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Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

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About Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

  • Birthday 02/27/1945

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  • Location
    Rapid City, South Dakota
  • Interests
    knife making, blacksmithing, gardening

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  1. I made a set of bellows a few years ago, I used thin leather and I had to sew pieces together to get it to the right size. I treated the leather with Neatsfoot oil. They worked great. I like the valves you have made. The vinyl backed canvas should work fine. Looks like you are well on your way. Nice work so far.
  2. Well my kids didn't win the Bladesmithing contest this year, they did win the award for "Exceptional Use of Materials" I think they threw everything but the kitchen sink into that crucible I am very proud of them all the same. They worked long and hard to produce their knife. As soon as they get back we will start laying plans for 2021 many of the crew will be Seniors then. Florida took first place, Colorado School of Mines took second and McMaster took third. They don't do any further ranking but one of the Professors who was with them and was around during the judging said our kids were in the top ten.
  3. Just a few notes: If you do not hear a sharp intake of breath when you quote a price for your work you know immediately the price was too low. Years ago when I started working for an environmental consulting company someone told me "when you put a price on your services it establishes what you are, try not to be a cheap one." I had a guy pull out his Damascus bladed pocket knife and tell me "$65 at Cabela's." I told him at that price you should have bought 2 so you will still have one when that one breaks. My knives come with my 50/50 guarantee, if it breaks in half, send me the pieces and I will be happy to throw them away. If the failure was a result of a defect in material or workmanship I will just as happily replace the knife or refund your money. The reason I ask for both pieces is because I can tell if the fault was mine or if you used a knife for a crowbar in that case you made a very expensive mistake. I haven't had a knife come back yet but having said that they will probably start falling out of the sky like snow.
  4. I did refurbish one knife, it was for my Podiatrist at the VA. It was his dad's fishing knife and had laid around in the tackle box for 20 years, I sanded the blade as best I could and ran it across the buffing wheels to shine it up. It was an old butterfly knife. The story was when he was a kid his dad gave him and his brother $10 when they were at China Town in SF, told then to go buy a cheep butterfly knife and this is what they brought back. The dad used it till he passed away and then it just sat around. I made a clasp for it out of bailing wire and sharpened it up. When I gave it back to him he lit up like a 100 watt bulb. Smile from ear to ear. He asked how much and I told him it was on the house. Then he sat there and went to wipe the fingerprints off the blade on his scrubs and cut a little slit in his pants leg. I thought we would both die laughing. He is a great guy, just a young kid not far out of med school. Anyway now he wants a real knife, as soon as he makes a sketch I will turn him out his "elk skinner" Funny thing that cheep butterfly knife was stamped made in USA.
  5. I got an e-mail from a guy who wanted me to restore an old knife, I turned him down. Yesterday he called me and he said he had this old clever with some name embossed on it that he wanted to get restored and asked me if I would "acid wash" it for him. I told him I wasn't interested and told him to contact a local knife shop. A few years ago I got the same kind of request from another guy who had a knife that said "India" on it. Also a while back I got a request from a guy who said he had a branding iron that said DS and he wanted it changed to US. I told him I could do it but I would have to stamp my touch mark into it as well as the date of the modification. He ran like a rabbit. Is there really that much money in taking old junk shining it up and passing it off for pristine stuff? I just wondered if anyone else gets these strange requests. Two days ago I got a call from a lady who had a pocket knife with a lose rivet and she wanted to know if I could fix it. She sent me a picture, all it needs is to be pushed back thru the bolster and peened on one end. I told her I could do that, bring it by when she gets to town.
  6. When you quote a price for your blade if you do not hear a sharp intake of breath you know the price you quoted was too low. I have a minimum starting price for my knives and I don't go below that. I don't maintain a big stock of blades on hand. I do custom orders and I require a 50% non refundable deposit. I have been stung a few times by guys who were all yippie skippy about the knife until it was finished and then they walked away. Now if they do that, I have half the price in my pocket and if I have to sell the blade at a discount to get rid of it I have some wiggle room to negotiate. A few years ago I made a set of Damascus spurs for Jackie. She took them with us to the South Dakota Walleye Classic and Art Festival where I was doing blacksmith demonstrations to show them off. Some cowboy fell in love with them and kept bugging her to sell them. She asked me what should she do and I said "Scare him off, tell him $200." She did and he nearly ripped the rear end out of his Wranglers getting his wallet out. I have always told her I would make her another set, tomorrow I am starting on them. She has a large and growing collection of my work.
  7. Around page 69 of this document you will find what triple quenching does. Metallurgy of Steel for Bladesmiths & Others who Heat Treat and Forge Steel John D. Verhoeven Emeritus Professor Iowa State University March 2005
  8. Please, Please, Please get a Material Safety Data Sheet MSDS for everything (chemicals, metals you name it, there is one for brass hammers even) get the MSDS's and read them before you work with anything. The life you save will be your own. It only takes a minute or two to find out everything you need to know. Now with everything being on line, you don't even have to get a paper copy of them. Some of the things you wouldn't suspect are actually hazardous. Dawn Dishwashing Detergent gives off flammable vapors because of the alcohol in it. One final caution do not consider yourself a student in the scratch and sniff chemistry school. Your nose is a poor toxic gas detector and at it's worst it will work only once. Some hazardous chemicals have a high odor threshold, by the time you can smell it you are over the exposure limit.
  9. The background material was chosen by my Wife, Jackie, she used to be a photographer before her eyes went bad on her. She has a lot of talent. She is also a pretty good blacksmith helper too. The comment about the zebra pattern is cool, I was thinking about naming it the Zebra
  10. The handle is two different colors of corain counter top material, that imitation granite material. Plastic Rocks
  11. After all these years I finally made a knife for me. I made Pattern Welded blades for all my kids and grandkids for Christmas. Jackie insisted that the blades for my twins be made out of the same billet, as well as the blades for my two granddaughters in Texas, then I made a twisted pattern for my son and Jackie wanted one too. Then she decided that we should both have knives out of the same billet so here is my knife it is 48 layers of 15N20 and 1095 twisted 4 turns. I have made knives for me before and someone waved money in front of my nose and being the money grubber I am, I always took the cash. I don't know what would happen if someone offers me money for this one, it may result in my untimely demise . Anyway here it is for what it is worth, I left it laying around and the cats didn't bury it in the litter box so at least they think it is ok. The handle is pieces of Corain Counter Top with brass shims between the two colors.
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