Archive for the Tool Making Category

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

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

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

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

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 knifemaking file guide for for two dollars

Posted in Gear Making, knifemaking, metalwork, Tool Making with tags , , on July 29, 2011 by Jim

For my current dagger project, I am worried about getting the plunge lines straight and equal; that and the edges of the ricasso where they meet the guard. I have known about file guides for a while but have a hard time spending fifty dollars to get one. Or even $150 to get the really nice carbide faced one from Uncle Al’s.

Here is one I made last night in the shop.

Knife filing jig made from 0-1 steel

The most expensive parts on this jig were the bolts. Two of them for $0.98. The rest is scrap from around the shop. I spent a couple hours getting it together.

The jaws are O-1. The guide rods were scrap 3/8″ rod stock. I drilled four holes and tapped two opposing holes in each piece.  I checked that everything was ground flat, square, and parallel as I could get by hand. I don’t have a mill. I hardened with straight soybean oil from the grocery store.  I just barely tempered the O-1 (350 for an hour). I wanted to leave the face hard so files will not wear thorough them.

These are not as pretty as store bought but I think they will work just fine.

O-1 hardened knife filing jjg