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Alex Middleton

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Everything posted by Alex Middleton

  1. It's fine by me. Looks like Jeremy needs until tomorrow as well. Faye?
  2. I've been working on a pair of damascus earring as a christmas present for my wife. I have one of them complete and have been trying to etch it to bring out the pattern and it's not cooperating. The material is 1095 and pallet banding. I've successfully etched other things out of this same billet but for some reason this thing will not show any topography at all. The only difference is that I did not harden the earring. I even mixed some fresh FeCl thinking that they may be the issue. I know unhardened steel etches differently than unhardened, but I still expected to get some kind of topography out of it. Am I missing something, or do i need to harden it to get it to etch?
  3. Yeah. What Jake said. Seriously though, you've run up against something that I struggle with too. That which looks right doesn't feel right, and vice versa. Jake's illustration is a perfect example of how very slight changes can totally change the aesthetics of a knife, without really changing the form much at all.
  4. Conventional "wisdom" would lead me to say that it's a bit big for a 3 finger, but a bit small for a full sized handle. It also looks a bit skinny up by the guard and the palm swell is a touch asymmetrical. The thing about conventional wisdom is that it's based on what most people think a knife should look like, not what it should feel like. The beautiful thing about making your own knife is that it doesn't have to catch someone's eye as they walk past and make them want to buy it. You only have to make yourself happy. I say if its comfortable, and feels right, then go for it.
  5. If its positioned right, it looks like it would work fine. I can imagine how much of a pain it could be to fit a knife to a sheath. Be careful though, leather is an entire rabbit hole all on its own.
  6. Thanks Chris. That was one of the things that I was striving for when I made it. I was able to carry this one for a couple of weeks until I had to ship it off to Connor and I liked it a lot. I have 3 or 4 more monosteel blanks this size rough forged and waiting for a chance to work on some more.
  7. You'd better finish that thing! I want to be able to say that I have a knife made by Scarface!
  8. If you type site:www.bladesmithsforum.com 3 finger into your google search bar it will pull up a ton of good info on different variations of 3 finger sized knives. I'm a fan of 3 finger Bird and Trout style knives as EDC's, and have been playing around with them quite a bit over this year. I went through a lot of the same things you're doing right now trying to get a comfortable handle. This thread has some pretty good information from a variety of viewpoints:
  9. It's getting close to the deadline on the 15th, we should probably get the list going of who's done for the drawing. I just finished mine up so I'll start it off: 1. Alex Middleton
  10. I can't help much with a book on handle design, but I will recommend the hot waxing technique that @Garry Keown uses on his sheaths. I've done it on my last 4 or 5 and it's pretty easy to form the leather around the handle for a nice, secure, hold.
  11. I'm glad to hear that Connor. Any issues at all with it?
  12. I did something very similar on this years KITH knife. I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.
  13. Can't wait to see it John! My second attempt was an outright, abysmal failure. I tried to get really fancy, but my aspirations outpaced my forge welding skills. I'll revisit it sometime in the future, but at least I learned a good way to not go about about multibar construction. The good news is that I failed fast enough that I was able to crank out another attempt and the third try was the charm! There's one issue that I'm waiting on an answer to, but if that isn't a showstopper, I should have it done in time.
  14. Very nice! The flaws you're speaking of must only be visible to you.
  15. Well, this one picked up a good sized crack during the quench. One of the downsides of recycled steel I guess. I started a new one, but everything is going to have to go perfect if I'm going to get it done in time.
  16. Just be grateful that she doesn't have a GPS tracker on your phone. I Lojacked my kids phones when they got them. I can tell exactly where they are at any given time.
  17. If you read through the pinned thread on blown burners in the Tools and Toolmaking subforum, @Geoff Keyes stated in there that he felt that 3/4" was too small to get adequate airflow through. I have a 1" burner on my new forge as well, and I haven't had an issue getting to welding heat with a much smaller blower than what Don has pictured above.
  18. Absolutely. Its not the most efficient, but it will get the job done. Check out this thread: it talks about that exact same thing. Please pay attention to how Jeremy secures the bricks together. The last thing you want is for your forge to collapse on you while its lit. Enjoy!
  19. I've been looking at the heat treat forge that @John N posted recently and I've been seriously considering building something similar. My hope is to be able to control the environment to the point that I can move into some of the more higher end blade steels that require a soak at a given temperature in order to get the most out of them. As I was doing some cleaning in my barn today I stumbled across this old Coleman camp stove that I had completely forgotten about. The flame is easily controllable from what is shown, all the way down to a tiny ribbon. This got me to thinking and doing some rough designs in my head. I quickly sketched up a rough concept before I lost my train of thought: This inner chamber is 8" x 5" x 18" long and the baffle sits about 1.5" above the floor of the chamber. That comes out to about 720 cubic inches and should be more than big enough for any blade that I'll be tackling in the foreseeable future. There's a lot of detail missing (like the door) but I think this conveys the general idea. I'm thinking that 1" of Inswool all around should be sufficient insulation. I'm basically planning on setting the forge right down on top of one of the burners which would allow me to use the second burner to heat up my quenching oil (and still allow me to keep my campstove intact). I've never played with this type of burner before and I have a couple of questions I'm hoping I could get some insight on. First off, I'm planning on leaving around a 1/4" of air gap in the tube around the outside of the burner. Will this give sufficient airflow for the burner to operate properly? Is it too little, too much? Also, will I need a vent of some type (maybe in the door) to help control the heat? Or is that unnecessary or even counterproductive? Most importantly I guess, is this even worth spending time on? I haven't seen anyone post anything on a build quite like this but I'd hate to waste a bunch of time and effort on something that won't even do what I want it to do. Any thoughts or insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  20. Thank you for sharing this Dave. I know it must be difficult. Such an amazing tribute to your father. I only hope that I can even come close to honoring my father in such a way when that time comes.
  21. When the smoker door catches the cord for the meat thermometer and yanks the turkey out of the smoker. If no one else saw it hit the ground, did it really happen?
  22. That this is going to be sweet Rob! Are you going to put a thin bronze spacer in the center between the two pieces of horn too?
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