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Doug Ayen

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shop time [Feb. 7th, 2011|02:47 pm]
Doug Ayen
Got off my butt this weekend and got in some shop time.

Specifically, to address requests about shooting my work, I took a 1" x 1/4" bolt, a couple of nuts, and an old hat and made a head mount for the flip-style camera. I was worried about weight and whether it would actually shoot in the direction I was working, but it seems to work pretty good. Certainly it beats buying a "helmet-cam" for $$$.

What did I shoot? I went back to grinding the titanium chef's knife I believe I wrote about before. Reviewing the video produced, it shows what I was doing with my hands most of the time, so it works in that regard. Grinding titanium, more so than steel, produces very bright, white sparks, and lots of them -- the video shows the camera first getting overloaded, then adjusted, then, when the sparks stop, it all cuts rapidly to black with just a few falling sparks visible, then the image coming back. Kinda artistic, but I'm not sure how useful it will be. At any rate, if I can figure out how to downconvert it to a smaller file size (as-shot 10 minutes is some 300+ meg, and I have a slow home connection), it may be going up later, or maybe I'll finish the knife and try editing to a short video of the process.

I may not finish the knife, though -- one side of the blade is nice and pretty clean, but the other shows a bunch of cold shuts -- areas where the metal folded over itself, invisible at the time due to oxidation, but which are now showing on the clean metal as black lines, with no real way of knowing how deep they go or if they've weakened the blade dramatically.

Also, new belts -- I ordered some specially coated 36 grit belts that are supposed to be good with Ti. They did make quite a difference, at least at first, though it appears that some light profiling and surface grinding has rapidly worn them down/clogged them up. While the saying among knifemakers is "use belts like they're free," I find it hard to toss a $9.80 belt after 30 minutes of use. I'll hit this one with a cleaner then see how long it keeps cutting -- even clogged and dulled, it's still better than the non-coated belts. I'll probably stick to the trizact belts, though -- even though they're a finer grit, they basically don't wear out until you've worn the abrasive down to the fabric of the belt.

I wanted to change out the drive wheel on the grinder for the faster one, but discovered that the set screw that holds it in place is frozen in place -- I managed to strip out the hex socket that drives it, so I'm considering alternative ways of removing it without damaging the machine. Right now, it's got Kroil soaking on it, I hope that's enough to loosen it enough to remove.

I managed to avoid injury this time around -- though I note that a) titanium sparks are hotter than steel, and so hurt more when they hit your skin, and b) setting a glove on fire, even if you don't actually get burnt, still gets your attention fast, and leaves a smoke stain on your finger.

[User Picture]From: madbodger
2011-02-07 08:32 pm (UTC)
Cool stuff! Maybe we can grind some cerium with a duff 36-grit belt and film the result?
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[User Picture]From: blackanvil
2011-02-07 08:57 pm (UTC)
You're really wanting to set me on fire, aren't you? I'm not sure if mischmetal would be any worse than Ti, though. Sounds like an experiment to me.
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