||[Nov. 11th, 2004|11:47 am]
Started to finish the wheel last night; despite tempering the center of the wheel is hard enough to eat drill bits. I went to go grab my propane torch in order to heat it up enough to temper it more, discovered that the auto-light feature had stopped working. Started to go out to the workshop to go use the oxy-acetelyne torch, but it was FREAKING COLD. Decided I'll just stop off on the way home and pick up a new torch head.
Still, it was kinda fun, hitting the right speed and feed to start drilling the hardened steel, then seeing the coolant/drilling oil I was using start burning off from the friction. Pulled out the bit, and there was a nice groove burnished into the cutting faces of the drill -- I'm going to have to fix that before I use it again. Fortunately, I have a drill-Dr, which does a halfway decent job of such things. I know people who can do it by hand, but my toolgrinding skillz just aren't that 1337.
Did my final handle design, and picked out the wood I want to use. Camphor burl, looks pretty, smells like Vicks Vapo-rub. I'm going to try to get this thing finished over the next couple of evenings and over the weekend. Might even be able to break it in on a pizza on Saturday/Sunday if I get the carving right the first time.
I also started this years Xmas gifts, bunch of simple knives forged from the last of the 3/8" D2 stock. I think I'm going to go ahead and order more of this stuff, it's fun to play with, fairly rust resistant when heat-treated, and damn tough and hard. I'll probably call Carpenter Direct and order a few bars of 3/8", 1/2", and 1" for general use.