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Everything posted by tsterling

  1. Excellent piece again, Jake! Very pretty...thanks for showing
  2. No, sinew gets eaten by the dust mites in the house, and is made of tiny fibers that will continue to fray. Ancient stuff made using sinew would have required constant maintenance. Try rawhide thongs instead. Soak them in hot water for several hours until limp (that's hot from the tap, not boiling - boiling will turn the rawhide into hide glue), then wrap on tight. Rawhide is natures shrink wrap - as it dries it will shrink into place, becoming very hard. Use Fiebings oil dye while the rawhide is stll wet, then a linseed oil finish ywhen thoroughly dry and hard. After making the handle, allowing the rawhide to get wet for extended periods will soften it back up, but it's pretty durable if it doesn't stay wet for long periods - the linseed oil finish will help prevent that. I get my rawhide thong from Oregon Leather in Portland or Eugene, but Tandy probably has it as well. Here's a handle experiment I tried a while back using rawhide thong: Alternatively, you can use a rectangular piece of rawhide and wrap it around the handle, sewing the ends together with a baseball stitch, like the handle in this one. People will probably tell you to use doggie chews (the unflavored kind), but don't - get some good rawhide meant for leatherworking. The doggie chews aren't meant to last.
  3. Well, Serge, that will make the registered sax offenders on this forum happy! I like it - makes me want to gulp some mead, grab my horned helmet and go berserk....
  4. Have you thought about a Japanese style rust finish? Slow rusting, followed by boiling in water or tea to convert the active rust to a stable oxide. Nice dark finish, looks really old but refined, not something you usually see on modern knives. You can find lots of discussion on this type of patina on http://followingtheironbrush.org/index.php Elegant looking designs, I especially like the daggers and knife. Be sure to keep us up to date on your progress, Jake! Tom
  5. You're welcome, Richard! Glad you like it.
  6. Thanks for the feedback, guys! I appreciate the kind words. Don't despair, Adriaan - there's nothing here that can't be learned...
  7. Since I haven't posted much lately, I thought I'd show you what I've been up to. After taking an intermediate engraving class last summer, I've been working towards improving my engraving. This is what I've ended up with so far, sort of a "graphic novel" approach, in the style of Northwest Native Americans. Below is the first step towards the new knife. I cut it out of the 1080 (3/16 inch thick) steel bar you see below the knife, filed the blade shape and flats, and cut out the middle to lighten it up. This is a full day's work so far, not including the design and planning. Here the blade is shaped and I've carved out and textured the area in front of where the handle scales will go. Finished shaping the stainless steel scales for the handle (to be engraved with a fish scene later), and two copper pins to help secure the scales (along with epoxy). The knife, clay tempered, and etched and polished. You can see the different colors between the hard edges and the soft, creamy nougat center. My first hamon, by the way... I thought I'd try something new and add a group of copper barnacles on each side to go with the engraved design. This is my practice piece to see if my crazy idea might work. Beginning to add barnacles to the knife - these are copper pins that go all the way through the knife body and handle scales, then get peened over and shaped with punches. There's a corresponding barnacle on each side of the knife. You can see some of the progress in the image below: Finished adding the copper pins that will be the barnacles. I used my little Lindsay Palm Control pneumatic engraver with two blunt punches to forge the square-topped copper pins into the little cones that will later be carved into barnacles. You can see the two punches in the second image, one fairly large and one small. You just keep using them until you beat the copper into submission. Been carving on the copper barnacles. One side down, one to go. Finished the barnacles on both sides, here they are inked to see how they'll look when the whole thing is done. I took a break to work on another knife, while I took a stab (on paper) making the design for one side - several days of work for each side, just in the design phase - this one was just too nice to risk screwing up. I finally finished the design to be engraved on one side of the knife. The first image is how the line engraving looks before inking, and the last image has been inked. I put in the tiny secondary elements - the little plankton doodads were shoehorned into the spaces left between the major design elements- easier to do that on the fly than to try and include them in the main plan. Here I've removed and "scribble" textured the background and inked it (tiny carbide burr in my NSK micromotor grinder). This side is finished; then I had to make the design for the other side - another two days of fiddling on paper. No rest for the weary... Here's the other side with the lines cut and inked. Finished the background removal, and did the first inking. Then a little cleanup, the second inking, made a presentation box and then off to BladeGallery. You can see the knife at BladeGallery.com at this link - their photos are waaaaay better than mine!BladeGallery.com Thanks for looking!
  8. Thinking out of the box, Serge! Really attractive work, and quite original. Good on you!
  9. Good link Ric, thanks! Enjoyed the watching, they're really spectacular looking deer - but I suspect they're really just survivalist and militia deer wearing sniper snow suits in the winter, but that's just me! Of course, those in the video are albinos, ours here in the islands aren't albinos - as the pinto fawn demonstrates. You don't get partial albinism, it's either all or nothing. Tom
  10. Way cool, Serge! The ivory really lends an air of elegance, but my favorite is the ring knife - still love the steel and copper combination. How about a pic of the ring knife being held in your hand? Tom
  11. We've seen this little pinto-colored fawn several times over the last few weeks, but haven't been able to get photos until today, poor as this image is. There is a race of white deer (not albinos) that are on the San Juan, Fidalgo and Whidbey islands (Washington the state, not the puzzle palace), so obviously there is a little of that in this fawn's background! And its' sibling is a normal looking brown fawn, although we're wondering if the pinto fawn is an adopted orphan because we haven't seen these two together before and the two are very different sizes. Everybody say "AWWWWWWWW"
  12. Wow! Really excellent work, Jiri! Won't you please tell us how you do the carving/forging of the faces? Thanks for showing. Tom
  13. Hi Stew, Well, I don't know about period dagger design, but I can help with the knotwork. Since you seem interested in Celtic interleaved design, above is an animated GIF that quickly illustrates the method I use for making Celtic line designs - an (almost!) foolproof system of circles and lines that naturally develop into the over/under ribbons. I have a free tutorial for the basic method posted here (called Celtic Plaitwork) and based on some VERY simple rules: http://www.handengravingforum.com/showthread.php?t=6047 To see the images in the tutorial, you'll have to register on the forum, but it's free. In the interest of full disclosure, I do sell a tutorial for the advanced methods known as cutwork and circles - this is not intended as an advertisement. Tom
  14. Depends on what you're calling rattan. Basket weavers use rattan in one of two forms - if the weaving stuff is split from the interior of the rattan vine, it's called reed, and if it is split from the surface, it's called cane (has a shiny surface, and is probably what you're talking about, like for chair seats and wrapping knife handles). Basket making suppliers have dyes for reed (can also use Rit fabric dye from the supermarket), and you can do a Google search for instructions. However, cane doesn't dye well - that shiny surface is pretty water resistant. There is a smoked cane (dark brown) you can buy - I have no idea how you might smoke it yourself (definitely not in your pipe - they add bad stuff to cane and reed to deter insects... ) Hope this helps Tom
  15. Aha! I fugured there must be some secret - I never noticed the little hole. Must be old age... Thanks for the sizes - I guess I'll have to make an order and get some hardware, it's barking at my heels to make one of these and see how it's done. Thanks, Serge. Tom
  16. Hi Serge, I've been enjoying following your experiments in folding knives. I see lots of potential in these, especially taking your creative skills and applying them to the folder scales. I know some of our makers here aren't thrilled with screws (nor am I), but I don't really see a practical way to avoid them. I'm wondering if these screws can be engraved (like screws are engraved on high-end gun engraving), or maybe textured (being careful not to disturb the slots and interfering with driving them). I've been thinking about making folders for some time, but every time I would go look at the supply sites that provide hardware, the sheer number of choices seem daunting. Would you mind adressing the sizes and types of hardware you've used on these, and where you got them? For example, in the first knife shown in this thread, I see two sizes of screws (torx, I guess?) and a thumb stud. What sizes are those, and what sort of drills/reamers/taps did it take to make those work? What size/kind of pivots do you recommend, and how do you trim those to the appropriate size? Also, again for the first knife, you have an image from the back into the interior, but I don't see a spring to keep the blade sprung closed (I do see the frame lock spring) - how does that work, or am I missing something? Enquiring minds want to know more - I envision these would make excellent canvases for engraving and carving. Looking forward to seeing how all of this evolves. Tom
  17. Hi Jake, I use Steve Lindsay's template sharpening system on my gravers, and usually M-42 steel gravers. You might check into the sharpening system, which you can use with a mandrel and diamond lap in a drill press, so no need for lots of equipment. Having well sharpened gravers with repeatable geometry is a real treat, and the template system is dead easy, and foolproof even for me. The universal point (about 120 degrees wide) is what you want for V-groove cuts, and flats for basic carving. This style of wide V-graver has a pretty sturdy point. I just make a handle from mild steel rod, with 1/8 inch diameter hole in the end, with a set screw to hold the 3/32 inch square gravers for hammer and chisel engraving. Here's a link, look a little short of halfway down the page: http://airgraver.com/Hand_Engraving_Tools_Overview.htm
  18. Crisp, excellent craftsmanship, and done with an artistic eye. Good job, Serge!
  19. Never despair, Adriaan - everything you see here is strictly a learned skill. I don't believe in talent, I believe solely in commitment and patience... Tom
  20. Thanks for the kind words, guys. I really appreciate the feedback.
  21. This is my latest project, an engraved small push dagger. I call it the "Maiden of Deception Pass." The shape and subject is based on a Native American legend about one of the most beautiful places on earth, Deception Pass (on Whidbey Island, Washington, USA) about 20 miles North of where I live. You can read the legend here (towards the bottom of the page): http://www.sterlingsculptures.com/Web_Knives_folder/Knife_107.htm The blade is 1080 carbon steel, hand carved in my "knapped steel" style, and the overall length is about 3 5/8 inches. The hand engraved scales are 416 stainless steel, with copper pins. Thanks for looking!
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