Bastard Metals

What I do, I'm a machinist who who also likes old VW Bugs, I can cast parts, ornamental flowers, one of a kind knives, plus a lot more

                                                      Blacksmith & BladeSmith Stuff



  My Blacksmith Shop

       This is what I like the most when Winter time arrives, red hot metal, a hammer, & my forge running at full speed sure keeps me nice & warm until Spring comes around, its amazing what you can create. I started off making a few pair of tongs to learn a little bit about how to work hot metal, then I started making a few different things like hooks, a few snakes, then I started fooling around with knives

I started with Rail Road Spikes & made a couple knives, as well as a Tomahawk

               Then I started making flowers, below are some roses I make, the pedals are made of copper sheet, some I used soup can lids and others I used 16 ga sheet metal, I just use whatever kind of sheet metal I can get my hands on, I make the stems out of 1/2" or 3/8" round stock, I heat it up and draw it out to what ever length I want, I try to make the diameter between 1/4" and 1/8" from one end to the other. Then I twist and turn and bend it up to whatever shape I want

The roses & calla lilies make great gifts 

   These are calla lilies if you didnt know that already, they are easy to make, you just need a square piece of sheet metal of whatever type you want, these are steel, you wrap them up into a funnel shap then bend the top over a bit, the wide leaves are made out of thin angle iron with the top endges of the angle cut to a point, make a stem and weld it to the pedal and then to some type of base, inside these I put two 5/8" ball bearing, I just thought it added something


   Below is my 1st forge, I made this out of an old propane tank which I cut open on both sides, I lined it with ka-owool which is a ceramic wool which is kind of made by heating up clay until it melts and slinging it out like the sugar is when they make cotton candy. This stuff is about 2" thick and can withstand temps of 2800 degrees.


   I modified the front of the forge so I could put some fire brick in front of the door so I could hold the heat in to do forge welding, and as you can see I use the same propane burner in my forge that I do in my foundry furnaces


   This is the back door of my forge, I made this so if I have a long part I need to get thru I can just open it, I havent done it yet, but im going to put a small slot at the bottom center of the door for when I start to make swords, I can run them thru to do the entire length


   My anvil, its just a piece of railroad track, I had a lucky day at the scrap yard, I was looking for a section of track when I seen this, some one had already done all the hard work and shaped it as an anvil, I put the square hole in the back of it for tools. I also have another piece which has been machined nice and flat, it comes in handy for when im doing knife work.


   Below is my Junk Yard Hammer, aka a Power Hammer or JYH, its made from mostly junk, the base is an old wood router of some kind, I didn't make this JYH, it was given to me, the guy gave it to me because he had bought an air hammer before he finished this, all I had to do was bolt the motor and gear box on & it worked. It does about 75 beat per minute (BPM) & the hammer head weighs about 70 lbs, it sure does save your arm strength


   Below are a few of the snakes I made, the middle one is a railroad spike, I tried to make it into a Cobra snake

I haven't made any punches or tools to form eyes in the snakes head, but its on my to do list


    Below are some tongs I made, I have about 6 sets, I was given a few pair, which made it nice so I had something to look for making my own


        Below is one of my roses next to a real rose, you can see how mine has a natural patina making it green, mine even smell like a real rose, but thats a secret I can't tell 


   A few more roses, you can see the difference in the copper ones and the steel ones, I also made my black rose pedal tips have a copper tint to them, thats by using a brass wire brush over them while still hot, it rubs some of the brass color off and sticks to the pedals.


   My propane burner again, I dont use the large burner pipe on the right anymore, I never could get it tuned right, but the 1" burner tube works great


                Knives & Daggers



  These are the knives I have made, the first one here is made from a railroad spike, it is the 1st knife I ever made, it has a twisted handle that has been flattened out a bit, this is before I polished the blade. There is another picture below that shows it after it has been polished


    This knife below is a pattern welded knife, some refer to this as "Damascus Steel" the shape of the handle is known as a blacksmith's knife, I made this knife out of 5620 and D2 tool steel, it has about 9 layers and then a twist to give that pattern, which is brought out by etching the knife in ferric chloride or some type of acid


    Below is just a random pattern, I cant remember what 2 materials I used but I did make it about 120 layers give or take a few, it turned out good


   This one below is my Kris Dagger, or as close as I could get to looking like one, I started this with 22 layers of 1050 steel cut about 6" long, after heating them up & forge welding them into a solid billet, then drawing the piece out to 9" in length, then folded it in half and welded the 2 halves back together, then draw it out again to about 9" until I got about 160 layers, that's when I started forming the shape off the blade, It took a lot of time to polish this one, the blade alone is about 8" long, the handle is about 6" long, I carved it out of hard wood flooring I had laying around, the guard is made of the same material and as you can see it is pinned to the shank of the knife blade.


    The back side


   Here is a close up of the blade so you can see the pattern better


    Here is the finished railroad spike knife from the top, it looks much better after being polished up a bit.

  Below is the Rail Road Spike Tomahawk, the cutting side has a brass/copper look to it from running a brass wire brush over it as it cools down a but, I quickly whittled a handle for it, I need to make a better handle so it is balanced better for throwing


  Another Blacksmith knife I made, I just wrapped some leather around the handle on this one






The start of my oil burner forge and foundry furnace, starting with an old home heating oil burner

Gotta make a way to mount it so it can be removed and used in the foundry furnace too

I really don't wanna build a new furnace, below are a few pictures of the oil burner I'm starting with




Below is a large forge I started to build 4 or 5 years ago, I started off right where I left off, but now that I have an oil burner, which I plan to burn used motor oil mixed with home heating oil or kerosene, I hope to finish this before the end of November of 2012, I've been wanting to pound out some pattern welded billets to make more knives, as well as a few V-Rod parts

Here it is below when I first started building it, the floor is made using 5 fire bricks with an angle iron frame around them to

keep them in place, as well as if 1 needs to be replaced it shouldn't be to tough a job


Below is a picture of the rear wall, the 2 fire bricks sitting in the channel, which is 2 pieces of angle iron, will slide in & out to create an opening for long pieces to fit thru, I may even cut about 1/4 inch off the bottom of the "door"
 bricks so they can stay closed & still let thin pieces thru & keep the heat inside the forge, I hope to someday try making swords, but I'll need to finish this forge

The rest of the back wall will rest on a piece that goes above the door bricks, then I'll cut the rest of the bricks to fit the radius of the case, then covered with a piece of sheet metal on the outside, the inside will have a ring about 2-1/2 inches smaller that the outside which can be seen in the next picture




Below you can see inside the forge & the rear opening as well as the ring which keeps the non moving bricks from falling in


               It's almost finished




So it's been a few weeks, well actually it's been a month, I took my sweet time & filled in the joints between the fire bricks with a refractory mortar made of mostly grog & fire clay, the grog is made of crushed up fire bricks, then I pulverized it as best I could, then sifted it thru a piece of window screen, I mixed it up a little damper than usual, that's so it could seep into the joints real good, I let it dry for a while

Once the refractory set I put the legs back on & welded the burner flange on, then I fired it up to see if I had it pointed where I wanted it, it's a little off, but I think I can live with it, I just need to mix some used motor oil in with the heating oil until I get it burning correctly, I also need to weld a shelf on the front so I have a place to put fire brick to close up the front, I want as much heat as possible so forge welding is easy

 Here are a few pictures & a short video of it fired up, I hope the video works





 This is after I let it burn for about 30 minutes, I had it choked most of the time because it needs some adjustments, a different nozzle would help as well









About a month to 6 weeks ago I started back to work on this forge, it's much larger than my 1st forge, it has an inside diameter of around 6-1/2" by 10 inches deep, this forge has an inside diameter of roughly 10" diameter by 16" deep, it will eventually have a movable wall to make the length of the inside shorter so I'm not wasting fuel by heating the entire inside, I'll get to that later once this forge is finished, until then I'll just use fire bricks inside

I did hook up the burner to test it out, but the oil pump leaks really bad, a new pump cost well over $200 so I'll improvise until I modify an old oil pump from an old air cooled VW engine, so I used my compressor to push the heating oil into the burner at 100 psi & it worked fine, not perfect, it needs a little help, but once I get an oil pump that will pump my mixture of heating oil/kerosene & Used Motor Oil (UMO) up to at least 80 to 100 psi it should work much better

 Once I got the burner going I started cutting/grinding fire bricks to fit inside & form an arch over the flat bottom, I had to cut the top of the forge housing out so I could install the last fire bricks to hold the rest of them up & in position, then weld the top piece back on, I finished the fire brick work, so now I need to cut a hole in a fire brick so the burner shoots it's flame inside towards the bottom, then up & around the top as well as to the rear of the forge, once the 3" to 4" hole is cut for the burner I'll need to stand it up on it's back side so I can fill all the joints between the fire bricks & smooth the surface so the flame doesn't get stopped on a brick that is uneven & sticks out a bit further than the rest

Once I the inside is finished, I'll start on the legs, first I'll weld on 4 pieces of round tube about 4" long (in case I ever need to put it on a bench top) then I have 4 pieces of a larger diameter round tube that slips over the 4" long pieces welded to the forge case, I'll drill a hole thru them so I can stick a bolt thru to keep the legs from falling off if I ever need to move the forge, I may weld the smaller pieces on first, then I'll finish the inside by Mixing up some fire clay & grog (grog is crushed up fire bricks in a fine powder to small pee sized chunks), after the fire clay & grog are mixed together, I'll add just enough water to make a paste, when that's all finished & drying out I'll weld on the flange I made for the oil burner to bolt onto, just a matter of grinding a radius on it so it fits the contour of the outside of the Forge, as well as so it points into the correct direction, then bolt the burner on, fire it up & turn it on low heat, gradually raising the heat up every 30 to 45 minutes until the home brew refractory is fired like any clay or ceramic piece is, then it's ready to start Forging a bunch of pattern welded billets for knives 


Here are a few pictures of the fire brick fitting, as well as a short video of the oil burner after I got it working, as I said it still needs a bit of adjustments, most of which can be fixed once I get a good oil pump made for it


 Below the picture under the video is the business end of the burner, on the right side you can see the burner tube of my Big Foundry furnace, I'll be cutting it off & trying to cut away as much refractory as needed to I can make another flange for the oil burner to bolt to, the short video is of the oil burner running on heating oil, the pump isn't working, so I hooked my compressor to a tank of oil & turned the regulator to 100 psi, it worked much better than expected 



  Here you can see the start of putting in the cut fire bricks, the plywood circle inside it is to hold the bricks up in place until I get to the last ones in




 All fire bricks in place




 Here is the flange that I made to bolt the oil burner to the Forge (I need 2 of these), it's a piece of 4"  inside diameter stainless steel 3/16" wall pipe, the flange started at an 8" square piece of 1/4" thick steel plate, I cut the corners off on a shear to  so it was almost round, then I chucked it in my lathe & cut a 4" hole in the center using a 4" hole saw, then bored it to just slip over the 4" SS pipe, then I set it on a flat surface and tack welded the two pieces together, then I need to drill or cut, 4 holes or slots, so it can be bolted in place, it weighs a little over 50 lbs






Above it's close to where it's gonna go, I still need to cut a 3-1/2" to 4" hole thru the fire brick (prolly should have cut it before putting it in) then I need to position it exactly where I want it to point, I want the hottest part of the flame to point downward and towards the rear a few degrees from 90 off the center lines of the center of the Forge, I adjust this by grinding then end that attaches the flange to the Forge housing, once I'm close I'll clamp the burner to it's flange, lite it,then hold it up to how I want it to point, if need I'll grind more off where needed, then it's ready for paint, then again, maybe I'll let it get a nice patina on it 


Below, looking at the front you can see the legs leaning against the Forge & work bench, you can also see the rear door opening, it approximately 4-1/2" tall by maybe 3" to 3-1/2" wide, I have fire bricks that slide in & out so the opening can be adjusted to how ever wide you want, I made a tunnel in the rear side to stick fire bricks in, 2 full length fire bricks will cover the opening, but I cut a brick in half & stick it in from one side so I can leave part of a brick sticking out so I have something to grab hold of to open the hole up if needed, I also need to make some type of tracks or angle so I can stack fire bricks over the front opening to keep as much heat inside as possible, you can look in at the rear door hole & see the fire bricks just above the rear door opening, once the door openings have bricks slid in to close it, the rear wall will be solid fire bricks only, except for the piece of sheet metal that goes over the door way bricks

Here is a view of the back side, on the left you can see a fire brick hanging out of the opening for the rear door bricks


I welded 2 small diameter pieces of tube onto the bottom of the Forge body

They are small legs if I ever need to move the Forge to a bench top, they also serve as a place to slip bigger diameter & longer pieces of tubing on for legs

Below are a few pictures of the Forge with the 2 front legs on


 I hope to get the other 2 legs on soon, then I can cut a hole in the fire brick where the oil burner goes, after that I'll I'll weld the burner mounting flange onto the side, get it pointing in the right direction, which I may try to make adjustable, that way if I need it to point a bit higher, or towards the back of the forge I can do so, this Forge will also serve as a Foundry furnace to cast small parts until I can get a flange made to use the oil burner on my large Foundry furnace


 Below you can see how I tried to grind the thicker pieces of brick to fit with the rest of them so the flame has a smoother path, I want it to swirl up & around the top of the forge & towards the rear pushing the heat towards the back, I have enough Kaowool to build a movable wall so I can only heat as much of the forge as needed, I'll cut a piece of expanded metal a bit smaller than the inside & wrap it in the Kaowool, I'll get to that after I get the forge running to build that the wall