January 15, 2013
I apologize for the lack of updates. I woke up at 2:30am several nights ago to find 2" of water in every room of our house. Needless to say, it was a very unpleasant way of waking up. The culprit appears to be a mainline backup.
The wife, daughter, and I are staying with my Mother for the time being. We have a flood-damage company drying the house out. Once the house is dry enough, we can have new floors installed and ruined furniture replaced.
The shop seems to have escaped serious damage. The house is a bit of a disaster area right now, but the flood company has done a good job of keeping the shop clear so I can get some work done. Obviously, dealing with all of this has impacted my shop time. I truly appreciate the patience of those who have knives on order with me.
Before the flood, I had been making some great progress in the shop. I'll try to recap some of that below.
I made a sheath for the Ringbok.
I got this batch of 9 knives shipped to Peters for heat/cryo treatment.
I worked on the CleaverFoot that recently returned from being differentially heat treated. Here I've laid out where I want the thumb serrations to be. You can see the .25" small wheel in the background that I'll use the grind them.
Serrations complete and brought to 45 microns.
Working on scales. The gentleman who commissioned this knife requested removable black canvas micarta scales.
Scales are rough cut and holes are drilled and chamfered for the screw heads.
Scales have been shaped to the tang.
I rough shape the scales with the grinder and then finish by hand.
One of the benefits of using removable scales is that I can mark the steel type under them. I've also started engraving my initials and the date of the knife's completion on the back of scales.
I thought a custom ferro rod would compliment this CleaverFoot nicely, so I glue up some of the canvas micarta for the handle.
I drill a hole in the micarta and cut some grooves in the ferro rod for the epoxy to bond to.
The two are expoxied together, a hole for a lanyard is drilled, and the handle is rough shaped using the 10" wheel on the grinder.
Then it's time to make a sheath for both the knife and the ferro rod.
Here's the CleaverFoot by itself. Click the photo if you'd like to see more shots and specs.
Here's a shot of our kitty, Osi, being very helpful while I took the above photos.
I had to prep a batch of wood that is finally dry enough to be stabilized. Here it is before I remove the laquer, which sellers put on the wood to make it purdy. There is some koa, amobyna, afzelia, and something or other from Thailand.
The laquer can inhibit the stabilizing process, so I remove it before shipping it to my stabilizer. Not quite as purdy now.
And yesterday I received the batch of 9 knives back from Peters Heat Treat. Wonderfully fast turnaround!!
January 17, 2012
Still dealing with the fall-out from the flood. The good news is the house is nearly dry. The flood company was able to remove several of the large fans which made it easier for us to pack our belonging into the "POD" storage container in our driveway. Once the house is completely dry we can begin the reconstruction.
Here's a shot of our living room. You can see the floors have been ripped up, baseboards removed, and the fans/dehumidifiers doing their thing.
City of Austin crew reparing the clogged mainline. I have to applaud the city for their prompt response. They had the crew out within 24 hours of me reporting the issue.
Now onto much better things . . . Knives!!
Here is a knife that I've been working on the last few days. This knife's profile has been altered several times before I was happy with it. It now bears a similar appearance to my Cerabok pattern. I haven't yet decided if I'm going to call it a Cerabok Variant, or if it deserves its own name. 1/4" O1 steel with a hand-rubbed finish.
I couldn't decide what scale material to use, so I narrowed it down to a few choices and let my wife pick. She choose maple burl that has been dyed red and blue with black G10 liners.
Getting ready to drill holes.
Holes are drilled and ready for the bandsaw.
The scales are rough shaped and the holes are countersunk for the screw heads.
I've also been working on the knives that returned from Peters. Here you can see a 3V Magua getting the flats cleaned up. This one will be getting some very nice purple-dyed redwood scales.
January 21, 2013
The Cerabok Variant's dyed maple scales are rough shaped on the grinder, then finish shaped by hand. This shot was taken at 60 grit.
Here's a shot of them soaking in danish oil after being taken to 1200 grit.
I let the danish oil soak for about 30 minutes before hand buffing with a microfiber cloth.
Then it's time to break some of the hard edges. In this photo you can see I've made a mark where the scales end and softened the edge that will be in contact with the user's finger. I use a ScotchBrite wheel mounted on a bench grinder for this task.
The spine receives the same treatment. You can see the Sharpie line with the hard edge above (where the scales will be) and the softened edge below.
Then I clean up the flats, grind the convex edge, and mark the knife.
Done! Click the photo to see more shots/specs. This one will be listed for sale as soon as the the sheath is completed. Feel free to email me if you're interested.
I've also made more progress on the Magua. I got the flats cleaned up and finish ground the bevels. Tomorrow I'll grind the swedge and start working on the purple-dyed redwood scales. This one is going to be etched and tumbled.
January 30, 2013
Well the reconstruction of our flood-damaged home is nearly complete. Just a few odds-and-ends to button up. We won't get to enjoy it though because we're leaving tomorrow to take my daughter to Disney World! That'll be a full week out of the shop, but I think it will give my body some time to recover from the stress of the flood & the nasty GVHD flare-up. I'm already looking forward to returning recharged and tackling all of the heat treated blades I have hanging! I know a lot of you have been waiting patiently for your knives and I'm very eager to get them in your hands.
I've been able to squeeze some shop time in nearly everyday despite the flood and GVHD issues.
I pressed a sheath for the Cerabok Variant.
Drilled and shaped.
Got the swedges ground on the 3V Magua.
The future owner of this Magua sent me a block of dyed redwood from Burl Source to use for his handle scales.
The dyed redwood is stunning.
I cut the block in half and then cut some black G10 from AKS to be used for liners. I sand the wood scales flat and prep for epoxy.
Epoxied and clamped.
Rough shaping to the tang.
I use the 10" wheel, slack belt, and hand sanding to bring the scales to their final shape. Here they are at 400 grit. The wood will darken when I start applying the final finish.
I've been studying old arms & armor books. These are mostly old library copies that are available for a few cents on Amazon! These books contain a wealth of information on edged weapon concepts and have given me lots of new ideas to try.