Not a big fan of doing taxes, but they aren’t as hard as some folks make them out to be. I used to use the paper forms every year, but since Erica’s business has been doing so well we started using TurboTax. Unfortunately, this year I apparently didn’t take enough withholding so had to pay a bit. C’est la vie. At least it wasn’t thousands…
I haven’t made a custom knife by request in a while, but not too long ago I was contacted by an individual who had stumbled across this blog and seen the Custom Kitchen Chopper that I made for my friend Bryan’s mom – an unusual design, and not one that I ever expected to repeat. But that was the request, for something similar, with different wood for the handle. On further discussion, we decided to try a stone handle. I have some beautiful Picasso marble, that was just waiting for this project, so I ordered some steel (15n20 in this case), and have been working away at it. It’s a little thinner than I am used to working, so more prone to warping. I think I can correct it all… and it worked! I think it turned out pretty darn well.
AR91 – Custom Kitchen Chopper Mk2 – 8 ¾” Overall, 15n20 Steel blade, Picasso marble handle with Loveless Bolts. Leather Thong.
Other Knife Projects
Since I bought some new steel, I started a few more projects. I started a new drop point hunter/skinner out of 15n20 – along the lines of the series I started last year – We’ll see how close it turns out to the size and shape of the others.
One of my staff members talked about an Ulu knife, and since I’d been thinking about making one of those for a while also, I started one of those as well.
There are also a number of blades that I started a while back…long enough that I have no idea which steels I used for them. One looks like a steak knife at the moment. The other… I don’t’ really know how to describe it, basic knife? I also have some blades that are potential folders, if I ever get around to making them.
And I'm trying a couple of tactical knives...
So, I’ve tried making a few bows now. My red oak bow with fiberglass backing was pretty good for a little while, and then snapped. My salt cedar bow snapped the same day. I started another salt cedar bow, but it broke before becoming a complete bow. So I thought I would try something a little bit different, a laminated bow. So, I bought another piece of red oak, ran it through the table saw a couple of times, and then re-laminated the pieces back together, two of the pieces were about 1/16th inch and one about 1/8th inch thick. I had purchased some carbon fiber tape, so that went between the thick and thin, and fiberglass tape on the front and back. I had no idea what the draw would turn out to be, but I glued it all together (in a couple stages). I also put together a couple fancier pieces of wood for the riser: Rosewood, a little strip of Honey Locust, and some Bocote. After a little prep work I glued on the riser pieces to the limbs (and some extra material for the nocks) shaped the combination, filed the nocks and strung it up… It’s a little light – maybe 25-30# at 28”. I need to pull it with my luggage scale, but that is my guess. It definitely doesn’t have the snap that my recurve does, but it’s pretty consistent. And, more importantly, it hasn’t broken! And I spoke too soon, since it was a bit light I thought I would laminate another layer on, and get creative with some recurve/decurve. Looked good for a bit but was REALLY STIFF – I used some Ipe for the additional laminations, and then as I was getting it down to a useable weight….SNAP – it didn’t crack, but rather snapped about in half. It looked really pretty for a little while though.
So, since this failed also, I am still thinking about the next bow. I’ve ordered a lamination kit from Bingham archery supplies. Pretty sure I can put it all together.
Obviously, I like to work with wood, and have griped about wood allergies in an earlier blog. I may have just moved to the next level. I didn’t do much wood work last weekend, ripped a couple of boards (leopardwood and salt cedar), and that was it for the wood, but I did stop by the Exotic Wood Store in Albuquerque, and the next day my nasty allergic reaction to wood showed up. I’ve never had a problem with the woods that I worked with, but it is certainly possible that they had cut some that I am allergic to at the store, and just breathing it in has set off my reaction. I apparently need to wear a respirator and long sleeves at all times now. This does not make me happy.
In other news, I’m a Roller Derby referee again.
Not too long ago Duke City Roller Derby split into two parts. My wife stayed with the original group. I think at this point she is the skater in the league who was part of it earliest in its existence. Granted she did take some time off for children, and we did move to Oregon for a year, but still. I have a long standing connection too, since my friends John and Nan were part of founding it, and I’d come out to practices when visiting. After later moving to Albuquerque, I would hang out with the Derby people since they were the only ones I knew, and before long I started Reffing. Since the league split, my wife has asked me to come back and help out – the game has changed a bit, but with a little luck I can manage. My first game back was April 18th. It went pretty well, awfully nice to have a full ref crew. Don’t think I made too many bad calls.