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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/12/2019 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Hey folks! This is my introduction post. I've been reading the forum for a couple of years now, and the amount of helpful, obscure and esoteric information I've dug up from past years is just astonishing. It's been such a help, so thank you everyone who contributes here. A little bit about me: 29, forged my first blade a little over three years ago. I quit my job 2 years ago to pursue this skill/addiction full time, and have not looked back since. I live and work on a little acreage surrounded by tall trees in the country at the base of the Washington state peninsula. I tend to be a bit long winded on forums, so please prepare yourself in advance, there may be some tangents. Also, won an episode of forged in fire (S5E7) Polish Karabela, which has been a somewhat helpful feather to wear in my mohawk. I don't want to rest my laurels on a tv show, but it was helpful in getting me where I am currently. Without further ado, my Peshkabz. This is loosely based off of an antique Afghani blade I found online. I've found these blades to be fascinating for some time. I particularly love the T spines, and also how purpose driven they are. It's a weapon. Can you cut your dinner with it? sure, why not, but its primary use is stabbing through armor, bones, and flesh. Blade length:8”Overall length:13.5”Blade width at widest point: 1.25”Weight: 6.75 oz/189 GWeight with sheath: 9.75 Oz/271 GBlade steel: Multibar Damascus of L6 and 1080. Handle: African Blackwood, leather spacers, multibar damascus pommel with peened over hidden tang. Sheath: form fitting tooled, dyed cow leather. Hand stitched and conditioned with water resistant oils. I had a ton of fun making this thing. I had been making a lot of chef's knives, and needed to make a weapon to refresh my soul. The steel is 4, 16 layer loose twist bars, alternating directions. I've also really been enjoying working on my integral bolster skillset. The first roughly 40% of the spine was forged in to a T profile, for rigidity and strength. The remaining 60% ish is a stretched diamond. Originally, the entire spine was a T, but I ended up spending the better part of a day stabbing steel, leather, cinderblocks, chainmail, bones etc. and adjusting the geometry until it performed how I wanted it to. Before making it pretty, I conducted the following tests with the geometry as you see in these pics. -Hammered through a cinder block - stabbed part way through 3/4" of leather. Not as much penetration as I wanted. It did a 1/2" fine, but I got cocky and 3/4" defeated me. -Chopped through a cow femur -stabbed through an elk shoulder blade -Achieved 2" of penetration and opened a roughly 1.5" wide hole in a piece of chainmail strapped to a folded up hoodie. It did not sustain any tip or edge damage through this process, but did pick up a slight warp near the tip that I was able to coax out with not too much trouble. Fullers for Days! these were an interesting challenge, and some times a huge PITA. Especially the transition on to the bolster, and the blended triangle thing near the tip. All of this was ground freehand on a 1/2" contact wheel. 4 fullers in total, they have a central ridge between each set, and eventually blend in to a single sort of triangular shape closer to the tip. It's sort of hard to see with the etch, so here's a picture of it rough ground for reference. The spine fullers run all the way up the bolsters, down the handle and end at the pommel. This was purely for fun, but the handle fullers do feel quite comfortable. The Pommel. A scrap piece of multibar that I annealed and then threaded before hardening. The base of the tang was a bolt I welded on to the tang prior to quenching. Originally I annealed the tang, threaded it, and was in process of getting it to fit properly, when I managed to shear it while twisting. First experience tapping and dieing, definitely a learning experience. Anyways, the bolt eventually got sanded down and peened over during glue up. The texturing is achieved with some careful work on that same 1/2" contact wheel. The Sheath: I also made the sheath, I try to make a cohesive aesthetic flow between blade, handle and sheath. and since CLEARLY THERE WEREN'T ENOUGH FULLERS, the sheath also looks fullered. It started as veg tan, tooled, glued sandwich spacers, drilled holes, stitched, dyed, then used leather conditioning rub to shape and smooth everything, and mold the sheath to the knife. Aaaaaaand that's a wrap. Thanks for taking time to check this out, I'd love some feedback/constructive criticism on it. I look forward to getting more involved in this community. Victory through fire and steel! -Ethan Kempf www.kempfforge.com
  2. 2 points
    Wootz by Zaqro Nonikashvili 2018. Soon his technology will be presented.
  3. 1 point
    #1 A week or two back I posted this pic of a few blades I had cut out and started work on I was able to get most of them done this week and as I had not done a dagger before I was rather pleased with how the 6 1/2 inch 1095 it came out. I have no use for this type of knife but it was a challenge to my grinding abiity to have a try at the double edge so that was the motivation for this one. I intended to do it very loosely styled on the Fairburn-Sykes knife with a through tang peened to a mild steel washer on the pommel of the handle After the tang was peened and the shaping was done I was reasonably pleased with the first try at this type of knife. The guard was piece of 1/2 x 1/2 brass that I ground the blade side curve on the 12 inch wheel before I started to do the tang slot and shaped the rest of the guard when it was all together at shaping time when the tip of the guard were tapered down to about a 1/4 in square before it was a rounded off. The walnut handle was polished with the same buff after the brass was done and this gave it a very nice dark finish. The Sgian Dubh is a single edged 4 1/4 inch dagger shaped blade of 1084 with a brass bolster, a black liner and a Jarrah handle on the stick tang There was also a J T Ranger completed with a OD canvas micarta handle on the 5 1/2 inch 1095 blade.
  4. 1 point
    Hey everyone! I was looking at a piece I had made a few months ago today and realized I don't think I've ever shared any of my Japanese style work on the forum before. My fascination with swords and smithing started when I was young just like most of us here. I started doing research on our ancient computer and learned about clay heat treating and 'natural hamon' and the proper ways to take care of a sword. I then convinced my parents to let me buy a $200 katana at some nearby martial arts/fantasy weapons sort of store, and cared for that thing for years before I even thought about the possibility of putting hammer to anvil. I began making almost exactly five years ago now and knew right away that the Japanese style work was too advanced for my skill level, and I should leave it for a later time if at all. I had a ww2 blade that I got from a friend that I had polished up and made a habaki for that gave me an idea of what this sort of work could entail. I made the mune/spine fit incorrectly and the habaki is too thick near the front, otherwise this was a good start! Meeting an extremely knowledgeable collector of Nihonto and starting to practice Iaido made me take another look, this time more seriously into the Japanese work. He was extremely generous in letting me bring home pieces from his collection to study every time I went over to see him, and little by little I began to seriously entertain the idea of moving into that style of work. He asked me to make a habaki for a 500 year old tachi he owns, which certainly made the stakes higher. After that project was under my belt I began to think seriously about using an antique blade for Iaido, instead of the aluminum bladed Iaito that I had been using previously. With some help on the saya from our own Matt Venier I made a mounting for a sword from the early 1500's to use in practice. This was the first real attempt at tsukamaki after my cursory practice with shoe string to re tie my old crappy katana when the wrap came apart when I was young. I used old tosogu to create the koshirae, using a rather wide tsuba and shishi dog menuki with grass and butterfly fuchi and kashira. I started getting a little more into the mounting work after that first success and did some collaborations with Matt which were a lot of fun (and less stressful than working on old blades!) Aikuchi style koshirae for an osoraku-zukuri tanto Matt forged. A mounting job I did for my collector friend who wanted a beautiful tanto he has mounted in these excellent mino-goto fittings. IMG_6815.m4v Later I took a more recent (maybe 250 year old) Sukesada that I took a real liking to and gave it the full treatment, with a really beautifully matched set of peony fittings. The tsukamaki work in this photo is still unfinished, it is in place but not adjusted and tightened yet. I played around with some modern steel here and there but didn't really see the point. The stuff I am captivated by was all made from tamahagane, so I knew one day the journey would lead me there. I think I have done two blades I am happy with in modern steel with hamon. This is the first! Some mystery high carbon steel forge welded to some iron that I quenched in water. Next I made a few more habaki for various projects, playing with styles and finish a little, but sticking to copper. IMG_0355.m4v I went and visited Mark Green and we made some oroshigane which became the starting stock for these two knives I sent to a gallery last year or the year before for an exhibition. Both are from the same bar, folded 11 times and quenched in water. IMG_0008.MOV It was around this time I decided to get off my ass and start using the hearth steel/oroshigane I had been making for my Viking work and use it for Japanese style work as well. In the past few months I have moved almost exclusively to using it for Japanese work. I chose the name Ame Mistu 天光, which translates roughly to Heaven's Light, which sounds awfully lofty, but is the closest I could get to Sun and Stars, which is my regular smithing handle. Swordmiths art names were generally not even directly related to their own names, but often taking a kanji from their teacher and adding one they liked. So I decided using the moniker I have been going under and porting over to the Japanese tradition made the most sense! I also did my due diligence and throughly researched, it appears no smith ever signed this particular way before. A yanone made from oroshigane as a test of the form and also to see how small I can do my signature! Here's where things start to get a little more interesting/complicated! I began to make blades from the oroshigane to see how far I could take it and how close I could get to traditional Japanese work. By rough estimation maybe 20% of the blades have been successes. The rest have been lacking in carbon, because of the high levels of phosphorous in the material I was using for the melts. That coupled with the repeated folding and decarb left me with very little usable material. There were several blades like this one, that had excellent hada but very low hamon, that took some diligence to bring out in the polish. IMG_2724.m4v I started experimenting with different ways of folding and refining the material to achieve different hada, mine is on the left, and an antique on the right. Some of the hamon were rather weak, indicative of perhaps .4% carbon or even lower, though still high enough to create a delineation between hard and soft steel. I experimented with making a two piece habaki, which is great because it is all of the work of a one piece habaki, that you then have to cut into and mess with, loads of fun! A few of them came out pretty well, in shape and in terms of the hamon. While I was frustrated when I found the root of the troubles, it was nice to build the practice folding and working the steel. Each blade was folded roughly between 11-18 times to achieve the final hada. I forged a particularly nice piece of steel and while it was cooling and the clay drying, I used some old 1075 from Aldo and water quenched it to see what it could do, and ended up with a beautiful extremely wispy hamon. This is the second modern steel piece I've been happy with to date! I then did another experiment, this time a little longer. I am aiming to one day make katana or even tachi, but that is a long way off! This tanto has a beautiful open hada with an active hamon. I did a slow motion shot of it going into the water. IMG_7798.TRIM.m4v A video as polished IMG_7955.mp4 And a still shot A tiny beautiful kogatana made from steel folded 18 times. The chunk next to it in the video is some of the raw oroshigane it came from. IMG_8679.m4v And the crowning achievement thus far for me is this next blade. While the look of the kogatana is almost indistinguishable from traditionally made blades I have seen, this tanto is my personal favorite. It also astonished me by reaching over 64 RC during hardening. The hada is a tight mokume mixed with itame with a powerful habuchi and wonderfully wispy hamon. Right at the kaeri there are sprays of nie, which are crystals of martensite you can see scattered throughout the hamon. IMG_5541.m4v IMG_8468.m4v Anyway! Hope you guys like what I've been up to for the last while! -Emiliano
  5. 1 point
    Quick visit to the garage tonight. I decided I was just going to glue them and deal with the bolsters later, hopefully that doesn't come back to bite me. So get the parts ready and clamp the blade in my knife vise thingy that I made. I use West Systems G-Flex Epoxy, as from what I've seen it's pretty tried and true. Start layering the epoxy and the parts. When I get to the handle portion I spend quite a bit of time making sure I fill the entire void of the handle. I also have theorized that this fills and stabilizes the remaining marrow (spongy bone) within the antler portion of the handle, if that matters in any way shape or form. Finish off all the layers, I trimmed the tang to the right length before I started stacking. This will be peened over and make the handle solid. But, for now, I put the all-thread on the vise and clamp the handle. There is a hole in the wood that the tang sticks into. Now just wait for a day or so... and we move on to the next one. The local bridge troll accommodations are pretty cool, I haven't been down there since this last storm, I might have to throw the snow shoes on and go check it out. Probably wont be able to find it. Later, Adam
  6. 1 point
    I've recently added my name to the statistics for those Laid Off from their Day Jobs. Always amazes me to see how many people any given employer can callously throw aside. Seems to be an increasing trend around these parts. I feel for my former co-workers. It's Unfortunate, but I can't say it's too disappointing. It's left me some time over the past few weeks to catch up on much needed house/vehicle repairs as well as time to clean out my shop Again. So I've taken the opportunity to make a few things while I still got some fuel left. Who knows, might even sell one or two, which would be nice once I find a place to sell them I started out with a few railroad spikes I had laying around and made a few bottle openers. Was real good practice working on the various twists. 4 different twists I've managed. A regular twist, a rope twist, a cube twist, and a gator twist. The heads broke off on the smaller ones while I was doing the gator twists. Broke 4 in a row, it was ridiculous. I either cut too deep with the hot cut or I twisted too cold. But I think they came out nice anyway. I also made a couple "Letter Openers" with a cube twist. I whipped up a batch of Robb Gunter's Super Quench, and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. The letter openers got much sharper than I could have hoped for and cut paper easily. I did sort through the spikes and only picked the ones with some sort of marking on the head W,C,H,S,V variants. They seemed to spark better than the others. \ Had this old Jack Hammer bit and I decided to make a bic out of it for fine horn work, forgot to take a pic of the finished product, but dang that is some hard steel. I think it air hardens too, I broke the top 4 inches or so off by accident. must have been too cold. Came out nice though. And finally got this one heat treated today, sitting in the vinegar as I write. Had an I idea for a socketed integral D-Gaurd. Made from a piece of leaf spring thinned out to .147 previously. Started with a pre-drilled hole and a cut, and ended up with this: The D-Gaurd is twisted, makes nice little spikes It's not exactly like I wanted it this time around, but it will work. I welded up the bottom of the D-Gaurd to the socket as well as plugged the socket for drilling/tapping later. Clay coated for a differential harden, tempered at 400-425, torched the spine back to blue. Planning a 550 cord/leather wrap combo for this one. So much more left to do still...
  7. 1 point
    I think you should be very pleased with that dagger. Clean lines and nice flow. Nice work all around.
  8. 1 point
    Here's the first dry fit-up: I'm not fully satisfied with the etch and I need to tweek some of the fit-up between parts but I'm getting close.
  9. 1 point
    Here is an update. I get to try the sucker for the first time :-)
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