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B. Norris

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Everything posted by B. Norris

  1. B. Norris

    Origin of the "Modern" Puukko?

    "Collectible Knives of Finland" by Lester C. Ristinen would be a good aid in answering your question. ISBN #0-9626839-1-4. Particularly the section about puukko from the Kainuun region, also known as "Tommi" puukko.
  2. B. Norris

    Getting in a Morning's Forging

    Gary, why into water and then into Parks 50? My understanding is that the Parks 50 is faster than water for the first half second or so and then slows down to the speed of an oil quench afterwards.
  3. B. Norris


    I used beeswax on a leather mug that I made. Warmed the mug in the oven, on low, with the door cracked. Rubbed it down with beeswax, it melts and is absorbed by the leather. Returned to the oven to warm back up and continued until the leather would not absorb anymore wax. That was ten plus years ago and the mug still looks brand new. Lliquid just beads up and rolls off!
  4. B. Norris

    (Puukko) Understanding stick tang designs

    "All puukkos are knives, not all knives are puukkos." Pekka Tuominen. From "Collectable Knives of Finland" by Lester C. Ristinen, ISBN 0-9626838-1-4. Worth looking at, lots of variation in regional styles. Have you seen the, excellent, tutorial by Niko Hynninen on forging a puukko? Niko's tutorial
  5. B. Norris

    High Layer Counts and Etching

    I am looking for advice on how best to get the pattern weld to show on a small (2-3" blade) with high layer count. There are between 500-600 layers with no manipulation other than forging to shape. Steels are 1095,15n20, and 1084. I have ferric chloride, as yet undiluted.
  6. B. Norris

    High Layer Counts and Etching

    Did 3, ten minute, etch cycles and did not like the results. Went thru 2 more, 30 minute cycles. Then cleaned with powdered rottenstone. Then neutralized with baking soda. Blued and hit with 2000 grit paper on a hard backing. This is for a Viking Sax and imitates the look of refined smelted steel.
  7. B. Norris

    High Layer Counts and Etching

    Thank you Alan, both for the advice and the warm welcome.
  8. B. Norris

    The sound of Blue

    So... Gonna have a go at forging Folly?
  9. B. Norris

    Silly vise question

    Wagon tongue vice.
  10. I have been commissioned to make a sax for a person who plays in the SCA. His persona is that of a Rus trader and he wanted something sufficiently "viking" and with a bear theme. So... The requirements are about 7" in the blade, dark wood handle of a wood native to that region of the world, "Gotland" style sheath and, a bear theme. He also mentioned that he is hard on knives and has broken several in the past. After a bit of back and forth we settled on a Borre style of art for the fittings and sheath. The first thing I did was look for Norse bear motifs. There are not many. The first one I found was this illustration of a "grave marker" found in Brampton, England and dated to the 6th Century. Not quite from the area I was looking for, wrong area and time. Then I found a photograph of bear shaped "grave markers" from Yorkshire, England also dated to the 6th Century. One of them looks like the illustration. Next were a pair of carved jet bears, also from Yorkshire, and dated to the 8th Century. Closer in time. I just was not finding what I needed and so I started looking at the art of some other ethnic groups of people that the Rus traders might have had contact with. I found this bear in the Permic style from Finnland. Pretty cool but, not exactly Borre. The Scythians also yielded a bear image. Somewhere in there I got lucky and stumbled upon this antique for sale. It was listed as a "viking borre style bear heads concave disc mount." Closer but, not sure I could use something like this on a knife. Maybe I could use one of the bears heads as a thematic element. Last was this belt mount from Armour and Castings. When I first ran across this image it was on an outdated website that did not give any information on provenence and time frame. Later on I found the newer website where it is listed as being from Iskorosten, Russia and dating from the 10th century. At last, something from exactly the right place and time. ~Bruce~
  11. B. Norris

    Welding Brass

    The least risky option is to make a mold off your original and cast a new one. Solder is an option if you are okay with the risk that it could go wrong. Somebody with a reasonable amount of skill could pull it off easily but, if this is a "first time soldering" job the risk is considerably more.
  12. B. Norris

    Lively Forge Questions

    The style of solid fuel forge you plan to build is a specialty tool. You need to be able to heat the entirety of the blade for heat treating but, for forging that is really inefficient. Heat the whole blade up and hit it in one spot and the rest of the blade moves. Heat a short section, say two inches, and you can do your work without having to go back and do as much re-work. The other point is that the long forge, like the Lively design, burns an inordinate amount of fuel for general forging. Were I trying to start over, and work in solid fuels, I would want two forges. One a Lively style, for heat treating, and the other something with a small diameter firepot to take short heats for general forging. Like the picture below of a paint can forge. You could easily build something like this inexpensively. I would just dig some clay up somewhere and line the paint can with it. It will not last as long as a store bought refractory but, it was free and you can easily do it over. The only thing you might have to buy would be a blower and a pipe to get the air into the forge. ~Bruce~
  13. The SCA (Society for Creative Anachronisms) is holding a Known World Metals and Glass Symposium over labor day weekend, in East Bethel, MN. Links to a google website and facebook page are below. There are plans to hold a reduction smelt along with doing a wootz crucible run. Other classes will be offered, this is a good chance for those new to the craft to gain some experience. https://sites.google.com/site/knownworldmetalandglass/home https://www.facebook.com/events/1529824643905337/
  14. B. Norris

    Simple Sgian Dubh

    Here is something I just finished up. I like the way it turned out and will have to make some more of these. Some statistics: STEEL = 6150 forged to shape FITTINGS = Copper and Stainless Steel HANDLE = Unknown wood stained and oiled. Could be Eucalyptus? SHEATH = Scrap leather dyed dark brown OAL = 7 & 5/8" BL = 3 & 3/4" HL = 3 & 7/8" BW = 1 & 1/8" at widest point near guard BT = 3/16" at guard and tapering to tip
  15. B. Norris

    blacksmith auction

    Oh my! I had no idea... Thanks for posting this. It figures. I am buying a house and have absolutely no scratch to spare at the moment. In case you do not know, Mr. Strasil is a 5th generation blacksmith. There will be many items at this auction of especial interest to the blacksmithing community. He is responsible for many of the tutorials at online blacksmithing forums and is a regular contributor to the online community. This is very much a once in a lifetime opportunity. ~Bruce~
  16. B. Norris

    anvil identification

    70 lb. Fisher/Norris anvil? A photo showing the full, side profile would help. Look for lettering under the horn on the front of the base. Foot. Or whatever you call it! Should read Fisher, if present. Bruce
  17. B. Norris

    Equipment transport help

    Quite a few years ago, I needed to move some equipment. The seller was willing to deliver to the terminal and I could pick up at the terminal on my end. Old Dominion Freight was cheaper than everyone else I called, by a factor of ten. Hundreds, instead of thousands. Bruce
  18. B. Norris


    Making something, planning out the how and following through - even though it does not work exactly as you thought, to me, is at the center of the creative desire. Building a business does not have to be any different. I guess what I'm saying is perhaps keep the process in mind. Making a knife is fun, you get to play with fire, excercise your creativity, there are plenty of challenges to overcome. However, it is still work. Hard, dirty, work. When the work is all done, though, you have something tangible. Making a living off your work is no different, there are plenty of challenges to overcome. There is plenty of hard, dirty, work but, keeping records for tax purposes is not really different than sanding hardened steel... They are both a means to an end, something you do to get from A to B. When you finish a knife, you can hold it in your hand, swing it around - it is imediately, physically tangible. Making a living is no different but, you cannot hold it in your hand. You have to develop the habit of lifting your eyes off the workbench, looking around, and saying to yourself "Self, I built this. Everything here is a product of my desires and effort. I didn't just go find a job... I MADE one!" Yes, making what will put money in the bank can suck - if you let it - but, getting it done is no different then sanding hardened steel. Just part of the process. It is YOUR business YOU have control, yeah you may have to build 100 hunters to make ends meet this year but, they do not all have to be the same. Working for someone else, a chair factory for example, they do all have to be the same and the only real control you have is working there or somewhere else. Bruce
  19. B. Norris

    Repurposing a spud wrench

    Something along the lines of this: http://www.toolbarn.com/klein-3263.html?gclid=Cj0KEQjwxd6oBRCRoMrWmLOCvI4BEiQAYyZdkXdfbsTVU4Yxw_a6Ax3I-kSWUVyX7tjV2pg5GCYa778aAuIq8P8HAQ would be a better option. Bruce
  20. B. Norris

    How to and tip posts from Don's old site

    Have you ever heard of or used the Wayback Machine?http://archive.org/web/ Just key in the URL of Don's old site and off you go. Sorry if I didn't create a hyperlink, I am working on a tablet and it is different... And far too sensitive! Bruce
  21. B. Norris

    Handle pin placement?

    My approach is to center the middle pin, which effectively divides the tang into two, equal, parts. Then center each remaining pin in the corresponding half. Sketch it out on paper first because, sometimes it doesn't look right and needs to be a little off-center to appear correct Bruce
  22. B. Norris

    "river eddy" pattern wip

    To my eye, the line of the handle not following the line of the edge is distracting. Here is your original picture next to one hastily modified with paint, to illustrate. ~Bruce~
  23. B. Norris

    Determining 1095 from 15n20?

    Do you own a micrometer? Even if both steels are 1/8" they are probably not precisely the same thickness. ~Bruce~
  24. B. Norris

    VG-10 temper

    One more thought. What abrasive are you using to sharpen the VG-10 knife? All those carbides that stainless steels have are just as hard, or harder, depending on the carbide, than aluminum oxide. I use diamond abrasives exclusively to sharpen stainless steels for this reason. Bruce
  25. B. Norris

    VG-10 temper

    How do you generally use your knives? Occasional use at home or professional soux chef? What motivates your desire for a sharp edge? What knife, or steel, would work best for you will depend upon how the knife will be used. For home use a plain, carbon steel will be the best value. If stainless steel is a requirement (say you fillet fish for a living) you might want to look into one of the 3rd generation powder metallurgy steels from Bohler-Uddeholm, such as Elmax. The particle size of the powder used to make the ingot is so small that it is said to prevent the formation of large carbides, thus making it capable of taking an edge like a plain, carbon steel. Bruce