Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So, in the mean time I'm doing this other thing.

I've got a friend, who has another friend that's interested in commissioning me for a knife. She wants a Scots Sgian Dubh, with nature themed engraving upon the handle. That last part's gonna be kind of hard- I've never done any carving or engraving.
This morning I drew the rough design for the knife, and traced it on to the steel (I really need to find a better way to do this, by the way.)
Also, I'm doing something a little new. I'm still going to embed pictures, but I'll be linking to my youtube videos from here on out. Sorry for the inconvenience.

I've got videos of almost the whole cutting process. Later tonight or tomorrow I'll get to drinking. Er, grinding. I don't know why I typed drinking. Or why I didn't just delete it.

And now, youtube vidoes!
This depicts the start of my grinding.

And yadda yadda yadda the rest is self explanatory. xd

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oh God I am a dick

Okay, so... "I'm back in the game!"


Seriously now, though! I've got the steel the blah blah blah and an idea. I got the cement I needed, and I have an angle grinder (which will allow me to cut the steel oh-so-much faster than before.)
The angle grinder will also allow me to cut the steel closer to the blade shape, meaning less wasted steel, less wear on my belts, and over-all a better work experience. Later on, once I've an anvil, I'll be able to melt down the refuse into ingots and use them for forging.
In fact, this morning I may very well record myself doing some work. I'm juuuust a little hesitant though- my brother bought me a Vado HD to use. So... I don't know, I guess it's up to the five of you that actually read this.
Do I get to work now, using the current video quality and youtube? Or do I wait for the new camera and record in GRIORIOUS 720P?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back in the game!

A couple days ago I placed an order at Jantz for four 18" long pieces of 1095 Hi-Carbon steel! It's due to arrive thursday afternoon. I'm so happy, and excited! I've also ordered some handle material, epoxy, and pins, as well.
I'll be back to making "knives" quite soon. Thanks for being patient and waiting, everyone!

I know a few of you had expressed interest in a knife from me, and if you're still around, I'd be more than happy to attempt to make something for you. I recall somebody wanted a 10" blade, and someone else hadn't specified what they wanted.
Remember, these knives would be sold to you at a discount. I'd just appreciate the business, and any word of mouth it may generate.
I'd also like to say that if anything happens with anything I make for someone, I'd be more than happy to cover shipping costs for sending it back to me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hiatus ):

Sorry there haven't been any updates in a few days.
I'm all out of steel, and I don't really have an scrap around I can use either. I won't be able to even make any orders for more until Wednesday, and I'm not entirely sure how long it will take for the shipment to get here.
However, the next shipment should have two or more bars of steel to work with, as well as some stainless steel for fittings and pins.
Heh, I just remembered I'm running out of sanding belts, too. They can get worn out pretty quickly- it doesn't take all that long for an 80 grit to become as effective as 120 grit, then 300, and eventually it'll either just fall apart, or basically polish the steel.
Until I can get back to work, I'll be on a hiatus. Once I get materials again, I'll be sure to let you all know. In the mean time, I'll still be reading your blogs, and I may leave comments.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Getting a GRIP on things

Yup, it's a terrible pun and I make no apologies.
Last night my dad picked me up some more materials for finishing up Jim's knife. I'm really lucky to have a dad who's so supportive of this hobby/hopeful-profession. He's basically paid for all of my tools. Paid for the forge ($120+,) materials ($60+,) Belt Grinder ($120~,)bench vise ($30~,) and a bunch of other items.
So any way, he picked up two clamps and some epoxy, so I was able to put the wood scales on Jim's knife. I recorded the whole thing, and gave some narration, too. I'm nervous, so my voice is shaky and I have an awful speaking voice. Although, I'd still like to mention that the camera makes me sound a lot more nasal and lispy than I really am :x

Friday, September 10, 2010

Forging *withOUT an anvil.

Not a good idea, let me tell you. I was trying to get by using a 20lb dumbell. Shit. Don't. Work. Like, at all. There's a reason people suggest 150lb anvils, and it's not just because they're better quality. Having that weight there to ensure your surface doesn't jump under the hammer is a Godsend.
Earlier today I tried hammering the steel. I was hoping I could give it a bit of a downward tilt, to later grind it into a kukri or something like that. Well, it didn't work out. Like, at all. There's a reason they hammer it as a square bar first, and then shape it. All I managed to do was bend the steel a little bit the way I wanted, and too much in ways I didn't. I tried to straighten it out and salvage it, but... I don't know how well that's working.
Once I'd figured it wasn't getting any straighter, I decided I might as well start to grinding on it and make something of it anyway. Here's what I'd come up with so far:

Tomorrow or tonight I'll be able to quench it. I need more propane- I'm not sure the tank I have right now has enough left in it. But after that, she's ready for a handle and all that.

Later tonight I should also get about 4 videos up, showing some of the progress of the knife. What would be really cool is if I had something I could do a timelapse with. I don't have a camera capable of that, unfortunately.

Edit: Videos are up!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

These videos will do more damage than good

Yeah, it's uh... you know, my first knife. Go easy on it.
Also, it's a somewhat unusual style of grind, and it's actually ground for lefties- and I'm a righty. That affects some of the performance.
I don't actually have a lisp, by the way. It's something with the camera. D;
Also I look fat

Still looking fat, still sounding lispy.
I ran out of memory in the first

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Just got an email from Google AdSense. They canned my account.

Edit: This doesn't mean I'm going to stop blogging, though. The money was always just a bonus for me. Hopefully all of you still drop by now and then to take a look at how things are going, and those that do can count on my continued support.

Thank you David Davidson, BeKindPlease and Mantooth!

The former for the great idea of a demonstration video! Unfortunately, it's raining outside right now- not hard, but hard enough to make using a digital camera outside impossible. If it clears up, expect a video of some serious wood manhandling! I don't know exactly what's a good idea for 'stress' tests, but I'll come up with something.

BeKindPlease for even considering showing me any sort of patronage. I only hope that if you do choose to do so, I can meet your expectations for what a knife should be.

And Mantooth for being an all around great guy, who's been inquisitive and supportive!

Everyone else, thank you for taking the time to visit, to comment, and to make this the best blogging experience!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hard at work on my first client's knife!

lol @ calling them a client.

Anyway, it's 9:49am here in Wisconsin, and I haven't been to sleep yet. I've finished grinding out the knife blank, and I've just sent a text to Jim asking if he'd like the edge beveled on both sides, as is done on a traditional knife, or on a single side like I did with mine. Once I have a response, I'll start grinding away at the blade.
In the mean time, I'm going to bevel the handle to reduce some of the weight- see if I can't get the balanced a little better.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Videos of the grind!

Nobody answered, so here's your choice of youtube or megaupload. Enjoy!

My brother-in-law (the one that gave me the great wood- his name's Jim) came by earlier today and took a look at the knife. He really liked it- was quite impressed. He wants me to make another almost just like, but with a half-inch longer blade. Told me he'd pay me $20 and that he'd recommend me to his friends! That's pretty sweet deal imo. Couldn't ask for more than that.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

First finished knife!

It's done! Huzzah!

I proceeded to apply epoxy to one side of one of the scales, and the knife tang. I applied pressure, and lined them both up. After waiting for approximately 30 seconds, I set it down and let it cure. It's a quick setting 5 minute epoxy. After 10 minutes I did the same with the other scale. After 20 minutes, it was ready to grind to its final shape:

Yes, I know I have girly hands :x
I'll upload a video or three later tonight showing some of the handle shaping. Just let me know, woudl you all prefer I upload them to youtube, or megaupload? They're much smaller in file size now (10-23mb instead of 100-230mb)

Hate wood so much

When my brother-in-law gave me some wood for handle material, he also gave me a draw knife to sharpen for him- and then requested that I also make him some handles. That's kept me busy for most of the day. I didn't make handles out of Ironwood, though. Too tough xfd

So, anyway. I finally have the profile of the knife handles aaalmost ready. I just need to grind off a little bit more, and they're good. I used double sided tape to secure both handle halves to each other to ensure an even grind on both handles. Here's some pictures from the knife handle:
I should note that I retraced an outline of the knife handle onto the wood in a place where it wouldn't have too much glue in tact. once it was cut out properly, I pried the two scales apart and taped them together with double sided tape. I took it to the belt grinder (which for some reason worked much better this time,) and ground it down some more.

This is very near the final result. Just a bit more grinding and then I'll epoxy it onto the knife. :O

Friday, September 3, 2010

My fingers are falling off.

Okay, so I've learned something today: There's a reason it's called desert Ironwood. That shit is HARD. Sawing for a good 15 minutes and I've sawed through all of 4" of it. Good golly, and it's not easy, either.

@Grimsy: Yes, I'll be posting a finished product on here, sooner or later!

@Dan: Hopefully I'll be able to get one done this weekend. Right now I'm cutting the wood (obviously,) and after that it's a matter of shaping, sanding, and epoxying. There won't be any pins, but with how strong epoxies are these days, they're more of an aesthetic than anything else.

Wellp, back to sawing and killing my fingers.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fricken awersome.

My brother in law dropped by earlier tonight and dropped off some wood for me! I have a few boards of Desert Ironwood (enough for probably a dozen knives, or more!) and some white oak wood, too. This is just fucking awesome. It's a little rough, and there's a few small nails in it here and there, but it's great condition.

I also gave him some DVDs for the first and third season of The Big Bang Theory. I love that show.


Alright, so last night I'm sitting here at the PC, and I decide to head over to my favourite knife maker's supplier, Jantz.
I'm picking out parts I want- grocery shopping, if you will. Handle parts, mostly. Some sanding belts, epoxy, etc. Nothing fancy.
Handle materials, though. Here's what I've been looking at:

Black Paper Micarta Scales
Banded Azurite/Malachite

The Black Paper Micarta Scales are dirt cheap, so I'll probably get two or three of those regardless, but I can't decide on what handle materials I want to use for my gift to Sonia. She liked the Variscite, but you know... I really think finding a way to put the Black Paper Micarta and the Banded Azurite/Malachite could be stunning, possibly with some brass or nickel silver bolsters.
(As of this moment, I purchased some pins, epoxy, two scales of the Black Paper Micarta, some sandpaper [for a proper finish job,] stainless steel for fittings, and a bar of 1095 hi-carbon steel!)
Unfortunately, until these items come, all I can do it grind out the last of my O1 tool steel, and quench it. I can't finish any knives, or even give them a proper polishing.
Oh yeah! I'll remember to convert any future videos so they're not so fuckhuge. I should be able to reduce the size to about 1/7th or 1/8th previous size.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I'm quite lucky, I guess.

It's so easy for the quench to go wrong (especially since I've been forgetting to normalize the steel, first [bringing the steel to the upper critical temperature, and then letting it air cool],) and this is the second success I've had.
Hot out of the forge and into the oven!
I broke off the cement (which didn't pop off during the quench this time) using my horse nail clippers, while holding it with the pliers. Here's how it looked immediately after washing it off with some dawn:

After these pictures, I pulled out some 80 grit sand paper and gave it a quick rubdown before throwing it in the toaster oven at 450ºF:

lol dirty fingers

Busy busy morning.

Haven't slept since the last post. I keep odd hours- wake up at 5pm, head to bed around 1pm. It varies.
Anyway, it's nice out this morning, seen here:
I figured I may as well get the quench of my second blade out of the way while I can. I don't know what the weather's supposed to be like today, and by golly I am too lazy to look it up. Yes yes, I'm at a computer already, SPARE ME YOUR LOGIC.
I've got the forge going right now, blade's already in. While I'm waiting for the steel to reach the critical temp (this is determined either by color [unrecommended, inaccurate, and unreliable,] or testing it with a magnet- steel demagnetizes at critical temp,) I'm drafting poorly drawn designs for my next two blades on graph paper. Depending on the size of the blades, there might only be one from this piece of steel.
Regardless, I'll draw up a few designs, try to get them scanned in, and I'll let you (and a few other sites) vote on which design to go with.
I'll take some short video here and there of the grinding process, more than likely. Remember that I'm still extremely new (this next knife will only be my third ever 'made,') and that I'm not used to talking on camera. As such, expect a shaky voice and stuttering.

I hate the rain.

It's been raining today, and late last night, too. I haven't had a chance to take the forge back outside and fire it up, to finish this second blade. Hopefully tomorrow's a better day, and I can take care of it then.

I'd also like to clarify something: The pictures in the previous post aren't mine. They're from a topic (which is linked underneath the last picture) on a knife maker's forum. I'm sorry if anyone thought it was my work- I'm a VERY long way from having the skill (and even the resources) to make a sword like that.
Creating a damascus blade is actually part of the test for becoming a master smith in the ABS, from what I understand (other criteria includes cutting through two pine 2x4s and then without sharpening, shaving underarm hair.)