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Dan Scott

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About Dan Scott

  • Birthday 10/03/1993

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  • Location
    Fort Collins, CO
  • Interests
    Rock Climbing

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  1. Hi Everyone, I haven't posted in a good long while due to my current lack of a shop (I should be opening up a shop with someone soon, can't wait!). Anyway, a friend of mine found an old knife while out doing field work and we'd like to see if anyone here has some more information on it. From the stamps we have found, we know it's a John Newton and Co knife. It looks to me like the handle is jigged bone, attached to the tang by cutler's resin, although it doesn't look quite like the color of cutler's resin that I've made, so I'm not sure on that. We've found some history on John Newton and Co, but there is a mark on the spine of this blade that we haven't been able to identify (the M, or W, or E). I've posted some pictures below, and I would very much appreciate any information anyone has on this knife. I suspect that the sheath was made by the owner of the knife, but I've included a picture of it just in case it happens to be the original.
  2. As for american woods, I prefer vine maple. To date I have not found a superior wood in terms of chattoyance or maintaining its form. It's durable, does not dirty easily considering the shine it can take, and will dry very fast, even in the Northwest. I've taken a piece green and make a handle of it in less than 4 months, with no cracking to this day (2 years of regular kitchen service). I also value it for the strength of the tree, and the beautiful forms it takes in the places it grows. I think there are similar variants across the US, but I don't know their names. For exotic woods, I really love lignum vitae, especially when it's figured and a mix of heartwood and sapwood. It makes a nice smoke when doing pyrography (gives you a bit of a buzz, actually, it's very pleasant). It is, however, very heavy. -Dan
  3. That is incredible workmanship and a beautiful finished product. Thanks so much for detailing how you accomplished such a feat! -Dan
  4. That must be how the Elves reforged Anduril! I always wondered about that. -Dan
  5. I made a really big knife with a farrier's rasp a while back. I never put too much work into the handle because it was just too big and heavy to be useful, but it was a fun piece. I forged it and you can tell that the teeth have been crushed where I didn't grind them away. I also like having different textures on each side of the blade. Oh, and the steel is pretty fun to forge too, and holds a great edge. Look forward to seeing what you come up with! -Dan
  6. Hey, thanks guys! I agree, the handle could be more comfortable, but as was mentioned, I only use it for maybe 15 minutes at a time, half an hour a day tops. To prevent sharp edges, I ran the entire handle under a wire brush wheel for about 5 minutes, so it's very smooth. I think if I wanted more comfort, I could have done a socket handle, but I decided to let myself go more towards form on this one than I usually do. Chris, I'm doing an MS/PhD program in geology at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins. Just starting my second semester in 2 weeks! Cheers, Dan
  7. I visited home for the holidays, and, as one of my Christmas gifts, my dad let me set up my forge and bang away at steel for a while. Make a few small trinkets, but this one is most special. I didn't have access to a shop (apparently I leave a mess when I work, go figure) so couldn't do anything with wood. I decided to do an all steel handle. This one took me a day, after a few hours the day before getting my hammer control back (5 months off had an impact). All 1080 steel, about 10 inches overall, with a boiled vinegar patina that I like on my kitchen knives. Really, I was very happy to be back at the forge. I haven't worked on a knife since around July, so this was very refreshing. And, for the most part, it all came back right away. The handle was originally conceived as a very dense spiral around a single rectangular bar, but I decided to go with a wide figure-8 type thing instead, and I really like how it turned out. Very thin, very nice in the hand, and, of course, crazy sharp. Just now inaugurating it with its first meal of making enchiladas, and it took a flap of my thumb. Better to get that out of the way early, right? Pics: Cheers! -Dan
  8. That is a beautiful axe! I really love the lines. -Dan
  9. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but if you left the scale on, you should be able to just apply a light finish (brass wire brush is what I usually use when I don't want to remove the scale, just get rid of the loose flakes, though that'd be a lot of brushing) and wax it or something. As for rusting fast, you could try spritzing on vinegar (or pour on boiling vinegar, or dunk it in a giant vat of boiling vinegar if you happen to have one of those lying around). Because of the scale of the piece, you could also try thickening mustard (maybe just mix it with a bit of flour, not sure) and spreading it all over the piece. Either of those will create a dark rust patina that should protect it. Hope something works out! It's a beautiful piece! -Dan
  10. I agree with Geoff. I hadn't ever met another smith until I visited his shop one day, and just getting the input of someone who was by far and away more skilled than I really allowed me to break through a few barriers that I feel were holding me back (and he's pretty clever with forge-building, so it really helped to see a blown forge in action before building my first). My first dozen (20? 30? no idea) knives were all chocked up to learning experiences (though a few turned out ok, and I'm proud of every one). However, I can say now that I haven't had the opportunity to smith in a few months (just moved to Colorado and have no shop , or studio, or anything nearby), I miss it like crazy and I know that I will someday come back to it, if only because I put so much hard work into getting good at making knives and I'd feel very sad to let all that go. I think the blood (more like burning flesh), sweat, and tears route really allowed me to invest in the craft emotionally and mentally. However, when I get back into it, I'd like to someday start taking classes. When I stopped, I was at the point where a class or two on specifics aspects of things like fit and finish or leatherwork would really bring me up to the next level. -Dan
  11. If they've got an "HC" mark on the head, they should harden at least slightly. I've made some knives out of the HC ones and they're not horrible.A lot of people like them just for the art value of having a knife that resembles a railroad spike. You can also do a lot of cool things with the handle. Nothing like a higher carbon steel (they lose a sharp edge very very fast) but they are very easy to make tough. I think that the C content of the HC ones is just perfect for making things like throwing hawks (especially those just for practice/fun) as you're probably going to abuse the edge anyway, so you might as well make it out of something that can take it. As for legality, do you think it was legal for the railroads to lay down track through nations that we just arbitrarily claimed were ours? I wouldn't worry about it unless you get caught, or are doing something that would endanger lives (taking rail from an active line could definitely kill people). -Dan
  12. I agree with Sam. It took me years to define my style and let a name come to me. I think I tried to think of a name before then, and I'd be very unhappy with all of them if I had gone with any of them. The one that I use now came to me when I was thinking more about what defined my blades, and less about what I'd like to be known as. My maker's mark (I assume that's what you mean by logo?) came later and only after I had made a few blades with my identity in mind. I think naming your forge is a huge step that should be taken very seriously. I'm currently taking a break from bladesmithing (unwillingly, but that's life), and having a sign for my work is a very grounding thing that I think will help me get back into it when I next have a chance. Basically, your name serves a function and you should put as much thought into that function as the function of the blades you make. -Dan
  13. I'm in a bit of a bind and I'm seeking opinions on what I can do to mitigate my problems. Specifically, I'm moving to Ft. Collins, CO to attend graduate school for the next five years. I'm moving into an apartment without the back yard and shop that I've set up in my house out in the boonies here in Washington. I'd like to keep doing some facet of blade work while I'm there, as it's become a large part of my life and it'd be very hard for me to just quit cold turkey for the next 5 or more years. I'll still have all my tools if I need them, as well as a good supply of steel, though my forge will likely be disassembled and packed way down, and I'll probably ditch my anvil stand (back to how I learned, forging on the ground!). I know how to make a miniature forge, and I'd certainly be alright with only making small knives for a while (and the occasionally awkwardly made big one, most likely). My problem is finding space. In Seattle, we've got the Pratt Fine Arts Center, which is incredible, as they rent out forging and metalwork space for a great rate and are very supportive of the people who choose to work there (and they've got some sick anvils). Such a facility would definitely work for me in Colorado, even if it was a bit of a drive from Ft. Collins, though I haven't been able to find anything. If anyone knows of one in that area, I'd love to get some information on it. If anyone has any ideas at all about how I can keep smithing while I'm in an apartment, I'd love to hear them. Or, if anyone has gone through a similar situation, what did you do? Is there anyone in the Ft. Collins who knows what the local blade/blacksmithing community is like there? Oh, and since I've been kind of lagging behind on posting things lately, I've included a few pictures. Hope you enjoy! A spoon I made from some rebar: My working knife, with a boiled vinegar patina and pyrography of a typical river network in the lignum vitae scales: My parang, with a boiled vinegar patina and my first socket handle (I love these!!!). I intend to wrap the handle with natural cordage when I get to Colorado: Thanks for the help! -Dan
  14. Word of mouth. Nothing has been more successful for me. I think building up a base of people who use your knives is important. It might pay off to be very strategic in giving your knives (make sure they're all excellent examples of your work, as every knife should be) . Give them to people who use them in public situations, or who you know will display them publicly (such as in an office), or who will show them off to others. For example, I gave a knife (not with the purpose of getting sales) to one of my professors, a geologist, who uses his knife regularly and was very curious about the process of making it, and I'm now getting contacted by my former classmates who have seen the knife and are interested in buying one (of course I'm shutting down shop for the near future, so I can't take advantage of this unfortunately). Make sure you educate these people well (i.e. tell them how you make your knives, how to care for them, and how you sell your knives/do commissions; give them your website, cards to hand out, whatever). They will be much more successful in selling your knives than you will likely be able to. Then, once you make the sale, offer free sharpening and maintenance (they pay shipping, or drop off, whatever), be very helpful, and in general just have excellent customer service. Best of luck, Dan
  15. Great finds! I'd love to see how pacific yew holds up in a knife handle. What are the other two though? Also, if you haven't tried it, vine maple (or douglas maple), is another local wood that makes absolutely awesome handle material. It's extremely durable and can take a very high polish. It also forms burl between branches quite often, so if that's what you're into, it's not too hard to find. -Dan
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