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    • Alan Longmire

      IMPORTANT Registration rules   02/12/2017

      Use your real name or you will NOT get in.  No aliases or nicknames, no numerals in your name. Do not use the words knives, blades, swords, forge, smith (unless that is your name of course) etc. We are all bladesmiths and knifemakers here.  If you feel you need an exception or are having difficulty registering, send a personal email to the forum registrar here.  
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Charles du Preez

Some new blades (pre and post course)

9 posts in this topic

Hi. I have started work on a kitchen knife for a friend who taught me how to cook (my second knife). As per his preferred kitchen knife shape and full-tang. I don't have it here for exact measurements but it is about 10 or 11" OAL. Still needs quite a bit of work.

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Anyhow this was before I went on the 3 day bladesmithing course at Bushfire Forge (Owen Bush). For anyone interested in doing this course I highly recommend it. I have learned a huge amount, had fun and have created two blades. I feel my skills have improved a lot over the 3 days and I am looking forward to attending more courses.

The puuko still needs some filing to bring the tang forward (I wasn't paying attention and managed to roll the bottom of the blade onto the anvil when drawing out the tang). There are also a few other bits and bobs I need to do. My second (main) blade is a broken back seax. I found it difficult to wrap my head around why people like them until I saw one in the flesh. Now I love them too. I am currently working on handles for these blades.

 

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there you go first post of blades and a very nice process in doing so ! I can identify with your comment about seax, this one looks potent - have one in early forging stage waiting for the right moment for get its final shape.

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Thanks Karim. I look forward to seeing yours when it is ready.

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I was wondering when we'd hear from your experience at the class.  Nice stuff!  

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Thank you Alan.

I would also say to all my fellow beginner bladesmiths. Look for a course and book it. There is a list of teachers here on the forum. You won't regret it.

Edited by Charles du Preez

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Hi

So, I've had zero time at the forge. Between the new job, the rain (I forge in the garden) and various commitments, there just hasn't been a decent opportunity. I have ordered a belt grinder for the shed and I've been working on a handle for the seax though. I decided to do a carved handle out of oak which I will then treat with @Eric McHugh's bog oak shaft method to darken but stop shy of black. I hope pooling in the recesses will make those darker but I'll try it out on a test piece first. The steel wool is currently sitting in the vinegar.

The carving is inspired by this Angle-Saxon find:

 

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I carved a practice run out of blackthorn. Okay, so it wasn't a practice run, it just didn't turn out as I wanted :ph34r:. Blackthorn is nicer to carve than the oak which is grainy and prone to making the Dremel jump. I thought oak may be a more historically accurate material plus I've never worked with it before and I wanted to try bogging the oak. Anyhoo the handle is 17cm long, 32mm high (6-3/4" x 1-1/4") and probably needs the last couple of centimetres (inch or so) cut off to be in better proportion.

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Here is the handle laid out on the blade for an idea of what I'm aiming for. When gripping the handle, the thumb and forefinger go around behind the eyes. AOL minus the offcut should be about 38cm/16".

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I am having some trouble trying to clean up in the recesses. I have tried hand-sanding but all I'm managing is to round the edges. The Dremel's wire brush is no good and makes it worse by taking out the softer fibres. Can anyone offer some advice on how to better do this part please?

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When attached, the top of the blade will be level with the groove between the nostrils and the bottom will be level with the bottom jaw (not tongue - though I'm still debating this). Any comments, suggestions, etc. also welcome. I will also accept "throw it away and start again". I think next time I would trace the design onto folded paper and transfer it to both sides rather than freehand draw it before carving. Thank you for looking. I wanted to attend @Petr Florianek's handle and sheath making course that is taking place at @owen bush's forge in October to better learn about handle making but it falls on a friends' wedding. Next time Petr.

Edited by Charles du Preez
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Very small scrapers are good for recesses.  Just a piece of steel filed sharp.  these can be used like chisels or scrapers.

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The only way to truly appreciate carving is to try/do it!! The carving and getting it like you want is time consuming but, once you finish the carving and it is at a place where you are comfortable with that. You suddenly realize you need to go back and spend time sanding or cleaning up the fuzzy stuff and you think then, I don't know if I can do this!!

I think you have a wonderful start. Alan''s advice is spot on as in many areas you can't really get sandpaper on it and if you are not very careful you wash out details, if you do. I have learned from my attempts that the cleaning of areas has a lot to do with how you do the carving. Most details need to be worked out, as the carving continues. It has to with perspective also. It is kind of like looking at a painting. What is close to you is larger and blah blah,...........I think that is where I kind of spaced out in art classes years ago!!! One of my biggest problems is I want such a piece to come to life and that is not always possible unless your are really good, and I am not there yet!!

I don't really have advice other than that but, I have been where you are at the moment. Lets just say I haven't chosen to take up carving above knife making. I have an upcoming piece that is gonna challange my abilities in that area and I think that is why I have been putting off the actual commencement of that one, now that I think about it!!

There are some on here that can probably give you advice in the carving area. Right now all I can offer is support!!! 

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Thanks guys. Alan, I'll make some scrapers this week/coming weekend if I get a chance. Thanks for the support C. Craft. You are another Charles, aren't you?

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