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Orien M

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Everything posted by Orien M

  1. My guess is they textured it with a small dremel burr, then bead-blasted the whole thing to blend it in.
  2. Shipping individual craft objects (besides contrabassoons, lol! ) won't be the major issue, IMHO; what will be real tricky is for companies that use large quantities of these woods to obtain sufficient materials to continue working as they have. Substituting other woods or using composites may help solve the problem, but there are plenty of people who won't buy instruments (or whatever) made of "wrong" materials.
  3. I've been interested in the CITES regulations on materials since my guitar-making days in the '90's...this stuff is very controversial in guitar-making circles, where some feel that the rosewoods, ebony, blackwood, etc are basically the only woods worth using for certain components. My personal take is that domestic hardwoods are perfectly adequate for just about anything, and I've long avoided purchasing "high-end" exotic woods. Sounds like the new regs will complicate shipping completed items made of these woods, but will allow it, with appropriate papers, if it's 22lbs or less. Hopefull
  4. Any crotch or fork in the tree will contain some figured wood, if cut across the widest dimension. Any figured pieces, burl, etc should be sealed on all surfaces ('end grain' becomes hard to define on wildly figured pieces!). A brief google search turned up this thread on a woodworking forum, with good photos of a crotch being slabbed, and the figured wood inside: http://familywoodworking.org/forums/showthread.php?30319-Cutting-Crotches As someone who uses mostly hand tools, I actually prefer to work straight-grained wood (or a mild fiddleback curl, if available ). Burl wood can be
  5. Lacking a local sawmill, or a hardwood store within reasonable driving distance, I've dealt with a lot of hand-cut, air-dried wood. My method: cut into lengths (a bit longer than you'll eventually need, as the ends can develop cracks), split in halves or quarters (depending on the size of the logs...don't leave logs whole as they are almost guaranteed to split!), coat the ends with a sealer (can be shellac,wax, pitch, wood glue, old paint...just something to slow moisture loss), and sticker the billets in a sheltered spot with good air flow. Fresh green billets will most likely take a year or
  6. While we're discussing this topic, I'd love to ask...do you deliberately aim for high blade RC's in your kitchen knives, accepting that they will be somewhat chip-prone? Personally, I sure like the edge retention of a very hard temper, but it seems like quite a few cooks (including my mom, lol) don't know how to maintain this this type of blade. This issue has actually worried me quite a lot...as I said above I actually switched steels, and changed the HT regimen for the kitchen knives I was making for sale, specifically to avoid chipping and brittleness. Tricky to HT these thin blades....
  7. Using it for fittings sounds most appropriate, and I think you can get away with doing some hammer forging if you keep the temps fairly low. The harder Ti alloys can be pretty difficult to file on by hand; at the factory we had nifty high speed air-powered sanders to use, and wore out a lot of zirconium sanding belts. I do have a couple knives with Ti ferrules (just a bit of scrap tubing, ovalized); I really like the light weight and corrosion resistance of the material.
  8. I actually don't think Ti will make very good blades, it's just not hard enough. It burns like magnesium at steel-welding temps, and a lot of metals, solders, etc won't stick to it. I used to work in a factory that made Ti bike frames, and we used mostly TIG welding to join pieces. I hammer-forged a couple pieces of tubing flat at low-ish (red heat) temps, and that went OK.
  9. I would have answered, "it depends", but you specifically asked about high-RC edges...above a certain hardness, a steel will chip out the edge. Some of my shear steel chef's knives were tempered quite hard; my mom chipped the heck out of the one I gave her, both by steeling, and by running it through one of those 'scissor' carbide sharpeners, ouch. For the most part, I've gone to using 5160 for kitchen and hard-use blades, as it's not as chip-prone. For an average user, I'd rather have the edge roll, since it can be steeled back straight; chips have to be ground out.
  10. Indeed! If it ain't got three layers, it ain't san mai (sorry...SAN MAI, lol). Even worse than trademarking an established term, is getting the meaning wrong...
  11. Go Dave! You rock. Trademarking 'san mai', that's ridiculous. By the way...from now on my blades will be produced by a special, patented treatment, "Quench Hardening ™", which can be licensed for a "small" fee; you can all send the checks to... :lol:
  12. That "HT pointing north" concept was being circulated online quite a bit, some years back...I kind of thought it had been well-disproved, and abandoned by most backyard knifemakers (but I guess not all!). Personally, eventually I figured out that gravity was way, way stronger than the earth's magnetic polarity , so I started normalizing with blades pointed straight down...much better results, IMHO. I haven't watched the show; I've now seen so many glaring technical errors in this type of TV show, I don't even try anymore...
  13. I'd probably try pigmented epoxy, applied in multiple layers for less mass/heat. For black horn, charcoal dust makes a good pigment. I've also seen some antique/vintage horn-handled blades (filipino bolos, IIRC) where the maker apparently just cut shorter, smaller-diameter pieces from near the tip of a horn, and jammed one inside the other to make a solid horn 'plug' to fill the void. This might work well if you have enough horn.
  14. Very cool! Looks quite well made to me, with a pretty, symmetrical shape, and nice tapers forged in. Interestingly shaped head, too; it appears to be designed to be easily withdrawn (possibly better for getting multiple shots at reindeer as the herd runs past...?).
  15. Awesome seax (love the Fenris face!) and definitely fiery-beard material. Keep the eyebrows, lol...
  16. Very nice, thanks for the idle answer Alan . Pretty much how I feel about it, too. I almost always differentially harden my blades, but don't consider the lines "hamon" unless they have plenty of activity, or were controlled using clay. I learned a lot about hamon formation by playing around with edge quenching, though.
  17. Yup. The clay helps shape the hamon, but it isn't the main reason the hamon forms. Like mentioned above, steel type and thickness tapers are probably the two biggies. I got several decent-looking hamon by total accident , and some by just heating the edge, and leaving the spine below critical at quench. An idle question...do you guys feel that hamon and differential hardening are different techniques? To put it another way, is an edge quench (etched to be visible) a type of "hamon", or is there more to it than just getting a hard edge and soft spine, with a visible line in between?
  18. Probably everyone has their own idea of a "good" geometry...personally I like a fairly thin (1/8" or so) blade with a full convex. My li'l parang slices and chops quite well (and sees a lot of use in the kitchen! ). I see a lot of real thick camp knives (1/4") and have made a few myself, but find them too thick to slice with, and actually often too heavy overall to get a nice fast swing going. Heavy and clunky makes for poor performance, IMHO.
  19. Outstanding! Amazing carving, every little detail is right on. Love the skull-headed rivets!
  20. I've broken blades while straightening, but I've cracked a lot more in the quench! Warping, to me, is a sign that I didn't normalize correctly, or heat evenly for the quench...more than a small (1/4" or less) deviation, and I just do the whole HT over. Small warps I correct with the vise and a three-pin setup, during the tempering process. Personally I don't harden tangs at all; I just make sure that the tang/blade junction is the thickest point of the blade, and not overly narrow where it steps down.
  21. I like a camp knife in the field...mine is a little (9" blade) Malaysian-styled parang that I made for myself. I often pair it with a slipjoint pocketknife. More versatile tool than a hatchet/hawk, at least in the environments I hike in, and (important to hypoglycemic and food-obsessed types like myself ) better for food-prep tasks in camp. Can't spread peanut butter with a 'hawk that easily... Oddly, I find 4-5" blades (as in a "normal" bushcraft knife) a particularly awkward size to use, but I'm generally pretty eccentric in my choice of tools anyway.
  22. Yeah, a vertical etch pretty much throws my theory out the window . Sorry to clutter up the thread! The 'ghosts' of sanding scratches is an interesting possibility...in any case the marks are subtle and not at all unattractive.
  23. my attitude is that if the whole edge hardened, and the hardened part is over 1/4" deep, then it's a go. I find it trickier to get hamon to behave in thin blades...you may want to play with your clay application some, and the way you heat the steel.
  24. I feel pretty bad to add my horrific botch photo to Wes's awesome thread ...but it shows the effect, and the damage I'm talking about. This is a shear steel blade, sanded to 600 and etched 24 hours in vinegar, edge-up. After discovering this awful surface, I sanded (almost) all of the damage out, and re-etched with the blade facing edge-down; The hamon came out looking almost normal. I have gotten the little ripple-track effect before when etching correctly, too.
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