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Geoff Keyes

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Geoff Keyes last won the day on May 19

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    http://www.5elementsforge.com
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    Duvall Wa

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  1. I am a FiF alum, and I would like to put in a word or two. 1) The judges are not looking for flaws to exploit, but they are going to test them and test them hard. An obvious problem that might get a person (like the tester) hurt is a good reason to fail a blade. In fact Jay Neilson has been hurt several times and is wearing body armor in the most recent seasons. 2) If they can't test 2 blades in the same manner, if for instance they have to make allowances for a blade that has bent or broken, then the tests aren't fair. I remember the claymore and I had a chance to look at the losing blade (that one was still on set when I shot my episode). The handle was a problem, too fat, too round. Doug hit flat because of a poor design choice. The winning blade performed much better, that is why it won. The historical blades we have to examine are the equivalent of an NFL highlight reel. You're not seeing the blades that broke, or bent The tests are brutal, way more brutal than you would put a blade through in any reasonable test. To some extent you have to build to the tests. A beautiful blade that snaps off in the first strike is useless. Geoff
  2. This is one of the hard aspects of what we do. You have to feel good about your skill, as it is right now. First, that is WAAAAAYYYYY better than my first 50 knives, so congrats. Second, where are you getting $120 in materials? The steel is a few $, the scales are whatever you paid for them, but even counting fuel and belts I'd guess $50-$70. What is your time really worth? Are you a guy who makes a few knives as a hobby, or are you a bladesmith? If this is hobby, don't charge for them, or charge what materials cost you and figure your time is your own. Some of the best art and craft in the world is done by "amateurs", they have the time to spend. If you are trying to be a pro maker, then you step right up and ask for a price that you feel is fair. For an early work, that is pretty good. If you'd like some tips on how to make it better, this is the right place. Geoff
  3. Interesting pieces. The photos are hard to see details in. Do you have better pics? I would have these checked out by a professional. Geoff
  4. I've never seen one with a wooden pommel, but I'm far from an expert. The shape seems right to me, so that might be a Navy variant? I would do as little as you can. I would not sharpen it if it's meant for display. You might go over it lightly with soapy water and a soft tooth brush. Then a light application of Neatsfoot oil to the leather. Cool piece and a great history. This is just my .02 Geoff
  5. Thanks. The ivory is the inner parts from a tusk that is pretty busted up. Some of it can't be worked at all, it's like chalk, but mostly it's like working bone, slow speeds and sharp belts are best. It's like silk in the hand. Geoff
  6. This has been hanging around, waiting for the right handle to come along Damascus OL 9 1/4" BL 5" Mastodon and black fiber liners Pretty simple G
  7. This is one that I did a few years ago. It was a big chunk of stabilized Sheoak. I've never seen a piece of Sheoak with rays and I just had to buy it
  8. Raw oak is full of tannins, so if the tool holder was not really dry, that might account for rusting. I don't use oak for handles because, mostly, it's not very interesting. Straight grain and not much figure. I have seen curly oak and tiger stripe, and those would be nice in small bits. Stabilized or well sealed it should not be a problem for handles. Geoff
  9. Of course they do, but 5 minutes time would have created a much better piece, in my opinion, without a large increase in the cost. We all make choices, and we all have budgets. I don't like this one, but that is just me and my eye. Geoff
  10. I'm still a little hesitant, but I'll give it a go. Things I like first. I like the overall shape, it's a good, bowie like profile. Fit on the handle and fittings are clean, the little silver spacers are a very nice touch. Things I have some issues with The guard could use some work, it's just a chunk of brass. A bit of taper to the ends would be more elegant and give it some movement. The choil (the area under the plunge cuts) is a little crude. The choil itself needs some rounding, but mostly I just don't like it. It seems out of place, like he had several ideas and never finished any of them. If you brought the bottom of the riccasso down another 1/4" (5-6 mm) and squared it off, I think that would flow better. The plunge cut we can see is a little washed out. I'm not really happy with my own plunges right now, so that jumps out at me. I can't tell if there is any distal taper, but that is something I would like to see. Last, the finish. That is pretty coarse, it looks like a filed surface. You say that it's done with hand tools (at least that is what I think you mean). You can't really file hardened steel, so that could be some other sort of process. If it were mine I would start at 220 grit sand paper, or even 150 grit, and, using a hard stick, sand out all of those marks. Once you get to a nice, clean 220 grit surface, getting an even better surface, 1000 grit or so, is pretty easy. In general I like it, it has most of the things we think of when we think "bowie knife". Does any of that help? I don't want to seem to be beating up on the new guy. Geoff
  11. Are you looking for critique for the maker, or for some other reason? I wouldn't want to tear into another makers work without his permission. Geoff
  12. http://www.nimbaanvils.com/ https://www.hollandanvil.com/shop g
  13. I cannot get this copper habaki to solder up. Maybe I'm just not holding my mouth right. Tips, good Juju, prayer? Help? Geoff
  14. I don't know that I've ever seen butane in large tanks in the US. http://www.differencebetween.net/science/difference-between-propane-and-butane/ g
  15. Seems a shame to destroy a perfectly good piece of kit. Nice casting though. Geoff
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