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jake pogrebinsky

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jake pogrebinsky last won the day on August 11 2016

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About jake pogrebinsky

  • Birthday 05/28/1966

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  1. jake pogrebinsky


    Casey,sorry to be a bit over the top with the info... About the handle(might as well stay here,let other folks answer in "Design&critique".)...It'd look better if: 1.It was longer(remember,it's ass-chapping cold(the coldest place on Earth,in fact...),and your hand may be mittened,or just stiff. 2.That smoothed-over,oblong shape is also misplaced.Most knives like this were used in butchering greasy game,and cattle,and fish.You want that straight-sided,comfortably large handle,to ease the strain of gripping a slippery knife for sometimes large leverage. (note how on originals the handle is larger in dia.than the ricasso,by a large margin). Also for the cold and the ease of gripping the handle was made of a "warm" material,birch or even better stacked birch-bark. (the handles were rarely decorated,sheaths-more often(blade itself-never;occasional decorative(-looking)notching that was the maker's coded mark). 3.These knives were suspended single-point like,Scandinavian style.Again,it's cold,the knife needs to dangle outside the uttermost of your outer gear.So the handles needed to wedge themselves into the throat of the sheaf and stay put,and in the same time release easily with one hand. So that's why they're often tapered,towards the blade,so to wedge themselves into the sheaf(and keep the snow and chaff out). But tapered very slightly and strategically. And lastly,tradition has it that in their cross-section the handle is an egg-shape,quite defined.That's for an automatic registring of the knife in your hand,even in poor light working inside a big animal,or in a fight,where the handle sends a direct signal to your brain,you don't have to think which edge the blade is on... I do hope it helps,Casey,the very best of luck with it.
  2. jake pogrebinsky


    Darn,Gerald,i'm sorry,i'm not sure that i can help. I'm lousy at searching,i just tried and failed.(Try spelling it with a K,Sakha,i may've mislead you with that. See,i have that dubious priviledge of being fluent in Mordor...and did all my reading mostly in that...(and that gets pretty weird...in the middle of something about ancient history or description of artefacts,suddenly,there's this quote from Engels or Marx,"just as immortal Friedrich Engels always wrote about the economics of ..." Again,your best bet for English would be something related to NMNH Smithsonian Institution,and the "Jesup 2",or the "Jesup North Pacific Expedition" 1897-1902...And some of it's participants such as W.Jochelson,W.Bogoraz,Franz Boas(to give you some searchable terms). See,there wasn't too awful much before that(A.F.Middendorf,who only wrote in Russian and German,i think(but you may try him too)),and not long after there was the Iron Curtain...
  3. jake pogrebinsky


    ....But in any case,both may be read about in this book that just came out, Material and Spiritual Culture of the Peoples of Yakutia in World Museums (17th-early 20th centuries)
  4. jake pogrebinsky


    Darn it,Gerald,wish that i was a better/more organised computer user....:(..AND kept the important links....:( Can you try this here: http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/handle/2246/138 (btw,did you mean more about Saha culture/history in general,or Saha knives?)
  5. jake pogrebinsky


    Very much so,only perhaps the Irish got a bit luckier with their occupiers...But still,an event of that magnitude causes much complexity,not the least of it is the oppressed oftentimes becoming enamoured with their oppressor(effect described as the Stockholm syndrome). So communicating with anyone in Mordor today calls for a bit of a delicacy,put it that way,as people there recently have not only been given prison terms for posting things (some in their private,Closed communications),but also for even re-posting. So all questions of the kind i simply avoid,when talking with Aleksey or someone else there. In any case,the language IS, officially, Saha,and the place Saha Republic:)... But it's not for the sake of political correctness that i bring this up.The work by the local,indigenous craftsmen there is often markedly different.It's not always eas to put your finger on the "why" of it,it's often subtle.But VERY apparent. So,a questing craftsman like Casey would be much better informed and served in general if he didn't have to wade himself through that sea of low-quality Russian(and lately other) commercial,or just lacking talent and skill,imitations. The real "Yakut":) knives Are kick-ass,guys,seriously so!:)
  6. jake pogrebinsky


    Well,Gerald....Saha were occupied,and ruthlessly oppressed for going on 500 years....I won't go into politics,but will just say that when i talk with Alexey i avoid this subject,for even though ethnic Saha himself(and a speaker of the language),i still don't know what is ok for him to say (or think...). But when we communicate it's always Saha,and appreciated,and is just a decent thing in any case. The plight of the indigenous people in Mordor today is dire.Recently,their representative to the UN was detainedtaken off the flight to the New York Congress of the Indigenous Tribes,and abused in a number of ways.And though ultimately released,had to emigrate and ask for political asylum elsewhere....So it's not an academic issue,but a real-life bummer... And yes,he's a scrupulous craftsman,and attempts to study the history of Saha metalworking,and experiments empirically.Other videos by him are also of a good quality,some where he even shows every heat. The study of all this is Not made easy or simple by the ambient dysfunction there.Museums missing materials,or they're mis-labeled,the level of professionalism in archaeology,ethnography,et c. falling like a rock(even as compared to the USSR levels).
  7. jake pogrebinsky


    Casey...Yakut (an offensive Russianism,btw,so from here on out Saha,as that's what these people are called),have practiced ironworking for a Very long time.Possibly introducing it to the many tribes inhabiting Sibiria. Thanks to the internet,and the Russians following in the footsteps of Western knife collectors and bladesmiths,Saha knives became a fashionable subject,hype you may say. MOST of what you find on the internet is out and out horse$hit,pardon my French.So,IF you're seeking after any degree of authenticity,you must be very,Very selective. First,i'd recommend that book just published by the Smithsonian,where they show the collections of Valdemar Johelson(i've no time to dig for links right now,but can later if you'll have tough time finding it,it'll have connections with Jesup North Pacific Expedition). There you'll find the many different types of Saha knives.They each have a name,and are built for very different jobs.But very roughly one must at least learn to distinguish between the narrow-,and the wide-fullered ones. (The fuller,btw,was never left nasty.That is one of the silly emotionally-based takes of the uninformed on the style.It was scrupulously finished(as was the entire knife-Extremely well thought-out+executed). Secondly,here's the one maker who does not take any silly liberties with the original shapes et c. Watch as many videos by him as you can.He does speak some English,and may answer some of the questions,his name is Aleksey. And very briefly:Yes,the back is totally convex,and the front-flat(for sharpening).The convex back gets corrected at sharpening,but minimally. All that is important.Afterall,you're copying a cultural artefact(and an iconic one at that;imagine if some Saha dude was trying to paint a Coca-Cola bottle,and ad-libbing at it in a funny way:). Best of luck.
  8. jake pogrebinsky

    Efficient way to make charcoal

    Jeremy, I use White spruce exclusively(it's all i've got;i catch drift-logs,and most often use them the same season,the worst thing imaginable:). With Norway,Engelman,et c.,not even mentioning Any kind of pine,you'll do better by far. I use a single (reclosable)55 gal.drum,and cut the wood about 12" long(makes it easy to split).I split it to Under 2" in two dimensions(just how you'd make wood for an old cook-stove). I put about a foot of wood in the bottom of the barrel,light it on fire,and add wood till it's full(without smothering the fire,naturally). Remember the old wisdom from Lee Sauder-the burn should progress Toward the air-inlet. Then i choke the top of the barrel with a nasty old tin cone,with a section of a 7" chimney,and put some crap-like holey chunk of plate on top of that;in other words,choke the deal to where it can barely get out. 2 to 4 hours later,as the smoke clears to transparent-ish,blu-ish kind,i just put a damn lid on,it's Done. A drum like that lasts me 4-5 hours of moderate forging(i'm not a knifemaker,my forging is significantly heavier),somewhat less if i need to make any forge-welds. But it's so easy to throw a batch of coal like that together-Maybe an hour-that you can do 2 or more batches a day(on some manic days i do so,i've several drums). I do use a hand-crank blower,it works very well with charcoal anyway,other than for some Very complex welding where i really need that extra hand.... Today's batch(in the background there's my old table-like rig for cutting the charcoal into proper fraction,but you can see that it's safely snowed in,i'm old,lazy,and moving towards Simplifying crap...i just break it as i throw it in the forge....). End product...Plenty of it,for the effort,trust me....Another piece of ambien wisdom(or rural legend,whatever...:):Soft-wood charcoal releases it's energy Immediately(good for welding),Hardwood charcoal releases energy slowly,good for extended forging...(Indonesian smiths like their teak charcoal:). The Japanese,using a combination open-closed retort(not much more complicated than my turd-like set-up),aim for retaining about 15-20% volatiles....Good for forging...So,don't worry too much about resin and tar,it all goes to the same place!:) Best of luck to Thee...And,don't let the cold bother you-it's actually your friend-it keeps things Dry,and it kicks you in the a$$,not letting you stand around and Think for too long:)....(and,like Alexander Weygers said,never let your shop temperature get above 40-ies,or people will be drawn by the comfort and come and bullshit with you,and you won't get nuffink done...:)
  9. jake pogrebinsky

    Axe identification (Help needed)

    Thanks,Ernest and Pieter-Pauld,that all actually illustrates a very important point,as does such a telling quote from Simon below. The further some of the traditional working axes are removed back into our past,the likelier is their (mis-)attribution as ......(you know what....:)
  10. jake pogrebinsky

    Viking Axe & long handles / why?

    Erland,with all due respect,but i beg to differ.I personally have a very great deal of doubt:) The "hammer"(i presume you mean the "poll"?) is a non-issue,all sorts of axes to this very day are poll-less. Likewise the lack of mass forward of the eye.It can simply be an expedience.In forging and axe it is often Much easier to omit that feature;it takes quite a bit more work to create/maintain it.Again,many a tool is constructed that way. The thick,massive edge,clearly delineated from the bit,has been (and even still is today,see Finnish Piilukirves)a standard feature on many a Swedish,Norwegian and Finnish axes.It was commonly used in forging a hewing axe.(afterall,it's such a natural consequence of an overlaid edge...). The longer haft is,indeed,an odd feature.But here too there's more questions than answers,and that goes for both contending ideas,as one may say that as a weapon a haft of such length is preposterous. However,the evidence of such long hafts is scant,and numbers 2 or 3 examples(the last i heard,i may be out of currency). And in theory a haft somewhat over 4' in length can be used to hew while standing a top of a hefty diameter log.... And that last,the U. of Oslo experiment is ,frankly, heartbreaking for me:Beautiful,totally correct and responsible reproduction,and in the end,after SO much honest work,an anti-climax,this strange,inconclusive silliness with a piece of meat...Right there on the level with the common run of yahooism seen on Utube...:( Thanks for your thoughts,but again,(most respectfully),but i'm not sold on the idea of those Petersen Type M being weapons.
  11. jake pogrebinsky

    For all of you skandi guys

    Geoff, I'm afraid that geographically the provenance of this is Afghanistan. Here's an example:http://autoknife.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=2927 (if that link doesn't work,try searching Google "afgan folding knife").
  12. jake pogrebinsky

    Still a few spears and javelins ....

    Great work,Ibor,and Really neat-looking iron...What did you do to it to reveal the structure so well? (impressive output as mentioned above-you're a workaholic!:)
  13. jake pogrebinsky

    Dene(Athapaskan) dagger with the Y-pommel

    Well...I know so little about this here bizness that it's difficult to even analyse what's happening... First thing this morning i attempted to cut the end of the stock on my regular cut-off hardy.Did it twice,a little at a time,to make sure of what i'm seeing. The photo below is utterly worthless,sorry about that(trouble with the micro function),but what appears to be happening is that the action of smashing the stock unto the hardy embrittles the material so rapidly that only about half of stock depth gets cut,the other half is by then brittle enough to break off. That's the shiny bright part in the photo,with it's crystalls so enlarged as to be Easily visible with the naked eye(if it was steel this size grain would be entirely unacceptable). It made me wonder if that effect is representative of that material/force used in general...Is That how rapidly the work-hardening takes place,in this material? Next,i went to attempt to cold-forge the blade a bit flatter/more regular,and here finally my comeuppance for all the quick and dirty casting caught up with me-the nasty fissure from the back of the blade has propagated all the way through to the bevel-side! Well,i've lost that patient...However,there was still much to be learned,it even becoming easier to experiment now,kind of a load off one's shoulders,all hope for a finished product now vanishing. Annealing the handle-end(and grinding the coarse-structure off the tip) i proceeded to fuller it cold,preparing to forge the "antennae",using a fairly humanely wide fuller.After some distortion,maybe 50% or less,the anvil facing side has cracked visibly....Now,heretofore,i've ascribed all the fissuring and cracking to the melt process.This time it was unlikely,as it was suspiciously too well lined up with the forces produced by my fullering.The stuff was coming unglued due to work-hardening,without much of a doubt. Well then,now was finally the time to try the recombining of some sort. Up above Alan says some wise and pertinent things about welding this stuff,i tried to keep them in mind.The trouble with the "sweating" look was that,after melting a portion off yesterday,i was too scared to bring the flux to the proper runny- bubbly stage...(As far as the reducing atmosphere is concerned-no problem,i weld in this forge regularly). The look of the copper itself told me nothing,thanks to my complete ignorance of the subject(other than the cool color and shadow effects meaning lord knows what:). The flux that i was using was some nasty old borax remnants mixed with an ancient store-boughten cast-iron welding flux.That latter has an incredible adhesion strengh,about impossible to clean it off afterwards,so much so,that after a few heats i just proceeded to forge my pre-form for the antennae,not really knowing if it welded,or was gooped together by the flux...But it stood that,and i had my pre-form afterall.... After quenching(i'm totally out of my depth and running scared,and taken to quench-annealing every time i turn around...),i whip out my stone-saw....There's no way i got the cajones for hot-cutting this stuff.... Miraculously,nothing untoward happens...It has either welded together,or the cracks were centralised enough and just got mashed into the either half?Beats me... Here it is though after the first or second forging heat: And the rest is history,as they say...The antennae parts gave NO indication of being in any way impaired...No splintering,or spalling,or nuffink.... Again,i lack the information basis to analyse any of this properly. I'd love to continue with the Cu experiments,but unfortunately(or fortunately for the poor forum's space),i need to go on my annual migration soon,and only have enough time for maybe a WI version...No more Cu smelts for a while....
  14. jake pogrebinsky

    Dene(Athapaskan) dagger with the Y-pommel

    Done with forging for today,and must run about other chores now. I'd like to organise my thoughts about it all so far,see exactly what if anything i learned... But i can tell right now,Alan-this ain't no cold forging,i don't think....
  15. jake pogrebinsky

    Dene(Athapaskan) dagger with the Y-pommel

    Yessir,very much so.And all of us here being more or less familiar with the working of metals must conclude,like you have,that some form of annealing MUST have been done. I mean,just look at them curlicues on those (supposed) originals...Even if those famously enlarged crystals in the "float",or native,copper allowed for some uncommon ultra-plasticity,still,drawing it out That fine is a bit rich,without some heat involved somewhere... (Unrelated,yet,look how easy and natural it all happens: ) Obviously,the cultures involving themselves with Cu took it rather seriously: The Ojibwa were hesitant to reveal the locations of "Miskwabik," their word for copper, because of the spirits who inhabited it. In 1666 the Jesuit priest Claude Allouez reported: "One often finds at the bottom of the water [of lake Superior] pieces of pure copper, of ten and twenty livres' weight. I have several times seen such pieces in the Savages' hands; and , since they are superstitious, they keep them as so many divinities, or as presents which the gods dwelling beneath the water have given them, and on which their welfare is to depend. For this reason they preserve these pieces of copper, wrapped up, among their most precious possessions". And what those folks Focused upon they did rather well...What we think of as the "South-West Indian art" is all,in effect,learned by the roaming hoards of nomadic Athapaskans descending from the North ,from the Spaniards and the (eternally)resident Hopi and others...Learned quickly,and excelled at,all the horsemanship,the silversmithing,weaving,pottery... Somehow doubtful that folks that Learn so well and so rapidly and reliably had not some extensive background at some complex skills... Look at this curious map(it's from the "Constructing Cultures Then and Now;(Celebrating the Jessup North Pacific Expedition)",Contributions to Circumpolar Anthropology #4,Nat.Museum of Natural History,Smithsonian Institution 2003). These are the trade routes for 1775-1900,but it kinda gives one an idea....(afterall,no trade routs are New,they don't just occur,they normally follow only the more ancient ones,and/or some natural pathway,such as oceanic current et c.). Look how essentially Close Alaska is from both the Orient(or places known to've been well connected to thereabouts),and the Great Lakes Region...(as indeed many papers discussing the Mississippian Culture make mention of that Michigan copper having been traced as far as Bering Straight ....). We DO lack any physical proof,to date,but just speaking most informally here-would not it seem at least Possible that the Skills,along with the trade items,would percolate,one way or another,sooner or later,to Such a crossroads sort of a place as Alaska?