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Aiden CC

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Aiden CC last won the day on April 8 2018

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About Aiden CC

  • Birthday 04/01/1998

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  1. Aiden CC

    Winter Tanto

    I let the lacquer dry for a week before the final polishing, I think it will be a month or more before it's entirely finished drying. I made the mekugi from a small scrap of ebony, and now it is officially done. The knife is inspired by a midwinter night when the snow catches the light from a head lamp, streetlight, or the moon through a thin veil of clouds, gently sifting down and blown by the occasional icy flurry. Taking out the blade reveals the thin layer of fallen snow in the suguha hamon with a few storm clouds lingering near the tip. My goal was to capture the harsh but serene beauty of snowy nights like the many I've spent wondering in the woods and enjoying the crisp air, glittering tree branches, and soft silence.
  2. Between online finals, my KITH knife, and a commission for a handful of knives, I kind of fell off of this project for the time being, but I did get the handle on the small Sakha knife shaped and treated with tar. I’m really happy with how this piece of wood turned out with the tar. I’m going to be away from my shop for at least three months, but I have a list of all the supplies I want to order and a reminder of the projects I’m working on. It may be in a while, but I do plan on coming back around to make sheaths for these knives and probably making a few more.
  3. Aiden CC

    Winter Tanto

    Yeah, the geometry doesn't really have the wiggle room to go digging for a cleaner hamon and I've definitely improved a few knives to death so I'll leave it other than maybe the gentle application of some SiC. I need to figure out the right lighting to capture it in a picture, but the hamon does have the snowy look I wanted.
  4. Aiden CC

    Winter Tanto

    I ended up switching from Brass-o to a different polishing compound and did three more etches with particular attention near the tip. I think there are some very shallow hardened spots up there, and it was generally a challenge to get good definition. I ordered some loose Si carbide which I may apply to the hamon to try and crisp things up just a little more. I just got it to where you can see the turn-around of the main hamon in the right light: Part of me wants to try and grind through those spots, but there’s no telling how deep they are and I should probably leave well enough alone. Having some clouds isn’t too far of theme anyways. Otherwise, I’ve just been putting more black lacquer on the saya and tsuka, I’ll probably wet sand it tomorrow and put in one last coat then move on to the other color and clear coats.
  5. Aiden CC

    Winter Tanto

    I got most of the polishing done today. Decided to try lemon juice for the etch, I like the results, though I may go for a few more cycles. There is some funny stuff going on at he kissaki, with the hamon getting a bit washed out. I was going for a blanket of fallen snow, but it seems like some storm clouds may have rolled in too . I say this when I did a test etch too and I'm convinced now that it's in the steel and not the polish. Also, these are super hard to photograph! I may try waiting for a cloudy day and taking better pictures then also possibly trying a better camera than my phone. These were taken inside by a glass door, the light was ok, but outside with cloud cover or at sunrise/set might be better. Also put the first few coats of lacquer on the tsuka and saya and worked on a few test coupons. I think I've made some decisions about how I'm going to do this, but I'll show that when I get to it on the real thing. Looking at he pictures, maybe the etch needs to be a little deeper. I'm also waiting on some loose abrasive to lighten the hamon/bring out some detail.
  6. Aiden CC

    Winter Tanto

    Thanks! I was worried for a bit that it was too subtle. I’m using spray can lacquer from the hardware store for this, looking at the specs online I believe it is acrylic. It drys fairly fast, which is nice as well. I guess I could’ve saved some masking/cleanup and brushed on the black, but my plan for later requires something sprayable, so I just went with it for everything.
  7. I haven't done anything with this specific alloy, but my job last summer involved working with other Ni alloys and I've done a bit with other gas-turbine blade alloys (casting and metallography though, no forming). Forging any alloy like this is going to be a challenge because they were explicitly designed to resist deformation at high temperatures, some even having ranges where their yield strength increases with temperature. I'm not sure about this alloy, but work hardening is something that might also be in play. Also, just looking at a data sheet, it seems like working above the maximum recommended working temperature causes hot short problems like you are having, which may also be a result of coming out of the forge too hot or even an increase in temperature from the deformation of forging. It seems like to forge this, you need to keep it in that 1850-2150F range and not to work it too hard (but work it hard enough to keep it hot). Doable in a mill where you can precisely control the temperature of your furnace and the parameters of the hot working, but considerably more difficult with a forge and power hammer. Maybe you could use your IR thermometer to make sure you don't work it over 1050C? You won't get the full temperature window to work it but then you know you won't be working it above the max temp.
  8. Aiden CC

    Winter Tanto

    @Emiliano Carrillo, I'll give the high grit before etch a shot. I may or may not be able to get loose abrasive in the time window I want to work on this, so I'll first try with what I have (Brass-o and some kind of automotive polish) and see if I can get he effect I want. I also may try some red/black oxide mixed with oil to darken above the hamon. Anyways, I got some more done on this: The tsuka and saya are both made from a piece of alder, which I've heard is a decent analog for the wood traditionally used for this. It carved alright with my ugly saya nomi. Right now, the fit in the tsuka is very tight, the hope is that it will relax a bit when I do the filing on the tang after polishing the blade. After carefully squaring up the mating surfaces, I shaped the outside of the assembly. This is going to be a kaiken style knife, so it won't have a lot of features distinguishing the right from left side. I added just a bit of curvature to the mounts and a slight asymmetric taper to the tsuka which is very hard to see in the photo. This means that the side with the edge is visibly discernible and once you get used to it can be reliably determined by feel. You can also see a sneak peek of the narrow suguha hamon in the second picture. Not shown is the mekugi ana which drilled so I could go into lacquering. Right now, this is just a tanto with a suguha hamon and a slightly odd choice of habaki material. The thematic elements of this piece really come from the lacquer and polish, so I've been doing some experimentation. Above are four test coupons I have been applying lacquer to over the past few days. The base color is going to be black, so I've been testing that. It looks like my procedure will be to apply a coat every 8-12 hours sanding to 220 in-between. Yet to be decided is if the black will be satin or buffed and whether I will use clear lacquer on top of the black and design elements. I don't plan on using sepa (though I will make one if things start to rattle), so I also put a few coats of lacquer on the exposed surfaces of the tsuka and saya. Going through the process of making a tanto for the first time in almost five years has been fun, but I'm also really excited to start getting into some of the thematic parts of the build.
  9. Aiden CC

    Winter Tanto

    The habaki is basically done now, though it's still a bit snug and I may make it a bit shorter. The base is currently 27mm with a height of 24mm, so a bit less than 1:1 like Jake was talking about. This is the finish off of a sharp 120 grit belt. I may leave it there unless I get some stroke of inspiration for a way to decorate it that fits the theme. I have done some deeper etched hamons for western style knives (~5 minutes in dilute ferric chloride), but that seems like a bit much for this? The picture in my first post shows the results of alternating between swabbing with FeCl3 and polishing with paste abrasive. I'll probably try a short dip. I also heard somewhere that rust powder in oil can be used to darken the area above the hamon, so I may try that as well. The image I'm going for is "blanket of freshly fallen snow" so I'll likely try a variety of things until I get something that looks like that.
  10. Aiden CC

    Winter Tanto

    Got a little bit more done on the habaki. Making a slightly round hardened punch did the trick. I fit it up then made the metal wedge that gets soldered in on the edge side. Next I set it up with flux and hard silver solder and soldered it in my forge. You can see that in the current fit up, the habaki is a bit shy of the mune and ha machi. This is so I can do a little filing and hammering and get it snugged all the way up. I’ve had problems with loose habaki in the past, trying to avoid that here.
  11. Aiden CC

    Winter Tanto

    I’ll be honest, the habaki is giving me some trouble (they always seem to). The nickel silver is proving a lot harder than copper and also is work hardening faster. I guess that’s what I get for being too cheap for real silver! It ended up deforming the corners of the steel bar I was using to shape it, and the spine side has a high spot in the middle. The plan is to make a piece of hardened tooling to make those corners nice and square and also make a slightly concave surface. I’ll also probably make a curved chisel for the saya/tsuka.
  12. Aiden CC

    Winter Tanto

    I actually started this in December, but it sat around pre-ht until recently and I only finish-ground it yesterday. I have some plans and concept drawings, but I think I'll just show this as it comes together. The clay and profile after finish grinding. I think the tip/last few inches might need a little re-work to get that distinct tanto shape. I think more about it. A preview of the suguha hamon. I've gotten burned in the past with hamon problems near the tip, so I did a quick polish, looks like there's hard steel all the way, I may take the profile down so the thickness stays more consistent. Also, does anyone know a way to polish a hamon so the edge portion appears as the lighter color? This was just a quick inspection, alternating ferric chloride swabs and polishing compound. Having the steel on the edge being an even white strip with some fuzziness on the inboard side is the look I'm going for. I haven't done a KITH for a while, I'm excited to be back in it!
  13. I could see this being the case, especially with the wooden liner enclosing more of the handle. Some examples of Sakha sheaths have a liner almost exactly like this but with rawhide (I think usually from tails) stretched over it. In the wooden sheaths threads there are a also few examples of leuku sheaths that work in a similar way to the metal but with leather; the wood would be enough to retain the handle, the leather seeming to mostly be there to act as a spring to put pressure on the handle. All-wood construction also seems possible as it it seems to be used at least with contemporary Komi designs, or the use of smaller metal bands or a wire wrap as a substitute for a larger metal sheet. Some composite of wood, leather/rawhide, and sheet metal doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility either.
  14. The sheath and knife look great! Definitely excited to see it all come together with the metal parts.
  15. Thank you very much! You have definitely helped me a ton to learn about these knives. Reliable, relevant information is buried somewhat too deep for an English speaker without any direct ties to the place/culture. For these few, my approach to authenticity was to take the "what if this knife had been made in my shop" angle. For knives inspired by the old masters, this approach makes something that looks much like the original (the big one is based off of an original Aleksey showed in a video which appeared to have very clean lines and surfaces). When applied to knives made in the field/by non-professional knife makers, the result looks somewhat different than the original. At some point I may make some knives from the angle of "what if this knife had been made by me, in the setting where it came from?" which I'm sure would have different results. I think the fact that in general people don't use knives now nearly as much as in the past has a big role in some of the design changes in knives, especially ones designed for mass-manufacture. Whenever thinking about a piece of technology, the context that created it is important (maybe that's just my humanities-heavy engineering education talking, but I've found it helpful). Modern knives are designed for a modern eye, and a modern person who (with exceptions of course) will probably not use them often (or maybe ever, especially with pieces like swords). The well made ones excel for their purpose; beautiful lines, nice materials, excellent fit and finish, etc. In the past, on the other hand, knives were made to be used first and looked at second (this, of course, has exceptions too), which resulted in knives that were often not as clean, symmetric, or ornate. They also, however, were ergonomic and excellent cutters; it was their job after all. This is not to say that there are no modern knives that are effective tools, in fact many good knife makers bring together the best of both worlds. It's just that many knives are meant to be looked at first and used second. I don't think I made a knife that really cut well until I started using my own knives extensively. Making kitchen knives was a first step at that, and starting to collect/process my own materials was another. I made a handful of Skaha knives with the modern look; deep forged fuller and the thick convex grind that results in. I took them into the woods and they just didn't cut well, now they are all collecting dust in a drawer. In comparison, I made one with the early 20th century design (half rhombic with a filed groove) and it's been my go-to fixed blade for heavier work for more than a year. That's a nice way of putting it. These knives are very minimalist but there still isn't one I've gotten entirely right. Anyways, I have some more progress on the Evenki style knife. This is the forging, super simple. No bevel-line, one side is flat and the other is slightly convex. It's about 14cm long. Here is the groove-making process. I started with a cut-off disk, then a grinding disk to hog out some of the bulk. Then I scraped in the groove and polished it out to 220 grit with sand paper. I found that leaving the blade thick and cutting the groove deep them grinding until I liked the profile was way easier than trying to cut it just right from the start, especially at the ends. Tomorrow I'll cut in the shoulders and harden it. I'm not sure if the handle should be a piece of birch burl or regular birch with some carved ornamentation (I think both would be too busy. I'll also may start on some sheaths soon.
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