I Have A Maker’s Mark!

I’ve gotten fairly serious about blacksmithing and knifemaking in the last several months. So much so that I decided I wanted a way to mark the things I make. On the recommendation of a designer who’s blog I read, I contacted Josh Ford and he worked with me to get the mark I was looking for. Here’s what he came up with based on my input.

Walters_Black Logo_RGB_72dpi

Definitely digging it! Keep an eye out for more posts about this and check out my instagram since I post a lot of shop pics there.

In the coming months I’ll get this design transferred to a metal stamp that I can then use to mark things I make.

A Picture Post

This is my new workshop. I haven’t been this excited about something in a *really* long time! I’m waiting for the builder to do a few final things and then I can move in and start setting up. The two windows together were an addon so my mom could setup her art studio…From what I can gather she’s pretty excited about it too 🙂

Footers dug out
Footers being dug

More after the jump

Continue reading “A Picture Post”

An Ax To Grind

I like sharp things. Axes, knives, swords (high quality and *not* the cheap knock offs that seem to be everywhere) it doesn’t really matter. Since getting back into blacksmithing I look at them all very differently. How’re they made, what kind of steel is used, is it all high carbon steel or was the bit welded in? I’ve also recently had the urge to create things from leather, steel, copper etc. So I ordered a Cold Steel Tomahawk from Amazon so I could play around with some ideas I had. Lots of pics after the jump.

Continue reading “An Ax To Grind”

The Smell Of The Leather

I’ve always enjoyed the satisfaction I get from making things be it metal, leather, whatever. I picked up a new knife a couple of weeks ago and it didn’t come with a sheath which I thought was a bit odd. But the more I thought about it the happier I was. The trend now is to use Kydex for *everything*. Knife sheaths, gun holsters, flashlight holsters and some folks love it. I’m not a fan though.

So I brushed off some old high school leatherworking skills and made my own little fold over sheath for it.

I wet formed it around the blade and once the leather dried it created a friction retention which is exactly what I hoped would happen. It did dry a bit harder than I’d hoped so it kind of has that hard plastic feel. I used an antique liquid stain for the base coat and then went back over it with some gel stain to bring out the natural lines in the leather as well as brush a few more dark lines on it. Overall I’m pretty doggone happy with the way it turned out. Since this is my box opening knife for work I’m working on another sheath that will also hold my multi-tool. I have a few more blades that need new sheaths as well 😀

I Made This!

So it’s been a while since I posted anything here but in the last several months I’ve picked up a new hobby, Blacksmithing. I did a bit of metal work when I was in the SCA and I always really enjoyed it. I didn’t realize a the time how much I enjoyed to be honest. Since I own my home and have land I figured now was the perfect time to give it a whirl.

After purchasing all the necessary tools (and some non-necessary tools) the last couple of months have consisted of me failing to make anything remotely resembling useful. I would start out with a picture in my head and end up with something that was completely different and not useful at all. For those that don’t know me pretty well, I’m very hard on myself picking up new skills. I expect that when I see something in my head I should be able to make it exactly like that the first time. So needless to say it’s been quite frustrating but I know enough about myself now to push through those frustrations and just keep working to realize what I see in my mind.

Fast forward to this past weekend and I finally got off my ass and fired up the forge. I wanted to try and make a knife out of some bar stock I picked up at lowe’s a few months ago. I started out with what you see below:

bar stock

 

After heating it up and cutting out the rough design of what I wanted I ended up with this

rough cut

I then started forging the bevels of the blade. One thing I remember from the reading I’ve done is you want to hammer the point of the blade down which is kind of counter intuitive since I wanted the blade to be curved. But as you’re forging the bevels the blade will naturally curve. It was pretty cool to actually see that happen.

Once I had the rough blade shape I was going to just put it down and work on something else but I was so stoked at what I had that I found an old file and started refining the shape of the blade. Here is a shot of the blade after forging.

bevels foged

 

Now, I was actually pretty damn stoked by this point. I wasn’t completely happy with the shape but I knew I could clean it up a bit with some file/grinder work and since I don’t own a grinder yet, a file it is!

Here is a shot of it after a 30-45 min worth of hand filing.

filed

 

And one more after filing

another

 

I literally grabbed the closest piece of steel I had so I’m not even sure if it will hold an edge at all but I’m planning on cleaning up the profile a bit more and then putting a handle on it. More importantly this gave me a huge kick in the ass to get back out there and forge. I was keeping the frustration in check, for the most part, but it was starting to get to me.

I’ve got a couple more blades roughed out and I’m using what I learned with the first one to make them even better. Again, this isn’t “knife quality” steel but for my use and as a learning exercise I think it will work.