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Dave Stephens

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Dave Stephens last won the day on February 9

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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. Arctic Fire Backup Blade Finish

    A sneak peak of the finish the hardware will be given. Funny how much work it takes to turn something shiny and smooth into something that supposed to look all gnarled and evil. This is the bead that goes in the middle of the grip that was all buffed out in the pic above. Dave
  2. Rolling Mill for Sale!

    Hi all: Michael Pikula is selling his rolling mill. I have one of these (same design) and it's a game changer for PW production. These are very hard to find, so if you're interested, act fast. He's asking $1000 for it. Contact him on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/michael.pikula.5/media_set?set=a.410647532706392.1073741839.100012834454183&type=3
  3. KITH Dagger

    Alex: You're doing this right. I think the trick to moving forward in this craft is biting off more than you can chew (and then chewing it)! I especially admire the way in which you've scraped "almost good enough" elements and started over. It took me a really, really long time to learn that lesson. Throwing away a flawed element and starting over is, ultimately, much faster than trying to work around the gaps, asymmetries, etc. of a screwed up bit of the build. And finally, yes: At some point you need to say enough and move on . . . but my advice is this: Make sure you finish this piece before you move on, even if you're unhappy with it overall. Don't quit until you just can't stand looking at it anymore. I keep old pieces of mine hanging on the walls of my shop. I imagine that they whisper to me while I work. They complain and nag at me that I left imperfections on them; that I rushed through the build to get to the end. I glance up at them while I sand or file away at whatever I'm working on now, and they inspire me to be patient, so maybe the piece I'm working on now will leave me the hell alone when it's hanging on the wall . . . Luck in the quest. Good job so far, man! Dave
  4. Ironwood requires no oil or wax. Just sand it and buff it with a light rouge and it'll glow like it's under 50 coats of polyurethane. Wonderful material, but be careful to wear a respirator when working it.
  5. Renaissance Sidesword WIP

    Beautiful work!
  6. Arctic Fire Backup Blade Finish

    Zeb, You raise a very good point. Ornamentation is like salt in cooking. Too little, and the dish is bland. Too much and it's distasteful. If you're a wizard, like Jake Powning or Petr Florianek, you can add carvings, etc. to almost every element and somehow make it balance. I'm not there yet. My plan is to imitate, as best I can, the kind of runes that you might remember in the movie Conan the Barbarian, when Conan is near death and the wizard paints his body with incantations to keep the spirits from harnessing his soul. Or, for a more recent example, the rune that Jake put on the pommel of his dagger called "The Gate of Apsu." Now, I'm not Jake . . . so no promises I can match this, but that's the goal. Thanks for the feedback. Dave
  7. Dwarven Hunting Knife

    Great stuff as usual from you guys. Great collab!
  8. Completed Mosaic Bowie

    Wow! Really nice, Gary! Love the shape of the buttcap and how it accents the guard. Really nice mosaic pattern. Hard to pull those off with class. You nailed it. Gotta love a really good piece of ironwood, too. Very well executed piece. Dave
  9. Arctic Fire Backup Blade Finish

    And now it's shiny. Polished for carving and etching. It won't be this chromed out at the end. Patina on the bronze, etc. The buffalo horn grips will have (I think) thin incantations carved in them that I'll fill with a white epoxy for contrast. Blade will be re-etched before final fit and peen. More soon (work schedule permitting). Thanks for looking. Dave
  10. Arctic Fire Backup Blade Finish

    Progress. Many fiddly alignments to fix, and slight asymmetries to correct still. The ornamentation on the guards will be added after the final true up. Same for carved elements on the grip and ring. Then the scabbard . . . which is a project in and of itself. Can't believe the AF team built this whole thing in six days. You'll note I've gone to a black grip material. Carnwennan was "Little White Hilt" and Arthur's dagger. This will be the cursed sister to Carnwennan. A dark dagger that only brings power to the owner if it's never used. Got the idea from a recent revelation about a Biblical passage involving swords and scabbards. More on this soon . . . Dave
  11. "Forge" for Melting Bronze

    It's a bit tricky. I've done enough of it now that I'm relatively confident that I can go from wax to cast without disaster, but it took quite a few disasters to get there. Highly recommend investing in a vacuum casting chamber if you want to cast fittings for knives/swords. Dave
  12. "Forge" for Melting Bronze

    Hmm. . . why didn't I think of that. I guess I just think of the induction forge as a ferrous thing. Should work like a damn for sprue caps. Dang it! Built a whole forge for naught! Thanks, Jared! Dave
  13. "Forge" for Melting Bronze

    You just reach in and grab it, dude. Gotta have thick callouses. But, yeah, if you didn't want to do that, some crucible tongs work great. Like pick up tongs with their nose bent 90 degrees down.
  14. "Forge" for Melting Bronze

    Hi guys: Just sharing this little project. My Chileforge has a very low entrance, so I wasn't able to use anything but a tiny, little crucible to melt bronze for castings. This left the problem of how to re-melt the sprue caps. I built this little thing out of six soft fire bricks and one hard fire brick, some angle iron, and some ITC-100 for coating on the inside. Not really a "forge build" since I just grabbed one of the burners off my Chileforge and stuck it in the top, but it seemed to work okay. But . . . I used too short of a bucket when I poured the bronze into water, so instead of getting nice, castable bronze shot, I got a Cthluthu paper weight. Gotta try again with a taller column of water! Cheers! Dave
  15. Looking spectacular, Petr! Can't wait to see the pressblech elements on the scabbard! Dave