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Brian Dougherty

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Posts posted by Brian Dougherty

  1. Ric Furrer had a quote on here that I often paraphrase:  It should be illegal to offer an artisanal degree that doesn't include significant business training.


    I feel for you Gerald.  I've experienced what you just did a few times with other activities.  I won't pretend to have an answer, but based on your work, I'd say you are the self motivating type.  I'm sure you'll find a way to rekindle some passion.

  2. 9 hours ago, Joshua States said:

    I have found that tempering most of the blade steels I use also happen to have the same required temperature that baking brownies, roasting a chicken, or most fruit pies also require. Just saying......

    Yep, my blades have cohabitated with a few roasting chickens :)

    (I do make sure to thoroughly clean the quench oil off when I do that) 

  3. And finally a few glamor shots.  This was technically a commission, but mostly a labor of love.  The customer has been a friend for over 40 years, and his eldest son is the only person I have held as a baby other than my own children.  (Babies are oozy messes and I don't like to touch them)


    There wasn't a very big budget to work with, but I felt compelled to fill in the gaps on this one a bit.





    Thanks for following along!





    • Like 7
  4. The customer wanted to supply the wood for the handle.  In this case, he had a piece of saluted persimmon that also had some interesting grain.  He brought over a big hunk, and I managed to find a couple of nice pairs of scales inside.  (This knife is a graduation present for his oldest son.  He has another son, so I made sure to get a second set of similar scales)


    I had to dry the wood, and then stabilize it to make it durable enough for a handle.




    Then it was just cutting out, attaching, and shaping the scales in the usual manner:






    I do most of the shaping with files and rasps.  I screw handles up way too quickly with the grinder :(



  5. I made the bolsters out of nickel silver.  I simply superglued a couple of patterns to a bar of stock




    And cut them out...




    I superglue one of them to the blade, and drill through the holes in the tang for some pins.






    Then I superglue the other bolster in place and drill back through the first bolster to put matching holes in second one.  You can see the two drilled bolsters here after I had taken them off the blade.




    I like to ream pin holes when I want to make sure the pins disappear when peened.  I had drilled the holes a few thousandths undersized to allow the reamer to clean up the holes.




    Now I can pin the two bolsters together and start filing them to shape.






    With lots of test fitting as I go...




    I wanted to solder the bolsters on as well as pin them.  This probably isn't necessary at all, but I can do it so I did.  It actually makes peening the pins for the bolsters much less stressful for me.  Soldering to 304ss is a bit tricky.  You have to use a good flux, but I just used simple 2% silver bearing solder.




    Then it is time to peen in the pins.  Before peening, I ran a tapered reamer into the holes from each side to create a good mechanical lock.  Then it was death by a thousand blows with my mighty peening hammer!






    A little work with some files, and the pins disappeared.  There are a couple of different nickel silver alloys out there that are common.  In a situation like this, you have to make sure the pins and bolsters are the same, or the pins will definitely show.



    • Like 1
  6. I forget how far I stretched this out in the welding pass, but you can see the bar here:




    I ended up with a weld flaw in the middle of the bar that I could see as a shadow.  However, I had way more steel than needed so I forged this down closer to the final width of the knife.



    I mostly created the profile by grinding, but I did have to do a bit of forging to get the shark fin how I wanted it, and to get the distal taper in such a way that I wouldn't loos all the 304 by grinding it in.  I watched closely on the last forging steps to make sure I wasn't getting to far off center with the core.








    Pre-heat treat.  It looks like I didn't grind the bevels until after heat treating.  Honestly I don't remember.  If that is the case though, I am wondering why I bothered with the anti-scale...




    I always send lots of pics of the hand work to the client...





  7. Hi All.  I thought I would share the pics I took along the way of making this commissioned piece.  On the rare occasion I take on a commission, I like to take plenty of photos along the way to share with the customer.  The knife is done, and the customer took delivery today, but it'll take me a while to load up all the photos.


    Here is where it all started:

    AA Initial Sketch.jpg


    The style/design is a bit strange, but the client had some pretty specific requests.  It's not worth debating the design here, but if you are curious about the origin, here is an earlier post about it: https://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?/topic/40610-looking-for-help-with-a-utility-hunter-design/


    I wanted to make this one with 304ss clad on either side of a piece of W2 to see if I could do it.  Here is the starting stock:




    Then the obligatory TIG welding around the perimeter to seal it all up:




    I MIGed on a handle (I forge weld better than I MIG weld.  Don't judge me :) )




    Then it was into the forge to get nice and toasty.  I can get my forge up to about 2300F on a good day, and in this case I got it as hot as I could, and held it there for 15 to 20 minutes to make sure it was heated through.




    Artistic forge door shot:




    Eventually, it was squishy  time with the press.  I tend to set the weld with a light touch, and then put it back the forge to soak a bit before getting a bit more aggressive with reducing the thickness.  Even at that, I take the first several passes pretty easy so that the weld gets a lot of time at temperature to diffuse.





  8. Don't worry too much about getting the cleaning process perfect prior to etching.  It is very important to get the blade clean, but you get plenty of feedback during the etching process, and it is easy to recover.  It's not like you will ruin your project because you didn't get it spotless.


    Most often I just clean with ammonia glass cleaner.  I use it as my sanding lube, so it is always within reach when I go to etch, and ammonia is a good grease cutter.  However, I will also wipe with acetone occasionally when it is more convenient than the glass cleaner.  I even use hot water and dish soap if I happen to be in the house with the blade before I go out to etch it.  I think they all work just fine.


    If you happen to leave a finger smudge or some oil behind on the blade, you will almost immediately see it as an area that isn't etching as fast as the rest of the blade.  If that happens, pull it out, make a few strokes with whatever your finishing grit of paper was, clean the blade again, and restart the etch.


    • Thanks 1
  9. 1 hour ago, Garry Keown said:

    ... while the LN is available by the liter from the welding shop where I go every week.

    Wow, I would have given for that kind of access to liquid nitrogen as a kid :D

    It's just the opposite where I live.  I can get dry ice at my local welding shop for a few cents a pound, but LN is pretty much impossible.

  10. 1 hour ago, Dave Stephens said:

    Rather than do all that, now I just don't worry about the pattern on the spine of a full tang blade. Just sand and polish it. If you're trying to avoid a bright silver line with the aesthetics of the piece, hit it with some cold gun blue. 



    Yeah, these are pretty much what I do these days.  Lately it's been more of the cold blue on a q-tip after assembly way than leaving the tang bright.

  11. 5 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

    The original statement in question had it exactly wrong, suggesting that diamond can "steal" carbon from steel.  Thus my confusion.  I mean, pure carbon does not need more carbon.  


    My wife read the first part, but not the follow-ups.  She ran off giggling, and set her engagement ring on my anvil :D

    • Haha 1
  12. The KA Bar has a special place in my heart.  When I was a kid, it was the knife the imprinted on me what a knife was supposed to look like.  That wasn't a particularly valid imprint, but it will still always be kind of special to me.


    Neat project.

    • Like 2
  13. A low-brow homebrew method to give you relative measurements would be to rake a small fan with some sort of shroud over the inlet side that you can cover with a piece of filter paper.  Weigh the paper before and after running for a while with and without the dust collector on.


    It won't give you a PPM type of result, but you could infer a % change in the air quality.



  14. On 9/19/2020 at 12:50 PM, Dave Stephens said:

    Scale is definitely an issue. 


    On 9/18/2020 at 10:04 PM, Niels Provos said:

     I would imagine that oxidization is probably much more prevalent unless you house it in some kind of noble gas.


    Why is this?  Simply because there is more oxygen present than in a forge that is using the oxygen for combustion?  Or does the electric field have something to do with it?

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