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Thread: A gas fired forge in the making

  1. #61
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    I have these knives uo to the stage where the handles are having the finish applied so today I started on the sheaths.
    I got in a new double shoulder of 3mm (1/8) cowhide so marked out the patterns with as little waste as possible.

    I had a little lefy from the previous piece so made up a couple to make sure my new patterns were fitting the knives propperly and then cut out the rest.

    With the belt loops sewn in and the welt glued in I will leave them till the adjustable U groover gets here to make the turn over of the back to the front much easier. A friend showed me his and how he runs a couple of grooves down the inside of the sheath either side of the center line and the leather folds over and lies much flatter for punching the stitch holes.

    Before I started this morning I made a third hand to make the stitching much easier and when I stitched u the couple of trial sheaths I was quite impressed with how much easier it is compared to how I had been doing it for the last near 50 years.
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  2. #62
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    So this is the knives as they stand at the moment. They still have to have the final blade finish and be sharpened.
    First are some hunter skinners and this first one with cocoboloscales I was going to keep for myself, but will probably sell it on as I have some lovely wood coming from the US, thanks again to FrankG who has made much of this possible by sourcing and shipping various goodies for me.

    walnut and ebony

    walnut and jarah

    A wapiti hunter in walnut and hickory
    Last edited by Von Gruff; 04-21-2017 at 03:32 AM.
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  3. #63
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    and a few boners
    First is a special order companion knife to go with a light hunter in the same walnut and jarah shipped of a short while back

    One for myself in a specail piece of walnut cut from my late fathers yard in the early 80's

    And a plain walnut one just to start getting one or two ahead for casual sales.

    I seem to have missed getting a pic of a general hunter in walnut and jarah but it is on the bench anyway and as ready as these are.
    In this pic of them in the sheaths that still have to be hot wax dipped there is three extra that are still to be finished. On the far left is my own personal light hunter in a fantastic piece of olivewood and buffalo horn that I will show propperly when it is finished with the top left being a new killing knife (for the sheep) with walnut and copper pins, and a little field scalpel with buffaol horn scales.
    Last edited by Von Gruff; 04-21-2017 at 03:32 AM.
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  4. #64
    Boolit Master woodbutcher's Avatar
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    Outstanding sir.Please keep the updates coming.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
    People never lie so much as after a hunt,during a war,or before an election.
    Otto von Bismarck

  5. #65
    Boolit Master
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    Von Gruff
    I always enjoy pics of your work and your videos but I'm confused by the third hand you mentioned.
    Could you describe it or post a pic? Ive been doing my own leatherwork for about 50 yrs also and while my technique has changed over the years I often wish I had a ( third hand )

    While I've used several types of sheaths over the years the type I've settled on as the best is exactly like yours.

    Thanks, Woody
    Some people live and learn but I mostly just live

  6. #66
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    The third hand is just a small holding jig I made in 5 minutes. I cut the housing rebate with a minimum taper so the legs have a very slight bias toward the top to be just under the width of the sheath when it is in place so it holds it firm.


    The small wooden knife between the legs is to keep them from marking the sheath with too much pressure. They are sanded very smooth but a strip of light leather glued to them would be added insurance against scuffing the leather. I can sit in my easy chair to do the sewing as it fits comfortably between my thighs without my having to hold it so a relaxing position.

    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  7. #67
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    I did a short video of the hot waxing of the sheaths this morning

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2jz...ature=youtu.be
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  8. #68
    Boolit Master





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    Great video VG!
    You can miss fast & you can miss a lot, but only hits count.

  9. #69
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks, I'll make one of those

    Is the wax in the video straight bees wax? Ive been using olive oil but bet the bees wax would be better. I keep bees so wax is not an issue.
    Some people live and learn but I mostly just live

  10. #70
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    The wax is paraffin wax. I got the tip from a professional knifemaker so havent tried bees wax. If you had plenty it might be worth a try on some scrap leather to see how it went.
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  11. #71
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    These three are quite special for me for the people they remind me of.
    The boner with 4 3/4 in 15N20 blade has scales from a walnut tree I felled on my late fathers yard in the early 80's.

    The light hunter with 3 5/8 N690 blade has buffalo horn bolsters from a friend in South Africa and end grain olivewood given to me by a retiring knifemaker friend.

    The field scalpel with 2 3/4 N690 blade has buffalo horn scales from a few horn tip given to me by a friend in the US.

    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  12. #72
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    I had sent a PM (on the Aus blade forum) to the supplier of the gas equipment for my forge asking about the setting as I didn't seem to be getting the heat at the same rate or the intensity that he showed on his 'how to' video. He got back to me and asked for my ph no and he rang yesterday (from Aus) so we had a good yarn with the advice being to drill out the jet from .7mm to 1mm. Because of the slightly different gas between AU and NZ I could get the gas flow with less pressure. When I did that it was night and day different so I had a crack at forging a couple things I needed. The first thing was a slag hammer as I had been given a stick welder on permanent loan, so used part of a small jackhammer chisel, cut the top off, forged the chisel end out flatter and made a point on the other end. Some of the videos I saw had them drift a hole through the chisel and taper the handle then rivet it on the other side of the head but that was more than I decided was necessary so I simply welded the handle on. Not too shabby for a first effort I thought.

    I had a bit of trouble holding the chisel when I was hammering on it as while my extended handle pliers would open up wide enough, the handles were miles apart and not able to be held in one hand so vice grips sufficed even though I had to double handle everything to get it out of the forge and then take a grip wth the vicegrips to take it to the anvil so the next thing I really needed was a set of tongs that would hold something larger than flat stock. I had picked up some 1/2 in round rods so cut a couple of pieces and went to it. Again it was difficult to hold but eventually a rudimentary set of tongs emerged so I was reasonably happy. Will try a different tack next time as the full tong from 1/2 stock makes them quite heavy so will try to do the jaws from the full size then forge the reins down through 3/8 square to 1/4 in round at the hand grip.
    At least these will help to get the next set underway.

    Having done that I put the head of the pliers in the forge and when they got to heat I simply closed up the handles till they would hold the knife blades with a single hand grip. Really leased with them and will continue to use them for placing knives into and retrieving them from the forge.
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  13. #73
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    While I have a couple of ball peen hammers and forging work can be done with them, I see thatmost of the serious "smiths" have a special hammer that is flat on one end and radiused on the other, weighing about 2 1/2 to 3lb so I thought I had better get one as well. At the scrap yard last time I wanted a bit of round stock to make one and the guy asked if an old sledge hammer head would do as they had a few 'out the back'.
    I found one that was about 4 lb so thought that would be a good base to work from.

    I needed to shorten it a little to lighten it and after a while of cutting on one end it struck me that it would be hardened so I fired up the forge and when it had got to heat, put it in a bucket of sived ash for the night to anneal it. Made the cutting a little easier so rounded one end and radiused the edges on the other and after a bit of a clean up, put it back in the forge to heat treat, did the quench in water then tempered it in the cooling forge. Found a suitable piece of beech and knocked up a rudimentary handle and now have a hammer that weighs right and swings nicely.



    The rounded end is for moving metal and making a thinning process a little quicker then the flat end is used to planish out the dips and hollowsthat the rounded end caused.
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  14. #74
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    I had got a few other projects up to a stage that I could get these blades cut out of the flats stock today, so should get them all profiled tomorrow. On another forum the guys decided they should do a group buy so these will all be done together for them.
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  15. #75
    Boolit Master
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    It is amazing how easily you can move hot metal with a rounding hammer versus a flat hammer.
    My homemade rounding hammer is 2 lb. it will move more metal than my 4lb flat faced hammer.
    Someday I'll round out one side of the 4 pounder.

    If that is the first set of tongs you've made then I salute you. They are a lot more difficult to make than most people realize.
    Some people live and learn but I mostly just live

  16. #76
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    Thanks wolfer. They did take a bit of thinking through but watching a few of the available youtube videos gives fairly good instruction so it is only a matter of turning theory into practice. I havent used the rounding hammer end yet but do see how much more effective they are over the planishing end.
    So got these all profiled with coarse belt today. Nine round butt skinners on top with a pair of boys knives, 2 light hunters, a reverse angled hunter skinner, 2 wapiti hunters and 3 boners on the bottom row. May get the egdes all tidied up with fines belts tomorrow and start cleaning up the faces.


    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

  17. #77
    Boolit Master
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    Someone's having fun.More power to your elbow!
    "...Some days its rocket science, and some days it just zinc..."

  18. #78
    Boolit Master Von Gruff's Avatar
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    It was a good day in the shed today with 13 blades having the main bevels ground in and taken to 240 grit but the grinder motor was getting warm enough and I needed a spell from leaning over it so left them for today.

    And moved on to another project I had needed done. I have a dozen 18 in bar clamps but that is not enough to do the handles on this group of blades if they are all ready at once so I got a length of 4 inch channel iron at the scrap yard and had it cut into 1 1/2 in strip. This afternoon I started the process of turning them into handle clamps by drilling and tapping a hole in one end for a 12mm threaded rod. I had got a couple of 1 metre threaded rods and will cut them into 110mm lengths.
    So this is the ones that have been tapped and the rest waiting to be done.

    The end of the threaded rod is turned down on the grinder (no lathe for me) and a groove is made to except the head of the clamping piece which is just a short length of 20mm rod that has a hole drilled to suit the turned down end of the threaded rod, then a cut each way with the cut off disc on the angle grinder

    And the cut ends can be taped into the groove to make for a clamping piece that is able to swivel and or clamp up to slightly uneven angles. All that is left to do is to weld a handle on the end of the rod and maybe a washer on the end of the clamping head to increase the size but that may be unnessary.
    I will have to clean them all up of rust etc but this one is just put together to test the theory.
    Von Gruff.

    Exodus 20:1-17

    Acts 4:10-12

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check