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What did you do in the shop today?

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Today in the shop I took some time to detail my father's KBAR. It took me a while to find after his passing and the leather had begun to grow fuzz mold. 

This knife was the possession he was most proud to have as it was given to him in thanks for his service in Vietnam. 

I would appreciate any suggestions on what I should use to keep the handle and sheath protected so it doesn't start to grow mold again.


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Definitely check out the tack shop. They may even have someone who can talk you through the best product. 

As for me, I test-fired the gasser!


I only ran it for about half an hour, because I don’t want to rush it before the Kastolite is completely cured. Very happy so far, though. 


(A bit surprised that there’s more flame coming out the back than from the front.)

I don’t know how well you can see it in this photo, but there were wisps of white vapor coming from around the ribbon burner block.


 And when I shut off the forge, a lot of white smoke came out of the T. 


 I suspect that there may have been a little moisture cooking out of the refractory, but that most of this is from wax residue inside the plenum and Crisco on the outside of the block. 



Had a nice swirl in the flame:


I will probably need to tune the burner a bit more, but for now, things look good. 

Addendum:  for this first curing fire, I tried to keep the flame as low as possible. Started out at about 2 psi and went up to about 4 when it warmed up enough to backfire. No problems after that.

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Finally got my post vise onto the Mk I mount.  I know it will need some additional bracing, but it's a reasonable start for what I do.  Unfortunately I dont have anything/place permanent for it to go, so its stand has to be moveable (to head off the arguments about fixing to a post in the ground or bolted into the concrete, etc.).


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Mr. Eventless box,

Welcome to I forge iron.

A solution of clorox bleach in water, will do a much better job for killing the fungus. Exceedingly few micro-organisms can survive contact with concentrated chlorine in water.

(come to think of it I do not remember any).

The solution can be applied to the fungus and let stand for a bit. Then the solution should be washed off with water.

Ideally treating the leather with a solution of water and some sodium thiosulfate  (also called photographers' hypo),  will neutralize the Clorox in the bleaching solution.

The hypo step is nice,  but not strictly necessary.

The leather should then be thoroughly dried.

A subsequent wipe with  Isopropanol (= isopropyl alcohol = rubbing alcohol), will get rid of any residual moisture.  But that step is not strictly necessary either.

(alternatively, you could use a hair dryer, on moderate heat, to get the sheath dry.

Fungus will not grow if the leather is kept dry or, better yet, rubbed down with saddle soap or neatsfoot oil, from time to time.

You have a beautiful knife, an invaluable keepsake,  that will serve you, your children and grandchildren for many years to come.

Treat it with care,  and it will serve you well.



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Another option for the leather is to cure it in oil, i get trolled for using it but i wipe my blades with a thin coat of olive oil and then wipe that off with a paper towel, same thing with my leather sheiths, light coat of oil wipe it off after it soaks in a little. 

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Pretty much finished up a commission of some brackets that will go on an old barn beam fireplace mantle to spruce it up. Just need some paint yet.

I will say that bending these to dimensions without a metal brake was a bit of a pain and needed tweeking. Not my usual tkind of work and I'm crossing my fingers that they fit. 



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