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Kevin Colwell

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Everything posted by Kevin Colwell

  1. that is looking great so far. The hardest part of bladesmithing is when we get drawn into making all the stuff that isn't a blade Soak the blade in vinegar overnight to get the scale to soften up and mostly come off. Then, go at the fuller with 180 grit paper wrapped around a piece of metal or hard wood shaped to fit the fuller. If you can put wings on it so you can hold it better and use two hands it will work even better. If you have a big round file, even if it tapers, and you can sacrifice it, you can break it off into about a 1-2" long section, and set that halfway into a wood block with handles, and epoxy it in. Then, you have a scraper/filing tool. if you grind and polish the leading edge to exactly 90 deg you can use the leading edge as a scraper and the file teeth too depending upon slight changes of angle in how you hold the tool. Hope this makes sense.
  2. excellent idea. I am getting my head back into Dune (as if I ever really left it). Good timing. I love the old saber/hunting swords and related styles. I am happy to see you working on this. Maybe that is his prize possession (most prized?) and he took if off of a wealthy opponent. All tricked out. We have a Civil War era Spencer repeating rifle in our family that is sort of like this. We are from Texas. The rifle was a Union model for those who don't know.
  3. hope it is ventilated well! The forge looks ready for some longer work. Eager to see what you turn out with it.
  4. yes, go get it. so to speak. Alan was correct regarding thickness. Forge to 3/8 and then grind 1/16th off to clean it up, leaving 5/16 at the ricasso. Even daos, which are light and 29" long, usually have almost 5/16 at the forte, and so do jians. It is a really common thing for a sword to be that thick and then taper down to just over .16" in the first 5 inches and then hold that for a span, and then taper again over the last 5 inches. That is for "cut-and-thrust" swords. Frequently end about or just below .125" Jians often end at .1 daos at .12" (so do messers). It is a good balance strategy. Not for longswords but sabers, cut-and-thrust double-edged blades, and such. It is a safe general idea to start with, and then you can modify from it. "
  5. those will work great for ht furnaces. I like it!
  6. that is a great start. I am eager to see where it goes. Regarding larger heat treatment apparatus, I suggest either a barrel with a port in the bottom side and top middle and another hole on the top, opposite side, for hanging the blade in. The hole on the bottom is actually at the bottom of one side, not the true bottom of the barrel, so you can put a burner in. I use a 3/4" T-rex type. Line barrel with kaowool, all over the inside and put little wire loops to hold it. Takes about an hour to build, and if kept covered, will last almost forever. You have to put firebricks in the bottom to create a baffle/chamber for the initial flame to go into and be redirected/trapped, so that the heating is more by convection. You will have to fiddle with how much to cover each of the top openings, and how to arrange the bricks in front of the burner for awhile. Put two thermocouple ports in, right by where you will hang the blades. One low and one high. Futz around with arranging things until the two read within about 2 degrees C of each other. You will be able to find a balance that does this. I don't have a PID, I just use a needle valve and let the thing come up to temp and normalize across the vertical distance. Then, this arrangement works as well as an electric kiln, with less scale and decarb. Cheaper, too. Or, the old standby, a trench that has another trench in the middle, at the bottom. Put a pipe with holes in bottom trench, layer with charcoal in the upper trench, and bury your blade in it. Make the pipe with enough holes that you can adjust the burn to the length of the blade you are heating. Add hair dryer in one end, and you are ready to heat treat. Joshua - I know you already know about these things, but I thought I would write them out in case anyone new was reading. keep us posted, kc
  7. Jake - I agree with Alan, those are really a step above most work. I am impressed, and they will become heirlooms. Just what we want with our work. Nice ones.
  8. thanks for the info Alan wonderful to know.
  9. good results. I think the handle looks quite good, too. I have never etched anything electrically. I did buy a Chinese etching machine because the front was translated wrong so the knobs are called "tits." My etching machine has tits. Beat that.
  10. thanks for sharing the detail of your process. I enjoy it a lot. I have been in my, "clean shop" for months, polishing a katana and a guan dao, and I miss forging. I need to finish some hand work and then I can forge some more. The tiles in your "canoe" are cool. I thought you were going to cut angles on them and ferry flip them at first. Always amazes me when that many welds all set just right. I know they don't have much choice in the matter, but it is still always amazing.
  11. that is a great idea. nice work. I hope the issues got sorted out. The rose is a creative touch.
  12. put a t-section on it, and you could make a Khyber knife. Or, make a nagel, and go with the messer. They become a sword when you intend to use it to fight and kill another person, and they are so long that they aren't useful for anything but chopping people. If they can chop people and firewood, they are a machete or a bayonet or something. Just my thoughts. Around 20 inches.
  13. great score, indeed. People sometimes get all strange about this, but I like to use old files (disston, too) and make shop tools out of them. Chisels, gravers, punches, scrapers, etc. You can make all sorts of shop tools from old file stock and heat treat it yourself. kc
  14. that looks great. I don't usually get that much banding in W1. I love the knife, though. Just a comment. It looks awesome.
  15. yes, great work. the video was interesting, too. thanks a lot for sharing with us.
  16. this is an ambitious project. I am looking forward to it!
  17. love the work. I especially like the filet knife.
  18. that is a great piece Dave. Good luck on getting back home. The colors and textures of the handle is awesome. I really like your work.
  19. excellent. I just realized (maybe wrong) that the smatchet looks a lot like some of the Chinese fighting knives from the early 20th Century. I wonder if that is where the idea came from, with Fairbairn being an old China hand? I like that you made a new one of these, and it does look imposing as hell. edited: Wikipedia, which has to be right, said that these things were based on a Welch Fusiliers Trench Knife from WWI. Oh well.
  20. great job. First knives are interesting. The variability is wide. Yours is near the top, it is quite nice. I am impressed. mine were strictly functional and I decided to improve later due to a gentleman named JD Smith who pushed me. That looks like my 10th. you are off and running! that is the real reason I have never made a kitchen knife for my own home
  21. Justin, I was really struck by the hamon on the first one. I liked that one the most, though they are all very nice. I just dig the contrast between hamon and polish with the forged spine.
  22. that's pretty neat. I am always happy to see integrals. Never made one. Good work on that one. Thanks for sharing the process with us, too.
  23. well those welds are awesome! The sanmai thing cause me nightmares (or at least headaches). I have to do a lot of sanmai because it was standard on Chinese swords made for the army/emperor and most of the ones owned by wealthy people. I have gotten really obsessive. I have a milling machine, and for the last weld, the one that creates the sanmai billet, I mill all the pieces flat. Plus, I weigh them, and I make sure each of the outside plates is the same thickness and has the same mass. That way, the center plate is in the center given the mass and the volume. If you start it out that way, it will end up that way. Or, at least, it will end up that way unless you really work hard to shift it. Even then, I am not 100% certain you could shift it very far. That's been my experience, anyway. But, if there is a difference in the mass or volume on either side of the center, you are in trouble. For what it's worth. I think that blade looks really good. Especially the side that came out as you wished. I agree that it should live, too.
  24. those are just great. I like that one. The texture on the guard is a good touch, too.
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