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First Post: WIP


Eric Morgan

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Hey everyone, first post here. Gotta say that there is some incredible talent here, and an insane amount of high quality craftsmanship to aspire to.

That being said, here is my 3rd knife I've made. It is forged from bearing steel with a 4" blade with some slight distal taper. It was forged to shape, and in the pic has been draw-filed and profiled slightly. I will be using copper sheet for the guard (bolster? Not sure if that's exactly the right term for this design), old growth walnut, copper spacer, maple, and a copper butt cap. The front and rear copper pieces will be textured with a small ball peen.

I appreciate any feedback you guys may have.

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Edited by Eric Morgan
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Sounds like a good recipe, now let's see how it turns out . looks good so far , although I like a blade with more belly in it , But thats a preference of mine , nothing wrong with your blade

www.hoyfamily.net

Isa 54:16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.Lu 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Mr 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
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Thanks for the reply.

 

I forgot to add that I'm forgoing the choil... The more I look at my drawing, the less I like it. Also going to do a full flat grind as well. Going for a seax-ish look with this. Trying to take my time and really get the fit and finish right.

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Welcome to the forum Eric.

Looks like a good design and a great start. Plunge cuts and choil or not, either way works.

Keep the photos coming, and if you have any questions about the steps between here and the finish line, ask away.

“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.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

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I got the blade heat treated today. Quenched in oil after a short soak at non-magnetic, tempered for two 1-hour cycles @ 400* F.

 

Also cut the walnut, maple, and copper today for the handle. Now just to clean the blade, and sand it to it's final finish, epoxy together, and shape the handle.

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Welcome!

I am a sucker for copper. That bolster will be great. Usually, if it is before a guard, it is called a spacer (unless it is hollow like a piece of pipe or a cap that fits over the handle material, then it is a ferrule). If it serves in place of a guard, it is called a bolster.

 

Please forgive if you don't care, or already knew this. I sometimes fall into lecture mode, and I mean no harm. If you hit me on the knee with a rubber hammer, I start babbling.

 

I think you are off to a good start. Congrats on the blade surviving heat treatment. It is alive, now!

 

keep us posted, please. This group tends to enjoy watching people develop their skills. You can get a ton of info by using Google to search this website, too. The regular search engine works, but it is not great.

(again, forgive me if you already know this. I did not, and I am trying to help).

take care,

kc

please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/

 

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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Thanks Kevin. No offense taken. I'm very new to this craft, at least as far as hands on goes, but I've read a lot. Any advice or information you guys can pass along, I will be glad to accept.

 

I got to do some more work on it today, just have to make the front bolster (Thanks Kevin ;-) ) and thin down the handle profile quite a bit.

 

 

Question... Once I epoxy everything together, how can I keep it cool enough to not break down the epoxy while sanding? I'd imagine water would be a no-no...

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Edited by Eric Morgan
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Nice work so far! Before permanently attaching the handle, and you may have done this already but I can't really tell from the last picture, but try and have the shoulders of the tang as square to the tang as possible. With the wood being the uppermost part of the handle it isn't as big of a deal because there is some room for error there, but that little gap from a non-square fit is the bane of my existence. For keeping it cool, I've never had a problem with that as long as I do the majority of the removal with a 60 or 80 grit belt (36 if there is a LOT of wood to take away). If it looks like its surface is starting to discolour from the heat, back off and let it cool on its own. Fortunately wood is a terrible thermal conductor so the interior won't be getting blazing hot unless you're doing something extreme. Just go slow and take your time with it!

 

John

Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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You could, and this is the way the I do blades with this construction, glue the pieces together and shape them away from the blade. As for getting the wood too hot for the epoxy, I'm betting that the wood will burn before the epoxy lets go.

 

Geoff

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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Hey man! Welcome aboard!
When you begin removing all the wood that's not the handle, don't be shy a bout it...most common beginner mistake; Handles TOO FAT. Get rid of it, take it down. The hand likes THIN...trust me on this.

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Thanks for the replies and warm welcome everyone. Means a lot.

 

John Page, my biggest concern is the copper spacer and bolster that will be at the front of the handle heating up and breaking down the epoxy, but I'll just take my time and keep check with how warm it gets as I go.

 

Jdsmith, I definitely don't wanna ruin the feel of this knife with too large a handle... I am afraid of taking too much off, though lol

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My advice, buy yourself a cabinet maker's rasp. They come with a flat side and a half round side. They will take wood off really quickly, and you can control what you do. Personally, I always risk taking too much off with a belt grinder because of making mistakes that require wood removal to clean up.

 

Even when I make big things, like sheaths for swords, most of the wood work is do with a carpenter's rasp (ebay, it is an old one that was in new condition - called New Old Stock). Files and rasps - either buy them from McMaster-Carr or buy NOS on ebay. The files and rasps that you get from hardware stores or Amazon are deliberately made of lower quality than the industrial products sold through Mcmaster. Plus, they have EVERYTHING and will ship the same day for no extra fee.

 

I didn't realize this when I started making knives, but rasps and files work wonderfully on wood. Rasp, then bastard file, then smooth file. I suggest single-cut smooth files. It is hard to get single cut round files, though. I use the belt grinder, but I use it turned WAY down, as a sander to remove rasping marks. 80 or 120 grit belt and SLOW.

 

It may seem like you are going slower than you could this way, but you are not. Because, starting over takes a LOT of time. You won't have to start over. Also, when there is really a lot of material to remove, like you have, draw layout lines for the sides, top, and bottom, and then cut just outside of them with a saw. Handsaw, or bandsaw. I use a hacksaw, or a small rip saw, or a Japanese-style back saw. If you saw to just outside the profile lines, then rasp, then file, you can get to shape pretty quick.

 

On smaller stuff, I cheat a little, and everywhere that is totally flat (if I can access it) I go over it with a disc sander to remove scratches and ensure dead flat.

 

With bigger stuff, I can't do that.

 

By the way, change directions each time you change what you are using (rasp to file, file to sandpaper, 200 grit to 400 grit). Use good light, and use magnification (like an optivisor). These are all necessary to get rid of scratches.

 

A smooth-cut file on wood leaves a finish about like 400 grit abrasive paper, only the filed finish is burnished some and more shiny than the abrasive paper finish.

 

Personally, I go from files to 220 grit paper.

 

Be sure to back the paper with something (that is a topic in itself, and I have rambled too much as it is).

 

Please forgive the ramble. I personally believe that files are: 1) the greatest tool man and woman have invented for shaping material, and 2) learning to use files and rasps is an essential step for a knifemaker to reach her or his ultimate potential (if you learn to do it with a file, then you will immediately understand how to do it with a power tool).

 

Let us watch the progress. This is fun. I promise, I won't do into lecture mode again. I swear. Please forgive this one.

 

kc

please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/

 

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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I find one of the most difficult things to do is to keep the handle symmetrical on either side of the blade. The method I came up with is to lay a piece of 1/8" flat stock on the ricasso up against the spacer, with the guard removed (on this knife it will lay right on the blade bevel) and draw a pencil line on the spacer. Do both sides. Now repeat with a 3/16" piece of flat stock and again with a 1/4" piece. I do the same lines on the heel of the handle

 

As you start removing handle material check the face of the spacer and the heel. The lines give you a reference for symmetry and you can see exactly where more material needs to be removed. when done, clean the remaining pencil lines off.

“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.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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Joshua - that is a good idea.

Symmetry can be elusive, right? (I just had to regrind a blade because the process of polishig showed that the bevels were a tad off)l Keep us posted!

kc

please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/

 

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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Here's a couple shots of the handle... First coat of Danish Oil soaking in. I have the second coat on now, and it's really only a half shade or so darker... It isn't perfect, but overall I'm pleased with it. Especially considering that this has been my first woodworking project pretty much ever. The angled taper toward the back on the bottom is intentional, as I was trying to break up the straight lines of the handle as it was. And how about that nice bit of character that was hiding in the maple huh? I love it anyway lol

 

 

Josh, thanks a ton for the idea to use material to lay off lines to give me symmetry. At least more than I had previously lol

 

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It will be interesting to see the handle on the blade. I can't agree with Kevin more about using a good rasp to shape the handles. My favorite tools are Japanese carving files that I got from Woodcraft. They're just under $20 each for the small size which comes in both flat and half round and are much better than what you can get in a tool-in-a-box store and they give you much better control than a belt sander.

 

Doug

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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Finished her up this morning... Still have to make a sheath, but don't have enough leather on hand to make one.

 

I know it isn't perfect, but I'm happy to have this one finished, and have hopefully made my way through at least some small section of the learning curve...

 

 

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