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jake cleland

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Posts posted by jake cleland

  1. 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
  2. 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.

  3. 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...


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  4. Just finished another one of these. Buninga, about 22" of blade, so ko-katana sized. Mild steel tsua with brass overlays and copper pins. The fuchi and kashira were adapted from cheap Chinese casts - they're decent solid brass, and while the quality is not good enough for a real sword,  I think it's fine for something like this. The tsuka is wrapped with cotton tsuka ito, potted with shellac:


    bokken 8.jpg


    bokken 9.jpg


    bokken 10.jpg


    bokken 11.jpg


    bokken 12.jpg


    bokken 13.jpg


    let me know what you think...

    • Like 2
  5. 1 hour ago, Brian Dougherty said:



    I'm curious how you lined the inside of the scabbard?  With a wood core I would do that before the halves are glued together, but that obviously won't work with a brazed scabbard :)


    That tapered fuller caught my eye too...

    The scabbard is cold forged round the blade before hardening, and brazed together with phosphor bronze, so there's no flux residue to deal with. Then I finish the blade, and superglue thin leather or felt into the mouth of the scabbard on each side - I only line about the first inch of the scabbard, leaving an air gap around the rest of the blade. I leave the liners a bit long, so I can check the fit without glue, and then trim them after glueing. The wooden throat is pierced very slightly oversized, so it doesn't rub on the blade, but it's precise enough that the tip doesn't touch the lining and lift it.


    The tapering of the fullers is produced by grinding the fullers before grinding the bevels./distal taper.


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  6. Just finished putting this one together. 1095 blade with hamon, fullers and filework. Carved yew handle. Fileworked copper fittings with bog oak throat insert and hand cut Skye Marble pommel setting. Brazed copper scabbard lined with felt and covered in lambskin. Storage box with copper accents, lined with leather and felt, with bog oak inserts.


    yew sgian 10.jpg


    yew sgian 9.jpg


    yew sgian 8.jpg


    yew sgian 7.jpg


    Let me know what you think...

    • Like 12
  7. looks like decarb, which wouldn't be surprising after 1 1/2 hours in a heavily oxidizing environment, but if that was the case it shouldn't skate a file on the face of the blade until you've ground off a lot of material. Could be alloy segregation from excessive normalization. if you're not forging, the 1600f normalization probably isn't needed, nor the 1400f one. Cut the soak time down to about 1 minute. Try quenching a piece from 1435f without normalizing to see what you get, to establish a baseline, and refine from there.

  8. You're getting there, but I think you still have some issues with the haunches and pommel. the haunches should be rounder, and curve in towards the blade, and the transition from shaft to pommel flare should be more defined, and the pommel should have a bit more depth. here's a quick sketch of what i'm talking about:


    dirk handle design.jpg


    and a dirk i made in this style a few years back:


    dirk 3.jpg



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  9. Just put this one together - another facebook makers challenge that got out of hand:


    bell bowie 58.jpg


    bell bowie 59.jpg


    clay hardened 1095 blade -  I haven't measured it but it's about 8", and thin, not much over 1/8th", with a false edge on one side. Wrought iron bolster and mild steel guard, with mild steel and nickel silver spacers. the steel has been oil-blued, and the ns is sculpted and polished. Oil-blued steel pommel plate with carved mammoth ivory panels.  Macassar ebony handle carved with high relief knotwork, with steel pins. Scabbard is laminated millboard covered in lambskin, with a forged and polished mild steel chape, with a knurled bog oak bead at the tip, and a turned steel Sam Browne stud mounted on a sculpted NS face plate. This one took way to much time, but it was a lot of fun. Let me know what you think...

    • Like 17
  10. You're welcome. I haven't made a boxwood dirk for that reason. I buy wood as 2" turning spindles for dirk handles. Unless I'm shooting for a 100% accurate reproduction of a specific piece, for handles I generally just turn a cylinder first and then scale everything else off that.


  11. I've had a closer look at that dirk since then, and the haunches are not damaged, so I'd say yours are a bit too tall, by about the thickness of the guard plate maybe. i also think your pommel should be wider, and the concavity on the underside should be shallower. For this pattern of carving there are an equal (even) number of high spots top and bottom, usually 4 or six (4 is easier, as you just align with the edge, spine, and the centre of the haunches), offset so a high spot at the top corresponds with a low spot on the bottom. Its worth marking and cutting in the interstices, even if you want a tight pleat. Some details of how I do it in this post sgian build 2.

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  12. I'm 95% sure that must be welded inlay - if you look at the last pic, there's no repeating pattern to the over/under of the laminated strips . While the ulfbhert inlays were done at the very end of forging to minimise distortion, it  would be far easier to do this kind of inlay immediately after welding on the edge, when the billet was flat and at full thickness.


  13. Just finished this small narrow sax. Wrought iron and silver steel for the blade, box wood bolster and bog oak handle, carved with a bind rune for the recipient and a geometric border. Riveted copper draw ring with bronze bail. Tooled leather sheath with copper and bronze fittings.


    small sax 12.jpg


    small sax 13.jpg


    let me know what you think.

    • Like 12
  14. 'Bolster' to me implies a degree of mass which the very thin sheet guard plates do not have - they're more like washers than anything. Ferrules fit over a recessed area at the front of the haunches, and can be fairly plain oval shapes - or more commonly slightly apple seed shapes, as the haunches tend to be narrower on the edge side and fatter at the spine - but the nicer ones tend to be tapered from haunches to blade, and kind of folded over the end of the handle a bit so they more fully enclose the blade, and have a slight arc to them as well...


    dirk 1725.jpg

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  15. Feeling pretty burned out on commissions, and wanted to make something fun. I've been thinking about folk art, and whimsy, and the direction i want to take my work. I see so many technically perfect knives with complex damascus and precious materials all over facebook, and they do nothing for me. I Was also thinking about those 19th C. French 'Satanist' daggers with the figurative grim reaper handles, and wanted do do something with a similar theme. But I realised any grim reaper I carve is pretty much going to end up as a version of Terry Pratchett's DEATH, so I went with a Persian style blade as a nod to his pastiche of Appointment in Samarra. Which is how I ended up with this. Blade is about 9 1/2" long, double edged 1075 with a hamon on both edges. Going with a sculpted steel ferrule, and bog oak handle, which is getting carved box wood inlays for the skull and arm, and a forged copper and steel scythe.


    samarra 7.jpg  samarra 6.jpg

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