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Alex Middleton

KITH Dagger

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I finally got started on my KITH contribution over the weekend.  The blade is 4.5", overall length will be roughly 7.5" or so.  It's supposed to have a ridge running down the spine on both sides, but after 3 attempts at forging it and 2 different tries at grinding it in I decided to take some artistic license and leave it off.  I was planning on posting a full WIP, but in my frustration, I totally forgot to take pictures of this one until after I had already gotten it to this point.

20180114_170126_2.jpg

The next step is to fill in the holes in the tang and start grinding the bevels.

This knife is supposed to be my take on a knife seen in a modern day "magic" related movie.  Any guesses as to which one?

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As a father to two kids, when someone mentions magic, my mind automatically  jumps to the Harry Potter books and movies.  Think what you want, but that is the reality around my house.  This knife is my attempt at recreating the push dagger that shows up at the end of the 7th movie.  I actually managed to get a lot farther on this than I planned to this weekend.

The blade is basically finished, with just a touch up polishing needed.1516567786720-1220922974.jpg

 

I even was able to finish the handle hardware and get them rough fit to the tang.

Starting to "turn" the ferrule:20180121_124903.jpg

 

Rough assembly:

15165679217981257747042.jpg

 

Hopefully next weekend I'll have time to get started on the handle.

 

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Love the angles on the blade. The ferrule is the thing that grabbed my attention from a good looking well executed dagger, to an artistic, magic project. Really really nice looking. Can’t wait to see it completed.

Edited by DavidF
Apple spellcheck. Well changed to week ???

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Thanks David.  I'm trying to stretch out and try some new things with this one.  I don't do much decorative work so I'm really hoping I can pull off the handle design that I have spinning around in my head.

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On 1/21/2018 at 5:08 PM, Alex Middleton said:

Thanks David.  I'm trying to stretch out and try some new things with this one.  I don't do much decorative work so I'm really hoping I can pull off the handle design that I have spinning around in my head.

Draw a full size scale replica of what you have in your head. Get the drawing to look exactly the way you want. Add in all the details of the design; pins, handle materials, the works. If you need any help with embellishment, cruise around the forums and use Google Site search to locate How-to threads on techniques.

Edited by Joshua States

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Thanks for the tips Joshua.  I actually did a 3d model of the entire thing before I even started, minus the decorative work on the handle.  The basic shape is the easy part, the embellishments is where I struggle.  I can't freehand draw worth a tinkers damn, and that deficiency transfers over when I try to do decorative carving or leather work.  My stuff usually comes out looking like it was done by a 5 year old that got ahold of daddy's pocket knife!  I'm trying to use this project to push myself past this mental block that I have when it comes to artistic touches.  Practice, practice, practice I guess.

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drawing is a skill like any other - it takes work to acquire it. But it is the foundational skill of any decorative work - carving, engraving, leather tooling etc - and there is no point in attempting any of these on a knife until you are able to draw what you want first. The good news is that paper is cheap...

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Yeah, I've just never had the need to do any kind of decorative work.  My daily world revolves around sheet metal bent at 90 deg. angles.  I usually get frustrated and give up whenever a project at home needs that extra "something".  Like I said, it's a mental thing.  I just need to pull my head out of a certain dark place and get over it so that I can force myself to put in the practice required to at least be competent.

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Highly recommended a fellow by the name of Alphonso Dunn he's a pen and ink artist with a GREAT YouTube channel with an emphasis on drawing. I have learned more from his videos than I ever did in Art class.

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Thanks for the reference Jonathan.  I checked out a couple of his videos, the guy is crazy good.  Gave me a lot of good info and things to practice.

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So, I spent a couple of hours drawing the same thing over and over.  I may be up to 10 year old level now :D.  I also spent some time working on the handle.  Managed to get it dry fit before the wife put her foot down and wanted some honey-do's done.

20180128_182219.jpg

I decided that the handle was too small for me to be able to successfully carve on.  Instead, I'm engraving the design into the lid of the box that will hold the knife.

20180128_182337.jpg

That's it for now.  I really appreciate the help you guys have offered up to this point.

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One thing you might think on when relief carving is that you usually carve out the area around your drawing, this leaves the carving proud of its surrounding.  The following is a good example  

 

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Just a tip for forging daggers or or other blades with a diamond cross section.
Start with square stock and forge it on its bias.
This gives you your bevels and ridge.

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This is looking really good.

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I'm going to reset and try the handle again.  The more I look at it, the more it needs some sort of embellishment to make it fit the overall theme of the knife.  For some reason I've been in a rush to get this one done, but I just realized that there's still 5 months to go before the "deadline".  Should be plenty of time to figure something out that I can pull off and still have it look decent.

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So, I decided to do some playing around tonight.  It's definitely not great, but way better than what I was expecting. 

20180202_213403.jpgAlex 20180202_213413.jpg20180202_213428.jpg

Like I said, I just had to pull my head out and do it.  Unfortunately, the massive crack that opened up in the wood means that this one is junk.  At least it was good practice.

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I got the handle remade today.  No cracks this time!

Rough carving done:

20180204_142139.jpg

Yes, I have a Lazy-boy in my shop.  Right now it's sitting right in front of the blower for the wood burner. :D

Cleaned up, sanded, and ready for stain:

20180204_151901.jpg

I absolutely hate staining black walnut, but this knife just wouldn't look right without a black handle.

Hopefully everything looks good when it all comes together.

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Very nice!!!

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I glued everything up this weekend, and it was a miserable failure.

20180211_114021.jpg20180211_114025.jpg

I didn't have it clamped straight, and it came out crooked, "gappy", and off center.  Needless to say that wasn't going to work, so I torched everything back apart and started working on a new handle.

I decided to try a different method this time.  It's been a while since I've done any wood turning so I thought I'd give it a whirl.  My hope was to increase the overall symmetry of the handle.

20180211_132103.jpg

I'm changing it up a little bit.  I switched to oak when the walnut piece I was turning blew up on the lathe, also removing the metal turned piece and incorporating it into the wood.

20180211_134752.jpg

I got the carving redone today as well but forgot to take pictures.

Edited by Alex Middleton

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You're not kidding!  This new one is already suspect.  The oak I used has a very wide grain structure and didn't turn out as good as originally hoped ito would.  I haven't trashed it yet as it might be salvageable.  We'll see how it looks as I apply the finish to it.

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I'm doing the bulk of the carving with my Dremel.  I've done a little bit with my cheap set of hobby store chisels, but I learned real quickly that cheap chisels aren't any good, and good chisels aren't cheap.

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