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Semi-traditional Chinese Qiang

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I've been a long time lurker and have benefited greatly from the shared experiences and incredible knowledge and craft present in these forums. Thanks to all for that. I feel it's time for me to give a little back!


I got bitten by the iron & fire bug in high school, piecing together a rude forge & knifemaking setup from pieces of forgotten equipment in the school shop. However, college and starting a career intervened, and I was shopless for the better part of a decade. I made jewelry & small knives out of a chest under my bunk to keep the fire-bug alive...


Last year my wife and I were fortunate enough to buy our home, and I could begin building a real shop.


The initial firing of the forge at Ravenholm was on All Hallow's Eve, 2009, and it's been a wonderful thing to return to the fire.


I have a long way to go, that's for sure, but unlike my high school days I don't feel very impatient to finish that unfinishable journey. One blow at a time.


I recently finished this Qiang for a friend and talented Kung-Fu practitioner who had lamented the quality of the spears available to them. After quite a bit of digging into Chinese martial weapons and sweeping up as much knowledge as I could, I began. This was my first blade from my new shop, first differential quench & hamon attempt, and my first extensive work with mokumé gané, and first spear.


There are many faults and I definitely need to work on my silver-soldering techniques - that portion was very frustrating, and has been in the past as well. However, on the whole I'm pretty happy!


The name of the spear is Sceadugar, shade-spear in old english.



(Material and Process Geek-Out)


Admiral 1095 gas-forged on a Nimba Anvil to a Qin-Dynasty pattern • Differentially quenched in rainwater via satanite clay-resist • Rough-ground on a Beaumont Metalworks grinder with Trizact Gator belts • Polished by hand with Norton & King waterstones, 220, 1000, 4000, 8000 • “Evolution” bas-relief carved using Foredom rotary & hand gravers • Hamon etched with ferric chloride • Furniture & inlay of diffusion-bonded nickle-silver and copper Mokumé Gané • Mounted on black-lacquered waxwood with matching ash scabbard, carved with the Shao-Lin school characters, a cloud-pine motif, & inlayed with Mokumé Gane • Blood Tassle fitted in Mongolian horsehair


(Technique Credits)


Heat Treatment: Don Fogg & Walter Sorrel • Polish: Walter Sorrel • General Information: The Don Fogg Forum • Mokumé Gané: James Binnion

All those who came before, from Weland to Moran and beyond.











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Very nice...overall to the fit & finish & presentation. How many hours total did you think you put into it?


Thank you Sadid!

I really wasn't counting, and I'm not sure I want to know. I would guestimate, once I cleared major process roadblocks, that I probably put 80-100 hours in, including its cedar box and some other accessories (all the little do-dads can sure add fiddly time to a project. I'm a very crude woodworker at best, so a simple unfinished box was a head-scratcher.


That doesn't include research and design time, which was probably another 20 or so.

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Guy ,

That's cool......Your patience has served you well.... welcome to the forum .... Looks like we'll be seeing more from you.. It's good to hear about getting back the the fire... I bet you had a big smile on your face all day..... biggrin.gif


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Welcome aboard!


Nice intro piece, dude. B)


Although there's something about a runic inscription on a Chinese spear that a bit different... ;)

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Thanks for the kind words, folks.


Richard, I did indeed have a big grin on my face. There might or might not have also been some skipping.


Alan, re. the inscription: It's kind of an odd hang-up I have. I don't feel comfortable using languages of which I have no understanding. Language is one of our most precious & potent cultural skills, and is the currency of our communication, art, and love. I guess I feel it would be arrogant of me to try to name something in Mandarin. :huh:


I'm not exactly an Old English whiz, either, but it's at least a language I've studied some and can claim a cultural connection to.


This does sound very odd and inconsistant even as I'm writing it, but there's something really mighty about language in my mind and I wouldn't want to mess with a mojo I didn't understand there. I could ask someone else to translate for me, but given that it's the act of naming the spear, that also seems weird... A bit like asking someone else to formulate the name of your kid. I know I'm out on a limb here, but it's the best explanation I can offer. :D


There is also the problem of the non Mandarin-speaking guy who went to get a Chinese tattoo that said strength and was informed later by a Mandarin speaking friend it meant something a bit different.... definitely wanted to avoid that.





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That's fine, I understand completely.


Dare I say, with that sort of skill and understanding of the power of language, you've taken the first steps on the road to fiery beard-hood already. ;)


That may or may not be a good thing, depending on your outlook on life... :huh::lol:

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That's fine, I understand completely.


Dare I say, with that sort of skill and understanding of the power of language, you've taken the first steps on the road to fiery beard-hood already. ;)


That may or may not be a good thing, depending on your outlook on life... :huh::lol:


I'm fine with the fiery bit, but my lovely wife has only banned 2 things from my possession: motorcycles and facial hair. Motorcycles are dangerous facial hair is apparently only allowed for her dad. Which is somewhat okay since my facial hair growing skills are also not very impressive.


So, if I ever get there, it would have to be an aura-beard. :wacko:

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