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Kevin Colwell

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Posts posted by Kevin Colwell

  1. I LOVE it. Great jigsaw puzzle action, and awesome theme. I am bringing my kid this year, he is making a ka-bar inspired knife for a high school project. Thus, I am dragging him to my favorite gathering of my favorite people. 

    I will surely join that raffle.

    See you there :)

  2. Hello Everyone,

    I am still making things. I have also been restoring antiques for the past couple of years. I can't post pictures of them, though. The people that own them are often pretty picky about who knows they own them. But, it has made me better, I think. Here is a Qing Dynasty Willow Leaf Dao with a blade with a medial ridge. I hope you like it.




    bat motif dao hi res with engraving.jpg

    • Like 11
  3. that is a great piece. The silver (and the texture) set it off very well. Yataghan meets Orc slayer. I love it. 

    • Like 1
  4. that is awesome. it is also about where I am in my own progress. I have some engraving to do in the near future. I am making a Chinese idiom so there is not any background removal, but still similar. great stuff.

    • Like 1
  5. that is really good creativity on the closure. The cable blade looks good, too. I haven't seen cable much , lately. Matt Berry took some cable from me, and used it to make a serpent that ran down a blade. It was beautiful. Your blade does look a little like a dirk

  6. good knife. I like it, and it will be functional as hell as well as look good. It will be used a lot, too, which is good. Great conversation, too.

    • Thanks 1
  7. ok this is a way to provide nostalgia and something new. I'll bite - what are the waxes going to be when they grow up? Seriously, tiger-themed? Is that the plan?

    good to see you here. Oh, I forgot to ask - I thought they were usually horse-themed? Not opposed to tiger, just asking because it is a vague memory of something Jesus did a decade ago. 

    • Like 1
  8. Yes I have tried the full stock removal method for large knives. Never anything this large. It just doesn't seem efficient. Even if only doing the trick some factory knives that are "hand forged" do and just forge the distal tapers and call it done, then doing stock removal on the little hour-glass blob/sheet of metal that is produced by squashing both ends of a bar with a thickening toward the center. Even that is far easier than grinding in a good distal taper. For me.


    So... great work to achieve results that way. Trying that way is good. Now, you are sure as to why you like to forge :).

    I think the messer will be beautiful, when you are done. I love to see messers.



    • Thanks 1
  9. damn, new tools almost never work that smoothly. good job. I haven't checked in enough. I knew you mentioned making some folders when I said they were the one thing that intimidated me. I would remake the Sutton Hoo sword before I would make a slip-joint or lock back. More chance of getting it right, too (not necessarily a lot, but more).


    Looking forward to seeing what you make. Registration for Ashokan Sword is open. Register and come see us!

    • Like 1
  10. I use the electric kiln for tempering and spheroidizing/annealing. The two make a good combination to get the various things done. You are right about decarb. I tested the edge of the sword, which I had draw filed after forging. The whole length of the edge was hard as glass. No decarb that I could notice, after three grain refinement cycles and a hardening cycle. 


    willow leaf bat dao decalescence 2.jpg


    Notice how uniform the color is. There is just a bit of decalescence or recalescence happening above the tip if you look. Just below the bold that holds the leg of the post vise to the arms. 


    willow leaf bat dao decalescence.jpg


    This is a different grain refinement cycle. Notice, not as hot. Same thing.


    willow leaf bat dao after quenching.jpg


    Here is the quenched sword (it lives) over the drawing of what I am supposed to make. I missed a tad. 

    • Like 2
  11. burner is under the baffle, the temp probes and the sword hang in the top over the baffle. That way, only convection can heat the top part. Don Fogg, a long time ago, figured out that the top layer of air in a setup with the burner at one end and a port to put swords in through at the top of the same end would equalize well across the entire barrel. All I did was add baffles to his design, because in his there was often about 30F difference between the middle and the two ends of the barrel. I wanted to do better than that, so I added the baffle. It is just 3/32 mild. Actually, it has two plates stacked on each other, so I can slide them around and play with the width of the openings. One is 1/16th and one is 3/32. I don't think thickness matters. Just that something traps the heat and only lets the hot gasses out in scattered form. Also, aim the burner sideways so the flame wraps onto one of the walls. If you aim it straight down the kiln, the far end will be way hotter.

  12. Hello Everyone,

    So the idea for this kiln goes way back to Don Fogg on this forum and his old website. I was using a vertical barrel kiln for high temp heat treatment, and an electric evenheat for tempering and spheroidizing. I wanted a way to heat treat outside when quenching would happen, due to oil, flames, martempering with hot oil, etc. None of those things will happen in my basement.


    Well, I could not get the vertical barrel kiln to get closer than 40F top-to-bottom. No good when it is a 36" barrel and I am making 30" blades with tangs. 


    Plus, I wanted a kiln that I could just go to and use, and not have to tweak for an hour until it worked optimally.


    So, I took Don's idea of the horizontal ht kiln, and I tweaked it slightly.  I added mild steel baffles that are pushed up against the back end/bottom of the barrel. They leave about 4" in front, and about 1" on the sides. With the burner, a 3/4" T-rex aimed off to one side, the thing worked amazingly well. Much better than I had hoped. I put a thermocouple about 6" from the entry port, and another about 8" from the far end. They were within one or two degrees C of each-other. I was amazed. I believe that I actually built a better kiln than I could buy.

    barrel vertical.jpg

    Vertical kiln with burner to show how it began.


    barrel horizontal.jpg

    Stand made from scrap wood, of course, and barrel horizontal.


    coating with satanite.jpg

    Covering it all with rigidizer and satanite. I also put in better wire supports for the kaowool. 


    showing baffles.jpg

    Here is the inside with the baffles. The burner port is in the lid, down near the bottom of the barrel, under the baffles. The idea is that only convection can heat the top. 

    thermocouples in kiln.jpg

    You can see the thermocouples and also the burner pointed off to one side. This made a HUGE difference. Don't point it straight down the barrel. The rebar goes through both sides of the barrel, and it holds the mild steel plate that forms the baffles. Two plates, so I can adjust how much room on either side.


    two thermocouples kiln 1.jpg


    Yes, I didn't believe it either.


    two thermocouples kiln 2.jpg


    Here is another to prove that I wasn't just picking one time they were coincident. I wanted to take them up to 850C but I had to go cook dinner for the family. Still, this is far better than I had hoped. 15 inches apart and about 3 or 4 inches difference in height within the furnace.


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