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jake cleland

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Posts posted by jake cleland

  1. It looks good, but it would be better if you could pull out a bit more edge towards the heel, particularly a bit of belly just in front of the tongs in the last pic. As Joel says, you want a bit of taper, and ideally a bit of a curve to the whole edge - a straight edge will start to become a recurve after a few sharpenings, which will greatly reduce the utility of the blade...

  2. 31 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

    Nice!  How was the elm to carve?  

    It's not great. It's a bit soft, but also abrasive. For this kind of thing it's fine, but once you get into detailed work it gets muddy fast. It's best to stick to box and ebony, maples/sycamore, and walnut. I've also heard good things about fruit woods and lime/bass/linden, but have never tried them

  3. Glued this together last night. This is a fairly faithful interpretation of what an authentic early 18th century sgian dubh might have looked like, though it's not a direct copy, more an amalgam of 3 originals. The steel is 1075+Cr, 3mm thick and 3 1/2" long, which I normalised 3x at descending heats and cycled a few times just around critical to drop the hardenability. The handle is elm, with simple basketweave carving, stained and given a single coat of finishing oil. The sheath is less authentic, as it will be used for hunting, so I added a belt loop and reinforced it with rivets. The second pic shown the proportions better...


    hunting sgian 10.jpg


    hunting sgian 11.jpg


    Let me know what you think...

    • Like 7
  4. It's worth noting that there's no need to use Parks 50 with any of the steels you've mentioned, and all of them will probably benefit from a slower quench like canola.

    Parks is more useful for low alloy steels like 1095/1075/W1/W2/White Paper Steel, and lower hardenability steels like 1040-1050...

  5. 2 hours ago, Joshua States said:

    Looks great Jake. How is that Bubinga to carve?


    I really don't like it for this kind of work. It's hard and tough and fibrous, and doesn't take detail well...but I really like the weight and look and feel of it. It's probably fine for more abstract/sculptural carving.

  6. And a Gralloching Dirk. 1075 blade with filework and shallow scraped fullers. Hand carved bog oak handle. Copper ferrule. hand tooled and stitched leather scabbard.


    gralloching dirk 1.jpg


    let me know what you think...

    • Like 12
  7. This week I'm finishing up some blades to offer to subscribers to my mailing list. First up is this Georgian style Bubinga handled Dirk. 1075 blade copper mounts, hand carved bubinga handle. By-knife housed in the scabbard.


    bubinga dirk 26.jpg


    bubinga dirk 27.jpg

    let me know what you think...


    • Like 9
  8. Started this one last year sometime and spent the past couple of days making a sheath finishing up the details. Blade is about 7" light and fast clay hardened 1095. Blackened steel sculpted guard and pommel nut with sculpted brass washers and hammer textured ferrule. Turned bubinga handle. Scabbard is laminated millboard covered in pigskin with a frogged belt loop and copper chape and locket:


    fs 12.jpg


    fs 11.jpg


    fs 13.jpg


    fs 14.jpg


    let me know what you think...

    • Like 10
  9. It would be easy enough to make an invisible repair on the horn afterwards - just cut a slightly tapered peg from a scrap of horn and drive it into the punch hole with a bit of black epoxy, the cut off the excess. Only other thing i can think of is to use a tube or dowel with a hole the same diameter as the drill and epoxy it over the broken end and use it to unwind the bit, but honestly this is when I'd go for a design change - butt cap, or simply a contrasting pin. 

    • Sad 1
  10. Basically either 1. you're not getting it hot enough (non magnetic is around 1412f, you need around 1460f to get those steels to harden in oil), 2. you're not cooling it fast enough (with 1095 you have around a second to get it out of the fire, into the quench, and cooled to around 900f) or 3. you've mixed up your steel with something unhardenable I'd start by heating a piece a couple of hundred degrees hotter than usual and quenching in water - if that doesn't get it hard, nothing will. Then dial back the heat from there...

  11. long day. Ground, hardened and tempered a couple of blades, and finish ground the one I'm thinking of as an adventurers knife - it's a somewhat fantastical take on a sgian achlais/gralloching knife. On that one I laid out the clay for the hamon in a knotwork pattern, which is something I tried a few times about 20 years ago, but couldn't really get to work. This time was pretty successful, i think. We'll see how it comes out in the polish...


    adventure 2.jpg


    adventure 5.jpg


    adventure 3.jpg


    adventure 4.jpg

    • Like 4
  12. 8 hours ago, billyO said:

    I think it's pretty sweet. 



    (btw-I consider myself a genius too...when should I start paying attention to the mail?:P)

    when you fix my car for less than it would cost me in parts, we'll talk...


    • Haha 3
  13. 6 hours ago, Bill Schmalhofer said:

    I figured that out after posting my OP. Watched several YouTube videos on how to make one but the roses being made all seem really big (too big for a pommel). How big was your outer-most set of petals for the rose you put on the pommel? Thanks!


    i think around 1 1/4", maybe 1/32" thick. The main challenge is getting the petals peened tightly together so they don't loosen up as you form the rose. The last time I used this technique I turned a mild steel pedestal with a blind threaded hole and a tenon to rivet the petals on to, and flowed in some phosphor bronze braze after forming, so I could use the whole assembly as a pommel nut.

  14. Your ashi look fine - that looks like just a temperature issue to me. It occurs to me that if you're soaking for 8mins in an electric furnace, you might want to substitute anti-scale for the edge wash, or decarb could become an issue, though the charcoal in your clay may be enough...

    • Like 1
  15. Made this as a present for my mechanic, because he's a genius... cszo, buffalo horn and bubinga:


    kaiken 2.jpg


    kaiken 3.jpg


    kaiken 4.jpg


    let me know what you think.

    • Like 7
  16. Yeah, that was just fabricated from sheet. As a pommel there's a bit of a trade off between ease of forming and durability - that fine silver one would crumple under the weight of a knife if you dropped it...

  17. The problem with Parks 50 is not so much loss of activity as loss of sori. On that sugata, uchi -sori would be unusual, but not outlandish, and it looks like you still have plenty of width at the kissaki compared to the machi, so any negative sori could probably be ground back to mu-sori. It's a judgement call - 1.5mm is not insanely thin for an interrupted brine quench finished in oil, but it's always a risk. Somewhere on here Jesus Hernandez had a post about quenching a thin blade into hot parks to produce positive sori, but I'm not sure how repeatable that was...

    • Like 1
  18. 8 hours ago, Francis Gastellu said:


    Ah yes, thank you. I'm not as familiar with brine, but what you suggest sounds like a more extreme version of what water to oil tries to do? Interesting :)


    Well, I'm already fighting second thoughts about _that_ plan, so safe to say I'll pass on the brine ;)

    While brine is a faster quench than straight water, it is actually less prone to cracking as the transition between the vapour and nucleate boiling phases of the quench is less violent. Depending on your edge thickness I'd go with a 2 or 3 second quench in brine, or at least water with a lot of dish soap (also destabilizes the vapour phase and acts as a surfactant), finished in slow oil, and immediate temper.

  19. 45 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

    I always defer to Jake regarding Scots blades (and a lot of other things too!), but in my limited experience with dirks, most Americans make the grip too long.  Your thumb and forefinger will be resting on the haunches of most of them, your middle finger and the web between thumb and forefinger keep the hand from slipping forward because they're at the base of the haunches, and the pommel holds your little finger snug in the groove at the base of the flare.  And the reverse, if you're holding it in an icepick grip, of course. 


    Like a lot of historical blades, it's very hard to make a good repro if you've never handled an original antique. But you've got this.  B) 

    Yeah - on my dirk in the post above, the American customer demanded a longer handle, despite my best efforts. Think it ended up being about 5".


    1 hour ago, Joshua States said:

    Well, I started turning the handle today. Still a ways to go.......


    Turning (2).JPG


    It is a little longer than it should be and the curves are not where they should be either.  I still have the afternoon to work on it.

    The haunches and where they meet the shaft looks great, and the taper and curve of the pommel are also good. i usually leave the pommel long, and cut it away at the end.  You want the same kind of crisply delineated transition from the pommel to the shaft as you have at the haunches, and you want to make sure that the top of the shaft is no wider than it is at the bottom - I generally go about 1/8th narrower...


    • Thanks 1
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