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My contribution 2021 KITH

Gary LT

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This might be long winded, I don’t post too often, although I check in 7’al times a day.

Late last year, waiting for surgery in January for torn rotator and bicep, I couldn’t do much. I had a couple of ends left over from a W2 bar and  Cru Forge V, both approx. 3” long. I cut these lengthwise in half, thinking maybe I could be frugal enough, to make something and buy more material. I made 2 EDC Knives from the CRU, and a matching pair for my grand boys in the W2. (Pictures will follow) 

Ironically these measured 1/2 cubic inch, so when we decided on 1 cube inch I figure it would be fun. I like doing KITH and try to participate every year.

Figured everyone would be playing with Pattern Welded, so I sandwiched 52100 core, to 15n20 to, mild steel wrap outside.

However, in order to get the dimensions for 1” cubed, my starting blocks was too thick and wide. 

Its welded perfectly, and first photo is starting the process of going thinner and longer.





"I Never Met A Knife I Didn't Like", (Will Rogers)

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Then.....not so simply hammering this billet into appropriate dimensions needed for 1” cube.

The length grew 3” to 4”, then 5”, 6”, 7”, 8”

I haven’t encountered something so difficult in a long time. I peened, used the horn, anvil edge, guillotine, all while all working temps where around 2000F. I wound up working on this as I forged other stuff over time.








Finally I had something to meet the specs.




"I Never Met A Knife I Didn't Like", (Will Rogers)

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On knives this size and with I like forming the tang first allowing approximately 25-33% of the starting length for the tang. Once the tang is formed well enough, I have something to hold onto. I’ll move back and forth between the tang and blade drawing each out in length, taper, width and shape.





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"I Never Met A Knife I Didn't Like", (Will Rogers)

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When I’ve gone as far as I can in shaping by hammer, grinder comes next. I’ll use a plain bench grinder, to rough in the shoulders, blade shape and grind through the scale enough to begin some bevel. 

(Unfortunately, I missed these photos but I’ll substitute a few from the 1/2” cubed Knives)





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"I Never Met A Knife I Didn't Like", (Will Rogers)

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My hopes where that in all the hammering I kept the layers uniform as possible. I decided to add drill holes on each side to add more topography after etching. The grinding process and continued etchings would meet together and offer more waviness. (Almost!) 

The layers stayed fairly even, there was some drift and I had to keep the blade symmetrical. What I didn’t like was the after etch color of the mild steel and I took the finish up to 800 grit before the first real etch. I repeated this sanding/etching over 12 times until I got a color with topographical highlight I wanted.

I do like etched blades showing wrought, layers, etc. but I am not a big fan of darkened blades, whether etched or coffee. I have used bluing before satisfactorily and I always boil in distilled water for a minimum of 10 minutes to keep the oxides/color.








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"I Never Met A Knife I Didn't Like", (Will Rogers)

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After the blade was boiled I waxed it and it really improved the finish. 

I began the handle idea I wanted. First forming a block into the shape which fit the blade, I shaped the handle to the final dimensions I needed. I then made the NS guard and pommel, which I left lightly sanded.

I used what I call “redneck urushi” applied to the handle which also allowed a little museum finish at the edges, set the blade with west systems 24 hour epoxy.

These are the final photos and I am pleased with the final product. I expect over time the handle will abrade some but I have handled this a lot and it shows no sign of texture loss.

I added a simple patch sheath with a loose fit. 

I hope this WIP isn’t too boring. I am pleased to answer any questions anybody may have, comments of course are welcome 










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"I Never Met A Knife I Didn't Like", (Will Rogers)

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Nice little knife there. What is the handle material?

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  





J.States Bladesmith | Facebook



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Nice WIP.  I second the request for more info on the handle, if you please.

RIP Bear....be free!


as always

peace and love




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Nice comments and thanks to all.

I use West Systems GFlex epoxy 50/50 ratio. Colored with a dab of black acrylic artist paint. Brush it on or use a light piece of thin wood with some flex. It will smooth out quickly and it doesn’t run for me. The sprinkle with ground tea leaves gently being sure to get complete coverage, lightly patting if needed. This is 24 hour epoxy but I like to get it started in the hot sun, checking a few time to be sure nothing has moved. It gets rigid enough to handle in a few hours.

I painted this black with Rustoleum gloss. (Yeah I know not at all professional but I don’t have an airsprayer). I inserted a dowel and spun this slowly while spraying. It doesn’t take much.

Put it up inside in an air conditioned environment and forget about it for a few days, maybe more. Got the idea of black paint from Aiden on lasts year KITH.

Done this before in the past, below are some photos, 2 sold quite well, the 3rd I haven’t offered up yet.

Well that’s the secret recipe!;)


Gary LT




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"I Never Met A Knife I Didn't Like", (Will Rogers)

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Thank you Brian.

I’m not really adept at doing WIP, reckon the only way to improve is do more.

Gary LT

"I Never Met A Knife I Didn't Like", (Will Rogers)

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