.jpg


You cant do that with a mill/drill!!!! you should know better!!! :)

THe knives do look great though. I wish i had someone around when i was younger to teach me some of this stuff.

I made some "decorative" chainmail from some 6awg stranded copper wire. I took the strands out. then wrapped it around a mandrel on the lathe and cut out the rings. After getting a small square made, its actually fairly strong for such thin wire.

One of the guys i work with, has been making chainmail for years, and he says the best stuff he has found so far is galvanized electric fence wire, and second best is MIG welding wire..

Toolguy
10-18-2010, 09:56 PM
A lot of times they don't weld the end of the wires together. When you cut the rings after winding, don't cut all the way through the wire. Cut partway and then bend it back and forth a couple times to break it off. This method prevents making sharp burrs on the wire ends that are irritating or tear your clothing if you actually wear the finished piece.

wierdscience
10-18-2010, 11:25 PM
Good thread Cam,nice to see you passing down an ancient art to the next generation.

moe1942
10-19-2010, 08:34 AM
Repeat: I would have said nothing,but for the incredible gall he had in challenging Evan's work,which is light years better. I never have come here to make trouble. This is just too much.

I wouldn't get after a guy about whittling his own toothpick if he stayed in line himself. I do not know Evan,but I have respect for the work and knowledge he has shown here.

Lazlo and McGyver,I agree with everything you two have said. Camdigger is a troll or I'd have nothing to say. Maybe he needs to straighten up himself before bashing the work of his betters.

I'd hope that a 13 year old would have better judgement than to post that piece of work,anyway.

I already asked Mr. Bulliss to stop these threads that go on forever while people bicker about how many angels dance on a pinhead. If he wants to ban me here,I have gotten a bad taste in my mouth over the constant trolling anyway. If I go,so does my subscription to HSM.

I really have nothing more to say. I have not made trouble here before,nor do I plan to.




Camdigger is no troll but you are way out of line. I hope your insulting ways aren't the norm..

Weston Bye
10-19-2010, 09:29 AM
Camdigger is no troll but you are way out of line. I hope your insulting ways aren't the norm..

Moe, there is no point in bringing this up. camdigger and gwilson have declared a truce.


No more vitriol,Camdigger? That's great news. I'll shut up and hold you to it. Enough said.

Let it rest.