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David Kahn

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About David Kahn

  • Birthday 01/24/1960

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    Lyme, New Hampshire
  • Interests
    Metal and tax.

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  1. Removing handles that have been epoxied onto knives is one of the many things an induction forge excels at. You run the handle through the induction coils a couple of times, and it heats up the tang and other metal parts without heating up the wood or other handle materials. Once the metal gets hot, the epoxy comes right off. It's almost like magic. (Sorry I was too late with this to help.)
  2. Confusingly, the French's mustard to which I referred is actually an American brand of prepared mustard: http://www.frenchs.com/products/mustard/. I think I've usually used their "Classic Yellow" mustard, but I'm sure you can find something just as tasty (and useful for etching metal) in the U.K.
  3. Hi Steve. The patina on my little folder is indeed a mustard finish. I'd like to take credit for the technique, but, alas, I stole it from a very talented and generous bladesmith by the name of Michael Rader in Washington State. The process is beyond easy. It works better if the entire blade is hardened; for some reason, where there is a differential heat treatment and part of the blade is left soft, the finish doesn't take nearly as well on the unhardened part. First, finish the blade to 400 grit or so, and clean the blade so there's no oil, fingerprints, or dirt. Next, using a tooth pick, q-tip, or small brush, apply little blobs of mustard to the blade. I use inexpensive French's yellow mustard, but I don't think it matters much, as long as it's a fine paste without whole mustard seeds. Leave some space between the blobs of mustard; you'll get those on the next pass. Hang the blade up somewhere warm and dry, and go watch tv or play with the kids. After a couple of hours, the mustard will dry and turn blackish. Clean off the dried mustard with soap and water, and then repeat the process until you're satisfied with the results. The pattern of the patina will depend on the shape and density of the blobs of mustard you put on the metal. I use the dull end of a wooden shishkebab skewer to apply the mustard, and I make little tiny round chocolate chip shaped blobs, maybe 1/16th of an inch in diameter. Getting a good, dense patina usually takes three to five mustard applications, and the pattern gets progressively darker and denser as you continue. One thing about this patination process that I've never been able to figure out is that, sometimes it results in a rainbow sort of opalescence to the surface, which is really pretty. For me, sometimes this happens, and sometimes it doesn't, and I've never been able to figure out why or what to do to force that outcome. Maybe one day I'll run into a metallurgist who can explain that phenomenon to me. (And, if you somehow figure out how to make it happen, please let me know!) Hope this is of some help.
  4. Beautiful work Steve. This is just the kind of thing that speaks to me. On the back spring, often times this style of knife includes a lock, in which case the ring on the back provides purchase to pull back the spring and unlock the blade so it can be closed. You can kind of see how this sort of mechanism works on a folder I did a couple of years back: http://www.rhinometalworks.com/spring.html.
  5. Really nice work Matthew. Creative, and beautifully executed.
  6. Beautiful. Do you find that you often have twisting or warping when you heat treat cable? I love the way the stuff looks, but I was finding it such a PITA to work with, I stopped. What's the trick to heat treating this stuff?
  7. Beautiful work, and the damascus is stunning. (Not sure how I feel, however, about using the Declaration of Independance as a photo backdrop. I'm sure no disrespect was intended, but many folks have strong feelings about that particular document.)
  8. Really nice. How does it perform with respect to sharpness and edge retention compared to steel?
  9. Beautiful work Owen. Those look like they would be very tricky to forge. Would you consider listing the steps involved, or (even better) posting a tutorial where you show the sequence of forging steps?
  10. Absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful work Todd.
  11. Stunning, from tip to tale. There is nothing about this I don't like. Are the bronze parts rough from casting, or were they forged and textured?
  12. Thought you all might enjoy this: http://xkcd.com/1114/ .
  13. Thought folks might find this interesting: http://www.kurzweilai.net/mit-grad-students-achieve-long-sought-stable-nanocrystalline-metals
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