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Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

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Everything posted by Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

  1. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Making a great bellows

    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. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    TMS Bladesmithing Competition

    Well the kids, young men and ladies, from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology finished up their entry for the TMS Bladesmithing Competition Sunday here at my house. They etched the blade on my Dining Room Table. All I am sure of is the blade is harder than Chinese Arithmetic. It is sort of a Middle Eastern Dagger with an ebony handle and pure silver trim. Sorry I don't have a picture I will get one and post it later. This little school won the competition two years ago, beat out places like MIT Colorado School of Mines and a bunch of others. They are trying to duplicate steel from an early era with their crucible steel. There is some pattern that forms when the steel hardens and in order to keep that pattern whatever it is the steel had to be worked at a pretty cool temp. I watched them beat on a piece of it for an hour with 2 8 lb hammers and get next to no where. Thank goodness they had access to a power hammer out at Fire Steel Forge in Piedmont. Anyway wish them luck, the competition is in San Antonio in March. I am glad I was able to help in a small way, mostly I just pointed them in the right direction and got out of their way. There are a couple little cosmetic things that need to be cleaned up on it and they probably have done it by now. If you look in the dictionary for perfectionist, there is a picture of Aaron, the project leader. He graduated in December but he is sticking around till March for the competition in Texas before he starts looking for a real job. He has lived and breathed this project for 2 years.
  3. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    TMS Bladesmithing Competition

    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.
  4. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Another Hunter...

    Magnificent
  5. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Just a Rant

    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. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Just a Rant

    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.
  7. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Frame Handled Fighter (been some time since I posted)

    That is one beautiful knife and the sheath is awesome too
  8. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Just a Rant

    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.
  9. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Pricing Questions

    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.
  10. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    My Knife

    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.
  11. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    tripple quenching vs tripple normalising

    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
  12. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Things you might not know can kill you

    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.
  13. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    My Knife

    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
  14. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    My Knife

    The handle is two different colors of corain counter top material, that imitation granite material. Plastic Rocks
  15. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Flame-Edge Serpent Seaxes - Finished

    Great job. You do wonderful work.
  16. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Antler Neck Knife

    I think it is terrific. Love the handle.
  17. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Strange Tool

    Ok I finally got off my rear and got a picture of this thing, does anyone know what it is?
  18. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Custom sword

    Awesome piece of work. The sword is amazing and the scabbard is beautiful.
  19. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Cracked Blade

    I mentor the Students at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Blacksmith Club. Last week Zack came over to my house on Sunday along with a couple other guys to work on knives. He finished the rough shaping of his blade on my belt sander and then we heat treated the blade. After we tempered it, we noticed a crack. The crack ran lengthwise down the center of the blade clear thru the blade and more than half way to the tang. It almost looked like a forge weld came delaminated but this was a piece of leaf spring and as far as we know it had never been forge welded. Any ideas on what would cause a crack like that? I told him he could split it the rest of the way and make two very thin knives I told him to find someone at the school who could do a failure analysis but I would appreciate any advice any of you could give me.
  20. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Cracked Blade

    Doug, I will take a picture of it next time I am at the College and post it. Joshua, Rich is a member of the AZ knifemakers guild, he has made their guild blade several times. That is a blade for each member and available only to members. I don't think Rich is a member of the Arizona association, however he used to teach a farrier's class at Glendale Community College. He is a retired Captain from the Glendale Fire Dept.
  21. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Cracked Blade

    The Saga of Zack's cracked blades continues. There are none so blind as those who refuse to see and there are none so uninformed, a polite choice of words on my part, as those who refuse to ASK. I went to the Blacksmith Club at the School of Mines yesterday and Zack showed me the new knife he is working on he said that it had some microscopic cracks running lengthwise on the spine of the blade. He said he had researched it on the internet and he found that springs tend to crack like that from use. That is true. But this is the third blade he has cracked in much the same manner. I asked him what he quenched this one in and he said oil. I asked him what temperature he quenched it from. he said it was bright yellow when I took it out of the forge and it was still orange when I got it to the oil. "Houston we have a problem." The world is going to run out of leaf springs before Zack gets a knife made. I told him to check the next one with a magnet and when it goes non magnetic quench it then. Zack asked me if his blade was worth finishing since he had a couple weeks into it. I took it and gave it a quick soak in ferric chloride. Then rinsed the blade off with hot water and when it dried I carded the spine off with some fine sand paper. It showed little micro cracks all over the spine. I told him it was his knife but if it were mine I would junk it. The club has a tool that I have never seen before. it is like a flatter but with a face about 8 or 9 inches square and over an inch thick. It weighs around 10 pounds or so. It is not designed to be struck with a hammer like a flatter. Any ideas on what it is. I thought it might have been used to flatten sheets of steel, get the warps out of them. There was an ad in Craig's list a guy in Hill City had some band saw blades to give away. I went up there on Thursday. Lord Love A Duck! I got a whole pickup box full. they are 1 1/4 inch wide and when broken and laid out, 13 feet long. There was 66 of them. I chopped them up into 1 foot pieces today to use them in pattern welded blades. He showed me a box that one came in, they are double hard not bi-metal. I told him I would make him a knife, he wants a drop point hunter with an antler handle. I am not wild about antlers but he will get one.
  22. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Cracked Blade

    So when I painted the beater hammers red, I got some red paint on my hand. Isaac said be sure you don't do anything illegal on your way home, you will be caught red handed. Then he said "what do you call a cracked blade?" I said I don't know, he said "A Zackto knife" I need to have a talk with that kid. :)
  23. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Cracked Blade

    Great picture Joshua. One of my treasured pictures is of Me, Junior Strassil and Cheryl, baby anvil. Taken in Jr.s shop in Fall City, Nebraska a few years back. Cheryl had a heart attack and they did an auction to raise money for her. I donated a Damascus blade to the auction. Then a while later I took an Oxygen Concentrator that my wife used before she passed away down to Junior so his wife could use it instead of relying on expensive bottled oxygen. Jr. Cheryl and I got together in his shop to play in the fire for a while before I left for home. I see you are in New River, AZ do you know Rich Hale in Glendale by any chance. He is a great guy and makes beautiful knives. Look him up in you don't already know him. My son lives in Prescott Valley, AZ and every time we go to AZ Jackie and I stop by to see Rich and spend some time with him. He has taught me a lot.
  24. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Cracked Blade

    I think the mystery has been solved. I went to the school of mines blacksmith club this afternoon. Zack had another blade he made from a different piece of leaf spring. The thing is about 10 inches long, blade, and 3 inches wide by 1/4 inch thick. He edge quenched this one, in oil, then at about a black heat he water quenched the blade and it split from stem to stern right down the middle. There were numerous stress cracks in the blade from hammering it when it was too cold. I took the mess in my hands and broke the tang off with my fingers. Lord love a Duck, in all my years I have never cracked a blade that bad. I think I have had a couple that broke in half from a little stress crack but that thing was as close to an explosion as you can get without having shrapnel involved. The first blade he oil quenched at my place and I told him when it was cool to take it to the sink and scrub the oil off the blade with some fast orange hand cleaner. Evidently it wasn't cold when he did the scrub and the crack opened up after it was tempered. Anyway thanks for the help. I took a bunch of grinding machines, angle grinders and belt sander, down there today and we dressed up the faces of the anvils and the hammers. Then I painted the beater hammers, ones used for striking other tools like chisels and punches RED. trying to teach them not to use good smithing hammers for beaters. Now we are going to mark the weight on each anvil and mark the maximum weight of the hammer that should be used on them. I have heard of a 50:1 ratio but I think a 40:1 will be ok. The anvils there have been getting some serious abuse. Another kid has been forging a blade out of a farrier's rasp for 3 weeks now. He quenched that in oil today and it didn't seem to get as hard as he wanted. Who knows he may have had one of those made in Bangladesh case hardened wonders. Anyway he decided to quench that in water. Evidently it had some carbon in it because it cracked in more places than a squirrel stores nuts. Tuesday I am giving that bunch a knife making class. Lord help me One young lady decided he wanted to make a war axe that her favorite super hero carries. She had a piece of 2 inch square bar about 16 inches long. She asked me for some advice. I told her to cut it to about 12 inches, upset one end till the whole thing is about 1o inches. That is the size she wanted, and then slit an eye in it and forge the blade. She took off to the Mechanical lab and came back in a few minutes with the thing cut to 12 inches and said don't worry about the eye, I can machine that. To say the least I was impressed. Anyway several of the big guys helped her get the thing upset and they all started forging the cutting edge. All I did was hold the metal on the anvil for them. This will be interesting when it's done. She is very determined. I asked her where she got the steel and she said it was a piece of hot rolled that has has been laying around the machine lab for years. Evidently it is mild steel.
  25. Richard A. (Woody) Hanson

    Cracked Blade

    I remember hearing about that accident Joshua, so sorry
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