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Ben A.

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Ben A. last won the day on December 24 2016

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  1. I now have an interview victim (subject). He is a person that many of you might know from personal experience, may have heard about from others, or could have seen on TV. Please welcome Towanda's hometown hero, J. Neilson!!! J., would you be so kind as to introduce yourself to the forum? -More to come.
  2. Thanks Salem! Coming from a gifted artist like yourself, that's high praise! I wish not burning out was something that I could just will myself into! When I feel like it's coming on, I stop and clean my shop. When my shop is clean (which is very seldom, by the way), I tend to stress out less, and I can keep on going. This was a fun process, no thanking needed. Next for me is slogging through the order list, and separating the wheat from the chaff on the list. Just because someone hits you up for a katana, doesn't mean they still want to buy it after you give them an honest price
  3. Joshua, To be honest, my assertion is kinda wooly, in as much as I don't have good evidence from before the medieval period (where the bladesmith, cutler, and sheathmaker were all different people) but, similarly, in the Japanese tradition where there is one person who is the bladesmith, then another who is the sword polisher, and yet another who is the sayashi (Sheath maker and/or fittings-maker). I laso see some 3rd world videos on YouTube where the blademaker, handle fitter, and sheath maker are all different people. I don't do much research into other cultures, but I would be quite
  4. More to come on that one. Meanwhile, here's the progression of the spear that was made from the cutoff piece, and a closeup of the pattern:
  5. And lastly, here's a peek at the pattern near the tip:
  6. Here's the blade final forged, with its brand new tang, and everything:
  7. Once I cut it off, I forge welded some wrought iron onto the stubby tang, so I'd have something to peen later that wasn't as hard as the blade.
  8. Here's the initial rough forging before I cut it off the parent bar:
  9. Here's some pics of the gladius forge welding progress:
  10. Salem, I am currently rather swamped with stuff I'm making. I'm having trouble keeping on target with a number of projects. One that sticks out, however, is a pattern-welded gladius that I'm making for an old friend. It has a 200 layer core, with the welds being set by hitting from edge-to-edge, instead of the normal way of welding flat-to-flat. This creates a pattern seen in Celtic swords that is often referred to as "streaky". I wrapped the core with a bar of 1084, and welded the whole thing up. stretching it wide was some work, and I'm currently finished with the heat-treat, and
  11. Salem, I started to write a response to this several times, and actually had to stop and write an outline to get my thoughts straight! I think that the reason that this discussion remains active is that the answer really depends on your level of romanticism. Is the thing a thing, or is it a culmination of human knowledge, artistry, style (personal, traditional, or cultural), etc? If someone were to 3d print a gorgeous tsuba, would it be worth less than a hand carved one by a traditional master? I say yes, I think all of us makers would say yes, but there are likely those that think th
  12. As you insinuated, I do use the skills that I learned from blacksmithing in my bladesmithing. It opens up a whole other area of opportunity and creativity when designing blades. If you don't know how to forge a square corner, for example, you either grind one in, or just never think of incorporating that element in your work. Just the idea that you can stop and make a jig/fixture to help with a tough operation is liberating. In the FIF claymore, I could have fabricated that guard by tig-welding mild steel, and it would have performed just fine. Instead, I forge-welded it from wrought iron
  13. Fort me, one of the hardest parts was the two blown-over scrolls. Getting the negative space right was a real pain. I tried many times to get it right!
  14. Even the center collar needed to be home made stock. A bottom hardy needs to be made in several steps, then used to make the stock:
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