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jake cleland

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Everything posted by jake cleland

  1. that's some real nice work. my only criticism would be that, had it been me, i wouldn't have painted it - i like to see the natural beauty of the materials - i would have left the scale from forging in the recesses, polished the highlights and heat coloured the piece, maybe bronze/purple for the petals and grey/blue for the stem. thats just me though, and as i say, great design and execution, cheers, jake.
  2. for a lighter colour you can try thinning the dye with acetone or alcohol (for spirit based dyes), also, the salt should slow the quench slightly - it should certainly be less brutal as it increases the boiling point of the water, but edge quenching in water is always dangerous - normalise fully and interrupt your quench, and even then you can still get cracks. that said, thats a nice hamon you've got there, and i like the finished knife a lot, cheers, jake.
  3. it's a 3 1/2" blade of 12-C-27 Sandvik surgical stainless, 2.5mm thick, heat treated to around 58-59 rockwell, with a narrow tang secured with a threaded brass butt-cap. The blade started out as a sgian dubh blade with a bottle opener in the spine, but i could never quite get the geometry of the bottle opener right, and it was too dangerous to sell and too ugly to keep, so i ground it off. this was pretty much a salvage job, but i think it looks pretty good. the ray skin primarily works as a lock for the knife in the sheath - which is saddlery leather glued and reinforced with copper and rivet
  4. sorry - don't know whats going on today - do they show now?
  5. here's what ive been doing this week. Stainless neck knife with blue stained london plane handle and ray skin collar. and a couple of simple sgians - the first of london plane again, stained brown, with maccassar pommle and sterling silver mounts, and the second has a maccassar handle and zebrano pommel let me know what you think, cheers, jake.
  6. here's what ive been doing this week. Stainless neck knife with blue stained london plane handle and ray skin collar. oops. forgot the pics.
  7. hi, i'm about to start on a dirk for a customer, and was intending to make it out of london plane, as he wants a carved sheath of elaborate construction, and i need something that will carve cleanly and have a very strong glue joint from a relatively small contact area. However, plane is much softer than my usual maccassar ebony, and i was wondering how to toughen up the finished surfaces. i was thinking about linseed oil, but the piece is to be stained after carving, and i wondered if this would affect the application. any suggestions would be much appreciated, cheers, jake.
  8. it's good to have the forum up and running again, but while it's been down, i actually got some work done, some of which i thought i'd show. first off, a couple of my standard sgian dubhs, made for friend prices, so good work ( i think!) for not a lot of money, but fun to do. sandvik stainless, sterling silver, carved maccassar ebony and mamoth ivory pommel settings. next, a double edged "Kelt Dagger" - a commission from a foreign customer, which i'm not sure if it's quite what he wanted - my german's not up to scratch, but i hadn't done a double edged dagger for years, so i
  9. i guess you guys are right. everything i end up designing that isn't completely traditional seems to end up with a persian/eastern bent. i like curves. i'm not exactly au-fait with persian style carving, but i just took another look at jake pownings amazing "spirit horse", and it seems that celtic/norse decoration can work with eastern forms, if it's done right. i may be able to pull this one off yet! thanks guys. p.s. i just polished and etched the puuko thing (mirror polish and vinegar etch), and took a better photo. the edge actually is that colour, just from the etch. thanks for looki
  10. here's a couple i'm working on at the moment. the big one was supposed to be a seax, but somewhere between design and execution, i got a bit carried away, and now i don't know what it is. the blade is flat ground 6mm layered japanese sumigashi steel, with milled fullers. the guard is fabricated from brass, the basic form copied from a merovingian seax, but carved into a zoomorphic motif of an eagle killing a serpent, which seems a fairly obvious mythological topos, but the only example i can think of is from the odyssey. the wood is purple heart, and the bolster will be carved to for
  11. tracy, i started a thread about this in hot work, and the consensus seems to be that it's whatever the manufacture say's it is. I've only ever used it to make carving tools, so i never bothered to keep different batches seperate as it's all hardenable and thats good enough for tools, but since i started forging (that was my third forged blade) i have a way of making knives out of the round or square stock i have it in. I was hoping that it was all the same so i could learn to use it repeatably, particularly for hamon, as apart from it, i've only been able to get stainless (15-C - 27), O1 an
  12. here's a closeup of the hamon at the tip, this is just under the light in my kitchen and it doesn't show too well; as you can see, it seems to run out towards the edge, but under right light you can see that while it does dip and fade, it can still be seen distinctly following the edge about 1/8" up, and there is a secondary temperline which more closely follows the clay. This was my second shot at h-t on this one, and i didn't want to tempt fate trying for a third time.
  13. Here's one I've been working on this week; a small tanto. The blade was forged from 1/2" round silver steel, clay coated and edge quenched in water. I have no idea what analysis the steel was, but it survived the water quench so i'm guessing a Wx steel. The saya, tsuka and tsuba are maccassar ebony, the habaki is brass and the heavy seppa, which makes up the weight from the tsuba, is copper. The tsuka has a same wrap top and bottom. The blade has been hand rubbed to 800x, given a deep vinegar etch and then further polished with very fine crocus paper and finished with 0000 steel wool and vineg
  14. this week i forged a small (6") tanto from 1/2" round silver steel, and heat treated it with a clay coating. I wasn't expecting much in the way of hamon, and went ahead and made the tsuka, saya etc. before doing a proper polish and etch. Now i have tried polishing and etching, i find i have a nice bright distinct hamon towards the habaki, which washes out towards the tip; i guess that i didn't soak for long enough. So, tomorrow, i was planning on normalising and then taking another swing at the h-t, and i was wondering if anyone had any advice for heat-treating a fully ground and polished blad
  15. With O1 i've generally found that you can bring the temper right through the purple/blue i use as a decorative finish and into the silver blue and still leave the blade plenty hard enough - id guess around 58 rockwell; you can just about cut it with a new file, but it's almost impossible to file-work without skidding occasionally and messing it up - hence the differential ht. i have found, however, that the oxide itself is slightly softer, and if you sharpen before bluing it wont hold a razor edge for long, so i put a micro-bevel on the edge after bluing with a hard felt buffing wheel, and hav
  16. i read somewhere the other day (either here or britishblades.com) that silver steel was the same as W5. this seems a bit unlikely to me, as i have always oil quenched silver steel with no problem, but does anyone know if you can water quench this steel, and specifically does it show hamon? also, can anyone tell me UK equivalents of US water quench steels, particularly the W and 10 series steels, as i haven't been able to get hold of any, and experimenting with files of dubious provenance seems a hit and miss way to go. cheers, Jake.
  17. here's one i just finished. apologies for the crappy pics. forged O1, with differential ht and hammer textured flats. the tang is fully tapered and file-worked all the way around. the blade has been satin finished and heat blued (you cant really see the colour in the pics - it looks a lot better in person: i'll have to take some pics under natural light). the handle is pink ivory with carved mammoth ivory menuki. the bolsters are carved from brass with blued steel and copper inserts. the sheath is carved maccassar ebony and tooled leather. let me know what you think.
  18. Thanks Brian, how do you go about getting an eve coating with superglue? i would imagine that brushing would leave marks and probably bristles, and can't think of anything to spread it evenly that wouldn't leave fibres etc. behind.
  19. I give quite a few of my carbon steel blades a heat blue finish on a mirror polish, but this is only any good for display knives, as the finish is very fragile, and even on knives which aren't used, the blue is very vulnerable to fingerprints etc. I think the colour looks fantastic, however, and was wondering if anyone knew how to make it more hard-wearing. I was considering using metal laquer coating, and any advice or comments would be appreciated, cheers, Jake.
  20. Thanks for the info. It's not a true hamon i'm hoping for (no pattern) so much as a defined line between the hard and soft steel. I know it's faint and very uninteresting, but here's a pic of a differentially hardened O1 tanto blade i made; clay coating, full quench in oil, so it's not a quench line. I remember reading a Bob Engath article a few years ago saying that you can get hamon on O1, but it always evens out, and the most you can hope for is a shallow wave pattern. t2.bmp
  21. I'm about to heat treat an O1 blade with a clay coating. I've had some sucess with this in the past, but the hamon is always faint and uniteresting, so i'm thinking of doing a split second edge quench in hot brine, immediately followed by a deep quench in warm oil. Do any of you think that this would help to get a more distinct hamon, or am i just going to crack the blade? I'm probably going to try it anyway, to satisfy my own curiosity, unless anyone knows for a fact it wont work, but predictions would be nice, and i'll take my "i told you so's" with good grace, I promise. Cheers, Jake
  22. thought i'd post a few more pics while i'm uploading photos. This was an order delivered on new years day, nothing fancy a plain and simple spring steel tanto and a slightly fancier on of clay tempered O1(work in progress) close up of blade(poor photo but not bade hamon for O1)
  23. heres one i beat out about a month ago and got finished up today. A little bit of background to explain the odd design. I found the steel amongst the many pounds (tons) of scrap i've accumulated. it was a four foot bar, and when i sawed it in half to make it less unwieldly the hacksaw was kicking up sparks, which i figured was a good sign. so i forged it out into a basic short tanto shape, mostly for shaping practice, as this was only my second day in the forge. The shape turned out good, and i was just bringing it up past non-mag to normalise when my dad came into the forge and messed up my f
  24. just finishing off a differentially heat threated blade, satin finished up to 1200, and am trying to etch it to bring out the hamon better. I'm using acetic acid (non brewed vinegar) and my results are patchy. I "de-greased" using washing up detergent on the final passes with the paper, then more detergent and boiling water. The blade comes out mottled with bright areas where it hasnt etched, and looks a bit scrappy. How can i get better results etching with vinegar? cheers, jake
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