Monday, November 30, 2009

Pictures from the lathe

Hmmm... This post was supposed to go to Acrylic and Steel, and the one there was supposed to go to Hangedman....oh well.

I did promise some pictures from my garage projects, so I’ll give you some of the lathe projects.

If you are more interested in the knives, check out the acrylicandsteel page.

The first project after getting the lathe was to build Autumn a table. So I turned a few 2x2’s into legs. Each one is different.

Then I grabbed a small log of Russian olive and started a vase. I haven’t managed to clean out the inside yet due to some wobble. I think I know how to deal with that now, so I’ll have to throw it back on and hollow it out one of these days. Here it is with its base still attached and a layer of finish on it, just to see how it will look later.

I’ve played with a few other pieces, a 4x4 and some purpleheart as mentioned earlier, but the most fun has been this salt cedar root. Here are a couple phases – naturally I don’t have a good before picture. Sorry.

Prior to hollowing

Post hollowing

Here it is with some finish (Mosler Oil/Wax). It’s a pretty and unique little bowl. Still needs the bottom to be finished up, and the base removed, but that shouldn’t take too long.

Oh yes, I did mention that I had cleaned up an old Boy Scout knife from Cousin Chuck – again didn’t take pictures first – someday I’ll learn. But this is how it turned out. I had to rebuild the sheath, but I think that I captured the character, and I reused the front piece to retain the original look and leatherworking. And I didn’t really change anything about the knife – just polished it up, and took away most of the rust, and sharpened it up again. Hopefully the original maker (or manufacturer) isn’t offended.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

AR7 Handle revision and Elk Hunt

Earlier this year I decided that it was time to fix the handle on an earlier knife, AR7. I just wasn't very happy with the way the whole thing went together, and it didn't feel right in my hand. So, despite the effort that had gone into it, I chiseled off the handle, and knocked off the guard.

After some thought, some time, and some more thought I decided to regrind the blade. After several iterations, I ended up with the current shape, which I like a lot better. I also shaped a new, simpler guard. I really liked the old guard, but it was a pain to try to fit a handle around.

I decided to go with redwood burl from northern California for the new handle, it is a pleasure to work with and finishes very well. The new handle feels much better in the hand, is buttery smooth, and gorgeous. I added a corby-rivet in addition to the epoxy to hold the handle on securely. Unfortunately I ground away a little to much of the rivet on one side so the center is visible. C'est la vie. Overall I was very pleased how it turned out.

After finishing it, and resharpening it, I lent it to my coworker Frank to take with him on his cow elk hunt. Above is a picture of the knife on the fresh kill. Looks good so far. I hope to hear good reports on its edge holding and performance in skinning an elk.

Here is the old blade and handle. It was perhaps more exotic, with its tiger-eye and two tone wood, blued blade, and curved guard, but not nearly a cohesive as the revised model.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Reduced prices on some of my work

Hi folks,
No, haven't managed to get the pictures up yet for the pieces that I commented on recently. And more are on the way (pieces, not necessarily pictures); but in the meantime I did reduce prices on most of the knives over at by at least 10%, and post a blog over at, so go check it out, and get someone a nice Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Birthday/I love you present :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Revisions and progress

Sorely out of practice, I at least have my forge up and running again, and have several pieces nearly ready to have handles put on. Naturally, I don't have pictures to put up for you yet. I had some issues with quenching this time around, with more warping than I am used to, but despite all that, I think the products will be interesting.

I've also just finished a revision of AR7, which I was never really happy with. The new version is less complex but feels better in the hand, is put together a little better, and is (in my opinion) prettier too. I reshaped the blade some, and replaced the handle - which was very narrow, with a piece of redwood burl. I'll post pictures of that soon.

Thirdly, I bought a small lathe. Not quite sure how I will use it in terms of knife making, but hopefully I will manage to post some bowls and vases before too long. And maybe a walking stick or two, if I ever get around to trying that.

Anyway, I hope to have some new pictures up here and on Acrylicandsteel sometime soon.