Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fall 2012


Temperatures here in New Mexico are finally beginning to drop, and it is becoming more tempting to start forging again.  Not that there aren’t unfinished blades scattered around the house, but at least its not so hot that standing in a semi enclosed space with a 2000 degree furnace blowing at you might make you pass out.
I actually have made progress on a few knives since my last report several months ago, completing numbers 64-66, each of these was started long enough ago that I will need to do some research to figure out what I made them all out of.

AR64 – 1095 Carbon steel - ~8 inch blade Chef’s knife, Canarywood handle, loveless bolts.

As I have less and less time for knifemaking, finish quality seems to go down.  Whereas early on, I would spend a long time making sure that there were no grinder scratches remaining; now I will let a few go.  Especially for some of the tougher metals (CruForge V for example), it just takes too long to get rid of the last few to be worth it for me.

I generally think that my creativity has suffered as well, I just don’t have time to develop the complex designs that I used to dream about.  Simple handles, simple guards, simple grinds.  That said, AR65 and 66 are a little unusual.  Both are daggers (and I know I’ve ranted about the challenges of daggers before – why do I make things that I know will annoy me, and I think that there is another unfinished one lying around here somewhere), one has a fancy handle (I finally got around to filling the cholla with powdered turquoise, and filing the guard, and grinding the pommel), the other is a little rough and is my first attempt at a wrapped handle, with rawhide no less.

AR65 – Stainless (S35VN) Cholla Dagger, Powdered Turquoise and Copper.

AR66 – 1095 Cold Blued Carbon Steel Primitive Style Dagger, Stained rawhide wrapped handle.

On the first weekend of November I fired up the forge! Twice!! Singed the hair on my arms, caught a few random sparks, but came through mostly unscathed.  I’m working for the first time with W2, and dreaming that I might be able to pull off some nice hamon.   The two are a semi-matched set of hidden tang tanto style blades (OK, they will be – I haven’t cut off the ends yet.  I’ll see if I can pull off a nice set of Tsuba or something. That’s still a little ways away though. No pictures yet.

 I’m also working on a little hunting knife – also in W2.  No pics of this one yet either.

I also tried out a new type of pen – Bolt Action.  They are pretty heavy as far as pens go, with a nice comfortable action.  They look fancy and are fairly simple to turn.  So far I’ve put together:  Desert Ironwood, Manzanita, and Bocote, Ancient Kauri, Macassar Ebony and Spalted Mulberry versions in Gold.

  Here's a sample...

I'd better stop here if I ever want to get this posted.

Talk to you soon...

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