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Thread: Fettlin' on saws...

  1. #1
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Fettlin' on saws...

    Had several more saws than I really need, so decided to get rid of some of my more common Disston types. I feel Disston made some of the better quality saws, and certainly they must have been the most consistent when compared to other vendors, partially due to the QTYs, but I find them less interesting as there are so many of them in the wild.

    Anyway, one of the galoots hangin' out on the porch of the oldtools list was after a small backsaw, so I cleaned up one that I had and filed it up as a trade for a 6" double square and a 1/2" paring chisel. Nothing fancy on my part, just a little rasping on the handle, some BLO, and most importantly a good sharpening (took me a couple times to get something cutting well.

    Before Pics Here

    After: (does this mean I forged this saw? )






    After a couple hours of fettlin', this is a very nice little saw that will live a much longer life. I show these pics as I feel these are excellent saws to clean up and use, the quality of the steel and back are very good, the blades often stay pretty straight (this was was almost dead straight, even though the handle was in such bad shape and the saw being neglected for so long...yet it will make a great little joinery saw for the recipient.

    I didn't even take the handle off the blade, it's tight the way it is and I'm not one to upset any mojo, so in this case I left it be.

  2. #2
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    Looks great Alan, nice saw!

    BTW, what is the black thing that the saw is sitting on?

    A forge or something like that?

    Just curious!

  3. #3
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    Looks great Alan, nice saw!

    BTW, what is the black thing that the saw is sitting on?

    A forge or something like that?

    Just curious!
    Yeah it is...it's an old portable solid fuel (i.e., charcoal and coal) forge that I picked up recentely. I need to figure something out for the firepot, it's made to put clay/mortar in the ring around the tuyere (the bottom opening with the clinker buster in it). I need to get a larger firepot so I can burn charcoal.

    Here's a link to what it looked like before:

    ( one can actually make their own woodworking tools with one of these! )

    Before: (linky pics)



    After



    I just finished my first project yesterday, but didn't post here as it seems more woodworking oriented opposed to hand tool oriented...didn't want to rock the boat...it is made out of metal (fire poker/rake). When I make some woodworking tools (i.e., chisels, draw knifes, marking knifes, etc...) I'll post those here when I do.

  4. #4
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    alan, the forge is cool! how `bout some more shots and explanation as you go? i grind knifes but don`t melt metal and i find this pretty interesting...tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  5. #5
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    alan, the forge is cool! how `bout some more shots and explanation as you go? i grind knifes but don`t melt metal and i find this pretty interesting...tod
    Knifes are an entire realm in themself, and there are religious stands taken by folks that remove stock with a grinder, and folks that forge the blade completely. For the most part it doesn't take a lot of tools to make a knife, and in fact I'm going to be making one starting next week.

    There are a lot of ways to make a forge, for very little money, but anvils are unfortunately not easy to make. Good thing for knife makers is that you don't need a very big anvil and many folks use a section of railroad rail with much success.

    I'll certainly post picks when I make some woodworking tools, I have many things on my list of tools I want to have/make, I might be selling some that I make with the smith I'm studying under, we're working out details for future opportunities. I am only interested in producing completely handcrafted tools, the type that are hard to find these days.

    Here's a celtic sword the smith made who I'm studying under:

    (linky pic, and there is some hand forged woodworking tools on that page;-)


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    cool stuff again! sorry to dissappoint you alan but the knifes i grind are for my lil` moulder or shaper ......i buy my cutlery, and anything i`ve bought made this century has been made in germany......i`m kinda fond of the quality of steel they produce. that`s why i thought it would be cool to learn some about the DIY smelting.....if a fellow can learn to produce good high quality edge tools they`ll always be in demand......tod
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    VERY cool Alan, and as I assume you will be making hand tools, I would think this fits right in with the rest of the hand tool stuff here!

    So that forge, the charcoal gets stacked on top, over or around the hole, and the thing under the hole is a blower of some sort?

    Just curious is all, I've not had much experience with with forges, except at HS, and that was a natural gas powered one.

    I'd love to do some of that, but it would have to take place on my roof top, not in the Dungeon, and you can imagine how fast the locals would call the fire department, as Tokyo has burned to the ground a few times in it's history.....

    I'd love to see some more pics of stuff on the go.

    Cheers!

  8. #8
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    VERY cool Alan, and as I assume you will be making hand tools, I would think this fits right in with the rest of the hand tool stuff here!
    That was my intention. Actually, my intention was to learn how to smith so I could compliment my woodworking, with not just tools, but things like strap hinges for doors, or other accessories for projects. Tools were always my intention.

    I am currently learning how to smith at a Historical Blacksmith Shop in my area, and the era is about 1890-1920. There is power but it is rarely used. Sometimes to cut some large stock up, or occasionally to sharpen (the sandstone wheel has a small motor attached to it), but there are tredle stones and hand grinders around as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    So that forge, the charcoal gets stacked on top, over or around the hole, and the thing under the hole is a blower of some sort?
    Yeah, kinda...the doughnut in the bottom of the forge needs to be filled, or at least it should so the bottom doesn't burn out. People do use them as-is, but it's not reccomended. So you first fill in the doughnut with clay (how done originally) or motar cement. A blower is attached to the air inlet as you suspected, and I have a hand crank blower that I will use with this forge.

    (linky pic)



    Now, you were pretty much correct, you would then put a bunch of charcoal, coal, or coke (coal with the impurities gone kinda) into the forge and get it going. Without the blower it won't get hot enough. This is a solid fuel forge. The coal actually turns into fluffy charcoal type fuel after it's burned off the other stuff. So, very much like a BBQ, you have a large fire that burns off all the fuel, then it's coals that you can use, and this is no different. So you burn your fuel into a nice hot BBQ, and you continue to use the blower which keeps it hot.

    After about 20 minutes or so you can most likely start forging (heating and shaping the metal by hand with a hammer).

    Let's take this draw knife:

    (linky pic)



    That was made from a farrier's rasp. So, it was a rasp that was used when shoeing horses, and rasps and files are very tough steel, so good to use for edge tools. You maybe have seen other gouges and small chisels and other carving tools made out of old files for working wood. It is heated up and forged into the desired shape. Let me just take this moment to say that it's a lot more work than I've made it out to be here, you basically heat the metal to the point that it's past red hot (although you can start forging when it starts to get red, it's better as it starts getting orange), it will turn yellow and then white before it liquifies in the forge (yes, you can actually melt metal in a small forge like a BBQ).

    The handles were made with a draw knife for the tool above. I think that's some plumb wood from the historical farm where the smithy is.

    Here's another example, a mini-adze:

    (linky pic)



    That is done the same way, this is pretty small, but a very useful tool. The blade is only about 2.5"-3" in width/size. There's a few shaving horses at the smithy, and one of them was made entirely with just this mini-adze above, everything.

    Same thing with chisels or any other edge tool, you'll see some mortise chisels and a firmer chisel on the ardenwood pages I linked to above. The sockets are forge welded, and the handles are made by hand, using a draw knife.

    You can find great steel all over, there's tons of it in old car parts. I got a truck drive shaft (the actual axle) which will be hammers, you can use leaf springs from cars for draw knifes, chisels, etc...you can cut up coil springs from car suspension for edge tools. Of course you can just go buy it new also...

    Some of the toolmakers are deceiving, such as Barr Tool. While he forges his tools, there is no way that big, power hammers are not used, or large grinding machines, they have to use them to get the finish quality they provide. I'm not looking to do that, I'm looking to make handcrafted tools by hand, the good 'ol fashioned way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    Just curious is all, I've not had much experience with with forges, except at HS, and that was a natural gas powered one.
    Many people use gas these days, but solid fuel is more traditional. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. For you, gas would be an advantage and you could hook up a 20 gal propane tank easily. Propane doesn't smoke hardly at all, so there is no worry about smoke. Hammering could be an issue, but on your roof I don't think it would be a problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    I'd love to do some of that, but it would have to take place on my roof top, not in the Dungeon, and you can imagine how fast the locals would call the fire department, as Tokyo has burned to the ground a few times in it's history.....
    Believe it or not, you could easily do that. The difficult thing is having an anvil, but you can use small ones and/or make one from a railroad rail, that's commonly done. You can make some small stuff like hooks in a micro-forge, which is only a 1 gal propane hand held tank/torch sticking inside a piece of firebrick, that's what I was shown with at the BAG-A-THON we had not long ago, and I made a small hook to hang an old tool.

    The Japanese also build forges in the ground (i.e., dirt) as well. They have a long history of forging and making edge tools, as most folks know very well, as well as their swords. It's really facinating stuff, and requires a skill set in itself to be able to do it properly. I spent between 11-14 hours on a fire poker, started with a 24" section of 5/8" round stock, forged it into a 1/2"x1/2" square stock, then rounded off 6" on one end, made a eye handle, then flattened 6" of the other end and turned it into a shepherd's hook and it will be used for a fire poker/rake. This was mostly an excercise in hammering, and intentionally, to learn how to forge. The challenge was to see how close to 24" in length you end up with, trying to make it exactly the same length. Mine was 2" short, and my instructor felt really good in that regard! It was a good taste of forging...I now have an idea what is required...
    Last edited by Alan DuBoff; 11-09-2006 at 08:06 PM.

  9. #9
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    Hey Alan, thanks for the long reply, good reading for sure!

    Wonder where I could get some fire brick

    Cheers!

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