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Geoff Keyes

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Everything posted by Geoff Keyes

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. http://www.nimbaanvils.com/ https://www.hollandanvil.com/shop g
  12. I cannot get this copper habaki to solder up. Maybe I'm just not holding my mouth right. Tips, good Juju, prayer? Help? Geoff
  13. 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
  14. Seems a shame to destroy a perfectly good piece of kit. Nice casting though. Geoff
  15. So I'm asking the Conventional Wisdom. My neighbor has a tree service and sells fire wood on the side. This is in his "to split" pile. Is this worth salvaging? It looks like it curly. big leaf maple with some burly bits. It's about 3 ft across and 3 ft tall
  16. A bit of progress on this. It keeps getting pushed back behind other projects (stuff that I have a chance of selling) but I managed a few hours on it. It's at a fairly clean 150 grit. There are still a few scratches that need to be addressed, and the tang is wonkey, but onto habaki and such. In one shot you can just see the hamon, it's much better in person. It's a hard beastie to get pictures of. Geoff
  17. This is just a suggestion, but you may end up wanting a couple of braces on the main column. If it starts to twist and dance, that may be the problem. Nice clean and well thought out build, I can't wait to see it running. Geoff
  18. Try building a simple enclosure for the burner. A box of bricks will do for the experiment. Venturi burners often need the bit of back pressure to burn properly. I'm not the expert on Venturi's, but I believe I've seen this question before. It will only cost you a bit of time to try it. Have you got a picture of the burner? Geoff
  19. I lived for many years with a quilter. A quilt frame was part of the living room, just like the couch. Buy big pieces of fabric, cut into small pieces, arrange pieces on a large flannel board (King size bed size) rearrange so that the colors/patterns are right. Sew together, tear them out when they don't work. Finally put on quilt frame and hand quilt for a long time. I feel your pain, but you chose this. No one held a gun on you. Right now the Lady Wife (not the quilter, I am a Widower) is spinning a pile of roving as big as a car into yarn. She will probably end up with several miles of yarn. We have 4 spinning wheels in the living room right now, plus the 10 or so in other parts of the house. . At least my stuff is all in outbuildings. Geoff
  20. Wayne Coe is a member here, and he is the ribbon burner guy. He will probably weigh in, but a PM to him will be quicker. G
  21. If you're thinking about stock removal, there are a number of stainless steels to choose from. I'm a carbon steel guy, so one of the stainless makers will have to weigh in. If you are thinking about forging a blade, stainless is not the steel I would start with. It can be a challenge to forge and heat treat in a hobby shop. I would suggest a 10xx steel, 1080/1075 or perhaps 5160. Geoff
  22. I'll be interested to see the pictures. In general I tell folks to work on an anvil like you are describing for a year. Use that time to identify what things you can live with and those things which you simply can't stand. You may find that you are surprised. Just remember, it's much simpler to take metal away than it is to put it on. Do as little as you can and still have a useful tool. We don't own tools like this, at best, we are the caretakers of them for a while. I have a 30's era Fisher that was abused at some point in it's life. The table is chopped up and there is a huge divot out of the heel where some fool sparked a welder. I really wanted to fix it, or change it. One of my first teachers told me what I just told you. It's fine, just as it is. Geoff
  23. Not to burst your bubble, but I've been doing this for 30 some odd years, and, at least for me, handles are still a fair bit of trial and error. I'm still experimenting with shapes and process. Geoff
  24. Are you making connecting rods for a locomotive? The forge you are describing is sized for jobs like that. I have forge that is 16" long inside with common rail twin burner. I only use it to make damascus billets because I make big billets. And I have a 30 ton press to weld them and draw them out. When they get so long that I can't reach the controls on the press, I cut them off. You don't need a forge this big to forge knives, or even swords. I have forged a 32" blade in the same forge I use to make 3 inch hunters. Now when it comes to heat treating longs blades it's simpler to have a long forge, but in fact, if you're clever, you can do that in a 6 inch long forge, it just takes some patience. A big forge is also a gas hog. But a 100 - 150 cfm fan would still drive it. In short, your forge is about 4-6 times bigger than it needs to be, unless steam engines are in your future. Geoff
  25. How about drill an oversized hole, drop in a piece of square tube and fill weld it in place and grind smooth. I've never done this, but it ought to work. Geoff
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