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Dave Stephens

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Everything posted by Dave Stephens

  1. That is really cool to hear, David! I do think there will be another AF in the next couple of years. I am going to be moving my shop to a warehouse in Anchorage so there will be more room for equipment. For a build against the clock AF like 2013 we will need multiple work stations. Dave
  2. Great lines. Well executed, elegant piece.
  3. Hi Matthew: Glad you liked them! We sure worked hard to produce them. The last AF was in 2016. If you haven't seen the videos you can find them here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCONxF6KdMJN9ymPa2pT5S6A/videos I spoke to Michael Bergstrom (who did the video work for AF 2016) a while ago and asked if he would be up for producing a future AF, and his response was something like: "Abso-F***ing-lutely!" So, I hope we can produce another one someday. If we do another one, I think it will be more like AF 2013: An ambitious build collab with only a
  4. Enormously impressive and inspiring, Matt! I absolutely love the inset pattern welding in the pommel. Also, the complex W's PW center bar designed to align with the fuller is a very clever move, indeed. I may be stealing some of these ideas if I can ever get time in the shop again. Thanks for posting this! Dave
  5. I've never worked with Olive wood, but have you tried just buffing it? I've never used any oil or sealant on my handles. I just sand to a fine grit and buff with a fine pink or white rouge. Sometimes I put a coat of floor wax on the grip after, but not often. This only works with hard, dense, oily woods of course. Ironwood, ebony, blackwood, cocobolo, all look pretty good with this technique. Dave
  6. Update: Here's a shot of it on the new custom trailer (the old one was falling apart). This boat wasn't really designed to be trailered, so it required cutting custom bunks to conform to the hull. Also, some shots of the old engine being lifted out in preparation for the new engine install. The engine is a 110 HP Yanmar. Link below. New transmission, cutlass bearing, and dripless shaft seal are also being installed. https://www.yanmarmarine.com/Products/Sailboat-and-small-craft-engines/4JH110-391/ Note
  7. For what it's worth, I think the coolest KITH ever was the one where you had to make a functional/beautiful blade with nothing but stuff you could buy at a local, generic hardware store. I think the best challenges come with somewhat arbitrary constraints.
  8. I have a set for my hydraulic press. I wouldn't bother. The heat gets sucked out of a thin edge so quickly by the dies it's not really worthwhile.
  9. Fantastic work. The step-by-step on the scabbard is really great. Thanks for doing it.
  10. I hate to sound discouraging, but from my experience and that of others, I say these machines are more of a foe than friend to new bladesmiths. If a proper 2x72 grinder is not in the cards, it's hard to beat the combination of a 4" angle grinder, files, and a random orbit sander. Forge to shape, heavy grind with the 4", refine grind with files (look up "draw filing"), and then polish with the random orbit and hand sanding. You can get a surprising amount of control with a 4" grinder because you can watch as the material is removed, and the random orbit sander is a very
  11. I love the coloring of this piece. It's like a living artifact from a black and white picture. And the PW imitation of inlay is perhaps the best idea I've seen in damascus since Mick's explosion patterns. I agree with Alan, I think the ancient smiths would have approved and then stolen that idea.
  12. The whole thing is gooey. The belt seemed fine, but it was torn when the wheel exploded. That cup (long gone) was just filled with water to dip the blade in while grinding a fuller. Nothing is stored below the grinder.
  13. It remains a mystery. This 8" wheel was the one that was left on the KMG by default. I have a lot of other sized wheels but I only put them on for a particular job, then put the 8" back on. The other wheels were sitting in a drawer a few feet away all summer and none of them are sticky and melted looking like this. To the best of my knowledge, no liquid has ever touched that wheel. Oh well, it's 2020. If my kiln gets taken out by a meteor I'll probably shrug and just say: "What next?" Dave I don't think so. And if it was that, the contact whe
  14. Thanks guys. Wish you all could have met her. She was such a forge dog. She had a bed in my shop ever since she was a pup. No matter what bit of equipment was being used, she could sleep through it and not even flinch.
  15. Hi all: Today is a sad day, we put down our beloved dog, Mouse. Many of you will remember her from this post nearly 12 years ago, and from her frequent appearances on the Arctic Fire videos. She lived a very long life for a Mastiff. She was loyal, brave, loving, and gentle. We're gonna miss her. Just thought I'd share. Here are some pics of her over the last few years. The last one is of her sleeping last night. Dave
  16. . . . don't it? Just back to the Florida shop. Left a 120 grit belt on the KMG. Fired it up for a minor job and all of a sudden it was Iwo Jima. BAM! Luckily, the shrapnel missed my head. Not sure what happened. I left the AC on at 75 degrees all Summer, but the rubber on the wheel is all "gooey" like it was left out in the sun. Cheers! Dave
  17. Here's my first "sword." I made it when I was about 13 years old from an old file. Not forged. The copper wire on the hilt is from telephone wire that I stripped the sheathing from. The pommel is a large brass nut that I filled in with braze (hence the bubbles). I think the guard was a bit of brass from a backing plate from an old boat. And here's another short sword I made a couple years ago. Long road . . . many miles left to go.
  18. The funny thing is, I used O1 for years and never knew about this. I'd quench, set aside, and get around to tempering whenever it was handy. I can't remember any of them ever cracking post quench. (Not suggesting this isn't good advice. Jerrod and Alan know their stuff. Just sharing an "ignorance is bliss" story). I also did pattern weld in a farrier's forge that had no airflow choke to produce a reducing atmosphere. No one told me you couldn't weld w/ a farrier's forge, so I did it anyway.
  19. I draw my billets out to this kind of length, so grinding hot isn't really an option. I do "pop" the scale off with a final heat and edge tap on the press before the cut and stack, but it's still a major pain. And, yeah, I have a 7" angle grinder and use cup stones on it. I also crown the billet.
  20. Grinding the scale off of billets between draws isn't my favorite.
  21. Those are really nice. I love the lines.
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