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AJ Chalifoux

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Connecticut
  • Interests
    Swords, Knives, Polearms, Daggers, Western Martial Arts, Over-Engineering Stuff...

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  1. Very nice looking bunch of knives. I have to admit I've never seen a tang like the bottom one. Is that a common style? How do you mount a handle on it, if at all? Very cool
  2. Looks like it will be a fun project to get it all freed up again. It's hard to tell what the pitting looks like on the vertical column (the tube). Try just soaking it in penetrating oil and letting it sit for a while first, then some Scotch Brite if it won't budge. I've always been advised against sandpaper (and sometimes even the Scotch Brite) because it might damage whatever non-pitted surfaces remain and cost you some accuracy. It might be splitting hairs on really old iron, but food for thought, anyway. Nice looking mill, though.
  3. These two paired Scottish dirks were done as a personal project for Christmas presents. They went to my sister and her husband, who had their wedding in Scotland last year. The blades are 5160 steel with dramatic distal and profile taper. I don't think these typically had distal taper, but I decided to do something a little different. One blade was forged by me, and the other was forged by my girlfriend as a fun couple's project. She also polished the blades while I worked on the hilts. The guards and pommels are solid brass, and the woods used are padauk and wenge.
  4. I may also be a bit biased, but I'll echo Will in saying I'll take a large mill that's hard to move over a small mill any day. I've got two for general machining (and smithing); my bigger one is about the size of a Bridgeport that I got for $600 and it still has frosting on the ways, and the small one is still about 1,000lbs which I scored for $125. The rule of thumb is, the bigger the machine, the better the deal you can get because they're just hard to move. If you find something like a Bridgeport, it's perfectly doable with a Uhaul trailer and an engine hoist, especially if you break it apart, but it's still a pain. Food for thought. Then again, what kind of space do you have? If it's downstairs and only accessible through a bulkhead, I wouldn't recommend getting a bigger machine...Food for thought. Also, always remember that tooling will double the cost of the machine, so if you can get a big machine with lots of tooling, that's the jackpot right there.
  5. Rough ground one dirk blade, other to probably follow tomorrow. It turned out thin at the tip, but given how I forged it I expected as much. It's not too thin given the taper and length, so I'm not worried about too much flexion. At least they're both already heat treated so warpage won't be a problem. Edited to add: I don't believe dirks had much of anything in the way of distal taper, but I opted to not concern myself too much with historical accuracy (not my usual mindset) and emphasize feel and utility. They will be presents and the most I'd expect them to be used for is vegetable chopping, which they'd be great for.
  6. I went and picked up a nifty little four post press today. I then spent the next two hours trying to get my truck out of the mud in front of my workshop because I backed up to the overhead door to unload it, unaware 1) that it was more muddy than I expected and 2) the four wheel drive in my truck wouldn't engage. I will probably swap out the air/hydraulic cylinder I got with it in favor of a Harbor Freight purely because they're shorter and will actually allow me to fit dies in there. Right now without a ram, the gap distance from plate to plate is 18 3/8". Take out of that 1.5" per die and 5" final daylight, and I've got just over the 10 1/4" needed for the Harbor Freight cylinder.
  7. Those are really, really nice. They're a great mixture of rugged and clean. I've never had the urge to make a folding knife until now. Well done!
  8. Oh that is just incredible and I love it. Great job!
  9. Well, I read that in his voice...
  10. Does she want the cross obvious, or can it be hidden? I've done holy symbols on the tangs of swords so the only people that will ever know it's there are me, the customer, and whoever finds the sword in 200 years after the grip has fallen apart. Some like that idea, some don't. If obvious is the answer, an etched cross in a fuller is kind of a nice look. The dagger sounds like a good idea too, especially with brass bolsters/guard to really bring out the green. There's a great catalogue online of all the daggers in the Metropolitan Muesum of Art, which shows a crazy amount of variation.
  11. A folding utility knife has been my go-to for 5 or 6 years. Then again, my day job is making utility blades, so that tends to lend itself well toward keeping one on me all the time.
  12. Thank you! It was a very different sword than what I'm used to, but I was happy with the end result. It is definitely fast and changed direction with little effort.
  13. This sword is loosely based off an example in the Moesgaard Museum. I made the distal taper drastic in the first 2/5 of the blade, evened it out in the second 2/5, before finally tapering again in the last 1/5 (though the tip does have a very slight swell that I intentionally kept to get a bit more mass out there). The result is a sword that feels incredibly mobile in the hand, yet still has blade presence during the cut. The pommel is hollow to keep it light while increasing the visual "weight." The original inspiration was fragmentary, but based on proportions it seems likely that the blade was originally a slender Geibig Type 4, so this one was made to have a similar slender blade shape as could be seen in other 9th-10th century blades. The blade is 1075 tempered to 50-53 HRC, the hilt components are medium-carbon steel, and the grip is a combination of wenge and purpleheart. Hopefully you all like it! Stats: Overall Length: 37.0625" Blade Length: 30.0625" Blade Width at Base: 1.625" Blade Width at Point: .827" Grip Length: 4.342" Pommel Length: 2.244" Weight: 2lb 7.6oz POB: 2.75" COP: 20" from guard Thickness at base: .189" (.480cm) Thickness at COP: .093" (.235cm) Thickness at tip: .094" (.240cm)
  14. Making some more progress on a viking sword. Last night I finished getting the fullers shaped with stones and refined the bevels with stones and files. It always surprises me how 50-53HRC blades can be filed (albeit with a bit more moxy).
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