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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by PeterM

  1. I have no idea what this is, but I love it. It reminds me of a huge dashi with a bit of tanto and some chopper thrown in the mix. But, then the handle throws everything out of whack! So.... call it what you want, I'm going with "Woodsman's Dashi". I shaped the walnut "slabs" so they get wider towards the butt. The tang is drilled and the forged copper liners are "skeletonized" to reduce weight. Woodsman's Dashi Blade: 4 7/8" of Aldo's 1084. Flat ground bevels with 2000 grit hand-rubbed finish, forge-finish flats. Handle: 4 1/8" highly figured American Walnut w/ Tung oil and buffed Conservat
  2. Thanks Dick. The Fortress is an extraordinary place. Its the largest historic reconstruction project in N. America with only about 1/4 of the original fort and town completed. Although work continues to this day. Dick - Next year come up for the "Thunder in the Highlands" weekend. On the concluding Sunday the riders all ride en mas to "Storm the Fortress". This year, 9354 motorcycles rode the 1/2 hr from Sydney to the fortress to spend the evening. Its an amazing sight to see all those bikes ride through our little town(I live in Louisbourg) of just 7000 residents.
  3. I spent this past weekend at Fortress Louisbourg attending the "Hammered at the Fortress" hammer-in. We had a good showing with about 30 smiths from around the region, and hundreds of public visitors to the Fortress who stopped by for a look-see. I only had time for a few shots just after setting up for the Saturday start. It was a great event with great weather. Lots of visitors with lots of questions and a good time was had by all. This is the courtyard housing the hammer-in. In the surrounding buildings there are three blacksmith shops(all working), a bakery(also working) and the carpen
  4. Well, last night I did the dirty deed. My friend's woodworking shop provided the venue for the destruction test. Along for the entertainment was Glen(a retired IBM exec), Blain(a guitar and violin maker) and Blain's son( just a neat kid). Glen shot the video while Blain-and-son cowered in the corner ducking the occasional wood chip. The rope is brand new 1 1/4" manilla. The 2x4 is, well.... a 2x4, that has been stored under cover outdoors for many moons. Here is the uncut video. No, my voice does NOT sound like that, but that shouldn't detract from my Emmy-worthy performance. Shades of D
  5. Some of you may have detected why I'm using THIS blade and THIS knife for a destruction test....... I forged and shaped this blade as an intended gift for my neighbor who has become a great friend. He's a hunting guide. It was to be a start-of-hunting-season present. I drew up a design I thought he'd be happy with and actually use. The blade forged out just fine and the shaping and grinding went well. I was starting to like the blade. I began to clean it up a bit an play with the layout. That's when I drilled the holes for the peened copper plate. One hole was off.... wayyyy off, making th
  6. Ok, without further a due, I offer up for your scrutiny...... .... a knife I have named: INTRINSIC MOTIVATION w/ custom MMS Blade: Aldo's 1084FG, 8 1/2" of sharp edge, 1 7/8" at its widest, 3/16" at the ricasso with forged distal taper and bevels and semi-brute de forge finish. Hand rubbed to 1000 grit finish with a peened copper maker's mark tag. Sharp as hell! Handle: 5 1/4" American Wild Black Cherry, stainless steel pins and buffed Watco Danish Oil finish. Forged and etched 1/4" mild steel S-guard w/ gun blued faces and high-polished edges MMS: (Motivational Management System) This
  7. Cal-K - ... and what about the integrity of the spacer? Or that of the pinned tag? Is this handle style strong enough and ergonomic enough for the task? I'm testing a knife, the whole knife, made the way I make knives.
  8. Cal-K - I suppose the short answer to all your questions is: I'm not making a test knife - I'm making a knife that will be tested. I can give you the long version if needed. BTW - I am NOT taking the actual ABS JS test. This is being done purely out of curiosity and on my own terms.
  9. The final steps...... I'll begin by backtracking and show my sharpening process. This is directly off the grinder with the edge established using a warn 320 grit belt. The 1" wide contact surface of my belt grinder is poor for maintaining a perfectly straight edge. So, I'll refine the edge on a fine wet stone( I can't remember what grit). Working the edge: Then its on to an 8000 grit wet stone to work up a consistent wire edge: Finally I hone the edge on a strop filled with green compound. I'll do this for 100 or so strokes - slice into the wood table to remove the wire, then a
  10. I didn't have a lot of time today as I had errands in town and a lawn in need of mowing. I also didn't take a lot of photos today. But, the knife is pretty much done. The handle has been buffed and the blade sharpened and this evening I'll peen on the copper tag which is all prepped and ready to go. This is my buffer. I have several different wheels, but for this I'll a sewn and a loose cotton wheel. I won't need the Tripoli for this. I'll just give a light buffing with White Diamond and then carnauba wax: I beveled the edges of the copper tag: Then polished to 1500 grit: Time fo
  11. Castglegardener - I use the wood pins for several reasons. The wood pins won't generate heat the way metal pins will. With the amount of grinding I did, the metal pins would have gotten way to hot and ruined the epoxy bond. Also, I like to have something in the pin holes to help prevent chipping as I work on the handle.
  12. The handle has been sanded and oiled. I now have to leave it for the afternoon to dry. This evening I'll do some detail work on the guard, get the handle buffed and polished, and put a sharp edge on the blade. To start, the pins are sawn off and filed flush: Good enough for now: Its time to fine tune around the guard and spacer: Before: Getting there: I need to round off those flat surfaces on the handle: Working with a file, the front is done and I'm starting the butt end: An old 120 grit belt will help fair in the handle contours: On to 220 grit: Fine tune the cu
  13. Phil - My drawer of shame is deep and full. The pins are in. I have some copper wire that I thought was the right diameter, but turned out to be just over size. I had my hopes up for a moment. I'm using 3'16th" stainless steel brick ties. To prepare, I'm sanding on fresh 400 grit paper, a clean piece scrap cherry wood from the handle block. I'll mix this wood dust with the epoxy to use in the pin holes. As good as I am at drilling a nice clean hole.... I'm not very good at it and my drill press sucks, so it doesn't always happen. So, this blends any slop quite well, especially if ver
  14. The handle is roughed out. I love working with cherry. I build and repair canoes and carve a lot of canoe paddles. Likely 80% of my paddles are cherry so I've become quite familiar with it. Although not from a paddle, this piece is an off-cut of 5/4's flat sawn that was destined for a mirror frame I built a while back. Nice solid stuff and I like the look. I started by drawing some reference lines by eye: I begin grinding in a depression on the middle line: The belt sander wheel does a good job with this task: This is feathered into a smooth U-shape: I then take it to the vi
  15. I got some work done this morning and thought I would post some progress photos while I have some lunch. First - I should introduce my most valuable, and likely the most accurate, jig my the shop. A collaborative, albeit unknowing, effort between K&G Stabilizing, Aldo Bruno, Sharpie, Scotch Tape and myself, this is a jig Nick Wheeler would truly be proud of.... indeed he was the inspiration for it. When I saw(read) Nick do this with decidedly nicer tools and immeasurably more skill, this become standard procedure to confirm everything is still in alignment. Someday I'll get some fancy st
  16. Hi Phil - Yes, I've used both brands quite a bit. Mostly for canoe building though. I happen to be working on a 17ft wood strip these days and this is what I'm using for the fiberglass layers. It also dries crystal clear which helps show off the nice cedar strip hulls of these canoes. System Three is what I had on hand for this knife. The West Systems line is high quality stuff as well and could easily do this job.
  17. I managed to get the guard and handle glued up and curing for the night. I was hoping to get this done by 10:00am this morning, but.......... I "chose" to spend most of the day installing a new toilet and bathroom floor instead. I spent about two hours this morning (pre-bathroom reno) fine tuning all joinery. Then, just for shits and giggles, I blued the guard with some Birchwood Casey Perma Blue that I was given by a hunting guide who lives up the road. I've never tried blueing and I like the look, so........the guard was sanded to 800 then given two successive coats of blueing, then poli
  18. Progress! I managed to get everything fit and nearly ready for final assembly. I still need to check the joinery - yet again, cut the handle block more to shape, give the guard and spacer a final shaping, and give the blade final polish and cleaning. I might get it glued it up later tonight..... we'll see. Anyway, this was my day: Start with a reference line for the shoulders. I don't have a file guide so I do this by eye and feel. Here's my mark: Check for square: I'm using a warn 120 grit: Finished on the grinder: Spine shoulder - Lower shoulder - Fitted with the gu
  19. Here's today's work: To this point everything has been rough shaped and fitted. And it shows. So, the first thing is to clean up the blade/guard/spacer fit. The shoulders need to be refined and radiused, and the adjoining guard slot needs to be fine tuned to accept the radiused shoulders. There can be no light showing from this angle as well as from head on, and the fit will be tight and solid. The next step is to refine the guard/spacer fit. This will entail removing a bit of stock from the contoured handle-side face.... essentially extending the length of the flat contact surface.
  20. Doc - The simple answer is: I just don't have a proper edge quench tank set-up.... at least for this large of a blade. I have a old roasting pan that I've used for small blades, but its hardly big enough for this piece. I could likely fit it in the pan, but I'd have no room for any agitation to break up the vapor jacket..... it'd just sit there. I'm looking for an old, long ammo can just for this purpose. I don't do it that often, but when have it hasn't been an issue for me. This time I just ran out of propane in the middle of the process and left the blade in the water wayyyyyyyyyyyy to
  21. Matt - The blade is 3/16th at the ricasso with a distal taper to near zero at the tip. . . . I just finished the copper spacer for this knife. Here's my process: This backyard shed is where I keep my forge: My Chili Habenero forge: Anvil and canola oil quench tank: I'm using a piece of an old boat propeller shaft for this spacer: I'll use the small piece on the right: Showing promise: Forging is completed: I just need a small portion of this plate: I'll flatten on the belt sander: Refining the surfaces and getting a consistent thickness: All these little ve
  22. Justin - I've made three knives with these peened tags, all much shorter of the hunter style. I just like the look, and plan on doing more. However, if I'm going to continue to do this, I need to know that the knife's integrity is not compromised..... especially on larger blades like this. I know, I know..... if I want to make a knife that will pass the test, I should leave these out of the design. But, what I'm doing is trying to test what I like to make. If this feature fails, then I've learned a lesson, and will drop the concept without a second thought.
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