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Alex Middleton

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Everything posted by Alex Middleton

  1. Alex Middleton

    Kitchen slicer

    Just finished up this little 5" slicer for my sister. Material is .040" HSS salvaged from a bandsaw blade. The handle is home stabilized, quarter sawn oak. I gave the blade a quick dip in FeCl to bring out the temper line from the differential hardening that I do with this material. As always, comments and critiques are very welcome.
  2. Alex Middleton

    Kitchen slicer

    Thanks Clint! I wanted to try something different for the sheath this time and I'm pretty happy with how it came out. Don't mind the rivet on the other side though. That's what happens when you're drinking too many beers with the neighbor and aren't paying attention when you go to drill your rivet holes!
  3. Alex Middleton

    Seeking advice

    Ive used polyurethane on black walnut with very good results. I apply it a thin coat at a time and lightly sand in between with 600 grit paper. Because i want to fill in the pores but not build up a thick layer of finish, I'll usually sand until i start to see the wood come through and then reapply. The first half dozen coats make you question yourself due to lack of visible progress, but usually after 8-10 coats you can see the pores fill in. The last coat goes on a bit heavier, gets smoothed out with 1000 grit, and then lightly buffed. It takes some time and effort, but with some patience (which I know you have) you can get that perfectly smooth shiny finish.
  4. Alex Middleton

    What did you do in your shop today?

    I'm going out on a limb here, but I'd say it's because it was plugged with ice!
  5. Alex Middleton

    Good inexpensive wood rasp set?

    I've had the same experience with the HF rasps, to the point that I rarely use them anymore. They take wood off very fast, but you spend a ton of time afterward trying to clean up all of the gouges that they leave.
  6. Alex Middleton

    Beer = better forging?

    Handles then!
  7. Alex Middleton

    Maybe a Hunter? I dunno you guys tell me ~WIP~

    I don't think you'll have any strength issues to worry about. Getting even bevels is one of the hardest things to do and something I struggle with on every knife I make. A full flat grind is probably the easiest to make look consistent as you don't have the transition line to worry about. A sabre grind like what you have going on there will always leave you with some sort of transition. Grinding jigs help, but in the end it just comes down to practice, practice, practice. What you do with the ricasso area is completely up to you. You could drop the spine down to be even, blend it in, or leave it as is. It's your knife and in the end just do what makes you happy with it.
  8. Alex Middleton

    Maybe a Hunter? I dunno you guys tell me ~WIP~

    On a blade with scales I typically put my pin holes in as the very last step before heat treat. I find that I always seem to make adjustments to the tang as I go along and putting the pin holes in too early means that they don't look right afterwards. I would finish up rough grinding your bevels and get the steps to your tang filed in place at the very least. With the spine of your knife falling away a little bit in the ricasso area I think that you're going to end up making some adjustments that may end up effecting how wide your tang is.
  9. Alex Middleton

    Clip vs Drop point knives?

    Not being a knife thrower I don't really have any first hand experience to say which is better. Thinking through it logically I guess a clip point would theoretically stick a little easier and deeper, especially if you were to put a false edge on the clip. On the other hand it would seem to be a little bit weaker as there is less material supporting the tip and would lead it to be more prone to breaking on an errant throw. Personally when I think of a throwing knife I envision a dagger as it kind of gives you the best of both worlds. A lot of people prefer a drop point on a hunter/skinner style knife. The blunter point is (again theoretically) less likely to cut the hide while skinning. That being said, when I process my deer every year I tend to gravitate toward using my clip point hunter and a fillet knife. I'm not usually trying to save the hide, and I think they work better for getting into the joints while quartering. Honestly what I think it boils down to is personal preference and experiences. What works for you may not work for someone else, and vice-versa.
  10. Alex Middleton

    Clip vs Drop point knives?

    Maybe this will help? It's super rough, by no means dimensionally accurate, but I believe illustrates the difference.
  11. Alex Middleton

    First multi-layer blade

    This is the first successful multi-layer blade that I've been able to make. It started out as .015" thick 1095 shim stock, and .032" thick high carbon pallet strapping. Both were rescued from the scrap dumpster at work. I welded it up into a billet of 13 layers just to see what would happen. I lost a few layers along the way, but I've always been a fan of the low layer look anyway. The blade is 4" to the plunge lines and .125" thick, OAL is 9". The handle is home stabilized black walnut and African blackwood with a spacer from the 1095 shim stock. I tried a few new things with the handle, some I'm happy with and others I'm not. The shape of the handle is a little off, it fits the hand nice but doesn't really feel like it "belongs" there. I tried to put an epoxy ring around the handle pin by counterboring the outside of the pin hole. This turned out to be a bad idea as I didn't get the counterbore centered. Overall I guess I would say that it turned out OK. As always, any and all comments and critiques are welcome. Thanks for looking! Alex
  12. Alex Middleton

    First multi-layer blade

    Thanks for the input! Handle size/shape is something that I typically struggle with. Sometimes I feel I get it right, and other times it's just not quite there.
  13. Alex Middleton

    Little Johnny Forge

  14. Alex Middleton

    Wood choice for sayas

    When wanting to use the more acidic woods, would stabilizing them beforehand help to prevent the rusting issue?
  15. Alex Middleton

    Spring is just around the corner.

    Thank you! I needed that today!
  16. I'll chime in on the burner position. If you're looking to get a swirl pattern in your forge, you will want the burner to come in at a tangent to the inside. Picture the burner being horizontal, and coming into the forge at roughly the 2:00 position, give or take. In other words, the top of your burner pipe, when It's sitting horizontally, should be roughly level with the top of the inside of your forge.
  17. Alex Middleton

    Dremmel Wood Carving Bits

    Do you have the mini router head attachment for your Dremel? I didn't think of it earlier, but I've used mine several times for putting blade shaped pockets into my folding cutting boards. It gives a nice consistent depth across the entire pocket with sharp corners at the bottom. With the right amount of planning you could do the same thing for pocketing out a scale.
  18. Alex Middleton

    Dremmel Wood Carving Bits

    I use the belt sander to rough in the general shape of the handle, and then switch to my Dremel to get it closer to finished. I typically use 1/4" and 1/2" sanding drums. In the lower grits they take off a fair amount of material, but still give you a good bit of control and fit into the tighter curves. I don't do much decorative carving because I suck at it. When I do bite the bullet and try it, I typically end up using a combination of the Dremel and hand chisels.
  19. 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.
  20. Alex Middleton

    The smallest knife I've ever made

    Nice one Zeb!
  21. Alex Middleton

    Quenching my first knife

    Definitely, I should have mentioned that. I set mine right next to the forge while I'm heating the blade. I also keep two fire extinguishers in the shop, one of them right on my forge cart.
  22. Alex Middleton

    WIP - Sami influenced gift knives

    Thanks Adam! Those pics are perfect. I'm looking forward to the rest of this process.
  23. Alex Middleton

    Tribute to Farriers...A knife for them..

    Love it. Especially the guard!
  24. Alex Middleton

    WIP - Sami influenced gift knives

    That'd be great. I've been doing a few fillet knives and it always a pain to get them clamped up solid when the blade has that much flexibility.
  25. Alex Middleton

    Quenching my first knife

    Another option is a turkey fryer set real low. Typically by the time I normalize and quench the oil temp is just about perfect. Good luck!