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Posts Tagged ‘blacksmith’

Here is a recently completed collaboration between myself and a good friend David of Cedarlore Forge. He rough forged the pattern welded blade, and I finished it out with a copper, moose antler, and walnut handle.

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It’s been a little over a year since I’ve updated this site. I have not been idle though. It’s easy to let social media and other online platforms slip away. I won’t be able to update you on all the work I’ve done this past year, but here are some of the highlights.

I’ve made quite a few friction folders, lots of different styles. I enjoy making folders, it’s satisfying to get the action just right. It takes a little experience to know what works and what doesn’t with these little guys, and if feels like I’m getting the hang of it.

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I’ve also made quite a few of my standard length sheath knives, here are some of my favorites.

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There are lots of other types of knives and tools I’ve made since the last post, but I’ll leave you with one last style, one of my personal favorites. The seax. Here are two very different examples. One pattern welded, and one with a mono-steel blade with an auto-hamon.

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Wait, here is one more! This seax is available for purchase! Curly maple, birch bark and copper handle with a 6 bar pattern welded blade. Email me Nrunals@gmail.com for more info.

 

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I was approached by a customer to make something for his friends 60th birthday. He works on boats, and he wanted me to incorporate that in the theme.  The only spec he gave me was that he wanted a 6″ blade.  The handle is diver salvaged flame birch from Superior, antler with a very modest bit of scrimshaw, and anchor chain for the bolster. I really like being able to give people something special that will most likely be passed down generation to generation.

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Here is a little knife I just finished up. It’s got a 1095 blade with a nice distal taper, and it’s pretty much zero ground, which means the edge is nearly sharp before you even hone it.

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The handle is some Black Oak that has been sitting on the bottom of Lake Superior for over 100 years. When all the old growth virgin timber was being logged in the upper peninsula of Michigan and Canada  there were a lot of logs that were lost to the bottom of that frigid water. Recently there have been people diving down and salvaging those long lost timbers.

In addition to the Oak the handle has a piece of moose antler, with a classic ring and dot motif and a copper bolster.

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The sheath is hand stitched vegetable tanned leather, stamped with the ring and dot motif as well. It has a copper reinforcement, leather hanger, and antler button.

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This knife is for sale. Please visit my etsy store for more information.

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A while back I was contacted by some professional butchers to make them some cleavers. I make and sell quite a few of these, so there was nothing out of the ordinary with this order. Once they got the cleavers they were very impressed, they said they were able to work more efficiently, and easily. Where previously they would reach for the saw they now could simply keep using the cleaver.

Here is a picture of the cleavers just before I sent them out.

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After a long silence, I got this email…

“So, I bring a bit of messed up news. The two cleavers I ordered from you were destroyed when a thief broke into the restaurant and, after his tools didn’t work, used the cleavers to gain entry to the safe. So on one note, our knives are ruined. However, you know that your knives are strong enough to open an industrial safe. At any rate, we’d like to order two more. You can see the csi fingerprint dust on the blades”

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I guess the thief used the cleavers to chop at the door for a while, then used them as a pry bar… using a hammer to lodge them between the safe wall and door then using the hammer to hit the handles and wrench it open… he was successful.

My first thought was “Oh crap, the edges failed” Then I made peace with the fact that they weren’t made to open an industrial safe… I like to really test my knives, making sure my heat treat is good by putting them through rough use, even using them to cut mild steel sometimes. But I’ve never taken a fully finished blade and destroyed it, and to be honest I’m very happy with the outcome.  These blades could actually be re-ground, and re-handled and still be used. Unfortunately they are property of to police now.

Here are the remade cleavers. They wanted to go with salvaged wood this time, so birds-eye maple,  and walnut.

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Here is my most recent knife. It’s an Anglo-Saxon broken back Seax. The blade is 1084, the handle is Oak that I’ve darkened with my home made stain. It has copper fittings, and the sheath has traditional stamping, and copper reinforcements. This knife is for sale here.

I’m really starting to love making historically inspired blades, those old smiths were quite clever. When you hold a blade based on old designs they just feel different. There is something intuitive about these knives, I can’t quite put my finger on it….

 

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Several seasons ago I was asked by a customer to make an everyday knife for him. He’d be traveling all over the world, and needed something useful and reliable.  On his latest visit home he told me that, without realizing it he dropped his knife at the edge of a camp fire over night. When he found it in the morning the handle was burned, but other than that the knife was in fine shape. However, since the handle was smaller it didn’t really fit in the sheath anymore.  I made a new sheath for it, and sharpened it up. He wanted to keep the burned handle, and I’m glad he did.

The wood used on this knife was Osage Orange, I chose it because it’s natural oils help it remain stable in changing climates. I never would have guessed that it would hold up so well to being in a campfire!

Notice how the middle pin acted as a heat sink, the area right around it isn’t burned.

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This end, with the exposed tang can be used as a bottle opener now!

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Here are the new and old sheaths next to each other.

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