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Dave Stephens

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Dave Stephens last won the day on November 11 2018

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About Dave Stephens

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  • Birthday 01/18/1972

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    http://stephensforge.com
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    Anchorage, AK

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  1. All: We were going through some old footage from AF 2012 and found a raw, unedited interview with Don. There are some parts that should be edited (some zooms, pans, some times where I'm asking him questions with no microphone) but it's still amazing. Don is a great speaker, and so eloquent on the philosophy of the craft. Here it is, no edits, just the raw footage but I think it's still pretty amazing. Enjoy! Dave https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6X22DSdnzE
  2. I do have a long list, but I'd be happy to take suggestions, Joel. I do have to be cognizant of copyright, however, so old stuff is fine (anything older that 1919 is generally non-copyright). I can do selections of copyrighted works under fair use doctrine, but would need permission to recite the whole work. Episode 3 will be released in a couple of days. I'm reading a short story by John Steinbeck in this one. Thanks! Dave
  3. Very cool! What's the steel mix? Any wisdom to impart on thickness/sharpness of the cutter used to "smear" the feather? Have you noticed that different cutter shapes produce different feather angles/lengths? Dave
  4. Hello All: For me, the link between Literature and bladesmithing is not something I can sever. Many of you might not know that I was once an English professor teaching Literature to college students. It's been nearly 20 years since I left the University to become a capitalist heretic, but I miss teaching. So, I've started a podcast about poetry and literature. I thought I'd share it with my brothers in this craft, because I know enough about the type of people who are drawn to this work to know that you're all warrior poets at heart. The first two episodes are up. My goal is to produce one a week. You can subscribe on Itunes, the podcast app on your phone, Stitcher, Alexa, Spotify, most of the podcast services. Just search for "Belletrist." Anyway, below is a link to the podcast. Hope you enjoy it. If you do, I'd appreciate it if you'd drop it a rating, subscribe, etc. Like this forum, I'm not doing this to make money. No advertising or anything. Just a labor of love. Cheers! Dave http://www.BelletristPodcast.com
  5. I love it! Thanks for sharing it, Jim! The collars in front of the bolster are a nice touch. The feather is just awesome. The wood grain of the end of a log on the top of the bolster is a great touch, too. Tell Don he's missed! Dave
  6. If you clean the bolster carefully with acetone or another solvent, then apply clear packing tape on it, it resists the FC well. The other thing to do is just suspend the knife in jar of FC with the blade point down and the handle out of the solution.
  7. Great minds, Clifford. I did that. Went out and robbed the little 20# tank from the BBQ and hooked it up. The forge worked normally. Guess that eliminates the regulator. After venting the 100# bottle for about 2 hours (opening it for about 10 seconds every 15 minutes or so) I still have it at over 180lbs. I think the lesson here is don't tell the guy filling your propane tank that you're a bladesmith. He asked "is this for a forklift?" . . . next time I'll just say: "Yup." Dave
  8. More data that seems to confirm the over-filled theory. Looks like a full 100# tank is supposed to weigh 170 lbs. Just brought a scale out to the tank. 191 lbs! I'm slowly venting it by opening the valve and letting it off in the atmosphere every 10 minutes or so. Sorry, environment, but I don't want to explode.
  9. Guys: Had something happen this afternoon I've not experienced in all my years bladesmithing. Just got the 100# tank filled up for my ChileForge and after dinner went out to do some forging. Fired up the forge and started doing the things you do in the shop while the forge heats up. Suddenly I hear the forge tone drop from the rushing sound of a well-mixed fire to the belching sound you get when you pour way too much fuel into the forge and way too little air. I glance quickly and see a wave of flame coming out of the forge mouth confirming this. After two seconds, it goes back to normal. Then about a minute later it happens again. The "burps" continue getting more rapid. I also notice that frost is forming on my regulator. I turn the propane tank off at the main valve, and damnest thing was, the forge kept burning for a LONG time afterwards. I've got a lot of time in on this forge. I know how she's supposed to behave; this is not it. I disconnected the tank and it's now sitting about fifty feet away from my house in the driveway. So . . . Anyone have experience with this? I have a working hypothesis, but propane safety is not something with which I'm interested in experimenting. My hypothesis is that the tank was overfilled. The guy at the gas station was geeking out over the fact I made blades and wasn't really paying attention. He put 22 gallons into the tank, and I'm pretty sure there was at least 2-3 gallons in there already. Is it possible that liquid propane was entering the regulator? That would explain why the fire didn't die out as quickly as it should (i.e. the liquid in the lines/regulator continued to expand into gaseous form). Or is this the symptom of a regulator failure? I suspect it is the tank overfill just because the regulator was working dandy yesterday when the tank ran out of fuel. Anyway, any thoughts on how not to die a horrible burny death would be appreciated. Thanks! Dave
  10. Machetes are not swords, but this is a good video to watch to give you an idea of how complex the question you are asking is. The shortest answer when it comes to a simple, chopping machete: It should be forward balanced (i.e. heavy on the tip) but not so much that it falls out of your hand when you allow it to lay in your palm. Good South American machetes use thick full-tang construction and dense hard wood slabs as handle materials to counter the blade weight. A lenticular grind is also good for machetes. Having said all that, there are still a load of variables to consider. Is the machete going to be used for hours on end to hack away jungle brush as the wielder cuts a path? If so, it needs to be light, thin, and quick. Is the machete to be used as a camp tool (e.g. as a hatchet, cleaver for butchering, killer of snakes, etc.?) if so, a heavier, wider, chopping design is better. Hope this helps and doesn't just add too many variables . . .
  11. Recommend these books. The $50 knife shop has a lot of money saving tips on tools. https://www.amazon.com/Wayne-Goddards-50-Knife-Shop/dp/0873419936/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=the+%2450+knife+shop&qid=1554409884&s=gateway&sr=8-2 https://www.amazon.com/Step-Knifemaking-You-Can-Do/dp/0615116590/ref=pd_sim_0_2/168-0225621-3870731?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0615116590&pd_rd_r=a3875ec5-5718-11e9-8de3-55af6ed5287a&pd_rd_w=NTEC3&pd_rd_wg=Lwpil&pf_rd_p=90485860-83e9-4fd9-b838-b28a9b7fda30&pf_rd_r=T1P9N0B90AWDWX8NFGDK&psc=1&refRID=T1P9N0B90AWDWX8NFGDK https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Bladesmith-Forging-Your-Perfection/dp/099870816X/ref=pd_sim_0_3/168-0225621-3870731?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=099870816X&pd_rd_r=ca358f59-5718-11e9-9502-091092cc734e&pd_rd_w=xvx4D&pd_rd_wg=NWa8Z&pf_rd_p=90485860-83e9-4fd9-b838-b28a9b7fda30&pf_rd_r=PJQNFKGWDTHFRFRKBR7S&psc=1&refRID=PJQNFKGWDTHFRFRKBR7S
  12. I have both the 3m belt-worn uber-filter helmet undersea adventure module thingy and the newer Trend Airshield. If I could have only one, I'd go the Trend. It's significantly cheaper, but more importantly, it's easy to take on and take off, so you're more likely the actually use it. It does fine for most grinding applications. If your shop has no ventilation, no air filtration, and you're planning on grinding big blades, then the 3M is probably worth the investment since you'll be swimming in a fog of metal dust. OtherwiseI find the Trend is more than adequate. By the way, if you haven't heard of this trick, it's worth knowing: Cut down on the amount of work your air mask has to do by reducing the overall particulate density in the air. The best way to do this I have found is very cheap. Buy an inexpensive 20"x20" box fan (usually under $20 at WalMart). But a 20"x20" paper furnace filter. Start the fan and slap the filter against the air intake side. Voila! Air scrubber. I keep three of these going in my FL shop when I'm doing heavy grinding and it keeps the air pretty clean. You know about the bucket of water and soap trick? Just in case you don't, it also really helps. Place a bucket of water with a few drops of dishwashing soap in it beneath your grinder where the majority of the sparks hit. It will capture a great deal of the stuff that would otherwise bounce off the ground and become airborne. Luck! Dave
  13. Fixed now. Sorry guys. Same problem as last time. My guess is this will happen again in 3 months. Seems to be a pattern. Every time the hosting service says: "Oh! That's strange. It's supposed to renew automatically. This won't happen again." And then it happens again . . . See you in 3 months. Grins, Dave
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