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Martin Brandt

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Everything posted by Martin Brandt

  1. Aiden CC, Wonderful work. I'm especially inspired by indigenous blades also. Have been working on Puukkos and Leukus lately. I have also used the soft steel for better peining of the tang end as well, but I learned from my knifemaking mentor to silver braze the soft iron to the blade. The joint is as strong as the steel if done correctly, and heat is more isolated, and no large grown grain as in forge welding, however it's not period correct for older knives. Common nails are an easy source for almost pure iron, less carbon than mild steel. Nice work.
  2. Russ Evans, Flooring installers for oak, and other hardwood scraps. It's hard and pretty dry, and already has one good flat side. I do service work around town so I stop at many tree trimming jobs during or after to ask about taking some pieces of hardwood. Many hate to see so much great wood be fed into the chipper, and being hands on working guys, will sometimes cut a few pieces for you to take, or some leave good wood at curbside here for others to take for firewood. Be polite and explain your interests to the workers, or homeowner, and many are happy to allow you to take wood. As a
  3. I learned from my friend Wayne Goddard (50+ yrs. a knifemaker) that no wood is ever to be considered dry until it has spent a year or two in your dry box, or in side the house exposed to your furnace warm air vent, even if the seller swears it has been cut for 10 yrs. If a large block of dense wood like ebony, snake wood rosewoods etc. better to cut them up to useable sizes before their (quarintine) in the dry box or the inside pieces may still have an unexceptably high moisture content. Having cut and dried hundreds of pounds of local woods myself, (oak crotch, maple, holly, walnut, and
  4. Regarding welding hardenable steel. Bring the steel up to tempering temp. 400F or so, then weld and let cool. A second heat and temper wouldn't hurt for safety. The weld puddle will be over the quenching temp for hardening and without pre heating the surrounding steel in effect acts as a heat sink and quenches the puddle and surrounding steel and hardens it, but with large coarse grain and no temper. A pre heat at least tempers the new martensite and reduces stress a bit. Triple normalizing should relieve stress and reduce grain size even more, and if you can overweld and forge it down
  5. RobToneguzzo, That great flexing butter knife most likely has a hardness of about Rc. 45. I've tested several old and newer ones and that's about where they test out. Great flex as they are "spring tempered". Not the best for super edge holding, but hey that's what butcher's steels are for. Many butchers prefer a softer blade that will steel easily and the wire edge is what is doing the cutting.
  6. Alex Middleton, The burl needs to be completely dry before stabilizing. A piece can be dried in the microwave oven carefully if one's in a big hurry, but this is not practical for many pieces. Look up microwave drying of wood in wood turning sites for info.
  7. Ha, I'm from Springfield too, only in Oregon. Your first try at San Mai looks a lot like my firsts to. My core was all over the place, on one side on one edge, and running out to the surface the other way on the other edge. My hammering isn't as uniform as I'd like. My next ones I just forged it as bar stock and ground to shape checking the centering of the core as I went and those worked out better. Your use of the cable as the outside is wise as small diameter cable will be rather low carbon after forge welding, and this will make better sides for pattern and flexible strength. Next
  8. Did you forge to shape, or forge just to a bar then stock removal? When I tried to forge to shape I found I had trouble keeping the core centered. This process really exposes how much my strikes are different from one side to the other. I had to just forge to flat bar/spatula shape then stock removal, checking for core centering as I went. Your choice of materials sure created a stark contrast. Great experiment, and good job.
  9. Just cut them off and if you have a band saw cut to size or just a bit oversize for knife handle blocks. I usually orient the best looking areas so that the eyes are on the sides of the handle block. You cannot do that to all of the burl, but I try to get the densest and nicest pieces cut this way. Seal with a wax emulsion available from Woodcraft Supply and let dry stacked with separation for airflow in a cool shaded place with no breezes for at least 1 year per inch of thickness. This is for average woods like maple, however some woods like Madrone or Oak can have high levels of stress
  10. Aiden CC, Good luck on your birch bark sheath. There is one good tutorial on youtube for a bark sheath. He copies an old sheath he has. It is very good up until the end where the sheath narrows down, and he ends there without showing you how to finish the very end of the sheath. I figured out that you need to cut your strips a bit narrower there and weave them in and around the bottom. Also a heat gun is really a big help to soften and make more pliable the strips for certain areas. Heat softens the tars in the bark and helps prevent breakage, especially for tight bends, and where you
  11. Thank you for the picture George. The puukko is nothing more than an EDC knife from many years ago, little more than a stout paring, fish cleaning, small bird and trout, minimalist hunting and whittling knife. The Leatherman of its day. So many indigenous knives are so similar to this with small differences in local style. The exposed shoulders of many old maasepans nothing more than showing that that was as far as they could drive the blade in after burning it in and driving the pitch glued tang in. They weren't concerned about how the collector market would view their imperfections, th
  12. You might try a simple wax resist, salt water, and transformer etch for a mark. Wayne Goddard shows how in his book, The Wonder of Knifemaking, pg. 72.
  13. Last of all are you certain that was mild steel, (Spark tested), for lack of a more certain pedigree. If more carbon than mild it would be even more prone to cracking if forged tool cool. just my 2 cents worth. In either case it looks like forging too cool.
  14. A nice little knife. The blade looks a bit out of alignment with the straight handle though, and you might reconsider your makers mark. It is a bit huge and overpowering. Suggest looking into a simple wax resist and a saltwater and battery charger etched mark as taught by Wayne Goddard. It's simple to do, and costs next to nothing to assemble. My first setup was an old charger that melted down from some ones malfunction. I had to put new wires on it, but got it free. Another option is a professionally made stamp of appropriate size. I like the etched mark as I can size it for each knife. Also
  15. Coming along nicely. Be sure to post when it's done.
  16. Beautiful blade. Was the wrap 2 piece, or split up the middle and the Damascus inserted? It looks like a blade useable for many things.
  17. Beautiful work! The blades have that chatoyant quality I really like. Also look like the pinch area should feel right working with these. Question? How did you s. solder and etch? Did you use some sort of sealer or mask over the copper? Or did you solder after etching, something I'd be very nervous doing.
  18. Good start, but I have some concerns with the handle. Some cedar is pretty, but is too soft usually, and yours has some large cracks that would not bode well for the cleanliness necessary in food prep. You want a good hardwood that doesn't indent much if at all when you press your thumbnail into it and slide it along, and you don't want cracks or other gee gaws that will trap food particles, grease etc. and be difficult to clean. That being said, there are lots of old butcher, and food prep knives from days past that had lots of seams that were open, and most who used them lived afterwards.
  19. Perusing old puukko posts, and saw these dilemma's and thought I'd post in case others have these problems. Jake is right, correct as you go frequently, and don't forge too thin on the edge, but sometimes we don't always perform perfectly and help is needed. That's where a good thwocker, or schwuaker, or club is handy. I make them out of oak 1 1/2-2" thick x 14" long and 4-5" wide tapering back to about 3", and a handle. Other hardwoods are great too. I chainsaw them to approx. thickness, dry a yr. or two, bandsaw out, sand on 46 grit belt, fill cracks with super glue, sand again. The w
  20. Almost forgot!!! If you repurpose a microwave oven. Read up on the internal parts, as there is a High Voltage Capacitor in there that holds a charge that can KILL YOU if you touch the wrong parts. It must be shorted out (while unplugged) to remove the charge. You must do this properly or you get fried, NOT GOOD! Do not operate a micro wave with the cabinet off, (you get Microwaved) the cabinet is the shielding. The story about the bowyer cutting holes in and out the sides of his micro was setting himself up for some brain cooking as well unless he was outside the building when operating
  21. I dry wood in mine from time to time, but you have to go real slow and not get it too hot, just a little warm on lower pwr. settings. Always try scrap pieces first so as not to wreck good stuff. Generally woods that check and split badly drying normally will also do so micro drying. Softer open pored woods like maple, hickory, etc are pretty tolerant. I make my own hammer handles from oak, or hickory used and broken axe, shovel,etc. handles if they are big enough to repurpose. When handling a hammer I dry the handle completely in the micro before wedging it on so that it is as dry as it w
  22. Scott, Yes, making a living and lifes obligations can certainly put a crimp in artistic pursuits. Big sigh.
  23. Three Sisters, They would look right at home drilled and hung along with some early American trade beads on a period sheath with a long hunter style knife and fringed rawhide covered sheath. IMHO Martin
  24. Scott, I've been going down this path a bit as well, and have learned from some of these makers that it is alder bark dust, or pine bark dust. Alder is the russet, and pine bark the black. They are applied with a little spit and rubbed in with a finger. I had done some beginning work like you, finding my way, and used alder bark dust and some Deft lacquer, mixed into a paste and filling the deeper cuts up to just past level to allow for shrinkage during drying. Then sanded with a small block and very fine paper to level. My early cuts were with triangle needle files for cuts around the h
  25. Jim and or Scott, Have you ever carved Holly or Red Photinia. Photinia is a hedge wood that is quite dense and very fine grain with no visible ring porosity. Holly also very fine grain and no ring porosity. I get the photinia locally after they are pruned. Both dry with minimal checking compared to some woods. I've been saving some up for carving but haven't begun much yet. Just wondered if you've used either and what your thoughts were compared to boxwood.
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