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Aaron Schneiker




Location: Davis Junction, IL
Joined: 23 Nov 2005
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Thu 22 Dec, 2005 10:05 am    Post subject: Albion's On-Line Articles         Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I was wondering if anyone knows if/when Albion's remaining on-line articles will be added to the site. Even though I've read through the others multiple times, I continue to find myself checking them out again. I would really like to see the information about heat treating and design and edge geometry that they can provide.

In reading through their articles I noted that they use a salt bath to heat treat their swords. Is there anyone who has experience with this that could tell me what it involves? I am looking for an alternitive to a coal or propane forge (I'd like something I could use in the house, WI winters aren't very conducive to working outdoors Worried ). Are the materials readily available, is it cost effective, would it be safe to use this process indoors? Any insight would be appreciated.

Thanks,
-Aaron
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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Reading list: 67 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,244

PostPosted: Thu 22 Dec, 2005 10:22 am    Post subject: Re: Albion's On-Line Articles         Reply with quote

Aaron Schneiker wrote:
In reading through their articles I noted that they use a salt bath to heat treat their swords. Is there anyone who has experience with this that could tell me what it involves? I am looking for an alternitive to a coal or propane forge (I'd like something I could use in the house, WI winters aren't very conducive to working outdoors Worried ). Are the materials readily available, is it cost effective, would it be safe to use this process indoors? Any insight would be appreciated.

I've seen the process used - it's 2 salt baths, one high temp heated by burners, the other lower (still in the 400's F) heated by PLC-controlled heaters. I'm sure you could build such an arrangement, but for small items or single blades, this would be gross overkill. You might get away with something like this in the garage or an outside shop, but not in the spare bedroom for sure. How costly/cost-effective is this? Beats me... haven't looked that far into it... yet. Wink
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Jesse Frank
Industry Professional



Location: Tallahassee, Fl
Joined: 04 May 2005

Posts: 144

PostPosted: Thu 22 Dec, 2005 11:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also, most home use salt pots are propane fired, unless you want to use an electric kiln, which costs a whole lot to run.

If you are worried about safety considerations with building a gas forge, stay away from salt. And please, please, please DO NOT use them in an outdoor shop. Any moisture that comes in to contact with the molten salt will make an explosion, sending 1500f salt spraying in all directions. These are EXTREMELY dangerous tools. Think volcano. Most guys that use them will take a torch to the blade to burn off any moisture on it. That's how sensitive t is. It doesn't take much to have that volcano spraying 12 feet in the air.

Also, one of the ingredients in the low temp salt is potassium nitrate. Like they make bombs out of. Rapid oxidizer. Read :bOOm:

There are plenty of people working with these things, but you really have to be safety minded in the extreme to use them. Happy They are NOT for the beginner.

Danger, Will Robinson!

http://jfmetalsmith.com/
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Jesse Frank
Industry Professional



Location: Tallahassee, Fl
Joined: 04 May 2005

Posts: 144

PostPosted: Thu 22 Dec, 2005 11:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thinking further, if I were in your situation, I would make the blade and send it off the be heat treated. Solves lots of problems, and there might be someone near you that would be willing to help out Happy
http://jfmetalsmith.com/
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Aaron Schneiker




Location: Davis Junction, IL
Joined: 23 Nov 2005
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Thu 22 Dec, 2005 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, thinking about it a bit, I think that might be the best solution for now. I do hope to someday have an outdoor shop with the capabilities to forge and heat treat though Happy . I have a few connections through work for local heat treat facilities. I'm sure they would work with me for a specific heat treat process if I asked 'em. Just haven't had a chance to see how much that would cost? I've been too busy trying to figure out how to create and where to put a forge of my own Big Grin . Oh well, I guess I'll save the possibilities of a "volcano" to the more experienced...

Thanks for the advice,

-Aaron
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Jason Dingledine
Industry Professional



Location: Tacoma, Wa. USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003

Posts: 219

PostPosted: Thu 22 Dec, 2005 1:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Albion's On-Line Articles         Reply with quote

Aaron Schneiker wrote:
Hello everyone,

I was wondering if anyone knows if/when Albion's remaining on-line articles will be added to the site. Even though I've read through the others multiple times, I continue to find myself checking them out again. I would really like to see the information about heat treating and design and edge geometry that they can provide.

In reading through their articles I noted that they use a salt bath to heat treat their swords. Is there anyone who has experience with this that could tell me what it involves? I am looking for an alternitive to a coal or propane forge (I'd like something I could use in the house, WI winters aren't very conducive to working outdoors Worried ). Are the materials readily available, is it cost effective, would it be safe to use this process indoors? Any insight would be appreciated.

Thanks,
-Aaron


Sorry, that would be mostly my fault.

A few of the articles are waiting on me to write them, including the heat-treating article. With all that goes on in our shop, finding the time to take away from production to write is few and far between.

To reinforce the dangers of high-temp salts, even invisible moisture will set things off. The condensation expands 1000 times it's volume as it is super-heated, and there is absolutely no warning (no pop, sizzle, or fizz). I have a scar on my right arm from where LOW TEMP salt slashed up on me. That was only 500 degrees at the time.

Jason Dingledine
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Jesse Frank
Industry Professional



Location: Tallahassee, Fl
Joined: 04 May 2005

Posts: 144

PostPosted: Thu 22 Dec, 2005 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, it's scary stuff....

If you check out Don Fogg's forums, you will find a gargantuan amount of info on heat treating and the like, along with many knowledgeable smiths willing to help Happy

http://forums.dfoggknives.com/index.php?

You might find that it's not as difficult as you think to get set up... I started in an apartment with no more than a file, some sandpaper, a drill, and the willingness to screw up everything I tried Laughing Out Loud

Also, look into you local ABANA chapter, there are likely many smiths in your area willing to help Happy

http://jfmetalsmith.com/
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,170

PostPosted: Thu 22 Dec, 2005 8:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason;

So juggling ice cubes over the salt is not recommended ? Razz Razz Razz

Hmmmmmm: I guess even sweathing to close to the salt baths would be something to worry about ! Eek!

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Reading list: 67 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,244

PostPosted: Fri 23 Dec, 2005 9:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Jason;

So juggling ice cubes over the salt is not recommended ? Razz Razz Razz

Hmmmmmm: I guess even sweathing to close to the salt baths would be something to worry about ! Eek!

I sneezed in the direction of the salts while treating a blade up there... popped and cracked just on the couple of tiny droplets that settled on top of the bath. Rain or such would be downright dangerous.

Thanks, too, to Jesse and Jason for clarifying the subject a good deal. By "outside" work, by the way, I meant inside an unattached shop, not literally in the elements... should have been a lot clearer.
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Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
Likes: 7 pages
Reading list: 28 books

Posts: 1,809

PostPosted: Sat 24 Dec, 2005 2:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Albion's On-Line Articles         Reply with quote

Jason Dingledine wrote:
...I have a scar on my right arm from where LOW TEMP salt slashed up on me. That was only 500 degrees at the time.
"only 500 degrees", he says Eek! A few years ago, I studied up a little bit on temperatures of exposed surfaces in power plants. If I recall correctly, a surface at 170F or more will give you 3rd degree burns before you feel any burn at all.
"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
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