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  1. 10 points
    Don gave me this blade five or six years ago and said, "Make something beautiful with it". Hmm, ok, so it rumbled around in my mind until last fall. It was a slow process figuring out the transition, theme and all the details, but I think it came good in the end. I didn't find out until it was almost finished that it was Don's last patterned blade. I knew it had to be one of the last, but THE last. I'm glad I didn't know as I was working on it. Below is a little of what I've written. More to be read here: Kelso Journal And a slide show with more photos here: Fogg/Kelso In keeping with the persona of a hunting knife, I chose to represent features of the Vermont woodlands that would be familiar to a skilled, observant woodsman. These include tracks of the Red Fox, leaves of Red Maple, Beech, and Red and White Oaks, and a feather. The feather was modeled from the Ruffed Grouse, but altered in shape and color to fit the surroundings. I chose a feather as a sign of passage, which in the case of birds, could be molting, conflict, flight or death. Feathers have such deep and subtle beauty. My wife Jean and I have a collection and I always wonder, when finding a single feather, what the story was. The tracks, leaves and feather are all signs, marking activity and transition, the meaning of which is read by the skilled woodsman. This project has been very satisfying for a number of reasons. I was touched and honored when Don gave me the blade to finish. I did not realize until the piece was nearly finished that it was his last patterned blade, which greatly enhances the meaning for me. Don is a legend in the smithing world, and rightly so. Apart from his technical innovations, he has an artistic eye, both for pattern and form, which is rarely, if ever matched. In addition, his Bladesmith’s Forum stands as an unparalleled online resource for beginning and accomplished knifemakers.
  2. 7 points
    Pattern welded Kitchen knife, 275 layer,Handle Bog Rata (NZ Native) capped with sterling silver bolster.Total length 33.5 cm, blade21 cm
  3. 7 points
    Evening gents The blade for this vest Bowie is 6" long and 3/16" on the spine, it has a core of 80Cr V2 which has been laminated with Hitachi Shiro 2 and outer layers of 431 stainless. I've not used these steels in this combination before and I was really pleased how the carbon in the stainless has migrated into the Shiro 2 layers. The steel single branch hand guard has been cold blued and the handle is a lovely piece of stabilised Hawaiian Koa held with one stainless pin, the overall length of the knife is 11 1/8". The double welted sheath has been dyed walnut, with a black patterned front panel with small domed pins surrounding an inlayed python skin panel. I hope you like her, thank you for taking the time to look and all questions and critique very welcome. Happy Easter Steve
  4. 6 points
  5. 6 points
    Here's the blade after being forged, rough ground and a quick etch. While forging I found that the flower next to the one which hadn't welded didn't fully weld either so my blade now has a four flower pattern. Obviously that part of the canoe didn't soak at welding temperature long enough. It appeared to be hot enough but sometimes it's just hard to tell. It still gave me 7 1/2" of blade though which is plenty. Actually I think that I like the pattern better with four inlays than I did with more. Anyway, it's much better to find these things out early rather than later when you can't work around them. ,
  6. 5 points
    Last night after weeks of work I water quenched my first Katana. This morning I was convinced I would find a cracked piece of 1075. To my surprise we have a solid, hardened blade. I can't stop smiling. I stand on the shoulder of giants who shared their wisdom and knowledge. I want to say thank you!
  7. 5 points
    After taking a week off for a small vacation, I'm back in the shop. I got this billet welded this morning. Unfortunately the second flower didn't weld to my satisfaction so I shortened the billet to five flowers. That still gives me plenty of steel for a good sized blade though. Here's a look at it after a rough grind and a quick etch: I'm thinking of using blackwood for the handle with an inlay of this mastodon ivory cut into a scroll pattern.
  8. 5 points
    Engraved the re-sheath. I like it much better. and just for kicks, a glamour shot of the triplets (not identical) I guess I better get out the leather box.
  9. 4 points
    Work in progress, excluding the interesting bit which was the forging.... sorry This blade started out as a 210 or 220 when I forged it a year or so ago. I got a bit giddy straightening it (been doing a lot of san mai, which is much more compliant) and managed to snap the tip off it. It went in the 'disgusted, i'm not finishing it' pile, until I found it on good Friday, and wanted a simple quick job to work on. Re-profiled it to a 180 mm, ground the warps out of it, and got it hand sanded to 80 grit. Quick vanity etch at 80 grit and im pretty happy with it now. Ill post some pics as its finished up over the next week or so, and will try and get some pics of the 'wet wheel' horizontal franken-grinder I built. Its improved my grinding 20 fold since I built it ! Ive had a few revelations about grinding recently that might be worth a separate post for discussion to see what other people do ? - It eventually dawned on me the 'KMG' type grinder, belt running towards the ground, is bloody awful to use (for me) in the standard configuration. It really does not make much sense. Anyhoo, here is stumpy gyuto. As the old saying goes, we dont make mistakes, we make shorter knives
  10. 4 points
    Some time ago I put a handle on a finished blade I bought to make a handle for. This knife was for practice. The story and the first knife are here. For this knife I used the full tang blade I made in the stock removal class I took in March. The scales are Bubinga and a wood similar to walnut that I have had close to forty years and can't remember the name. This knife was also practice, but I am also trying to do the best I can, and just get practice. I was also looking for more "gotchas", and boy, did I find them... The blade I used was about 8", and I would have preferred 9" to 9.5". That left me with two choices - either make the blade or the handle too short. I chose to make the blade too short since this is an ongoing process and I also need to work on handles. I would appreciate honest critiques - you will not hurt my feeling, (probably ). Here is what I found either wrong, or not to my liking. As mentioned, the blade is too short, but my choice of extending the bolster onto the blade made the blade look even shorter. And I wish the transition between the bolster and the scales was smoother, plus I somehow managed to put a few dings in the bolster. The scales follow the shape of the blade, but I did not do any shaping from side to side for ergonomics. The mosaic pins are off center because I took a bit off the bottom of the blade although I suspect they were a bit off when I drilled them. I also managed to scratch the blade at some point, so I messed up the finish on the blade trying to remove that scratch. Now, what did I learn? First, epoxy is very slippery and very messy. I did not make the first set of scales big enough, and wound up having to make a second set. When drilling holes in scales, clamp them to the drill press because if the bit catches and racks the scales, you wind up with out of round holes, (I forgot to mention that above...). Tape the blade as soon as you finish sanding or you may wind up scratching it. There is probably more, but I can't think of anything else except that I thoroughly enjoyed making the knife, and will make more. Sorry for the crappy cell phone photos:
  11. 4 points
    Hey All, Been busy lately. Here is a set just out of its second Temper Cycle. Heat Treated last night. Mostly recycled materials. The Mutt Damascus started as 3 types of old band saw blades, then added Leaf Spring, A FIle, Drill Rod. Then added a few layers of 1084, 15n20 and 52100. It's a Mutt. Now for the fun of cleaning, handling and sheathing the lot...
  12. 4 points
    I have to agree with everything Joel said, but I'd charge more. Do break a test piece and look at your grain. I just taught a "knifemaking (mostly) unplugged" class for my local guild in which I taught the decalescence method and the benefits of normalizing/thermal cycling. First I put my muffle pipe in the forge and let it warm up to what looked like a nice orange color, then asked them what temperature they thought they were seeing based on the common charts. Everyone agreed it looked like the classic orange just above cherry red, or about 1500 degrees. I put a thermocouple in it and it came out 1795 degrees F. Moral: Don't trust the color. I also had some W1 forged to 1/4" square that I let soak at that heat for three minutes, quenched, and broke. The grain was like table sugar. I then did three thermal cycles (take it to critical judging by decalescence, let air cool to black, repeat) and quenched on the last heat and snapped another half-inch off the end. The grain was like glass. This showed them just how important temperature control is. and how easy it is to overshoot your target heat. The great thing about using decalescence is that it works for ALL the steels you can heat treat effectively in a typical home shop without a kiln. Don't know the critical temperature for your steel? Don't worry about it, decalescence will show you. 1095 transforms at around 1450 degrees F. 5160 does it at 1525 F. 52100 does it at 1550 F. But what about the magnet test? Magnets are great, but not for heat treating. All magnetic steels go non-magnetic at 1425 degrees. That gets you close with most of the 10XX series steels, but not quite where you need to be. with 5160, 52100, O1, etc, nonmagnetic is a subcritical anneal. So what is decalescence? It is when the glowing steel stops emitting photons because the crystalline phase is changing from body-centered cubic to face-centered cubic, aka critical temperature. In low light conditions it appears as a sort of swirling shadow inside the surface of the steel. It starts at the thinner parts and creeps into the thicker as the heat evens out in the steel. As soon as all the shadows are gone, the blade has fully transformed and is ready to quench or let air cool. If you choose to air cool, you will see the opposite effect, recalescence. This appears as a bright line that moves from the edge back into the spine, caused by the emission of photons when the crystalline phase shifts back. These are quantum phenomena that can't be faked. The class got a kick out of it once they saw it for themselves, and I told them they were now practicing quantum physics without a license. It sounds complicated, but it's really not. You don't really need to know exactly what's happening at the subatomic level (although that's kinda cool if you're a big a geek as I am), all you need to know is to watch for the shadows on a rising heat and pull the blade when the shadows are gone. Finally, the oil needs to be a little hotter. 130 degrees is the usual statement for canola or veterinary mineral oil. That is the point at which those oils are the most effective at heat transfer, and for 1095 you really need the fastest heat transfer you can get short of cracking the blade, because with that alloy you have just under one second to drop the temperature from critical to 900 degrees or it's not gonna harden. With 5160 or 80CrV2 you have around six seconds to do the same thing. With O-1 you have around 30 seconds, which is why thin blades of O-1 will air harden. Finally finally, infrared thermometers stop working as soon as things are hot enough to glow.
  13. 4 points
    My first attempt at multi layer Damascus, I chose low layer twist on a modified cleaver. 15 layers of 1084 and 15n20 dry welded by hand and a homemade press with a 20ton air/hydraulic jack. I got down to 1.5” square then cut my end off to check the welds. I BBQ quite a bit and wanted a cleaver shaped blade to slice with. I welded and forged out a billets my shop, then went to a hammer in hosted by DanGraves to pick his brain and use some of his toys to do the real work. Handle is Buckeye Burl that I picked up at the Arkansas Knife Show. OAL is just shy of 14” and a cutting edge of 8.5”. I made some mistakes along the way but am pleased with where I ended up. IIRC this is knife 21 for me. It sliced a brisket and ham Easter Sunday like a champ.
  14. 4 points
    Bowie with hamon in W2. Copper fittings with antler. The plan for the hamon was for it to look like flame -- I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I've been in semi-retirement from bladesmithing now that I'm a father with a full-time job. I miss bladesmithing. This is my last unfinished project with help from Josiah Boomershine completing the polish and Two Drunken Celts doing the sheath. I got a lot of help from folks here on the handle assembly -- much thanks forumites! IMG_2761 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_2733 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_2747 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_2751 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_2750 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_2749 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_2757 by drjoe4, on Flickr
  15. 4 points
    Thanks guys! got a little more work over the last couple nights, but I figured I’d kinda bundle the pics so I wasn’t spamming the forum. Experiment time. I need to reinforce the distal sheath, typically this was done with rivets/pins. I saw it done a different way on Instagram and I liked it so I’m going to try it. first I drilled the holes. then I used a tiny little tap to tap the holes. this left pretty little threads in there, see: dipped some ss screws in some epoxy and threaded them through let them cure and grind them off Seems really solid - back to more engraving. on a side note - I think the ice on the lake might break up in the next day or two and we are starting to see small patches of bare ground. Have a good evening!
  16. 3 points
    Try a chainsaw file. They're good at half-round grooves.
  17. 3 points
    Sorry for the delay. After finding out I was out of leather dye, I had to order some and wait for it to arrive. Back to work tonight. This is half tan, so it must be stitched wet. Then you let it dry for 2 days with the knife inside and it shrinks down and hardens providing a tight fit and “click” when the knife is sheathed. That is - if I did it right. We shall see.
  18. 3 points
    I'm going to quote myself from another post, just because I'm pleased with the way I said this: I have to agree with everything Joel said, but I'd charge more. Do break a test piece and look at your grain. I just taught a "knifemaking (mostly) unplugged" class for my local guild in which I taught the decalescence method and the benefits of normalizing/thermal cycling. First I put my muffle pipe in the forge and let it warm up to what looked like a nice orange color, then asked them what temperature they thought they were seeing based on the common charts. Everyone agreed it looked like the classic orange just above cherry red, or about 1500 degrees. I put a thermocouple in it and it came out 1795 degrees F. Moral: Don't trust the color. I also had some W1 forged to 1/4" square that I let soak at that heat for three minutes, quenched, and broke. The grain was like table sugar. I then did three thermal cycles (take it to critical judging by decalescence, let air cool to black, repeat) and quenched on the last heat and snapped another half-inch off the end. The grain was like glass. This showed them just how important temperature control is. and how easy it is to overshoot your target heat. The great thing about using decalescence is that it works for ALL the steels you can heat treat effectively in a typical home shop without a kiln. Don't know the critical temperature for your steel? Don't worry about it, decalescence will show you. 1095 transforms at around 1450 degrees F. 5160 does it at 1525 F. 52100 does it at 1550 F. But what about the magnet test? Magnets are great, but not for heat treating. All magnetic steels go non-magnetic at 1425 degrees. That gets you close with most of the 10XX series steels, but not quite where you need to be. with 5160, 52100, O1, etc, nonmagnetic is a subcritical anneal. So what is decalescence? It is when the glowing steel stops emitting photons because the crystalline phase is changing from body-centered cubic to face-centered cubic, aka critical temperature. In low light conditions it appears as a sort of swirling shadow inside the surface of the steel. It starts at the thinner parts and creeps into the thicker as the heat evens out in the steel. As soon as all the shadows are gone, the blade has fully transformed and is ready to quench or let air cool. If you choose to air cool, you will see the opposite effect, recalescence. This appears as a bright line that moves from the edge back into the spine, caused by the emission of photons when the crystalline phase shifts back. These are quantum phenomena that can't be faked. The class got a kick out of it once they saw it for themselves, and I told them they were now practicing quantum physics without a license. It sounds complicated, but it's really not. You don't really need to know exactly what's happening at the subatomic level (although that's kinda cool if you're a big a geek as I am), all you need to know is to watch for the shadows on a rising heat and pull the blade when the shadows are gone. Finally, the oil needs to be a little hotter. 130 degrees is the usual statement for canola or veterinary mineral oil. That is the point at which those oils are the most effective at heat transfer, and for 1095 you really need the fastest heat transfer you can get short of cracking the blade, because with that alloy you have just under one second to drop the temperature from critical to 900 degrees or it's not gonna harden. With 5160 or 80CrV2 you have around six seconds to do the same thing. With O-1 you have around 30 seconds, which is why thin blades of O-1 will air harden.
  19. 3 points
    Not tickled with the photo, but when I finished this knife last night, I was too tired to set up all my lighting equipment, etc. This is a carving knife. 7" long. I call it Ebony & Ivory (what else?). Blade is 3/8" wide by 1 1/2" long, made of 01 Tool Steel. Handle is Gabon Ebony, Brass, Red Fiber, Walrus Ivory and Cocobolo. Handle is sanded to 000 steel wool, with no finish. Will eventually be electro-etching blades with the CC logo.
  20. 3 points
    An odd blade, but it's really somewhere between a huge kitchen knife and a small fantasy sword. It started out as a fantasy sword that broke on me. I decided not to waste it, especially when I saw the blade's widest point to the tip had a similar width and thickness as an 8" chef's knife. So, I ground out a tang and reinforced it with a frame handle and two brass side plates that all rivet together and it came out better than expected for a quick finish. The result is quite thin, sharp, and fast. Let me know what you think! Weight: 1 lb 2.0 oz Overall length: 22.5" Blade length: 17.5" POB: 1.75" Width at base: 1.15" Thickness at base: .109" Width at widest: 1.735" Thickness at widest: .085" Base to widest: 11.625" Thickness at tip: .054"
  21. 3 points
    I suppose you think I should read them too?
  22. 3 points
    A knife is literally the simplest thing to forge that isn't a nail - it's a point and two tapers. An axe is infinitely more complex. And if you think that heat treating is 'Easy Easy Easy', the chances are that you haven't really understood it...
  23. 3 points
    I got the remainder of the flowers shaped & ready for welding today. I hope that these pics explain my process. I'm going to take some time off from the shop for a while. I'll try to keep you updated in a week or so as I progress with this one.
  24. 2 points
    Just cut them off and if you have a band saw cut to size or just a bit oversize for knife handle blocks. I usually orient the best looking areas so that the eyes are on the sides of the handle block. You cannot do that to all of the burl, but I try to get the densest and nicest pieces cut this way. Seal with a wax emulsion available from Woodcraft Supply and let dry stacked with separation for airflow in a cool shaded place with no breezes for at least 1 year per inch of thickness. This is for average woods like maple, however some woods like Madrone or Oak can have high levels of stress in them and will twist and split badly in drying even when coated. These woods I have found respond well to being boiled as soon as being cut up. About 1 hour per inch of thickness. This releaves the stresses and they seem to dry a bit faster afterwards. I have dried Red Mulberry with minimal splitting checking so yours may dry well.
  25. 2 points
    I've been at this for something like 12 or 13 years and I think I finally have a clue. It's just that every time I turn around, I find something else I don't know how to do Great advice. Make something simple, and make it over and over again. That develops what I call "body knowledge". Musicians know this and so do rock climbers. Your body learns at a different pace than your brain. It takes repetitive motion to obtain body knowledge. It takes constant trial and error. Every knife I make gets drawn out on paper first. Then the paper gets photocopied and I cut the blade out and superglue it to a piece of 1/8" flat stock. Then I grind the profile out. Now I have a template I can keep at the anvil. Right now I have a box full of templates. If you are planning a road trip to Yellowstone, what is the first step? Open a map and plan the route. It's the same with creating anything. Make a road map on how to get from point A to point B.
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