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jake cleland

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Posts posted by jake cleland

  1. Finally finished this one. 3 1/2" forged suminigashi blade with knotwork and runic engraving, boxwood handle carved as a viking style falcon with buffalo horn eyes, copper mounts with engraved silver overlays. Copper scabbard covered in deerskin, with a copper and silver clan crest and mounts, and a buffalo horn scabbard throat:


    bird sgian 25.jpg


    bird sgian 26.jpg


    bird sgian 27.jpg


    bird sgian 28.jpg


    bird sgian 29.jpg


    let me know what you think...

    • Like 10
  2. made this composite image to show the progression of a piece I'm working on. From left, the customer supplied design, my initial revised sketch, the finalised design, the knife after rough profiling the handle, after the initial carving, and almost finished:


    bird sgian design 8.jpg


    now I'm trying to get the blade colour back to where it was in the second last image, which was just a test etch at 320 grit...

    • Like 11
  3. I started another dirk. Howard Clark gave me this blade to mount many years ago, but I could never quite figure out what to do with it. As it was made from a broken katana blade, I knew I wanted some Japanese influences in the mounting, particularly in terms of some figurative design in the metal fittings. My initial idea was a hound and hare hunting motif, but last month the two most important dogs in my life died within a few days of each other, so that's turned into Abe and Rosie chasing each other (and possibly a rabbit) around the ferrule, and probably both of them napping on the pommel. We'll see how it goes...

    hc dirk 2.jpg

    • Like 5
  4. Trying to clear my books before mailing knives in the UK gets a lot more difficult next month. This is just 1095, antler, bog oak and copper:


    antler sgian 18.jpg


    let me know what you think....

    • Like 7
  5. Another one finished today. Engraved and clay hardened 1095 blade, carved bog oak handle, silver mounts, copper scabbard covered with lambskin, and hand cut Skye Marble cabochon for the pommel setting...


    marble sgian 5.jpg


    marble sgian 6.jpg


    let me know what you think...

    • Like 4
  6. 10 hours ago, Joshua States said:

    Another amazing piece from Jake.
    Got any picks of the frame?

    Nah, it's only 1.5mm, so I didn't do anything fancy with it. The plain part is just scalloped, and the carving carries through the frame on the carved part.

  7. Just managed to finish this one after far too many delays. 1095 blade with a frame handle with antler on one side and bog oak on the other, and a thin steel frame separating the scales. Silver gallery wire mounts with a blackened steel bolster. Top mount is set with a customer supplied beryl. Copper sheath covered in deerskin with silver mounts:


    pemble sgian 27.jpg


    pemble sgian 28.jpg


    pemble sgian 29.jpg


    let me know what you think...

    • Like 8
  8. Just finishing this one up. 7 1/2" blade of differentially hardened 1095, mild steel guard with copper trim, burr elm handle shaft, mild steel and bog oak pommel with brass pins. Butt stitched leather scabbard with copper fittings:


    medieval dagger 20.jpg


    medieval dagger 15.jpg


    medieval dagger 16.jpg


    medieval dagger 18.jpg


    medieval dagger 19.jpg


    let me know what you think...

    • Like 11
  9. On 1/28/2024 at 1:01 AM, Eric Estlund said:



    Are the copper rivet washers cut to the recatangles? That is a fun touch. 



    The 'rivets' are just copper clout nails that I file down on two sides of the head - makes for a slimmer profile while still having plenty of surface area for grip, and I like the look, kinda like it's been laced...


    • Thanks 2
  10. First finished knife this year. Clay hardened 1095 blade with tapered tang and simple filework. Sculpted buffalo horn bolsters with brass pins and copper spacers. Bog oak scales with copper pins and 22 casing lanyard hole liners. 4 strand woven sennit. Riveted pouch sheath for horizontal carry.


    rollo 11.jpg


    rollo 12.jpg


    rollo 13.jpg


    Let me know what you think...

    • Like 10
  11. Also finished this one today. Blade is suminagashi, engraved as a test for a different commission. Bolster and finial are blackened steel, with copper accents on the bolster. Handle is carved bog oak and sheath is tooled leather with copper rivets:


    juliana 9.jpg


    juliana 10.jpg


    juliana 8.jpg


    let me know what you think...

    • Like 13
  12. Haven't posted anything in a good long while - my mother passed away unexpectedly at the start of the summer, and I pushed back all my orders to deal with the fallout from that...


    This is the first of those delayed projects to actually get finished. 12" nagasa hira-zukuri blade, forged from 1095. Copper habaki, brass seppas and steel tsuba, copper fuchi and kashira, sycamore tsuka wrapped in samegawa and lacquered deerskin lace ito, with nickel silver menuki and buffalo horn mekugi. The saya is sycamore, covered in ground tealeaves and lacquer, with buffalo horn koigouchi and kurigata, with cotton sageo.


    o-tanto 42.jpg


    o-tanto 39.jpg


    o-tanto 47.jpg


    o-tanto 43.jpg


    o-tanto 44.jpg


    o-tanto 45.jpg


    o-tanto 46.jpg


    Let me know what you think...


    • Like 5
  13. scotchbrite, sanding, (most) buffing etc are abrasive, and will open up the grain. Burnishing is not. It means polishing with a hard, smooth, polished surface - usually hardened steel, but bone or antler are fine for leather - to compress the surface and close up the grain. You probably want to coat the surface in beeswax first to load as much of the grain as possible before you start. You'll probably also want to use enough force to generate some heat to harden the surface. A hard felt buffing wheel would probably also work.

    • Like 1
  14. I've ben trying to find a copy of Gene Chapman's Antler and Iron books to give to my dad, with no luck, so I decided to just make him one of the knives and he can reverse engineer it... this is what I came up with. Antler handle, cs70 spring and blade, clay hardened with a coffee etch, mild steel saddle with brass pins. The tail piece is bog oak, and the pivot pin is made from a 4" nail...


    mm folder 10.jpg


    mm folder 11.jpg


    Let me know what you think...

    • Like 11
  15. Just finished this one, which fought me all the way. 3 1/2" 1075 blade. Antler and bog oak handle, with a steel spacer between them. Steel bolster, and silver washer and silver gallery wire fittings. The pommel is set with a customer supplied bixbite/red beryl. Scabbard is copper covered in deerskin suede with silver fittings.


    pemble sgian 16.jpg


    pemble sgian 17.jpg


    pemble sgian 18.jpg


    let me know what you think...

    • Like 7
  16. On 10/25/2022 at 4:39 PM, Joshua States said:

    Another one for the inspiration folder.....

    Question, is the handle cross section round, or more oval?

    usually round, but i made this one pretty flat/oval, as I prefer the feel..

    • Like 1
  17. 6 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

    Nice!  Is that gallery wire for the accents?  Also a fan of the pigskin sheath.  I use that from time to time myself.

    Yes gallery wire. It's a more delicate soldering job than I'm comfortable with with my set up but it seems to work... The pigskin is what I used to use for sgian dubh sheaths, but I'm not so keen on it, as it has very little stretch, and feels a bit plasticky - I much prefer lambskin these days, which gives a much softer, more tactile feel, but deer or goat are also good.

    • Like 1
  18. Also got this glued together last night. 5" 1075 blade. Octagonal bog oak handle with knotwork carving. Copper blade collar and ferrules. Poplar burl pommel setting. Cowhide sheath covered in lambskin.


    achlais 8.jpg


    achlais 7.jpg


    Let me know what you think...

    • Like 8
  19. Started this last year sometime. Just got it finished up today. 10 1/2" double edged 1095 blade. Carved bog oak handle with boxwood accents. Steel mounts with silver trim. Laminated millboard sheath covered with pigskin with silver throat and chape.


    bollocks 33.jpg


    bollocks 32.jpg


    Let me know what you think...

    • Like 12
  20. This is kinda' a no wrong answers situation. Generally a blade between 3" and 4", single edged, spear point or clip point, but much slimmer and pointier than Americans tend to make them Flat handle no more than 1/2" thick, preferably thinner, Basically as slim and sleek as possible.



    Here's an excerpt from an email I wrote to a customer a few weeks back:


    'the idea of what constitutes a 'traditional' sgian dubh is a bit complicated. Prior to the 18th century it was just a small, plain knife. In the first half of the 18th C. These started to get decorated with carving in a similar style to dirk handles, but after the '45 any such distinctively 'Highland' forms were banned, outside of the British regiments, which is when the regimental sgians developed - straight, flat handles suitable for wearing in the Kilt Hose, usually with carving, plain ferrule at the blade end and closed ferrule for the top. After the prohibition was lifted, the civilian sgian developed from this regimental form, with the top ferrule being set with a stone, which became more elaborate over time, with larger stones, claw and cage settings etc, and more elaborate handle shapes, and carving styles that diverged widely from the traditional Highland dirk carvings. The thing is, these developments occurred in the context of a Victorian British culture which was completely alien and indeed openly hostile to the Highland/Gaidhlig culture that the sgian dubh came from. Being born and raised in the West Highlands, I tend to try and take my design cues from the original Highlland traditional forms as much as possible, rather than the later forms which developed in Edinburgh, Sheffield and Birmingham, outside of that cultural context.


    The thing is, a lot of this is fairly subjective - there was no continuing tradition of Highland sgian dubhs out-with the broader British context - so I just try to make things that feel authentic to me and my understanding of the culture I was raised in, while steering away from things that feel like Tartanism or pastiche.'


    Basically, form follows function, so early sgians, the function was to be just a small edc, usually with straight or coffin shaped handles, and spear point, or more often clip point blades. Handles were wood, horn, antler, even dried kelp in the islands and costal areas. For later sgians, the function became decorative, and being able to be worn in the sock. Flat, slim, light, and more and more decorative.



    • Like 3
  21. Finally finished up the first batch of Sgians for a high-end craft shop opening in Edinburgh in a couple of weeks. They're getting collected tomorrow, so just in under the wire. 3 1/2" blades of clay hardened 1095, about 7 1/4" o/a. Bog oak and antler handles with copper and mosaic pins. Back seam sheaths covered in lambskin leather.


    bard sgians 16.jpg


    bard sgians 15.jpg


    let me know what you think.

    • Like 6
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