Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August 2013 - The month I turned 40.

The glacial pace of work in the shop has continued since my last post.  I have managed to make a few things though.

Back in March, I talked about clay tempering and slowed a couple of blades.  Well, I finally got around to finishing 2 of them.

The tanto (AR67) has a hammered titanium guard, Macassar Ebony and stacked leather handle, and brass Raaen pins.

The drop point hunter (AR68) also has a hammered titanium guard, and a desert ironwood handle with brass Raaen pins. 

Now, you may not have heard of Vernon and Helen Raaen of Tennessee, and they don’t have much of a web presence, but their son Nial was my next door neighbor growing up and helped inspire my desire to make knives.  When his father passed away, Nial, knowing that I made knives, offered me a bunch of pins in a variety of sizes, so expect to see them on a lot of my work in the future, if I ever manage to produce a lot again.  Thanks again Nial, and thanks to Vernon and Helen as well.  One of their chef’s knives is still in daily use in my kitchen.

Turning projects….
I had thought I was done with my bolt action pens, but found that I had three more.  So I made and sold those also – amboyna burl, macassar ebony, and black ash burl. 

 At request I also made a matching ball point and fountain pen set out of kingwood.

I can’t believe that it has been almost 4 months since I turned a bowl – but I was getting kind of board with those also.  I had a series of pieces split, crack, or generally break on me, and that soured me a little bit.  I was dreaming that I would put 20-30 together and give them as Christmas presents.  Maybe I will start up again one of these days, I think I’m about a third of the way there.  I do still have quite a bit of wood left over.

Oh yeah, I finished up another ice cream scoop in Macassar Ebony.

Back in March/April when I was working on the bowls, I bought a replaceable carbide tipped roughing tool for my shop.  It is amazing how much faster and easier it is to work with that hard and sharp of a tool.  I’m pretty sure that without it, I wouldn’t have finished quite so many bowls.  I haven’t tried sharpening the bits with my diamond sharpener, but I’m hoping that I can extend the life of them just a little bit.

Upcoming projects…
I started working on a new pepper grinder – and had to repair my salt grinder as well.  So hopefully I will finish that soon, and post them together.

I have the 2nd Tanto blade, that I would like to get a handle on soon.  I’d like to make a slightly fancier guard rather than just the beaten titanium, but I’m not quite there yet, nor do I have a design.  I also haven’t figured out what I want to do with the handle.  I might try for traditional Japanese style (rayskin, silk cord) since I have those, and haven’t done it yet; but I really haven’t decided yet.  I also have some more modern materials that might work well – m3 volcanic black ash, white canvas micarta.  We’ll see.  Might depend on how the guard turns out.

I also want to make a Kindjal.  Double edged but curved – did I mention how much I dislike making double edged knives, and here I am,wanting to do another??

I must be crazy!

I also turned 40 this month.