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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

    Forging a Broadaxe

    Thanks,Alan,for all this extremely valuable data...(man oh man,but is all that stuff complex...surprisingly so...). Separate thanks for the lead on the book,and yes,in that photo of different stages from Tom's class,those two quadrangular-ish punch-marks Seem to always be specifically applied to the weld boundary....(almost like a "proof-mark" of sorts...and yes,we're talking Germanic forging traditions here,but they of course have hugely influenced most of N.European ironwork,and American eventually also). Yet another difference we may have with the smiths of long ago may well be the very nature of the alloys themselves.In much of remaining video materials(that 1920-ies Wira factory film a good example of that),the welds appear to be "stickier" in their very nature. Alan is absolutely right about those extra hands being probably indispensible in the process,but aside from that,the very nature of the old alloys' Weldability seems to've been different. (Or so my black,envy-filled heart tells me....mea culpa...:(
  2. jake pogrebinsky

    Forging a Broadaxe

    P.S. About the poll specifically:What became the American broadaxe is essentially the Kent-pattern,one of the most common types in the British Isles. The poll on those was always Very massive(probably for technical reasons,as a balancing and added-mass feature). So,i think that you're right in thinking of diverging from a one-piece pre-form(which seems to be a later method,more dependent on industrial power).I think that originally most of these were welded up as a laminate with a chunky poll inserted in between the separate thinner pieces forming the sides of the eye. The rounded back of the inside of eye is a feature formed by making that weld...(i've actually managed to accomplish it a time or two). It's appropriately orients the direction in which these welds run into the shear plane,as the tool is used,and so makes mechanical sense(as well as making it a bit easier on the smith as well). I can only hope that any and all of my mad disjointed ramblings help,vs cause more confusion and consterrnation...
  3. jake pogrebinsky

    Forging a Broadaxe

    John! My heart goes out to you for your valiant effort...I can tawdally relate ,as i've put myself into this very situation many times... I've much to say on this subject,however nothing that'd materially help,i'm afraid. It's just the nature of the beast-we're barking up one tough tree-WAY overextending(or trying to)the capacity of a "one-armed" smith... That i see as the main problem;i know you've some historical examples there(btw,would be great to see some),one must be very careful in judging those to be made "by hand",it can be tricky to tell.And of course even among those obvious ones no one could say now that the smith didn't have 2-3 strikers on it with him,which would make a World of difference... I'm personally more taken with the European patterns,as Americans mechanised the process early and in a no-nonsense manner,but of course the two are not clearly separable,and i have seen a few clearly hand-forged American pattern broadaxes(generally in a 7 to 9 lb range). Those have all been of a "box" construction:The poll was a separate chunk welded in between the cheek pieces,sometimes so cleanly as to put one in mind of it being done last...However,fairly major weld flaws are usually quite visible on all such objects,as the heat range and all the other factors could not be maintained over Such mass/area/et c. From the older,European tradition we see that the eye was often welded closed First,and only then welded to the body in a skew-weld,not cleft as you're trying to do.That broke up the process a bit,making it easier to control and heat...(we had a discussion with Alan,eons ago now,about that very thing becoming a special decorative feature on the German goose-wing pattern,that weld-"lip",actually accentuated and worked up into a decorative ridge in finishing). That reminds me that the sequence,of course,is also crucially important,and i'm with Alan as far as the steel edge would be better welded on before the assembly with the eye... Unfortunately all i have for photos at the moment is the one old(-er,early 1900-s)broadaxe known to be forged by hand that i recently looked at in the museum collections.I'm not sure what happened there at the poll-whether an extra piece was welded in-but you can definitely see how the guy struggled with all the factors that we also face....The weld-seams alone tell the story.... My friend close by owns an 1800-s strictly American pattern in an 8-lbs range where you can also see the traces of that awful struggle....I'll see if i could take photos of it (once again...just can't find the right file...). Keep up the struggle though,man,it's a tough proposition,but noble,and worthwhile!!!!
  4. jake pogrebinsky

    Dene(Athapaskan) dagger with the Y-pommel

    Steve, I'm afraid that these tines would not function sufficiently for that.We're talking of opposing 100's lbs of effort by means of a wide,slashed wound in soft flesh,they'd slip right in.Also,their orientation and angle both are unfavorable for that. For that purpose a separate set of (usually two) antler toggles were lashed on,using the extra-heavy,braided sinew lashings. They're missing on that particular sample.
  5. jake pogrebinsky

    Dene(Athapaskan) dagger with the Y-pommel

    So,Charles,if you followed that link to here,possibly you've waded through enough of data above to have a general idea of the area,culture,et c. These are all the photos i took of this spear,and what is known about it is not very much,at least not specifically. It is a bear-hunting spear,and it was used by jamming the butt into the ground and raising the point towards the breast of a charging bear.The point having entered the bear's breast,to the depth set by a toggle(missing),the momentum would then keep on taking the animal forward,and necessarily upwards,on the radius of the spear. Meanwhile the point and the edge of the blade were describing the corresponding arc inside the animal's breast,severing the aorta. At times the charging bear was raised up on the spear and went clear over the hunter's head,landing behind him lifeless(if everything went according to plan). This particular spear was probably never used,possibly it was created especially for sale or trade to the person who collected it.Such spears,according to the local belief,could never be even Seen by anyone other then the select few fellow hunters.It would've been an extreme violation of taboo had someone sold,or even shown,a genuine hunting implement to a stranger,especially a white man,resulting in the loss of all hunting luck for the transgressor,or probably even death on the coming hunt. From the files 2033 and 2034 you can see clearly that it was made out of a file,probably a farrier's rasp.That would probably date it anywhere in the late 18th to late 19th/early 20th c.c. It's construction is very much according to Hoyle,the birch haft has been riven(from a rather rare tree in these parts that would do that),the sinew windings are plenty sufficient and consistent with traditional method,and it has remnants of red ochre coloring along it's entire length. It is still very sharp,and it is not known whether the egde or the whole was hardened in any manner. And this is all that is known at this point about this particular artefact. It is in the repository of Museum of the North,University of Alaska Fairbanks,Fairbanks,Alaska.If you'd like,i have their searchable database number for it(and instructions as to how to use it to look things up in their database,which is actually integrated with many other museums across the USA and elsewhere).
  6. jake pogrebinsky

    Dogfish Woman picture heavy

    Charles,a more in-depth look into this and the like(and kinder to Geoff's thread) would be here:
  7. jake pogrebinsky

    Dogfish Woman picture heavy

    "....too much cool stuff" was exactly It,Geoff...And unfortunately it was like things have conspired against me-both the curators were my friends from very long ago,and too much time was spent bs-ing about unrelated stuff,and the time-factor was short and otherwisely not ideal,and on and on...As a result i've Nowhere the volume of photos that i'd have liked to have(and among those too many are details,minuteae,like the curlicues themselves(that interested me in particular as per whether the concept of cold-working is applicable to these). In any case,here're the juicier ones....(and sorry to derail the topic,i seem to have a talent in that regard..). My personal impression of that large Tlingit dagger were primarily how carefully and painstakingly the fitting was done.That over-laid ridge was lapped to perfection,along the entire length/surface area. The elements of the handle likewise,every pin and nail and other parts most meticulously fitted.
  8. jake pogrebinsky

    Rare artifact of the kingdom of Norssex, via Gallifrey

    Fantastic craftsmanship,Alan,and all together- one hell of an imaginative,creative project!!!...Beautiful,and far-out.... Good for you,and thanks for showing all the cool processes!
  9. jake pogrebinsky

    Dogfish Woman picture heavy

    I think you guys have all done an Excellent job of this project. Beautiful texture of the iron itself,and totally classy detailing,like the engraving among all the imperfections of the iron,all of it really...And those limpet-rivets are something else entirely! I'd second Brian,would be great to see some more work in a similar vein... Incidentally,i've had a chance to actually examine one of these closely...(and even hold it!...). A couple of photos,maybe they'll contribute something to your inspiration,Geoff. ...The texture alone was something else,i think it was one of those that wasn't forged,but carved out of a solid using stone-working methods. That patina,too,was impressive(again,harking back to some of the research,possibly that fish-oil "chelation" process). The center rib riveted with pins....Just all around a fascinating deal...
  10. 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.
  11. 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...
  12. 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)
  13. 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?)
  14. 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!:)
  15. 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).