Archive for the Blacksmithing Category

Loveless Style Hunting Knife in O1

Posted in Blacksmithing, EDC, Forging, knifemaking, Leather working, metalwork, Tool Making with tags , , , , , , , on January 7, 2014 by Jim

I started this knife quite a while ago. It has been sitting on my bench for over a year – until now.

Handmade Loveless Drop Point Hunter in o1 steel

I made it to be part of a hunting set and showed the smaller first knife here quite a while ago.

Here are the two knives finally together.

lovelessCopySet

I carry the smaller knife as a fixed blade edc pocket knife.

They are both 01 steel with green micarta handles and red liners. The blade on the larger one is about 3″.

I also made the sheath and to be honest – I almost enjoyed that as much as making the knife.

Happy Making and new year to you,

Jim

 

Integral Knife forged from 52100

Posted in Blacksmithing, Forging, knifemaking, metalwork, Tool Making with tags , , , , on November 4, 2013 by Jim

I recently got a beautiful integral fixed blade knife from Master Smith Ray Kirk. I like it so much that I had to try and make one for myself. I bought a couple 3/8″ round bars of the 52100 from Ray and here is what I came up with:

Hand Forged Knife

Thanks to my friend Dave from Circle H forge for the beautiful piece of stag.

Lots of folks have been helping me with all this. Ray spent an hour walking me through how to make a blade like this.

Also, Master Smith Lin Rhea is always there with an answer to anything I need help with.

I have come to find that the folks in the American Bladesmith Society are just some of the best people out there.

-Happy Making,

Jim

Making a drop point hunting knife

Posted in Blacksmithing, knifemaking, metalwork with tags , , , , on August 25, 2011 by Jim

I am starting work on a set of three hunting knives all based on Bob Dozier Patterns which are based on Bob Loveless patterns.

Here is your treat for tonight, the first patten:

Bob Loveless Bob Dozier Style knife pattern

If you make knives or are interested in making knives, go get a copy of ‘Knifemaking with Bob Loveless‘ right now and read it. This book is a good one.

Happy making,

Jim

The Finished Dagger

Posted in Blacksmithing, hammer texture, knifemaking, metalwork with tags , , , , on August 21, 2011 by Jim

1095 steel dagger with wenge handle and bronze fittings

I finished the dagger today!

1095 Steel Dagger with wenge handle and bronze fittings complete

Making a two edged knife was a bit of a stretch for me but I am really pleased with how it turned out. It has a 5.5″ blade length and 10″ OAL. It is made out of 1095 steel. The fittings are hammered bronze.

Bronze Pommel and Wenge dagger handle

The pommel is heavy and almost 3/4″ at its thickest. Having the weight there offsets the weight of the blade and makes the knife feel agile in your hand.

Because this was a gift, my friend gave me a silver coin so the knife would not cut our friendship. I expected a nickel but instead I got this beautiful solid silver handmade Baron Guglielmo Bardicci coin!

Baron Gugliemo Bardicci solid silver coinBaron Gugliemo Bardicci solid silver coin Obversea

This was a great project.  Next up,  hunting knives.

Happy Making,

Jim

Oh Happy Dagger…

Posted in Blacksmithing, Forging, knifemaking, metalwork with tags , on July 26, 2011 by Jim

Making a dagger from a file.

Dagger blank FromOld file

A friend had this blank for years. It was started by his pal. He told me that he wanted to make or have it made into a finished dagger so he can return it to its original creator as a surprise. Maybe there is a little romance in the fact that he has carried it around all this time. I get sentimentally attached to objects myself, so this project interested me.

I’m all in when I think there is a little history or romance in a project. I spent a little quiet time with it last night and here is where we got:

viking dagger blank

The blank was still hard as diamonds when I got it, so it went in the forge and got annealed. After, I ground the sides flat just enough to put the purple layout dye on it, scribe a center line, and begin to layout the tang.

More to come soon as I can get back into the shop.

Happy Making,

Jim

A Twelve Dollar Knife Makers Vise

Posted in Blacksmithing, Gear Making, knifemaking, Leather working, metalwork, Tool Making on October 12, 2010 by Jim

It may not be pretty, but it works!

Knife Makers Vise

Two weekends ago, I was lucky enough to attend the American Bladesmith Society’s Heartland Bladesmithing Symposium at Steve Culver’s shop. It was incredible. I learned more than I thought you could learn in two days.

Looking around at all the tools he had, I saw a really cool knife makers vise. It let you clamp a knife in it and rotate the blade to work on all sides while still holding it securely.

I checked online and a store bought vise is around $100.00. I am saving for a propane forge and can’t afford a finished vise so I made this one.

You can put one of these together in a couple of hours if you have access to a small welder. Here are the parts I used:

Parts for the twelve dollar knife vise

The main body (gray pipe) is the top tube of an old swing-set I found in my garage and is 2″ in diameter. The gray pipe in this picture does not become part of my finished vise. It is just to show what the yellow pipe looked like before I started.

I cut a piece of this pipe  6″ long and drilled a 3/8 hole in the side.  For the hole, I came in about 1 1/2″ from the end. Next, I welded a nut over the hole. You can see this on the yellow painted pipe.

For a tightening handle on the inner vise (yellow pipe), I cut a ‘U’ bolt in half. That gives me the L shaped threaded rod that has a little yellow paint on it. That is what you use to tighten the inner wooden jaws that hold your knife.That might be cheating but it made a really comfortable handle for less than a dollar!

Next, I made the outer vise jaws. These allow you to spin the inner vise and clamp it tight where you need it. I made this from a heavy 2″ fence gate clamp that I got at a farm and feed store. At seven dollars, that was the most expensive piece of the entire vise.

To make the outer vise open and close easily, I bought an extension nut and welded a scrap of 3/8″ mild steel rod on it for a handle:

I also added a spring from the hardware store to make that outer clamp jaw want to open easily. I couldn’t find a spring that was exactly the width that I needed, so I cut a longer one down a bit for this.

Lastly, I made some wooden jaws to go inside directly against the knife itself.

Jaws for twelve dollar knife makers vise

Any 1″ x 2″ hardwood scraps should do for the jaws. I used Barge Cement and put leather pads on this set. I believe that I will make several sets of jaws for different work. I will make one pair with a long lower jaw to support the blades while I am filing them.

That’s It.

There really isn’t much too it. You clamp the bottom bit of the silver chain link fence gate hinge into your regular vise and you can hold a knife in any orientation.

While this isn’t nearly as elegant as the one I saw in Steve’s shop, it holds a blade tight while I am working hard on it.

Happy Making,
Jim

Knife forged from a leaf spring

Posted in Blacksmithing, knifemaking, Tool Making on September 12, 2010 by Jim

It’s late so I will be brief. I forged this from a leaf spring at my friend Dave’s forge.

Hand forged knife from a leaf spring

I haven’t decided if I will put an antler handle on it or just a para-cord wrap. I had a great time making this knife.

While we had the fire lit, I also made a couple plant hangers for the house:

Hand forged plant hangers

Thanks for everything Dave!

Happy Making,

Jim

Blacksmithing, knifemaking, and knife filework

Posted in Blacksmithing, Forging, Gear Making, Hammers, knifemaking, metalwork, Tool Making, Uncategorized on August 30, 2010 by Jim

It was a busy weekend.

I spent a lot of the weekend painting the house but somehow still managed to sneak in forging a new knife. I have made several stock reduction (grind away everything but a knife) knives. I wanted to try making one mostly in the forge.

This is the knife sitting on a piece of the spring that it was made of. In this picture, the knife is shaped but not yet hardened and tempered.

Here is the knife completed. I hardened and tempered it then blued the entire thing with gun blue. I wanted it to keep that blackish look it has right out of the quenching oil.

It’s not a fun project if it doesn’t require making a new tool…

I wanted the knife to look like the steel had been lying on an abandoned barn floor in Montana for 50 years. Unfortunately, the blank my friend roughed out from the spring was smooth and straight. A few minutes with a fifty cent garage sale hammer and a welder came up with this texturing hammer:

Here is a detail of the ‘rustic’ area of the knife…

Here is a closeup of the file work on the spine. I tried to stay pretty simple in accordance with the rustic style of the knife:

Knife Filework on spine

This was a great project and I learned a ton. My blacksmith friend is teaching me more bit by bit. I am trying hard to soak it all in.

I hope you had a great weekend.

Go make something,

Jim

Be forewarned, I am not a master Japanese blacksmith

Posted in Blacksmithing, Forging, Hammers, metalwork, Raising Copper, Tool Making on July 19, 2010 by Jim

If you have not seen a Japanese hammer (genno or shinzan) made my a master blacksmith, then you are missing out on one of the most beautiful tools ever made. I am particularly taken with a style called a ‘Shinzan’ hammer. Take a look at one here.

I have long wanted one  but cannot afford a hundred dollar hammer, regardless of how beautiful they are. So it was off to the forge for me.

My hammer…

I am obviously still on the hammer making kick and I was able to get two things I wanted at once. I needed a raising hammer for the copper work I am doing and I wanted a hammer head that looked like the Shinzan hammer I had seen.

Hand forged hammer head

This picture has three interesting things in it. There is the piece of rusted metal exactly like the one I dug out of a scrap pile to make my head. There is the drift that I made to punch and shape the handle hole. And lastly, the head itself.  I am really happy with how this all turned out. The silver look of the drift is due to the anti-seize compound I put on the drift before I drove it through. The grease burned off and it plated the drift with this silver metal. I learned this trick from a very kind local blacksmith. It kept the drift from sticking in the head when I drove it through.

The stock that I started the head from had some numbers stamped into it and I thought they were pretty cool. I was able to save them on the bottom of the head.

This is obviously not a Shinzan shaped hammer as it has an arching body, but I like how the one I had seen used hammer blows for a decorative effect. That was part of what I was going for.

I used two different sized wedges to hold the head in. the hammer has a 1/4″ face and a 3/8″ face. I put the smaller wedge on the smaller face side so I could tell which way the hammer was turned while I was raising.

I made the handle longish and straight to make it look even more like a Japanese style hammer.

I was not sure at first if I would like a straight handle and I initially carved the handle in a western style. It just didn’t look right so I grabbed the spoke shave and ended with this. It feels great in my hand. I raised one course on a 6″ copper bowl tonight and this is a fantastic hammer.

None of this would have been possible without the use of my friend Dave’s forge. Thanks Dave!

Happy making,

Jim

Blacksmithing hammer solves copper raising problem

Posted in Blacksmithing, Hammers, metalwork, Raising Copper on July 12, 2010 by Jim

This is a thank you post. I was given the most beautiful hammer as a gift today. (Yep, I said ‘beautiful hammer’, I say stuff like that) Thank you Dave. And thank you Brad for giving the hammer to Dave!

I was explaining how I was raising this copper vessel and couldn’t get the ‘umpfh!’ onto it to turn it back onto itself  and get the egg shape I wanted. I whined about not having just the right raising hammer. My good friend and blacksmithing mentor wanders off for a second and comes back with this Peddinghaus hammer and gives it to me! I could hardly believe it. I have always wanted a Peddinghaus hammer. As far as hammers go, this is some sexy stuff…

I rounded the sharp edges, polished it up, and voila, I got my egg shape!

Blacksmithing Hammer used to raise copper vessel

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