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Alex Middleton

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Everything posted by Alex Middleton

  1. Alex Middleton

    Culver Inspired (Copied) Slipjoint

    Damn that's nice. I think I'd have a hard time parting with it as well. Thanks for taking us along on the journey for this one. A slipjoint is on my list, and I'm sure I'll be coming back to this thread for reference.
  2. Alex Middleton

    Culver Inspired (Copied) Slipjoint

    Gorgeous Brian! I've really enjoyed watching this one come together.
  3. Alex Middleton

    Finish sanding question

    I had a similar problem on a high grit finish blade. I ended up putting the edge of my sandpaper tight up ahainst the handle, placing a piece of steel over top as a backer, and then drawing it back toward me one stroke at a time. It took a while, and I had to use a different edge of the sandpaper every couple of strokes, but I was eventually able to get the scratches out and keep the strokes blended with the rest of the blade.
  4. Alex Middleton

    Need some opinions

    I've been working on this one for a friend. He's recently decided to hang up his gear after 20 years in the fire service. I want to do some embellishments to the handle, specifically an 850 and an 820 to commemorate the two local departments that he has served on. I have everything at a rough finish state, but something just feels "off". I can't put my finger on it, so I thought I'd put it out here for some thoughts. This is a better look at my initial concept sketch for the carving. My idea is to have the numbers in relief, surrounded by a field of golf ballish dimpling. Maybe I'm just over thinking things, but this one is pretty important to me and I'd really like to hear your input.
  5. Alex Middleton

    Need some opinions

    Not too bad, thanks for asking. As per my usual the engraving and tooling look like a 10 year old did them, but he was very happy with it. He carried it with him during our hunting season and field dressed 2 deer with it.
  6. A good friend of mine recently retired from the fire service. As he and I have known each other since we were very young, and have been good friends most of that time, I put this together for him to commemorate the time that he served. The blade is 5160ish (leaf spring), 4.25" long, and .150" thick at the spine. OAL length is roughly 9.5". The handle is black walnut with brass inlays and liners. 820 and 850 represent the base stations of the two different fire departments that he served with, while #20 was his personal ID number on both departments. I went with a convex grind and blended plunge lines this time as it has been a while since I've done one that way. I also tapered the tang from spine to bottom to help things blend together. Personally I'm thinking that leaving the plunge lines defined, and using a flat grind on the blade, is actually easier when it comes to hand sanding and fit and finish. Comments and critiques are welcome as always. Thanks for looking!
  7. Alex Middleton

    Meteorite Damascus

    I am truly digging this build. That handle is going to be amazing!
  8. Alex Middleton

    Harvesting burl

    Thanks @Martin Brandt. I typically use a toaster oven to finish drying my wood out before stabilizing, but it's usually somewhat seasoned before I start. I guess the question I should have asked was; Does fresh cut burl typically react well to rapid drying for stabilizing, or should it be allowed to naturally season first? I'll search around some and see what I can come up with. Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction.
  9. Alex Middleton

    Harvesting burl

    Can the burl be stabilized right after harvesting? Or should it be allowed to cure for a while first?
  10. Alex Middleton

    Fogg/Kelso Hunter

    Gorgeous.
  11. Alex Middleton

    how to balance a knife

    Another trick if you don't have the clay is to tape coins to the end of the handle until you get the balance you are looking for.
  12. Alex Middleton

    First knife attempt... Tanto

    Excellent first! I really like how you had a plan and stuck with it. On the next one, take what you learned that worked and do it again. What didn't work, figure out a way to do it different and see how it goes. Don't be afraid to ask questions here. There's a ton of guys that will freely share their experiences and will help to guide you around some of the more aggravating issues that can pop up. Welcome to the madness!
  13. Alex Middleton

    Effect of Carbon on Hardness in Martensite

    Thanks Jerrod, that's good to know.
  14. Alex Middleton

    Effect of Carbon on Hardness in Martensite

    Out of curiosity, what % of martensite can the average backyard smith expect to yield using simple steels and quenching at decalescense?
  15. Alex Middleton

    Drilling Question

    You didn't buy left handed bits did you? Since you seem to have avoided the common pitfall of trying to "anneal" the steel yourself, you're farther ahead than I was my first few tries. Like Bruno said, carbide bits are awesome if you have a good solid drill press. Unfortunately they are quite expensive when compared to cobalt or HSS bits. I've found that cobalt bits are a good middle ground between price and performance. Run them slow, keep it well lubricated (3-in-1 oil or tapping fluid, NOT WD-40!), and keep a good constant pressure. As Alan mentioned, you should see a constant flow of chips, otherwise adjust your pressure one way or the other until you do. Good luck!
  16. Alex Middleton

    Drilling Question

    Are you drilling before or after hardening?
  17. Alex Middleton

    Sharpening Tips & Tricks

    Gotcha. I've never tried sharpening on a round rod. It does seem like there are a lot of butchers out there that would disagree though.
  18. Alex Middleton

    Sharpening Tips & Tricks

    I don't believe that there is a right or wrong to it, it just depends on what you are looking for. Using a round wheel to sharpen with will give you a slight hollow grind on the bevel. Probably not the greatest for something meant to chop with, but theoretically advantageous for a slicer or every day user. Most of my knives get their final edge on the side of a 9" wheel of birch plywood with white rouge buffing compound applied to it.
  19. Alex Middleton

    Hydrollic Press Time

    I didn't read very far in to it, but this thread was pinned in Tools and Tool Making. Hopefully it helps.
  20. Alex Middleton

    What did you do in your shop today?

    I love the bold pattern from the low layers. Looks great!
  21. Alex Middleton

    How do you acheive mirror bevels?

    A couple tips if youre truly going for a mirror finish: Make sure you get out ALL of the marks from the previous grit before moving to the next one. Change angles as you change grits so that you are not sanding in the same direction 2 times in a row. This will help to highlight the deeper marks and make it easier to know when you are done with one grit and its time to move to the next one. Don't be afraid to burn through sandpaper like it's free. It wears out pretty quickly and it'll take twice as long if you try to use a single piece for too long. Consider using Windex as a lubricant instead of water. The generic stuff is pretty cheap and it will keep you from having to worry about rust spots forming on the opposite side of your blade. Lastly, be patient. It can seem like it takes forever to get out the scratches from the previous grit of paper, especially under 400 grit or so. It may take a while, but keep at it and they will come out eventually.
  22. Alex Middleton

    What did you do in your shop today?

    Thanks. I'll have to keep that in mind for the future. It really made the grain pop on the paduk and the canary wood.
  23. Alex Middleton

    What did you do in your shop today?

    Nice! What did you use as a finish on it?
  24. Alex Middleton

    Experiment part 1 cutting an HF files in half

    Definitely not mild steel. I have a 5 pc. set of HF files. I still use the round, square, and triangle files with acceptable results. The flat and half round did a decent job for quite a while until they dulled up (more operator error than anything else). I think I definitely got what i paid for out of them. The set of needle files that I bought from them, that's a different story altogether.
  25. Alex Middleton

    RoĆ°inn Hrafn - the Red Raven

    Now that's a gorgeous knife! I've never been a fan of mixing copper and brass on the same handle, but you pulled it off beautifully on that one.
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