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Showing content with the highest reputation on 01/21/2017 in all areas

  1. There are two ways to define tactical, as it applies to knives and gear. I once carried a two ft section of shovel handle in my truck, it was useful for many things... I drilled a thong hole in one end, wrapped it with black electrical tape, and it was thereafter referred to as 'the tactical stick'. Most knives that were called tactical were simply black. In a way it harkens back to the ninja craze of the 1980's, it's just a pair of numchucks, but if they're black they instantly became ninja chucks, and cost $5 more. The other way, and I think best way to define it is a no frills wor
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  2. Tactical means whatever you want it to mean, because in reality, it has no meaning. It's all about marketing, selling someone something that yesterday they didn't even know about and today, can't live without.
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  3. I forgot to say in my last post: 1. the two steels are probably very similar. It depends somewhat on the age of the file. I have a bunch of, "New Old Stock" Nicholsons from the 1970s. I also have a bunch of Disstons from the 1940s-60s. The Nicholsons are supposed to have a little vanadium, and the Disstons definitely do. They both have more than 1 percent carbon. This makes the steel ideal for traditional Japanese-style blades. Edited to add: the Disston company had a proprietary crucible steel process that they used to make what was essentially W2. The old files from them had as much as
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  4. What would be the best diameter and length to begin to forge a 7 to 8 inch knife with a 3 to 4 inch blade? I want to buy the proper size box type tongs. Thanks Vernon
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  5. I just got my Rhynowet redline sandpaper in, and holy crap! That stuff works! I just used a 3x3cm piece to test, and went over a small sax blade with it. I nearly got both sides done in a few minutes just with that small piece, and the finish is much better then I usually get with 400 grit. This will make finishing my work very drastically easier. Thanks guys!
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  6. Very true. I've found the more I learn, the less I realize I know
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  7. I just love the carving and material contrast. great work. Sort of the end of an era, I would guess (stupid psychologist always reading stuff in).
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  8. Yup to both of the above. The failures being just as informative as the success. I think new info needs to be digested, taken from the brain to the gut.... chewed on first as well, till its digestable. Nothing buzzes me more than it all going wrong and then working out how to sort it out ( normally from an educated hunch) and then doing it better (one version thereof). oooh I can feel soooo clever......very satisfying , pat on the back , do a little dance and all that.
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  9. Howard, I want to thank you for your words, it's advice and wisdom like that that helps to keep me inspired, to go out to the shop everyday I can and just do SOMETHING if not inspired, or do let full release to the creative muse, or finish those commissions that pay for the play time:), and to keep at it constantly learning and searching out info and practicing. I hope to meet you in person one day Howard and shake your hand:).
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  10. Well I have been very fortunate to have made friends with John Verhoeven, Phd professor emeritus Iowa State University. That allowed me access to some tools and equipment that I may not have been able to get to otherwise, like the scanning electron microscope and micro hardness tester. That was a very revealing experience/day, and has direct bearing on your first question, Jake. My preferred steel for most blades, to make a sharp, long lasting edge is 1086 modified. It is a steel that John had a hand in "designing", and was/is a proprietary alloy for a manufacturer of tools here in Iowa. I
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  11. Well I live in rural Iowa, and am still on the farm, in the house I grew up in. I am not a farmer, though I do have romantic fantasies about the lifestyle from when I was a kid. My Dad and I hunted and fished a lot, and knives were always just part of the scenery and tool kit here. I have a couple of knives that my Grandfather made from saw blades way before I was born. My Mom's maternal line are all named Smith, and came from somewhere on your Island, Jake, though I do not know where. I started fooling around making knives when I was in grade seven, the age my older son Ben is right now.
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