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Dave Stephens

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Dave Stephens last won the day on April 4

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About Dave Stephens

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  • Birthday 01/18/1972

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  1. First: I'd advise against this mix. It can be done, and they weld pretty easily, but it's not ideal. You're mixing deep and shallow hardening steels. Consider some 1095 or 10xx instead of the 5160. But, you may know this and are doing this on purpose. Like I said, it works (like a peanut butter and cold turkey sandwich, but jelly is a better option). Second: When welding similar metals together in a double stack, you'll often get a thin line of decarb marking the weld between the identical layers. This effect changes based on the welding environment. Kevin Cashen has done some interesting work in comparing the decarb line seen between welds in a flux vs. no-flux environment. The reason this is relevant is the following: Your question relates to layer count. In my opinion layer count is only relevant when working with factory steel (bloom steel, wootz, etc. are exceptions) as it relates to the visual effect. So, if you consider that a "billet" of exclusively one type of steel, when folded, will reveal a subtle layering similar to if one used differing steels (due to the decarb effect previously mentioned) then I would count the double stack layer as 2 layers in the math to determine the final layer count. YMMV. Luck.
  2. viking

    This is fantastic. Thank you for sharing the WIP so generously.
  3. Oh, and David Boye in his classic book "Step-by-Step Knifemaking" used to use bronze brazing rod to braze his bronze bolsters onto the blade pre heat treat. I've never tried this method, but he produced absolutely beautiful guards that just flowed into the blade with it. 20 years playing with this craft and I still haven't tried it . . . too many things to learn in this craft.
  4. I think the fit/finish of the guard/blade intersection is the perhaps the trickiest part of finishing a blade. There are a thousand different tips and tricks for this. Many makers (although for some reason is seems to be most prevalent in the stock removal field) use silver solder to create a gapless seam between the blade/guard. If you use a silver-ish guard material (like nickel silver) you can cover up some pretty large (1/32" ish) gaps with this method. Silver soldering (especially hard solder) is a wonderful skill to have for a bladesmith. I'm not as good at it as I wish I was, but I'm getting better with good advice from friends. Some makers are just wizards of the file and are able to make flawless flat/parallel surfaces (looking at you Peter). Some use milling machines to do the same thing (just as much skill but different . . . definitely not a cheat) I tend towards countersinking the "shoulders" of the blade into the guard, or using a collar. The collar needs to be soldered, so you need that skill if you want to use that method. Countersinking is a very traditional Western practice, especially in swords. It works best in steel guards that can be hot formed, but you can also use a rotary tool or a milling machine to create a counter sunk area for the shoulders in non-ferrous metals. There are a few WIP threads that show how to hot form a countersunk steel guard on the forum if you search for them. I spend more time worrying about the fit/finish of this intersection of the piece than perhaps any other part of the blade. It's a challenge, for sure. Luck in the quest! Dave
  5. Dude. That's awesome. What a great idea. Thanks for thinking originally and sharing generously!
  6. Nice work, Wes! Super clean. Those pieces with simple, clean lines are unforgiving in their presentation of your fit/finish. You pulled this off really well. Dave
  7. Now that's the chef's knife you want in your hand when the zombies kick down your kitchen door! Beautiful work as always, Owen! Dave
  8. All: I have exciting news on this project. My friend Petr Florianek has agreed to collaborate on finishing this sword with me. The sword blade itself will be as planned by Jake and I. The hilt, however, will now be finished with Petr's unmistakable style. Here is a link to Petr's facebook post with the new hilt design. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10209418259721986&set=a.10207490306084350.1073741831.1489590939&type=3 I will start a new thread on this when I have blade construction progress pictures. The blade is being shipped to Alaska now, where I will start grinding it, and move on to heat treatment, etc. As most of you know, I do this craft in my off time, so my ability to schedule a completion date is contingent upon my job and how much it requires me to travel. Assuming I have a light travel schedule for the rest of the Summer, I'm hoping to have the blade completed and on it's way to Petr by mid August (but no promises). I'm very happy that Petr has agreed to do this collaboration with me. His design is fantastic. Cheers! Dave
  9. Really beautiful work, Owen! Love the guard and pommel!
  10. Just have your head grow stronger through scarring! Pretty soon you don't even feel 'em! Grins, Dave
  11. Fantastic! Thanks so much for the detailed WIP. This is what this forum is all about! Cheers! Dave
  12. Really like this one, Wes. The lines are very nice: Enough to give it character, but not so much that it distracts from the grain of the wood. Dave
  13. "Shaved Ape" LOL. That's classic Sam. Love it. Guys, please don't let Sam's "enthusiastic" rhetoric make you think he's being deliberately provocative. He really does know what he's talking about. He's just very, shall we say, emphatic about it. I think it has to do with being on TV all the time. Celebrity ego . . . you know. Grins, Dave
  14. Beautiful! Tell us more of this mysterious coffee etch. I have not heard of this! Dave
  15. Awesome work! Love this. Thanks for the WIP pics. I have a special affinity for leaf blades. Elegant shape you've hit.