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What did you do in your shop today?


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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 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

Forging a copper rose pommel for a misericorde I'm working on. Also going to try and make a couple of tiny ones for the ends of the quillions...    

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Today I finally got a guard I'm happy with. This was probably the 12th attempt or so over the last 6 months. Every other attempt was too flimsy, had noticeable seams, a hole from where a drill bit wandered, etc. This was hogged out of one piece of steel, and hollowed with an 11/16" drill bit to reduce weight. The brass accents on the quatrefoils are soldered in place, and it's ready for polish.

 

Now I can do the wood core and finally move on to the brass spacers, wooden lower grip, and pommel.

PXL_20210919_182805232.MP.jpg

Edited by AJ Chalifoux
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6 hours ago, Joël Mercier said:

How is it looking now Joshua? 

 

Better.

 

6 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

THAT is just wicked!  Yikes!

+1 to that

7 hours ago, AJ Chalifoux said:

finally got a guard I'm happy with.

That is looking very classy.

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23 hours ago, jake cleland said:

Forging a copper rose pommel for a misericorde I'm working on.

The rose is great, but that entire knife...

...holy crap! :o

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On 9/18/2021 at 5:42 PM, Joël Mercier said:

Unfortunately, I've got zero tools for carving besides files and mini rasps so I'm limited in what I can do. 

You only need one tool to start carving and you can make it in half an hour. I use this graver for 90% of my carving:

 

graver 1.jpg

 

It's a little under 1/8th thick, 1/4" deep, 4" long. the point is a little under 3/8ths long, so about a 35ish degree angle, though there is a tiny bit of relief in the first 1/4"  The edge is sharpened slightly steeper - I just touch it up on a hard felt wheel every year or so. the handle on this is a commercial graver handle, but it's really just there to rest against your palm, so any rounded lump of hardwood will do. The tape is just padding to reduce blisters. This and a flat needle file to use as a scraper are all you need to start carving...

 

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On 9/22/2021 at 1:25 PM, jake cleland said:

You only need one tool to start carving and you can make it in half an hour. I use this graver for 90% of my carving:

Thanks! I might try this on my next "art" knife. 

 

11 minutes ago, Alex Middleton said:

tell Zeb

I already did :lol:. According to him, he'll be back this fall. 

 

You can't back up now @Zeb Camper :ph34r:

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On 9/19/2021 at 11:01 AM, jake cleland said:

Forging a copper rose pommel for a misericorde I'm working on. Also going to try and make a couple of tiny ones

I somehow missed that. It's a completely sick piece! 

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Shoulder surgery that I was expecting in October or November happened on 6 September with very little notice.

I was expecting 6 weeks in a sling and 9-12 months recovery time, and my biggest concern was not making knives for that long.....
Been struggling a bit in recent months, but I became very motivated the 2 weeks before the surgery and finished a number of knives, photos to follow.

Cleaned up my shop and packed away as much as I could, glad to report the shoulder needed less work than anticipated, recovery is going well and I hope to get back in the shop by November, December for sure.

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9 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

and I hope to get back in the shop by November, December for sure.

Can I offer some unsolicited advice not knowing any more information than that you had shoulder surgery?   From my experience as a physical therapist, plan for a slower return to forging/swinging a hammer than what the surgeon might have said.   Unless, of course, your surgeon has experience with bladesmithing and knifemaking.

 

Shoulder mechanics and stability comes mainly from soft tissue compared to the hip where a significant portion of the stability is due to the skeletal structure of the joint (hard tissue).   The speed of getting back to 'normal' work activities depends as much, if not more, on the amount of soft tissue damage from the injury compared to the quality of the surgery.  And when it comes to activities that require what we PTs call 'dynamic stability', (like when you try to slow down a poorly aimed hammer swing, try to prevent something heavy from dropping that you knocked over, etc.) the shoulder is very susceptible to injury because it relies on weaker (but more flexible) soft tissue for this protective stability.  

 

Good luck.

 

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Feeling pretty burned out on commissions, and wanted to make something fun. I've been thinking about folk art, and whimsy, and the direction i want to take my work. I see so many technically perfect knives with complex damascus and precious materials all over facebook, and they do nothing for me. I Was also thinking about those 19th C. French 'Satanist' daggers with the figurative grim reaper handles, and wanted do do something with a similar theme. But I realised any grim reaper I carve is pretty much going to end up as a version of Terry Pratchett's DEATH, so I went with a Persian style blade as a nod to his pastiche of Appointment in Samarra. Which is how I ended up with this. Blade is about 9 1/2" long, double edged 1075 with a hamon on both edges. Going with a sculpted steel ferrule, and bog oak handle, which is getting carved box wood inlays for the skull and arm, and a forged copper and steel scythe.

 

samarra 7.jpg  samarra 6.jpg

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I have finished a few more things in the last couple of months. 

 

This was made from a weird, old file that had the end ground into a chisel and the maker's stamp had been ground off. It was 5/16 inches thick, 1/2 an inch wide, and about 14 inches long total. This was my first try at using the acrylic handle material... it didn't end up as symmetrical as I'd like

 

3.jpg

 

I wanted to make a tanto sort of thing. 1/4 inch thick O1

 

4.jpg

 

My first commission, assuming "not quite free" my daughter's boyfriend counts :D  Also my first sheath!  I can't imagine where he got the idea for the shape :)  That copper collar was a pain, and ended up a lot more off-center than I had meant it to be. Blade is 1095

 

2.jpg

 

My wife saw my KITH entry and wanted one too. Blade is 1095, and the handle is homemade fabric/resin

 

5.jpg

 

I tried to make a straight razor. I ended up making a VERY sharp little knife, but the edge ended up not flat and it's not good for shaving. 52100, but just stock removal. I didn't bother finishing it any further since it doesn't actually do what I want, but I did make a little pouch-sheath for it.

 

6.jpg

 

And most recently, a trio of everyday knives: one for me, one for my wife, one for my daughter These are 52100, and now I understand the complaints about how tough it is to get it to move. But oh my do they take an edge!

 

1.jpg

 

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No pics, but I managed to get the blade finished and handle glued on to the cleaver I've been picking away at on and off for the last few weeks.  Hand sanding a 3.5" wide blade is a royal PITA.

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14 hours ago, billyO said:

Can I offer some unsolicited advice not knowing any more information than that you had shoulder surgery?   From my experience as a physical therapist, plan for a slower return to forging/swinging a hammer than what the surgeon might have said.   Unless, of course, your surgeon has experience with bladesmithing and knifemaking.

 

Shoulder mechanics and stability comes mainly from soft tissue compared to the hip where a significant portion of the stability is due to the skeletal structure of the joint (hard tissue).   The speed of getting back to 'normal' work activities depends as much, if not more, on the amount of soft tissue damage from the injury compared to the quality of the surgery.  And when it comes to activities that require what we PTs call 'dynamic stability', (like when you try to slow down a poorly aimed hammer swing, try to prevent something heavy from dropping that you knocked over, etc.) the shoulder is very susceptible to injury because it relies on weaker (but more flexible) soft tissue for this protective stability.  

 

Good luck.

 

Thanks....and noted.
I'm taking the recovery seriously, physio twice a week till end of October, then biokinetics after that.  Unfortunately not doing my exercises as religiously since I'm back at the office this week, but it feels better every day.

I was very lucky, they didn't need to reattach muscles, cleared away some bone to give me about 1cm clearance and cleaned up all the inflammation.   

:D Definitely no forging on the menu for the remainder of 2021, I'll be able to grind for sure, hope I'm able to do hand sanding since December seems to be my only gap to make folders. 

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8 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

 they didn't need to reattach muscles, cleared away some bone to give me about 1cm clearance and cleaned up all the inflammation.   

That's good to hear.much less to worry about then, and faster return to normal activities.   Best of luck to you, and I continue to hope the monkey is staying off your back.

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I love that grim reaper knife so much already! Can't wait to see it finished

 

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Finished up my BIL's cleaver today.

20211003_183636.jpg

I'm not overly happy with the way the bevels turned out.  I'll do things a bit differently next time.  He's extremely happy though, I guess that's the important part.

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