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Everything posted by tsterling

  1. Thanks, Hyllyn. Glad you like the tutorial, and hope they help. Life is too short to use ugly tools! Tom
  2. Hi Tacol. Nice job embellishing the knife handle. Here are two links about making small scraper-style knives for carving boxwood. They may help you solve your smoothing problem. http://followingtheironbrush.org/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=1361 http://followingtheironbrush.org/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1472 Good luck! Tom
  3. Wow, you've really gone over to the dark side, Serge! I really like Snipe and Turtle. What are the scales/frames of Snipe made from?
  4. Thanks for the feedback, guys. I really appreciate you taking the time to look and comment. Tom
  5. Hi guys, I just finished redesigning my web site, and changed it over to more of a blog format. My Dreamweaver web site building software is getting a little long in the tooth, and I figure it will soon be outdistanced and unsupported by new World Wide Web changes and Adobe new software versions. I'm using WordPress, which seems like a pretty capable blogging suite, and is even easier to use than Dreamweaver, and, best of all, it's FREE!. In addition to the standard blog entries, I've got other pages (see the blog header) with image galleries, and a considerable amount of how-to and tutorials. Please have a look, enjoy stomping around, and PM me if you see any glaring problems. I've looked this thing over until I'm crosseyed, but we all know the knife has to be in front of the client before you can see all the flaws.............. Here's the link: http://sterlingsculptures.com/ Thanks for Looking!
  6. Here's more than you probably care to know about the Foredom: http://forums.dfoggk...l=&fromsearch=1 I prefer the NSK Electer micromotor series for fine carving in wood/antler/ivory and lately, in metal. Mine has lasted since I began seriously carving in 1992, with two changes of bearings ($300 a pop at the factory), but well worth it. It's done everything I've ever asked of it, and runs very smoothly and quietly. If you're talking about only occasional use, the less expensive off-brands will do. A note here: I've had several experiences where it has become obvious that the expensive micromotors should NOT be used for abrasive work, like polishing. The polishing compound can get inside and there go the bearings (remember $300 a pop?). The Foredom is hands down better for this, and you can replace the bearings yourself. Also, since the Foredom motor is elsewhere, you can use it around water (think coolant, or for gemstone grinding). Just another thought.... The Foredom is more useful for general knife making (I'd be completely lost without mine - sanding drums <got a problem with that plunge grind? Foredom fix!>, Scotchbrite pads, rotary filing, stippling, polishing, drilling teeny holes), a little bit less useful for fine carving, but will do a good job if you are persistent (and Geoff can certainly make it work just fine ). If you're planning on only having one of these, then go for the Foredom.
  7. Use small ball-shaped burrs in a fast grinder (Dremel, if it's all you have), pressing the burr into the antler material for each stipple, leaving a little round depression (in other words, actually removing the material). Cut, move over immediately adjacent to the first cut dimple, cut again, repeat as required. Try not to do this with a visible pattern. Smaller burrs make finer stipple texture, larger ones make coarser texture. A ball 1mm in diameter is what I would call large. The vibrating engraver might be marginally acceptable on metal, but not antler.
  8. Try this link: http://forums.dfoggk...22&fromsearch=1 Best of luck! Tom
  9. Thanks, guys, I appreciate the kind words. I really had a lot of fun with this - and it was really hard keeping it hidden from my daughter while making it. I usually sit around at night in front of the boob tube with my latest in-work items and inspect them and formulate the attack plan (OK, play with them...) so it was particularly difficult with this. And I like to share with all of you on this forum while I'm making stuff, so waiting 'til after Christmas was really hard too.
  10. I've been working on a steampunk-styled flash drive (or thumb drive, USB drive) for my daughter's Christmas present, and since Christmas is over, I can show it to you...BTW, it was a huge hit with her! It's a "steampunk" (Victorian-styled with lots of brass stuff) thumb drive for use at school. This one is an old timey telegraph key. She has to take computer projects back and forth from school to home and vice-versa, and likes steampunk type stuff, so here you go! The whole thing is less than 3 inches long, and is fabricated from copper, brass, fossil ivory, ziricote wood, and a commercial 8 gigabyte USB drive. I've started a blog about my metalworking, and you can see extensive details about the flash drive construction here: http://sterlingsculp...s.com/wp/?p=127 Thanks for looking!
  11. Here are links to two forums about engravig that you may find useful: http://www.engraverscafe.com/forum.php http://www.engravingforum.com The term you're looking for is "graver" rather than "engraving chisel." There is a bewildering number of different type of gravers available, so good luck in your search! If you're not currently an experienced push or hammer and chisel engraver you might want to look at the new pneumatic engraving machines, either from GRS of Lindsay. They will take years of learning curve off the task. You'll see lots about them on the two engraving forums above.
  12. Reverse rotation is useful for using (slow and gentle) power to screw/unscrew mandrels to change scotchbrite pads, and for tools that don't care what direction they rotate (sanding drums, wire brushes, diamond and abrasive points, etc). It's often useful when approaching from different sides of a blade, for instance, to match tool mark texture on both sides. You need to start thinking in terms of "safe" directions - we're not talking about personal injury but scarring up the work, considering the direction the tool is going to move when it gets away from you. Them that have, them that will, and them that will again - don't ask me how I know this... Friction is the enemy of flex shaft tools, longer equals more friction, more heat, shorter working time, shorter shaft life. Plus, the shaft will tend to whip around a bit when hogging at high speed, and I suspect the extra long one will be even worse. With knives, you should always be able to work close enough to the motor so the shaft length won't matter.
  13. First question is "what do you intend to do with it?" I would just get the 1/6 horsepower kit of your choice. The 1/3 hp models require special hand pieces, not interchangeable with the 1/6 hp models. I use the 1/6 hp model and feel more power would not help and may actually be more dangerous (considering how I use mine), grabbing parts and flinging them at higher velocity... If you can bog down the 1/6 hp model then you're doing something very wrong. Also, don't get the extra long flex shaft. Make sure you get the reversible rotation model. More important than anything are the appropriate hand pieces for the cutting attachments you intend to use. I have two of the hand pieces with the small Jacobs chuck and swap those out with two grits of scotch brite pads I always have handy. I also have one of the larger hand pieces with the various collets (I use the 1/4 inch diameter collet for Lee Valley sanding drums for my "knapped steel" technique). If you're going to be doing fine carving, then one of the pencil hand pieces would be helpful, but I much prefer my NSK micro motor for that. 18000 rpm just isn't fast enough for long term fine carving in metal or wood/ antler. Don't buy a hanger, get a small woodworking bar clamp, clamp that vertically to your bench and slip a small tube over the top of the bar, sealed with a bit of wood and a large screw hook. Much steadier than the Foredome hanger and clamps in more strange places. If that's unclear let me know and I'll shoot you a picture. That's all I can think of at the moment...
  14. Here are several resources about using potassium permanganate on antler and bone: http://followingtheironbrush.org/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=1701&p=16240 http://followingtheironbrush.org/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=2353&p=22734 http://followingtheironbrush.org/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=1530 http://www.thecarvingpath.net/forum/index.php?/topic/800-potassium-permanganate-on-antler/ Here is a link to my eBook (free download) about carving small scale sculpture (much in antler), with a bit on dye and stain: http://www.sterlingsculptures.com/Resources_folder/Netsuke_Book_folder/Carving_Netsuke.htm Good luck!
  15. Very cool, both knife and sheath! How about a shot of the back of the sheath?
  16. Second one is the most elegant looking - my vote.
  17. Very attractive, and nice looking fit and finish. Thanks for showing it, Andrew!
  18. Spectacular piece of work, Jim. Thanks for the in-progress shots.
  19. Thanks, Petr. And, thanks to my aging eyes, I used both Optivisor and stereo microscope on this!
  20. Thanks, Petr! I didn't make the chain, it's just a standard snake chain retailed by Rio Grande.
  21. Thanks for the good words, boys! I'm really glad you like it. Tom
  22. Been working with this for a few weeks, my first attempt at a tsuba (Japanese sword guard). Since it is a pendant, I made it about 1/4 the size of a full scale tsuba. Carved of shibuichi (25% silver, 75% copper) with a fine silver backing, Argentium silver jump ring and chain, 2 inches tall (5 cms). Thanks for looking!
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