10 Jul

Just a quick update..

I’ve had some things going on at home that have required my attention over the past few days. We’ve finally (although a few weeks sooner than we had originally planned) moved my son, Asher, down here from Warren and we’re excited about getting him settled in – but that means enrolling in school, physicals, orientation and guidance counsellor meetings, so it’s kept me out of the shop for the past few days. Asher will actually be joining me for my last knife making class of the summer, which is going to be cool because it’s been a few years since he’s gotten to make a knife! Fun father and son bonding stuff! I’m holding off on finishing the san mai kukri for the moment to use as a demonstration in class, so we’ll get some updates on that piece later this weekend. Hopefully Monday we’ll all be settled into the groove and back on target. The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire opens in just 3 short weeks and I’ve got some knives to make! In the meantime, The Arkham Miscellany, is going to begin selling my knives in the immediate future, so follow them on eBay for a chance to pick up some great pieces not available here on the site! I’m also still updating this site with some knives that will only be available here and at either the Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania Renaissance Faires or King Richard’s Faire in Carver, Massachusetts! Have a great weekend and I’ll be back with an update soon!

06 Jul

Making a San Mai Kukri – Part 2

Had the chance to jump back in the shop this afternoon and made a little more progress on the San Mai kukri. Update: If you missed it, here’s Parts 1 and 3.

Ready for normalization, clay coat and heat treat in the morning.

Ready for normalization, clay coat and heat treat in the morning.

Rough ground, taking off the scale.

Rough ground, taking off the scale.

Cleaned up the tang, hammered the edge.

Cleaned up the tang, hammered the edge.

06 Jul

The Making of a San Mai Kukri – Part 1

 

Over the past 2 days I’ve been working on a new custom order and I thought it might put some insight into how I forge blades by doing a little photo documentation. I’ll post more pictures as I work on this kukri more over the next few days. Update Part 2 and Part 3.

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Two pieces of 2.5″x6″ 15N20 and a piece of 0.1875″ 1084 – Cleaned and ready to weld.

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Clamped for tack welding. It’s important to clamp both ends because of how thin the 15N20 is, otherwise we’ll end up with warping which may cause problems during welding.

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Just a few quick tacks, 6 in total, just enough to hold the stock together for welding into a billet.

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Flat dies in the hydraulic press for setting the initial weld.

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After a little preheating, the tacked stock is fluxed with borax and ready to be brought to welding heat.

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Setting the initial weld in the press.

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During the process, I reflux the seams several times just to ensure a solid weld.

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After setting the weld in my press, I draw it out on the rolling mill to 0.1875″ With a 6″ starting length, this means the billet will be 11″ long when at the correct thickness.

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The billet welded. Because of how the rolling mill works, it only draws out the length of the billet, leaving us with 2.5″x11″. I then use my plasma cutter to trim the billet to 2.25″x10.85″ – this eliminates any possibility of cold shuts around the edge of the billet.

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Notching using the sharp edge of the anvil where the tang will be drawn out.

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It’s a lot of working back and forth on two sides to start drawing the tang down.

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Once I get it to a decent length and width, I can now hold it in my blade tongs to start working on the main body of the kukri.

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I begin by upsetting and rounding the tip. This eliminates any rolling that would cause a cold shut.

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Then, using a slightly round faced hammer, I start narrowing the blade down in the center.

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Roughed out shape. Still have some forging today for the tip and for the mid-section of the blade. I need to narrow it down a little more towards the ricasso.

 

06 Jul

Last class of summer!

I’ve got two spots open for the last knife making class I’m doing this summer. It’s this coming weekend, July 11 and 12. Would love to have another student or two!¬†knifeclass.eventzilla.net

04 Jul

Knifeclass, Day 2

Sam and I had our last day of class yesterday. It was primarily a heat treating and wood working sort of day. We started out with¬† pulling his forged blade from the vermiculite, drilled holes, cleaned, normalized, hardened and tempered. I know, sounds quick.. that whole thing took about 6.5hrs of our day, but during that time Sam did a nice set of redwood handles for his first knife from the day before. Once the tempering cycles had finished, we fitted some birdseye maple to the second blade. I think Sam did a great job on his first two knives he ever made and it was fun having him in class! I updated the gallery from yesterday with some new shots, here’s a look:

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