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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. Have you made anything before like this? A knife at least? If not, this may be a bridge too far for a first project. Plus, as Geoff said, this is a seriously dangerous object to build. Are you sure you just don't want to do a mock version in wood as he suggested (not as cool, but way easier and infinitely less likely to cause death, dismemberment, or permanent injury). I know you say you'll lock it in a display case, but come on . . . if you build it, are you seriously saying no one will ever want to swing it around and try it out . . . like ever?
  2. Very cool, Gary. I like your twisting jig. Did you build it yourself?
  3. Another old thread with broken image links updated. Thanks, Charles du Preez for pointing this out.
  4. Photos were gone. At the request of a member, here they are. Cheers!
  5. Awesome knife. Love the integral bolster and, as Chris already pointed out, the transition from the bolster to the handle with the convex grooves is elegant. Thanks for keeping this thread about the knife and not about the politics associated with the donation guys! Dave
  6. You can order it off of Amazon, believe it or not. https://www.amazon.com/MG-Chemicals-Ferric-Chloride-Liquid/dp/B008UH3SAE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492289092&sr=8-1&keywords=ferric+chloride Mix this stuff 4:1 with distilled water. Works great. In terms of polish: I go to 220 grit on a random orbit sander (the regular electric kind you get from Lowes or Home Depot). You can get an even etch if it's random. I etch pretty deeply (3-4 soaks at 15-20 minutes, scrubbing oxides off between soaks) then a light buffing with pink scratchless rouge to bring out the contrast. Luck.
  7. Oh god . . . this thing. If you made the knife with a belt grinder, it's not a "real" knife. If you used a power hammer or a hydraulic press it's not a "real" sword. People who have spent ZERO time studying this thing we have dedicated a huge portion of our lives to want to give us a lecture on authenticity. If you want a laugh, you should hear Peter Johnsson (Peter . . . Effing . . . Johnsson) tell stories about people coming to his booth lecturing him on what a "real" sword is. (insert head exploding emoticon here) I often go to the absurd with this: Well, I wanted this to be a "real" sword, so I could not use electric tools, so I had to use files and stones. But I didn't make my files nor mine my stones myself, so I had to start making files and mining stones, but I couldn't just buy a forge, so I had to make my forge, but I couldn't just buy the coal so I had to mine my coal. And then I needed ore, so I had to start mining ore. In the end, I just decided to walk naked into the forest and come out with a completed sword. Because, if I didn't do that . . . then it wasn't a REAL sword. Was this a rant? It felt like a rant. I'm sorry. This is a rant free zone, right? Okay, my bad. And special apologies to Vernon (the starter of this thread). Dude . . . Sorry. I know you didn't mean to kick a hornet's nest with this very reasonable initial question. It's just a sore spot for a few of us . . . (okay, like most of us). Welcome to the forum! We're really nice, honest! Grins, Dave
  8. Thanks everyone! Kevin -- Correction: The hairpin core was supposed to contain the number of impossible tasks that Arthur had to to complete in Culhwch and Olwen, which is the early Welsh myth from which we drew the elements of the blade. I think the number of tasks if 40 if I'm not mistaken. Most of the Arthurian elements we used in this event were from the pre-Galfridian myths, but we used some more modern ones too (like when deciding where the blade was hidden: Carmarthen, Wales said to be the birthplace and the resting place of Merlin). The hairpin itself was quite easy, just rotate 90 degrees after the desired number of layers is reached, then fold it back on itself. The hard part was getting the split edge billet to weld. You'll recall that the primary blade had a weld flaw at the tip of the hairpin core that had to be cut out. The technique I used to weld the core was to weld a thick steel rod onto the tip of the edge billet, and the blunt end of the core billet. I then put them in the forge, fluxed, brought up to welding heat, and set the weld while it was still in the forge by having Shane hold a large sledge hammer against the end of the core rod (sticking out of the front of the forge) while I hammered on the end of the edge billet rod (sticking out of the back of the forge). A bit like the technique of smacking the tip of a multibar sword on the ground when you set the weld at the tip but actually inside the forge at the time. Michael has been doing production work on some amazing swords. He just finished a piece where he made the steel, did INGLERII pattern weld inserts, and did some unbelievable silver and copper wire inlay. He's on Facebook.His site is called "Warrior's Path." https://www.facebook.com/warriorspathpatternweld/?pnref=story I'm casting the lower guard today using the wax that Jake carved. I'm irrationally nervous that the curse of Arctic Fire casting fails has somehow stained the bit of wax . . . Grins, Dave
  9. Hi All: Many of you may remember Arctic Fire 2013, where a group of us made a blade from smelt to finish in just a few days. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here is the video: So, you may have wondered, if you watched the event, what ever happened to the backup blade? Well, I've had it for these last four years, and I'm finally getting around to finishing it. While I cannot promise a blade of the quality that was produced at the event (for the simple and self-obvious reason that I'm not the equal of Jake or Petr when it comes to carving, or Jul when it comes to jewelers work, or hell . . . the list goes on of all the guys I'm not equal to!), I'll do my best to do justice to this piece. I have a few bits I've saved from the 2013 event, such as a nearly complete wax carving by Jake of the lower guard that he abandoned for a reason I forget, as well as a rivet block that has a porosity hole in it that I plan to use by filling the hole with a garnet set in silver. I like the idea of incorporating a few bits of the original build in this "homage" piece. Also, of course, while I did most of the forging on this blade, it was 90% ground by Michael Pikula, and Shane Harvey helped with some of the pattern weld. So, this will still be--in a sense--a collaboration. Also, if you remember from the video, the upper guard was lost due to my kiln being too short for a complete burn out, so Petr had to carve an upper guard out of antler instead. In this build, I plan to complete the original upper guard design. Here are a few photos of the blade after polishing and etching. You'll note the difference the hairpin core has on the overall aesthetic. The core has the same number of layers that Arthur's war band had in it (it was going to be one of our clues). The edge material is 1200 layers or so. Also a shot of the bits and sketches I have left over from the 2013 event. I'll post WIP photos as the build progresses. Cheers, Dave
  10. Yup. My bad. Oh, hey, no need for the "@" thing here. That's a Twitter thing. Welcome.
  11. That is demonstrably untrue. You had seven words, one onomoapia, and one emoticon in response to my comment. Just saying . . . (with words). (; Dave
  12. Guys, this is JPH. He probably made it in 1/2 a day. He's a machine, and a bit of a legend in this field. Great work, Colonel! Dave
  13. Thanks, Austin!
  14. Beautiful work, Peter. I love the scabbard, in particular. I remember this build from Facebook. I'm happy to see it en route to being finished! It's always a treat to see your WIP photos. Thanks brother. Dave
  15. Peter! Great to see you sharing your work here again! Inspiring and humbling as always, my friend. Your precision with a file is a constant source of amazement. I know it is a small detail, but my favorite part is the copper washer on the pommel. Just the right touch. Looking forward to seeing more. Thanks for sharing this! Dave