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Doug Lester

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Everything posted by Doug Lester

  1. At least you didn't say that you remember your grandfather talking about vinyle records Doug Lester
  2. JKV, nothing succeeds like success. Glad that it worked out for you. Looking at some of the stats for various steel, both stainless and otherwise, hardenability is only one part of the equasion that you have to keep in mind. The other is temporing. Some of the more complex steels are probably beyond the average beginner to temper due to the higher temperature required and the rate of temperature drop. Some also will benifet from cryotreatment and few of us have a tank of liquid nitrogen in the basement. I know that I sound like a cracked record at times(not knowing how old you are, I'll just assume that you understand the reference to a cracked record) but this is one of the reasons that I don't like mystery metal. It's guess work as to how to heat treat it or if it is forgable, if you're a metal pounder, and under what conditions. Doug Lester
  3. I hear ya, Jim. I remember an article in one of the knife mags where a maker was writing about having a "knife expert" pick up one of his damascus knives and telling him what he needed to do to get all those nasty scratches out of his blades along with some snide comments about the poor quality of finish in his work. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, a the wisdom to know where to hide the bodies of those jerks who really tick me off. Doug Lester
  4. Try Boone Trading Company. I've done limited business with them and have been satisfied and others have spoke quite highly of them. They have everything from full tusks (you might need to save up your lunch money for a while...like ten years) to scraps. They also cut to size. Interior ivory is in some shade of white and the bark ivory has all the color but is pricier. They also carry some pre-ban ivory in elephant and walruss. You can find hippo teeth, which is kinda-sorta ivory if you're being picky, and they have warthog, pig tusks, oosic, and mineralized walruss skulls and bone. Also listed are various horns, tauga nuts, and scrimshaw tools and accessories. They supply documentation on all regulated materials and list a summery of the CITES regulaltions. Doug Lester
  5. Clint, the best reason for changing anything up is that you're not satisfied with it. If it means anything to you, I think what you did to the rear quillion does give the knife better visual ballance. Doug Lester
  6. Eric, no mistake is a waste if you learn from it. Doug Lester
  7. This has been kicked around on myarmoury.com for quite a bit; it has been given it's own thread. Actually it gets better (or worse, if you will). As of October first, if things go as planned, the ban will be extended to all swords. As reported, there will be some exclusions for such things as military swords owned by retired officers and swords over 100 years old. Plus ownership by duely organized and insured martial artists and reinacters will be exempt. If I were living in England I might start thinking that Guy Fawlks had a good idea, or at least be a little more sympathetic with his reasoning. I have not read, however, what size of a cutting instrument will constitute a sword. Possibility there will be no change in that, but as of October first this year it looks like making any sword in the UK will be illegal unless it is kept short, like a short gladius or a wakisashi. You folks on the Eastern side of the pond my want to talk to someone who is better informed on what is happening with the law. Doug Lester
  8. Eric, here is one possibility, and you're not going to like it. You don't have a W series steel. You may have had a file made out of a case hardened mild steel. If that is true, the steel may never make a blade. This is why I don't like mystery metal. Some things that used to be a good idea, like using worn out tools to make knives with, but they aren't such a good idea any more because the quality of the steel that is used has gone down hill. Some of the manufactures started thinking that the average buyer will probably let his files get ruined by rust long before they wear out so they'll never notice if we start using case hardened steel to make the files with. I may be wrong, and I'm sure that I'll hear about it in short order if I am, but I base my observation the fact that if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, you're probably dealing with a duck. I think that you have a mild steel duck. Doug Lester
  9. Some of those materials hold up better than others, that is they do more cutting before wearing out. Some of the ones that you only find in the courser grits are a bit more aggressive. Pay attention to the backing that the abrasive is on. The lower down in the alphabet that the weight is, such as J weight, the lighter and more flexable it is. It will have the ability to bend over the edge of the platen or wheel and cut a sharper line, whether you want it to or not. Read that caracteristic as only being a plus when you want it to happen and a problem when you don't want it to happen. X weights are as about as stiff as they get and not very good at bending around corners, which is good, unless you want it to bend around corners. I'm starting to learn that choosing the right belt for the job can be an art. I was having a problem with a J-flex belt gouging a blade where I didn't want a gouge. Mr. Poplin of Pop's Knives and Supplies thought it might be because there wasn't enough tention on the belt. I found the tention adjuster on my Coote and I'll probably give it another whirl tonight. Doug Lester
  10. You could bind them together in bundles of 7, heat them to red, flux with borax, bring them up to bright yellow, twist them tight, reheat to bright yellow and forge them together. From there you can use your immagination. You could forge them square, and stack with opposite twists next to each other or you could bundle three or four of the round cables together and treat as above but twist all the small bundles one way and twist the large bundle the opposite way and forge that out into a bar. BTW, where did you find quarter inch round spring steel? Doug Lester
  11. That picture deffinantly comes under the heading "doesn't that lady have a mirror?". She might have had to make a quick get-away that morning or possibly not all the neural synapses were firing. Unless my eyes decieve me, which could have happened due to shock, I think that the lady (?) put her top on wrong side out. It would take two six packs to make her look purdy...for me, not her. Arthur, when you smoke a tobacco that legend has it is cured over smoking camel dung, a little radon ain't nuthun. Doug Lester
  12. Mike, you just reminded me of how much I want to get back to Illinois. It looks like it's going to be at least another couple of years. I need to start drawing my reserve retirement pay and get some things take care of around here. Doug Lester
  13. JV, about the only big thing that I can critise about the blade that you ground out is that you can't harden that steel under any circumstances. You show some real promise as a knife grinder. The only thing that you need is some serious book learning. Wayne Goddard's, The $50 Knifeshop, can't be beat. The Wonder of Knifemaking by the same author is also real good. These books can help you not make make some real basic mistakes, like buying buying the wrong steel. Either can be had at Amazon.com. Don't feel bad, you aren't even close to being the first person to make a mistake like that. As for the bend in the blade, the steel probably didn't start out any straigher. You will however need to learn how to straighten out a blade. It can be as simple as clamping it in a vise with padded jaws and pushing it the other way. As far as some good blade steel, I recommend Admiral Steel. I'd stick with the simpler steels, such as 1075/1080, 1095, 5160, or even 01. Leave the fancier stainless steels for later as these are a lot more expensive to learn on and are rather demanding when it comes to heat treating. The A1 and D2 that they have listed are air hardening tool steels. They make good blades, but again, they're pricey and may be beyound the capability of what you have to temper them. Please don't get discouraged. You seem to have some real tallent for grinding out knives. With a little learn'n up your wife is going to be asking you to make knives for her. Once you learn how to heat treat and finish off a knife with a good handle you may have yourself a hobby that might even pay for itself. Let me warn you however, knifemaking can lead to a life long addiction. Doug Lester
  14. Charles, I thought that I was the only one who liked Latakia. My mix, also back in my smoking days, was 2 parts Cavandish, 1 part Virginia, 1 part Latakia. You're right about Latakia being somewhat malodorous but it did taste great for someone who like real full body taste. Doug Lester
  15. A lot of people are supprised to learn when the use of power tools started. It was back in the middle ages when makers learned to run trip hammers and grinding wheels, big ugly stone muthers, off power from water wheels. From before any real settlement of North America, Native Americans were being plied with knives and axes manufactured in European shops. The French, and undoubtedly the British, shipped barrels of ax head and knife blades over to this side of the pond to be traded for furs. Remember that the steel/iron bladed tomahawk is a European tool that a Native American tribe gave the name of the stone headed tool that it resembled. It actually derived from the small European fighting ax and the boarding ax. I read an article on the bowie knife that claimed that the knife that James Bowie had on him when Santa Anna's men bayoneded him in his death bed was actually made in Sheffield, England for the American trade. The knife that his brother gave him that he used in the Nachez Sandbar Knife Fight was long sense gone, or maybe it was back in his kitchen. Just like today, the blacksmith of yeaster year could not match the price point of factory made goods. Doug Lester
  16. Coal must be burned to coke before it is used for forging or the contaminants in the coal, especially sulpher, will become contaminants in the steel and ruin it. With coal that fine it will burn out too fast to coke out before it is all consumed. You need lump coal to burn out to coke, whether ahead of time or as you forge, for forging. Doug Lester
  17. Truly awsome! Doug Lester
  18. Les, don't think that professional photographers take a great shot every time. If one out of a hundred are worth printing most of them are happy. At least with digital cameras you don't have to burn a lot of good film taking bad pics. You must have had a blast diving. Doug Lester
  19. I made one knife out of it for a KITH and it took a scarey sharp blade. It's not bad to work with if you take it up just a little hotter to forge. I have three more blades being made out of it that are at some level of completion. I should be hardening and tempering my second blade made from it this weekend. The only trouble that I've had with it, and it might all be me, is that I tried to weld up a billet of it to forge a tomahawk head out of and the weld in the middle gave out during forging. That could be bad welding on my part or it might not like to be welded to itself, which is problem that two people said that they had with 5160. BTW, the 13/64 X 1 1/2" 5160 that Admiral sells isn't 5160, it's 9260. That size is listed on the on-line store as 5160, but if you go to the catalog listing and click on the blade steel catalog and scrole down you'll see that it has an asterix which denotes it as 9260. I called Admiral and they comfirmed that is what it was. I wish that they'd change the listing on the online store. Doug Lester
  20. Say, Amen, brothers and sister!! Doug Lester
  21. I really like it. Good simple clean lines with everything fitting together well, crisp plung line, great shape, nice finish on everything. Really good for a second folder. Doug Lester
  22. After an afternoon of fussing I finally got all the elements of my new Coote grinder assembled. The biggist problem I had was with the 2hp mystery motor that came off a power washing machine. The reason I call it a mystery motor is that sometimes it runs and sometimes it doesn't and it's a mystery why . I took a couple of quick passes across it with a blade that I'm reworking and I immediately saw a big difference between my old 4X36" sander converted with cheap belts to a grinder and the Coote with a decient 120 grit belt. It was like going from a tricycle to a good quality mountain bike, it was unbelievable. Now if I could only figure out the motor. I wonder if it has anything to do with that box on the line that your supposed to test the line with. Getting the pulley belt figured out was fun too. Basically I just had to keep removing links until it worked. Doug Lester
  23. About all that can be said about Wayne Goddard's article has already been said by people who know a lot more about the topic than I do, but I'd like to rise in defence of the knife rags. Many or most of the issues or like this last one where there is only one article that is worth reading but occasionally there is an article that is geared towards the knife maker rather the the buyer, or wannabee buyer. They are also my source of info on upcomming knife shows in time to put in for vacation time at work if I need it to attend. Without Blade, I would not have known that there are two shows next month that are within reasonable driving distance of me. I do have to agree that there is too much eye candy featured. Most of the knives pictured are lookers, not users. Let's face it precious few carved, engraved, enameled pocket knives with gold MOP scales or going to be carried in anyone's pocket and just as few mosaic damascus skinner are going to take the hide off of any dead critter but they are nice to look at. Doug Lester
  24. It are look'n good. Doug Lester
  25. Looks like you haven't forgotten much in the last 5 years. I'd be real interested in seeing the completed product. Doug Lester
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