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Dave Stephens

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Dave Stephens last won the day on April 20

Dave Stephens had the most liked content!

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About Dave Stephens

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  • Birthday 01/18/1972

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    Anchorage, AK

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  1. Dave Stephens

    Sending blades for heat treat

    Heh. I have used the induction forge for hardening a couple of small blades of 1095. It isn't ideal. You have to move the blade very smoothly in and out of the coil, which is tricky. I couldn't do it for long blades, certainly not for a sword. I've used it more often for normalizing (again only short blades) which seems to work okay. Still, even heats require practice. I'm assuming a commercial HT place that uses an induction method would have some sort of additional mechanism for ensuring even heat. If you've got a forge, a bucket of oil, and a kitchen oven, I don't see why you'd need to send a knife our for HT however. It's too important a part of our craft to subcontract out. Doing otherwise is like getting married but hiring a stunt double to consummate your union on your wedding night. In other words, this part's kind of important. You might want to be involved in it! Grins, Dave
  2. Dave Stephens

    Latest Construction Photos and a Request for Aid

    Jim - I donated to your site and I'm going to post a link on my facebook page which gets a lot more traffic. Some advice: You'll get more donations if you are a little less humble. Remember that WE all know who you are on this forum, but you need to tell the general public who you are. The photo on your gofundme page shouldn't be of the trench. Not sexy enough. Post photos of your work. Tout the fact that you wrote the book that helped to launch bladesmithing into popularity in this country. This is not a time for humility, my friend! Luck! Dave
  3. IT'S DONE! Petr made a really nice video of it. Here's the link to it.
  4. I just noticed this . . .LOL. I love Starship Troopers. One of my favorite novels of all time.
  5. O-1 was the only steel I had access to in the late 80's when I first started in the craft. It is far more forgiving than the reputation it has earned. Believe me, I played pretty fast and loose with that steel (as only a 17 year old with a farrier's forge can) and I still have knives I made from that time that work quite well. It even makes a decent pattern weld when paired with simple mild steel (not a great contrast, but it works). I wouldn't recommend making a longsword out of it, but it's a great steel for knives, and as Alan said, if really HT'ed well it can be pretty impressive. Alan, Jerrod, and the other steel geeks are to be heeded if you want precision and optimal performance (I follow their advice), but my point is that you don't need to be too paranoid with this steel. It isn't a crystal goblet. It's pretty forgiving despite its reputation to the contrary. Luck!
  6. Dave Stephens

    Things you might not know can kill you

    Posted elsewhere but worth repeating: Don't leave your quench tank out in the rain, even outside without a cover to get dew on it. Oil floats on water. Water falls to the bottom of the tank. First time you plunge a long blade through the oil into the water on the bottom . . . KABOOOM . . . big steam explosion that vaporizes the oil and the oil hits the hot steel and . . . well, I think you can use your imagination from here. Dave
  7. Wes and Bruno have it. This craft is not about fast or quick. Believe me, the really good stuff in this craft comes from the slowest and most patient of practices. Everyone loves the final bit: Spraying the blade with a bit of WD-40 to wipe the last of the polishing rouge from the blade and grip; feeling the finished product in your hand and slicing through a sheet of paper with it; taking photos and sharing it with other bladesmiths. But, it's the patience to delay that moment until it's really ready, really actually done, that marks the difference between a craftsman and a hack. There is no worse enemy than the inner voice that tells you to just rush through so you can see the end product. It nags at all of us, but this voice is the snake in the garden. I keep old pieces of mine hanging on the shop walls. Really crappy pieces that I'm embarrassed to show to other smiths. They sit on the wall and talk to me as I sand and file. They complain about how I neglected them, how I rushed through, and I feel just a bit ashamed ever time I really look at them. This is the joy and the hurt of this craft. Welcome. Dave
  8. Dave Stephens

    Arctic Fire Backup Blade Finish

    Thanks all. The scabbard should be pretty cool if I can pull it off. It mirrors the AF 2013 scabbard in the central disc with inset stones, but mine will be of bronze with Onyx instead of moonstone. Also, the slide will sport the skull of a raven at the end. Dave
  9. Dave Stephens

    Arctic Fire Backup Blade Finish

    The blade is finished. The scabbard is under construction, but I have set it aside for a while to recover from frustration due to a bad casting of the chape. . . right now I hate it, so it needs to rest a bit. Cheers! Dave
  10. Dave,

    I was just looking over that spectacular single edged viking sword and a question popped in my head....

    What is your technique for making fullers?

    To me that is real magic right there. The lines are so crisp. How in Merlin's beard do you do it?

    1. Dave Stephens

      Dave Stephens

      Thanks bud. 

      Check out these links to posts I've made that explain how I do it.

      This is a really old post (from 2012) so the images are broken. Here's a link to the images.


      Also, here's a newer post describing my new and improved Z axis rest.


    2. grpaavola


      Thanks man!

      I have an AMK so not really sure how I will make it work.

      Research and development it is for me then!


  11. Dave Stephens

    Latest work and Movie work

    Looking good, Michael! Keep at it! The sword/buckler is a cool set. Dave
  12. Dave Stephens

    Shameless promotion of new website

    Welcome back, Jim! Love your new site.
  13. Dave Stephens

    African blackwood

    Sure, I mean just buff it. I sand to 220 grit then buff it with grey rouge on a sown cotton wheel, then with pink scratchless rouge on a loose cotton wheel. If you have a high speed buffer, don't push the wood into the wheel too hard or you'll burn it. Burns have to be sanded out.
  14. Dave Stephens

    African blackwood

    It's an awesome wood. My favorite to work with. If you have a variable speed grinder, set the speed very low when working it. It burns easy. Bill and Gary also pointed out the allergy and heat problems. For finishing you don't need any oil or coatings. Just polish it. It shines up like obsidian when you do it right. Don't try to burn a tang into this wood. It will split on you. Luck! Dave