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jake cleland

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jake cleland last won the day on March 13

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About jake cleland

  • Birthday 04/30/1979

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    Isle of Skye

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  1. there are very few legitimate reasons for any knife to be thicker than 1/8th when made of decent steel. Thin cuts much better than thick. What you've done is avoid the noob mistake of making a crowbar instead of a knife... these are all from 1/8th by 1" stock...
  2. jake cleland

    Is there a way to twist a railroad spike without a vice?

    you can make some twisting wrenches by punching holes in some 1/4" bar stock and drifting it out to fit the spike (use a spike as a drift), then either do as Alan suggests, or put one wrench in the hardy hole and twist with the other. Though I've only done this with square stock, and to get the wrench off the head end it would probably need to be open on one side, like an open spanner...
  3. jake cleland

    The design for my first knife

    ok, I gotta say that forging that down to workable dimensions is going to be an exercise in frustration for a beginner. Or pretty much anyone. I strongly suggest that you get a hacksaw or a cutting wheel and an angle grinder, and split that in half lengthways before you try and forge it...
  4. jake cleland

    Shear Steel; The Experiment Begins

    pretty sure that's one of the standard hada patterns in Japanese swords... itame maybe?
  5. jake cleland

    By all that is holy, how would you forge THIS!

    I'm 99% sure someone on the forum made one a year or two back...
  6. jake cleland

    Boat Knife

    Thanks guys. It's worth noting that this is an example of how good design and carving layout can cover a multitude of sins, as this is one of the least 'finished' - and least well executed - pieces of carving I have ever produced. If you look closely, you'll see that the cording isn't properly rounded, and the spacing and depth is irregular. This carving took about 5 hours; to finish it properly would have taken at least twice that, which at my normal shop rate would have exceeded the budget for the entire knife. But the overall layout is sound, and the carving is deep and vigorous, which tricks the eye into seeing a level of execution which is not, in fact, there...
  7. jake cleland

    Boat Knife

    This was commissioned by a friend for her partner who's a commercial fisherman. She asked for a working knife sort of in the style of my sgian dubhs, that could be put into service on a boat. I based it loosely on a Viking knife from Novgorod, 'cause I figure those guys knew a bit about boats. Anyway, 1095, carved maccassar ebony handle, copper ferrule, buttplate, bail, ring and pin - I still need to attach a belt loop to the sheath: let me know what you think...
  8. jake cleland

    Bog Oak and Copper Gralloching Knife

    Thanks guys. Charlses, the sheath is just tooled with a bone folder (polished bone tool which marks the wet leather cleanly without cutting or tearing). Don, I only water quench Japanese style blades (and the occasional seax) - I generally make knives about 1/8th thick or less these days, and they tend to through harden in water without a lot of arsing about, plus I tend to prefer the more regular hamon produced by a fairly slow oil for most things...
  9. Just finished this up. Clay hardened 1095, carved bog oak handle, sculpted copper ferrule and pin, leather pouch sheath ('Gralloch' is the Gaelic word for field dressing a deer...). let me know what you think...
  10. jake cleland

    Polishing and finishing question

    what is the steel and thermal history (forged? Plasma cut? Overheated while grinding?)? It would probably buff out with green compound on a stitched wheel, and as it's not on the edge it should be a structural problem...
  11. jake cleland

    Shear Steel Files?

    A couple of months back, my dad gave me some old severely rusted files, which I forged into some brute de forge tantos. Yesterday I heat treated the first of them. treating it like 1095 - normalising x 3 at descending heats, clay coated, and quenched in oil from slightly above critical. Today I ground it down to sharp, and as I was grinding I noticed a faint line would sometimes appear parallel to the edge. Initially I thought it was a crack, but on closer inspection I became convinced that it was a decarb line from a weld. I've finished ground it to 320 grit, and etched it in ferric, and there seem to be traces of a fairly straight masame hada, but I can't be sure until I get the foundation polish done and open a window, which is complicated by the fact that I hollow ground these. Anyway, I'm a bit confused, as the blade hardened considerably deeper than I had expected, and because I don't think the file was that old, probably pre 1960's (though it is possibly much older - my family has been hoarding tools for a long time). So my question is, is there such a thing as a non-shallow hardening shear steel? Possibly from manganese in the ore, or added during the production process? When did Sheffield tool makers stop making shear steel? I have it in my head that some smaller shops were still making their own steel at least into the 50's (I have a piece of double shear steel my dad bought in the 70's which had come from a tool shop that closed down in the 50's). Here's the blade as it stands now: I'll try and get some decent pics of the pattern once I open a window. And I'll probably grind the other one of these into a traditional cross section (either hira or shobu zukuri) before I harden it...
  12. jake cleland


    I've been thinking about your work a lot over the last few weeks. Glad to see you posting again...
  13. jake cleland

    Blue Paper Japanese steel

    either I'm confused or you're confused, but... There are commercially available san mai's, with blue paper or white paper steel cores, which is what this looks like. Blue paper steel is not used as a cladding steel, only for the core. Blue paper or White paper are designations for the core steel only, not for the whole billet. Depending on what type of san mai it is, the cladding will either be very clean mild steel, multiple layers of same, or stainless (which i'm ignoring because it has a different surface finish). Either version will have a dark core and light cladding.
  14. jake cleland

    Elven belt knife

    on full tang handles, I drill a bunch of holes through the tang, with corresponding blind holes spotted into the underside of the scales. These serve several functions; they lighten the tang; they make it easier to get the tang flat; but most importantly they give a more secure epoxy joint, by increasing the surface area it can adhere to, and by providing spaces for the squeeze out to bleed into, forming blind epoxy rivets, which act like firewalls, providing a rigid matrix within the wood, preventing the natural handle material's tendency to expand or contract across the whole surface of the glue joint, which produces an enormous amount of stress on the joint...
  15. jake cleland

    water quench additives

    unfortunately, the thing that causes blades to crack in water is the same thing that causes positive sori - the fast convection phase of the quench. That said, some blades do crack in the early stage of the quench, as the vapour jacket collapsing unevenly cools the blade unevenly, which is why brine is a marginally safer quench than plain water. Industrially, brine is used to speed up the initial phase of a water quench, which is actually not that fast, for large parts. The safest way I've found to induce positive sori is to do an interrupted quench in hot water with some dish soap, until the blade is past the nose dive and has come back straight or with a slight up curve, and then finish in cold oil. Won't get quite as much sori, but will eliminate most quench cracking not caused by uneven heating or grinding...