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B. Norris

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Posts posted by B. Norris

  1. Looking for recommendations on bladesmithing related things to do in or around Barcelona, Spain.   I am especially keen on getting to see Falcata firsthand.

  2. Here are three knives in process. The handles have been oiled with Teak Oil and they are sunbathing as it speeds up the curing. One is Anglo-Saxon inspired and the other two based on knives found around the Baltic Sea. The last two will get rings added to the pommels. Handles are mystery wood and Oak. The tool is a broach, made frome a Keyhole saw, and handled in Elm.


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  3. "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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.


  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

    paint can forge.jpg



  9. 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.




  10. 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.



  11. 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.



  12. 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.



  13. 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



  14. 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.



  15. 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.



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