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Aiden CC

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Aiden CC last won the day on September 27

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About Aiden CC

  • Birthday 04/01/1998

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  1. It’s done! The pull stroke seems to have less chatter, but the push has more power. You do need to get a bit of a “feel” for the cutting to make it work, just like its less sophisticated predecessor.
  2. Looks good! The Cu-mai is very striking. I didn't have a press until this spring and I did a some of high layer stuff by hand, the highest being ~4,000 layers with home made hearth steel. One tip would be to trick convince a friend or two to help with a sledge hammer. I have found that the opportunity to make knives, and perhaps lunch and beer, are enough to get some much needed help. If you do this, look up some videos of people working with a striker, there is a certain rhythm that makes it work. For brass melting, I haven't done it myself, but I would say that a respirator etc. should be your last line of protection. Reducing the amount of fumes and quickly getting them far away from the air you are breathing would be a first priority. I would look more into it/wait for someone more knowledgeable before going forward, but some sort of air moving setup may be a good start.
  3. It’s in the home stretch! I ground four different cutters: 1/2”, 3/8”, 1/4”, and 1/8”. I also made two “blanks” which are just cut to length and have the corners broken on one end. The handles are pretty simple, everything is nice and rounded to accommodate a variety of grips. All that’s left to really do is to put oil on the grips. I want to do some testing of the cutters to make sure they work as intended, and then it should be ready to ship out!
  4. Definitely agree with this. I do make some "art" knives (mostly inspired by seaxes, nihonto, etc), but for most knives, being made for use is the real soul of the piece. My EDC of 5 years is a 3 bladed slip joint I spent about 50 hours on, everything was mirror polished, now building a warm patina of scratches and spots. Good design and clean lines will still show on a knife that has been used for a century, and there are a lot of things you can tweak to make a blade age more gracefully in its environment. I have found a few ways to "encourage" use that I try to incorporate into my work for sale (I generally don't hesitate to use my own knives as they were "free" in a way). One is matching the direction and level of finish to the expected use; tough use with potentially abrasive materials = "crosswise" machine finish, etc. Another is anticipating what will happen when someone wants to sharpen it, this is something that IMO more knife makers should think about when considering the design and finish of knives; choils of various kinds make it easier to keep the edge straight as it gets worn back, as does lifting the shoulders out of the handle and eliminating the plunge cut for knives like puukkos (which is how they were made for centuries). Your knife design does this well with the edge extending past the ricasso, but you can see where the material is a bit thicker by the plunge, making it stick out a bit. This is something I still struggle with, though I don't really like plunge lines. Also, the edge may be a tad thick, but some of that comes down to personal preference; somewhat unintuitively, a thin edge will wear down slightly faster, but stay sharp substantially longer, than a thick edge. Material is another variable you have to play with; stainless and synthetics are one extreme, but a strong wood with a well-applied finish can last surprisingly long (like 1000 years in the ground on some old knives!). One other point: if you decide to even out the grooves, I have found it helpful to make a two piece setup for that kind of ornamentation. One piece is a wooden blade cover I can comfortably (and safely!) hold, the other is some surface I can brace the end or middle of the handle against (a wooden block with a dip carved it, a piece of rubber/folded leather, etc). I hold the blade in my left hand, bracing the handle, and hold a round file in my right hand. I push the file in a straight line while rotating the handle into it. You get a lot of control this way, though it isn't as fast as clamping it down and just going to town with a file. Sorry for the wall of text, I didn't plan for this reply to be that long.
  5. It it possible at all that it’s dirty water? You said it’s oily, so probably not, but I figured I would check. My only other thought is that maybe some o-ring has a big glob of grease on it. Maybe a silicone grease as with an oxygen line, you would not want a flammable liquid or gel as Tim mentioned.
  6. A bit of necromancy here, but I figured I should update this. The link in the first post doesn't work any more, I believe sections which were originally referred to as " Lapska föremål" in that collection are now called "Samisk historia", my best guess being that it was done as Sami is a more respectful name for that group of people, though I don't know the exact details of the change. Here is a link to a new search: https://digitaltmuseum.se/search/?q= Samisk historia knivar&o=0&n=156
  7. Indeed it is. It’s set up to use the blade as the primary guide. The long handle will hopefully allow for fairly precise adjustments to the angle of the cutter to reduce chatter and make it easier to stay on course. On the first one I made a few years ago, I found myself wishing for a handle on the front end, so this one will have wooden grips for both hands.
  8. Starting to get there! I still need to fix up the threads at the base of that set screw hole for the stop and make the wood handles but then the tool itself is done! I think it would be better to make single sided cutting bits for ergonomics and safety, I plan to make a set for a number of different radii (maybe four) and throw in a blank or two for whatever the recipient might think up!
  9. Thank you! I've been trying to post daily on Instagram, I think some folks here might enjoy that #seax is quite popular there these days. It has been a challenge with 0-3 bladesmithing sessions per week, but it does mean I have a lot of pictures and I wanted to make a point of continuing to post here. It's nice to have a place where content more than a day or two old still gets seen by people who might care about it! Anyways, on to the work from the past few days. The left is a knife inspired by iron age finds I saw in the Danish national museum when I went there with my (very patient) partner on a recent vacation. The right is a short Viking Age inspired knife that I intend to handle and sheath with some puukko like features. Both are made from leftover scraps from the narrow sax I made too large because when an archaeologist says a "blade" is 45 cm long, they mean that the blade and tang are 45 cm long together . I started making hearth steel because back in 2020 when I made a tanto for the KITH I wanted to be able to do some different things with the hamon. Now after a bit of dabbling, I have a few blades that really are digging into that style. Both are kobuse with the 12 fold material and anchor chain. At the spine there's a lot of iron, but the steel gets thicker and the iron gets thinner down towards the edge. Here they are at the sunobe stage. In the left picture there is a sheet steel kata with a ~10" blade and the right is a quick test blade I whipped up out of W2 based on a (very beat up) sunobi tanto I bought a few years ago. These have taper in width and thickness, and after the photo I cut a reverse tip into each so the hearth steel flows with the edge and has god steel at the tip. Both are hira zukuri (no ridge on the blade) which made turning the sunobe into a blade pretty straightforward. I did the math for these, and used the weight of my W2 test blade, and I was suspicious at first, but I was able to get adequately sized blanks for two large tanto out of 700 g of hearth steel, which was nice as quite a bit of time went into that material! That's all for now, I may have time to grind and heat treat these tomorrow, or it may be a while yet.
  10. When I polish blades with ridges I usually use sand paper on a surface plate. This makes it act more like a stone when you can feel the different surfaces as Dan mentioned. Walter Sorrels, and I’m sure some other folks, starts with stones up to a certain point to establish and preserve the geometry, then switches to sand paper. That could be an option as well, though it involves getting some stones.
  11. Thank you Gary, this feels a bit like a journal sometimes, I’m glad some others are getting something out of it too. I actually got a small hard covered notebook to keep up with this stuff, my various note pads pads and scraps of paper have often met wet, dusty, or charred ends. I’ve been steadily cranking away with the run of material from my previous post, some of the updates are in my Hearth Steel Seaxes thread. Pucks four and five are completely consolidated, with four being about half gone from use in a few seaxes and a funayuki experiment (did not go well, I forgot photos though). Pucks after one heat and three folds. Previous failures have led me to really focus on cleanliness. Lots of brushing and each fold is preceded by a thorough scrub and forging with water to blast off the scale. I’m also getting more used to the press and not popping welds nearly as often. This is the entirety of puck number five combined with a prior wagon tire melt that proved to be well behaved (no hot or cold shortness). I originally got into this to make Japanese blades, which is where this material is going. Sources from two feed stocks combined after six folds, which from what I have found is one of the ways to hada was manipulated in nihonto. Here’s the results. The 12 fold bar weighs 700 g, meaning it should be enough for two tanto with a kobuse construction. The left is the largest piece of puck two at six folds. I left it there because it gives me a few options; combined with more material I could prepare it for a Japanese blade, it could be folded a few times for edge material, or it could be added to pattern welding (though I will probably test all of my wrought and hearth for etch contrast before I do that). Finally, here are a few etched blades. The hearth steel tends to weld to wrought iron very readily and sometimes with carbon diffusion it’s like the cladding gets “transparent” when you grind it close. It gives a lovely ethereal look like the narrow sax balde above. The small seax is my best “warikomi” (I feel it happens a lot that the only word around for stuff like this today is Japanese, though I’m sure there was a name for it elsewhere) with this material. Because both materials have layering and a bit of silica, it’s very hard to pick out the weld line before etching, even though a hamon would pop out immediately at coarse grits. I guess this makes sense as many old nihonto are “hon-sanmai”, which means they have both a hamon and a weld line running along the length of the blade, but only the former shows clearly in the polish (I’m sure connoisseurs can pick out both). Based on metallurgical analysis of contemporary finds, the sax that was given a Japanese polish was likely a composite too, but looks basically like mono-steel with a narrow hamon. The point of that tangent is that with a shallow hardening, layered steel welded to wrought iron, I found I needed to etch frequently to make sure the grind exposed the hearth steel in a similar, and visually pleasing, way on both sides. This is what I have done on my last few blades, with decent results. That’s all for now, thank you for looking!
  12. The way I went about changing my technique mostly came down to focusing on not pushing as hard with my right hand when it was holding the handle, basically just having it follow what my left hand was doing. Eventually I was able to build the control with my left hand to match it. The knife is a seesaw rocking around the plunge line. A lot of force on the blade side can’t do too much harm because the wheel/platen is there, but too much force on the handle side will tip the blade just enough to dig in. Now I tend to intentionally grind both plunge lines soft and then slowly work them to the level of sharpness I want. Admittedly, I also generally make fairly few knives with plunge lines these days due to the styles I like not having them and that they are usually more trouble than they’re worth for me. Also, I can see a wheel being less forgiving here than a platen and less sensitive to tracking the belt off the edge. The belt is bent into a tighter radius as it goes around the wheel which effectively makes it stiffer. I also try to use a work test as little as possible. While it is nominally a safety feature, every serious injury/near miss I have seen someone get from a sander has involved the work rest, though people’s opinions on this differ.
  13. For what it’s worth, I had this exact problem when I started making knives. The tracking on my Grizzly wasn’t great, but I think it really came down to technique. I’m right handed and I found the same asymmetry you did. For me, fixing it came down to understanding the balance of force applied by the “handle” and “blade” hands. My right arm is stronger so it was pushing harder and making one side too sharp and one side too round. One other possibility is that you’re using belts with an asymmetric wear pattern. If you use the belts at all for profiling or one edge will likely be fresher than the other.
  14. Some more progress, and I may have started another one… I don’t like fitting bolsters or guards, so I decided I would try punching the slot. I would say it worked fairly well! I will probably have to peen over a few bits and file them but I think it’s pretty close. The bar is wrought iron anchor chain forged thick for the lower bolster and thin for the upper bolster. This is for the narrow sax. Oops . I may have overheated the tip a little bit, but the rest seems to be pretty solid. No other cracks or defects that I could see while forging. I was going for something a bit longer, but this should be the right size for a Coppergate inspired knife/seax. This is a butt weld of 8 fold hearth steel and anchor chain, admittedly I was getting a bit tired of the difficulties coming from inlaying a steel edge, I had a prolonged struggle with a funayuki using this material, so I kept it simple.
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