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Aiden CC

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Posts posted by Aiden CC

  1. On 2/1/2020 at 5:49 PM, Alan Longmire said:

    Were it me, I'd drill it round and make the tenon round to fit, if you see what I mean. Oval handle with a round tenon, horn slipped over the tenon. You can do a lot with horn while it's hot and wet, but stretching in that direction is not one of the things it likes since the fibers run lengthwise. Use hide glue.  Horn and wood LOVE hide glue, it's much better than epoxy for this specific material set.

    Yeah, that makes sense. From the article I found it seems like they may drill a large round hole and burn it oval with a form or something, but that's a bit more than I want to do for this project. I'll also look for some hide glue. Thanks!

  2. I recently have gotten interested in Japanese cutlery and am now thinking about handles. I made a deba blade  that I put a quick all wood handle on just to test it out (which cracked during the installation), but I want to replace it with a wood and horn one (such as shown here: http://fxcuisine.com/default.asp?language=2&Display=241&resolution=hhigh&page=2). I have alder for the wood and water buffalo horn rolls to make the ferrule. Has anyone made this kind of handle? It seems like a lot of people do a stacked handle instead of a true ferrule, but due to the difficulty of working horn my problems with splitting, and general aesthetics, I want to try the ferrule.


    I also am not very fond of filing internal spaces and it seems like this could be a real pain to because of the size and aspect ratio. Would it be too bad to just dill a large round hole and use a tight fit to keep it from rotating? In the article I linked above they get he final fit-up by heating the ferrule and driving the handle in to get an interference fit. 


    The main reason I wrote this is because of a different idea though. Do you all think I it would work to make an oval hole by drilling a round one, boiling the horn, then "crushing" it in a vise to get he right shape? I have never worked with horn, so I'm not sure if this would just split a ferrule/if it would not hold the bend if I heated it up to drive the handle in. Any input is appreciated, definitely not a material I know much about. Thanks!

  3. 3 hours ago, John N said:


    Its such a shallow arc you could freehand it on a piece of steel, on a slack belt, 'good enough'

    That makes sense. The radius is what I was mostly worried about as far as fabrication. Might have to go with mild steel though, as anything hardenable in that size is going to be pretty expensive new. There's a local supplier that has had odd sizes of stuff from drops etc, but it seems like alloy steel that big usually comes round. I've had decent luck with case carburizing/hardening, which might actually be applicable here. Is the extra width on your platen just from how the bearing was, or is it helpful in grinding?

  4. 22 hours ago, John N said:

    yes, it was a double spherical roller bearing from a clutch on a 2500 ton Massey we rebuilt. I rebuild forging machinery so end up with all kinds of interesting odds and ends!

    I'll keep my eyes open for parts like that, though I may end up taking the principle (thick piece of steel, large radius, short arc length) and try to cook something up myself. Might be too out there, but it seems like laying a bunch of weld beads on one side of a piece of steel would warp it into a circular arc while also adding mass. I might be able to do some math and see if that is feasible. Milling might be an option, but would turn this into a very time intensive project and I already have a lot of machining to do in the next few months for another project.

  5. 6 hours ago, John N said:

    I have got lots of the bearing left, but postage would be killer ! -


    By just using a small 4" chord of the bearing it keeps the frictional area down (reducing the heat build up)

    I would imagine! Do you have an idea what it came from originally?

  6. 5 hours ago, John N said:

    I use a chunk from the outer race of a big (very big) roller bearing. It is simulating a 600mm diameter wheel. 


    As it is from a bearing, it is pot hard, that helps with it not wearing prematurely. As it is a substantial lump of steel it gets warm, but not concerningly hot - Its best not to have the belt too tight though!


    I grind with the belt 'running away' from me in this configuration, so all the crap is flying away from me!



    I might have to try and find something like that! Though I imagine it might be difficult. 

    • Thanks 1

  7. 88826B9B-2A22-4107-84F6-681594545DCC.jpeg

    Its very hard to catch on a photo, but using the worn out part at the top of my platen I was able to get a serviceable hollow. It’s a bit ugly, and not the same thickness all the way around (being wider at the spine than the edge, for example), but for a personal knife, it’s ok. 

  8. 8 hours ago, Dan Hertzson said:

    Also note that in the sushi knife class I took the instructor "precurved" the concave side of the blade mechanically before grinding.  In that case we were using single side laminated steel (HC on the concave cutting side and mild on the beveled side).  He did the curving cold, after forging and annealing, using large radius clapper dies and a big, slow power hammer.  When I tried to emulate this at home I used a swage block and large radius top fuller to achieve a similar effect.  Not sure if this is a good idea for non-laminated steel, and the blanks are certainly prone to warping in final heat treat (and expected to do same apparently - I think Murray Carter discusses addressing this in his book).


    I think you can make a simple one yourself, that isn't water cooled.  I suspect that a mister system would work to keep the belt cool enough, or possibly in combination with a graphite pad behind the belt as well to reduce friction.

    I forged a deba today and forged in a bit of concavity and it worked fairly well. The spine was a bit thick to work cold, so I did it hot. I was able to use the top of my platen to make a hollow, I may clean it up by hand later. Both blades I’ve forged are laminated, the usuba warped, but the deba came out pretty straight, probably since it’s so thick. 

    I won’t have much time for knives for a while, but it may be worth making a curved platen in the future. 

  9. 2 hours ago, Dan Hertzson said:

    I used a 12" wheel, but my blade wasn't nearly that wide.  You might want to look at water cooled large radius plattens.

    That makes sense. I have a Grizzly 2x72 and a lot of what I’ve seen is for the 3 wheel style grinders but I could probably whip something up (though maybe not the cooling part). My platen already has a radius from wear though it’s probably something like 5ft; just enough that it won’t grind straight lines. 

    1 hour ago, Randy Griffin said:

    I would like to see some of your work when you get this sorted out. I'm a fan of the single bevel knives. Amazing how sharp they can get.

    I also think a large radius platten would be best.

    I have one blade that I’ll probably just finish functionally though not aesthetically, will probably do a show and tell thread, but can put some pictures here too. 

  10. I've started to become interested in single bevel Japanese knives, and earlier today I tried out forging an usuba. The forging went alright, but I had a lot of trouble grinding the subtle hollow on the left side of the blade. On relatively narrow blades in the past I've used my 12" contact wheel and held the blade at an angle to get an effectively larger radius, however, on this blade, which is about 1.8" wide, for whatever reason that approach was giving a slightly convex surface. I was able to get a functional surface by starting a hollow in the middle and "rocking" it to the edges, however the finish from that isn't as consistent as I would like, with dips from the corners of the wheel. Does anyone have experience doing a grind like this/have any ideas on how to get better results?



  11. On 1/6/2020 at 7:54 PM, Joshua States said:

    Aiden, you are screaming right along. Hat's off to you on these two.

    Thanks! I’ve been working a lot to wrap up a handful of knives, but finally got it done. 


    I’m a lot happier with the cross section of this one, though I wish I had made the eye a little further back and used that material to make the bit a little longer. Definitely a better chopper than the first one, and after I fixed my drift, the hang went a lot better with no gaps in the eye. It fits in the same sheath, so I may just put another notch in the belt for now. 

    • Like 2

  12. Got a bit more done today. 

    The handle is roughly fit and shaped. It needs a little cleanup and fit adjustment tomorrow, then I’ll sharpen it and it will be ready to hang and oil. After using my first one a bit, I decided to make this handle a little slimmer and straighter with a larger radius on the palm swell. Definitely two pretty different hatchets. 

    • Like 2

  13. Got this profiled and heat treated this morning. 


    Profile is basically an American style hatchet with ears and a little beard. Still not sure if I like it. I’ll sleep on it and maybe trim it up, though I’m right at 1.25lb and don’t really want to go lighter. I had some pitting from scale and flux that I mostly ground out, going up to a scotchbrite belt. 


    The edge steel hardened well in warm canola oil and the new oxide blended the ground and pitted portions of the blade nicely. This is it after tempering and a coat of beeswax. 

    • Like 2

  14. I wasn’t aiming for quite as narrow of a transition as the GB, but that is one of the areas I was thinking about. I’ll probably grind it in a bit, though if I draw it on and it looks like a lot of steel to take off, I may go back in o the forge. I also will probably flatten off the top of the eye, crisp up the ears, and lower the top of the edge (the toe?) a little bit, but still leave it somewhat raised. 

  15. On 12/31/2019 at 4:03 PM, Alan Longmire said:

    You've got this.  It's gonna freak you out right after the edge weld, but once you get it worked to profile and start thinning it down it will tell you how to finish it off. B)

    You were right, I wrapped up the forging today and it did freak me out after the weld! I think it’s good though. 

    Getting the edge steel fit was a bit harder than I thought, but got it done. 


    I started the weld by hammering the edge , then moved on to the cheeks. After trimming off the extra I ground off the steel and it all looked good to go. 


    It looks disproportionate to me now; the length is good, but I think it’s too tall. I think I’ll grind it shorter around the eye and ears. This one should be a better chopper with thin cheeks and a slightly high centerline. I’m still waffling about whether I’m going to grind it clean. There are a few pits I don’t like (on the pill side of the eye), but also it’s pretty lean. I think I’ll weigh it and see. I’m aiming for 1.25-1.5lb, so I’ll see if I have the meat left to grind it. Would it look terrible to grind it but not go to the bottom of all the pits then blacken it in the heat treat?


    Update: the head is 1lb, 6 oz as is, so won’t be much extra mass after profiling. 

    • Like 1

  16. 1 hour ago, Gerald Boggs said:

    Just putting this i here, without any connection to the conversation


    Normally, I use a punch and then a drift for most of my work. If you have Mark Aspery's or any of the British books then you have the method and tools I use.


    However when I took the axe class at Gränsfors Bruk, the smith there had us forge a combination slitting chisel/preliminary drift and then an eye shaped drift for final fit. Both were forge from 1 ½ by 5/8 stock. Having the slitting chisel forged from such large stock made for a solid base for transitioning from slitting the eye to shaping the eye.


    Both punching and slitting have pros and cons. In the case of creating the eye for an axe, the slitting chisel is going to have a lot less drag and give you an eye with less distortion of the body. And the longer the taper of the punch or chisel is, the less drag and distortion

    Yeah, I found that the chisel had a lot less resistance than a my punch. It look me less time to do it with a hand hammer and chisel than it did with a punch and a friend with a sledge hammer. Also, I have some .75x1.5” mild steel I could make another drift from, but for now I dressed up my current one:B25F7C7B-E5EB-4F47-A7A2-FAC6CC865E35.jpeg

    • Like 1

  17. 5 hours ago, jake pogrebinsky said:

    Aiden,another thought for you:You'd probably (eventually)have to come up with a different drift.

    (I know only too well what a pain it is to come up with big enough chunk of steel...AND all the work to make something like that...:(....)

    But,that taper in plan view,fore and aft as oriented in the axe,it's not quite the "thing".

    The front and back of the eye should really be parallel with each other...That is the reason that your haft was so shy of filling the top of eye.

    Possibly you can modify just the very top of your drift?The parallel-sided section only needs to be really just a bit over half the eye height in length,and it can be at the very top,and applied right towards the end of shaping sequence.

    Yeah, I've been thinking about that. The drift has a bit of that built into it, but its pretty short (the very top 1" or so). I had thought about making a shorter "finishing" drift with parallel sides, but grinding the top of my current one to extend the parallel section might be a better plan. It will also let me fix the wonky bit where I accidentally marred the drift in the hardy hole.

    • Like 1

  18. 1 hour ago, Joshua States said:

    Man your ax eyes look great! What is your drift made from?

    Thanks! The drift is just mild steel. I started with 1.25” round, but that wasn’t enough for the top, so I added some MIG weld to build it up. 

    48 minutes ago, jake pogrebinsky said:

    Right ON,Aiden!

    Fantastic job on pre-forging that bit steel,that's exactly what is called for.

    Obviously your basic forging skills are up to speed,so i'm sure you'll figure out the corresponding shapes et c. that are called for for that weld.

    Here’s to hoping :wacko:. Basic plan is to use the head as a die of sorts to shape the bit around, set the weld on the edge first, then the sides. 

    49 minutes ago, jake pogrebinsky said:

    "Stubby" is one of the hardest criteria to judge.It looks like you're right in the ball-park,if anything-not stubby enough.Extra length is(can often  be) a challenge to control.

    Yeah, the extra length was pretty hard to control on the last one. I plan on this hatchet (axe? note really sure in this weight/length range) being a bit thinner near the edge with hopes of it being a better chopper, so hopefully it will come out to a proportionate length for its weight. I’m also not sure if I’m going to leave the forge finish or grind it smooth/make a slightly high centerline, which I guess will depend on how the forging after the weld goes. 

    • Like 1

  19. Had a bit of time to work on this today. The O1 wasn’t quite big enough, but the crow bar sparked like ~1050-60, hardened alright in oil when thinned our, and worked fine in a welded and quenched test piece with mild steel. It gave me enough meat to make something a little sturdier for the bit. 


    the fish tail I think is a reflection of the hourglass shape of the eye, with the “missing” steel in the middle being in the center of the eye. 


    Made a beefier bit out of the crowbar using a swedge block. I cleaned up the welding surface and scarfed the other side with and angle grinder. I think I’ll end up with just enough material for what I want to do. It’s a bit stubby, but the bit will add some material, and the eye will stretch out a little bit too. 

    • Like 1

  20. 8 hours ago, jake pogrebinsky said:

    An "outie",or an "overlayed" bit is a commonly practiced technique,actually more common than an inserted bit in most US axes in 20th century.

    However,i'm not sure if bent flat stock will give you enough mass in the end...(for everything-the forging initially,and trimming,and decarb,and grinding,et c.,et c...).

    Most commonly an overlay was shaped out of a thicker chunk,maybe 3/4"  or so thick,with outer edges fullered off and bent down to form a U.

    Much like you Did do,but more mass in the center....


    22 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

    Looking good, but yes, either use thicker bit steel or insert the thin stuff.  ;)

    Yeah, I was thinking it might be a bit thin. I forged it from 1/4" W2 by hammering the sides until it was somewhat thicker in the middel, beveling both edges, and bending it into a U. I have some thicker stock, but its in the from of O1 drill rod an an old crowbar, which I'm a bit worried about using. I could also build up a piece of 1095 from 3-4 1/8" thick pieces.

  21. Ok, so I may have caught the axe bug... I got a lot of helpful feedback on my first one and want to give it another shot to improve while I still have some time to work. None of the places I thought might have 4140 locally panned out, so this one is going to be welded up from some mild steel and W2 I had laying around. 


    I started the head with a 1.7lb piece of mile steel. The plan is to grind most of the scale off of this one, so starting with some extra mass. I also drilled some guide holes to make slitting it with a chisel easier. 


    The plan is to do an “outie” bit, because it seems fun and like it might be easier to get the weld to close up everywhere. The mild is way easier to forge than 4140 and using a cold chisel like Jake suggested was a lot faster and transitioned to the drift better.


    Thanks for looking!

  22. 3 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

    Speaking of handles, look at the small-by-modern-standards handle on that one Jake posted. Handles on older axes are far smaller that the mighty timbers we put on them today.  I've seen 18th century hatchets of 2lb head weight with a 1 inch wide by a scant 3/8" thick handle. Full sized felling axes with 1.5" wide by 1/2" thick handles.  These were guys who knew wood and how to use it.

    That helps reduce the shock on your hands, right? I did get he handle thinner than what you would get on a hatchet from the hardware store, but it's not quite that thin!

  23. 1 hour ago, jake pogrebinsky said:

    In regards to Proportioning...You never said how Thick your starting piece of plate was.Typical for the simpler of slit&drifted axes the dimensions of the back of the poll are/were the starting stock.That normally results in somewhat of a "boat-tail" effect,such as yours.(this is a short version and only since you asked;there's actually quite a bit more about the relative mass distribution between poll and body but no point in complicating things).

    The starting stock was 1.5" round (mostly for cost reasons), which I realize now wasn't ideal. It wasn't quite enough to get he shape I wanted out of, but also took a lot of work to flatten out by hand. I found a place locally that I think may have better options for rectangular stock. I may have enough time to try another one before my classes start back up, so I may give it a go with rectangular stock (~1x2").


    1 hour ago, jake pogrebinsky said:

    I agree that your punch can use being longer in section...(a cheap,US-made cold-chisel off the shelf will do;it'll probably crap out on you as a slitter,so will be easy to reshape as punch).

    I may be wrong,but is that "brashness" inside your eye,on the poll-side of it?If so,it'd happen probably from needing to expand the eye so radically length-wise(but also from maybe working too cold or too fast).Forgive me if i'm wrong about that,hard to see in photos.

    I'll have to give a chisel a go, that seems a lot easier than forging a new punch! There is marring on the very back of the poll side of the eye is mostly from a burr that got raised on my drift when I accidentally hammered it into the hardy hole, which could be what you're seeing. I used a round file to try and get most of the marks out so it hopefully wouldn't affect the hang.


    1 hour ago, jake pogrebinsky said:

    The thickness of your blade is probably excessive,at least at the Toe.The (very)general rule of thumb for  angle of the blade itself(not bevels or edge)is a ratio of 5:1(so 1/2" thick 2 1/2" from edge),or Less.Remember,an axe is pencil-like in that it'll wear back over time,and so it's best to give it a bit more potential life.

    (all that goes for Chopping(as in parting a chip when cutting Across the grain,Hewing axes are Way different(much thinner yet).

    I'll probably end up hollowing out the cheeks and thinning the bit, but I figured I would see how it does for a "season" (most of the wood I process gets knocked down by snow in January-March, which is part of why I wanted to get this done now). I don't have much of a need for chopping (would probably just use a saw), so the extra weight and wedge shape might end up being alright if it's mostly just splitting. I just measured, and it is 1/2" thick 2 3/8" from the edge, which is actually somewhat close to 5:1.


    1 hour ago, jake pogrebinsky said:

    Possibly,in straightening the top by forging,is how you stretched the top of eye longer...

    But again,most axes allowed these "naytural":) forging dynamics to take their course,that is what gave us majority of predominant "types" of axes.


    Finally,the angle of your edge in profile is(has been made to be)parallel to the line of poll.Think of a longish tool-heads like dog-headed hammer,say-they commonly have a slight curve,right?It corresponds to the arc of your swing,as you use the tool.

    Axes too,usually,have somewhat of an angle to their blade.Your rough forging was again,naturally,tending towards that...

    I guess it does make sense to have the toe a little bit higher than the top of the eye, I'll probably 


    1 hour ago, jake pogrebinsky said:

    Finally,the angle of your edge in profile is(has been made to be)parallel to the line of poll.Think of a longish tool-heads like dog-headed hammer,say-they commonly have a slight curve,right?It corresponds to the arc of your swing,as you use the tool.

    Axes too,usually,have somewhat of an angle to their blade.Your rough forging was again,naturally,tending towards that...


    But please feel free to disregard,i'm a peevish old fart that likes to overthink a lot of this.

    You're obviously a careful,consistent,methodical craftsman,and will come into all this minutiae if/when you'd really need it.

    That makes sense too, my original drawing had a little bit of that, but I ended up losing it in the execution. Thanks for all the design points! Most of the stuff I've been able to find about axes is geared more towards people re-grinding old heads, so its helpful to get advice that applies to forging one from scratch.

    • Like 1
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