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Matt Gregory

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Posts posted by Matt Gregory

  1. Finally got my xxx out to fiddle with this thing again. Many of the problems I'm facing with it are beyond my skill level, so I decided (only after exhausting myself after five hours of wrestling with it) that it's time to call in a heavy gun. He's agreed to stop by and assess the situation in the near future, so hopefully some REAL progress will be made!!!!


    Nonetheless, I removed the helve height adjusting bolts, cleaned 'em up and re-assembled them. Using the jamb nut as a 'knob', you can raise or lower the entire helve assembly with the twist of a wrist!!!!! I can only guess at it's actual weight, but I certainly think no less than 400 pounds. All of the bolts run in their threads nice and smooth. Awesome.


    Anyway, after finding that I wasn't getting any further, I cleaned up and grabbed the camera and took a couple glamor photos - here's my favorite:



  2. The back 'yard' where they stack and store all the billets is just outrageous. Enormous piles of steel everywhere! He's a shot I took a couple years back of Bob Shabala and Uncle Aldo Bruno, the New Jersey Steel Baron, just before buying the entire lot of L6 he's perched upon:



  3. On our way to the next building, I happened to pass by this stack of massive billets of CPMS90v, each one easily 6 inches thick!!!




    On our way to the knife stock room, we passed this mondo bandsaw cutting strips out of a thick pile of sheet stock...




    ...and another cool machine that flattens sheet stock. It's got a series of staggered rollers that apply force and straighten it to almost perfectly flat.




    Here's Bob sitting atop a stack of CPM154 - great guy, lots of steel!




    This is the best part, though...







    440c, CPM154, CPMD2, CPMS30v, CPMS35vn, CPMS90v, CPM15v...






    ...as well as a newcomer!




    Thanks again to Bob, Jeff, and the rest of the staff at NSM - it's always a blast to see their operation, and they're just good folks.


    One last gratuitous photo, just cuz I dig it:



  4. Got a message a few weeks ago from Bob Shabala that a super secret special steel I had ordered for a super secret special project was about to become available, and so I arranged to swing by to pick it up and see the guys in action.


    Bob was quick to show me the new abrasive media blaster they're installing. Holy cow! is this thing huge! The feed pipe from the media hopper has got to be 10 inches in diameter!!!






    The media blast tips are mounted to this automated armature - amazing how big these things are! Certainly over an inch in diameter.





    The fun stuff to watch is always the hot stuff. Today they were rolling an alloy that had a tremendous amount of molybdenum. When brought to it's ideal rolling heat, it billows smoke and makes for an awesome show.


    Here's the kiln. You can see some of the smoke released from the vent at the top of the furnace.




    When the steel reaches its optimum temp, one of the guys swings in with a fork truck, grabs the massive piece and feeds it into the rolling mill.





    On the other side of the rolling mill two workers wait for the billet to be fed through the rollers. As it comes through, one worker controls it's movement with a pick, while another mans a hydraulic lift to be fed back to the other side of the roller.










    Just an amazing spectacle to witness!


    I may have missed this - but guessing - you quenched in Parks 50, right?





    Yup! Just can't seem to bring myself to lose a knife to something that doesn't need to be done any more violently than it has to be! Both of these came out of quench perfectly straight, btw. When I did the test pieces for this particular stock of 1095, the quenched results were wonderfully fine grained, with a trace of the usual carbide banding I see in Admiral's steel (the biggest reason that I won't order from them anymore, too). I used a chunk of 1095 in 3/8" stock from Aldo Bruno and my results were vastly superior without having to do any freakish thermal cycling, so it's what I'm planning on re-stocking with.

  6. Finished these up last weekend. Everyone that's laid hands on them can't believe just how fast and light they are - VERY deceptive in relation to their looks!




    One's a bit plain, while the other is obviously pretty racy - easy to see the fact that they're siblings, though. Each blade is just a pinch over 7 inches long, with an overall length of 12.5 inches. Both are 3/16" 1095, have tapered tangs and gorgeous wood and ito, and were heat treated with clay - but with very different coating methods.


    The first provided all the flash - best hamon I've ever managed (with one upcoming possible exception) and Amboyna scales:






    The next two shots give you a decent view of the sori that both have - such great curves!






    This one's got a simple, straight hamon and curly koa scales under her wrap. I think it's understated, but elegant:











    Comments welcome. I had a lot of fun making these two, and they really seemed to come together all on their own.


    Thanks for looking!

  7. This one's awfully different, though. As much as I love the 'traditional' stingray and Japanese style wrap, I crave the warmth and beauty of fine wood.


    I almost abandoned this blade, as the spine detail I had played with didn't seem right to me. It sat on my bench for months, until I started making the others I showed in a previous thread. For some reason, I grabbed this blade and commenced putting a nearly sharp bevel on the spine (which I've since flattened a bit). Lo and behold, when I continued up the progressively finer grits I noticed a hint or wisp of hamon scattered randomly over the flats. I'd shot for a fully hardened blade, but 1095 usually has other ideas when it comes to this. This time it really worked out, as it adds a really different detail, I think.


    The tang is fully tapered, and yet again just a pinch longer than most like this knife to help with wider hands, however it feels completely different due to the ovoid-shaped Amboyna scales under the Japanese style wrap. Fills the hand very nicely, without adding so much mass that it feels slow or heavy. Plus, it's gorgeous to look at (well, I think so, as does at least one other gent I know!).


    Pardon the horrible shots of the hamon - no matter how I try, I just can't capture that elusive trick of the light properly with my camera.


    Thanks for looking, and all comments welcome.









  8. It's no secret that my pal RJ is one of my knifemaking heroes, and I hope he sees this homage as just that, rather than a shameless cobbing of his excellent kwaiken. I've done a few things differently for mine, although the basic theme is the same. This one used 1084, with a much less pronounced chisel tip from RJ's design. It is entirely chisel ground, though, with that wonderful scallop along the spine that adds so much motion. I've fully tapered the tang to reduce as much unnecessary mass and weight as possible, and increased the length of the handle a pinch (although I think the usual 4.5" or so is usually enough, my own hand is just wide enough to make it feel as though I'm kind of choking up on it, so this one is just shy of 4.75"). The reduction in weight from the tapered tang is incredible! I think it will be a staple of my own kwaiken designs, three more of which I hope to have done soon.


    Thanks for looking, and all comments welcome!





  9. Here's one I just finished up with the last bit of .25" Admiral steel 1095 I have left... it exhibits all sorts of cool and strange carbide banding when it's low temp thermal cycled (like what I do when I'm aiming to produce a cool hamon). The drawback is that it tends to blur the hamon and make it impossible to properly polish. The plus is that it makes a really nifty pattern that reminds many of the old-school bulat steel made in ages past.


    Hope you like it - it was lots of fun to make. NOT so fun to photograph, though... pardon the poor quality images. I really didn't spend enough time fiddling with the camera, and I'll be damned if there will EVER be a moment when I manage to capture hamon with a camera properly!!!







  10. Finally, something to update!!


    Cool story first...


    The guy I buy my firewood from decided to retire this year. He stopped by the house early this summer to tell me, and also to refer a friend of his as a new source. "You'll get along swell - he collects antique tractors and stuff". So the long, hot summer goes by, with nary a thought passing through my brain regarding firewood. Sure as you're born, the mercury finally starts to drop and I manage to crawl out from under my rock and commence prepping my wood shelter for the next batch. I remember to call the new guy, and Joe (the new guy) says that five cords won't be an issue.

    "It's all cherry, though..." (you can just sense my heartbreak after hearing this)


    "...and it's cut a bit oversize. I have a big fireplace. Is this okay?" (you've gotta be kidding me - is this guy for real?)


    Cut to his delivery. Overlooking that the wood is nothing short of superb (really - almost a shame it ended up as firewood rather than a piece of furniture. THAT good!). I remember to ask him about his old tractors, and that leads to his obsession with all sorts of old machinery. Lathes, mills, drills - you name it. Of course, I have to show him my own monstrosity, and I mention to him that I'm in a bit of a quandary. After examining the machine, he asks to see the sheared bolt.


    "How soon do you need it?" says Joe.


    Here it is, just a few days later. How's it look?




    Now to finally start to disassemble the helve husk, clean everything up, and remove the broken stub for the pivot!!!!!

  11. Looks like it would be a great knife, but the picture certainly doesn't do it justice - any chance of a better shot in good light? I really like the blade shape, but want to see more!!

  12. Thanks Ray - it means a lot to me to get a compliment like that from you!


    I'm not sure if I still qualify for NABS anymore. My metabolism finally shifted, so instead of being 6'2" and 155lbs like I was when we formed NABS, I'm 175lbs. Of course, I still have no ass! :lol:

  13. Here's an 11" blade in CruForgeV with a stainless oval guard and bocote handle. The blade has been differentially tempered for increased toughness at the spine with exceptional edge holding.















    SOLD via Paypal shipped anywhere in the Continental USA, email me for shipping outside - we'll work something out.


    I'll be posting this on a few forums, so the first one that gets it, gets it!





  14. Finally got around to making a sheath for this one... fought like hell to decide if it should be a complimentary color to the wood, but decided that there's just too much yellow there to make me happy, and tan wasn't cutting it. I think the full black brings out the dark tones and blacks in the wood.




    Thanks for all the comments throughout this thread, everyone!

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