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Hello everyone.  As the title says, I forged this blade from an 01 Explorer leaf spring.  I bought a bag of vermiculite to allow the blade to slow cool so I could drill the tang.  This is the first time I've done this and honestly I was surprised how soft the steel was after I let it sit for 20 hours.  It was normalized 3 times, quenched in oil and tempered for 2 hours at 380F.  The handle is made of black/silver epoxy scales that my wife ordered online from somewhere and the slats in the handles are a sandwich of 20mm, 30mm, 20mm shells.  The blade is patina'd black.  I used a wood burner to draw the image on the face of the sheath.  It took a while but it was fun and I will definitely practice this further in the future.  The sheath is double rowed, saddle stitched from one very long piece of dacron.  That might not be the right word for the cordage.  We call it dacron lacing tape in the military.  I finished the sheath with 2 coats of linseed oil.  I think it turned out pretty cool.  I put a lot of time into this one.  Any critiques or pointers are welcome.  Have a great week!

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That came out quite well. In some photos the handle looks a bit blocky but not so much in others. It may just be the way the light reflects in some photos. Again, it might just be the light but I like to pull the sheath stitches in hard so the compress the leather and sit slightly below the surface. It stops them rubbing and fraying. All in all good work.

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Looks good!  One thing I may be seeing, or not:  On the post-quench picture, are those frogskin-looking spots slightly raised?  If not, cool.  If they are, that means you overheated it right before the quench.  Leaf spring is pretty forgiving about that, it's just something to watch for when dialing in your HT.  

 

The final finish is great!

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You're getting all kinds of mileage out of those 20mm shell casings.  They certainly bring a neat material and talking point into the knife.

The leather decoration is great.  I've never thought about going at it with a wood burning iron.  I'm assuming the leather was completely dry when you did?  In the pics it looks like it might still be damp, but I wouldn't think that would work out well.

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Thanks everyone!

 

Alan - The frog spots were just slightly raised, enough to catch your fingernail on.  You're also right about me trying to dial in the HT.  I'm a knucklehead and quenched this in the middle of the day with the door open.  I usually close the door and turn the lights off to watch the color but I didn't this time.  Won't do that again.

 

Brian - This leather I bought is darker than the veg tan I see a lot of other people using.  Oddly enough, I just ordered leather from a different brand to see how the new one works out.  This leather is a bit soft and I'm not really a fan.  On this sheath I actually used a leather hardener on the inside pieces before I stitched it all together.  That being said, the piece that I burned may have been barely damp.  I dampened a sponge, wiped the outside 1 time, let it sit for 5ish minutes the cut the stitch lines in it.  I let it sit for another 5ish minutes and it didn't feel damp at all when I started burning it.

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