Your bender has the same issue as mine. The follow bar nosedives. Pro-Tools assures me that the follow bar is supposed to remain in a flat plane. I can't get it to work correctly. Waste of $700 in dies.
Do you have any videos on your sharpening process? I have strayed away from making knives simply because I feel like I will put in a ton of time only to bone it trying to sharpen it. I have seen a video for a bastard file jig, but would love to know some other techniques. Trying to find the balance between "quick and dirty" and "master bladesmith". I don't want to be a master bladesmith, but don't want to be a hack either. Great video. Thanks!
The plate with the holes is what you want. You want a good concentrated nucleus of heat. If you want to widen the nucleus, drill a wider "bolt circle" and/or more holes.Your idea to lift the the plate up so air can escape around the sides isn't a bad idea, but you still need to drill holes in that plate as well. There is no point is having a hot circle of coal around a cold nucleus. Know what I mean?