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Kevin Colwell

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Everything posted by Kevin Colwell

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. that is sweet, Jake! The habaki looks great in that context, and the ridge on the habaki looks nice.
  4. 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.
  5. I am impressed. You are off and running on that. great so far. kc
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Welcome! That is a beauty. lovely. You are going to fit right in.
  9. 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!
  10. nice documentation of the finishing process. I don't do the Parkerizing thing but I appreciate it. Love the attention to detail.
  11. THAT is the folding knife I want to make for myself. I just LOVE it. Thank you for sharing
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. really creative forging. nice to see that it all worked out, too!
  15. 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.
  16. whoa... I loved this knife already. I didn't realize the guard was welded on. That adds a hell of a twist. I have been toying with the idea of doing this with full tang fighters and bowies. I am excited about this idea.
  17. that is a great piece. Nice story behind it. Meaningful adornments that tie things together, and a historical blade for inspiration. My kind of knife making.
  18. that pommel is anything but simple, though it wasn't too difficult for you to make. I love it!
  19. tell us more about the file saw thingee. How does it compare to a cabinetmaker's rasp? great work so far. I am impressed by the tig welds. I haven't ever learned to do that (but I am a forge-welding fool!).
  20. Nothing wrong with that. It is a working knife, and looks solid as hell.
  21. I like it. The guard and the butt cap really set it off. Hell of a big blade. It almost looks like a short sword from Eurasia.
  22. Bladesmithing is largely the craft of knowing or being able to devise multiple means of fixing or undoing things you have done to metal and wood.
  23. aha! The, "autohamon," effect. I forgot. I have never heat treated a piece of bloomery steel with that thick spine and long/wide wedge shape. I really want to learn to do heath melting to approximate early steels. In fact, we are having a mini-workshop in March at my shop/forge. Once I learn to do this, I will be able to make better daos (which were clayed), Japanese swords (which I have never made), and of course, seaxes. Oh yeah. Thanks again for sharing what you are doing. I really appreciate it. kc
  24. clean knotwork, and I like the guard. It adds a lot of color and texture.
  25. Just take a small punch, the pins will drive out. Trust me. If you can see them like that, they aren't that well bonded to the bolster. I know this, oh man, do I know this. Just beat them out with a tapered punch. It will also swage the hole some, so next time the pins won't come out the same way. But, that is good. In brass you can just drive a tapered punch into the hole really hard and cause the hole to expand some. Then, when you peen the next pin into it, the hole will be a slight hourglass shape (do both sides, so each bolster has an upsidedown cone-shaped hole). It will prevent this problem in the future, unless you grind another large amount away. In general, you have to thin the bolster material from the backside, before you put it onto the knife. Milling machines are perfect for this. Nice and flat, and rapid material removal. kc
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