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Chris Christenberry

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  • Location
    Central Oklahoma
  • Interests
    Firearms, camping, photography, wood carving, and now maybe smithing.

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  1. I think it is very nice.............especially since it's your first "whole" knife. I like the over all shape of the handle and the pins are a nice touch. It looks to me (I could be incorrect) that you added a piece to your handle to make that section that overhangs the blade. If that's correct, I think it might have been a nice touch to make that add-on out of Ebony for contrast. I also think some more time with finer sandpaper grits and a buffer (if you wanted a mirror-polished blade) would have spiffed it up a little bit. If high polish isn't your fancy, then I'd say just don't stop sanding until you are in the 1000 grit range. Good job. You ought to be proud.
  2. Jim, you did a beautiful job on making that knife look more like a sculpture than most knives. Very impressive work. I'm sure Don is proud of the work you did.
  3. Oh, believe me, I realize how generous he is. I've been prodding him to put in a "kitty" for the use of his gas, steel and equipment. He just laughs at me. He said "just bring in a case of pop, water, or sacks of candy occasionally to keep the troops happy" so he doesn't have to buy all that crap. He either won the lottery, just received a large inheritance or has a wealthy benefactor................I don't know which, but what I do know is he's a nice guy who should never be taken advantage of. Here are a couple of good examples of his generosity: The first night I stopped by his shop during the gathering, I took my railroad anvil to ask if it was good enough for forging knives. I had only leveled half of the top surface (about a "hundred" years ago) when I owned a business that included a machine shop. He said, heck yeh, but the entire surface needs to be flat. Told him I couldn't afford right now to take it to a machine shop to have that done. He grabbed it out of my hands and said to follow him. Took it to his 2x72 belt surface grinder and in about 15 minutes it had a perfectly flat surface. When I asked what I owed him he just said forget it. While I was there last Thursday night, I took with me an old adjustable wrench (been in my family since I was but a wee one) to see if It would make a good twister if I welded on a second handle. It is in perfect, pristine condition. He said he'd shoot me if I wasted a nice tool like that on a twister. So he took me to a dark shed out back and managed to pull a nasty, rusty old wrench out of the mud floor next to a pile of other rusty old junk and gave it to me. Asked if I could clean it up good enough to use. I told him it'd be like new when I brought it back. Once again, when I asked what I owed him. He simply said it would be one less piece his wife would have to try and sell after he died, so take it. It looks like a new one today and I'm looking forward to his surprise this Thursday night. He's quite a guy and in talking with other people in the group, it seems he is responsible for hundreds of new people getting involved in blacksmithing (at one level or another) in our area. It's dedicated teachers and people like that who make me proud to be a part of the teaching community.
  4. Eric, that hammer head is looking great. I know you are proud of it. Jeremy, thanks for the video. I can learn a whole lot from watching guys like you "do what you do". Very informative and great fun to watch.
  5. Thanks to both of you. I realize I've a ton to learn and lots of questions to ask, which is why I'm asking. Thankfully, there are about a dozen experienced blacksmiths in this group who, for the most part, work with we neophytes. Sometimes it's one-on-one and sometimes it's just a comment or two when they pass by the anvil. That's why, even though I have no idea what to do, I'm not hesitant to buy a chunk of 4140 and get one of the "old guys" to walk me through the process. There are more power hammers, sanders, surface grinders, gas forges, induction heaters and anvils in the building than can be used all at once. There are more racks of hand hammers, and tongs than I ever expected to see in one room. The owner just sits and grins at everyone getting to forge and use all his tools. He wants everyone to treat the shop as if it were their personal shop. " Use any tool you want.......and if you don't know how to use it, just ask." That's what he told me the first night I stopped by. As far as jumping off the deep end..................well, right or wrong, that's what I typically do. I ask a lot of questions and dive in. I fully understand my limitations, but sometimes rolling up my sleeves and "doing it" is how I learn. It's just not in my nature to do it the smart way and begin with beginners projects. Sometimes it's my downfall...........but I'm learning all the while.
  6. Thank you, Alan. I've been reading what I can find, but had never come across 1018 or A36, which is why I asked the question. Your answer was helpful.
  7. Ask an honest beginners question and get a smart a** answer. Not something I'd expect from someone who claims to be a teacher in his own blacksmithing school. I feel sorry for your students.
  8. That's the first time I've heard those two mentioned. Why would you recommend those over 1045 or 4140?
  9. And since I am a total newbie, what are you considering "mild steel"?
  10. Okay, so I'm a newbie. Got to put metal in a gas-fired oven for the first time last week. That's the extent of my experience with the craft!!! While at the forge that evening, one of the guys had a new dogs head hammer. It was this one: https://picclick.com/DIY-Japanese-Blacksmith-Hammer-25-lb-Dog-302936320583.html Nice looking hammer, but didn't quite satisfy my desire for one. I like the more traditional Sawmakers Dogs Head hammer shape. But in talking with people and researching dogs head hammers, I've stumbled across a lot of videos of folks forging them. Looks like a lot of fun and doesn't look all that hard to do. (remember, I said I'm a newbie...........that makes me also naive!) I have access to all the tools and equipment at this Thursday night gathering I've started attending. I've been researching metals for the project and have found the consensus of many is that 1045 makes a good hammer head. It's also very forgiving in the heat treating department. (that should be helpful for a newbie) So is 1045 a good one...............or am I headed in the wrong direction?
  11. Oh, and I might add, Owen, I've had a link to your website on my desktop fro some time now. I only wish I could afford one of your hammers. You've been highly recommended by several people.....................your name even came up during the "gathering" last Thursday evening.
  12. Thanks to you guys. I appreciate your experience input. I'm a newbie, for sure and have miles to go before I can lay claim to any real knowledge about bladesmithing.
  13. Yup, I already had that link. That's one of the heads one of the guys at the blacksmithing group was using. Said he loved it.
  14. Not sure this is the correct forum, so if it's not, someone with the "powers that be", please move it. Having never pushed hot metal, I joined a local blacksmith's organization recently so I could become exposed to forge, fire and tools. Last night at the gathering, I noticed several guys using Japanese made dog head hammers. In asking questions, a lot of accolades were made about what they "did" for the smith. One of the fellows mentioned it was a typical shape used by the Japanese bladesmiths. Interesting. Anyone on the forum use them and have any comments......pro/con......about them?
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