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AJ Chalifoux

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    Swords, Knives, Polearms, Daggers, Western Martial Arts, Over-Engineering Stuff...

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  1. Today I finally got a guard I'm happy with. This was probably the 12th attempt or so over the last 6 months. Every other attempt was too flimsy, had noticeable seams, a hole from where a drill bit wandered, etc. This was hogged out of one piece of steel, and hollowed with an 11/16" drill bit to reduce weight. The brass accents on the quatrefoils are soldered in place, and it's ready for polish. Now I can do the wood core and finally move on to the brass spacers, wooden lower grip, and pommel.
  2. You can try a flap disc, too. Not quite as flat, but much less aggressive. To make sure you're touching the right spots, you can coat the anvil face with Dykem and rub a small surface plate/wide, flat piece of steel on it. Wherever the Dykem was rubbed off, that's where you have a high spot.
  3. Today, I got the sword I've been working on ready for heat treat. I did a vanity etch to see how it turned out, and got some good mixed with some disappointing results. When I ground the blade, I did it unevenly despite my best efforts, and took probably .01"-.02" more off one side than the other during the rough grinding. Since the edge bars were san-mai (which I've never tried before ) this gave me only some remnants of the layered steel on one side, while the other has probably a little too much left. Oh well, live and learn I suppose.
  4. Today I ground a few fullers two on each side of the blade) using a pneumatic pencil die grinder. My one mill that works right now doesn't have table locks and the y-axis has a huge amount of backlash, so using a ball end mill wouldn't work. I've seen others using a die grinder for this recently, and I decided to give it a try. The fullers need to be refined and polished with EDM stones and sandpaper, but I must say I like the results so far. The first picture shows the edges scribed out and guide channels roughly cut down the middle with carbide bits, and the second shows the full
  5. I got more done that I was expecting today. The flats are mostly ground on the longsword, and it's poised to be about 51" long overall. It's only at 50 grit but I did a test etch and I like it so far. The profile (still basically as-forged) will be touched up now that I can actually see how the bars shifted while forging. That way I won't end up all lopsided.
  6. Today I finished drawing out the multibar sword I've been working on for what I now realize has been most of this year. I had one delamination right smack-dab in the middle of the blade, and had to close it up. However, by closing it up, the width was brought down to about 1-1/4" when I needed 1-3/8" so I had to partially forge the bevels in that section. Everywhere else will have the bevels ground in.
  7. @Bill Schmalhofer those look great! I think the first, fifth, and sixth from the left are my favorite. For the fifth and sixth, are those purple heart and padauk, respectively? I can't tell what the first is. Also, is the third black palm? @Chris Christenberry it seems like your priorities are in order: customer first, then pictures. I'd bet a lot of people here have done the same and been in such a rush they forgot to take pictures, but there's always the next knife
  8. Last week I finished drawing out and cutting a 190-layer billet of 1084, 15N20, and 1075 into four separate pieces that were 1/2" x 1/4" x 21" each. I then sandwiched a piece of .156" 15N20 between two of the pieces to make two san-mai bars and welded them together. After that, I welded them to the sides of the mosaic bar I'm using as a core and cut a fish mouth into the end of the bar. Tonight, I welded the fish mouth shut and this is where it's at right now. Unfortunately I forgot to grab a pic of the fish mouth itself. The next step is lots and lots of drawing out.
  9. Great work! Another thing commonly seen on historical blades and some modern ones is to either cut a shallow slit or drill a few divots on the backside of the guard close to the tang slot where the grip will hide them. Then at final assembly, use cold punches to widen the slit/divots to lock the guard in place against the tang. It won't hide any gaps, but it works for rattles.
  10. Coloration is a byproduct of both temperature and time. If you hold a piece of steel at 350F for eight hours straight, it'd probably turn blue too. It's also just oxidation, so if the toaster oven was in a breezy area or had a fan, that could shift the color. Residual oils and other contaminants from your hands or grinding can also impact it. These are all reasons why tempering by color is generally pretty inaccurate.
  11. Do you mean something like this? https://www.mcmaster.com/4406T29/ If not, you can look up "air hose fittings" on McMaster, MSC, Grainger, etc.
  12. I've needed a good fire poker for years, and today I finally decided to hunker down and make one after I learned the in-laws would be over for dinner and a fire tonight. I didn't have round stock, so I used two pieces of 1-1/4"x7/16" rectangle scrap that I scarf welded together and forged round.
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