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Brian Vanspeybroeck

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    Moline, Illinois
  • Interests
    Electronics technician by trade, I make knives and swords, train and teach Japanese swordsmanship. I'm a dog lover and enjoy flight simulators as well.

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  1. Always the dropper tube. Not that any other type is "bad" just that I started using this stuff many years ago, found what works for me, and never experimented after that. I have been inactive as a crafter for some time and unable to connect with my artist inside but that seems to be falling aside and ideas are again flowing. I use the super thin CA glue and after a bit of experimentation in application I find that the effect rivals anything else I have ever used. I'm fondling a tanto made in 2007 potted with super thin CA on the paracord at this minute. It's as good as I left it 5 years ag
  2. Having tried lots of different things like epoxy on my handles and ended up sticking with super thin CA (super glue) as my final solution. Try it but remember to use the super thin stuff as it is thinner than water and soaks in instantly and is invisible. It will degrade in the presence of strong solvents like acetone but it works very, very well with paracord and water/blood etc. Used properly it is invisible and the wrap maintains a very natural look - it doesn't get glossy or "wet" looking. This is CA potted paracord with the guts pulled out of the cord to make a flat nylon tape. I
  3. I have a little leather case that holds a variety of ceramic rods...triangular, round, square, etc and they are all about 5 inches long or so. I always used them to dress the edges on my swords and they work exceptionally well. The key is to not alter the shape of the cutting edge or establish a bevel trying to make the blade "razor sharp". I always found the diamond sharpeners to be a little coarse for me. Wish I could remember where I got the ceramic rod set...probably at The Woodcraft Shop. Anyway, I recommend the white ceramic rods for edge dressing. Brian
  4. I finished a tachi style blade by Randal Graham back in 2006 that had way over an inch of sori in like a 28" or 29" blade...it looked a little different and was very odd in the swing but cut like a bandit. At first I really thought of it as a kind of cartoon blade but when mounted and finishd it was quite full of character and very effective (albeit extreme) as a weapon or training tool. A lot of how the final product will look depends on the mount and the tsuka length/curvature. This one was not the kind of weapon I would choose to train with but it was very attractive and functional
  5. I think we are all mostly on the same page. The only additional point I'd like to make is that different steels need different etches to bring up the possibilities. W1 that has been differentially heat treated using clay will give the best view of the various ctrystailine structures using a different final finish/etch than the same steel that has been soaked at a very low austenitizing temperature and then quenched and letting the steel harden only in the areas where it is thin enough to harden...making a hamon without clay. Same steel - different type of hardening routine with different types
  6. On etching acids...I'll add that there is no doubt that ferric can etch a blade quickly but I have found that different acids bring up different activities differently. On the W1 blades Randal Graham used to make you would ruin the appearance by using ferric...it would eat out some of the more beautiful aspects and leave some of the coolest stuff unseen. On etching, there is no "one size fits all" and I have found even on blades only finished to 220 grit (blades to be used hard or as EDC)and etched more cool stuff comes up with weaker acids than comes out with a very strong etch. Of course
  7. I have had blades shipped to me pierce the shipping boxes no matter how well wrapped or secured with bubble pack or how stout the shipping containers. I have had more than one of the blades I shipped off end up arriving with their points sticking out thru the end of the box. My solution has always been to get a 1/4" board and run a screw thru the mekugi ana with a rubber washer on it into the board and then box the board in a shipping container. If they are polished then they need to be wrapped to protect the finish. This is the only way I have been able to consistently ship long blades wi
  8. Awesome video...thanks for sharing that link as it makes my whole day. Makes me wanna get in the shop and make something. I have seen handmade bonsai shears and scissors that are truely heirloom quality/handforged. It is something we don't see much in the West anymore..people buying handmade specialized tools designed to be used for a lifetime and be precision investments that are passed along for the next generation. Somehow this appeals so much more to me than the stamped out/throw away scissors and tools we commonly see. It's kinda like when I studied swordsmanhip and true, well made/h
  9. I use an 18 quart roaster oven as a quench/temper tank. It is about 3/4 full of NitreBlue and it took me about 2 full 20 pound pails of salt to get it filled to this level. Very heavy to move as the salt is fairly dense. The good thing is that 35 - 40 lbs of molten salt has enough mass that once it settles in at temp. it *stays* at temp. Usually less than a 5 degree drift as it cycles over a long hold for austempering. Expensive to fill but it lasts a long time. The lid of the oven has a hole near the middle and I slide a high temp thermometer in there and can monitor my temp. with the who
  10. I use Brownell's Nitre Blue as a quenchant and have bought the plastic pails from Brownells to fill my tank. Can't say enough good stuff about it. It is expensive (it was expensive years ago) but it has lasted for many years now so it was really cheap. We are going on 11 years with the same salts in the quench tank. What job are you trying to do? Brian
  11. Sad to hear this. I only met him once but he was so personable and sincere I could not help but like him. I told him my swordsmanship Sensei was Obata Toshishiro and he and I were instant friends. He gave me (as in gratis...free) a video tape of Obata Sensei test cutting with one of his swords. I still have it. Obata Sensei has owned and owns swords of the highest caliber. True Nihonto treasures. But when visiting Sensei's house he always showed us his Hartsfield blade and told us it was the sharpest sword he ever held or used. It was the only sword I ever heard Sensei describe as "Sca
  12. Sweet stuff, Howard. Folders?? Brian
  13. Try saving the remains of cutting oil and fine polishing paper. I always scoop up the dark oil left over after using 1500 - 2000 grit paper and cutting oil and use it as color/nugui. I save it in a glass vial and use it as a final polish after etching and all that...works as an ultra fine polishing compound and gives some color. For some reson I saved some dark black oil ued to polish some wrought iron and in steels where there is pattern or openish grain it adds a lot of color/contrast if applied to a cotton ball and rubbed like hell on the blade. Brian
  14. So Sweet...awesome. Thanks for sharing the pictures! Brian
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