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Dave Stephens

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Everything posted by Dave Stephens

  1. Happy Sunday All -- I don't know how many of you listen to music while forging or while in the shop, but I recently downloaded the soundtrack to Conan the Barbarian to my Ipod. Let me tell you something, when the opening song is called "Anvil of Grom" you know it's a good one for forging. I'm not sure if my welds are better as a result, but they're fiercer! Listen to it while forging AND drinking Guiness for extra testosterone points! Grins, Dave Stephens (EDIT: Whoops . . . I just noticed I posted this in "The Way" instead of "Firey Beards" . . . sorry for the irrever
  2. That's awesome! I just ordered a hydraulic press from Tommy McNabb last week. I can't wait to get it. All my damascus has been made by hammer and arm so far. Presses look very cool. Enjoy your new toy! Cheers, Dave Stephens
  3. Just a thought: Do you wear UV filtering goggles when looking into the forge? Migraines can be triggered by excessively bright sunlight exposure in some. I believe our forges put out a great deal of UV light. Might be worth a try. --Dave
  4. Well done! I like the brass pins in the cable bolster. Very dramatic effect. Cheers, Dave Stephens
  5. That's awesome. I really like the look of high density damascus. Could you post a picture that give a bit more of a close up of the pattern? Thanks, Dave Stephens
  6. I really like the pattern. The edge looks as if it has a cresting wave on it as it transitions to the core. Very cool. -Dave
  7. Oorah! Well done. -Dave Stephens
  8. Matt, Cold and dark, as usual! It's been a bit weird lately, with all the reporters in town because of Palin being the VP candidate. Also, the summer was terrible this year. Very cold and rainy. Thanks for the kind words on the blade. Cheers! --Dave
  9. Gentlemen, Just a quick reminder that you can buy most of these books at Don's bookstore: http://www.dfoggknives.com/bookstore.htm By doing so, you help support the guy that makes this forum possible. Doesn't cost you a dime more either. --Dave Stephens
  10. I bought a Burr King w/ the variable speed motor and the knifemaker attachement a few months ago. I really like it except for how long/complicated it is to change from the 8" contact wheel, to the knifemaker attachment to the small wheel attachment. Requires allen wrenches and aligning things . . . I ended up converting my old 42" Speed Cut 2 wheel grinder into a 72" three wheel grinder with the small wheel attachment permanently attached. So now have two grinders in the shop, but I spend less time changing out attachments. I've said it on other posts, but just to repeat: If you
  11. The bolster is banded malachite. The stablized/reconstituted kind you can buy from Jantz supply. Super easy to work with/buff, but be careful when you drill it. If you go too fast it will crack. Cheers, Dave
  12. Finished up the carving on the handle last night. I ended up using black micarta on the scales instead of buffalo horn. Didn't have long enough slabs of horn. The display stand is a granite tile and copper tubing used for hooking up ice makers on refrigerators. I'm pretty pleased with how this came out. It's my first largish project since I opened the new shop. After I post these pictures I'm gonna put the final edge on it and go do some cut tests (the limbs on the tree in the back yard are provoking me . . ) Cheers, Dave Stephens
  13. Gents, I'm not an electrical expert, but I thought I would chime in and add that a variable speed motor is a *wonderful* thing on a grinder. I purchased a variable speed Burr King grinder last year and have been amazed at the control it permits me. You know that teeth grinding feeling you get when you've moved to the 600 grit belt on a hollow ground knife and it slips just slightly right as you're trying to merge the polish into the curve of the blade? On my old single speed, 3000+ RPM grinder that was a "throw it in the scrap bin" moment. Now that I have a variable speed mot
  14. Jake -- I'm not sure about red deer horns, but the Sitka Blacktail deer we have in Alaska vary widely on the thickness of enamel, and not only based on the age of the deer. The horn you have may be okay even if taken from a young stag, depending on the food available to it during the particular season in which it was harvested. Only way to tell is to do a cross section test cut. What kind of handle are you planning? Scales cut from the round for a full-tang, or a hidden tang? For hidden tang stag handles I have sometimes hollowed the porous center and re-filled with a two-part epox
  15. Nice lines on the blade. Cool idea for etching your logo. I used to use rub-off letters you can buy from art supply houses to etch my initials in damascus blades. Rub them on before pattern etching and then sand off afterwards. Looked impressive if you used fancy caligraphy letters. Cheers, Dave Stephens
  16. Greetings, I thought I would share my recent project in progress. Approximately 2.5 feet long from 5160. I forged the tip to get the curve, but this is mostly a stock removal project. This is one of my first flat ground blades. Wow. I didn't realize how labor intensive draw filing and hand polishing are. (Don, thanks for the dagger grinding tutorial on your main site. I learned a lot about the flat grind process from it.) Photos show the differential heat treat and subsequent polish. At some point I'd like to learn how to use clay and bring out a hamon like I see many d
  17. Greetings, I thought I'd share this idea. I am in the process of making a blade that is longer than normal for me. As a result, I needed a quench tank for hardening the blade which was deeper than the small stainless steel flour container I currently use for my knife blades. Just as I was about to head out to buy some materials to build a tank, I spotted an old homebrew keg in my storage container. (I used to brew a lot of beer, and used old soda kegs). It works great: Stainless steel, rubber footing and a lid to keep dust out or put out flare ups during the quench. You
  18. Hey All, Attached is a design for an upcoming project. This will be the first art knife I've tried since re-opening the shop. Plan on overall length of about 14 inches. I intend to make one of these via stock-removal w/ carbon steel in order to capture "lessons learned," and then duplicate it w/ a damascus blade (twist pattern). Critiques and suggestions welcome. Dave Stephens
  19. Thanks Bruce, I had not thought of that! My contact wheel is brand new too. Makes a heck of a lot of sense. Cheers, --Dave
  20. Okay guys, here's a question I have that has driven me nuts ever since I first put steel to grinder. I'd love it if someone could help me understand this problem. How does one control the curve of the grind line when hollow grinding? See the pics below. I've looked at grind lines, such as on this Buster Warenski dagger, forever and thought "How the hell did he do that?" The best I've been able to do is achieve a slight rounding of the transition from the start of the grind to the back by letting the belt run over the edge of the contact wheel (see example below). But I've neve
  21. Well done! How did you achieve the texturing on the copper bolster and pommelnut? (I'm not versed in the traditional names of the various components of Japanese blades, so sorry for the Gai Jin question format . . . ) Cheers, Dave Stephens
  22. Scott -- No problem. Imitation is the sincerest form and all that. If you liked the hunter, attached is the original design. Cheers, --Dave
  23. Greetings, My name is Dave Stephens. Fifteen years ago I used to make knives. About six months ago I decided to get back into it. Attached are some some shots of the first four knives out of the new shop, as well as a shot of one of my old knives from back in the day. I would appreciate any critiques, suggestions or comments. There is always so much to learn in this hobby (I have never sold my knives, so I call it a hobby; no disrespect to those for whom this is a profession). Sorry for the poor quality of the photos. You probably already know this, but taking photos of kn
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