Instagram hammer-in August 26th!

Posted in Blacksmithing, bladesmithing, Forging, knifemaking, metalwork, Tool Making with tags , , , , on August 23, 2017 by Jim

 

instagramFourHammerIn

Saturday August 26th, 2017 (1pm CDT) – four of us are going to do an Instagram hammer-in (#instagramhammerin) for you all to watch. We will each forge a knife of our own design, starting with the same sized stock, forge for two hours, and show a picture of the blade every 10 minutes or so.

There will be four smiths working   ABS Mastersmith Lin Rhea, Forged in Fire contestant Robert Burns (Wilderness Ironworks)  , blacksmith instructor Matt Jenikns (Cloverdale Forge), and me.

This is not a contest. No prizes will be awarded – it’s just for fun and hopefully the pictures will be an educational resource for new bladesmiths.

We hope you follow along, ask questions, and enjoy these great smiths (and me) showing us their forging step by step. Follow along by watching the hashtag #instagramhammerin

 

 

 

 

 

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From paper to blade!

Posted in Blacksmithing, bladesmithing, brutdeforge, design, design sketch, knifemaking, metalwork, template making, templates with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2017 by Jim

Video, video, video, I made another video.

This shows how I take a rough forged blade, try several different final designs for it on paper, and transfer the best design onto the blade for accurate grinding.

It’s funny, but it took me a year to figure out this really simple way to transfer the paper pattern onto the steel easily and accurately.

Happy making,

-Jim

Video – Forging a pocket knife blade

Posted in Blacksmithing, bladesmithing, brutdeforge, metalwork with tags , , , , on June 17, 2017 by Jim

I posted a video this morning show how I forge a fixed blade pocket knife

I hope to follow up with further videos showing all the steps till the knife is done. This one is forged from 1084 steel (1″ x 1/4″)

Thanks for stopping by,

-Jim

 

Forging a bottle opener from a bolt

Posted in Blacksmithing, bottle opener, EDC, Forging, Gear Making, metalwork, Tool Making with tags , , , , , , , on June 10, 2017 by Jim

I posted a video on YouTube showing how I forge one of my large bolt bottle openers.

BoltBottleOpenerCollage

Thanks for stopping by,

Jim

A Brut de Forge Dagger from 2016

Posted in Blacksmithing, bladesmithing, brutdeforge, EDC, knifemaking, Leather working, metalwork, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2016 by Jim

I met Joe Keeslar  this year at the ICCE knife show this year and I wanted to make a dagger in his style. Below are some photos of the process.

 

Here it the initial forging. I started with 1.5″ x 1/4″ 1084 steel:

hotdagger

Here is the forging complete:

finishedforgingdagger

Profiled and finish ground:

finishgrounddagger

Then a mystery wood handle (rosewood or ironwood, not sure – it was a gift):

finisheddagger

A handle detail showing the sterling silver and copper pins:

daggerhandle

I etched my logo:

daggerwithsmalllogo

I also made the sheath:

rattlesnakesheathcloseup

And here is the entire package:

daggerinsheath

This was a really fun build – it pushed my abilities in both blade and sheath and I am happy with how it turned out.

Thanks for looking – keep making,

Jim

Drop Point Hunter Knife Pattern

Posted in knifemaking, Tool Making, Woodworking on December 2, 2015 by Jim

No tutorial today, but process pics.

I am working on a drop point hunting knife and was not sure from my sketches if it was going to feel how I wanted. I needed to hold it.

WoodenDropPointHunterParts

I ground the blade just as if it was steel – but it is cherry. I also roughed in the guard and handle in walnut.

DropPointHunterFinished

Here it is with the ‘blade’ glued in and the handle shaped.

It might seem silly to rough it out all in wood – but holding it in my hand told me what I needed to know. If all goes well, I will post pics of the real knife soon. This one is a drag to keep sharp…

Happy Making,

Jim

Making a stainless steel pocket pencil

Posted in metalwork, Pencils, Tool Making with tags , , on June 2, 2014 by Jim

I love advertising pencils

Antique advertising pocket pencils

The ones that say ‘Dot’s Diner 123 main,’ etc… If I see them in a box at an auction or rummage sale, they are coming home with me. My problem with them is that the erasers are rock hard and sometimes the pencil tube is cracked or broken somehow. Usually, they are simply constructed – a tube with an eraser in one end and a steel cap that holds a pencil to put in the other. The pointy cap bit is difficult to make, so we won’t do that.

But first – you can rehab an existing pocket pencil

If you don’t want to go through all the hassle of making you from scratch, you can fix up an old one that is in decent shape. On the vintage pencils I have, the erasers are mostly the same size as newer children’s pencil erasers.

TryRexGoodLight

I found a bin full of these Musgrave TRY-REX pencils at a local office supply and I just yank the eraser from the Musgrave and replace the rock hard one in my pocket pencil. I also shine up the caps on my pocket pencils with SimiChrome polish on a soft rag – only a tiny bit of polish is needed. It is foul smelling stuff but does a great job.

If you are feeling more adventurous, you can make a new pocket pencil (with a little stealing…)

You will need an existing vintage pencil for this. Find the nastiest cheap one that still has a good chrome cap on it. That is the only part we need. Take the chrome bullet end off and head to the hardware store. Looking at my local hardware store yielded this  3/8″ x .028″  stainless steel tubing.

3/8

Use the chrome end off of your old pencil and try to gently press fit it into tubing at the store until you find a piece that is just a hair too tight. If it is too loose, it will not work.

Dremel sandpaper holding jig

I use this slotted mandrel from Rio Grande that lets me put my own sandpaper bits in my Dremel or flex-shaft. I needed to remove quite a bit so I started with 80 grit, and I worked my way down to 400 grit, constantly testing with the cap from the old pencil, until it just goes in easy enough. Sand a little, test fit, sand a little more, test fit… For the eraser on this one, I found some Retro 51 Big Shot eraser replacements that fit with just a little polishing inside the stainless tube. The Musgrave ones would work, but I liked the look of the white eraser with the stainless tubing. Cut the last few inches off of your Palomino Blackwing pencil (or steal a golf pencil from the library like I did), put it in the chrome cap, and there you have a life-timer of a pocket pencil!

Handmade Stainless Pocket Pencil Extender

(Click the picture for a larger view) Happy Making, Jim