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John Ricks

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  1. Likely over 200 pounds. Big spherical roller bearings. They are intact, includes rollers, inner races, and bronze cages. Never used, just old stock, perfect for forging. The catch? You gotta drive to Port Angeles,, WA and pick them up. No way to ship, too much weight.
  2. It is a Haflinger, a very strong draft horse of somewhat smaller stature. The daughter had two of them, they are broke for both a saddle horse and a pack horse. Very strong animal. The Haflinger, also known as the Avelignese, is a breed of horse developed in Austria and northern Italy (namely Hafling in South Tyrol region) during the late 19th century. They also have several mules, broke for both the saddle and the pack string.
  3. The mature bulls are big, son in law with a nice bull during archery season. 30 miles on horseback from the trail head where the trailers were parked.
  4. Antler is like micarta: Stinks and you do not dare breath the dust. One of my grinders has a coolant system, it works great to kill the dust. It is a portable unit that I can move from lathes to ginders. An air mist that mixes with the coolant. And the shop is 50 feet from the house,so no smells to upset the ladies. I live in Elk Country so I have a collection of antler in the scrap boxes. The fixed handle in the below photo is a good skinner. I bought in in 1964 in Parry Sound, Ontario and gave it to my dad. Parry sound is sort of the jumping off place for the great North Country. This one has a thin blade and is nicely heat treated, holds a razor edge very well. Made in Germany. The shop was very interesting, it was an outfitter for folks entering the wilderness. Lots of indigenous folks, the shopkeeper said this was one of their favorite blades for skinning large game. Handle could use a bit of improvement. The two big folders were my dad's, he liked this style as he did not use a belt knife in a scabbard. I have had the trio since he passed in 1994. Micarta handles
  5. Where in the heck are you? Must be the land of real men that forge knives barefoot. A nice piece of staghorn for the handle please. Real Elk Horn would be nice. What steel?
  6. Looks like the start of a good Elk skinning blade. I live in Roosevelt Elk country and those big old bulls take a lot of skinning! Don't make the handle too small, you need something to hang onto when peeling hide. I would make a smaller caping knife to go with it. Any elk Hunter would be proud to have the pair!
  7. Started building a checkering cradle for gunstocks. Also will be used for checkering knife scales with an adapter to hold the scales. Should be completed in a week or so.
  8. Grab a rat tail file of the appropriate diameter. Say a 5/16 file for a 1/4 drilled hole. Grind two flats , leaving 1/4 inch thickness. Use this file to widen the handle hole. Using a end mill in a drill press will result in a disaster. Files are your friends!
  9. For comparison my Soderfors below. Made in 1929, Cast Steel, Sweden, 196 pounds.
  10. Sometimes a find needs a little work. This one weighs 147 pounds, some previous owner dummy pounded on the pivot bolt with a sledge (must have been a 20 pounder!) such that the vise was seized up. [/ Umm. Just plain bad news. Could not turn it. Stuck it on the milling machine table. Wacked off with a saws all. Some drilling. Ready for a new bolt. Ready for use with a new square head bolt from Blacksmith Bolts So yea yours is fixable. Machine a new screw and box if you have a lathe, or buy some acme threaded rod and a nut and start fabricating. Easy as pie.
  11. Cabinet made from scrap wood, it actually was a keyboard drawer that the old style desktop computers sat on. Added the top compartment and hinged lid, bottom drawer uses the original keyboard tray slides. Keeps all the tooling in one place and protected.
  12. I bought this 250 pound brute last year. Mainly for testing rifle actions but it sure is handy for testing blades. The blades I thought were pretty hard (even worked well for skinning out elk, stayed reasonably sharp) turned out to be 43 on the Rockwell C scale. After using the Wilson Tester for a time I have concluded that there is no substitute for a Rockwell tester when making knives!! And testing military Mauser actions is a hoot, the numbers are all over the place! The action below is a Olympic Arms BBK Magnum action, 34 is a good range for rifle actions. I have tested M98 actions that went all the way down to 12 on the Rockwell C scale. This blade, however, turned out at 57 on the Rockwell C scale. Forged from 1095 bar stock. Accessories and test blocks.
  13. 8620 as the guys have said is a case hardening steel. I have a couple hundred pounds of it in 3/4, 7/8 and 1 inch diameter. Specifically they are drag conveyor pins, used for joining the large steel drag conveyors used in industry. Not a knife steel. I have used it for reloading dies and cast bullet sizing dies as it case hardens nicely. I throw the pins in the wood stove with a good fire going and leave in the stove until the fire goes out and is cold. Anneals the pin surface down to about Rockwell 20 on the C scale so I can machine it without killing tooling. Having a Rockwell tester in my shop simplifies things.
  14. You old timers and experienced gents will laugh, but think about the intended use of the knife, not good artistic looks. Sort of a red neck approach. After all I was born in the swamps of Georgia, USA! I use the skinner with my index finger along the point of the blade, gives better control and reduces hide cuts. The shapes below have served me well in deer and elk out here in the Pacific Northwest. A plus is when you have the knife in one hand, both hands up in the chest cavity cutting out lungs, windpipe and other things you know where the tip of the blade is and do not wack your off knife hand. Done that in the past with a bigger, heavy knife. I have found that with my hand and all fingers wrapped around the handle I have less control. The handle is curved to fit my closed palm. The blades are thin and light. These are just utility blades guys, not showpieces. The 4 in the upper left are patterns. My thoughts on a lanyard or thong hole in the handle: Useless. I lost a prized knife many years ago, foolishly had the knife on a sheath on the belt, and was tracking through some thick brush. Got to a clearing for a rest, the knife was gone! Snatched by a snag or limb thanks to the thong loop, pulled it right out of the sheath. After that the knives were tucked away in my pack.
  15. Elk foreleg bone. Tough and polishes up like ivory. I have some somewhere in the shop, I will did out a few and take a look, maybe polish up one on the buffer. They have been in the stash and curing for over 30 years so should be ready for handles.
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