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Joshua States

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Everything posted by Joshua States

  1. The Bowie. I almost forgot it. This is O1 and a video of the finish is in the link above. This has a complex hardware package. The guard is nickel-silver, the spacers (as shown) are nickel-silver sandwiched between two pieces of 416 SS. The center spacer is supposed to be replaced with an oversized spacer of Shibuichi that gets peened down to overlay the two SS spacers. The only problem is the replacement spacer I already have slotted and drilled for the spacer package is a tad too small. So, it either remains as-is, or I have to remake the shibuichi spacer. I could just groove the two SS spacers and leave the N/S one, or file the N/S one and leave the two SS. Decisions to make.. The 1/8" N/S frame will get some rope file work. The handle scales are stabilized black ash burl.
  2. The dagger needs more work than I care to admit. This is a W2 blade with a mixture of 416 and bronze hardware. Everything has the blind alignment pins in place (except the pommel) The handle was supposed to be blackwood, but I screwed up a perfectly good piece of blackwood and changed it to stabilized buckeye burl. The pommel needs to be slotted to accept the end of the tang and will eventually be drilled for a retaining pin after everything else is shaped and ready to glue up.
  3. The camp knife. Also a 1095 blade & nickel-silver guard. The 3-piece spacer package is N/S center spacer with two shibuichi spacers. The center spacer is supposed to get a groove filed in. The handle is a really nice piece of amboyna burl I got from Hancock a while ago. It still needs my mark before glue up.
  4. The boot knife. This is a 1095 blade that developed some cloudiness in the steel during hand finishing. I made another blade for the handle, but couldn't make it fit...….so, I bit the bullet and heat treated the original blade again last night. I was stressed out big time, but it worked. This has 416 SS guard, the 3-piece spacer is 2 3/16" 1095 which will be blued, a .06" 15N20 middle spacer which will be file worked, probably just coined. The .06" 416 SS frame will get some vine file work and sits between two ebony spacers. 416 SS pins. (8 of them) It stills needs my mark on the ricasso.
  5. Next up is the small hunter. This is ready to glue up and dome the handle pin. Also an O1 blade, with 410 SS guard & spacer (black vulcanized between) and a Myrtle burl handle.
  6. The bird & trout I finished earlier had some funkiness in the blade, so I made another one. Both have full tang handles with a slight taper. The original with 416 SS bolsters and stabilized box elder scales. O1 blade steel Its replacement with Ironwood scales and nickel-silver bolsters. O1 blade
  7. Well, I have been working on this project for a year now. I think I forged more than a dozen knives in the process (just for these six) and took at least 10 of them to finish grind before ditching about half of them. It's been an on and off project (more off than on) full of mistakes, recoveries, broken dreams and small successes. Here's where things are>
  8. W2 and 1095 will harden to a depth of about 3mm (if I recall correctly) and that is from all surfaces. So it doesn't surprise me that you may have hardened that W2 to the point of breaking it after what amounts to a plate quench. What I question most is the order of steps in your process. This is all mixed up. The straightening should come before or during the rough grind. You should spot heat the area for your stamp and stamp on a very flat anvil surface so as not to require any straightening after stamping.
  9. Not if you flare the spacer package.
  10. That is awesome Owen. What size pins are you using?
  11. Nice Alex. Now remove the blade and spacer from the block and lay the tang on top of the block with the spacer butted up tight. Line up the ricasso with where you want it, and draw the outline of the tang on the drawing of the handle. This will let you see how much wood you have t work with. Well, honestly, it allows me to see how much wood you have left to work with. I usually do this step before I design the handle shape...…...
  12. I use a lot of templates for everything in the knife and handles are no exception. I’ll post a little tutorial on how to shape the handle. Would you like it here or elsewhere?
  13. That's a really nice stitching horse Faye, and good use of it too!
  14. That is a very pretty package. I'd love to see some close-up pics of the knife, if you have them.
  15. That's looking great Zeb. I too am wondering about the hilt plan.
  16. I found that pic. It's in this post from 2015 (wow that's a long time ago)
  17. Well, the finish on the blades looks very nice and I really like those holster-sheaths. (nice belt too!) If I can be perfectly honest here, I'm not a big fan of the handle on the first one. I'm sure it feels very friendly in the hand, but I would hesitate to make something like that on a serious working knife. It lacks any definition in design. To me it looks like you lost interest after the blade was finished and had the guard set. The blacksmith knife looks good. (except for that split in the spine) The guard may be a little too long because the tang area behind the ricasso is too wide. Take a look at Lin Rhea's work on these types of knives (he calls them the X-Rhea) to get an idea of the proportions and forging. http://rheaknives.com/ I like the choil notch. Very clean. I tend to locate these so the plunge cut comes down in the center of the arc, or intersects it. That just looks better to my eye than having it on one side. I think I have a picture of what I mean somewhere, Ill see if I can find it. Good work though. Your finish looks like you really took some time to get it right (or you learned how to make it look really good in the photo! ) I'm gonna steal that holster sheath design.
  18. Knowing Jul, you'll need to bring a shovel........
  19. Have I ever mentioned how much I like using templates? So I have a variety of guard & spacer templates. Some are made from fiber/paper stock some are made from thin copper sheet. One of the two up front will be used to get the bottleneck shape. Maybe eve both of them. The first step is to isolate the perimeter of the spacer on the back of the guard. Blacken the back of the guard. BTW-anytime I talk about "blackening" a piece of hardware, you can use Sharpie pens or dykem, or any of the conventional layout fluids. Put the guard onto the blade and get it seated in the finished position. Add the spacer and make sure everything is snug. Put the whole thing point down in a vise. Scribe (lightly! no sense in scratching an otherwise finished piece) around the outside. You need just enough to remove the black and leave a shiny line. Take the spacer off and position the template to scribe around the part you want to keep. Do all 4 positions exactly the same. Remove the guard. Now this is not exactly what I want to end up with, so there's a little redrawing/fudging with various curve templates to get the final shape. Cut off the excess and grind the profile down to the line. Set the guard back on the knife with the spacer. Check to make sure the profiles are even and symmetrical side to side. If you are having trouble seeing how much guard is sticking out from the spacer, I find it helps to put a layer of blue painter's tape on the guard. Finish on the 2x72 to 220 or 320 and finish out by hand.
  20. First, I put the handle in a Panavise and finish the profiles to 600 grit. On this handle it is absolutely critical that the two truncated corners are matched in size or the whole thing looks wrong. When I get done with the profile sanding, this is what I had. Now I mount the handle and spacers to each other and use the drywall screw to hold it all together. I shape the scales to match the spacer on the disc grinder. Because the shape is curved on the profile, the ends grind down faster than the center. Now the whole thing, all held together, goes back in the Panavise to even out the flats along the profile center. This is a lot of shoe-shining and hand rubbing to get it even and straight. Eventually going to 800 grit on all surfaces including the spacer package. This is now ready for file work on the frame and/or spacers. I will only file work the frame. The spacers will get a different treatment, ala Lin Rhea and his "intermediate forging" application. I'll post the guard shaping process tomorrow.
  21. Thanks Chris. There's a few new uses coming for the 1/4" MDF I told you about. This handle is a classic coffin handle, but it will be a frame handle design. The process for making this basic shape is on page 2 of this thread. The process for making the blind alignment pins is on page 3 of this thread. The process for getting everything shaped is slightly different that it was with the hunter. For this knife, I will shape the spacer package first, and shape the handle to the spacer. I'm a big fan of making and using templates. I will make a template for the spacer package out of 1/4" MDF board. I buy this in 4x4 or 4x8 sheets and use it for all sorts of stuff. First I drill the holes in the MDF to match the holes in the spacers. I munt the spaces (still rough cut rectangles) onto the MDF and scribe the perimeter with a pencil. Then I pull a handy template out of my Gatorade can of fitting templates and using only one quadrant of the template, scribe the curves onto the MDF. I use only one quadrant so the new template is symmetrical in two dimensions. I cut that out and cut a notch in it so that it fits onto the ricasso. Load the spacers onto the tang and push them up tight (no guard in place), blacken the face with a Sharpie. and mount the template onto the ricasso and sitting flush on the spacers. Scribe the profile. While I have the spacers mounted, I scribe a series of lines on the face of the spacers, parallel to the ricasso face. Do both sides exactly the same. Now I remove the spacers and mount them to another piece of MDF and cut off the excess with the bandsaw. Cut off all the excess MDF, leaving the spacers attached to the rest of it and grind down to the line on the 2x72. This is the rough ground spacer package profiled to 320 grit.
  22. So next up is that big ol' Bowie. There's a lot to show and a lot of pics. I ended up remembering that I had left a divot in the plunge cut on one side (slipped with the disk grinder don't you know) and spent 4 hours sanding it out yesterday. So, while I edit the photos and resize them all, enjoy this short video of the finish that I finally ended up with.
  23. Ok. Time for confession. Most of what I know about this craft, I learned from my mentor, the late great Tim Hancock. I would spend hours in his shop talking about making blades, handles, hardware shapes, the whole gamut, and watching him work. Sometimes I would just call him up and ask about a project I had and what to do with it. He didn’t spend any time on forums or FB, he barely even used email. He taught probably hundreds of students. Some of them are still making knives and swords. Many of those who studied under him are now ABS journeymen and master smiths. I will be forever grateful for his friendship, his generosity, and his integrity. I will forever live in his shadow. He was a giant among snails.
  24. The only thing I forgot to add is when the screen won’t fit through the slot you have to grind down the section of the threads that remain inside the spacer/guard all the way around. Otherwise, the threads bite into the hardware instead of the wood.
  25. I just posted the how-to.
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