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Collin Miller

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Collin Miller last won the day on September 20 2017

Collin Miller had the most liked content!

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About Collin Miller

  • Birthday 08/30/2000

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    Bladesmithing, Norse mythology, knives, woodcarving, bow making, blacksmithing, Finnish mythology, Scandinavian history, whittling, good books, leather working, guns, ancient history, Celtic knotwork, drawing, archery, animals, hunting, shooting, making jewelry, swords of all kinds.

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  1. Are these metals compatable for forge welding together

    1084 and 15n20 will give you the best contrast, due to the high carbon and manganese in the 1084. 1075 and 1095 will not be as dark as the 1084, because those steels have about half of the manganese. Mixing in chromium steels is just asking for trouble unless you know what you're doing, and will not give you any more contrast. During your heat treat, you want to make sure that you, first, do a good job on it because it is important to the performance of the knife, but you also want to do a good job because it will actually make your Damascus look nicer since more carbon is "frozen" in the solution with a fine and even carbide distribution, less perlite, and less retained austenite. for the 1084/15n20 mix, normalize at 1600-1650F, then air cool and thermal cycle it at 1500F and then 1350F to shrink the grain and relieve stress. Austenize at 1500F and quench it in, ideally, Parks 50. If you don't have parks, do and interrupted quench in warm water (130-150F) for a count of two, and then quickly pull the blade out while hot before the vapor jacket collapses, and finish it in some cheap oil (like peanut or canola) so you don't crack the blade or get too much auto temper. Note: if you quench in water, leave the edge a bit thicker (At least 60-70 thousandths, but the thicker the safer it is) and make sure it is of an even thickness, rounded, and polish it parallel with the edge to reduce stress risers, You need to leave a bit of meat on the blade before heat treat. When you heat the blade up, carbon from the steel just flat leaves the surface of the blade, so this decarburized surface layer needs to be ground off instead of just polishing it up. I'd advise you to leave the blade a bit oversized before heat treat, and then after heat treat, go back to a 60 grit belt and thin the whole thing out to your final geometry. The etch is also important. My process is basically the same as Alan's, I finish 320 or 500 grit, and etch in 3:1 ferric chloride for 2-5 ten minute cycles, but I use worn 2000 grit sandpaper on a soft backing to brighten up my highs, leaving them mirror finished and super shiny. Also note: acids are kinda fickle depending on the temperature. If it's cold outside and that is where you do your etching, the acid will be much slower. when you heat the acid up, it works faster and is more aggressive. The etch routine I just gave you is under the assumption that the etch is happening at room temperature. Hope this helps.
  2. Buckeye Hunter - or the knife I made twice

    The lines and angles all look great! "Unrefined" was the wrong word. I guess I just have different taste, and I've found that when the bolsters are square on the like your knife, it tends to get hung up on the mouth of the sheath. It all boils down to nothing more than a difference in personal taste
  3. Buckeye Hunter - or the knife I made twice

    Very nice! The grinds and plunges look great and all of the materials work together beautifully, especially that buckeye burl, I love the gray color of it. The only nitpick I have, and it is truly a nitpick, the transition from the front of the bolsters to the blade looks a bit squarish and slightly unrefined. The sheath and leatherwork in general is really pretty as well, the tooling is awesome!
  4. Arctic Fire Backup Blade Finish

    That edge steel looks amazing. Love seeing this project come together again!
  5. There And Back Again

    Thanks so much, everyone! Your words all mean a lot to me, and I can't wait to share the projects I'm working on now with you guys
  6. I second what Joshua States said! I was looking for the videos from Arctic Fire, Grendel's hoard recently, and was unable to find them anywhere. The sword is very nice, though! Can't wait to see it finished.
  7. There And Back Again

    I, like many of us, often get busy with life and don't often have time to come back to my home here and hang out with you magnificent smiths. Last time I was here, I posted the type XVa sword I'd just completed. After that, I finished up this commissioned dagger for a returning customer, W2 blade with kind of a hamon, wrought iron guard with silver spacer between the blade and the guard, and a hammered copper spacer between the guard and the zebrawood grip. Since then, I've been picked up by Longship Armoury, a group of craftsmen and artists including a couple of bladesmiths you might know, John Lundemo and KC Lund. With the NYC Knife Show coming up, the first order of business was doing my part to fill the table. With with nothing but a couple of seaxes on hand, it took a month of twelve hour days, but I stuck nine chefs knife, four paring knives, and three seaxes in a box to New Jersey! Here's all of the knives I completed in that time, with painfully few WIP pics, unfortunately. Some forged and profiled blades! Wrought iron and 80crv2 San Mai chefs 1084/15n20 San Mai chefs Paring knives in differentially hardened 1080, with olive wood or ebony grips. You guys might remember this three bar broad sax from my WIP months ago, when I promised I'd finish them I did! Wrought iron and copper bolster, cocobolo grip on this one, with a wrought iron spine, 8 layer twist in the center, and W2 edge bar. The proportion between the blade and hilt is the golden section. With all that finished, a week later I got my butt on a plane from Springfield, Missouri, where my hair set off the metal detector for apparently being full of grinder dust no matter how many times I washed it... And landed in the O'hare Chicago airport, where I tried and failed to eat a sandwich during my layover. They did, however, have some really pretty and colorful decorations..! Landed in Newark, took an uber from there to Jersey City, where I had a beautiful view of New York City The next morning, I was up early to help John and James set up the Longship table! Here I am with all the goodies I brought with me. I didn't take many pictures at the show, because honestly I was so busy running the table. But I met some awesome guys there, spent most of the time with John, who's an awesome swordsmith and great to hang out with. Got to the Steel Baron himself Aldo Bruno, and talked with him for at least an hour, got to meet our own Matt Parkinson and held all of his lovely swords. I picked up a mother of pearl pendant with a hand painted cherry blossom to bring back to my amazing girlfriend. James brought a couple of awe inspiring antique Chinese Daos that I got to look at and swing around, and so much more that it was hard to take it in, in the time I had. And of course, I wouldn't even be a bladesmith if I didn't take the opportunity to see the swords in The Met! After getting lost on the PATH, the subway, and getting stuck in traffic, I only had half an hour to look at the swords before the museum closed, but I still nearly cried from the pure awe of actually seeing these swords right in front of me. Some of which I'd spent hours studying, doing many sketches of, and to see them just inches away from my face filled my eyes with tears, it was a truly emotional experience for me. The next day, I flew back home, having sold quite a few knives and physically exhausted from over a month of sacrificing time sleeping for time in front of a grinder or behind a table, but filled with fire and inspiration. With this fire and inspiration, I didn't miss a beat getting back to commission work. First thing on the table was this axe head, forged from old wrought iron with my good friend and brother in the craft Mike Nelson striking for me. Asymmetrical wrap, and forge welded in 1075 edge with an ultra sexy autohamon from the water quench (Didn't fit in my parks tank ) I also did a bit of inlay to spruce it up, copper rune of Tyr and some silver lines on the other side. After that was this spearhead commission, which has a wrought iron center bar flanked by 8 layer twists going opposite directions, and 1075 edges, all wrapped up and welded together hairpin style. I forged a tang onto the billet, and forged and wrapped my own socket from 3/4" round wrought iron. and forge welded the whole mess together. Heat treated it, a little grindy, a little polish and etch and voila, a multibar spearhead So there's my adventures I've been up to lately! If you're reading this, I guess you made it to the end, and I'm both thankful for your attention, and sorry this post was so freakin long! This is just a window into what I've been up to, there's so much more going on that it would take an actual novel to share every bit of it. I've also got some very interesting projects going on behind the scenes at the moment, which I am extremely excited for. By the way, all of this hard work was totally worth it when I blew every dime on a 25 ton forging press from the fine gents at Coal Ironworks. I can't wait to get it in a few months, so I can start smashing out some REAL pattern weld! Thanks again guys!
  8. The Lake Sword

    Duuude! That steel looks like something from outer space!
  9. Therapy Dagger: A little PW Dagger

    Very nice work, Dave. I hope your struggles are fading. The little habaki/collar thing is neato indeed. I would wager the shape of it was inspired by swords from bronze age Europe? I seem to recall some bronze swords with a very similarly shaped bolster/collar/guard thingy. The whole dagger looks like it has strong influences of Don Fogg, which is always a good thing.
  10. couple of new hunters

    Awesome knives! Coop did a great job with them, but they still looked better in person. It was great to meet you there, and I cant wait to get my pics back from coop as well.
  11. My first real sword! Type XVa longsword complete

    Thanks again guys! Really appreciate your feedback. It is inlayed, mechanically. I cut grooves into the copper and hammered the silver wire into the grooves, then polished it all out.
  12. My first real sword! Type XVa longsword complete

    Thanks so much everyone! Your words all mean so much to me. I have gotten literally hundreds of comments on this sword through Facebook and Instagram, but the opinions of my peers is so valuable to me. Absolutely! Finally got my calipers up and running again, so here we go. Blade length: 34" Hilt length (from the cross guard to the end of the pommel): 10.5" Cross guard width: 10.5" Weight: 1.892lbs, or 858 grams Blade width at base: 1.32" Blade width just before the point: .25" Thickness at base: 6.5mm Thickness at COP (blade node): 5.2mm Thickness two inches before the point: 3.8mm Point of balance: 3.5" in front of the cross Forward pivot point is on the tip, measuring from the cross guard. Hope this helps, guys! Sorry if my weird combination of metric and imperial are confusing, I get a lot of data on historical swords from friends in Europe, so I've picked up a bit of metric as a result of that
  13. 16th Century Type XVa WIP

    Thanks Alan! Here is the new thread with the completed photos, for everyone who's following here!
  14. Hey again, everybody! Here is my latest piece, a type XVa longsword, that many of you have been following in my WIP thread. I don't really have a lot to say about it, it was a really fun project, even though there were some bumps in the road (keeping it straight in heat treat was a pain) The whole sword is just under 1.9lbs, or 850 grams. The ferrules near the guard and pommel are mirror polished copper, I spiral fluted the cocobolo grip, the ferrule/ring... thingy in the center of the grip is mirror polished copper with silver wire lines inlayed on it, and polished silver spacers on either side. The blade is 34" long, spring tempered 80crv2 from Aldo, if my calipers were working I'd give you all stats of the distal taper, but it's a convex distal taper, I believe it's about 7mm thick at the base. To give you an idea of the handling, the forward pivot point is about an inch behind the point, and the hilt node is just above the copper piece in the center, right in the heel of your hand when you hold the sword. Closeup of the absolutely murderous point The copper and silver spacer in the center! I am really happy with this detail
  15. Bronze age antenna hilted knife

    Ooh, I love it! These bronze weapons have such graceful lines.