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Doug Ayen

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forge time [Oct. 14th, 2012|06:05 pm]
Doug Ayen
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Took a trip this morning to a local flea market, mowed, then hit the workshop. Also, a couple of pics behind the cut.

Got some supplies for my next experiment at the flea market, some old cast-iron pans that will be sacrificed in the name of science, or at least ferrous metallurgy. Shen-Valley Flea Market, as it turns out, is a bit closer and I think a bit larger than the flea market I've been going to, the Harper's Ferry Flea Market. I hadn't even known it was there.

Did a quick mow of the front yard, noticed that the lilac bush has grown way out of control. Once I dig out the implements of destruction, I think it's going to get a major pruning.Some of those trunks are a good 4" across, might see if lilac has any interesting figuring or coloration.

The kukri is now ready for etching -- I ground off the scale and decarb from the heat-treating, and gave it a good hand sanding down to 1500 grit. I've got some nital (nitric acid in alcohol, 10%) I ordered that I'm going to try etching with once I get some dedicated glassware and some better goggles. This is going to be full-apron, face protection, and thick rubber gloves work, at least the first time. I also noticed the tang was a bit short, so carefully heated it up with the oxy-acetylene torch and hammered it out another inch. Once it's etched, I'll make up some fittings, and while I haven't found the tiger-stripe maple, I did find the bird's-eye maple I bought at the same time. That should work nicely if I can't find the other stuff.

After a break for lunch, I decided I wasn't done for the day, and went back into the forge and banged out two more titanium knife blanks from the 1/2" x 3/8" scrap. Just a couple of small pieces. I'm having some problems with the power hammer -- it's wandered from where I first put it several feet, and twisted 180 degrees, so it's getting hard to use. Moving an 1800 lb chunk of top-heavy cast iron is problematic, so I'll have to rig up some side supports to keep it from tipping, inch it to where I want it, then spin it around somehow. While I'm at it, I may see if I can get it up on some heavy timbers, get it off the gravel floor -- that may help keep it from moving around and digging itself into the ground like it's been doing.

All in all, a more productive day than I really expected. I've got three titanium blanks ready for grinding, and one piece I finally found hiding in a box in the shop, in addition to the two pieces ready for anodizing. Since the titanium etchant says don't do partial batches, and that it rapidly degrades once it has been mixed with water, I'm holding off on anodizing until I've got a batch ready to go.

And I remembered to bring the camera-phone, so here's some pics:

The chef knife, pending anodizing and some handle slabs:

TiChef1click to see full-size photo

Kukri, pending etching and fittings:

CableKukri1click to see full-size photo

[User Picture]From: ceo
2012-10-15 02:17 am (UTC)

Out of idle curiosity, what would one of those Ti chef's knives go for?
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[User Picture]From: blackanvil
2012-10-15 02:27 am (UTC)
Unless you wanted something particularly exotic for handle material, probably about $300 for something like the above--10" of blade. It's not the easiest material to work with, and requires some specialized tooling and expendables. And, sadly, I'd have to go get more stock, I'm out of this size material. Commercially, I haven't seen anything with a blade quite this large, but that would seem in-line with other offerings.

Edited at 2012-10-15 02:31 am (UTC)
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