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What did you do in your shop today?

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11 hours ago, Joshua States said:



These two statements are mutually exclusive when describing a single object.

Not really, everything is right & tight, it's like he values feel in the hand more than symmetry



There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion


I could not make something like that, I noticed all the "flaws" immediately, but you don't feel those flaws in hand and every single person that saw them ooh'ed and aaah'ed and completely ignored my knives! :lol:

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A few weeks ago a kid (I say kid, college senior doing an honors thesis, probably 21 or so ) came to my local guild meeting to ask if anyone could help him with a sword. His honors thesis involves han

finished riveting up basket hilt attempt number three. Finally got one I'm pretty happy with. my original plan was to braze it after riveting, but honestly the risk/reward doesn't seem worth it...

Finished another folder.  Little bitty bugger, 2.5" / 63mm closed, 4.5" / 112mm open.  O-1, brass liners, nickel silver bolsters and pins, ebony scales.  Still needs an edge and some cleanup, but it's

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It happened! I got a couple of hours forging on sunday - it was a bit Heath Robinson but I made it work. Rough forged 2x Gyuto and 2x nakiri.


The forgings were a bit ropey, so tonight I ground the profiles loosely to shape, ready for a refining forge to a geometry that will not be a pita to grind. (5 mins at the hammer is worth an hour at the grinder and all that!)


Im keeping a low profile on social media with my current knife forging work as there are people patiently waiting for machines etc and the human condition is they will think I'm ignoring their jobs by having a half day to myself. (even though im smacking in 60 hour weeks on company commitments!) - Ill get some pics of the current forging work on here soon)


This is a Nakiri and a couple of petties that were forged very early this year before the big fire. Got them finished up a couple of weeks ago. (yes.... Hipster OSB handle again :) )







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I have two more handles to finish and I will be sat back to watch it as well @Alex Middleton

Edited by Garry Keown
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Von Gruff


The ability to do comes with doing.



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On 11/3/2020 at 4:05 PM, John N said:

This is a Nakiri and a couple of petties that were forged very early this year before the big fire. Got them finished up a couple of weeks ago. (yes.... Hipster OSB handle again :) )

Against my sensibilities I am liking the OSB handles. What are the bolsters made from? 

Edited by Bill Schmalhofer
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I got a bunch of killer burl from so africa a month or so ago. 

I have got it on one blade...still finishing the handle.

I have 4 other blades ready for handles...hope to have some pics soon.

The silver nickel bolster and pin material I ordered from Jantz should be at my house today.

Last Saturday about 1;30 or 2 ish I started profiling a blade out of my last piece of 52100.

By about 4 I had it cut out and ground ready for heat treating.

I have never had any tongs....I use bailing wire through one of my tang holes...vice grips...and a metal bar

for blade manipulation while in the forge.

I must have heat treated a few blades now because my bailing wire has been gone for a month or so.

There is an Ace less than a block from my house so I decided to take a short walk to get some more wire.

Well....never made it that far...pushed the button to cross main street in Heber where I live.

The light turns green...I start across and notice a truck coming at me at pretty fast wit his signal on.

I am east bound on the south side of the intersection....truck boy is west bound turning south.

I decide this guy doesnt see me so I stop pretty much just before the second lane and proceed to jump in the air,wave my arms and yell. 

5 Feet from me he finally sees my and cranks the wheel a little harder to avoid me.

I think I was probably watching him go down the road thinking OMG that kid could have killed me just then.

About then I am 2/3rds the way through the second land and get nailed by a vw passat.

According to the one written statement she states she was stopped at a stop light and witnesses a male pedestrian crossing the street when he was hit by the drivers side of the vw.....and landed on the road on his head.

21 stitches later they sent me home with no pain meds or antibiotics.

In addition to what you can see in the pic I have road rash on top of my head...and 3 stitches in my chin.

Had to get an atty. The cop's synopsis said pedestrian didnt have the light and caused the vehicle to hit him.

There was no damage to the drivers car so I decided not to ticket the pedestrian. lol

I have clothing smarter than this guy. 

Been a rough week here.....more than glad its finally friday.


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On 11/5/2020 at 6:48 PM, Bill Schmalhofer said:

Against my sensibilities I am liking the OSB handles. What are the bolsters made from? 


The bolster is 5000 year old bog oak. The spacer is G10 ! :blink:

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Here's to a speedy recovery, my brother!  Sorry to hear that.  Hope you get the deserved justice.

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RIP Bear....be free!


as always

peace and love




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1 hour ago, Brian Dougherty said:

Damn Conner :o

Yeah, that looks really good.  I like that shape and might have to do a couple damascus ones.


I think I said this before, but it's been fun watching your forging skills improve.  

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RIP Bear....be free!


as always

peace and love




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Are you usin old files fer these or W1,2/O1,2  ??

A couple of those are on my tadoo list.....................B)

If ya can't be good don't git caught  !!                                        People who say stuff can't be done need to

                                                                                                        git the hell outta the way of people who do stuff   !!!

Show me a man who is called an expert by his peers         

And I will show you a good man to listen to ......

Show me a man who calls himself an expert

and I will show you an egotistical asshole...............!!



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Made a bunch more folder parts.



Cut the nail nicks with a 1/2" dovetail cutter in a milling attachment for the lathe.










Then I promptly ruined two blades in a row trying to grind the bevels.   :(  This AEB-L is like grinding brass. Relatively soft, heats up VERY fast, and one slip and you're done.


Then I cut off another hunk of steel and ground it clean and flat to match the four knives in progress (a surface grinder would be really handy, as would someone selling precision-ground AEB-L or 12c27/13c28/14c28n), and cut two more blade blanks to replace the ones I ruined.  Stopped short of fitting them to the springs and liners they'll go with.  Beginning to see why folder makers are machinists and/or masochists.  


I may try hollow grinding the next ones.

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Today I ground a few fullers two on each side of the blade) using a pneumatic pencil die grinder. My one mill that works right now doesn't have table locks and the y-axis has a huge amount of backlash, so using a ball end mill wouldn't work. I've seen others using a die grinder for this recently, and I decided to give it a try.


The fullers need to be refined and polished with EDM stones and sandpaper, but I must say I like the results so far. The first picture shows the edges scribed out and guide channels roughly cut down the middle with carbide bits, and the second shows the fullers ground with the sanding drum.





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Yesterday I started work on a series of tools using sucker rod. I cut 5 9" pieces of round and used the knuckle from the end of a sucker rod for my first hardy. Once the threads were ground off the end and I squared up the shank for the hardy hole, I had too much slop for my liking, so I pulled out the stick welder and added beads to the faces and corners. Not the prettiest solution, but hey, it's my first hardy. Here is the knuckle with the shank reforged and ground but before I cut off the excess. I tried leaving the flare and a bit of the round for upsetting and getting a nice wide blade, but in the end had to settle for what I got.




Also forged the struck end for all my other tools.


Today I was able to finish up the forging of the hardy and 4 of my other tools: A round punch, a slot punch, a hot chisel, and a square fuller. They should be about 10 inches long when done. No pictures as they are cooling in the bottom of my charcoal ash bucket. I will grind tomorrow and take pictures.




Any suggestion for heat treating these tools? Do I need to get the whole length to critical temp before quenching, or can I just heat up the business end? I have made a small test coupon with an off cut and air cooling didn't harden it. My next test will be hot oil. Is that right?


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5 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Then I promptly ruined two blades in a row trying to grind the bevels. 

Do you have a blade holder for grinding them, or are you trying to do it by pinching the tang between your fingers?


On 11/6/2020 at 1:09 PM, Kreg Whitehead said:

and get nailed by a vw passat

Heal fast, I wish you good luck with the lawsuit.


1 hour ago, Taylor Hendrix said:

Any suggestion for heat treating these tools?

I have made several hot tools from sucker rod. Some of the punches and drifts I never heat treated at all and they work fine. Chances are good it's 4140 ~ 4160. Whether you harden the whole piece or just the business end depends on whether you want to do the Mark Aspery method or you can temper the whole piece in a reliable oven. Check out his videos. He has a couple on forging and HTing your own tools.



Enough of you guys though. Today, I did some forging!


“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  





J.States Bladesmith | Facebook



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I believe the technical term for what little I did on Saturday is "polishing turds"

3rd attempt at putting a handle on a knife that doesn't know what it wants to be, I was almost happy with this attempt when I ground through into the tang hole from the top......





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10 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Do you have a blade holder for grinding them,


Yep.  Stuff is just soft and gummy, and these blades are tiny.  Variable speed would be a big help.

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