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Dave Stephens

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Everything posted by Dave Stephens

  1. Hollow ground leaf blade is tricky. If you looked a cross section of these blades (including, I'm assuming, this one) you'd see a hollow grind but with a long, narrow lenticular edge on the wider bits of the blade. I've done a couple, I spent a lot of time with sanding blocks. Dave
  2. All: As some of you know, in my day job I run a mid-sized defense contracting company. As a result, I have some insight into what the US government is doing in response to this crisis. I can tell you that what I'm seeing is utterly unprecedented. I've been in this game for nearly 20 years, and I've never seen this type of response before. Many of the things I'm seeing will take a few weeks to become visible in the public eye, but I'm blown away. No one is holding anything back. I see sincere, focused, and tireless efforts to combat this crisis. Remember that the people you see on the television are mostly elected officials or their political appointees. The real power in the US government lies at the 3rd or 4th rung of the org chart. These are the non-political career professionals that stay on from election to election. They are the ones that really run things day to day, and they usually are doggedly non-partisan. Many of these people are incredibly impressive, but often get overridden by the political appointees above them when the news cameras are pointing in their direction. What I'm seeing is, for the first time, most of the political appointees deferring to the career folks. This is reason for hope. So, while I'm certainly not here to say: Don't worry, the Federal Gov. will fix it (believe me, I've worked with them for too long to have much faith in anything they attempt), I am letting you know that I feel a modest amount of hope and optimism. I see competent, hard-working people putting everything they have into fixing this thing, and they're doing it with nearly infinite financial backing. Getting out of this thing is not guaranteed, but I think we've got a solid shot at it. Have faith. The US and the World have endured worse. We will get through this. Dave
  3. I think I speak for all of us when I say that what we absolutely need in this time of crisis, are more videos of Jul singing at his workbench.
  4. Happy to see this complete! The scabbard fittings kick a lot of ass. Hey, I think we're about to see a renaissance here guys. It's the apocalypse. Swordsmiths are going to be very, very popular! I'm bullish on bladesmithing! Grins, Dave
  5. Michael Bergstrom, the talented film producer and bladesmith who generously provided the filming of AF 2016 has recently released new videos from that event. He added them to the announcement topic, but I thought I'd post a new topic so you all didn't miss them. For those of you that don't know, AF 2016 was in two parts. Each smith did a practical demonstration of technique, and another presentation on the theme of the event, Grendel's Hoard from Beowulf. The demo videos have been out for about a year. Michael is now working to release the thematic presentations. Here is a link to his youtube channel. Also, I've pasted below his announcement from the AF thread. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCONxF6KdMJN9ymPa2pT5S6A/videos Cheers! Dave Chapter 1-3 have been posted online with the demos, over the next week all the videos will be online as well as several profile/in depth videos and a doc about the giants sword construction. A couple hours of new videos have gone up. Next week will be never before seen content though. Available for streaming: Chapter 1: Panel Discussion (Group) Chapter 2: The Mother's Dagger (Peter Johnsson) Chapter 3: The Material Culture of the Spear Danes (Pete Florianek) Owen Bush: Forging the Pattern of Undertow Dave Stephens: Multi-Bar Pattern Welding Tips and Tricks Jake Powning: Carving Waxes for Lost Wax Casting Petr Florianek: Pressblech Techniques Peter Johnsson: Antler Forming with Heat and Steam Petr Florianek: Carving Antler with Rotary Tools J. Arthur Loose: Gilding Techniques Upcoming Releases: Chapter 4: Hilting a Giant's Sword (Jake Powning) (01/25/20) Chapter 5: Undertow, the Giant's Sword (Owen Bush) (01/25/20) Chapter 6: Hrunting, The Sword That Failed (Dave Stephens) (01/27/20) Chapter 7: The Lyre of Lejre (J.Arthur Loose) (1/28/20) Chapter 8: Closing Discussion (1/30/20) Artist Profile: Peter Johnsson (FEB) Artist Profile: J. Arthur Loose (FEB) Artist Profile: Petr Florianek (FEB) Artist Profile: Owen Bush (FEB) Artisr Profile: Jake Powning (FEB) Creating "Undertow: Bloody Ripper of Tides" Documentary (TBD) Enjoy on YouTube on Wild Dog Creative channel where there is a custom playlist for Arctic Fire.
  6. All: It's been about two years since the death of my father. He died unexpectedly and suddenly. Him and I were working on our jointly owned boat in Cordova, Ak and he got a stomach ache. A few days later he was diagnosed with stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. Ten days later he died. We had a few days to say goodbye. The very last beer I shared with my Dad was sitting on the flying bridge of his Boat in what was going to be his retirement home in Florida. I asked him what he wanted done at his funeral. In my Dad's characteristic humor he said he wanted me to build a Viking ship and put him on it, pushing it out to sea. i laughed and said that I'd probably go to jail for that. Then we hatched this plan. My family are commercial fishermen from Cordova, Alaska. We lived on the water. My dad always hoped he was of Viking descent. He was intensely disappointed to find out we were not when DNA tests became available. I wanted to share these pics and the video with you guys (my brothers in craftsmanship), but it was too close to the event. It was too personal. Enough time has passed, and I think it's okay to show you what we did. I say "we," because this build was like a long goodbye to my Dad. He was the woodworker. I was the metal guy. I had never built anything more complex than a small cabin out of wood. I had a lot of long conversations with him during this build. Most of them were in the form of: "I know, Dad! But we don't have time to redo that bit. Your funeral is in like seven days!" My buddy Shane Harvey designed this scale model of a Viking Longship from blueprints obtained from the Copenhagen museum in Denmark in CAD and then cut the keel and ribs on his CNC plywood cutter. He also did the dragon head and the small shields with my Dad's initials (RS) on them. The cutting of the cedar planks (each one cut on a table saw by me), the glue up, etc. took almost 20 days of intense work. I totally underestimated the amount of time it would take. All the lessons I had to learn as I went . . . Just in time I had it stained, varnished, and loaded onto my truck for the ferry ride to Cordova. We loaded the boat up with things my Dad loved. Including the very first sword I ever made when I was 12 with his help (ground from a long file), his favorite hat, a jar of peanut butter (his favorite food), and a gin and tonic in a viking horn (not traditional, but it was his drink). And then we set it on fire. It burned until it swamped, and then we sunk it in a bay that he loved. Anyway, hope you like the build. It's not a blade, but I know you guys well enough to know you'll be okay with this off topic post. Cheers, Dave PS: Drone footage by Shane Harvey.
  7. Glad you enjoyed it, Josh. Yes, Morris is an invisible hand that greatly impacts our craft, in my opinion. He was central in first championing the dignity and worth of hand made objects (and those who made them). If I had to pick an impossible utopian world to live in, it would be his novel "News from Nowhere," which depicts a world in which there is but one rule: You have to make something (grow it, build it, etc.) and then give it away. It wouldn't work, of course. But it's a lovely vision. Thanks for listening! Dave
  8. Episode 7 is live. This one might interest you guys. It features the wisdom of Don Fogg, swords, beheadings, and discussion of the father of the craftsmanship movement in the West, William Morris. The poem is called, "The Haystack in the Floods," and it's a 19th century rendition of scene from the late Medieval during the 100 years war between France and England. Enjoy! https://www.buzzsprout.com/admin/episodes/1679107-episode-7-the-haystack-in-the-floods-by-william-morris
  9. Pinned for fear this might slip beneath the first page and therefore easy reference.
  10. Thanks Josh! Episode 6, for those who might be interested, is Hemingway's short story: "A Clean Well-Lighted Place," and is themed around the contemplation of death (or at least non-existence). https://www.buzzsprout.com/admin/episodes/1470508-episode-6-a-clean-well-lighted-place-by-earnest-hemingway
  11. Thanks Bryan! If you haven't already done so, check out this interview I did with Don back in 2013.
  12. Episode #5 is now live. Cheers! Dave https://www.buzzsprout.com/335183/1398409-episode-5-terence-this-is-stupid-stuff-by-ae-housman
  13. Thanks Josh! Glad you enjoyed it.
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
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