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Can we see some more letter openers?


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A lot of the old posts have the pics removed and I can't find a thread just for letter openers, so perhaps we could see a few here. I suppose letter openers have gone pretty much the same way as bottle openers - most bottles have twist caps now and email and text has largely replaced the letter. However, it seems that these things still sell quite well.

 I do a lot of ram heads and long horn bulls on pokers and bottle openers, but this is the first go at a paper knife/ letter opener. The bull has a single edge, the ram is double sided. The ram is more comfortable in the hand, but you have to keep the cattlemen happy too.

I'm not totally happy with the blade shape - they work well, but the next ones will be longer, thinner and tapered better.

 

 

paper knife 2.JPG

paper knife1.JPG

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1 hour ago, Daswulf said:

Aus, those are really nice.

How bout on the long horn you leave enough material in the handle to fold him up after making the bull head to look almost like a guard on a dagger. 

Now, there's a thought!  Have to draw out the neck a bit first so the handle wouldn't be too thick. I'll give it  a try.

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23 hours ago, Frank Turley said:

The work of Doug Wilson of Little Deer Isle, Maine, He gave me this as a present a few years back. It is carefully forged with the blade and octagonal finial at right angles to the flat of the handle. Overall length 9.5 Inches.

Love his work. I still have one of his signature belt buckles that I picked up in a partial trade back in the mid 80's when I was up at Deer Isle for a glass blowing class at Haystack.  Use it almost every evening when I change out of my work clothes . 

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On ‎9‎/‎12‎/‎2016 at 7:09 AM, Daswulf said:

Aus, those are really nice.

How bout on the long horn you leave enough material in the handle to fold him up after making the bull head to look almost like a guard on a dagger. 

OK Das, I gave it a try.

This is the first go, and as usual, learned a few things:

I don't know why I drew the neck down to make it thinner. I could have used much more material in the handle end. Next one will be bent back full size stock so I have enough meat to taper the handle nicely and maybe have a finial or ball on the end of the handle.

Probably will make the horns a bit shorter so that it looks more like a guard. I will also leave the horns square until forge welding the two parts of the handle fold together. That way there will be less chance of burning the horns at welding temp. They can be drawn out last.

Interesting experiment. Thanks for the suggestion, Das. I'll improve with Mark II.

Here's how it looks.

 

letterbull1.JPG

letterbull2.JPG

letterbull3.JPG

letterbull4.JPG

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Yeah Aus, Thats the idea. Looking at that one, I'm thinking the bull head would look good being past the handle and at the blade. I guess it would depend on what order you forged the parts. You could leave the handle beefier and maybe just forge weld the end and punch and drift a loop. 

It looks good. I should try one before I keep suggesting stuff to change yours haha. Mark II is always better. It works the kinks out. :) 

Next someone will recommend making the pommel look the the back end of a bull with a tail.. :rolleyes:

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Leave the handle beefier. Ha Ha, I like the pun. But yes, definitely more meat needed there.

I guess if I made the handle thick enough it would look like the body of the bull. You could make a Brahman bump (except that Brhmans are not longhorns) and draw the end out to a curly tail. Ah, the possibilities are endless!

Do have a try, Das. I would like to see your take on these.

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59 minutes ago, PVF Al said:

One of my prized possessions. Made by Larry Long of Litiz, PA. 2005 

Can see why you treasure it.  Inspiring work.  Love the star inlay and the forge welded heart shape.  That is some tight work, think Larry has some jewelry background as well?

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is my typical letter opener project. A 9 inch or thereabouts piece of 3/8" round rod of mild steel is tapered at one end to a leaf with the blade on the other end formed on the horn of the anvil. I generally grind the edge of each side of the blade and true up the point. Then just bend, do a small twist on the leaf stem and wire brush.  Although I sometimes vary the style of leaf, this is the basic project. I brass brush the leaf and finish with a clear acrylic spray.  I can do one of these in less than a half hour and can sell them for $15.00 each.

P9270031.JPG

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Made this one back during my greencoal class days......I sharpened it on a stone until it would shave, turned out more like a fancy prison shank :D.

Letter Opener.jpg

On ‎12‎/‎13‎/‎2016 at 6:56 AM, PVF Al said:

One of my prized possessions. Made by Larry Long of Litiz, PA. 2005 FullSizeRender 2.jpg

Very beautiful work right there!

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  • 2 weeks later...

And here's another, for a colleague in the Development Office who's moving on to another job. I made her something every fundraiser should have: a combination letter- & bottle-opener!

IMG_2205.JPG

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Might consider grinding blade section, at least, to a finer polish, oil hardening, tempering, then finish polish and light 30% ferric chloride etch.  You probably have a very nice pattern weld hiding there. You did all the forge welding work,  why not show it?

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