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Joshua States

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Everything posted by Joshua States

  1. If you're gonna dream, dream big. I like that dream. Don't ever give up on it.
  2. Start with stock removal blades. They are fast and put $ in your pocket that you can invest in new tools.
  3. A couple of suggestions. 1. This sentence: "I refuse to practice on mild steel simply because i always suck at practice anyway -- because i know it doesn't count!" doesn't make any sense to me. It always "counts". There is no substitute for practice, plain and simple. When you ask other smiths for advice, it is also impolite to refute that advice or ignore it. Sooner or later, they will stop giving you advice entirely. On the fiscal side of the argument, a 2" by 3/16" x 48" piece of mild steel costs $11 at Home Depot. You should be able to cut out 5 knives from that. Throw in another $9 for the two belts you will use up and you have about $20 spent learning how to double the price on your knives. Think about that. 2. Cardboard templates won't give you the right feel in your hand and they don't last. Make them from 1/8" flat bar and you will have a much easier time forging to that shape and you can reuse the template to make another knife should someone want one. If you follow the advice in suggestion #1, you will have 5 nice templates to reuse over and over again. 3. Use a push stick, (not your finger) when grinding on the platen. It allows you to apply consistent pressure in a localized or general area easily and it doesn't care how hot the blade gets so it won't back off and leave "smiles". You already know how many passes it takes before you need to cool the blade, so start counting as you grind. Get into a rhythm. 4. Don't shortchange your drawings. Start with the best drawing you can. Starting with a bad drawing made in haste is a waste of time and you don't spend enough time thinking about the process of making the knife while doing the sketch. Use a ruler, compass, curves, etc. when making the sketch. Take a look at some of the drawings people have posted on this forum and recognize that the details are important. 5. Redo that drawing you have. The bird's head is too narrow and pointed too sharply. The belly bulge in the handle is also too pointy. It should be much more rounded, wider, and with smoother curves. There's no comfortable place for the index finger, which should be further to the front of the handle than you have shown. Put a finger notch in the area where the bolster meets the scale and you will have a comfortable, and safe to use knife. Hope that helps.
  4. The carving is so good, I get lost in looking at it. Then I start to think about doing it and my hands start to cramp........
  5. Steve, I really love the shape of that blade, and the finish is superb, on everything. I'm going to have to think for a long time about how to get the fittings and pins blued without getting the bluing all over the place. Please don't tell me. I really want to figure it out.
  6. There's more than two. Those of us who were in high school in the 70's (and were Marvel fans, not DC fans....) don't have a clue! Nice work though. Love the scabbard too. Hope to see more of your works in the future.
  7. As for the finger grooves, think about where the fingers go, (each one of them) and decide if the shape is actually going to fit comfortably in the hand. Is that point in the handle supposed to go between the middle and ring fingers? Why aren't the pins aligned with anything in the handle design, or at least evenly spaced in the handle? The bolster looks like it has a square front edge. Is that intentional? What's that little point between the ricasso and the choil for? Is that drawing to scale? Would you like to see some photos of similarly designed knives to compare to/copy?
  8. Gabriel, what grinder are you using? Does it have a wheel and a flat platen? Do you use a push stick when grinding on the platen? Do you start your grinding on the wheel and finish on the platen? Do you set your plunge cuts with a flexible belt rolled around the edge of the platen? Do you scribe a center line and grind to it? If you are cutting your bevels and plunge cuts with a file, do you use a stop-jig and a safe edge file? (BTW, the plunge cuts on that Gyoto-kitchen knife you made came out pretty straight) I'd love to help you along, but there are so many questions about how you are going about it that need answers before I can make any suggestions. Other than this one that is: Grab a piece of mild steel like Wes said, and profile it to a knife-like shape. Then post a series of photos of how you are grinding the bevels and plunges. Limit it to 6 pics or less. Then we can make recommendations on how to perfect your technique with the tools you have, or suggest some additional tooling you can make or purchase.
  9. Jason, Welcome to the forums. You are well on your way to becoming addicted. Keep up the good work! J. Arthur Loose mad a very good suggestion. When I used to harden out of my forge, I always heated the blade inside a heavy square tube to minimize decarb and provide an even heat. Warming the oil as Jerrod suggested is also a good idea. I have found that quenching in cold oil is fertile ground for warping the blade. For straightening, I suggest a heavy vice with the jaws replaced with 3/8 inch by 1 inch by however long you can get them, copper bars. Most vices have the jaws attached with screws and they can be removed and replaced with other materials. I always pull my blades out of the oil and go immediately into the vice along the spine. The copper bars complete the heat dissipation and tightening the vice straightens the blade. If your blade is badly warped, follow Alan's advice. Reheat, straighten, clean up, and re-harden, followed immediately by tempering. Not knowing what the steel's composition is makes tempering a crap shoot, so I suggest treating it like 1080 at first and tempering for two hours. 1 hour at 275*F and one hour at 300*F.
  10. This is absolutely brilliant. I'm beginning to hate this website......it makes me want to quit my job!
  11. Looking good Lukas. Have you been using that new 2x72?
  12. Very nice Alan. I've been planning/making my first bearded axe for about 3 years now. It just keeps getting pushed down the priority list. It's about 25% done......maybe this will get me going again. I'm trying the Austin method, if it doesn't work out, I've got this as a back up, thanks. BTW, where do you get those handles?
  13. Sounds like a contestant for: http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=32473&page=2#entry314735
  14. Not just for knifemaking, but for general blacksmithing (usually a few knife guys associated) and if you are interested in the forging aspect of making knives, you could check out: https://www.abana.org/ navigate to the affiliate map, and you will find: http://blacksmithing.org/ It looks like there are 4 chapters in Florida.
  15. Inspirational Owen, truly. The blade forms are spot on, and everything looks great. It's no wonder you are doing well with them this year! Gonna have to copy some of those..........
  16. This was a great read. Thanks to both Matt and John for making it possible. Now I have to read the first 41 pages....... Matthew, if you are serious about coming to AZ to do a demo in the winter, I might be able to arrange that. Our local chapter of ABANA (AABA azblacksmiths.org) does a demo every January in the Phoenix area. PM me if you are serious, and I will put you in touch with our BOD and program organizer. Maybe we can work something out. I certainly have enough room at our house for you and your family to stay.
  17. When I was a kid in upstate NY there were still plenty of chestnut trees around. We used to go harvest the nuts in the fall and roast them. Mom would put them in the stuffing for the T-day turkey. They were also great climbing trees.
  18. Thanks John, all of that was extremely well presented and helpful. what size wheel is that? Looks like about 8 inches.
  19. For clarification, I was thinking more along the lines of this type of hood/flue condition.
  20. I don't know if flue size on your forge will follow the same equation as the one we use for masonry fireplaces, (I can't imagine why not) but this is how the flue is sized for a solid fuel fireplace to make the drawing action work well for smoke and gasses. Take the area of the opening at the hearth and multiply by 10%-15%. That gives you the proper area of the flue pipe. Larger sizes let too much heat escape up the flue, smaller ones don't draw well. So, if your forge has a full hood that extends down to the floor (where the fire is burning) and an opening for easy access to the fire, take ~12% of the area of that opening and you have the size for the flue pipe. A opening roughly 6 inches wide at the top, 15 inches wide at the base, and 18 inches tall is roughly 189 square inches.12% of that is ~23 square inches. 23=pi(r^2) tells you that the diameter of the flue pipe is about 7 inches. Using the 10%-15% rule says that any pipe from 6-9 inches will work.
  21. I for one, would appreciate any photos that anyone who has offered, is willing to post. (videos are good too!) Two people come up with four times as many ideas as one person does, and everyone that you add to that equation increases the methods exponentially as they build off of one another. With so many experienced makers here, this post could become a wealth of information very quickly.
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