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Buck Hedges

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Everything posted by Buck Hedges

  1. Well that's certainly good to know! I will definitely do some more research before I get something made that I might need to depend on (although if I'm depending on a Klingon bat'leth and samurai armor, we're probably all pretty much screwed anyway ).
  2. I started this last year, and finally got around to finishing it. It was nice to finally make a knife for myself. This knife began when a friend of mine got a karambit, and asked if I could make him a wooden one to train with. Let me say now, plywood is NOT my normal choice for any kind of bokken. I prefer hardwood like walnut, oak, or rock maple, but with the ring in the end, I couldn't see a way to get around the grain crossing the ring and risking it breaking at some point, and I don't make weak tools. So, plywood with maple scales. But when I was done, it turned out so comfortable I decided I needed one for myself. It took me two tries. On the first, I managed to break the side out of the hole by drifting it while the steel was too cool. The second time I used a lot more patience. The main challenge was putting the curve into a piece of farrier's rasp (tool steel). Once I got the basic shape down, a couple of friends who have done a lot of security work looked it over and made suggestions. I'm glad I was humble enough to listen to their advice, because it fits my hand much better than it would have otherwise. Grinding the teeth off the rasp and then all the curves was a challenge, but I got it done with the wheel on my belt grinder and finally a half-round file. When it was all polished up, I drilled holes for the pins and shaped the scales from maple (actually some hardwood flooring scraps I scrounged. I'm lucky enough to live near a Bell Hardwood Floors and Lumber Liquidators, and they don't mind me dumpster diving.) The pins are simply 1/8" brass rod. Nothing fancy. In retrospect, I should have test fit everything and ground the steel and scales down to an exact fit before the next step: adding the cerakote. I have a friend who owns a custom gun shop, and he let me pick any color scheme I wanted for $30.00. I decided just to go with basic black, because this knife has one purpose: to protect me. I'd rather no one saw it coming. I added some blue plastic-impregnated paper just to make it look a little classy. My boys had also watched the most recent edition of Jurassic Park and named it "Blue," after their favorite velociraptor in the movie, because it reminded them of the raptor's claws. When all was said and done, my friend knocked $5.00 of the price, and earned himself a permanent customer. So here Blue all it's glory: Not fancy, just effective. Now I just need to figure out how to make a sheath for it. I'm thinking Kydex, which is something I've never worked with.
  3. Let's see if I can answer everyone's questions... He's supplying the steel, otherwise I'd have gone with something like 1070 or 0-1 Tool steel. I've used that before and really liked it. It's about 4 feet from tip to tip, and 18 inches from pointy spike in the front to the back of the center grip, so it will be cut from a sizeable chunk of steel. If I remember right, a piece of tool steel this big and 1/8" thick was around $200.00 US, out of my price range at the time, and at the moment I'm between jobs, so it's a moot point. I'm not sure what the alloy specs are on the AR my friend mentioned. I'll probably go with 1/8" thick steel, due to the weight. I plan on swinging it around, and making it battle-ready. I am definitely not on the Klingon end of the muscle spectrum, so it needs to be fairly light. I'd like it comparable to my longsword, which is about 3 lbs, but I'll take what I can get. I don't ever think it would be really viable as a serious weapon. Wallhangers, however disgust me. If I'm going to add a weapon to my collection, whether it's another atlatl, knife, sling, bolos, macahuitl, or whatever, it's going to be the real deal. Okay, that sounds oxymoronic when talking about a science fiction weapon. Carbon fiber would be nice, but I only have one source who can print carbon fiber, but his printer is rather small. I've also never worked with it before. I DO have a training knife and some plates for a suit of Tatami-do armor that I plan on having him print out for me, however. Those I'll have cerakoted by yet another friend(Pics below). So I guess I should find out the specs for his AR steel, and admit I've never worked with air-hardening steel before. I've heard horror stories. My forge is also really basic, as well: Coal-fired with a hair dryer for a blower, and 3 or 4 ASOs, and a couple of ball-peen hammers. And Larry: a 3 lb doublejack with a cut down handle. Maybe I should see if I can find a sheet of 1070, or see if my friend can, and what it would cost.
  4. Is the A36 more hardenable than the A516-70? This doesn't need to be super-flexible like a longsword, since the blades are fairly short, but I would like to be able to put a decent edge on them. If the AR will eat my belts up on top of that, it's out.
  5. I have a friend who works in an industrial welding shop, and is willing to cut out a Klingon bat'leth (that big curvy thing Klingons use to chop up Federation Red Shirts in Star Trek). Normally, I'd want to tackle this myself, because it would be mine. BUT he can do it for free, and since it would be a 4-foot chunk of steel and currently out of my price range, I'm going to take him up on it. Once he cuts it out, I will do all the edge shaping, hardening, heat treating, and finish work. The kicker is this: The choices I have for steel are 516 Grade 70, A36, or AR plate. I'm going to display my ignorance here and admit I have no knowledge of any of these. I've worked mostly with reclaimed leaf springs and farrier's rasps. Which would be better for a large, sword-like blade (something like spring steel?). Or, where could I look to learn more about these types of steel in regards to knifemaking? The PDF is an official rendering another friend drew up for me, and the JPG is a rough colorized version of what it ought to look like when I'm done. The lighter gray areas will be beveled to cutting edges. KLINGON ARTIFACT.pdf
  6. Good ideas all, and I thank you for the advice. Unfortunately, I only know of one power hammer (not for sale--I asked), and I'm swageless. My current plan is to draw out a piece of leaf spring to the right width and the thickness of the tenon, and then submit myself to the endless horrors of stock removal. Unfortunately, my oldest reliable striker is 11, the other two are 8 and 6. Not quite enough oomph to swing a double jack, and not quite enough control to hold hot steel while I swing, yet. Although if I could come across the right chunk of stock, I could make v-shaped top tool and a v-shaped hardy tool that would work. Is that what a set hammer is? Even that way, I'll need a striker or end up growing that 3rd arm I've always wanted.
  7. DISCLAIMER: This post is not an attempt to be preachy, convert anyone, or promote any religion over another. I'm looking at this from a historical standpoint. Shad Brooks, a YouTuber and fellow Latter-Day Saint I regularly watch, recently produced a video on the Vered Jericho sword, which dates to around 600 BC. Now, to Latter-Day Saints (Mormons, y'all), that's fairly significant because that's when the Book of Mormon (a book of scripture used by Latter-Day Saints) begins. In the Book of Mormon, there is a sword known as the "Sword of Laban." Unfortunately, descriptions of this sword are pretty sparse. ("I beheld his sword, and the blade was of finest steel, and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine..." or something along those lines.) I've often wondered what the Sword of Laban looked like, so I emailed Shad and asked him. His reply was to wait a couple of weeks for his next video. With that in mind, I issued him a challenge. If he came up with the design, I'd do my best to recreate it to his specifications. And then of course we'd test it. I'm working on a mail hauberk this year for just this purpose. True to his word, Shad produced his video on the Sword of Laban, and what it may have looked like. Following the exact construction is out for me, since I am not skilled enough to forge weld yet, and the way this sword was made was remarkably sophisticated for what common archaeology considers the beginning of the iron age. However, I do think I can forge a piece of good steel into the right shape. For steel, I'm just going to keep it simple, and use an old truck leaf spring I have. It's more or less mystery steel, which is more or less what's in the Vered Jericho sword. One thing that throws me is the spine in the blade. How does a guy go about forging that? These are the links to Shad's videos. Whether you're interested in the religious aspect or not, they're pretty interesting, especially as the Vered-Jericho sword is one of the earliest steel swords ever found. The Vered Jericho Sword: The Sword of Laban:
  8. That was totally not what I expected from the title.
  9. Old files make good steel. I'd hit up a thrift store or pawn shop. Leaf springs from old truck are also good. Make friends with an autobody shop or salvage yard. (My father-in-law works in a salvage yard. He surprised me with a complete set of leaf springs one day. I won't need steel for years!) Another thing is good wood for handles. I found a hardwood floor installer in a nearby town, explained what I was looking for, and asked if I could look in their dumpster. Two employees climbed in, and loaded me down with scraps of maple and oak. I also found out Lowe's sells samples of bamboo and eucalyptus for about .25 cents US. They're not large, but there's just enough to make good scales on a blade. If you're lucky, scrap metal places like Pacfic Recycling will have PLENTY of metals, including brass for fittings.
  10. In Norway (imagine that!) Sadly, the article didn't go into the depth I'd like, and the photos weren't that great, at least on my phone. But it's an interesting story I thought I'd share. https://m.thevintagenews.com/2016/07/04/a-1200-year-old-viking-sword-found-in-norway-could-still-be-still-used-today-2/
  11. I followed somone's idea in another post, and found out their tale was true: You can by hardwood flooring samples from Lowe's for .25 cents apiece. The selection isn't large: light bamboo, dark bamboo, or eucalyptus. I'm working on a knife right now that will have a dark bamboo handle. I've never used bamboo in this manner before. I've always used whole shafts for spear shafts, arrows, atlatl darts, and escrima batons. Cutting and shaping bamboo into scales is new to me. Does anyone have any hints or tips on working with it? Which direction should the grain run? From point to pommel, or crossways? At this point, I don't even know what I don't know. When I get some pictures taken, I'll be sure to post them. This is from Lowe's website: Personally, I think the eucalyptus is prettier, but this is what the customer likes and I aim to please.
  12. Back in my college days, I had a side business making "wargames terrain," miniature terrain for tabletop wargames. One of the things I used was sand scrounged from the piles left behind on the streets every spring. After a few...odiferous results...I learned to dry it first, and sift it, to get rid of as much not-sand as I could. All it really took was some spread out newspaper, a thin layer of sand, and leaving it sit for awhile. I also learned just to take the loose sand from the top of the pile, because it was mostly sand, drier, and Sylvester and Tom hadn't visited it to deposit Tweety and Jerry's...remains. The particular beach I'd visit is the North end of Bear Lake, Idaho. It's not Waikiki by any means, but the sand is fine, the water is only waist deep for a quarter of a mile out, and for Idaho, it's warm. Meaning non-frozen. But I don't want to wait that long. This round, though, I'd planned on either waiting til summer, or just picking up a bag from Lowe's.
  13. I have bricks. I have a pan. Sand I can get (Which will give my family a reason to go to the beach this summer!). I'll try it. I actually did learn that with my last batch of blades. I had left the peanut oil I quenched them in on, to prevent rust. Beautiful metallic blue color. Next time I'm shopping I'm going to raid the dollar store for a thermometer. My wife may actually have one stashed somewhere, too.
  14. Well, the oven does have the temperature indicator at the top, and it's digital, so I assume (with all associated irony and sarcasm) that it's right. On the other hand...I assume it's right. May have to hit the 'ol supermarket tomorrow.
  15. The design looks good. A lot like one I saw called a MS-1, or somesuch, advertising itself as the "ultimate survival knife." The addition of a choil in Austin's redesign is also a good idea, in my humble opinion. I would add some jimping on the thumb ramp to keep little thumbs from slipping and losing control of the blade accidentally. I generally add mine with needle files at the end of the making process (after I've hardened and heat treated it, but before the final polishing. Jimping can be as simple or as decorative as you like, and some people make really creative patterns with it. Jimping is the ridges and notches on the spine of this little guy.
  16. I don't have a way to check the temperature, other than how hot the stove tells me it is, so for now, I go by color. Just for kicks, I threw it in for another hour at 425. It came out looking like this: Too much? Ironically enough, when it's done, this knife will be blued, and will I'm using blue plastic impregnated paper in the handle, and it will be called, "Blue," after the raptor in Jurassic Park IV, since it's all talon-pointed and toe-claw shaped..
  17. Some people also take paypal.
  18. Well, as the stove is already heat-treating another knife (just a RR spike and not worth any other details), I think I'll throw it in when the first one comes out. Thanks for the advice. I'll remember the temperatures next time around!
  19. The file skated across it. I don't know what the brass rod test is. It's made from a horseshoeing rasp, so as for bending it... I'm afraid to try. The tomahawk I hardened with it is REALLY hard. I have one part of the edge I want to thin down. It's not cooperating.
  20. I hardened a ball-peen 'hawk and my karambit last week, quenched in peanut oil, and then baked at 400 degrees for 2 hours. When they came out, they looked like this: Is this the dark straw color we're trying to achieve? If so, it's the high point of my week!
  21. I like the idea of flooring samples from Lowe's! I'll have to check that out today after work. I put a mirror finish on my knives. My process is (post hardening and heat treating): Polish it from 80 grit to 1200 on the blade. A little into the front end of the handle, but not much. I epoxy and pin my scales into place, and I want something for the epoxy to hold on to on the handle. Buff the crap out of it, except the handle. Rough shape the scales to a pretty close fit (edges come withing 1/16 of an inch from the final size Fully finish the front end of the scales, so I'm not trying to sand/shape them after they've been epoxied to the blade. This keeps me from scratching up that finish. Epoxy and pin the scales into place. Shape the scales with sandpaper and files (avoid the front end like the plague!) Treat the handle with the sealant/oil of your choice. I use linseed oil, because it's what I have.
  22. I'm the assistant den leader for our local Cub Scouts. And also a Black Belt in Shorin Ryu Karate. Our Assistant Scoutmaster is a 5-time heavyweight champion MMA type. During our last meeting, where we were teaching the cub scouts week two of "Stop Bullying," (which translated into "When talking fails,"), he told me he did pretty much the same thing. Fortunately, I have a wife who's into this sort of thing, so I don't have to do the repairs myself. My Dad's saying was, "You'll heal. How's the equipment? We have to fix that." Excellent triage advice! Especially in an age where pansies are dialing 911 because McDonald's is out of McNuggets, or in need of a "safe space" because they didn't get their way. That's also exactly what we have done, and it's worked so far. It's healing nicely, and not very sore...until I whack it on something.
  23. I might have gotten it stitched, but right now, I flat out can't afford it. Not as bad as when I was 3, and grabbed my dads sharpening steel, while he was sharpening a knife. 40+ years later I still have a scar from a cut that went to the bone. We lived 100 miles from the closest hospital, and 60 of those were snowed in dirt road. My mom used butterfly bandages and popsicle sticks to put it back together. 5 days later, when we could finally get to town, the doctor said he couldn't have done a better job himself. My wife also grabbed at my katana last year when it started to tip over. It slid partway out of the saya, and she caught the blade. The edge cut the webbing between her thumb and index finger almost half an inch deep. She used super glue, and it healed up fine. So far, my cut is healing ok. I'll take a picture of it next time we change bandages.
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