Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by jheinen

  1. I'm looking at either the Grizzly G0759 (which is basically the G0704 w/DRO), or the Little Machine Shop High-Torque Mini Mill Deluxe. I think I'm leaning toward the Little Machine Shop mill as from what I've read it has better quality control, and a belt drive. I did see David T. at the conference, though I didn't see Odin. Didn't get a lot of time to chat, but I'll be at his axe class in a couple of months. As for the problems with my knife, the main thing he noticed was the fit of the guard. There was some slight gapping at one corner where the ricasso meets the guard, and the guard was a little loose. I hadn't glued the knife up yet, so it was basically a take down. With the butt cap not tightened down, the guard could wiggle a little. The guard was also very slightly out of square with the ricasso. All of those issues are things I could resolve with a mill. I tried a heritage/museum fit on the handle, and I left the handle a little too proud of the guard. He also suggested I chamfer only the handle, while leaving the guard and butt cap edges square. Interestingly, Kevin Cashen suggested I chamfer both. David also didn't like my handle construction (the way it's taught at the ABS Handles & Guards class). I brazed a connector nut on the inside of the butt cap, which is screwed on to the threaded tang. David thought it would allow for too much movement of the wood, which might cause gapping down the road. It was great feedback, and he gave me a couple tips to help with the problem areas (e.g. putting a couple of wraps of gorilla tape around the guard and grinding the handle flush with the tape will give you just the right dimension on the handle for a heritage fit).
  2. This last weekend I attended the Northwest Blacksmith Association Conference (an awesome event, BTW!), with the intent of bidding on a newly constructed tire hammer that was in the auction. Unfortunately, and as I expected, I was outbid. The hammer went for $3,750, and I was only prepared to go up to $3,000. Sad, I know. While at the conference I also had a chance to meet with one of my mentors, David Lisch, to get a critique on my latest work. He pointed out the numerous flaws that I had overlooked and, as always, gave invaluable advice (for new knife makers, I can't stress enough how valuable seeking out those with experience can be. You can learn more in 20 minutes from a master than you can learn in two years of trial and error). The upshot of all of this is that David talked about the utility of a milling machine, especially for things like facing ricassos and slotting guards. To date, I've been doing the normal drill/file routine, and it's a continual challenge to get that PERFECT fit. Regular folks might look at my knives and say "wow, that's incredible!" But another knife maker can spot those small details that don't quite work. So my question for the collective wisdom of this group is; would I be wiser investing in a small milling machine at this stage, or would a power hammer be better? I have used several power hammers, and I like the ability to move steel, especially for damascus. On the other hand, since my goal at the moment is to focus on the ABS journeyman test (damascus not allowed), I am beginning to think that I would be better served by a mill. The added bonus is that a mill would be cheaper, and opens up a whole new universe with respect to making other tools (more file guides!) What do y'all think? To give you a sense of where I'm at in my abilities, Here's one of my first knives from a couple of years ago: And here's one of my most recent knives:
  3. I did some research into the chemistry of electro etching, and for the best results apparently the anode (the piece being etched) and the cathode (the hand piece) should actually be of the same material.
  4. Hmm, now there's an idea, especially since brass is a much better conductor than steel. I may have to try that.
  5. Yes, I'm using an alligator clip to attach the positive lead to the piece being etched. My problem was soldering the negative lead to the stainless steel electrode on the hand piece. However I figured it out (it was too hot) and it works! I ordered some stencils from TUStech, and once they arrive I'm in business!
  6. I couldn't bring myself to spend $300+ on an etching machine, so I decided to make one for about $80. I haven't tested it yet, mainly because I'm having a tough time getting a wire to stick to the stainless steel electrode. Any ideas? I did plug it in and it didn't blow up, and the power light comes on, so that's a good sign
  7. I hope he has a swift recovery.
  8. That's what I use. Works great, and I haven't noticed any issues.
  9. Are you going to thin it out anymore? The picture makes it look ridiculously thick. But that could just be the angle.
  10. I finished up two of the blades I'm bringing to the ABS Handles and Guards class with Kevin Cashen next week at SOFA. These were made to spec as per the class prerequisites. They are both forged from 5160 and hand-sanded to 600 grit.
  11. From the album: Jeff H's Work

    Two blades that I'm taking to the ABS Handles and Guards class with Kevin Cashen at SOFA.
  12. Posted to my FB page. I'll also send some $$ on payday (Friday).
  13. During a heavy bout of sanding last night I thought I'd experiment to see which gave the best results. I tried dry, windex, mineral oil, and WD40 while sanding a couple of blades through 220-320-400-600 using Rhynowet Redline. I have to say that WD40 seemed to produce the best results. Overall it cut better, and the abrasive lasted longer. Mineral oil was similar, but not quite as good as the WD40. Windex came in third, and dry was by far the worst.
  14. I received a survey from BLADE magazine awhile back that was gauging people's interest in a West coast blade show. I suspect that they got encouraging results from the survey, fueled by the current interest in knife making that Forged in Fire has generated. Popular interest in knife making is probably at an all-time high right now.
  15. Who is planning to attend Blade Show West in Portland, OR? It's going to be at the Oregon Convention center from October 5th to the 7th. I'd love to meet some of you face-to-face. I'll bring the bourbon -Jeff
  16. I'm leary of prednisone. My mom got pancreatitis twice from it, and an uncle almost died from prednisone-related pancreatitis.
  17. I ended up at the doctor today with a burning throat and severe pain when coughing. It all started Sunday when I was hand sanding a knife with a bubinga handle. I normally wear a respirator when using the grinder, but I didn't really think about it when hand sanding. Sunday night I couldn't sleep at all because of the coughing, and it also kept my wife up. The doc says it's irritation from the sawdust, and that it would take seven to 10 days to clear up. Prescribed some vicodin to help me sleep. Not fun. Wear a respirator.
  18. Just finished this one up last night. It's my first attempt at a hidden tang with a full slotted and sculpted guard. 3 1/2" blade, 8" overall. Blade is 5160, guard is nickel silver, black spacer, and handle is bubinga finished with Tru Oil and a nickel silver pin. I'm fairly pleased with the joint between the blade and guard. Square with no gaps. Unfortunately I decided to use my new disc grinder to sharpen it, and having never sharpened with a disc grinder I messed it up a bit. In other news, my wife gave me my birthday present - she's sending me to SOFA next month to attend Kevin Cashen's ABS Handles & Guards class. Best. Wife. Ever.
  19. jheinen

    Small Hunter

    From the album: Jeff H's Work

  20. Hi all, For hidden tang knives, do you grind shoulders for the guard to rest against, or do you press fit? I've been taught the shoulder method, but have heard that great results come from press fitting, and that it's easier to make a seamless joint. What say the cognoscenti?
  • Create New...