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  1. Hey everyone. I am new to this forum. My name is Blake and I am a sculptor artist who specializes in recycled and strange materials. I have recently been intrigued with knife making and decided to put a bit of a spin on it for my first knife. I wanted to create a carved handle that replicated a shark. Now you may be thinking "how do you hold it with the fin"? I can actually hold the knife fairly comfortable with the fin resting right in front of my thumb and pointer finger. With that being said, this knife is more of a "show" knife than actual use. As for the blade, I used a old file and I was un-able to heat treat because I do not know anybody in my area that has a forge. I was sure to try and keep the file cool as I ground and cut it. If anybody knows someone with a forge near Fresno CA I would love to connect! Anyways, Just wanted to share and hope you guys like it! I also have a FULL TIMELAPSE video on the entire process of this build. Link below! Check it out if you have a chance. I would love to hear what you guys think. Thank you! Th
  2. Hello all, this is my first post around here. Ive been lurking for the last week or so and have been amazed by the quality of work that people are producing and also by the community spirit here. Ive been interested in woodwork for a while and have recently started making my own tools, here are a few examples, questions to follow! This is the first tool that I made, the blade is very simple and ground on both sides. I also love what happens to cherry when you finish it, this is sanded to 600 and treated with danish oil. This is my second attempt. I made the handle and lid from one piece of wood so that the grain matches up. I also used some leather to help hide the epoxy that I mounted the blade with. I ground this one like a chisel with just one bevel. This is my first tool with a specific job in mind. I have been doing inlay work recently and find it hard to clean out the recesses into which the inlay will fit. This tool cuts flat while the handle stands proud of your work. Thanks for taking the time to look at these! If you want any more photos or info check my blog. My current metal work set up is *very* buget! I am using O1 steel which im heating with a propane/butane mix torch. I have zero control over the temperature, im quenching when the whole blade is glowing a bright red/yellow color and im quenching with vegetable oil at ambient temperature. Im tempering at gas mark 2 (not going to pretend I know how hot my oven is, but hopefully 100-200C. From what I understand O1 steel needs to be soaked above the critical temperature for ~30mins to harden properly. How much performance am I losing from my steel by not soaking, and are there any steels that dont need to soak at critical temperature? Whats wrong with vegetable oil? Is it OK to use O1 for chisels with a thinner shaft, im worried that hardening up the shaft could make the tool more brittle and ideally I'd just harden the first few mm. Thanks to anyone that can help!
  3. Good evening everyone! This is the latest knife I am making, and I´d like to share the process with you I decided to focus more on making knives as a whole, not only blades. That is not to say I am stopping blades, but I deffinitely want to finish more pieces It all started with me having a blade I really liked, and a piece of curly maple: I really wanted to do something in Urnes style which... I didn´t Somehow I am always drawn to the Ringerike style! In this case, the brooch below, particulary the beast portraited there, caught my eye... And so it began... I am still uncertain as to what the animal is, but for me, it resembles a wolf... I started drawing it, to get the details as close to the original as I am able. I changed one thing - I really didn´t like the legs of the beast in the brooch, so I looked at other ringerike animals and changed them a littlebit... Also, I tuned the tail a bit so that it fits the frame of the handle better: I decided to carve the beast first, it being the most difficult for me to carve, and therefore the most likely to be ruined. So, if there should be a ruinage, i wanted it to be as close to the beginning of the handle as possible... but, everything seems okay (well, there are always the little things that bug you, aren´t there ) and i finished the main carving just as the sun was setting... I found it rather poetical... and then I remebered a story from Northern Mythology, about a warg who chases after the sun, named Sköll. The dusk came, and the warg appeared in the handle... I ensnared it! No more chasing the sun, now it will serve the user of the knife! I apologize for the bad uality of the last shot... Well, I wanted to make sure that Sköll will not break out of his prison, so I added cage around him (also, there is a flattened and ground piece of wrought I intend to use for a buttcap): And this is where I finished today - now I am grinding micrometer after micrometer so that the buttcap fits as well as possible . Yeah, I could have done it before the carving, but I was never much of a planner : Goodnight!
  4. Hi Yesterday I collected a plumtree from my parents farm(European plumtree), it is around 14-15" diameter (trunk) and the longest section of stem is around 3-4 ft. In addition to this I collected some of the bigger branches (2-4 inch diameter). But I realized that I haven´t gotten a clue on how to/what to do with this green log have you Guys gotten any great advice for preparing the stuff for knife handles ? Or some other cool stuff
  5. About eight years ago I made an experimental blade using cable and thin tool steel rods twisted into a rope. After grinding, polishing and etching it I put it in a drawer as I had no idea what to do for a handle. Around May of last year (2015) a client visited my shop and asked to see what I am working on. As I opened the drawer he spotted the blade and fell in love. He asked me to finish it for him, and gave me total artistic freedom within his budget. A month or so passed and I had a faint idea of using a tsuba type guard, so I made one, and added two brass spacers as well: I had no idea how to continue so I put the blade away again. While doing research for some other project I stumbled across an image of a pirate flag, a skull with two crossed daggers, which closely resemble this blade. I decided there and then on a pirate theme. The first step was to finish all the fittings; a rope carving around the guard to fit into the nautical them, and a "Jolly Rodger" pommel cap, both in mild steel: The handle took a while to come together. I chose red ivory and blackwood, with a red and black spacer between the two, symbolizing violence and death. I also inlaid two bits of ivory in order to add some scrimshaw: On one side I did a scrim of Captain Blackbeard: ... to be continued
  6. A year or two ago Tom Sterling posted a thread showing a "holdout stiletto". The idea stuck and about a month ago I decided to make one, a variation on Tom's theme. In order not to make a straight copy I decided on a different blade / handle transition, using gothic arches. I also decided to do a deep relief carving. I used a piece of 1/2" mild steel square bar. Here is the result of my efforts: Questions and comments welcome
  7. Here's a project for a friend of mine. He wanted a knife for wood carving and whittling. He showed me a picture or two of a design he wanted and I tried to recreate it with some modifications more suited to his needs. The design called for a lanyard hole in the handle, so I used a piece of copper tubing to go along with the copper pins. I haven't done a really nice blade in a while. Yes, the blade is full-tang forged from spring steel. The overall design is his and I didn't tweak it much. He wanted mahogany scales for the handle, which I never played around with before. This one was partial payment for some computer work I needed done.
  8. This is a follow-up to last year's "Tiger under a tree" http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=26501&hl=tiger I found this photo of a kozuka with the same tiger, and decided there and then that it will be my next stock project. With kozuka conforming to quite rigid dimensions (14 x 96 mm) it was a simple matter to transfer the design to a folded steel handle. Then the trouble started. It is a very shallow carving, the amount of depth one sees in the photo is only an illusion, it took me a couple of days to get the basic form ready for the inlays, and as I worked on the inlays I kept on correcting tiny mistakes. I'm not going to bore you with the 14 in progress photos, these you can see here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/+TiaanBurger/albums/6145466349135758385, I want to show you the good stuff! The two pictures show my progress as at 16h00 this afternoon, about four weeks into this project: The handle is 14mm wide (about 9/16" for you imperialists). The base metal is mild steel, the inlays are 24K gold. Q&C welcome. More pics coming over the next couple of days...
  9. Stuart Smith dropped by a while back, and gave me a piece of damascus. I forged it into a kiridashi but managed to open one of the welds, probable worked to cold. As the flaw was not near the edge and in keeping with my belief that even a bad piece of iron can be made into something beautiful or useful I did some inlays to turn it into a knife suitable for a samurai's wife. Carving the recesses in the damascus steel was the worst part. Apparently the K600 in the steel has a bad habit of air hardening. Even after tempering the blade my chisels still chipped. The inlay and carving was routine, except that this piece was left "as chiselled". No scraping, no abrasives. The marks are as they came off the chisel. Specs: length: 155mm (a bit over 6") 18mm at widest, 6mm at thickest Damascus: Bohler K600 and O1 Inlay: Copper and sterling silver Thank you for looking.
  10. I am planning a knife with a flower theme, and needed a bit of practise on doing raised inlays of complex shapes. While I was at it I decided to make a video showing the process. This clip shows one method of doing a raised inlay. In the clip the recess is cut, and then the lip that will hold the inlay in place is lifted with a wedge punch. This has the advantage of not having to cut the lip level with the background after the inlay is done, but there is very little room for error. I'll make a clip, showing the method where the lip is raised before the recess is cut, in the coming week.
  11. This is a project I have been on over the past seven months and finally completed today. According to my job card it took about 50 hours. It is an "utsushi", a faithful copy, of this tsuba: http://www.shibuiswords.com/haynesTsu10.htm. The aim, as it should be with any copy, was to "not to do what the maker did, but to seek what the maker sought". It is a very dynamic design, and I was about halfway through when I realised exactly how the original maker managed to portray the movement of the leaves. My only deviation from the original was the use of mild steel. All the other processes and tools are period correct. Questions and comments welcome!
  12. I started this axe head about two years ago as an exercise in shallow relief and inlay. (I posted some WIP photos at that time but they seemed to have disappeared into the nether regions of this forum.) Last week a client visited me at home and he saw the axe head. The next day he called me and asked me to finish it for him. I had a bit of clean-up left to do on some of the carving, or so I thought. More than a year of practising carving since I last worked on this axe has gone by and I was horrified at all the mistakes that suddenly became visible. I managed to fix the obvious ones and left the rest for posterity. The head is copper, the blade is wrought iron. The fitting of the two is akin to a jigsaw puzzle. I did some silver wire inlay to hide the places where the joint went off kilter. Questions and comments welcome.
  13. Hello! This knife was ordered by a girlfriend who anted a gift for her loved one, for his birthday. Since the man in question reenacts 10th century, central Europe, I have searhed for somethin nicely decorated, yet not overly complicated because of the budget. I have found a piece of bone that had a carving of two birds, and I decided to use that on a knife. This is the result: Wrought iron body with tool steel edge, carved antler handle (peacock?), and a simple sheath decorated by wrought iron ftting (also from a find). aaand a litle shot of the wrought structure:
  14. Well, I was laid off on Tuesday so I had some time to work on this during the week. I still need to do the carving and some fit and finish work but here's my WIP to date. It's a 3-bar broken back seax with a 10 layer core (wrought, L6, 1060 and mild), a wrought-iron spine and a 1095 edge. The bolster is a stack of copper sheets separated by quarters mokume. http://rashystreakers.tumblr.com/tagged/elk%20king%20seax
  15. Almost a puuko, but I think it's bellied too much for that classification. The handle is a steel bolster, cherry piece, and birch piece. I'm trying to figure out what to do with the end of the handle. I've got a mind to put another cherry and steel but on the end. Here it is after burning out the handle and pre-shaping. This is after a bit of work. I'm not a fan of the slight bulge at the back and the carved down bit has got to go. I'm wondering if I should do something along the lines of a steel butt cap or something like this. What do you guys think of it so far and what would you recommend?
  16. I started working on this when everyone was posting bird-trout knives...took me a while. Its actually a production wood carving blade, mounted on walnut and elk antler. Carved on both sides. Hope you like!
  17. Here's one I've been working on recently. I am thinking about also working on a sheath for this out of leather with copper decorations. We'll see how that turns out. But I'm pretty happy with the seax. I'm including a few finished shots with more process shots here: http://rashystreakers.tumblr.com/tagged/mammen%20seax The carving was fun. I feel like I am getting better at that. I have also now successfully heat treated several blades on my own now (saving me the time and cost of taking it somewhere). I feel particularly good about that as the whole process belongs to me. Somehow I feel more legitimate for being able to finish out my whole build. Would love you thoughts!
  18. Good day gentlemen! The upcoming state exams have been taking most of my time, but I have sneaked to my workshop every now and then. This is a wedding gift for one of my friends, an archaeologist. He likes Carolingian culture, and so I tried to produce something in that manner - the blade shape is taken from the late 8th century examples, and the floral motive belongs to the 9th. The grip is oak - bog oak and oak to be specific... I thought that him, being an archaeologist, would appreciate the spacers made of the old wood. The rest of thee grip is normal oak, and for me, I must admit it was difficult to carve it. Of course, I am a beginner at carving, so everything is difficult for me . The blade is W1 (or W2? can´t remember), and it was hardened in HT company. I told them to quench it in oil, but now, they new better So the blade is hardened through and through, not just the edge. I couldn´t scrape the lines, so I made a chisel and chiseled them... bloody work, if you ask me . Right now, the handle is about to be glued together, the blade polished, and then everything assembled... and then the sheath
  19. Something I am working on, using a bit of African inspiration and Japanese technique. Copper, shibuichi and sterling silver. I am still thinking about the blade material and shape. It will either be a traditional kogatana blade using 1070 or W2, or a damascus blade. Comments welcome!
  20. Magpie and Tiger Knife This was a quick build I just finished last night around midnight. I had some new challenges with the carving style and a new type of wood. The Osage Orange was easy to cut but I had to be careful about stripping chunks with the grain. It has a nice color and glow. I wish it were a little bit more orange though. Embossing the Magpie was also new. I used a couple homemade shapes and tried to fill the space. I would have loved to have time to construct an actual stamp but this worked just fine. I discovered something new on this as well. I left the blade in the vinegar for about 36 hours and it ate away the steel that had not been hardened in the heat treating. Fortunately this left a really cool pattern on the blade so I ran with it. I sanded it down with a finer grit so it would leave some of the new grain textures in the steel. I still need to get a pixel smith mark/stamp made. The tiger carving was a huge challenge. I'm not thrilled with how it turned out. I messed up the first scabbard by grinding through it so that set me back quite a bit on an already tight commission timeline. It was definitely a rushed carving and much flatter than I wanted but I just didn't have time for any more than that. I think I made this whole knife in just over a week, which is my fastest so far. I don't like working at a rushed pace. No I don't. The pictures did turn out pretty nice though. See the full process here: http://rashystreakers.tumblr.com/tagged/magpie%20and%20tiger
  21. Every single knife I have made since 1986 have seen the touch of a grinder. This time I decided to make a knife sans power tools. (The pin hole was drilled with a power drill.) It was an interesting and very enjoyable exercise. The handle is wrought iron with a filed finish on the back and spine. The inlaid cartouche is sterling silver, with the word "Furuki" cut in Kanji. The handle was patinated and sealed with urushi lacquer. The blade is 52100 with a satin finish. Questions and comments welcome.
  22. Working up a quick concept conversion for a leftover handle from the Brag build. I had carved the handle upside down. Now I am changing the lyre to an axe and a drinking horn. The blade will be a 19” seax from a reclaimed farriers rasp. Th he blade engravings will depend on the amount of left over rasp marks after grinding. I made quite a bit of progress today and am hoping to finish forging the blade this evening.I’m not sure what to call this yet. Any suggestions? I'd like to carve the name in runes somewhere, I don't know runes very well and would love some help at some point. Full posts here.
  23. I recently viewed some tsuba, and one reminded me of a technique I used during my blacksmithing days; a thin coating of brass is applied to red hot steel or iron to give it a golden sheen by either rubbing it with a bit of brass at red heat, or brushing it with a brass wired brush. I decided to give it a go and used an iron tsuba blank with raised rim. I coated the blank with some brazing flux, heated it dull red, dropped some brass pieces on it and then heated it to bright red. I did this both sides. On the one side most of the iron was covered, on the other I got a "quarter moon" of brass. The general idea was to carve through the brass and reveal the iron below, the brass become a highlight on the black iron. A note of caution: I used a gas forge that is situated in a very well ventilated studio to melt the brass. After pickling I could see that the zinc has burned of in some places, leaving a layer of copper. Zinc fumes can be fatal! Do not try this in an enclosed space! Your questions and comments are welcome Tiaan
  24. Those who know me personally knows my opinion on tactical folders. So, when a client nagged me for months to make him a tactical I could not say no. The problem was to get a tactical look while still doing what I do. I think the result is quite pleasing: Mild steel handle, Differentially hardened "Saben silver steel" blade, bronze pin, brass washers / bushing. Blade width: 35mm, open length: 210mm Edit: "Saben silver steel" is made by Bohler Uddeholm, a close match to W2.
  25. You'd think it'd be easier to get deer antlers here in CA where everyone is a hunter and some of the deer are even tame, but I can't find any, so I'm practicing on good ol steak bone. I've done a lot of stone carving in the past so I just worked off of those principles for wood and bone. I'm using a Dremel. Anyone have tips on doing this? And how does one sand inside the little cracks and inscriptions? EDIT: The white one is bone, the black coco bolo, and the orangey brown is manzanita. Oh, a bit of a score: a few weeks ago my family got permission from a landowner to collect old dead wood. About half of this was manzanita so I took the opportunity to grab some. This is what I pulled in: Main trick is to watch out for flaws and cracks.
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