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Brian Dougherty

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Everything posted by Brian Dougherty

  1. The liners are mild steel about 0.050" thick. I still need to sand off the mill scale.
  2. Made a bit more progress yesterday. Heat treatment is done, and the action is tuned. I'll probably get the bolsters soldered on and maybe epoxy the scales in place today.
  3. Err, I meant 3/32... ...need coffee this afternoon.
  4. Thanks Josh. The pins are a calculated risk, and I have the same concerns as you. The pin along the spring side is 5/32 as is the one at the butt end that also holds the spring in place. The other pins will only hold the scales in place, but to keep a symmetrical appearance, I used the same size pin. We'll see how it goes with the prototype. I knew they were close, but somehow I let them slip even closer to the edges than I intended. I'm not sure how that happened, but here is really plenty of room to move them in a bit. The blade stop is left long in the pattern intentionally. The way I have been assembling these requires some hand fitting of the spring and the blade. Once I pin the spring in place with the preload set, I grind down the stop to get the closure I am looking for. It does make the drawing look a bit wonky because of the overlap, but I knew what I meant
  5. HCL will etch the surface, but it doesn't seem to blacken the faster etching steel very much so I use the Ferric Chloride like most people. One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is that after Ferric, a long soak in instant coffee can bump up the contrast quite a bit.
  6. Ok, so roughed out a few parts to prototype one of these. The spring is still oversized so I can grind it to match the scales, but I think I'm going to like it. I'll report back when it gets further along.
  7. Playing guitar is one of the few things I have wanted to do that I simply can't get any good at. I am tone deaf, and have zero rhythm, but still try play every now and then. However I do love guitars. My tortoises are named Tony and Angus. If you listen to my kind of music, then you know what guitar I have in the den
  8. I've been enjoying making slip-joints based on a design published in this book for the last few months, and have been wanting to get away from using another maker's design. I like the look of "Coke bottle" or "Fiddle back" folders, and have taken a stab at drawing up my own version. Sketching this was an iterative process as I "rotated" the blade in and out to check clearances. The #3 version is where I am at right now. It would be much easier to do this in CAD, but I do that for a living, and would rather doodle in a sketch book for relaxation. Mechanically, I am pretty confident in the design as I followed the design methodology described in the book and I have a good understanding of how all the dimensions interact. However, I would like some feedback on the aesthetics. I know a lot of people do not like the exposed corner that sticks out on many traditional slip-joints when closed, and I respect that sentiment. I made the decision to keep that on this one. After carrying one of my other folders around every day for the last 4 months, I have gown fond of feeling for that corner when I pull the knife from my pocket. (Call me crazy) I'm very fond of the look of old-school folders, and plan to make the first one of these with nickel silver bolsters and stag or jigged bone scales. The last few knives I have made with pivot bushings to make the final assembly more predictable, and will continue doing that, although I don't show it in the sketch. Thanks in advance!
  9. Was the first knife hardened? (ie quenched) There is a difference in etching from hardened vs unhardened steel.
  10. I wouldn't think any reasonable temper level would drastically change how fast the acid etched the steel. What temperature was the first one tempered at? I would expect tomato juice to etch any non stainless steel blade within a few minutes, so the real question in my mind is why you didn't see this before. Things that may slow down the oxidation would be a good layer of patina or oxidation already there, a coating of oil or wax on the blade, and maybe the level of polish on the balde. Tomatoes will vary in acidity as well. Maybe the earlier ones were low in acid.
  11. Given the time it would take to cut that into usable strips, I would spend the $100 on new steel. I have over 100lbs of 15N20 that is in the form of a large sawmill band. I use it for my pattern welded work because I know the owner of the mill, and was able to verify the steel type based on the manufacturer part number of the blade, and this particular band broke on them early so it has seen very little use and there is less chance of cracks. Even at that, I question whether or not it would be better just to buy some 15N20 every time I have to break down a section of the band to start a new billet. It takes a lot of time to cut that band up into 6"x1.5" pieces.
  12. Remember to stay below the top of the bottle labels!
  13. Wow, something about the fit and finish as well as all the little details make that one really speak to me. Your work always impresses, but this really dropped my jaw.
  14. I'm not an expert on these, but I'll pretend to be one to fill time until a real one comes along... I think your proportions are off. I believe the blade should be about half as tall as it is, and a good 50% longer.
  15. My fencing coach never taught me that parry. I suspect that particular technique was forgotten because it generally sucked.
  16. Congrats on your first hearth steel knife! I think it looks great. I also appreciate how much effort you put into sharing your learning journeys with us.
  17. A long time ago a bladesmith had a really nice knife in the works, and then goofed at the very end causing a big flaw along the spine. "Dang!' thought the Smith as he pondered how to save the piece. "I know" he said. I'll put a decorative brass element along the spine to cover up the flaw. Then again, maybe there was a real reason...
  18. This is one of those things that is much easier to understand after you have done it a few times. It all sounds kind of mystical when you read about it, but after a couple of attempts the steel really starts to talk to you, and let's you know when it is solid and wants to be hit harder.
  19. I agree with you Joel, and probably didn't make my point very well. Accepting that I just can't do any better, and that I should be proud of what I achieved, is a good place to be. However, I still feel that those other times when I just decide it is time to give up and move on should sting in my memory just a bit.
  20. Nice job on the carving, that is something I am not very good at. My first thought echoes Brandon's. It would tie it all together if it had a guard where the finger curl of the guard was a stylized lower part (fin?)of the tail, and the blade were a bit more swoopy to form the top part of the tail. Google thresher shark, and you'll get the idea immediately.
  21. Hey, that is definitely a start. If after getting to this point, you are still enthusiastic about it, then it is a good start. For each knife you make from this point on, pick some aspect that you want to improve on, and then hold yourself to task to make that aspect a good as you can possibly make it. It's all about being honest with yourself. If it as good as you can do, but still fails to make you happy, that is OK. However, if you know you can do better, but are just sick of messing with it, then that is a fail. I fail a lot
  22. Well, the guy who's folder pattern a few of us used for this years KITH has also made a few flintlocks. We could always copy him again. Personally, I would need about 5 years to finish one More of his work: https://www.culverart.com/Firearms Gallery.htm
  23. Wow, what does that last one weigh? 5lbs?
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