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Stephen Asay

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About Stephen Asay

  • Birthday 07/03/1997

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  • Location
    Clemson SC,
  • Interests
    God, Family, Country, That spattered look of a blade right after a good quench, A job well done.

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  1. You sure wouldn't want to see my third knife, come to think of it I remember slicing some fingers pretty good trying to drill pin holes after sharpening the blade . It seems like you have a better grasp already. I know that handle will work well because I was playing with clay trying to design a better handle, and that is roughly the shape that comes out when you squeeze a ball of clay.
  2. Thanks, must have had the wrong link. I went ahead and started making a knife today, went pretty quick though I must have lost callous privilege because drawing out gave me a good little blister. 1/8 inch thick, about 6 inches overall. I triple normalized and quenched in water. Must have been all of the prayers or something because the heat treat went perfectly it seems. Tempering now at 400F. It is so much smaller than what I usually end up making, but I can already tell that it is going to be the best knife I have made yet. Edit: here is another picture that better shows the profile.
  3. https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=disability+kitchen+knives&rlz=1C1OPRA_enGB578GB579&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiWseK42afKAhVH0RQKHcLTCNIQ_AUIBygB&biw=1242&bih=585#imgrc=i0ZAUnlNXVTuDM: I recently came across this while looking for inspiration, sound similar to what you are thinking of, I think it works because instead of using the fingers for strength, you are pushing with the palm, so the fingers are just holding the knife steady. Instead of a wrist movement using a knife as a whole arm, almost 'punching move'. Having the blade in front of the handle would be good because of eliminating leverage. I have never used or even seen a knife like that before, so I am interested in seeing what you come up with. I guess just keep the cutting edge close to in line with the hand.
  4. I drew another, even smaller this time at under 6" overall, 2.5 inch blade and only about 3/4" wide. (150 mm long, 20 mm wide). I really like how it looks, plus with such a small and thin blade it should be relatively quick to pull off. I am going to try both scandi and full flat on this one. I may or may not make the first design, it depends on how I feel after finishing the top one.
  5. I really like the look, really crisp lines!
  6. Anecdote: I made exactly one rr spike knife (out of having over 100 rail road spikes at one point), I quenched it in cold brine and I was able to do a 2x4 chop test with it. I left the handle area square though so it gave me blisters. I leave it out by the forge to cut open bags of coal and charcoal as I need to.
  7. I really like that handle shape, you really pull it off! It sure looks like a good grip and comfortable to use!
  8. Well, Thanks so much for all of the replies, I don't feel so helpless anymore! Anyway, I decided to make a new design. I started with a lump of clay, I squeezed it in my hand to get an idea of a more natural shape handle, because to be honest all my knife handles to date are a little beyond saving. I also did some google image-fu and found some aspects I liked in other blades. I never want to plagiarize so I made sure that I made the design my own. Thinking about the use case of these knives, the blade is a lot shorter, and the handle was trimmed down too. If you need a longer blade you are either A. swinging, B Stabbing, or C. cooking, none of which was the intended purpose of this particular knife. I wanted to make a smaller fixed blade knife for more general EDC, something more comfortable to carry while still being versatile. Smaller = 10x easier to flatten, heat treat, and grind. In this case it might be a little TOO small, but I will try making one next week to see how it feels in the hand. Meanwhile someone asks me how much it would be to make a camping machete . I like scandi because it is easy to sharpen to a stub, but I can potentially regrind even after putting a handle on if it doesn't seem right. That 20 degree edge just slices through wood like butter though.
  9. Thanks. The patina is mustard, didsn't quite turn out like the pro's though. Heat treatment is a real pain right now, it is mostly what is keeping me from making more blades. I see what you mean by the grind and palm swell.
  10. So I am here waiting at the hospital (my dad is having some stones pulled). I wasn't going to post this one but I decided to get some opinions on it. The idea was to make a nice practical EDC knife, and technically it works, it is a little big, as in too big for me to want to carry it all of the time. I like how the handle turned out, but overall it is not a very pleasing shape. Practically it works great, it is just a bit... ugly. I want to get the concept of a user knife down, and I want it to not just work good, but also look good. This, well it doesn't really look like anything, does it? I am thinking of making one smaller, with a more curved handle shape, and a more gradual drop point, also thinner. Honestly I really don't know where to go from here, my knives used to be a gradual progression of small changes, there are elements that I like here, but I can't imagine them looking any good except for a complete redesign. I really like having a scandi grind, doesn't really fit overall though. So any thoughts on blade shape? Handle shape? Any opinions help, I am pretty clueless.
  11. That's gorgeous! Too nice to not use .
  12. I am honestly most impressed with how nice that handle looks, I tried to work black palm once and I said never again. I really like it, looks like a joy to use for sure!
  13. Thanks! Yeah I decided to go with about 10 degrees on each side figuring my setup was not too precise. I am really liking the utility of the blade, much better for working in the yard than a convex or full flat grind.
  14. Thanks, yeah I am also probably going to try building my own kiln at some point. I am worried that this blade and the one other I heat treated are way oversize on grain because of the unknown factor. The other blade I did has a little warp in the tang, I will try to bend it a little more straight, and if it breaks then we will know for sure. I wouldn't feel good selling a knife at handmade prices if it does not perform at least better than a $30 factory knife. Anyway, here are some finished pictures: Blade: 1075, 4.5" long, 1/8" thick, 20 degree scandi grind polished/ sharpened to 3000 grit (imperfectly). Left as quenched. Handle: Dense black mesquite with brass pins, T-88 epoxy, finished with two coats of tung oil. Hand sanded to 150 grit then polished with fine steel wool. Other notes, -I ground off the scale and wiped the tang with acetone before epoxy up to ensure a good bond, I realize now that I forgot to wipe down the pins, shouldn't be a huge deal but definitely going to in the future. -Because I shaped the scales before epoxying I ended up with some mismatches, You can see in photo #2 the shine of the tang where it extends about 1 mm out from the wood. Going to start only shaping the ends and rough profile of scales before epoxy. -The shape is not perfect, the original I think had the widest part of the blade closer to the tip and a much more abrupt and steep drop point. -As I said before their are some gaps in the fit up, I need to get better at that, to the eye it looked perfectly flat, but it clearly was not. Overall this knife took a lot of time, maybe about 15-20 hours of work, which is ridiculous considering that is not even counting the sheath. I hope to get to the point where I can make a 'simple' knife complete in one day. Anyone have any input on materials, design, execution? I would sure appreciate it.
  15. I initially put a handle on it with no epoxy to test the blade. was staying sharp but chipping too easy against hard things. I tried the brass Rod test, was chipping about .25 mm off of the edge (initial temper was only 1 hour at 375) . The hardening was done in water, I was not getting a good harden in oil. Since making this I have forged several more, one of which snapped in the water quench and warped like crazy, so I am making sure to leave the blades a little thick going into the HT. Today I got around to tempering it again (an hour at 425) Now the edge flexes instead of chipping, if flexed past about 30 degrees it sets, which I actually much prefer over chipping as it opens the possibility of stropping/steeling the blade whereas if it chips the only option is to take more material off.I might try 400 degrees for the next blades, I really need to figure out my HT first though. The one that cracked was way overheated I figured out. If it is kept from being overheated warping/cracking shouldn't be a problem. I am thinking about investing in a high temp IR thermometer for about $75. I also got around to properly fixing the handle, I used T-88 and brass pins, which were left a little long to be peened on the ends, which are applying a mechanical bond from being upset. The fit up is not perfect, about a .5 mm gap in some places, I am going o spend more time on flattening the tang in the future, also may get a disc sander after I sell a knife.
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