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Alex Middleton

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Everything posted by Alex Middleton

  1. Looking good Connor! I would recommend that you do 1 temper cycle as is before you try to correct the warp. Otherwise you risk snapping the blade as you counterbend it. I'd start with 1 or 2 pennies placed at the highest point of the curve, and then clamp the ends to a piece of angle iron or some other backer that will stay straight as you clamp. Temper for an hour or so and then check it. If it doesn't come back all the way straight, add another penny and go again.
  2. I love the etching that you did on your blades. Did you use acid, or electro-etch them? You can certainly grind steel that has been heat treated, forging will not work without reheat treating afterwards. You have to be careful to not heat the steel past the point that it's been tempered at or you will end up softening it back up. A good rule of thumb is to grind it with bare hands and never let it get hot enough to be uncomfortable to hold on to. Frequently cooling in water (every 2-3 passes on the grinder) will usually do the trick.
  3. I like that sheath concept a lot Billy. How does it feel on your belt?
  4. From a strength standpoint, I think all three styles are functionally equal. Meaning that, built properly, they are all strong enough to do the job and last forever. Personally, I find full tangs (without bolsters) to be the easiest to build. I can see how not having a drill press would make it a touch more complicated, but still pretty straightforward. That being said, I prefer to build hidden tang knives. I dont really have a reason, just personal preference. The only time I see a thru tang having an advantage is if you plan on incorporating a buttcap or pommel of some type. Otherwise the pin through the handle gives you all the security you need to keep things together.
  5. That a beauty Dave. Have fun on your trip!
  6. Nice one Geoff. They're not the prettiest thing in the world, but form follows function and I sure wouldn't want to be on the business end of one.
  7. Let's just say that Smurfette rattles the whole shop when she's pounding away. And if that was a "little" acid accident, I'd hate to see what you call a big one.
  8. The "best" beginner steel has been the subject of many debates. That being said, if you're already thinking about 1084, go with it. It's one of the easiest steels to heat treat using basic equipment.
  9. Those two styles of knife are so far apart, it's very hard to picture a combination of the two. I think you did a great job. I've hunted with an Old Timer for the past 20 years or so. I've gotten so used to having such a large blade in hand that I have to force myself to downsize most of the knives I make.
  10. Nice! I am officially jealous. Of all the tools on my wish list, a surface grinder would save me the most time by far.
  11. A quality heat treat, especially on simple steels, can happen in any type of forge. It's more about your process than it is your heat source. Turning the lights out, heating slowly and evenly, and watching for de/recalescence when you're normalizing and quenching are much more critical than what you're heating the steel with. I usually have better luck heating small blades in the dragon's breath in front of the forge than I do with actually sticking them inside. I find I get a whole lot more control over how evenly the blade heats up.
  12. Flawless as always! You've really been cranking them out lately.
  13. Pretty cool. Thanks for sharing. Great job on your wrap, the copper wire really sets it off. I'm going to have to add this jig to my "to build" list.
  14. Now THAT is insane! Looks like fun, lol.
  15. I usually run one temper cycle before trying to straighten out a bend, for exactly that reason. I did the same thing on a small hunter a year or so ago. After that, the thought of counter bending a freshly hardened blade sends shivers up my spine.
  16. Gorgeous Alan. I like the checkering on the handle. Hard to see it needing anything more than that.
  17. Looking good Joel! Now you're making me want to get started on my KITH knife.
  18. Thank you. I have to admit though, stabilized wood makes it pretty easy. All I did was hand sand it up to 1000 grit, buff it with a cloth wheel, and add a coat of furniture wax. You just have to be willing to step back a grit or three and start again when you find a spot that doesn't clean up right. You're not kidding there Josh. I don't think I've gotten this invested in a build since the little push dagger I made for KITH a couple years ago. Must be something about me and daggers. I think the best thing for me about this one is that it actually turned out very close to the way I pictured it when I started. That typically doesn't happen. Thanks again for the tips and nudges along the way. I always appreciate an honest opinion, even if it's not necessarily what I want to hear at the time!
  19. Much appreciated fellas! I tried several new things with this one and learned a ton along the way. Now I guess I need to take some time and focus on the honey-do list for a bit. Ignoring it for 3 months didn't seem to make it any shorter. Quite the opposite actually........
  20. I recently completed this as a retirement gift for the president of the company that I work for. 21 layers of 1084/15n20, 6.25" blade, black walnut handle w/ African blackwood spacer and mild steel fittings. He told me that whatever I made him would end up in his showcase that he has in his trophy room. Given the caliber of knives that he has in that showcase already, it really pushed me to get outside of my comfort zone with this build and take on things that I had never tried before.
  21. I had a lot of the same concerns when it came to the dagger that I just finished. I'm definitely not an expert, but the best advice I can give you is to take things slowly and deliberately. I started with forging the distal taper as close as I could, grinding the profile, and then using files to get a clean, flat surface along the spine on both sides. From there, mark a straight line along the spine, and down the center of both edges. I chose to use files for my bevels. I'm not good enough with my grinder to keep 4 separate bevels even. Keep it slow and deliberate, constantly watching your scribe lines to keep it even all the way around. When you get close to done, use @Joshua States mirror trick to check to make sure you've kept everything straight and centered. I think I had to go back 4 or 5 times and fix issues before I was happy with it. FWIW, here's the WIP on my dagger: https://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?/topic/40241-dagger-wip/ Somewhere in there is a link that Josh posted to his mirror technique.
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