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jake cleland

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Posts posted by jake cleland

  1. 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

    • Like 2
  2. On 9/18/2021 at 5:42 PM, Joël Mercier said:

    Unfortunately, I've got zero tools for carving besides files and mini rasps so I'm limited in what I can do. 

    You only need one tool to start carving and you can make it in half an hour. I use this graver for 90% of my carving:


    graver 1.jpg


    It's a little under 1/8th thick, 1/4" deep, 4" long. the point is a little under 3/8ths long, so about a 35ish degree angle, though there is a tiny bit of relief in the first 1/4"  The edge is sharpened slightly steeper - I just touch it up on a hard felt wheel every year or so. the handle on this is a commercial graver handle, but it's really just there to rest against your palm, so any rounded lump of hardwood will do. The tape is just padding to reduce blisters. This and a flat needle file to use as a scraper are all you need to start carving...


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    • Thanks 1
  3. This was commissioned by the manager of a deer estate for processing red deer. The references he gave me were 'Viking Knife' and the Tapio Wirkkala puukko, but the design took a lot of back and forth, as it needed a long, narrow blade as they are now required to go in through the pelvis for large portions of the cleaning. This is what I came up with in the end:


    tapio 15.jpg


    tapio 16.jpg


    tapio 17.jpg


    tapio 14.jpg


    13.5cm blade, a little under 1/8th thick, in clay hardened 1095, with a mustard patina under a baked oil finish. Antique wrought iron bolster and pommel, mild steel pommel nut/bail, with a copper drawing ring. Fileworked copper spacers. Ring knot carved bog oak handle finished with linseed oil and wax. Tooled leather dangler style sheath. Let me know what you think...



    • Like 9
  4. Just got these finished up. Clay hardened 1095 with filework and mustard etch, and a baked oil finish. Carved bog oak handles, with antler bolsters and pommels. Bog oak sheaths with leather throats, and copper clips for antler handled ferro rod fire steels. Commercial boxes with fitted foam lining.


    trevor 11.jpg


    trevor 12.jpg


    trevor 13.jpg


    trevor 14.jpg


    trevor 15.jpg


    trevor 16.jpg


    Went a little more rustic than usual, but I think I like them...


    Let me know what you think...

    • Like 12
  5. The actual proportions are highly variable, but the handle should be around 4" overall, no more than 4 1/2". Remember that the dirk is held with the thumb and forefinger around the haunches (in a backhand grip the thumb and first three fingers grip the shaft and the pinkie curls loosely around the haunches).


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  6. If you've filled the handle so the tang is a decent indexable fit, just epoxy is fine. Traditionally they often just had whittle tangs 1.5" long, secured with cutlers resin. The other traditional solution is to pin through the handle front to back, either through the top mount, or just below it. Personally I often use a pin through the centre of the handle, or somewhere it will fit into the carving.

  7. 3 hours ago, John N said:

    Just run it until it gets hot Jake! You can get a pretty decent small grinder for less than £50 if it burns out. Wasted time worrying about it exceeds the cost of replacing it!


    I normally treat them as consumables, but the problem is that the mounting for the grinder on the lathe bed is bolted into the handle holes, so if it dies I'll probably need to find exactly the same model, and hope they haven't changed the housing. I've got multiple fullers to do on a 34" blade, and I really don't want it to die halfway through...


  8. Some years back my dad built a fuller grinding set up, which uses a Draper angle grinder mounted on an old lathe bed (the design required the handle mountings to be in line and parallel to the cutting action). I can't find anything on line about the duty cycle for that machine corded angle grinders in general. Any idea how long it would be safe to run it for continuously without burning out, how long to cool down etc?

  9. Depends on the type of knife and lock, but generally down a bit and back a bit. I mark a circle on the pivot area, divide it into cardinal quadrants, and make the hole in the corner of the lower  back quadrant. Do this on heavy card stock, and cut out the blade shape (but leave plenty of excess at the back to figure out the lock) and use a split pin to attach it to another piece of card on which you design the handle...

  10. This one was ordered by a friend's mother as a 40th birthday present for him. He's an ex recce sniper and a wilderness guide, so I inlayed some spent .308 brass in the handle (I wanted to use .337, but I don't shoot long guns, and could only buy them by the 100, which would have cost about as much as the knife. But .308 is the classic British Military sniper round, and Highland stalking round, so it's all good...) and used .22 and .22 magnum for the lanyard hole liner. 1095 blade, clay hardened with fileworked tang. Red deer antler scales, with copper pins. The lanyard is made of a fairly still nylon core cord that I quite like for this. Leather pouch sheath.


    tom 6.jpg


    tom 7.jpg


    let me know what you think...

    • Like 12
  11. On 4/20/2021 at 6:14 PM, Brian Dougherty said:

    Wow Jake! :o  That's going to be impressive.

    Do you know what it is going to be when it grows up, or is the overall design still a work in progress?

    It's going to get mounted on a 34" double fullered double edged broadsword blade, based on a blade in the Cameronian's Museum, owned by one of my ancestors. I have the blade profiled, but haven't started on the fullers, or built the forge to harden it yet.


    basket 35.jpg


    • Like 2
  12. mix the epoxy on a smooth flat piece of card like a scrap of cereal box so it forms a kind of puddle in the centre of the card. Then just press the tang hole in the handle firmly down into the epoxy at the edge of the puddle, draw it clear of the puddle still in contact with the card, and lift. Repeat until epoxy comes out of the bleed hole (which can be tiny). This method will completely fill the handle with no air pockets.

  13. Did the final bit of hot work (brazing the 'S' bars and rams horns) to the basket I've been working on on and off for months...

    basket 36.jpg


    now for a daunting amount of grinding and filing and sculpting to get it into final shape before making the blade to go with it...

    • Like 5
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