Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Flogging in the heat


Recommended Posts

I have a knife show coming up over Labor Day weekend in Las Vegas.  I had a few pieces left in stock from the Blade Show back at the beginning of June, plus a month to prepare.  Figured I could knock out a few commissions and have plenty of time to build inventory.
Then, I caught a cold/flu-like bug at my niece's first birthday party the last weekend in July that knocked me on my back where I barely left the couch for at least 10 days.  And everything that I had on hand sold.
So now I'm scrambling in 100+ degree south Texas late summer to get some work together so I won't have an empty table.  :)  And I haven't posted work in a while, so I figured I'd do so before getting a shower and crawling into bed.
A batch of Benghazi Warfighters as pre-forms.
And with the blades rough forged, trimmed, final forged, and awaiting final profile cleanup before cutting out the tangs and normalizing.
A few cord-wrapped knives waiting to get trimmed and impregnated with marine epoxy.  The one with the retina-searing yellow is a commission.
A stack of tomahawks waiting to be ground.  Probably not all of these will be done for the show.  Gotta make strategic decisions on where to dedicate time.
And finally a couple of bush swords post-heat treatment.  The blunt-ended one is about a 14" blade and the slender, sinuous one is about 16".
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Been wondering what happened to you James, sorry to hear you got nailed with such a gnarly bug :(

I look forward to getting to actually hold some of your knifework in person in Vegas! Hit me if you need anything or help at your table.

Good luck getting your stuff prepared, but don't compromise your health pushing too hard in the heat!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't remind me!  Eek!


Made some more progress today.
First got the wraps impregnated with marine epoxy, essentially making a composite material in place on the tangs.  They're solid now.
Then worked on the Benghazi Warfighters.
After cleanup grinding on the profiles, time to cut out the tangs with my fancy-shmancy high-moolah bandsaw.
Some cleanup grinding.
Drilled the rivet and lightening holes, then triple normalized.
And now they're soaking in vinegar overnight to eat the scale off.  All going well, they should have stock removal and heat treatment done tomorrow.
Link to comment
Share on other sites




Just the other day I was thinking about turning my old Portaband into a vertical bandsaw. Down side is it's not one of the deep throat ones. Some where I have an adapter to turn my Carolina horizontal into a poor mans vertical, that came with it when I bought it used, but I can't find where I stashed it. Either would make cutting blanks for shovels and circles for ladles easier than the way I'm doing them right now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SWAG makes some nice stuff, but too much money for the junky old Portaband I have. It's actually so old it originally was marked Rockwell before a buddy of mine took it in and had it rebuilt and they stuck the "new" Porter Cable tag on it. I wished I had known he'd planed to do that. In the end he spent more money combined with what I paid for the unit, than a brand new deep throat Milwaukee would have cost.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

James, Is your "heat treat oven" a newer kiln with computer thermostat? or do you just use timer? Been kicking kiln ideas around (daughter wants one for pottery) and looking for older (non puterized) unit. Nice sharp and pointy items BTW :)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Scott - I have an Evenheat long furnace that I use vertically for hardening, then a big Paragon 3 phase kiln (that's the one in the photo) for tempering, both with digital controllers.


I spent a fair amount of time and a little bit of money trying to re-wire an old kiln to use for hardening ere buying the Evenheat, but my lack of understanding of circuits led to a lot of blown solid state relays and bad feelings.  I finally decided to stop messing around with it and lay down the money on the Evenheat.


But if you can find a kiln in decent shape and have the kind of mind that can wrap itself around electric circuits, you can rig a digital controller on it fairly cheaply.


Or possibly score one with a digital controller.  Those tend to run more on Craigslist, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, James. I was thinking even lower tech. Old kiln with the melted cone switch (Not sure of correct term) The cone melts and allows a switch to close and shut down unit. I would have to experiment with cones to find the one that would work within the HT parameters I need, of course :)  It would work at much lower temps and times required for ceramic firing so daughter could still use it as well...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd really recommend a digital controller.  The cones work for firing ceramics, but you need to have a pretty good idea when your steel is at what temp instantaneously.  The wiring isn't too complicated and the parts are cheap, I just don't have the kind of mind that can deal with circuits.


Finished up the bush swords and got some pics.
Tried to get some of the tomahawks and my camera ran out of juice!
Off to bed.  One day left to get everything finished up.  :)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back in Texas, though not back home yet.  It was interesting in Las Vegas because while it was above 100 degrees like in San Antonio, the much lower humidity meant that it actually felt comfortable in comparison!  We're putting in long days and lots of miles to get back and made our only early stop in Lubbock, my old college stomping grounds, this afternoon.  We saw the extreme of 113 degrees in Needles, California, with $4.89 gas and 77 degrees near the Grand Canyon, with $3.14 gas here in Lubbock.
I did manage to have a respectably full table, even if I did finish up sharpening in the hotel room and putting straps on the tomahawk sheaths at the show.
My loverly bride, Allie, always makes knife shows more fun.  :)  God bless her patience!
Right side of the table, with the bush swords.
Left side, featuring the new 15" tomahawks.
Three lengths of Wrecker 'hawks for comparison.
The 15" hammer poll sold.  I got a picture before it left the table.
And a couple of the Benghazi Warfighters.  I missed getting sheaths built for the black ones.  I'll get those together this week after getting back home.
The 15" 'hawks and the Benghazi Warfighters both feature a new handle material for me: Tero Tuf.  It's a composite material similar in concept to Micarta, but tougher and less toxic to work with, as well as feeling similar to canvas Micarta on the hand but a bit more comfortable.  I'm pretty happy with it, and sure plan to make use of it more in the future.
Had a lot of fun, met new folks, talked with old folks, made good contacts, sold some blades.  Good show!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got some pics of the 15" Wrecker and War Chief that came back with me.  I didn't get to finish the War Chief's sheath before leaving, but plan to do so tomorrow if I can.  I'll also see if I can get my wife to get a picture of the balance point before she goes to work.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...