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Kevin Colwell

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Everything posted by Kevin Colwell

  1. the swastika is found all over Ming and Qing Chinese swords. I have seen some really nice daos, some with raised yelman-like tips, that have a whole row of swastikas on them. Not that I think the anvil is Chinese. Just that the swastika pops up in unexpected places. How does it rebound and ring? kc
  2. that is a beautiful knife. I have better luck with getting lines like that right with rasps and files. Just sort of sneak up to the final dimensions. There is probably a little dome in the middle of a bevel like that when I do it (a few thou) but it doesn't take away from the overall look any. I think the mill would help the most if it was CNC, but then it really isn't the same sort of hand work. Not arguing against CNC, I wish I could afford one. Just saying it makes things like centering holes a lot simpler. Anyway, back to the matter at hand, that is one fine knife. The domed pins look great, and add an authentic touch. I never get my domed pins to look that good. Any tips on that? It seems like a simple process, until you try to do it (of course, so does forging a bevel). Do you use any punches or do you manage it all just with a hammer or two?
  3. This is a great set of videos. My stepson and I have enjoyed watching them, and I like learning how you do things. Please keep making and sharing them. kc
  4. staining antler is not that difficult. You may have to put a lot of layers on to get the darkness you want. However, no matter, great work on the frame handle. I am really inspired by the Wostenholm stuff. This piece you chose is great.
  5. I am impressed. I really like the upper guard and pommel. The wire and inlays set this sword off very well. Great stuff. Thanks for sharing.
  6. damn, that is some fine leatherwork. What are the materials on the pistol grips? I am baffled by leatherwork, but I respect and appreciate what you do. kc
  7. I am just along for the ride on this one. I don't have any good advice to give, but i am ecouraging you to keep going. It is a great project!
  8. hey, those are great beginner blades. I think the movie props may have had less drop where the handle met the blade (less of a v notch). still, that is just a picky little point. The knife looks good. What sort of grinder do you have? good work, and thanks for sharing it with us. It is creative and technically sound. Keep practicing, and asking these guys for feedback. Also, go to knife shows and hammer-ins. Just one or two each year. You will be amazed how much you learn in a short time. kc
  9. awesome, that is what I think. I love this level of craft and attention to detail. In fact, I aspire to it.
  10. I am eager to see how this one turns out. The recurved blade can really be good looking with the right fittings and handle. no pressure... kc
  11. ah yes, the culmination of the plot! cool take on this knife, too. I really never noticed the strange shape on the first third of this blade near the tip the first time I saw the movie. It was only later that I paid close attention to some of the props. good stuff. kc
  12. great choice for inspiration. I loved the book and the movie, though they are separate things. I always struggled with how to go about making one of these, so I never have. I like your take on it, though.
  13. looks good Ben. What did you coat or blue the steel with? I can't tell if it is hot blued or coated or what? I like the design, it looks beefy. The sheath is a nice leather, no frills, functional piece. It is the right sheath for what you wanted to imply. For sure. kc
  14. I am very impressed. That is great work all the way around. Great leatherwork, great blades.
  15. I agree, I don't remember the top of this thread too well, it is early. But, please show us the tools you used to cut the channels, undercut, and also to set the wire. Please. Don't worry, I don't think I could copy that work if you held my hands and gave me your tools and made my hands move for me.
  16. that just blows me away. I don't know how to top that. what a great piece of smithing and inlay.
  17. Wes and Josh, thanks. I didn't even tell Charles, because he doesn't need the grief. I alway fix any mistakes I can fix, that's how it works. But a little respect is a requirement. There is a middle man who is a friend of mine, and whom I respect a tremendous amount. Because of him, I am staying with it. Yes, a blade with known steel content, a sheath with presentation grade wood, and fittings from Charles Wu and the guy is mad that it isn't like an Amazon Prime order (two days or less shipping) o I first heard the, "any two of three," from Longmire. Your words mean a lot to me, guys. This groulp knows more about this area of craftsmanship and the associated business than just about anyone or group. Thanks,
  18. that thing reminds me of something from trench warfare. only better made, of course.
  19. This has really driven me nuts lately. I have had the customer from hell. He began rushing Charles Wu to finish his fittings the week after Charles got the drawings. Plus, Charles was making them at a discount rate, and they turned out to be a great deal more complex than he thought they would be when he agreed to make them. So, he hurried to make them, and they weren't up to his usual, "best in world," standard. I had to work to fix them for weeks. During this time he was rushing me. I made a 30'' twist core, 4 bar jian. Plus did the woodwork for handle and sheath (and the sheath has a crazy difficult design). I am getting less than a thousand dollars for all of this. He was rushing me, and I made a dumb mistake. The pommel was mis-aligned by a degree or two (I haven't seen it yet, but this guy has been raising hell with the dealer who is stuck in the middle). Of course, he also raised hell because: the pattern welded bars aren't perfectly symmetrical for the entire length of the blade, the blade isn't buffed, he thought the layered oil finish was a shortcut that I did to avoid staining a presentation grade piece of rosewood, and he broke loose a press-fit piece of the scabbard and then complained that it wasn't pinned (it is a decorative band that doesn't bear weight). I should have known not to take a commission for a sword (I make them on spec to avoid this situation, people used to Chinese factory swords don't understand the months it takes to do good work). I should have known not to rush the assembly. I normally keep a piece for a week or so and just study it at different times of day and in different contexts. I should have done that, and to hell with his complaints. I did these things to make people happy. It did not work. Now, I have to fix my mistakes, and since my friend is the middle man, I am putting up with criticism that has become personal. It was a no-win situation for me. Half-priced sword, make in a hurry, and expected to be something that looked like it was CNC'd, only with a pretty pattern running right down the middle, that you can somehow magically see, on a buffed blade. this is more like Broken Spirit than Broken Dreams, but it seemed like a good place to commiserate. I have a set of broken blades too (I made 2 blades for this particular project, in fact, because there really was an issue with symmetry in the first blade so I scrapped it). kc
  20. so, L3 is the edge steel, and you heat treated per those specs? Good idea, if I understand correctly. I like the blade shape and low layer count, it looks like it is a vicious thing (reminds me of the pictures of a octopus right before it attacks a crab, with the colors rippling through it). I don't personally go for sculpted handles, I have wimpy professor hands, and I feel those sorts of things too much when I use them. Not a true criticism, though, because it is a good style and what you meant to make. I am not putting it down at all. kc
  21. 4 to 1 FC to water, approximately. Then etch for about 5 to 10 minutes, remove the oxides with a brisk rubbing with paper towel (and rotten stone if you are ambitious). Repeat 2 more times. That will give an etch deep enough that you can feel it. It won't wipe away. It even works cold as heck. kc
  22. excellent. I make most of my shop's little tools. It is rewarding. Punches, chisels, They are a blast to heat treat, too. That one looks nice, and I am sure it was fun to make. Can't beat that.
  23. I like the pointyness and the extra little swoop up behind the ricasso to give more of a snug fit for your fingers. They look good and also functional as heck. Those are my two criteria. Show us more, please.
  24. Help me understand - you were welding in a rolling mill? If the mill is fast enough, that would be a great way to make sanmei. I know of someone who, I think, uses a similar process to clad stainless onto high carbon like 52100 for bad-ass kitchen knife blanks. Rolling mill would be great to go along with the casting of bronze ingots I have been doing lately. Whatever the exact process, it seems you are up to some interesting stuff. Cool! kc
  25. I use the range from 2.5 to 4lb myself. Most of them are face-forward in the Japanese style, but I have a 1.5 kg Swedish pattern for the cross peen, and a 4lb engineer's hammer on a long handle for knocking the hell out of things. I seem to only use moderate to light blows with the face foward hammers, but very accurate. When I am hitting hard for something like punching i use the traditional balanced head. But, honestly, I use my press for everything but profiling and beveling, and with some blades I don't even bevel. KMG. I did make one knife last year wit no electricity to remind myself what it was like. I wish I could have forged that one even closer to final shape, but I missed, and had to spend way too much time filing. I finally gave up and took it back to the forge and made it longer, actually. take care and hope you get the press fixed soon. kc
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