Friday, March 6, 2015

December through March and a collaboration!

I think its good that I have things to talk about after 3 months.

The skinner collection, started off as six knives that were about the same, and so far is 4 knives that are about the same and two that are totally different:
AR83 – W2, utility knife - sorry for the marginal picture

AR84 and 85 – 52100, Drop point skinner - Presentation knives -Oak 

AR86 – CPM 154, Drop point skinner - Ghost Jade G10

AR87 – CruForgeV, Drop point skinner - Sweet Gum

I also finished up the big Chef’s knife that I started months ago:
AR88 – 1084, 9" Chef’s knife - Walnut

Christmas season is always nice because it is one of the few times of year where people buy my stuff!  It is always rewarding to get rid of stock (old and new).  Although I still dream about getting a fancy belt sander, I’m unlikely to splurge on anything like that.  I’d like to work on my leathercraft skills one of these days (beyond just knife sheaths).  That way I could make my own messenger bag, rather than buying one from Saddlebackleather!  It would probably take more time than buying, and might actually end up costing more, but then I could say that I made it!  And that would be cool.
I could also definitely use some work on my joinery skills, and general blacksmithing (not bladesmithing). 

Maybe some year I will take some classes or something.

I don’t do collaborations often, but I committed to one.  After getting started, I realized that I don’t really know how to collaborate on arts and crafts projects.  The concept was simple, I’ll make the knife and you’ll do some etching and it will go together like bacon and eggs!  Then I started the knife, decided on a style (i.e. the metal decided where it wanted to go and I tried to make that work for me.), picked some wood that I thought would contrast with the copper, heat treated the blade, shaped the guard, shaped the handle, decided how big the copper scales would be… then thought… “wait, I haven’t asked my collaborator for any input at all!”  Then started the sheath, revised it, cut out a window for another copper window… still no input.  I’ve decided that I’ll just turn it over to him in disassembled form, with some assembled pictures and say – its ready, go to town, and hope for the best.

Here is an in progress picture.  It will be AR90.

A friend of mine has a native flute that was missing a totem/reed.  Clan name: White, animal association:Eagle.   I haven’t done any carving in a while.  It’s hard.  But I persevered and ended up with a kinda cute, Northwest style bird that could be an eagle.  I carved it out of Holly.

I haven’t been very prolific so far this year.  Most of my shop time effort has gone into the collaboration knife. But I finished up working on another Puuku style knife.  I know Puuku’s don’t have choils, but this one does, which I guess just makes it a knife J  Not sure why since I still have two that haven’t sold, but nonetheless, it is moving forward.  It’s W2, and was originally going to be one of the drop hunters before it cracked in a few spots.  Not a fancy hamon, but visible.  I need to work on my W2 skills.  Oh well. Still need to engrave the number I think.
AR89. Masur Birch and Brass with red accent - W2 Puuku.

It’s been a little while since I talked about archery.  It was a little frustrating to have my Red Oak Bow and Salt Cedar Bow Projects both fail on the same day.  They have now been combined into a small combination red oak/salt cedar takedown to replace the Pine one that I made for Autumn.  Still not the nicest to shoot, and I worry that it will crack too, but it at least will stick an arrow into the target. I'll see if I can put in a picture next time...

I’ve also been dreaming about a long bow, just not sure if I want to buy an new fancy one, a used fancy one, a partially premade one, or the parts to make one.  I have enough nice wood to make the riser just fine, but I’d need the laminations – since my self-bows haven’t been too successful. 
Part of me wants the bow to be MINE – and I’ve got some ideas, but I want some of the work to be taken out. Bingham and 3Rivers both sell what I need, but Bingham will sell me a package that has the approximately correct draw weight, which I might mess with anyway – because I am like that.  I’d also like to try a little reflex/deflex action, a slightly radiused riser, and a variety of other more challenging things.  We’ll see how it all turns out.  I wouldn’t mind making my own laminations also – so I might do all of these things. 

In my spare time…Did I mention that Erica wants me to start reffing again? I should probably practice that too.

That said, I really enjoy my Sammik Journey, and have been shooting with it regularly in the back yard.  I can get a little more than 20 yards worth, and my grouping is getting better.  I bought some fancy arrows a while back from Robert at Nice! Archery in Albuquerque, and they are DEFINITELY nicer than the cheap (less than half the price) ones I picked up at Sportsman’s Warehouse – fly better, group better, etc…  but I am getting better with those too.  And take-down bows make a lot of sense, since you have the option of not having a 6 foot stick sitting in your back seat/hand/backpack.

I think that's enough for now.