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steven smith

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steven smith last won the day on February 3

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  1. Really nice, I like this style a lot. What you did with the bead is very clever, I have a bunch of small beads and I could never figure out how to incorporate them into a knife. But, I think after seeing this I could try doing them as sort of an inlay but with wire holding it in place.
  2. Its a sen dai (I think) or a staple vise, they are fantastic for holding blades with no flats and draw filing bevels as well as polishing. The wooden wedges conform to the work piece and can grip very well. They can also hold flat pieces. The scraping tool is called a sen, they seem to remove metal quickly but I haven't managed to make a good one yet. If anyone ever finds themselves struggling to hold a blade down with c-clamps they should try a staple vise. if I am wrong you might ask "Isalandblacksmith", I can't remember his username here but he is on Instagram. I think he would know.
  3. I have some chrome tanned sheaths, they get pretty sweaty and wet but I don't think I'm getting too much rust from that, my clothes get soaked when I go ride my bike in the hotter months and stuff in my pockets gets the worst of it. I soak my sheaths in beeswax and that probably helps, copper/brass/bronze fittings will still patina because of the leather. Most of my knives sit around in leather sheaths but I'm not noticing any rust from that unless the blade needs oil, if I pull out a blade and its dry I will oil it. A little patina and oil every few months seems to work for me, a blade with no patina will rust very easily, also the more polished it is the less it will rust but 400 grit seems fine to me.
  4. It looks pretty sharky to me, the handle is very nicely done and the blade looks good too. I like it. the blade profile looks like a shark, imagine an eye under the peak of the clip and a toothy grin at the tip. If the blade is too hard and it chips you could probably just temper it in an oven at 380-450 degrees, someone else who is more familiar with files could give you a more accurate time and temperature.
  5. Ive used a trizact to take about 30 blades from 80 grit to 220 or 320 grit (I dont remember what it is), I hand sand at 220 after that, the trizact still has 10% or so of its grit left. They last forever if you treat them right but if they get wet they lose grit very fast, faster than cheap aluminum oxide. You also have to be careful about sharp edges on the blade scraping off the grit. The 80 grit I used was a worn down 3m brand, I dont remember what, but I used it with water until it broke at the seam. It was just fine for post hardening grinding when I ground on the wheel of my grinder, kinda slow on the platten but faster than a 1x30. Just some water dripping on the belt kept it cool enough that I didnt have to worry about overheating and I could grind faster and more precise because I wasnt constantly having to remove the blade to cool it. Usually I grind a steep bevel at the edge with the platten and get the edge straight then use the wheel to grind to the edge and then flatten the sides of the blade on the platten. Wet grinding will get everything around you wet and if your eye protection gets wet you wont be able to see anything, but I think its worth it, otherwise you have to use a fresh belt every couple blades. I tried running my trizact wet once and lost a bunch of grit but it worked fine after it dried out, I smack my blades on something to get off any water thats on it from cooling, you can get a little water on it, they probably dry pretty quick when running on a machine but I wouldnt try using a damp/wet one again.
  6. I have a 10 pound sledgehammer head, it works just as good as those cheap awful cast iron anvils, my cast iron anvil is starting to spall on the work surface which seems pretty dangerous. Id like a 20 pound hammer head to get a bit more space. Ive also got a 50-70 pound block of soft steel, it works but it doesnt have the rebound that the sledge has. I said the sledge head works as good as the terrible cast iron anvil, I mean it seems to move steel just as fast, its way better in quality.
  7. Sorry if I came off as rude, im sure I do with half the stuff I say here as im not good at communicating online. Im going blind in one eye and it really makes a difference, im not sure if I can see straight lines anymore, one eye is not half as good as two. Its my right eye thats bad and thats my dominant side.
  8. Okay, here are the rest, in one instagram post. Theres a mini bowie with a san mai blade, its music wire with low carbon steel on the sides, I think id like to use something tougher for san mai, plus this low carbon stuff seems to rust easily. The guard is bronze, the spacer is african blackwood, and the handle is mesquite burl with a C/A glue finish. OAL is 6" with 2" handle. The proportions are a little off for a miniature, maybe, but I think its nice. Also another miniature with a stock removal hollow ground blade with a convex tip and tiny fuller, its 1/16" 1075. Handle is mesquite burl with a bronze guard and a sewing pin for the handle pin. Its pretty much got a zero edge for the hollow ground portion and the clip. 4" blade with 1 1/2" handle. It has a walnut veneer core scabbard reinforced with sewing thread and wrapped with thin leather. It might get a frog for the sheath or ill make it into a neck knife. Last is a recurve thing with a spatulate tip, the steel is coil spring, mesquite handle, and copper guard and pin. With a mustard patina, this thing is made for outdoor fun, I find this style handle to be very comfortable. 4 3/4" blade and 4" handle, the blade is 4mm thick tapering down to 1mm with a rounded spine. Sorry for mixing inches and MM, my calipers are misbehaving. So thats where im at with my knives. Ive started flintknapping as well which has helped with my mood overall, its nice to have constant failures, cuts, and bruises. I am riding my bike often with 20 or more pounds of rocks in my backpack for as many miles, when a piece fails I just think "dang, that wasnt a good rock" or if it is a good rock im not too concerned because even when I dont get anything done its still super satisfying. The tools are easy to make and the history is wonderful to dwell on, I might share a bit of that as im sure some people would be interested, but its very tricky and I break so many points. I think I want to start water quenching some blades as well, I have too many because nothing breaks in canola oil. Any comments or questions are welcome, or if you think something is horrible let me know, ill keep my weird knife philosophies to myself. Im still not marking my blades, I really dont want to but I think I should, im very conflicted.
  9. I found a test snap I did and its okay, but I still dont like how the rivet tore, it holds fine but I havent used it more than a few times.
  10. Hello everyone, its been a while since ive finished anything but ive been in a pretty good mood lately (usually) and im not dreading the huge amounts of time spent sanding that comes with making multiple knives at once. Im trying to make better quality stuff as well but it takes about four times as long because im not as good at this as im trying to be and im constantly trying different finishes or redoing something I messed up. There are a few knives here that still need to be glued and their pins need to be peened on but I really want to make sure everything is done before I do that, but those are pretty small steps that will be dealt with soon so I figured I would go ahead and share these. As is usual for me, im constantly fighting with technology so im stuck posting through instagram, im not super familiar with it so bare with me... This little knife was forged from 1/4" music wire, which is something like 1080/1095. Its a very slim three finger sized integral with a tapered tang and a concave distal taper, the handle is sepele with stainless pins. It has a few forging marks but ive only got a 10% or less success rate with mini integrals, you have to forge them near perfect. It has a 5 1/4" blade with a 3" handle. This next knife is forged 1080, it has a concave distal taper and a nice thin blade, the handle is mesquite with a stainless guard, steel pin, and copper spacers. There are pins going from the handle into the guard, I forget what those are called but they make the handle very solid. 5 1/4" blade and 4 3/8" handle. I really like this style of blade with no plunge at the ricasso. There are two knives in this post, hopefully you can click through them, if not I can take separate pictures to share them. First is a japanese fantasy hybrid thing, 1080 steel with a fuller and a dark vinegar patina, the blade is a little over 4 1/4" and a bit thicker than 1/8" on the flat but it tapers to a nice thin point, the handle is just under 4" the wood is ipe with a leather wrap and its got a copper spacer and minimal guard. Its sharp, it would be a fantastic little fighting knife, it has a zero edge with a convex grind and the handle wrap locks into my hand perfectly. I dont normally do the pancake sheaths but its okay, I prefer something slimmer. The second knife is another japanese fusion fantasy piece, but just barely, its almost more of a bowie. More 1080 steel with a concave taper, convex zero edge, steel guard with brass and copper spacers and pin. 6 1/5" blade and about 4 1/2" ipe handle, this blade is about 1/4" thick at the guard but it tapers pretty quick for 1/5ish of the blade then the taper mellows out before another quick taper near the tip, the concave taper is sort of like a flat taper but with more thickness at the base of the blade. Im going to flare out the brass tube in the pin hole and then peen the copper pin in that, ive done it before and it should look nice. The scabbard has a thin plywood core with a stitched and glued leather wrap and a friction fit frog. Thats it for now, I think I have a couple more to put up tomorrow.
  11. I forge the bevels after the tapering, thats the only thing that might need to be done in order. Taper the distal and profile of the bar, get it nice and smooth, then you have a preform. If you set up your preform right then all you need to do is precurve and bevel and you can forge very close to finished without any back and forth sort of stuff. You can put a tip or a tang on a tapered bar, I dont really like forging the tip early and then having to taper it, they tend to come out less pointy and then you have to do more back and forth sort of forging. But it doesnt matter so much if you can grind down a lumpy profile, I just like trying to get cleaner forgings. Actually it might be better to forge the tang in early, you will have more room for error if you need to push it around.
  12. Harbor freight has a face shield for about four dollars, ive had mine for a year, get one.
  13. Ouch! The cheap tiny ones for dremels are pretty dangerous, they just fly apart. I use a full face shield and earmuffs whenever I use my angle grinder.
  14. Tandys is just cheap chinese junk, the rivets in the snaps ive used all ripped instead of mushrooming. I made a pair of tall boots and half of their eyelets came out, I used the right tools and everything, I dont keep my boots very tight either. Ive had better results making a copper peg with a mushroomed out head. Like this,
  15. Try over tempering a few more times, you might also be able to get a center punch in there to make a little dimple which can help with drilling a short depth. You can push your heat a bit farther, just dont let the colors run too close to the edge. Also carbide tipped masonry bits work for some people. Id try more over tempering first, and learn to sharpen those bits if they arent snapped, its tricky but ive dulled and broken plenty of bits. Then carbide bits, and the center punch would be last resort.
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