Jonathan Smidt

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About Jonathan Smidt

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Colorado
  1. New to the Forge from Falcon, Colorado

    I've definitely enjoyed the classes I've taken from David, and hoping to take a few more from him in the future to help grow my skills in blacksmithing. He has so much knowledge and skills that I hope to learn/gain from him. As for the open forge, I may try to attend a few of those after the winter months....not gonna lie, I know it would be a good experience, but slightly hesitant to show up and make a fool of myself....I am my greatest critic...and find that keeping me from doing some things in person at times haha.
  2. Blade Attempt Number 2!!!!! (Pictures and story included!)

    Of all the places I expected to see the Grammer Hammer come into play....this was unexpected haha
  3. Blade Attempt Number 2!!!!! (Pictures and story included!)

    You're entirely right Will. I believe there is that old saying "Haste makes waste", and I definitely feel that is what happened this time around. I could have kept the handle from cracking if I did as you mentioned, and went and got the files I needed, and took my time. I am planning on starting a new project this weekend, so I think I'm going to ensure I have all my materials lined up, everything chosen and set aside before I begin, and also make sure that I have everything I need (perhaps with a backup when it comes to my files etc), before I start. I will also try to do better at my time management, and not try to just keep pushing till darkness or exhaustion, but instead approach the task in steps, taking breaks and making sure I stay focused. (Taking your advice Latticino, gonna make sure if I feel myself wavering in the slightest, to step back from my project so I do not ruin it.) As always, thanks again for all of the help and advice you guys offer me, hopefully I can move forward and start presenting you guys with some nice blades. One last thing @Will..... I can't believe I didn't think of punching the hole into my guard....
  4. Well, it's been a...journey, but I finished the second blade I mentioned I was working on (knife number 2 done!). This blade caused me a lot of trouble, and I learned a lot as I went, but as always, suggestions/critiques always help! Story time first! I am still working on edge geometry and the bevel...trying to figure out how to improve upon those two with my hammer for the initial shaping, and then my angle grinder (really hoping for a belt sander for Christmas...think that might help just a tad). So, shaping this blade went well in my opinion, I got close to the shape I wanted, though it was a little shakier than I would have preferred. I am going to apply the techniques given to me in a previous post next time, to try to keep the blade straight and flat! I tried to clean it up as much as I could, but in the end, when I went to quench, I developed a slight bend that I just couldn't get rid of :(. The temper went well though, so the blade is definitely nice and hard :). Grinding away after the heat treat was a little difficult...the wife wanted me to try to leave some of the dark coating that appeared after tempering on the middle....and well...I just don't have the angle grinder skills needed to make that look pretty just yet....will keep trying in the future! Onto the part that taught me a whole lot...the guard and handle.... So, my initial idea for the guard was to take this piece of brass I had, and forge it out nice and pretty like, to make a fancy guard.... I learned quickly, brass is not my friend. Now, as I failed at the brass, my light was leaving, and my forge was setup outside because it was a nice day, so I grabbed the closest piece of metal ( a thin piece of 15N20) and tried to forge that into a guard.....it did not cooperate, so I just kind of forced it into a guard shape, and said it would be a forever reminder of my frustration and failure that night.... I then drilled through it (I don't have a drill press...so that was a pain too haha), and then filed away, until it fit my tang. Next was the handle.... I got a nice piece of blackwood for this blade (thought it would like striking with a brass guard....as we know that didn't work out haha). So, without a drill press, I placed my block of wood in my vice, and tried to use my powerdrill to punch through both ends. That became quite the struggle, and after a lot of fighting, switching bits, and changing which angles I was drilling at, I sort of had a path for my tang to go through. However, it wasn't wide enough, and my file broke on me....(cheap files are definitely a lesson learned), so I thought, well, might as well try a burn through...only problem, my forge was off and cool, and all I had for a heat source was a little plumbers torch..... Lets just say my patience lasted to about 3/4ths of the way burned through...and then the hammer came out. Proceeded to accidentally crack my handle material...so out came the epoxy. (I attached everything before I cleaned my guard up....ugh). Today, after I let my epoxy set for 24+ hours, everything was held nice and tight together, so out came the angle grinder again, as I worked the guard the little I could, and the handle material. Then I took it home, polished it up by working my way up to 2500 grit sandpaper on the edge, and am now, finally, sharing my second attempt at making a blade, with all of you! (Will also attach a picture below that has my first and second blades sitting side by side). Thanks for reading, and I hope you all enjoyed my story! Blade is made from 1095 Guard is made from 15N20 Handle is Blackwood
  5. Working on my second ever knife

    Thanks! I'm definitely going to have to look into tempering tongs for the future!
  6. Working on my second ever knife

    With regards to that, for future reference, if the blade has edges on both sides (for this instance I was working on a dagger), can you still do an edge quench? or is it best just to do a full quench on any blade that has edges on both sides???
  7. Working on my second ever knife

    Thanks! I bought a piece of D2 when I got my 1095....I will keep that hidden in the back of my metal stash for later down the road haha
  8. New to the Forge from Falcon, Colorado

    I will check that out, I got a membership to ABANA after Dave mentioned it.
  9. First knife attempt (looking for advice on ways to move forward)

    quench done....omw home to temper, will still finish this blade...but after getting all the tips etc in here, I know there is a lot I could have done differently in the forging process for it
  10. First knife attempt (looking for advice on ways to move forward)

    So glad I joined this forum, you guys are amazing!! Also, getting ready to head to my forge...had to make a quick stop....
  11. First knife attempt (looking for advice on ways to move forward)

    I was originally going for a curved camp knife design in my mind....but as I started workint thr bevel and it started to curve more...I just embraced it. As for fixing it, I know it was mentioned above I can put in a countrr bend before hand. that should straighten it out as I work the bevel correct?? And Will, thanks for that, I will definitely give those techniques a try to get more level and cleaner blades!!!
  12. Working on my second ever knife

    Thanks will do!! any steels in particular I should stay away from for now? or materials in general??
  13. Working on my second ever knife

    Thanks will do! I'm definitely going to try to get a lot more practice blades under my belt...ordered a 48" piece of 1084 that should be arriving soon....gonna cut that into smaller pieces to work on more practice knives...that will not reach the 17inch length of this current piece.....haha
  14. First knife attempt (looking for advice on ways to move forward)

    Thanks everyone! I really appreciate your comments and critiques, and will do my best to put them all into being as I move forward! (I'll also start taking pictures on a better background, my apologies on the busy background!). As for the heat treat of the blade, that went really well, I didn't get any warpage or bends, and I tempered it in my oven as I'd read was supposed to happen, so that part at least was a success (though I doubt the wife was happy I was using the oven in the house....) With regards to the sabering...that was not intentional in the beginning...as I was working the blade it started to curve...so I just kind of embraced that and went. That being said, I have been working on a second knife, and just as you mentioned, I have started drawing up the design of the blade (I got a chalkboard in my forge area now, so I can draw up a profile, and look at it as I work!) With regards to mechanical joints, I do not have a drill press yet, but I do have a power drill and bits....would it work if I tried to drill holes through my tang while it was still slightly hot (and before the heat treat), so that I can get through it? I was thinking I could punch some small holes into the tang while forging, then drill through those with my drill bits, for my full tang handles. Also, is there a way to decrease initial hammer blows/pits, is it a matter of improving my hammering techniques? And I will definitely look into draw filing for the bevels! (For this blade I just used the forge, my angle grinder, and a lot of elbow grease with sand paper haha....)
  15. Working on my second ever knife

    Thank you both for your responses! I suppose wanting to do the water quench was more so a matter of ease/a character flaw in thought (thought process being "I already have everything for a water quench, why get the stuff for an oil quench if water will work, just be a little harder). I know now that was not the best idea, so when I head to the forge this morning to do the quench, I will bring with me the galvanized wide metal bucket I got at lowes, and some oil, and do an oil quench. I will also hold off on the clay idea for this blade, as recommended, and probably give that a try on some smaller pieces as practice first in the future. As for heating the water...was just a suggestion I had relieved, did not know the purpose of heating the oil was it's viscosity, not a temperature issue...thanks for setting me straight on that one Thomas! Hopefully everything goes well, and if it does I'll probably have a picture of the finished piece up in a couple days....as long as the quench goes good....I'll be working on the guard and trying a hidden tang handle on this one!