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Dan Rice

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Eastern Connecticut
  • Interests
    blade forging

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  1. Pine is the best charcoal for making black powder, possibly because of the above-mentioned fast burning speed. I messed with charcoal a bit when I first started forging, and melted some steel with hardwood charcoal, so hardwood burns plenty hot enough. I don't know where you'd get pine charcoal, but I've been meaning to try making some pine tar one of these days, which would yield pine charcoal as a by-product.
  2. I got some 36 grit bits from Tru Grit a while ago, I think they were called "value ceramic." They are so much better than the cheap belts from Amazon that I've been using that I could have kicked myself for not investing in better belts sooner. I run a 2x48 so my options are more limited than 2x72.
  3. I mostly just sell what I make, but lately a lot of people have been asking me to make things for them, so for the past few months I've been doing only commissions. I like the artistic freedom of just making what I want and selling it, but the commissions I take are generally pretty open-ended. Someone will ask for a particular style of knife, and maybe give me a few criteria or dimensions that they want and I make the item to my own style. If someone asks for something that is really not my style, I tell them that someone else could do a much better job for them, which has only happened once. I seem to do my best quality work on commissions (maybe because of the added motivation of having a specific person in mind who as asked me to make something), and I charge more for them. I only ask for deposits if I have to go significantly out-of-pocket to buy materials for the project, or if it was something unusual that would be hard to sell if it fell through, which hasn't happened yet.
  4. I've done a couple of plywood handles. On the first one I used Danish oil. I kept applying it for ages because the plywood is so absorbent. It took a long time to dry and was kind of smelly. It still never built up enough on the surface to take a shine. On the second knife, I used some Helmsman spar urethane, which worked great. I plan to try it on a stacked leather handle next. I like Danish oil for solid wood, but I think less dense materials need a less penetrating finish. Super glue sounds like a good idea too, but I've never tried it.
  5. What I do with knives is wrap them up into a bundle with several layers of newspaper in such a way that the paper gets kind of wadded up on each end. Then I roll more newspaper into balls and pack them tightly into the box around the knife until it won't move when you shake it. If the knife has no sheath, I make one out of cardboard and make a pad of newspaper that's about half an inch thick folded over the tip and taped in place. So far I've never had a customer report any damage or problems with the packaging.
  6. 1. Timothy Artymko 2. Chad Scott 3. Caleb Harris 4. Wesley Alberson 5. Kevin Hopkins 6. Alan Longmire 7. Brian Dougherty 8. Pieter-Paul Derks 9. Joshua States 10. Dan Rice
  7. You mean mine? I'm not really sure if it's a hamon, or if I just didn't steel wool the edge as much. If it is a hamon, it's my first.
  8. Whew, finally got this thing done! I thought I was going to have to withdraw, but I finished the knife yesterday and the sheath today. I decided to go with a weathered old frontier look for this piece. The blade is forged from a file. The guard and butt cap are welding steel from Tractor Supply. The pins are nails. The handle is a piece of an old hickory axe handle. The rivets in the sheath are copper saddle rivets, also from Tractor Supply. Everything but the leather, fake sinew, and antler button came from a hardware store. I was worried that the rustic, antique effect might end up just looking amateurish, but I think it came out pretty good. The sheath and handle both got a two-tone treatment with black and brown dye to simulate aging and handling. I blackened the guard and butt cap by dipping them in oil and burning it off with a blow torch. The blade got it's patina from a soak in a mixture of ferric chloride, vinegar, bleach, and salt. I was originally trying to devise a home-made rust browning solution, but the etched finish looked pretty good after a soak so I left it at that. A second later, that darn photobombing fly walked onto the edge and got sliced in half.
  9. I made this leuku last week. The blade is just an old Lauri that I had laying around for years, but the handle material was a bit of an experiment. I think it was a success, will definitely try plywood on other knives. I'm starting to look around for some marine-grade scraps.
  10. 1.Gabriel R. Paavola 2. Timothy Artymko 3. Gary Toulomelis 4. Caleb Harris 5. Scott Cruse 6. Tim Tracey 7: JJ Simon 8. Daniel J. Luevano 9. Dan Bourlotos 10. Pieter-Paul Derks 11. Joshua States 12. Kevin Hopkins 13. Robert Dowse 14. Brian Dougherty 15. Jeroen Zuiderwijk 16. Michael Cochran 17. Austin Lyles 18. James Fuller 19. Michael Seronde 20. George Ezell 21. Josh Fikentscher 22. Alan Longmire 23. Gabriel James Mabry 24. James Spurgeon 25. Don Abbott 26. Dan Waddell 27. Chad Scott 28. John Rosendahl 29. Dimitar Popov 30. Aiden CC 31. Dan Rice I have been away from the forum for a while. What a pleasant surprise to see another KITH in the works. Sounds like a fun one.
  11. Thanks! It's still for sale, by the way ; ) That is definitely an incredible sword, but the one that really knocked my socks off from the same exhibition was Petyr Florianek's Beadoleoma (probably spelled that wrong). I really dig the ancient Germanic aesthetic of it.
  12. In my opinion 3/16" by 1" is the easiest size to work with for most basic knives. I'd rather work with 1/4" than 1/8" for reasons that Geoff said. His recommendation on steel types is good advice too.
  13. Fantastic video! I think it "clicked," as Brian Dougherty said. I was trying to form the socket the way they're made on cheap Cold Steel spears, which look like they're actually stamped out of sheet metal. I wish I had seen that video yesterday.
  14. Thanks, guys! Alan, I see what you mean about the sharp necking in and spreading the top of the socket too much. A more subtle transition would have made it easier, and a mandrel would definitely have helped as well. I've been meaning to pick up a chunk of 1" round.
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