Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I may be biting off more than I can chew with this one.  It's intended as a retirement gift  for a man who has had a large impact on my professional life over the last 15 years.  When I asked him if he wanted something to use, or something to display in his collection, his response was "Something to display, making something to use would be too easy for you."  Knowing the knives he already has in his collection, making something to go along with them is definitely not going to be easy.

 

Very rough sketch:

20200215_203707.jpg

The proportions of the handle and fittings are a bit off, but the general concept is there.  I haven't decided if it will be Spalted Maple with brass/copper fittings, or African Blackwood with mild steel.  I'm leaning towards blackwood/mild steel but I want to see how the damascus turns out before committing. 

 

I was able to get a very rough forging of the blade done tonight:

20200215_194613.jpg

Its 48 layers of 1084/15n20.  I thought I started with enough material for 2 blades, ended up having to incorporate some of the rebar into the tang because I ran short <_<.  Next up after cleanup is a bunch of hand filing in order to get the diamond pattern I want in the blade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a perfect project to use Peter Johnsson's geometrical design technique to get the proportions just right.  It works best on straight double-edged blades with symmetrical guards. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tip Alan.  If I recall, that's a pinned thread somewhere.  I'll look it up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here it is in Video form:

 

This is the wordless, blow-your-mind-slowly version.  It starts slow, but by about minute 4 it will start to make sense.  Then it will blow your mind again.  And there is an Arctic Fire talk about it too, I'll see if I can find that...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found it!  This is the long version, given at Arctic Fire.  Although, I've seen it in person at Ashokan and Owen Bush's.  Still mind-blowing no matter how many times I watch it. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

20200216_165758.jpg

Thanks for that Alan.  That'll give me something to do during my lunch tomorrow. 

 

I got the blade cleaned up and started filing in the pattern grooves:

20200216_165758.jpg

20200216_165907.jpg

 

There's still a ton more filing to go, then it's back into the forge to rough in the bevels.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took some time and did some 2d sketching based on some of the principles I gleaned from the short form of Peter's presentation.  Obviously there is a lack of details on the handle, but I'm pretty happy with the general shape. I may have to make the swell a little larger, but I haven't decided yet.  

 

Dagger.JPG

 

One of these days I'll be done filing the grooves into the blade........

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That did help the proportions and flow. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yeah it did. That sketch is a much better design. You really are pushing the envelope with that curved guard Alex!

Go for it man. Take no prisoners!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lol! We'll see how it turns out when I get that far.

I got the rest of the filing done today:

20200222_110604.jpg

 

And then got it forged down and drew out the bevels:

20200222_115932.jpg

 

Im sure you can tell that this is my first time trying to forge the bevels in on a dagger, keeping everything straight and centered is a royal PITA.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is, but looks like you're doing well. B)

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anxious to see how this works out. What an interesting, but likely effective way of patterning a blade!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Alex Middleton said:

my first time trying to forge the bevels in on a dagger, keeping everything straight and centered is a royal PITA.

The biggest mistake people make when forging a dagger is thinking about it like forging two regular blades back to back.

What I mean is that on a single edged knife, you are drawing the edge down and away from the spine. If you try and do the same thing on a dagger you end up with a twisted and mangled piece of steel. Forging a dagger is more like trying to push the steel inwards toward the center rib from both sides.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Joshua States said:

Forging a dagger is more like trying to push the steel inwards toward the center rib from both sides.

 

Thanks for that comment, Josh.  I'd have never thought of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Joshua States said:

 If you try and do the same thing on a dagger you end up with a twisted and mangled piece of steel. Forging a dagger is more like trying to push the steel inwards toward the center rib from both sides.

Well, that would have been good to know yesterday, lol:D.  As I'm working on this I'm realizing that I didnt do as good of a job keeping everything centered as I thought I did.  I'll add a pic later, but it's looking like the bevels cross over the centerline in a couple of spots.  I'm going to finish profiling everything to shape and then take a closer look.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never thought of it that way, but it's true.  And don't be afraid to hammer on the edges to keep things the size you want.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My camera is not cooperating on the pictures of the edge, but I did get the profile finished:

20200223_123850.jpg

Theres a big part of me that wants to take a torch and crescent wrench, or fire the forge back up, and start tweaking the edge to center, but theres a little voice in the back of my head that keeps saying that I should bring it in to work tomorrow and use the height gauge to lay out the true center line before I do that.  The really weird thing is that the voice sounds eerily like @Joshua States...........:D;)

 

I think I'm going to listen to it and call it good for today.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Alex Middleton said:

Well, that would have been good to know yesterday,

You didn't ask the day before. :P

 

4 hours ago, Alex Middleton said:

but it's looking like the bevels cross over the centerline in a couple of spots

I know that this is getting to be a lot of advice after the fact, and I apologize.

I have found that when forging daggers, it's often best not to try and forge the bevels all the way up to create a center rib. Leave a little flat spot running down the center, mark the rib line, and grind the rib in. If you have access to a surface grinder, you can put that flat back in using the ricasso as your benchmark. If not, lay that dagger on a piece of sandpaper on your surfacing stone (you do have a slab of granite or similar hard & smooth surface?) and hand sand it in.

 

The profile looks nice Alex. I think the ricasso is a little small. You won't have much room for finishing that before it disappears. I do like the profile taper. It looks killer.

Edited by Joshua States

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Josh.  Dont worry about advice after the fact, I appreciate it, and it'll come in handy on the next one.  No surface grinder, yet, but I will define the spine better before doing any major grinding on the bevels.  First I have to figure out if I'm going to need to put it back in the forge to tweak the edges.  Tomorrow will tell.

I somewhat agree on the ricasso.  I'm trying to keep it to the "golden ratio", we'll see where it ends up.  Unfortunately I didnt factor in how much the blade would grow when I forged in the bevels, and ended up starting too far back.  There's a good size hammer mark on the ricasso at the bottom of the last picture (basically where the layout fluid bleeds over).  There wasn't enough width to the tang in order to shift everything back to clear it without the ricasso getting even smaller.  I have a plan, but I'm going to have to get creative with the plunge lines in order to hide it effectively. 

Edited by Alex Middleton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A potential alternative to the ricasso/plunge lines problem is to use a habaki instead:

 

taylor 5.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Jake, I'll keep that in mind.  My plan will actually have the ricasso looking a lot like what your habaki does.  First I need to get the edge straight.  I layed it out at work today and there are a couple areas where the bevels come down to the center line, I found a slight warp near the tip as well.  Back to the forge......

Edited by Alex Middleton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sat on this thing for a couple of days.  I wanted to think things through to try and make sure I didn't do something stupid.  After looking the blade over, I took Josh's advice and cleaned up the center line on both sides before starting on the bevels.  Without having access to a surface grinder, I used my big bastard file and roughed in each side until I had a clean spot running the entire length of the ridge.  Then I took it to the flattest chunk of steel that I have and hand sanded it the rest of the way to true.20200229_130701.jpg20200229_153910.jpg

 

After that I marked the center of the blade and edges on both sides and jigged it up to start filing.

20200229_161406.jpg

 

I picked the bevel with what appeared to be the worst hammer marks and started filing.  After an hour or so it had cleaned up better than I thought it would.

20200229_170449.jpg

 

Theres one mark that I stopped short of filing all of the way out.  I was running very close to the center of the edge and wanted to leave enough to be able to clean up during hand sanding.  The jury is still out as to whether or not I'll be able to clean it up without changing the profile of the blade.

20200229_084155.jpg

20200229_084141.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice work Alex!

 

4 hours ago, Alex Middleton said:

The jury is still out as to whether or not I'll be able to clean it up without changing the profile of the blade.

Sometimes, you just have to do what you can. I have reground the profile more times than I can remember. Often to re-center the edge or because I ground one area too thin.

Looking good man. Enjoy this journey. It's a good one.

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep after it ................B)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

One of my personal goals when I started this project was to keep the ridge centered and not wash it out during hand sanding.  This is something that I've never been able to accomplish in the past.  After hand sanding the first side out to 400 grit, I'm pretty happy with the results.

20200301_135423.jpg

Everything cleaned up much better than I had hoped.  It's not 100% perfect but I dont think it will be noticeable after the blade is etched.  Speaking of etching, I couldn't resist taking a sneak peek. :D

20200301_140510.jpg

 

Now it's on to side #2....

Edited by Alex Middleton
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...