Jump to content
Alan Longmire

And so it begins...

Recommended Posts

And here is the weekend's progress. My initial idea for the guard was to use the handle off a globe valve (they are kinda tsuba-like, after all) and cut out some sections until it look interesting, but after playing with the idea by holding up some hand wheels I decided to cut off the excess tang (since I was going to braze some all-thread on it anyway) and use that steel for a penny snub-end scroll guard.

 

I'll start with how I brazed the all-thread onto the tang.

 

First, get rid of the zinc coating. It's not really galvanized, just very lightly plated or even shot-piened with zinc to give it a little rust resistance on the shelf. You want this gone before welding or brazing because the zinc will oxidize well before the brazing rod is hot enough to melt the flux.

 

Just how do you remove this zinc plating?

 

kith 18.jpg

 

Yep. Drop it in a container of white vinegar for a few hours. This is the new "Cleaning Vinegar" I started seeing last year. It's stronger that the usual stuff and great for, well, cleaning stuff.

 

Then to attached the rod to the tang. This is 1/4-20 all-thread, and the tang is 5/16 x 1/2 in cross section where I cut it. I didn't feel like drilling a deep hole into the end of the tang, so I cross-drilled it and slotted it on the bandsaw, cleaned it up with files until it was the recommended size for tapping, then tapped the slot. This is a home-made bottoming tap with zero taper so it cuts threads all the way to the end.

 

kith 19.jpg

 

Then see if the all-thread fits.

 

kith 20.jpg

 

WooHoo! Now to braze that sucker on...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brazing is a two-handed process full of tension, so no pics of the actual act. First I wrapped the ricasso and a bit of the tang in eight thicknesses of paper towel that was dripping wet and clamped it tang-up in the vise with the prefluxed all-thread in place. Then I used a soft flame on an oxy-acetylene torch to heat ONLY the tang/rod junction with a reducing flame until it was the proper temperature for the brazing rod to flow, which in this case was 1675 degrees F. The wet paper towels sizzled a bit, but no discernible heat made it into the ricasso.

 

After brazing, not cleaned up:

 

kith 21.jpg

 

After a bit of cleanup on the grinder to blend the transition for greater ease in fitting the handle:

 

kith 22.jpg

 

It may not look terribly strong, but this rod is rated at 65,000 psi shear strength. It's not coming off without taking something else with it.

 

I somehow managed to forget to take pics of the guard during the forging, grinding, and fitting process. Oh, well. Here's what the whole package looks like for the next week or so:

 

kith 23.jpg

 

kith 24.jpg

 

I had one little piece of the parent bar of steel off the end of the tang left, and I was going to use it to make a pommel nut/pein block. Got it filed to a perfect 1/2" square by 1/4" thick, drilled it dead center, and then snapped the tap off in the hole <_< . Haven't decided what plan B is yet. The tap fragment is not removeable. Not by me, anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking great Alan. About that broken tap.......can you chuck that pommel nut up in a drill press vice (upside down) and back drill it out with a smaller diameter drill bit?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alan... have you ever tried jewelry pickle"swimming pool acid" ? I have removed many drill bits and small taps from gold and it may loosen your tap in steel.Soaking time varies.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alan... have you ever tried jewelry pickle"swimming pool acid" ? I have removed many drill bits and small taps from gold and it may loosen your tap in steel.Soaking time varies.

I never thought of that. That might just work!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a great idea, Dan, I will reserve it for future use, thanks! Unfortunately I can't try it on this piece because after many unsuccessful attempts to.shatter the tap fragment with punches the nut-to-be entered low orbit and has not been seen since.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could have heated it up in the forge and slow cooled to soften the drill bit fragment to the point you could drill it out. For something the shape of a nut, you might have been able to get away with a water quench it to make the bit fragment shatter while leaving the rest of the part whole.

 

Then again, putting it in orbit has psychological value as well ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It totally failed to occur to me to heat and water-quench, but that probably would have worked! That HSS tap would have shattered in place. The orbital injection was not intentional, BTW, it was the result of a really hard off-center blow and a less than perfect fit with tongs. I did feel oddly satisfied afterwards, though. :lol: It'll turn up one of these days. The doors were closed and it didn't punch through a window, so it's still in the garage somewhere.

 

I'm now toying with making the block/nut out of layered brass and copper...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[snip... The orbital injection was not intentional, BTW, it was the result of a really hard off-center blow and a less than perfect fit with tongs.]

 

Then you are of a much more even keel than me :) Not sure why I was think drill bit as opposed to tap when I posted that. Probably because we snapped a 0.020" bit off in an expensive 304 part at work the other day. Trying to work that out with HCL...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last weekend's work:

 

The ferrule cut, shaped, and inlet. It's 3/4" copper pipe. The handle is curly ash from the shovel handle in the first pic of the thread. The flat sheet is a 1" copper pipe union, thicker than ordinary pipe. It will become a spacer and a buttplate.

 

kith 25.jpg

 

And here it is epoxied on, with the spacer in place and the buttplate epoxy setting, shape not yet refined. As you can see, there's still a LOT of cleanup to go.

 

kith 26.jpg

 

I am planning on the aqua fortis stain re-patinating the copper because I really like that brown color. Not to mention I want to see what it does to the stacked brass and copper nut...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And it's done, except for a sheath. Haven't decided how to handle that yet.

 

As you can see, I shortened the nut/peen block, it was just too big for visual balance. Note it is NOT a takedown, I peened the all-thread rod down over the top of the nut. Not to mention the epoxy...

 

kith 27.jpg

 

kith 28.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*whistles* That's a beautiful piece!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is purdy!

How does it feel to be the first one done?

-Gabriel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Gents! I am glad to have it done, because I just got a request for 15 tomahawks(!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good job man! That blade almost looks like Ed Caffrey's fossil Damascus (only better).

Congrats on the tomahawk order. I can't imagine ordering 15 of them, but I will never tell someone how not to spend their money, especially if they are planning on giving it to me!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I couldn't stand the thought of not having a sheath, and I wanted to stay true hardware store on this, but just when I was resigning myself to doing the best I could with cardboard and duct tape I stumbled across some mounts I'd made for a museum several years ago and inspiration struck. So I went down to the hardware store and bought.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a sheet of Plexiglas! :o

 

 

The museum mounts in question were hot-formed acrylic sheet made by sticking a strip of the stuff in the oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes and then carefully molding it over the object to it could be wall-mounted. I didn't want to use the oven for this since it was a big ol' sheet, so I used a heat gun.

 

I started by making a paper pattern for an integral-loop welted sheath just like I would have done for a leather sheath, cut out the plexi on the bandsaw and ground the edges, then clamped it in the vise with a piece of 1/4" bar where the blade would go. Then I fired up the heat gun and let 'er rip until it softened up enough to gently form over the bar. I then removed the bar and squeezed the edges sort of closed enough to grip the welt and then used superglue to hold it in place long enough to drill the holes for the bolts. Once the bolts were installed it was back to the heat gun to close the gaps and offset the belt loop.

 

In my opinion it looks pretty darned cool, but it is of course purely decorative. Attempting to carry it would result in snapping off the belt loop in short order. Then the problem arose: How the heck do you photograph a transparent object? :huh:

 

kith 29.jpg

 

Turns out you need a dark background and a flash.

 

kith 30.jpg

 

kith 31.jpg

 

kith 32.jpg

 

kith 33.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha! That is classically unique. Good show!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...