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Kevin Colwell

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Everything posted by Kevin Colwell

  1. Lukas - well done! Did you do the trick where you mount the workpiece on some all-thread in a drill chuck? I am even more impressed, now.
  2. Always wondered what one of those would look like with a wood handle. I want a lathe. When I get one, the FS is going to be one of the first things I do. Great interpretation. Thicker tang is better, for sure.
  3. aha! Well, I hope it did not seem as if I was criticizing anything. If it did, I sincerely apologize. I was just making a joke. It is always hard to know what gets lost in translation between languages, and also what is missing when we can not see the face of the person we are interacting with. I am sorry if it seemed rude or anything. I really like the cutlass you made.
  4. I agree they should pay for time. It has been better than I thought it would be, by far. Almost every time I tell someone I make swords (I got tired of being asked about combat knives so I tend to say, "I make swords," rather than, "I am a bladesmith." Even though, gulp, I may make a fighting knife every now and then). Anyway, almost every time, people ask if I, "saw that show?" Adam - in CT, it isn't legal to have a fixed blade longer than 1.5" unless you are, "going to or from martial arts class, hunting, or you make, repair, or sell knives." I carry a business card in my car all the time to avoid weapons charges because of a knife or sword. I have spoken to state law enforcement about this, and that was their suggestion.
  5. that is really nice. Looks like a cutlass takeoff to me rather than a machete. But, you made it, you can name it an elephant if you like!
  6. Dan, you are definitely welcomed to come up/down (not sure which it is for you). If you are able, bring a bag of hardwood charcoal. I will have several. Depending upon numbers, we may set up two hearths, or just one. I want everyone who contributes to be able to leave with some orishigane. I hope. I will smoke a brisket. Bring snacks. I will also probably have the twist-o-matic out. It is nothing but a mini forge on rails so you can fix a bar that you want to twist, and move the forge along it. The welds are ugly, it was the first thing I ever welded. But, you can heat a 1.5" section of bar to welding heat and twist it, and then move along another 1.5" and set up again. Way safer than the traditional twisting method. Slower than the hand crank things where you heat the whole bar and twist it all at once. But, the twist-o-matic lets you focus on a specific spot, and do alternating direction. Most importantly, there is no stress introduced into the steel as a result of twisting. It is constantly welding itself as you go, too. Everyone who is close and wants to come is welcome. We will have enough material to set up a second hearth, I believe. I have a blower and 2 shop vacs, and I am buying more firebricks for the occasion. We may have a little orishigane factory for a day. kc
  7. that is a neat little thing. I was expecting full-sized at first. Tell us more about how you locked the copper into the recesses of the guard. It looks pretty neat. I have recently learned to sharpen chisels and gravers well by hand. It sure does make a difference. I finally don't need a jig for everything (I did as a transitional step, so I could learn what to look for so I could sharpen better). excellent. kc
  8. sweet little knife with a great personal touch.
  9. Hello Everyone, I am having a few folks over to my home in Connecticut. We are getting together on March 18th. It is a Saturday. I will smoke a brisket for us to eat on Friday. Emiliano is teaching me how to do heart melting. I am providing a big piece of cable and some charcoal. We are using my shop, which is not huge, to refine the blooms. There will be access to all of the shop equipment, including forge, press, and twist-o-matic. We will be making pattern welded stock in between and around refining whatever we creating with the melting hearth. You are welcome to come, and bring guests. You are on your own for beer, because I don't drink. Bring: 1. yourself and any guests. 2. Charcoal appropriate for melting/smelting 3. low allow steel (I suggest cable) or wrought iron that you want to melt. We want to combine steel and wrough mostly to incorporate the silicates so the steel we produce has character like traditional steel. Hopefully, everyone who contributes will get to leave wit puck of steel. Looking forward to seeing some of you! Kevin 1393 Diamond Hill Road, Cheshire CT
  10. hamons grabbed me for about 3 years or so. I thought, "You know, I don't have to do pattern welding on everything. I will make a few simple steel knives and just put hamons on them. That will be easier." Little did I know. Then I got into pattern welding 1075 and W2 together to make hamon and hada. Orishigane is next.
  11. sweet. I found a cutting demo on a forum with one of my first big blades, a langsax, and I was thrilled. I cut a lot of maple saplings with each one. I am sure you chop something with each one, too. Still, there is a truly satisfied feeling when a customer likes the way your blade cuts! Excellent. This guy seems interesting. edited to add: that is one broad-shouldered mofo. I wouldn't want to have to wrestle him in the over 40 league.
  12. I did the same as Wes for years, with Mothers and pumice. That is a good way, too. I just got tired of erasing details with the Mothers. I also used to use a leather pad. Never tried felt. Steel wool is good that it doesn't show any swirl marks. I am not exactly sure why, but I was really happy when Peter Johnsson explained this to me, for use in another context. There are a lot of ways to get to the same place. Edited to add: 1. thanks. I learned all of this from either someone on this forum, or someone at Ashokan. 2. vinegar or lemon/lime juice give whiter hamons and more activity than ferric chloride. First time I used vinegar for this, I was amazed. It is a tremendous difference. I don't remember what etchant you used. Oh, wait - the vinegar or citrus trick came from Walter Sorrells.
  13. that is sweet, Jake! The habaki looks great in that context, and the ridge on the habaki looks nice.
  14. what version of 1095 was it? There is some that is higher in manganese, and you can get less activity. I use W2 or Aldo's 1075 exclusively (ok, maybe a little W1, especially Carpenter's pure stuff). I am going to move into steel I make (orishigane) more. But, if you didn't have the lower manganese stuff, that will effect things. If you are doing it in a forge, turn the forge down low, so that only the hot spot is hot enough to reach critical if possible, then slide the knife back and forth through it. The only thing is this is usually a carburizing environment, but with clay on the blade, what the hell. Also, leave it in the water for a fast 3 count. You will be excited, so a three count will be 2.5 secs. Then, into the peanut oil. A little more time in gives more activity, too. That is, I know, more than one variable. Sorry. I would try the next one with W2 if it is a knife, or 1075 if it is a sword, or a mixture of the two in random pattern weld (you get a good grain and also a hamon that way, to imitate older steel). Outstanding shape to the blade, and nice hamon. You can also bring out a lot of activity with FFF pumice. Just rub like you are trying to rub a hole through the hamon transition area, dry, with your finger. You could also use 800 grit to 1200 grit SiCarbide. then, go over the whole thing with 1500 grit or so si carbide, using oil and 0000 steel wool as the carrier for the abrasive. It gives a beautiful finish. No swirls or anything. This also works with rotten stone on brass or copper or silver. It is my secret weapon. Rotten stone will take oxides off the back of the blade and do very little to the hardened portion, fyi. Sometimes, that is what you want. It works better than Mothers mag and alum polish, and unlike Mothers, it won't hurt the hamon if it gets on it. I love hamons. Thanks for sharing. Forgive all the suggestions. I get into this.
  15. I am impressed. You are off and running on that. great so far. kc
  16. those are pretty. I don't normally go for non-metal bolsters (just a weird obsession of mine, like G10 could be ok, but usually not wood). But, these look great. The lines on the profiles, and the steel, are awesome.
  17. The Tibetans made an art of mixing poop into clay to get stucco/adobe, and some of the most treasured art in the world is painted on walls made partially from poop. Watch the beginning of Tim Lively's vid, or watch Tai Goo on YouTube. He has a forge from a washtub with a side draft through wood ash shaped wet. Lively's is clay/sand, with a pipe in the bottom like yours. Just plug all of the holes except about 3" worth in the middle of your forge. The one Murray Carter has forged thousands of knives in (probably half what he claims, though) is just charcoal or coal with a bottom blast and a firebrick shell over the top. That should help to keep a larger area on the top that is oxygen-poor. Honestly, I have always wanted to make one like Murray's, but where I live propane is a more reasonable option (i.e., not required to register with the city as a business so I could burn the coal and charcoal). They sent the police once when I smelted, but the cops thought bladesmithing was cool and let me get away with it. Having a business card and a sword to show helped. good luck. Keep us posted.
  18. Welcome! That is a beauty. lovely. You are going to fit right in.
  19. I like the way you welded the socket onto the body of the spear. That was definitely a new one for me. Creative and technically-sophisticated. yeah!
  20. nice documentation of the finishing process. I don't do the Parkerizing thing but I appreciate it. Love the attention to detail.
  21. THAT is the folding knife I want to make for myself. I just LOVE it. Thank you for sharing
  22. beat the pins like they stole something. beat them with a heavy ball peen until they are smashed flat. Then, get a slightly domed punch just a little larger than the hole they are in, and beat them some more using that to smash them down into the hole. Then, just grind or file and sand away enough to get to smooth and clean bolsters and stop. Not a bit more. You want to make sure you do not file past your countersunk area.
  23. Salem, thanks for explaining this. I would use files with a safe edge, too. I am going to make a few with the welded bolster/guard. I just love the idea. Also, I have a jian I am finishing (the story of my life) and the pommel needs the touch-up polish you have to do after all of the inletting of the grip and fitting to the tang is done. I always dent and scratch them when taking them off and on during the inletting because I hammer them down onto the wood firmly and look for polished or grooved spots in the wood. I always braze or silver solder the pommel and guard to the rings that go with each of them, as an extra measure to insure that neither can wiggle once everything is finished. Because of brazing, I had to pickle them. They each have that reddish-pink tint from the oxides due to pickling. Die maker's stones are Perfect for this. I have a box full of them that I haven't used for years. Edited to add: The tint from pickling is over the entire surface, including inside the engraving. The engraving is supposed to have a bright cut bottom. At least it is not supposed to be pink. So, stones will get this out better than teeny files will. Thanks for the reminder! You know I respect your work. This is an awesome piece.
  24. really creative forging. nice to see that it all worked out, too!
  25. simpler question - how did you get the front of the guard finished? Polished, I mean. That is the one thing about this that is a little bit of a pain as I think it through. Everything else seems like it would be pretty fun.
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