Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by tsterling

  1. Nice work, John. How did you attach the steel talons to the bronze? if solder, what kind?
  2. Thanks for the help, guys. I like the sound of the lighting the oil tempering - lots of flame sounds right up my alley!
  3. I want to make a "Mountain Man" folder - you know the ones, antler handle with an external spring. I have Gene Chapman's book of instructions, but he doesn't mention how to heat treat the spring. Should I harden and draw at 425 degrees F like a knife blade, or what? Also, I have 1095, 1075/1080, welded cable, and mild stel available - which would work best for the spring? Thanks in advance.
  4. Hi Rik, I use a lot of ivory (mostly fossil) in my work, and you should think of it as identical to a dense and very brittle wood. It swells and contracts with moisture, it has grain, it absorbs liquids, it cracks and discolors with age, it has soft spots and hard spots, it will craze if it gets hot (like in polishing). If you are going to use through pins for slab handles, I wouldn't peen them in place (you'll crack the ivory), just epoxy them. Treat ivory like a delicate lady. Any user who is mistreating an ivory handled knife deserves what they will get, anyway. I often use a wood oil finish (like Watco natural/clear, or plain thinned linseed oil 50/50 mix) on my wood and ivory pieces, and usually don't see problems in the ivory portions. Oil will change the ivory surface appearance, just like it will for wood. I don't think I would try for any really significant oil or resin penetration like in stabilizing. My two cents.
  5. Nice work, Patrick. We are going to see some beginner tutorials about how to do what Ford taught you, aren't we? <Strong Hint!> Otherwise, I suspect there are going to be a lot of folks camped out at Ford's house...
  6. Hi Raymond - Hammerin next week? Haven't heard - where and when?
  7. Hi Raymond, I did a double take as well when I saw your picture! I went back to the iForge tutorial I used making my hawk, and lo and behold, your photo above is the finished example at the end of that tutorial. I liked that photo much better than the hammer-style hawk the tutorial was making, and altered my design. Small world...thanks for being the inspiration. And to all the guys saying such nice things, thanks for the encouragement. It's nice being a part of a community of craftsmen who aren't stingy with "protected knowledge." Freely distributed information and help gladly provided is something so many craft and art communities are sadly lacking. Guess the world in general could use more of the attitudes I see here on Bladesmith’s forum. Many thanks for your kindness!
  8. Finally got around to scanning in my first forging - a railroad spike tomahawk. You guys have been a bad influence on me - now I'm hooked. 20 inches overall length, the head/blade is 8 inches overall, with bocote handle, fossil ivory and desert ironwood end caps, rawhide Turk’s head wrappings (thanks to Tai Goo for the wrapping tutorials). Seems to look pretty good on the outside, you just don't see the difficulties inside the eye. Also had to make a drift and hot slitter. The hot slitter I started with was a cold chisel - learned that cold chisels don't do a good job slitting hot metal with their wide edge, then I re-profiled the edge to a more acute angle and it worked better. Railroad spikes are tough - oh, my aching arm! Might should have chosen something a little less ambitious for my first time... Thanks for all the good info on the Forum, and many thanks to Don Fogg for providing and hosting it!
  9. Now you guys are finally talking about something I understand! Let me introduce myself to the forum - I'm Tom Sterling, wood carver, flint knapper and wannabe bladesmith who's been lurking here for a while, sponging up all the good information. I just set up my forge and finished my first forging (a hawk) – lots of fun, and not as easy as you all make it look. Here’s a picture of one of my knives made from obsidian (the blade knapped by Joe Higgins). I can make blades of this size (3 inches) about two out of three times, but Joe makes prettier ones, and about 99 successful ones out of 100, and much larger as well. Joe generally makes the blades and I make the handles. Here’s a link to a percussion knapping tutorial on my web site. Percussion is just what it sounds like – hitting the stone. The other type of knapping is pressure flaking, using a small tipped flaker of antler or copper and “pushing” the flake off. sterlingsculptures.com Here’s a link to a good tutorial on pressure flaking to make an arrowhead from a beer bottle. This is an excellent way to start knapping. Also look around in your locale and you're likely to stumble over a knapper who will be happy to help. It's a very fast growing hobby in the US. Beer Bottle Arrowhead
  10. I have little experience with metal, but some with glass. Here's a link to a web page about annealing glass: Bullseye Annealing Chart Two problems I'd worry about: different rates of shrinkage between the glass and the metal (causing the glass to crack during cooling), and what happens to the metal during a long soak at the typical glass annealing ranges of about 1100 down to 900 degrees F. One thing I've noticed when working with frits (small bits of broken glass, from chunk size down to powder) is that the smaller the size of the glass fragments, the more air there is trapped between the particles. Powder comes out with an opaque look (zillions of bubbles), large chunks look clear with a few air bubbles. Check out the Bullseye glass web site for more information: Tech Notes and Tip Sheets Hope this helps - at least it's something else to think about. Tom Sterling
  11. tsterling

    Self knife

    Tai - Just a little word of warning - oleander is highly poisonous! When I was a kid in Florida, there were several folks who died when they used oleander spikes growing in the state park to cook their hotdogs on. I sure wouldn't use it for a knife handle that will be used around food! Tom Sterling
  • Create New...