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Isaac Humber

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Everything posted by Isaac Humber

  1. I can't say no to free tools. When considering the purchase of a lathe last year, the seller offered to throw in what he called a 'surface grinder' to sweeten the deal . That machine ended up being a Fox Machine Co. horizontal mill from the turn of the century, and it's turned out to be a remarkably useful implement. Yes, I love to do things by hand as much as the next craftsman, but there's nearly equal satisfaction in using a 130 year old piece of machinery that rolled off the foundry floor when swords were still being carried as sidearms. Blade fullers were never
  2. Interesting issue. Could be a number of things ... what exactly is your quenching medium? 'Canola- water' ... ? As you mentioned, I don't think the blade decarburized enough in your gas forge to not be hardening at all. The brand " Save Edge" sounds like a newer ,cheap import tool... I would suggest that there is the possibility of some inconsistency in the steel itself. That would explain why the other blade hardened. There is also the consideration that you are working with an unknown alloy. It is very possible that your quench process is not ideal or even close to what is needed to
  3. Neat choice ! One does not see a walloon sword being chosen as a project very often. You did a very nice job capturing the overall feel of the sword, very stout appearance, though the hilt proportions seem a bit overly large. The wire wrap is especially clean, that takes a good deal of patience... Did you braze the perforated shells in place? I thought I could see traces of copper brazing in the photos.
  4. Incredible craftsmanship demonstrated in this WIP. The technical aspects of folders have always frustrated me, you definitely encourage me to give it a try. Great thread.
  5. Great advice from these guys. One thing I would like to expound on is the fit of the tang. It's really easy when you are burning the slot to burn TOO much material out and end up with a very loose fit. Naturally, you want a little bit of space if you're going to be using an epoxy. It sounds like you may just be using a pin, so in that case it is extra critical you do not have a loose fit. My method for getting a tight fit is rather simple. Instead of the tang having a flat end, I round it. Then, when I burn the slot, I make sure there is a gap left between the guard and the handle. Approx
  6. Really clean looking grinds. I am surprised no one commented on these. The sheep's foot profile is nicely executed, but my favorite is for sure the bottom design, looks like a fantastic chopper/ camp knife. Are you planning on doing an edge quench/hamon on the sheep's foot?
  7. That is a fantastic piece ! Absolutely in love with the organic tones and texture, and the general flow of the whole weapon. The idea of the falcon and his 'collar' neat bit of creativity. Would you be willing to share a bit about your methodology for getting that incredible,crisp hamon ? I have some W-2 from Aldo I've been experimenting with, but haven't been able to get anything so stunning.
  8. Great job, Tre! Makes one appreciate how much work goes into forging tools. A lot of bladesmiths have little understanding of the much broader craft of blacksmithing, its excellent that you are learning both.
  9. Incredible piece ! Definitely an addition to my list of favorite rapiers... a wonderful execution of the 'Pappenheimer' hilt form. I also love the dark and subtle low contrast blade. Over 4lbs is a hefty rapier. Seems it would easily adapt as a horseman's sword or a cut and thrust. How does it balance?
  10. I have never used EcoPoxy, nor read of anyone else using it on blades. Generally, this is another one of those topics everyone gets hung up on. Some people swear by Devcon, others by G Flex or JB weld... I definitely believe there are superior formulas, but I don't think there is "The One to Rule them All " so to speak. I've used Loctite's Industrial grade epoxy for several years with good results. The point is, don't get pulled in all directions trying to find the best epoxy and lose valuable time you could be spending making blades. Buy a reputable brand, and as long as your knives a
  11. Neat pieces , indeed. The table is actually my favorite as well ,very cleanly carved. The enamel work on the one pommel, as well as your tapered fullers are also nicely executed. For mostly doing Migration Era work, you certainly seem to enjoy single hand swords from the medieval period ,too ! That last blade , your 'personal' looks familiar. Do you have any ties to Last Days Tribe forge?
  12. Nice shape ... Is that a rivet through the head?
  13. Good perspectives, Jake. The photo you attached is especially helpful . I believe that Jake and Alan are both on the most probable track, that the grain structure of the break in a properly heat treated sword reflects light differently than one with improper heat treatment ( as Alan suggested, large, crystalline-looking sparkly white) .I especially like what Jake said about "white" in most languages referring more to brightness than to color. Excellent observation. I may have to accept the above theories as the most likely explanation, unless anyone has thoughts to the contrary?
  14. Thank you for the replies so far... Ruben, you bring up an excellent concern. I am not a scholar of language, however a very kind French gentleman on another forum posted the text in question in the original French translation , as follows: "La troisième remarque c’est de faire emousser ou casser la pointe,si dans l’endroit cassé elle est de couleur grise, le fer est bon, si elle est blanche c’est le contraire " His own response to the possibility of mistranslation was such : The third observation is to have the point blunted or broken [The use of the Frenc
  15. Many people on this forum craft swords. We make them for many reasons : for the sheet enjoyment of it, for the furthering of craftsmanship, for historical interest, and some of us for a source of income. Yet, there is one reason we will never be able to experience... making swords that are intended to do what the sword was originally made for : to defend life, and to take life. No, a customer purchasing a sword from you will never trust his very life to it. I have been researching this forgotten perspective lately. I teach historical fencing ,and will be giving a presentation at a local s
  16. Great to see Privateer Armoury is still in the business of arming folks ! That cutlass is beastly... looks like it would make short work of sails,ropes, and limbs . That first messer definitely steals the show,though.Unusually elegant for the type .
  17. Daniel, you speak of building a device with "multiple burners and lots of kao wool" , is that for quenching or tempering? The description sounds to me like a long forge for bringing the blade up to critical temperature for the quench which is very different from tempering. Quenching hardens the steel ,tempering removes a controlled amount of that hardness to allow the blade to be more flexible and resilient. For those of us who only make swords on occasion, you can easily get a blade up to the right temperature with a make-shift forge, such as a long trench dug in the ground. My setup is
  18. Swords are usually tempered at a higher temperature than shorter blades and knives ( up to 600F or more, depending on alloy) . Shock resistance and flexibility are much more important. Oil will only get you so far... many of the members here have had very good success with salt pots. There have been several discussions on them, and as I understand, the consistency is well worth the extra effort... http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=27902&hl=%2Bsalt+%2Bpots#entry264445
  19. Interesting discussion. I have recently experimented using a convection oven as well.Opposite of your issue, mine seems to run hot. I haven't actually gotten out my digital thermometer to determine the exact temperature, I was just going by color. I set it at 450 , and I was getting dark brown/purple which would indicate temperatures up to 550 F . Strange... certainly not a device I would use for alloys requiring precision tempering cycles. Works good otherwise.
  20. Fantastic little folder... could the shoe possibly have been something like wrought iron or shear steel? The amount of character in that monosteel blade is fabulous. Carvings are lovely too... I've been planning on building a friction folder as well... did you use a stop pin to keep the blade from rotating more than 180 degrees?
  21. I really admire the striving and devotion here. Not settling for second best... also, neat project ! I find the Chinese culture has some very unique and beautiful weapons ,yet I hardly ever see any interest in them here on this forum. I like the concept of a heavier "war" Jian . Will be following with interest... Question : do you attribute any of the warping issues to the combination of W2 and 1075? I've never imagined those two alloys playing nice with each other.
  22. Thank you ,everyone. Your kind words are all most encouraging to me.
  23. My grandfather ran a sheet metal business in Los Angeles , and when he died, my father inherited some of his tools and materials (I guess metalworking runs in the family ). The copper I have is industry standard for doing copper rain gutters, and from my research I believe it is 16oz , or .0216" in thickness. In other words, it is quite thin, and that is what you want for repousse . However, if you are having problems with the metal cracking, then more frequent annealing needs to be done. In regards to my techniques, the whole idea to try repousse was rather spontaneous , so I simply modi
  24. Thank you for the kind words,everyone... The ring was actually fairly painless to make. I simply cold forged some heavy gauge copper wire to a square cross section, then hot twisted it in a vice (imagine a tiny twisted billet) . I then formed the ring shape over a mandrel, cut and soft soldered (the joint is hidden under the hanger in the pictures). The solder job wasn't as clean as I would have liked ,and I did have to spend some time filing there , but it wasn't as hard or time consuming as you might think. But you guys can all keep thinking I filed the whole thing to shape ... makes
  25. Thought I would share this recently finished project with you all. ' I forged the blade in late summer from 5160 , hand filed to finish. I suppose it could be classified as a seax, although the upswept blade profile is not what is viewed as being a 'traditional' seax shape.Plenty of historical finds to validate the shape ,though. Fittings are wrought iron, and the handle is blackened chestnut. Sheath was a challenge ,I hadn't tried repousse before, so it took a few tries to get a result that was at least presentable. And please don't ask me about peening those rivets in between the
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