Blacksmithing, forging, knifemaking and all other metal work

Bet that makes her popular.
And she is about 75 years old, but I have to say that she keeps herself in shape, doing a 5 km walk every morning through the valleys and works the whole day in her garden. Unlike many women she did not spread when she got older. If I were in her age group I would defintely consider her.
When I'm her age, I also want to be as physically and mentally fit as her.
 
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Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Seventy-five, slim and small hands you say ?
If she's also got Parkinson's and uses dentures you have a truly marketable product.
 
Seventy-five, slim and small hands you say ?
If she's also got Parkinson's and uses dentures you have a truly marketable product.
Don't know about dentures, but definitely no Parkinson's. She is remarkably fit for her age, a product of rural Philippines, hard working for all her life
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Bang goes that business opportunity.
Still, there's always Soylent Green.
 
Another project I plan to do is a patternwelded broken back type seax, as used by the Anglesaxons about 1100 years ago, with the blade about a foot and a half long.
I read somewhere that the original bowie knife was basically a seax.
 
For those of us who enjoy bashing steel, working on a lathe or a mill, or do their own welding, to post their results.
As for me, I'm a trained mechanic and machinist and set up my own metal shop in a former barn. A while ago I built my own forge and started manufacturing things.
So a while ago I made a bunch of handforged nails for a mate, who is restoring a century old beam and wattle house. Some of the original structure will be visible and he asked me to make him some traditionally forged nails (fairly large, the long one is about 5" long), to use where they will be visible.

View attachment 245133

Recently I also started making knives from old automotive helical springs a neighbour, who likes fixing cars, gave to me. The one with the wooden handle was my first attempt. I straightened one of the springs using the forge and then hammered a blade blank out of it, which I then ground to shape using a belt grinder and a selection of grinding whels. The handle was made from a piece of cedar wood I still had at home and a piece of brass.

View attachment 245134

View attachment 245135
The second knife was forged out of a single piece of spring steel. I had to draw out the material of the handle to reduce it's diametre before bending it to shape and then fine shaping the blade again on the belt grinder and various grinding wheels.
In both cases I built and improvised tempering furnace out of some fire bricks and brought the ground blades to bright red heat, using a gas burner, before hardening them in oil and then tempering them at 250 centigrades (pale straw colour) in my kitchen oven. After the knives have been completed, I ground them to their final shape and sharpened them.

The coal forge I built myself. I bought the tuyere and fire pan on eBay and welded the frame out of angle irons. The fan I bought in a hardware shop in the Philippines. The anvil I bought as a bargain on eBay.

When the knives were finished, I decided to buy some leather and read up upon saddlemaker's work to make the sheats. I have handsewn them using traditional cobbler's techniques.

I use the first knife for gardening work.

Now I have the third knife in progress. It will have a hardwood handle and a brass guard.
Can you send some '2 mi bros in Landon?'
 
I read somewhere that the original bowie knife was basically a seax.
The outline of the blade is similar to a type of seax used in Britain, but the actual Bowie knife is believed to have been derived from a common Spanish hunting knife which was popular in Mexico and the Caribbean and probably entered the US via that route.

A lot of 19th century Bowie knives were made in Sheffield or Solingen and exported to the US. Both knife making centres also sold similar knives all over the world. It is still viewed as being an "American" knife because it was very popular there and the design evolved over the years to acquire distinctive features which were in demand in the US.
 
I'm not into knives, I've been out wild camping for a couple of weeks with just a Swiss army pen knife, I used a wire saw or folding saw for firewood, I'm not making a log cabin every night, whittling up furniture or skinning a Crocodile on the Pennine way.

A hatchet would be more useful than a BFO Rambo knife.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
I'm not into knives, I've been out wild camping for a couple of weeks with just a Swiss army pen knife, I used a wire saw or folding saw for firewood, I'm not making a log cabin every night, whittling up furniture or skinning a Crocodile on the Pennine way.
Wild camping on the Pennine Way and training for survival in Tesco.
 
I didn't peruse every post in this thread so apologies if redundant, but has there been any discussion of TIG vs. MIG welders? I am trying to decide which way to go for a shop welder to repair farm and range equipment and do some rustic sculpture using some of the old scrap lying around my barn.
 
the actual Bowie knife is believed to have been derived from a common Spanish hunting knife
What were they hunting? Bowie's own design had a blade 12" long and was specifically a fighting knife. There were similarities of shape of course, but I reckon short sword is a better description than hunting knfe.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
I didn't peruse every post in this thread so apologies if redundant, but has there been any discussion of TIG vs. MIG welders? I am trying to decide which way to go for a shop welder to repair farm and range equipment and do some rustic sculpture using some of the old scrap lying around my barn.
I have an old sip hobby arc welder, it does odd jobs but the thermal cut off kicks in far too often for major jobs. Its just me being a blast everything type of bloke!
 
I didn't peruse every post in this thread so apologies if redundant, but has there been any discussion of TIG vs. MIG welders? I am trying to decide which way to go for a shop welder to repair farm and range equipment and do some rustic sculpture using some of the old scrap lying around my barn.
Stick welder no question, or else you will have to faff about with sheild gas or go for nasty flux cored , which is pointless for small jobs because you have to deal with slag anyway so you might as well use stick.
 
I'm not into knives, I've been out wild camping for a couple of weeks with just a Swiss army pen knife, I used a wire saw or folding saw for firewood, I'm not making a log cabin every night, whittling up furniture or skinning a Crocodile on the Pennine way.

A hatchet would be more useful than a BFO Rambo knife.
Your certainly right from the perspective of trimming and chopping. That said, I find fixed blades of the Frost Mora type very useful for camp chores and food preparation. With a decent quality folding saw and a small hatchet, all avenues are covered. I do also carry a swiss jobby with a corkscrew and bottle opener.
The BFO Rambo type knives do seem to be "frighteners" to scare off unwelcome guests more than anything else. They arent like a parang or machete so you cant really chop, the saw teeth and all that gubbins are not anywhere as useful as a cheap B&Q folding saw and bless me, do you need a foot long blade to cut up some bacon and onions for a fry up ? Did the bowies start off as a manageable hunting knife that ended up doubling as a weapon ? And with the young bloods that bought them wanting summat showy and flash with the bigger is better attitude?
Then again, I remember pig hunting in NZ where the locals used a pig sticker that required a long thin blade to get deep enough into the vitals of a pig. All very macho, but I'd rather use a rifle for that job.
 
I have an old sip hobby arc welder, it does odd jobs but the thermal cut off kicks in far too often for major jobs. Its just me being a blast everything type of bloke!
You need to fit a cooling fan on it, there should be room inside the case for something like this, which you can salvage from old air con units or chiller drink cabinets . For DIY work it may never overheat with one of these.
 
What were they hunting? Bowie's own design had a blade 12" long and was specifically a fighting knife. There were similarities of shape of course, but I reckon short sword is a better description than hunting knfe.
This guy answers the question rather well. He is an antique sword and weapons dealer and collector who sees and handles antique weapons on a regular basis, including Bowie knives. In short, while there were some very large Bowie knives, particularly in Mexico and parts of the US, most historic 19th century Bowie knives were not particularly big and were generally no larger than a modern hunting knife.

Also "Bowie knife" was a name used for a wide variety of knives of various shapes, and during the time when they were popular was often used to describe any single edged knife with both a broad blade (e.g. not a stiletto) and a thrusting tip. Beyond that there was no specific design which qualified something as a "Bowie knife" in the eyes of the people who bought and used them.

Modern collectors will often apply terms to many items in ways that are different from how they were used historically or will create new names for them. This is because collectors are trying to order things from a broad stretch of history into categories for the purpose of collecting, while the people who lived at that time were much less concerned about what something was called and more inclined to just look at what was for sale in the shops and pick out one that they liked.

The end result is that it is sometimes the rarest and most unusual items which command the greatest interest and highest prices from modern collectors and so receive the most attention while the more common items are subject to less interest.
 
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Stick welder no question, or else you will have to faff about with sheild gas or go for nasty flux cored , which is pointless for small jobs because you have to deal with slag anyway so you might as well use stick.
Thanks. I have a venerable 50 y/o arc machine that still does good service.
 
You need to fit a cooling fan on it, there should be room inside the case for something like this, which you can salvage from old air con units or chiller drink cabinets . For DIY work it may never overheat with one of these.
This is often known as a "muffin fan" or "axial fan" and is available in various sizes from many electrical or surplus dealers. These look similar to fans which are used in PCs, but use full voltage AC power (have a look at the nameplate on the hub of the quoted example) so be careful to check the voltage so you don't mix them up with PC case fans which are usually low voltage DC.

They are used in many industrial and commercial applications. Price for more or less the same thing can vary hugely, so shopping around for surplus (or salvage as Bacongrills suggests) can save a lot of money.

I'm not offering an opinion on their use in this particular application, as I haven't done it myself. I have however bought loads of them to use in cooling the electrical cabinets in industrial machinery and they are a very common item if you know where to look for them.
 
Thanks. I have a venerable 50 y/o arc machine that still does good service.
MIG with a gas bottle, IMHO, but then I've never used TIG. Everyone uses MIG for welding car panels, so they'll always have a resale value. Stick welders are fine for thick sections (1/8" upwards or so) but tend to blow holes in anything thinner, as you've probably found out. I delayed answering in the hope that a proper welder (which I'm not) would volunteer an opinion.

It's nice to see you posting again JJH, you were missed. :)
 

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