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here's one i'm working on for a commission; figured i'd do a kinda progress thing.

 

the initial design - 9 1/2" blade, 4 1/2" handle:

la_tene_6.jpg

Blade blank roughed out of O1, handle rough turned and shaped of bog oak, with a silver and copper guard:

la_tene_7.jpg

and the blade rough ground and heat treated - i know that its been tempered a bit hot for a dagger, but the customer wants it heat - blued, and intends it to be a purely decorative - i had to talk him into having a point and sharp edges.

la_tene_4.jpgla_tene_5.jpg

 

let me know what you think so far, and any bright ideas how to make a silver habaki for a double edged daggger would be appreciated.

Edited by jake cleland
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Looking good Jake. I love the concept drawing and can't wait to see the blade finished.

Don't you hate it when someone orders a knife shaped object and you have to convince them that what they really want is a knife. I just don't get it :wacko:

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i think it looks good so far ..

 

bleah @ heat blued

cant you talk him into a chemically blue instead?

 

as far as the habaki .. i had to do one on this blade:

 

dagger.jpg

 

and all i done was make the habaki in two pieces .. wide enough, mind you

and hard solder it together ..

slip it up over the blade so that it was touching the guard ..

and then soft solder it to the guard and blade ..

it worked great ..

it was a lot more stable than trying to do it the usual way and it meant that the tang could still be the size i wanted ... rather than thin it out to let the habaki slip over it.

 

does that help?

:unsure:

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hi Dee,

that's a great help. i hadn't thought of just making it in two pieces - cunning, but doesn't the soft solder bugger up the silver? iv'e found that it darkens the silver and makes it brittle; do you just mean a lower temp silver solder?

as for the heat-bluing, i find that as long as you do it quickly, the O1 still stays plenty hard enough for a dagger, or a camp knife for that matter - wouldn't try it with a 10xx though.

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i meant silver bearing solder .. the soft solder ...

its just to create a seal more than anything else .. you could epoxy it on too ..

i didnt mean the easy solder

 

hmm ... this is where communication skills would come in handy :)

know what i mean?

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Soft solder works fine for attaching silver to steel/brass/other silver, but it has to be the 96%tin/4%silver lead-free plumbing solder, melts around 450 degrees F/ 232 C. The 50/50 lead/tin stuff doesn't work well.

 

I like to use the soft stuff when attaching that last little bit of silver, as you can do it with the handle material and heat-treated blade in place.

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  • 2 weeks later...

couple more pics of this one; i've polished the blade ready for bluing, which i'll do right at the end. ive made the habaki/collar out of copper with silver plate riveted to either side to take the engraving, and ive started the handle carving, which i'm really enjoying - this stuff is pretty nice to carve, and it's fun to do asymmetrical carving and working it out as i go, with only a very basic idea of how it's all gonna join up

 

celtic_dirk.jpg celtic_dirk_2.jpg

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Yeah when I first saw it, I kinda thought it was a bit reminiscent of the Black Uljake, but in a dagger size.

 

Looking good =]

yeah, the spiral carving on the grip was directly inspired by/ripped off from the Black Uljake, but hopefully once the haunches are carved and the blade is blued, it will be more of a homage than an aping. when the customer ordered this and asked for bog oak, it was just about the time Jake Powning was finishing TBU and i really didn't want to jus carve knotwork bands after seeing that, so i designed this. TBU is my desktop these days, taunting me to do better.

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that's beautifull jake! how are you finding the bog oak for carving? I like the habaci, the silver plate is a neet touch.

thanks Jake. the bog oak carves somewhere between a dream and a nightmare; this piece has been stabilised with epoxy, which effectively shortens the grain length, so it chip carves very easily - almost too easily, because you're flying along and you hit a little void and all of a sudden you're in trouble. it's kinda like carving wax in that its very easy to be cleaning up a line and go a bit too deep, and you have to go over everything else to even it up. that said, it's much less stressful than the un-stabilised stuff i've worked before, and i've come to realise recently that the macassar ebony i use for sgian dubh handles is just about the toughest wood in the world to carve, so everything else seems like a holiday.

like i said in the last post, the inspiration for this piece came from your work, and i just hope i can do that justice.

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Hey thanks for the compliment! I got my inspiration from the ancient Celts, so kudos to them :)

yeah the unstabalized bog oak can be very triky. did you stabalize it yourself? I'd be interested in hearing how you went about doing that.

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Hey thanks for the compliment! I got my inspiration from the ancient Celts, so kudos to them :)

yeah the unstabalized bog oak can be very triky. did you stabalize it yourself? I'd be interested in hearing how you went about doing that.

 

sorry, thought i'd replied to this already; i got the wood from Garth Duncan, and i believe he stabilised it himself, with epoxy, thinned by heating, in a vacuum bell thing, dont know the name but you know, the machine that generates a vacuum to get the air bubbles out of the plaster when you do lost wax casting, if that makes sense - had a bit of a late night last night and my brain's not quite up to speed yet.

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Cool. i have a vuccum casting machine with one of those bells too. That must be neat to be close enough to visit Garth Duncan, I'm a big fan of his work. I have to get back over to the old country again soon *sigh*.

I'd like to show my daughters the highlands, I've never had a chance to get out to the Islands myself, that's on my list of things to do before I die. I walked the west highland way when I was 20, wich was an experience, and spend a week camping on an island in loch lomond called Inch Caleach. ah, those where days of roses... and gorse :lol:

thanks for the info, can't wait to see the sheath.

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  • 4 weeks later...

haven't posted on this in a while, so here's a couple more pics;

 

sheath with interstices cut out, silver collar, and leather throat ready for lacing,

 

celtic_dagger_sheath_3.jpg

 

sheath dissasembled - its made in three parts so i can do the carving as a flat panel; there are locating dowels to line it all up,

 

celtic_dagger_sheath_2.jpg

 

sheath carved - i was going to cut grooves into the knotwork, but i think i'm gonna leave it - it looks kinda like knotted heather roots and seems in keeping with the early celtic style of the piece - i have carved a grace line knot at the tip which will be balanced by some engraving on the collar,

 

celtic_dagger_sheath_5.jpg

 

so i just need to sand the sheath and stain/polish it, before assembly - i'm quite pleased with how it turned out. Jake, if you ever do make it out to the islands, be sure to look me up - we can demolish some talisker and shoot the breeze. let me know what you all think,

cheers,

jake.

Edited by jake cleland
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DAMN! :o It's a peepshow dagger! :blink:

 

Seriously, Jake, that's awesome. I'd have never thought of pierced knotwork, that's just too cool. B)

 

As an aside, I got a bottle of Talisker 1992 distiller's reserve for Christmas this year. Tasty stuff! I made it last a whole week, which was hard to do. ;)

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DAMN! :o It's a peepshow dagger! :blink:

 

Seriously, Jake, that's awesome. I'd have never thought of pierced knotwork, that's just too cool. B)

 

As an aside, I got a bottle of Talisker 1992 distiller's reserve for Christmas this year. Tasty stuff! I made it last a whole week, which was hard to do. ;)

 

yeah, i got a bottle of glenlivet. it didn't last a week.

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