Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Blades That I Use

Some of the most abused blades you could make are "Hoof Knives" and "Nipper Blades" also known as hoof nippers for Horseshoeing.
I test my blade hardness and Tempering and Design on these blades. The style of knives range from as many different styles as there are styles and techniques of Farriers. I make the style of hoof knives I like.

These blades have to be hard enough to hold a good edge, If it cuts smooth through thick leather with ease and absolute control, it works great on horse hooves.
If the blade snaps it can seriously injure you usually by cutting at various depths from forearm to thumb and or the horses flexor tendon.

There are 2 Farriers who have greatly impacted the Farrier Industry and who stand out among others-who are alive today-who bring a new meaning to the art of Farriery.

Bob Marshall from Langley BC, who runs the best hands on clinic for advanced Farriers around and Dave Duckett who has the best lectures I've heard, it's just as impressive to watch them smack iron.
I've given both of these men a hoof knife,
Dave's was a pattern welded blade of 15n20, 1095, 1080 and if I remember correctly a Mahogany or walnut handle.
Bob's was a Mahogany handle with a differential temper 15n20 blade. Both are marked with my insignia W.A.S. trademark that I use on both blades and horseshoes.
Hopefully they like them, If not they just collect dust like the tools that I have that just don't feel quite right.

Although I can, But don't shoe the same type horses. The horses that I shoe are Gaited as in 3 gaited, Hackney, Etc.
With a little imagination, their techniques can be easily applied in all aspects, with some modification, from hoof preparation to fitting shoes to forging efficiency to smacking iron with impeccable precision.

The shoe that most Farriers look at that makes them think of these Men is the "Roadster Shoe" also my practice shoe forever.
A special thanks to Valley Farrier/Valley Forge and Tool for their hard work and effort to make it possible for the Farrier Industry to learn from these professionals.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

General Purpose Cable for knives

Ok, finally I'm caught up and now I'm able to some special pages that are informative and interesting for some and maybe not for others. This is a web album complete with some narration and videos also pictures of the making of a Cable billet and then a Cable knife.

*For those of you that have never set foot into a Blacksmith shop, It's dirty and messy perfect for creating masterpieces. If it were clean it would be a sign of not working hard enough or much worse a sick mind so I'm told.(Sweeti)

The making of a Cable Blade

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The 2007 OKCA Blade show

The 2007 show in Eugene was nice, the table was set for the display and Jerry got to pick his blade, then he changed his mind to pick another.
I said: “Are you sure?
He said:”Yeah, It’s really tough to pick just one.”
I thought to myself, he must have really liked them and I wanted it to be tough for him to choose. Great feedback from the show, Future commissioned work for some antiques replacements, compliments from other makers, Makes for a successful show for me.

It is now early 2007

I have finally put together a small inventory of my concept knives, with the help of one of my supporters who fronted me all the leather tooling and scabbard making supplies in trade for one of the show knives. My Sweeti helped me do all the scabbards, “hand tooled by an authentic Norwegian”

Also, I added the “Sparrow Cutlass”-I must have rewound the props managers clip on “Dead Mans Chest” about 50 times to get a look at the authentic 1650’s Cutlass Jack Sparrow used, he said it felt better than all modern day props, made for the move –“Balanced and Quick” I thought Ahh, I know why- It’s a characteristic of a well forged blade. I had to do one for the show. So it was going to be 320 layers of folded steel in this quick little Saber. A X&O pattern, Fullered, distal taper, forged hand guard made of steel, hollow steel pommel, wire wrapped leather handle-I may change to just leather like the original (Maybe), …Beautiful and Quick a success for me.

Refining the American~Norseman Blades

Now this time after the show was an important time for me concerning Bladesmithing, in developing my own personal style, truly original with the extensive hand forging and Blacksmithing. With this concept brought into blades that are smaller than Swords-but with some of the same construction, It gives a unique look and feel as well as strength. I will take my Nordic pattern billet and forge this in the same way as a Viking Sword with a fuller that ends where the wrap around the end begins. Making a 5” to 10” knife, American Style with Nordic aspects.
The same will be done with Saber constructed knives.
Hence... Steel hardware, fittings on a fullered blade with a distal taper, curved guards and the influence of swords forged into a smaller knife. Pieces of history and culture put together into a smaller knife.

This will be my trademark style or personal stamp whatever you’d like to call it. First will be a Nordic constructed blade-A composite of multiple billets, profiled American Style, Stag handle with the theme mind when constructing the piece. ~What would a Bowie look like if the Vikings would have stayed in America~
This will be altered and refined in future pieces trying to get a look similar to that of cutting a Bowie or a hunter styled knife out of the end of a sword.
Next will be the Saber Bowie, Forged Steel Fittings guard with a blade. Double wire wrapped Ray skin handle, fullered cable blade. I will also mix and match these 2 styles, the future styles will be … (In the works)

2006 Blade Show

Cutlass Steel Hilted Saber and below a Steel Cutlass with A pattern welded Hunter

This 2nd show was a little difficult to put together very much inventory. The time for preparation is less than you think, out of all the blades I work on at the same time only half actually make it to completion, The same is still true today.

The 2006 show went about the same as the last. I added to my inventory a Viking Constructed Sword, the German Rapier, A Cutlass made from Cable, 2 Axes, A Short Sword in a Lucifer’s Lace pattern Damascus and several smaller blades.

My first Butterfly Damascus knife

My first American~Norseman Concept Blade

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Menlo Circus Club, Atherton, Ca.

Farrier Business takes me to Menlo Park near Stanford University in California, It looks like 2006 is going to be a heavy load…I got 2 things going for me, 1) I’m determined and 2) Bull Headed. I’m sure my Sweeti Thinks I’m Crazy.
*(Note from Sweeti~No, I think I’m Crazy and you have 3 things going for you. 3) the backing of a good woman.)

It’s now Fall of 2005…

Farrier Business keeps me busy, I’m starting to think of the 2006 OKCA Blade Show. I’ve printed 4 pictures from the web of a German Rapier being built, I just had to do it.
I sure could have used about 20 more pictures of the steps of the steps in between. But after several try’s and destroyed pieces over several days. I finally did it, Determination or just Bull headed, whatever you call it was success to build on. ~is anything ever truly mastered?” I think not”

As I work on Blades with Pattern welded designs such as Lucifer’s Lace, X&O’s, Viking constructed Blades, Etc. I test the steels, I use the swords and Knives in Hoof Knives. I use them daily, Some Damascus, Some single alloy, m2, 15n20, 1080 and Etc. I do prefer 15N20.

Now it’s summer of 2005…

Rodeo season for my brothers~they usually come to stay at our place over the 4th of July, with a group of guys that compete in the same Pro Steer wrestling events with the Columbia River Circuit.
I thought this year I would make a private competition among the group. The fastest time receives the Cable Bowie knife, It was fun to do.
Sam Mackenzie out of Jordan Valley, ID Won, My Brother Carl was pissed. I don’t expect he’ll be traveling with Carl next year.

The rest of this year, when time would allow I was working on Mosaics, and patterns on blades. Also, working on Rapiers and Sabers. I really want to increase my skills on the hand forged intricate hilts. They look so good when the turnout, especially with the wider Battle blades that still have edge cutting capabilities. Not to mention the folded steel patterns that can be part of such a blade.

Lot’s of people came to the show, So many different people to meet. Both Sweeti and I enjoyed the show. Lucky for me I have a large family and my cousin Justin Seiders came by to “save the day” and buy one of my first skinning knives. (I recently thought I should call him and trade him for a more recent piece.)
When everything was over I couldn’t help thinking of how much work I needed to do to achieve the level of quality and artistic originality to stand out at the show with expert craftsmanship of individual makers.

Now the time lapses in between my stories.
Extensive Blacksmithing~Farrier Jobs for customers built over 2 Decades, But that’s another story. Maybe “Memoirs of a Horseshoer”

Winter 2005

It’s been a long time since I have updated, So much has happened and labor spent on an endless experience of creativity, Learning, success & failures.

I will begin at winter of 2005.
My first knife show in Eugene, Oregon. Without a clue of how much preparation goes into a presentation of your pieces. ~It was just a little to late~instead of taking time on a few finished pieces I thought “oh hell” I’m taking everything and so I did. I figured everyone gets to see where I started.
So, with the support of my Sweeti, I made my first journey to the OKCA (Oregon Knife Collectors Association) Knife Show in Eugene, Oregon.

My first Rapiers, a Nordic Sword, Some Skinners and some Bowies were in my inventory, not to exclude a couple of axe’s made from logging cable.

Monday, April 9, 2007

The Rope test and Vegas

Now practicing guards for a cutlass type blade, And working on single alloy steels. Testing in the fashion of the "Journeyman Bladesmith test", A rope cut....on a free hanging 1" manilla rope in one swipe. Chop through 2, 2X4's for toughness. Then shave hair on the arm for durability, Then put the blade tip in a vise for a 90 degree bend for a break test. It is not to break more than half way thru the blade. 5160 worked great for this.

This is what I used on a Cutlass given to Linda's adopted Moms husband Gary Shattuck, A three tier guard with a bronze pommel, 5160 blade (Spring Steel) this blade felt really good in your hand.
Fall 2004
A Las Vegas trip was planned, Linda's son Jeremy was to marry his fiancee' April at Mt. Charleston Lodge. During the visit he showed me a knife he liked to skin with, but it was too long. So I was to make a wedding present, A ladder patterned Skinner for Jeremy and a Damascus Bracelet for April. With a severe topographical etch.
Linda's son Carl received a Skinner for birthday present, Which is from the same billet as Jeremy's and also Linda has a small skinner out of the same billet too. It worked out good that way I think.

Winter 2004
Able to forge the cable....
Elk hunting with my Dad in the Blue Mountain area, I picked up a piece of 1-3/4" type 1 general purpose cable a few years ago. I planned to forge something from it after laying it in my scrap pile, James (James Cox from the Farrier supply) decided to make a blade from it.
I hesitated to do anything with it because I didn't know if I would like the pattern.~ Being just 1 alloy of steel, But after seeing the blade profiled by James, I liked the pattern.
This piece of cable I decided to forge was laying in the mountains for years. This will be my attempt at an Ax and hatchets. The huge knot was forged into 1 large plate of steel, it looked like it wanted to be a double bladed battle axe. I seen one in a video game. So I figured I would run a drift thru the top of the plate, form a hole for a handle,This cable doesn't like that. It looks like it wants to be two axes.
One took the shape of my first battle axe, Next took the shape of a throwing axe. The patterns revealed, I look into them, I'm posessed...I have to make a Saber too.

The "Hammer In" Experience

Spring 2004
Coming up on Fathers Day
I decided Dad should have a gift this year. We usually give each other a beer for a few days when I visit or vise versa. This year is different, So I wanted to give him different examples of Damascus, Steel constructed into a "D ring Bowie/ Machete, 100 layers of 01,&1084 steel, twisted for the blade, Nickel silver and carbon steel with a butterfly pattern (X) on the outside of the "D"ring guard and ladder pattern on the inside. Nonmanipulated for the pommel. This was the last blade done before the up and coming event.
Summer 2004
The long anticipated Hammer In, 3rd annual, Held at Bronks Knifeworks, A symposium I heard about at the Eugene, Oregon Knife show (O.K.C.). These guys were Master Bladesmiths so I already had a list of questions, Linda and I both attended...You get more info. with 2 people asking questions and listening. Because what one of us didn't get the other did.

We have arrived in Bothel, Washington for the "Hammer In"
(A Bladesmithing Clinic). I have to say that everyone I encountered and engaged in conversation with were meaningful to me and Linda as well I'm sure.
For the sake of compacting my scribbles to a minimum, there were 3 demonstrators.

Ed Caffrey M.B.S. , Lyle Brunkhorst, and Michael Bell

That left the biggest impressions. My eyes danced around the Bladesmith shop of Lyle Brunkhorst who put this event together, whether in collaboration with the others I don't know.
I had not seen a Bladesmithing shop before...They(Lyle and Ed) used a 30 ton hydraulic press for welding a basic billet of 80 thin layers of steel, mainly 15n20,1080, and or 1095. This is a superior Damascus combo after formed into 1 piece.
The press can contort this bar or billet and manipulate it into many types of designs. Commonly referred to as "Mosaic Damascus".

Ed Caffrey was up next with his insight and experience in this trade proved invaluable to me in every aspect. With fantastic examples of his labors, I was really trying to be careful of what I asked because I had so many questions. I really wasn't sure which ones were stupid questions, Good thing for me, every question was answered and they didn't even kick me out.
This was good!!
Michael Bell was up next with Oriental Blade construction (Katana- Shinogizukuri style)Cable, Heat treating, and composite construction. His son Gabriel also exhibited the Tanto knife.
I could write a page on every stage of moves I seen him make. His demonstration will prove to be very useful to me.
One other person I spoke with was Tom Ferry...His quest for patterns through many manipulations and multitudes of billets was very interesting to me. He showed me a dagger and I don't have enough words to describe it except it was truly, a masterpiece.
My head was swimming in so many directions with the possibilities in my own quests, Tom seen this and said "this is what I do with mosaics,
You just do your own thing."
With those words, At the end of the Symposium Tom Ferry had just refocused my perspective on this event. I learned a good many things from everybody.
The money and time was well spent and was so worth it.
Thank's guys!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Patterned Bladesmithing

It is now winter 2003-2004, after reading my newly acquired literature on Bladesmithing I decided to deviate from Rapier to Viking Broadswords. First I would try stacking 3 different bars of steel, each with 100 layers. All 3 bars are manipulated differently for contrasting patterns.
The practice of this kind of stacking is getting my skills prepped for the Viking sword, composite construction. A letter opener/ want to be dagger was first. It was made with 2 twisted bars and middle serpentine patterns (which split apart in a welded section). Oops!
Next, was the Kukris style-leaf looking blade. I probably should have actually looked at a Mideastern style blade before I made this one, too late now. One Damascus bar on the top edge was not manipulated, serpentine in the middle with a twisted waterfall on the cutting edge.

At last confidence in composite construction, one step closer to the Nordic sword.

The Viking Broadsword

With confidence in tact, I started with 6-3 foot patterned bars. 3 of which are forge welded together end to end on one side of mild steel. Then I repeated it the same way again on the other side. Now the cutting edge would be 200 layers of high carbon steel notched and then flattened for the pupose of patterning. Then I continually welded around the core from point to guard in one piece.

This is the example of this procedure if the sword was cut and you are looking at the inside construction. The gray color being the mild steel center, the blue color being the patterned steel, and the purple or fushia being the outer cutting edges.

I can see why these blades can be masterpieces, because the multiple patterns can be absolutely beautiful. It took me 7 days to construct my first Viking broadsword.
My wife, Linda being a daughter of a Norwegian immigrant requested a Viking broadsword, so I was eagar to oblige her. With my stamp on one side and a double L stamp for Linda Lou on the other side.
With the trait of grand chivalry, My queen is presented the Viking Broadsword

The Quest continues...

It's now spring 2004, searching for information I bought a "Blade" Magazine and found that there was a knife show in Eugene, OR. This was a must do! So Linda and I made arrangements to check it out. I had never been to one before this.
Thru my forging blade endeavors I had met up with a fabricator and tool man named James at my supplier who was interested in blades himself. In this quest for information on bladesmithing sharing information is crucial. His knowledge of Metallurgy and products brings welcome advice and updates.
James attended the knife show as well with his wife Jenny. This show was absolutely huge! Masters of all aspects of Bladesmithing, Knife making, and artisans of patterned steel from simply breath taking to extremely complex matter of artwork. You really have to see it to believe it. This inspired me to make some smaller blades.
Practice the Damascus
I decided to make a few skinner type knives. Try testing for hardness and practice suface manipulations also simple twisted laminates. So that I did...I don't consider myself a knife maker, but I will try to learn.
So I produce a in particular was manipulated different on each side, It was laying on the dining room table as an exampleof the Damascus steel blade for family and friends to see when visiting. Jerry and Rosa, long time family friends (and the best salsa makers ever) from Silver Lake, WA came to visit. Jerry liked the skinner and also a filet knife I made. He wanted to make a trade with me...His black powder Hawkins 50 cal. rifle with extra 54 cal. barrel and all the accessories for the two blades and 1 more filet knife in his design customized just for him. I like black powder weaponry so I agree to trade and proceeded to forge his custom filet. I added a bronze fish head and tail on the handle trying to give him a little extra for his original. It turned out beautiful and now I'm the proud owner of a Hawkins black powder rifle 54 cal. and 50 cal. and its a nice addition to my 50 cal. Kentucky pistol.

CORE- (01-1080) 175 LAYERS,


DAMASCUS (01-1080) 27 LAYERS

D-Ring Bowie style Knife

Damascus blade and Guard with Mahogany handle