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jake cleland

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jake cleland last won the day on March 21

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About jake cleland

  • Birthday 04/30/1979

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    Isle of Skye

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  1. Sgian Dubh for a Friend's Wedding

    A close friend of mine is getting married next week, and he asked me to make him a sgian dubh. Got it finished tonight, in time for the weekend long stag party starting tomorrow. Blade is clay hardened 1095, handle is macassar ebony, inlaid with a slice of boar's tooth, and carved on the face with a ringerike style knot representing flames. The mounts are sculpted copper, and the pommel has a brazed bezel set with a hand cut cabochon of green Skye Marble. Sheath is brazed copper, lined with felt and covered with goatskin, with copper mounts, engraved with Runes of both their names. The box is just a cheap jewellery case that I've lined with foam and felt, with a copper plate incised with their wedding date affixed to the top. Anyway, pics: let me know what you think...
  2. What length and width steel to start with?

    I'd suggest starting with stock 1/16th thicker than you want the thickest part of the finished blade, as wide as you want the widest part to be minus the thickness you want, and 2/3rds of the length you want for a hidden tang, or 3/4 the length for a full tang. Getting exactly what you're looking for from these dimensions may take a bit of practise, but is perfectly possible...
  3. Is this too much tang?!

    should be fine, as Alan says - I find it easier to make a mortised handle in two halves in these kind of circumstances, rather than broaching the tang hole. That said, I would be inclined to do as Joshua says and bring the finger cutout into a smoother, shallower curve, and as most of the stresses occur at the tang/blade junction, which is 'protected' by the heavy guard, I might also be inclined to grind a slight step into the underside of the tang as it leaves the guard - Olive is not the strongest wood, and is oily enough that it doesn't form the greatest glue joint, so i'd be inclined to give it all the help I could muster... here's a quick mock-up of what I mean in paint: I would also be inclined to increase the radius of the butt of the handle until the corners were obtuse rather than acute - it would greatly decrease the chances of knocking a chunk out of the wood if you drop it on something hard...
  4. heat treating issues

    what steel are you using?
  5. Highland Dirk - Biodag for a Bodach

  6. EDC

    just finished dressing this wee one up a bit - re-polished, etched and sharpened the blade, added a lanyard hole and a suspension ring to the sheath, re did the wrap with a pair of simple forged copper menuki to give a bit of a palm swell, and lacquered the wrap to protect it. 2 3/4" 1095 blade, cord and copper:
  7. Highland Dirk - Biodag for a Bodach

    carving done, pommel plate fitted, ferrule shaped. This is just a dry fit up - still a few details to sort out before final assembly:
  8. 'Tactical' daisho

    Made these a few years back, from my first batch of Also's 1095, and never got around to selling them. Now a friends wife wants to buy them for his birthday, so I cleaned them up and made some sayas. Two tone doeskin ito over same, with turks head guards. Water quenched 1095, tempered pretty tough, in a working polish. Laminated magnolia sayas with cord re-enforcement. Longest one has about a 16" blade: nothing fancy, but I like how they turned out. What do you reckon?
  9. Tempering and the oven used

    an even oxide layer - the tempering colour - will only form on a chemically clean surface. Many people will say not to rely on tempering colours, and that's true to a degree, but it's the only way I can think of to check your oven is heating the blade evenly. My oven has about a 25 degree differential front to back, for example, so I flip long blades end for end halfway through tempering. On the final tempering cycle, once all the straightening etc is done, I'll grind the blade completely clean at 120 grit - even the oil from your fingers will throw off the colour - and check that I get a completely even colour (though martensite and pearlite will form different coloured oxides, so it will also give you a good idea of a hamon if that's your bag...).
  10. Highland Dirk - Biodag for a Bodach

    carving roughed out:
  11. Highland Dirk - Biodag for a Bodach

    Carving marked out and 56 pin holes drilled:
  12. Highland Dirk - Biodag for a Bodach

    Thanks everyone. Handle and ferrule fitted:
  13. Yesterday I had an old man in his 80's turn up on my door. He was a knife collector, and his son had bought him one of my knives a couple of years back. He mentioned that he'd been a blacksmith and a wood turner, and we sat and shot the shit for a couple of hours, while his wife listened very patiently. He bought another small knife, and enquired about commissioning a dirk. When I explained I usually had a lead time of 6 months for large pieces, he looked a bit crestfallen. Turns out he was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the end of last year. So now I'm making a dirk, and everything else is on hold until I'm done. Today I got a 11 1/2" 1095 blade roughed out, and a handle turned from walnut...
  14. Old Knife Blank Finishing

    definitely check the hardness before you do anything...
  15. Rankin and Bass Sting

    Slowly coming together. I got the blade ground - it's very thin now, maybe a little too thin for an iron cored blade, as it takes a set pretty easily, but the wide fuller and narrow edge bars left no other option - and the handle components roughed out. I sculpted the guard with files, and that will get a pretty minimal amount of clean up before getting heavily fire etched and oil blued. I will then selectively polish and heat blue some of the sculptural elements. Made a mortised handle shaft from sycamore, which will get some minimal carving and maybe copper inlay, and fitted the ferrule. Made some brass washers, which need coining and polishing. Forged and rough ground the pommel, which will get the same treatment as the guard, and drilled and tapped it and threaded the tang... Charles, the Talisker distillery is about 50 yards from the best pub in the world, where my friends play traditional music sessions on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (we also have champagne Tuesdays, Old Man Sundays, and 'Hey, it's a Bit Quieter' Saturdays, and the owner is a smith...) I'm there every Thursday for sure - give me a shout when you're up.