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Joshua States

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Everything posted by Joshua States

  1. Joshua States

    WIP - Sami influenced gift knives

    Only a manly man could bake a cake like that and have the courage to show his friends in a public forum. Well done sir.
  2. Joshua States

    What did you do in your shop today?

    Nice job! Not get something hot and hit it hard!
  3. Joshua States

    What did you do in your shop today?

    So I took this idea from a gardening forum (yes they exist) I used to frequent. I thought it might be nice to shoot the breeze and talk about some of the more mundane stuff we do in our shop that maybe we take for granted, but is good info for anyone setting up or rearranging things. So today I fianlly got around to putting the proper handles on my press dies and making hooks to hang them up. No more digging through a pile of dies on the bottom of the press. Then I decided to skip the first half of the super bowl and forge out a few blades. The KITH knife is on the right. The hunter in the center needs a little more work.
  4. Joshua States

    Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

    I'm going to let this thread sit for a bit while we all enjoy these fabulous photos. As always, the floor is open to questions and comments from the readers.
  5. Joshua States

    Culver Inspired (Copied) Slipjoint

    You want to paint the resist inside and around both sides of the pivot holes in the blade tang. This leaves a smooth surface against the liners for the blade to pivot on and also allows for a little relief on the sides of the blade to keep it from rubbing on the liners and getting scratched. painting inside the holes keeps the pin tight in the hole. You also want to paint the resist inside and around the pin holes in the spring as well as the surface area between the two holes. (but not along the top edge that is exposed to view) This gives you a smooth surface to pin the liners against while leaving the "springy" part with some relief against the liners so it can operate freely.
  6. Joshua States

    WIP - Sami influenced gift knives

    I am all over that like a cheap suit on a fat man. I need one of those.
  7. Joshua States

    Frozen tongs

    I often heat a fully heat treated blade to 250*F when I apply cold bluing. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but trust me, most cold bluing works much better when applied to hot steel. The rapid cooling, even at that temp causes no concern or problems (just a nice dark finish). The instructions probably tell you that for manufacturer's CYA more than anything. I'm sure many a lawyer has previously thought of a noobie getting his tongs into the red zone and rapidly cooling them down only to drop them on the floor and have them shatter. If the business end of your tongs are too hot to hold with your hand, they are way too hot.
  8. Joshua States

    Cleaning damascus

    The pattern definition is caused by the HC carbon surface having the iron leached out by an acid leaving an oxide/carbon layer behind. This is the dark stuff. The dark stuff can be cleaned off by vigorous cleaning, we do this somewhat when we pull the blade out of the acid and scrub it, but we try and minimize the depth of cleaning so the contrast remains. I think the vigorous cleaning a PW kitchen knife would experience in a restaurant environment would make the dark stuff vacate the surface fairly quickly. However, it would not result in an ordinary looking blade. The etch is always going to show the topography and the HC steel will patina and contrast with the nickel-steel (if that's the combo you use). I have heard some makers claim that packing an etched blade in baking soda overnight will "fix" the oxide layer so that it is somewhat permanent. I have tried this with almost no success. The most stable contrast I have made myself, is with coffee after the etch. This seems to produce a fairly stable and dark finish. How durable it is remains to be seen.
  9. Joshua States

    Frozen tongs

    My point is that regardless of what the tongs are made of, you should never get in the habit of getting them so hot that a quick dunk in the slack tub would have any adverse effect.
  10. Joshua States

    Culver Inspired (Copied) Slipjoint

    Brian (and anyone else planning a PW folder blade) make sure you have some good acid resist handy for the etch. I prefer nail polish and get a color that is easy to see, do not use clear.
  11. Joshua States

    Steel guard hand filing

    Looks pretty good so far. How are you planning on doing the S curve?
  12. Joshua States

    Frozen tongs

    The moral of this story is quench/cool your tongs after you put the work piece back into the forge. I cool my tongs frequently, especially when I am forging multiple pieces.
  13. Joshua States

    Quenching my first knife

    A hot piece of steel as Wes suggested, a small electric hot plate, a camping stove set on the lowest heat you can get, however you do it, keep an eye on it. Charles ain't kidding about burning the house down. Also, go to the nearest grocery store and get a nice meat thermometer to check the temp with.
  14. Joshua States

    New knifemaker's second attempt

    I doubt anyone took it as disparagement Alan, I certainly didn't. I do agree that his method is very complex, but dayem, I have never gotten rosewood to look like that.
  15. Joshua States

    Half tan hides

    I recently found some half-tan hide in the States, and was shocked at the cost. These are more than triple the cost of veg-tan sides or shoulders. Is this what most folks are finding? Edit: The cost I'm seeing is about $500 for 1.45 square meters (15.6 SF) plus shipping.
  16. Joshua States

    A pair of commissions

    At the Art Show this November, a fellow walks into our tent and he looks familiar. Turns out, he purchased a knife from me probably 8 (?) years ago and he was wondering if I could make a couple more. Not one to refuse an existing customer, I agreed, but there was one small problem. I had lost all the photos I had of that knife and I never made a template of it either. No problem he says and he came back in a couple of days with the knife (he takes very good care of it I might add) and I photographed it and made a full scale line drawing. So this was back in the days when I didn't taper the tangs on my full tang knives and I used dovetailed bolsters as well. This one is 5160 blade steel, which I don't use anymore, 416 stainless bolsters and black linen micarta scales. The spine of the finished knife is just under 1/4" I explained that I now do the tapered tangs and use O-1 steel and he said he wanted some desert ironwood scales. Everyone is happy, so here we go. I have a bunch of O-1 drill rod, 1" diameter That I could forge down, but I also had a piece of 1/4" by 2" bar stock. I really need to get fatter than 1/4" for these knives, if they are going to finish out as thick as the original, so I have to forge this bar down to 1.125" by .30". So, that's what I did.
  17. Joshua States

    Georgian 'Bulat' technology by Zaqro Nonikashvili

    That is beautiful. Thanks for showing.
  18. Joshua States

    Hunting, post your game.

    The turkeys were really crazy. What I failed to get a photo of was the brown eagle that swooped in and tried to grab one of them. The roar of that eagle is a sound I'll never forget. It was very similar to the Peregrin falcon that buzzed me while I was hanging off the top of Taquitz cliff in California......
  19. Joshua States

    New knifemaker's second attempt

    I love this post. This would have also been a great show & tell post so just forget about this idea. You have done what I always suggest to new makers and that is go stock removal for the first couple of knives or more. Using the stock removal method allows you to learn how to do the fit and finish with nice, flat steel. You get to concentrate on learning how to grind the bevels and grind the shape without having to learn how to forge it to shape as well. Bravo! I think you did a great job on those two and I think your brother will be quite proud to carry that knife around. The only thing I might change is the tempering heat in the toaster oven. I temper 1095 at 350 and then 375, one hour at each. Toaster ovens are notoriously inaccurate and usually get hotter than the dial says. If it sharpens really easily, it's probably too soft and will dull easily. If it's a bear to sharpen, you can always throw it back in the oven for an hour at a higher heat to brig it down. Once you have tempered it too soft, it's too late. You would have to harden and re-temper to get it back to where it should be. BTW- The rosewood finish looks fantastic.
  20. Joshua States

    African Blackwood X 2

    One man's piddling is another man's cranking. Whatever you call it, it still looks great. I've got a couple of pieces of the African Blackwood in the shop. One is going into a dagger that currently is getting cleaned up for HT. There's a little Hamon hiding in that Bowie sir.
  21. Joshua States

    Knifemaker Interview Series, a biography workshop

    I'll feed off of Zeb's post and offer you an unrestrained chance at self-promotion. Please post as many photos of your work as you wish. About that research into primitive or ancient cultures, have you worked on any organized archeological sites? If so, what were they about and what were the event details/outcomes? Who was involved, what processes were employed/what were any conclusions? What were your research options and sources?
  22. Joshua States

    All things Monty

    And now for something not-so-completely different. If you find yourself wanting an hour and fifteen minutes of amusement and insight into the minds of MP.
  23. Joshua States

    All things Monty

    For those of you who do the Face Book thing, and like this sort of humor (who doesn't?) https://www.facebook.com/AllThingsMontyP/ Thanks to @JJ Simon for showing the way.
  24. Joshua States

    WIP - Sami influenced gift knives

    Good choice dude! All in fun. Those snow pics make me think of my childhood in upstate NY........brrrr I shiver just thinking about it.
  25. Joshua States

    WIP - Sami influenced gift knives

    First of all Congrats on the pin, it is well deserved. This WIP is fantastic. Not just wrong, but so wrong, totally wrong, could not possibly be any more wrong. You have me rethinking a few things and adding stuff to the bucket list, and we haven't even gotten to the carving that I am absolutely foaming at the mouth waiting for. Everyone has something to teach and everyone has something to learn. Your methods are all sound and practical. Your tooling is creative and functional. Thanks for taking the time to document this process.