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It's been quite a while since I've started a new project.  I thought I'd post this as a WIP so hopefully somebody can chime in and point out my inevitable mistakes before I get too far. :D

I started with a 42 layer billet of 1084/15n20 that was around 3/16" thick.  I cut it in half and sandwiched it around a piece of 3/16" thick 1084.  It's my first try at a San-mai type construction so we'll see how centered it turns out.  I ground some grooves into each side after welding to give it a little bit of pattern disruption. 

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I didnt forge the bevels in to this one.  I'm thinking that the line between the layered billets and the core will turn out a bit higher if I grind them in instead.

 

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The plan is to end up with a hidden tang set into a piece of figured walnut with brass furniture.  

Im also planning to use a Petoskey stone (semi-precious gemstone native to Michigan) as a buttcap.

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Anybody have any advice for shaping and setting a stone like this?

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Diamond tools for Dremels work great on stones, but it's hard to re-polish to match the tumbled finish.  If I were you I'd just flatten the back and call it good.  Do it in a shallow pan of water, stone dust is bad to breathe.  If it doesn't need much flattening, SiC sandpaper in water is great.  

For setting it, do you have a copy of JPH's The Master Bladesmith?  He has a good chapter on that.  

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Thanks Alan.  I'll have to get so SiC sheets on order.  I've had both The Complete Bladesmith and The Master Bladesmith on my Amazon wishlist for quite some time.  I guess it's time to move them to the cart.  I'll just tell the wife it's my Christmas present for the year :D.

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I managed to get the blade shape, and bevels filed in.  And a quick test etch because I can't ever resist looking at the pattern. :D

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The edge is 3.5", it'll be 4" to the guard. 

Edited by Alex Middleton
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Hey Alex, plunge cuts look so crisp and looks like you have a nice balance - “core to multilayer wrap”!

Digging it!

ps, when I was up in MIch, I heard all about Petosky stones. Actually found some on Lake Traverse shore.

 

Gary LT

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15 hours ago, Gary LT said:

plunge cuts look so crisp and looks like you have a nice balance - “core to multilayer wrap”!

Thanks Gary.  I spent a lot of time filing on this one.  My goal was to have nice crisp plunge cuts, and an even transition line from bevel to spine.  I've always struggled with those things so I made it a point to focus on them this time.  While it's not perfect, it's a far cry ahead of anything I've pulled off before.

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I'm sorry I saw this so late. That's a very nice looking blade you have there. If I may make an observation, it will be easier to change before HT than after (unless you have a disc sander). The upper flat spots along the spine are not equal. One looks wider and shorter in length than the other. This is a good recipe for warpage in the quench and will be much more difficult to sand out after HT.

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Thanks Josh, great observation.  Between the two pictures there's 4-5 hours of additional filing and sanding, back and forth, on each side of the blade.  I was trying to fix that exact issue.  I ended up getting them to match up as best as I could.  It's also a little deceiving as I filed in a radius to the spine in the last pic (you can't really see it) that wasn't present in the first one.  My plan is to heat treat it tonight after I take one more look to make sure I have everything even.  As I look at it, there may still be a bit too much material up towards the tip on the side shown in the last picture.  You can see how the damascus portion runs right out to the edge, while there is a reveal of the 1084 core on the other side.  Either my filing, or my forging is off just a bit.

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9 hours ago, Alex Middleton said:

I was trying to fix that exact issue.  I ended up getting them to match up as best as I could

You rock dude. I can't wait to see the finished piece.

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Definitely not finished yet. :D  But it survived the quench without a hitch.  Came out hard, and dead straight.  Except for a little kick at the end of the tang which will get ground down anyway.

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Since I was out in the shop anyway, I took the opportunity to do a test run of Saturday's Thanksgiving dinner dessert.

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Smoked bacon encrusted with maple syrup and brown sugar.  Used a bit too much sugar, but came out pretty good.

 

Edited by Alex Middleton
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I've been picking away at this here and there. Today I finished fitting the rough guard and getting the handle bored out and fit in place.

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Unfortunately the stone I wanted to set as a buttcap is not going to work without an amount of shaping that I'm not looking to take on.  Instead I'm going to do something a bit different with the guard and go for a dovetail type look.  If my thinking is correct, it should give a pretty interesting transition as I put the final shape on the handle.  I may still set a stone for a buttcap if I can find another one that is closer to the right size.

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Thanks Brian.  It actually wasn't too bad, I only wrecked two trying to figure it out :D.  For the guard I ended up using a 90 deg router bit and converting my drill press into a makeshift mill.  After that I sanded it smooth over a hard 90 corner on a steel block.  The handle was as simple as making little cuts on the miter saw until I got the angles to match up.

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52 minutes ago, Alex Middleton said:

go for a dovetail type look.

Wow!  Very ambitious.  I can't wait to see how cool that looks. 

Way to push your envelope, Alex!

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As Joshua said.......a pretty cool idea, Alex. You got my attention. I expect when you grind the handle to shape, the bolster will gain some curvature or scalloping, if that makes sense. At least I think it will.

 

Gary LT

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