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Michael Pikula

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Everything posted by Michael Pikula

  1. Because the world would be a better place if everyone had a little seax! This is my first attempt at doing a production run, the concept was to make a blade that was under 3" and suitable for an everyday carry knife. My main audience is the historical crowd, and I wanted to offer something that was the best of both worlds. The grip is Walnut, sealed with Tung oil and brass plate for the bolster. The sheath is leather with bronze hardware. I am currently visiting family so I will elaborate more when I return to the shop, but I wanted to introduce it! The price is $140 with shipping anywhere
  2. In pattern welding there is a very important lesson to be learned, and that is when to say "well isn't that interesting" and place the piece aside and start a new one. I have wasted countless hours trying to chase and fix welds that didn't take, and I thought that if only I ....... I could get it to weld and save the piece. Sometimes welds just don't take for whatever reason and by being attached to the process and the ritual of making the work, instead of being attached to the outcome, you will eliminate the stress, tears, and heart break that come with failed welds. When I was figuring out
  3. Good job Kevin, it has been wonderful to see your work progress!
  4. Dave, that is one sexy blade! Love it, especially the solid line prior to the edge
  5. Really love the whole package. Well done! Really love the way you incorporated the fire steel
  6. This is the excess electrical charge that is stored in the capacitors in the VFD, perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.
  7. Good to see your progress on this blade since I left! The transition can be quite tricky until you figure out the right sized wheels and find the right depth, but don't give up on it, and there is more then one way to go about it. One thing to try is instead of making your transition a flat plunge, include a radius so that is slowly drops in. I don't know how much material is left on the edge, and the more complicated the geometry and harder it is to judge without seeing it in person, but let me know if I should offer more advice.
  8. This was an extremely well put together and inspirational experience. Thank you so much to Dave and Shane for putting it on! A lot of ideas grew from this meeting and I'm sure the results will speak for themselves in the coming years. Van did a wonderful job behind the scenes and the DVD is sure to be packed with even more. It was an honor and privilege gentlemen.
  9. Very well done! Excellent excellent excellent Good thinking with the DVD, I love the way it came out and great photography as well.
  10. ooo black sand and native copper, that is a very worthy trip! The collection is really nice, they have a good sampling of blades with some really unique pieces including a gorgeous viking sword with an inlay on the hilt. I don't know what their policy is on posting images so I'll ask them prior to sharing but I don't think it will be an issue. Their pole arms do seem to out weigh the sword/other arms displays a fair deal, but I haven't been there since their very first opening so there could have been some additions since last summer. I'll do a little update next week of how it went.
  11. Talk about last minute, but there are going to be a few folks going to Castlerock Arms museum in Alma WI on Friday and I am inviting them back to the smithy for a shop tour, bonfire, potential cook, potential demo. I live in the woods so if you bring a tent you can stay the night. Here is a link to the museum, www.castlerockmuseum.com Also if you can't make it to the museum and still would like to come out please feel free too! If you would like more info or my address shoot me a PM!
  12. Aldo +1 Aldo's price on 5160 is much more then Admiral, but it is 5160H which from my understanding is made with hardening in mind rather then only alloy content. Well worth the extra cost if you are going for quality in my opinion.
  13. Holy smokes! That is some serious talent collected in a single room.
  14. Any preparation a week prior to an event can be best summarized as "fixing that which is not broken until it is broken" Ask me how I know
  15. I love it! I've been wanting to forge a set of forks, spoons and knives for my kitchen and this may inspire me to get off my butt and go for it.
  16. I can't say for sure if I can make it since I'll be heading off for Alaska later the following week, but I'll be trying to get things taken care of so I can make it out.
  17. I picked up and Abrasive 3B as well last weekend Sunday and am working on my own belt conversion, so I figured I'd show a little bit of how I went about it. Step 1 was to get a VFD to run the motor. Not much to add on this note. Step 2 was the contact wheel, I went with a Bader 8" serrated, without the bushing, which fitted on my spindle perfectly, except the spindle was the same length and as opening in the wheel. No problem, I ground down the center boss a bit, then stuck the wheel on my pentograph and milled up the face nice and smooth. Now it fits the arbor, and I can fasten it in pl
  18. When I was in Germany the smith that I was working for would cut off a piece of bloom with an angle grinder, and start working smaller pieces of the bloom until the section was somewhat solid. Then he stack a couple of the piece of solid steel and weld them together, all while using tongs and no welded handle. If you wanted to forge a section into a paddle or base and then stack piece on top of that and weld it together that would work as well. I do this with small magnetic piece that fall off my steel as I'm consolidating it. You will probably find that after stack piece eventually you w
  19. Nice! This reminds me I need more charcoal.
  20. I think context is also very important, and you make a very good point Owen. We do have a role as educators, however sometimes it isn't easy to get peoples attention. To take the example of the title of my first video, I agree that the title can be interpreted as miss leading, it isn't a real "bloom" or "smelt" but I don't know how else to phrase the title in a way that will attract individuals that are interested in the processes that we are trying to define. They are terms that will get people in the door with their minds open, and that perhaps is something that is important as well? While l
  21. In today's culture, using written language to communicate an idea has to be just as quick and to the point as is a properly made sword. I fully realize that what some of us are doing, myself included, doesn't fit the definition of "smelting" and pulling out a "bloom," but to a large portion of the audience if I were to say, "I take modern alloyed steel and drop it into a furnace burning with charcoal and pull out a sponge like collection of steel that has a alloy content different from that of which went into the furnace, which is the refined by forging the produced material and then cutting i
  22. The blade looks awesome Dave, well done! I'm looking forward to see what you do with the hilt
  23. I love reading your threads and watching your progress Mark, I've referenced it more times then I care to admit. Do you notice a vast difference between the number of runs you get out of the furnace you charge with ore verses steel scrap?
  24. Thanks for all the comments! There will be a bloom sword in the future, nearer then further if all goes well Greg, the Striker is a 165lb. I slowed the Hz down to 45.00 to get more compression and slower action. I was surprised at the degree of texture that came out, in a good way of course. I think I'll be playing with different etches to bring out a touch more on the next blades I make. The roller chair came about since the anvil height is too low and I wasn't thinking about building a base for the hammer, but it is great since it takes the weight of the body off of the legs and al
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