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Blake McFarland

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Posts posted by Blake McFarland

  1. I actually wanted to do this at the very start. I decided that I would not be able to carve the inside of the mouth/teeth and the wideness of the mouth would leave empty space on the sides of the blade. The handle would not be proportionate because the thinner end section of the shark.  Maybe I can figure out a way to do it in the future, but those are some of the reasons why I did not do that. I have been trying to think of another animal/carving where I can make the blade come out of a set of mouth ect... any ideas?

  2. Update: I ended up buying this smaller battery off amazon:


    The only thing you need is a cheap battery charger to re-charge it once it dies. 

    I would recommend this as a cheap starter kit for metal etching. For my first metal etch I did this axe head. I spent about 15 minutes on both sides to get the etch, however after taking off the vinyl I realized I should have worked on both sides for around 30 minutes to get the etch I wanted. I ended up going over the etch with a rotary tool to make it a little deeper. 



  3. Hey guys,

    I thought I would share my latest project. I bought this axe for $5 at the local flea market and really wanted to make it stand out. I decided to construct it more like a knife where I put a steel tang throughout the entire handle. For the handle, I used Walnut and Maple pieces to give a good color contrast. This was my first time trying metal etching. I love how the etch worked, however I wish I would have etched it even longer to get a deeper depression in the metal. To get an even deeper etch, and add a little more design, I took a rotary tool and bored it out even further. I then put some super blue on to darken the depression. After that I needed to test the weapon in slow motion of course!

    Overall, I am happy with how this axe turned out and I would love to hear your what you guys think / what you would have done differently.

    Full Timelapse Video-


  4. 9 hours ago, Brian Dougherty said:

    Nice job on the carving, that is something I am not very good at.

    My first thought echoes Brandon's.  It would tie it all together if it had a guard where the finger curl of the guard was a stylized lower part (fin?)of the tail, and the blade were a bit more swoopy to form the top part of the tail.

    Google thresher shark, and you'll get the idea immediately.

    Awww Yes I see it. Next time Ill have to try that! 

  5. 2 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

    You can indeed just use a battery.  Of course, then you'll need a charger anyway... ;)

    Radio Shack used to have a book called "building power supplies" that was pretty good.  I built the supply for an electrolysis tank from those plans, and you could probaby etch with it as well.  It's been 24 years since I did that, I should see if I can find it...

    Haha I know! Sometimes technology just sucks! I ended up getting a small Alarm Battery. Waiting for it in the mail. I will give an update once I try it. I wish radio shacks were around still. 

    57 minutes ago, dragoncutlery said:

    Thank you this will help for sure. I like the plug and play option. I will try that if my battery fails. Thanks for the info!

  6. 1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

    I agree it needs a visual connection, and I think a bolster may help.  But not just a plain bolster, maybe a cast (or sculpted) shark tail that wraps over the spine of the blade?  Had it been a smooth steel blade, even a bit of engraving to suggest a tail might have worked.

    And if you want to sound knowledgeable, that's not a file.  It's a farrier's hoof rasp, used to shape and level horses hooves when shoeing them.  They're not as hard as actual files, so you're probably good on the temper.

    Thanks for the feedback. I actually spent countless hours trying to incorporate a tail into this piece and just couldn't figure out anything that would work... I originally wanted the shark facing the opposite direction with the blade coming out of the mouth, and the tail being the back end of the handle. I would not be able to carve the shark mouth though. I also wanted to try and carve the entire shark, but the knife to handle ratio would be very very awkward. I will try and practice more on conventional handles in the near future.

    The Farriers hoof rasp... Good to know. Thanks!

    41 minutes ago, dragoncutlery said:

    a tail guard or the blade shaped to be a tail would tie it together nicely

    Im going to have to do some more research and practice on guards!

  7. 11 hours ago, steven smith said:

    It looks pretty sharky to me, the handle is very nicely done and the blade looks good too.

    I like it.

    the blade profile looks like a shark, imagine an eye under the peak of the clip and a toothy grin at the tip. 

    If the blade is too hard and it chips you could probably just temper it in an oven at 380-450 degrees, someone else who is more familiar with files could give you a more accurate time and temperature. 


    Thank you. I will look into tempering for my next knife. 

  8. 20 minutes ago, Garry Keown said:

    To be brutally honest (and it is just my opinion - humble or otherwise)  there is no connection between the blade and the handle. Not withstannding your very real talent as a carver etc, this is two seperate "things" somehow put together and for me it simply dosent work

    I appreciate the honesty. That is why I am here on this forum with experienced knife makers. I have no experience so all the criticism helps. How would you approach connecting the handle and blade better? A bolster? 


  9. I am very new to knife making and I want to try metal etching. It seems almost everyone uses car battery chargers. I have already went to 3 different stores and have tried 4 different battery chargers. They will not work because in order for them to give an output they need to sense the alligator clamps on an actual battery with minimal charge. Is there any specific battery charger that you can purchase new that works? What If I just get a regular car battery and alligator clam from that? 

    I have looked on craigslist and all the various sites and cannot seem to find an old one. 


    Any insight will help.

    Thank you!


  10. Hey everyone. I am new to this forum. My name is Blake and I am a sculptor artist who specializes in recycled and strange materials. I have recently been intrigued with knife making and decided to put a bit of a spin on it for my first knife. I wanted to create a carved handle that replicated a shark. Now you may be thinking "how do you hold it with the fin"? I can actually hold the knife fairly comfortable with the fin resting right in front of my thumb and pointer finger. With that being said, this knife is more of a "show" knife than actual use. As for the blade, I used a old file and I was un-able to heat treat because I do not know anybody in my area that has a forge. I was sure to try and keep the file cool as I ground and cut it. If anybody knows someone with a forge near Fresno CA I would love to connect!

    Anyways, Just wanted to share and hope you guys like it!

    I also have a FULL TIMELAPSE video on the entire process of this build. Link below! Check it out if you have a chance. I would love to hear what you guys think. Thank you!



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