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Kevin Colwell

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Everything posted by Kevin Colwell

  1. interesting thread. I was just posting about using old files to make tools. This is a great take. I just use a variable speed electric die grinder, hose clamps, and a brazing rod bent to form a guide finger. But, the fuller has to follow either the spine or the edge, or I have to make a guide piece/fence. I like the guide rails on this.
  2. I probably have 200 files. Cheap needle files for wood or when I know I am filing something too hard. High quality needle files in several cuts for filing and polishing non-ferrous stuff. High quality for hardened and tempered steel. I have to do that sometimes, so I keep some that I use for this and then discard sooner. Grobet and Vallorbe. The extra-hard Vallorbe aren't really that great. New-Old-Stock and McMaster are the two best ways to get files. I suggest iwasaki carfiles and/or milled tooth files for wood, copper, and brass. They don't really load and last forever with these. They are the step after rasps in woodworking. The files through Mcmaster are thicker and sturdier than the same brand from Amazon or a box store. I have both an Aruiou hand-stitched rasp and a collection of smaller rasps made by the high-tech method. They are all great at different parts of making scabbards. The small rasps actually have one side with rasp teeth and one side with milled teeth with chip breakers like the carfiles. These are awesome tools for adjusting lines on a scabbard with bevels. Some of the Asian ones were mostly hexagons with longer flat sides. Lot of lines to keep straight. get the coarsest half-rounds you can find from the NOS world. Bahco makes great files for smooth single cuts. Lathe files are great. I treat files as consumables because I file tempered steel with vanadium carbides in it. So, I go through a lot. I just take them and use them to make my own shop tools when they are dead. You can make just about any sort of chisel or punch or graver from an old file, and you will have a very good tool. My best saya-making chisels are all old Nicholsons from the 70s. Keep your files clean, use short strokes, use the whole file, and drawfile after you pushfile. Single cut are better for this because of the finish. sorry for posting on old thread.
  3. nice work, Dan! that's is a great take on a classic. I love it. I used to compete in barbecue contests in Texas. That is perfect style, which is really important.
  4. those are lovely. I love the way the nagel extends back to the first rivet, and the handle scales look great. I don't go for mirror polish (I think that's what I saw). However, you are making really nice work. Welcome! I have a soft spot for this style, too. I really enjoy them.
  5. If you can't download the article I linked, here are some take-away points. 1. The blade was small but pattern welded. 2. It was heat treated (even had a little crack or two in it, too). 3. Wrought iron from bloomery, phosphoric wrought iron, pattern welded steel mixed with iron and twisted, then a steel edge. From spine to edge. 4. Edge had .6 % carbon 5. Edge was tempered martensite. This means it was heat treated completely. Austinitized, quenched, and tempered. 6. Hardness of edge at about 55 or 54 Rockwell C. (they measured in Vickers). 7. The shallow hardening mix of steel and iron was such that the body of the blade was a mixture of bainite and martensite. 8. The authors suggest that the edge was heated and the whole blade quenched. I disagree. I believe the whole thing was heated and quenched, and the mixed structure is from the shallow hardening nature of the material. I think that edge heating in a forge isn't something likely. Why bother, when part of the spine of the blade won't harden anyway. This was a WELL MADE little blade. Some slag inclusions, even in the edge steel. More in the body. It was never liquid, but made from blooms. In the 1200's in Europe, there was at least one guy still pattern welded (unless this knife was really old when lost and buried, it could have been). Our predecessors, at least some, really knew what they were doing! take care...
  6. This is an article about an examination of two knives. One is pattern welded, and heat treated. From the 13th Century. I think it is awesome. It was even tempered. Metallographic exam knives croatia 1200s.pdf
  7. Kevin Colwell

    Fancy One

    Well Hell Yeah! I actually have a similar thing going but the shop is at the end of a Y and the house is the other. Our signs say things like Professor's Forge (for the delivery people- that's the business name), but also Neverland, The Shire, Camelot, and Hundred Acre Wood. We like to think that the real world ends just as ours begins. Love the shop pics. Thank you very much for the response! I have shop envy. You have more room, and you live in a dry climate so your anvil stays shiny!
  8. Kevin Colwell

    Fancy One

    not too bad. I never got the story on the front yard thing, though. Why there and not a regular shop (or is that where your shop is?). good work, seriously. The steel looks great, as usual.
  9. yes, that is a real work of art and craft. I am really impressed.
  10. you are going to love/hate the grinder. You can screw things up fast with a good grinder. I hope you have variable speed. That extra control is really worth the money. It just makes it like an extension of your mind after you get enough practice. Nice knife. Learn from the mistakes and move forward. It is what we all do.
  11. Hi Zeb, I believe it is worth one pattern welded modern hunting knife or bowie knife from me. Between 4 and 8" blade, wood handle, nice aqua fortis staining on curly maple handle. I like it. I am not sure what they are worth. Alan may know more. I would only add that, if I were you, I would keep it as-is. You know this, but maybe someone reading this will not know this, so DON'T POLISH ORIGINAL METAL ITEMS, THE RUST AND PATINA IS IMPORTANT IN DATING AND VALUE. I had to say it. thanks for sharing the pics with us. I just love this sort of stuff. I need to get a Fairbairn-Sykes. I really do. Plus, the early gerber, (Mark I?). on and on I ramble. Nice score.
  12. I like it. Sometimes the whole "fusion" thing misses me. But, this looks good, and the hamon is an interesting touch which could have been on originals and just not polished to emphasize. Glad you are back (I sort of drifted away, too.). keep posting. kc
  13. good to see your work again. I came back after time away (like a salmon, returning to the place of my birth, only I won't lay eggs or die). really good work with the bronze. I never learned to cast anything but ingots so I can recycle cutoffs. keep posting your work, it always makes me happy to see it.
  14. I mortise every handle. It may not be correct for this sort of knife, but you can shape the result into anything. Split the handle material in half or get two thick scales, chisel and/or mill or route a slot in them to fit the tang with almost no gap around it. Almost. There will be a tad bit of gap, especially in that the slot will be just a little wider side-to-side that the tang. Rough the tang up with sandblast or rough file or checkering file, or 100 grit paper. Put epoxy in the hole wihle open, put either epoxy or wood glue on the mating surfaces, and clamp the whole enchilada around the tang. Or, skip the epoxy in the hole the first time and just do the mating surfaces. Clamp around the tang, then remove the tang so you can shape the thing off of the blade. When time to epoxy, just do what you described, but focus more on having a healthy amount of epoxy dripping off all parts of the tang if it is cool or poured into the hole if it is warm. put it in place, clamp. If possible, you can also put a pin hole through the whole thing prior to this, and put a pin in at the time of epoxy. Put a small countersink into both sides of the wood, peen a small rivet head onto one side of the pin, shove it through and seat the head. When the epoxy is set, clip off excess and peen the other side to set it. I love to pin handles while the epoxy sets, especially on swords, because it can be a real pain to clamp the handle. nice forging, welding, grinding on that seax. I like it a lot. forgive the long answer. I am wordy in the morning.
  15. I am always afraid to use a buffer, for fear of ruining lines. of course, sometimes they can't be beat. I just don't think to use one when I am not making jewelry. I never took the time to really learn how to use a buffer, or go get enough different wheels to really get full benefit. Filework is something that I would enjoy, but it never comes up on Chinese stuff, so I haven't learned it. I like the filework you have done. Interesting design. Two needle files, right?
  16. fast and new belt on wood. New belt is most important, so it doesn't just scorch it.
  17. oh man, you are going to love that thing. Love/hate actually. They are great, but I dislike the noise and dust. Still, I am not giving mine away. It changes how you can work. It is also the fastest way to ruin a knife or a piece of one. Good for you, though. This will be fun to watch as you break it in, and learn it. I see it is variable, and that was a great choice. forgot to say that the knife looks sweet, too.
  18. I like it. The handle wrap is a good touch, if not traditional.
  19. this is wonderful. I arrived late, but I have loved this thread. There was a lot of great tips and tricks. I enjoyed your breakdown of what craft and craftsman mean to you, also. These are some great knives. Important to document the fact that things just don't work right the first time in many cases, too. Great message for new folks. You are sharing your processes and a little of yourself, and I appreciate it greatly. Thanks. Plus, I learned a lot.
  20. that is nice. what was the style on fullers going under the guards on originals? it may not have mattered, but it may. Different cultures were very firm with this (Chinese would not dare, Europeans do about half the time, Japanese do not I believe). That is a very good looking messer.
  21. good ideas. I never would have thought of the wood screw trick in a million years.
  22. good use of the material, for sure.
  23. i like it. It is a unique shape and not so modern. nice work.
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