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I feel like a stranger.


Isaiah Lake

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It's a bit odd... I feel like a stranger here after being away from the forum for so long, and I feel unworthy of all the progress you guys are making. It's Summer now though, so I plan on using my free time before I head to Africa. Man, I miss you guys, and I miss my forge. I haven't been completely inactive, but I haven't made nearly as much as I'd like. I'm gonna post some of the novice blades I've been able to make in my free time since my last post in November.

The extraordinary has never been achieved without the sacrifice of security. Take your chances thin, and take them often.

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Isaiah,

 

I was checking out your blades on the other threads during my daily lunch-time forum cruise. It appears that you definitely have the "want to" and the abilities, but let me offer you one piece of advice, and this is coming from one who is just beginning to figure some things out, so take my words with a grain of salt.

 

For now, don't be concerned with quantity; work on quality.

 

What you need to do is to cruise the forums, image searches, books, etc., and pick out the one knife you most want to make. Study it and ask questions before you start. Now, when you put the steel in the fire the first time, know exactly what you want it to do. Make it become what you planned for. And don't be afraid to leave it a bit thick. Your forge-to-shape finish will improve with every blade. You want this one to come out perfect, so leave enough meat to reveal what you're after.

 

Study up on heat treatment. Anneal the blade as best you can and the get started finishing it. If you don't have a grinder, use files. Perfect profile, perfect bevels. Take you time. When you get though filing, go to paper... 120, 220, 320, 400... stop when it is scratch free and ready for the final heat treatment.

 

Then work on your handle and any harware you have chosen to use. Same as above; take your time and get it right. Don't settle for OK; make it fit and ready for finish.

 

Then your heat treat: normalize, harden, temper. Eliminate all of the guess work you can. Do the best with the equipment you have.

 

Now, put it all together. Final polish, edge, fit & finish. While you're at it, make a nice sheath to go with it.

 

Did all of that take too long? Not if the finished product pleases you. Is it actully perfect? No, but it is better than the last one, and the next one will be better than this one.

 

Do your best every time.

 

I hope this helps. BTW, what takes you to Africa?

 

Don

Edited by Don A
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Don,

I just meant that I haven't been able to be in the shop much. I'd be fine working on just one project as long as I'm making progress. I've got the process down pretty well. I just need more time to refine my skill which I have a bit of now that it's Summer. I also need to update everybody here on more of my latest work. My next big project is a short sword which is in the making. I need to research some of the fit and finish work. I'm heading to Malawi for a 2week mission trip in July. Thanks for the advice.

 

~Isaiah

The extraordinary has never been achieved without the sacrifice of security. Take your chances thin, and take them often.

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