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Joshua States

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Everything posted by Joshua States

  1. I always thought the 6 basic processes were tapering, drawing, fullering, squaring, rounding, and drifting. Maybe there are 10 basic processes?
  2. Moral of the story: Get the whole thing hot before forging.
  3. Just had time to check this out before my Wi-Fi time expires. I love the finished product and am very grateful for the WIP
  4. Now for you bronze-age guys, I also visited a museum at Marsala where they uncovered a Punic Wars era boat that had been covered by sand for a couple thousand years. No weapons unfortunately, but there were a bunch of lead and bronze nails and a couple of lead anchors. Evidently, the wooden hull was covered with lead sheet and riveted on. I have a couple of better pics of the boat on my camera, and can update when I get home.
  5. City of Cefalu at the Norman Cathedral (12th century) Notice the iron fence and gate (original installation!) Here are the close-ups of the joinery.
  6. On vacation in Sicily and toured Palermo yesterday. The ironwork in the old part of town is truly formidable. The traditional joinery was especially well done, and there is a lot of it.
  7. Ahhh, Sir Longmire. You are so eloquent in your discussion. Well put sir! And Mr. Boggs. You are so darned practical!
  8. It has occurred to me on a number of occasions, that many of the smiths whose work I admire use "mystery steel" in their blades all the time and we often praise them for doing so. After all, what is that stuff that folks are cooking up in their back yard in those smelters or in those little crucibles? It certainly isn't a homogenous alloy. It's bloomery, and quite possibly, of unknown composition. Unless of course, they have each bloom and biscuit sent out for analysis.
  9. Yay! I love using scrap tool steel for stuff and I used lots of it in my early days just to get used to how forging tool steel differs from forging mild. I always took a small piece off the bar and played with the HT to see how it worked and figure out what didn't.
  10. My brain hurts just looking at that. I agree with Alan. A most formidable endeavor, but I'm certain you will persevere.
  11. Yeah buddy! A week long class?!? Sounds great. I hear you might be head out west next year?
  12. Another thing is using patinas. Some metals (like copper) take patination very easily. Others, like NS, not so much. If you have a great interest in doing Mokume, get Ian Ferguson's book. It covers a lot of metals and their compatibility, bonding temps, patinas, pattern development, etc.
  13. I think that it's the Bird's Head heal that is giving you the problem. On a full size handle the pinkie wants to nestle in the bird's head. On a 3-finger, the ring finger does this. Your handle is probably too short for 4-fingers (causing the cramped feeling) and too long for 3 fingers (makes it feel sloppy and loose). Most of the little ones I see have a handle shaped more like an arch or a long oval or a wedge. As for the one with the guard, I agree with the modification to the guard and heel that Steve posted. A small knife gets a small guard. Cleaning game is messy work and for safety sake, you really need something to keep the hand/index finger from sliding onto the blade at the choil. I kind of toyed with your drawing a little. My draw options stink, so it may not be clear what I'm trying to say.
  14. It wasn't what I meant, but that should work. I should be able to make a sketch later about what I meant.
  15. No I wasn't. Now that I see the knife in your hand, I have some perspective on the size. (I guess I kind of missed the tape measure My wife calls me Mr. O'Blivious) I do not make any working knives with handles less that 3-3/4" from front of the index finger placement to back of the pinkie placement. So most of my working knife handles are over 4 inches long. I made the faulty assumption that the handle on this knife also met that same criteria and the blade looked equally as long, so it appeared to be a much longer blade than it is. My small knives (I call them 3-finger) look more like this and the blade shape and size is more of what I think of when I think B&T. The handle size for a B&T is what ever you decide works for the application. I consider a B&T to be a "working" knife, so I would give it the larger handle and the smaller blade. Just my opinion. You can decide how much it is worth being that I don't bird hunt and rarely fish..... I'd like to see that one. Can you post some pics of it from side, top, and bottom? The design drawing looks like it should work fine.
  16. So instead of filing that divot out square, chamfer the edges outward a bit so it is like two funnels spout to spout shaped in cross section. Fit the square brass rod in tight and peen the top down to fill the wide spots on either side. File off the excess. You will still see a square when you look at it, but it will be held in place by the peening.
  17. There is that. I generally like my ricasso to be either 1 inch or 3/4 inch from spine to choil depending on the blade size. So once I get the spine straight. I just use a straight edge (I have two steel rulers, one is 1" wide the other 3/4") to scribe a line to grind to. As for uniform thickness, a surface grinder helps, but if you don't have one, just try and make sure the sides bevel the same as each other. A lot of my ricassos are not the same thickness at the spine as they are at the choil. I really don't like deep plunge cuts so I taper my ricasso a little. It makes fitting the guard a little trickier, but I have a solution for that too. I cut 4 shoulders in my tang to fit the guard to. That way it doesn't matter if the ricasso cross section is a rectangle, a trapezoid, or a diamond shape. it all fits up against the face of the guard seamlessly.
  18. If you want my honest opinion, I would either start over and force yourself to make the design you drew, or rework this blade into the intended product. The knife you drew is a very functional useable tool. The one you made is just OK. I think you will find that taking the leap and fitting that guard will increase your confidence, open you to a wider variety of knives, and raise your craftmanship a level. Don't take the easy way out. There's no growth in that. Now for a B&T, I would make the blade narrower (spine to edge) What you have there looks more like a typical hunter/skinner/field knife. (very nice design BTW, but the blade could be shorter. like 3-4" max). If you want to keep making full tang blades with scales that's fine, but kick it up a notch. Add bolsters and maybe a finger groove to protect the hand. Again, a great way to expand your abilities and enlarge your portfolio. I have a WIP thread on this should you want some guidance.
  19. I built a vacuum chamber from PVC pipe and drew Fiebings Leather dye into maple with it. I used a heavy rubber hose and pipe fittings to hook it up to my air compressor pump's intake ports. Drew 30 inches of vacuum in about 5 seconds. I also pulled acrylic Resolene into wood as well. In the end, I am a lazy man and decided it's more work than my time is worth. YMMV
  20. I take it you have been using known steel and making knives by stock removal? Now you want to try forging to shape and don't want to use the expensive stuff while you learn the basics of moving steel under the hammer? If this is incorrect, please feel free to ignore everything that follows. If I am correct, please consider this: There are only a few basic forging operations you need to know to start forging blades: Tapering, drawing, fullering, and beveling (spreading). All of these are used to create a multitude of useful objects like coat hooks, pot racks, chisels, punches, towel bars, TP holders, and the list goes on and on. Most blacksmiths learn these smithing basics on mild steel and produce useful things for their house, shop or to sell and raise money for more supplies and stuff. (lots of stuff). First off, I suggest you buy a book on basic blacksmith work. The Skills of a Blacksmith Vol 1 by Mark Aspery or The Backyard Blacksmith by Lorelei Sims are both very good for the beginning smith. Start by making the same item over and over again, using mild steel or any piece of scrap whatever you have lying about. In the end, it will make you a bunch of stuff that you can use, rather than a bunch of KSOs that you toss in the graveyard of broken dreams. It's important to have a specific goal in mind when you forge. The size, shape and proportions should be known well in advance of lighting the forge. I look at the posts of beginners who start right off trying to forge a blade with no ability to shape the steel in the fashion or direction they want, and it shows in the finished product. Good efforts that probably would have been great ones, if they had made a dozen or two coat hooks first. Forging is about imposing your will upon the steel. It is about focusing your intent and making what you intend. Visualize, define, forge. In that order. Everything you need to know about forging a knife is learned by taking a short piece of 1/2" round stock and making this.
  21. Only one way I can think of to know for sure. Get it hot, and hit it hard. If it comes apart, it's probably wrought. Seriously though. Cut a piece off one link and get it into the red/orange range and bend it over a sharp edge.
  22. Unfortunately, my boss disagrees with you. Something to do with having stuff to sell in the art show this November...…..
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