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fittings, handle, polishing - Doug Ayen's Blacksmithing Blog [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Doug Ayen

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fittings, handle, polishing [May. 16th, 2003|12:29 am]
Doug Ayen
Got the fittings done and polished. As I write this, I'm heat-bluing them. This should look nice.

The pommel was easily drilled out, once I got the JT taper to stay in place. after patiently doing a force-fit about half a dozen times, I gave up and crazy-glued it in place. It's not going to come out now without serious force, but at least I can drill a 1/4" x 1.75" hole without it falling out when I'm done. I used two different drill sizes to match the taper in the blade, then did a series of fittings followed by grinding on the tang to get as close to a perfect fit as I feel possible. When I do final assembly, I want to just peen over the tang to get it all to hold together.

the handle, of white oak, was made from two pieces, with the shape of the tang routed out at half depth on each half, the two mated, and then glued. I used a fast acting epoxy, so I was able to do the shaping and sanding about an hour later.

I was going to do heat treatment tonight, but it ended up raining cats and dogs, and I as going to do the heattreat outside. If it's still raining tomorrow (forcast says steady rain, sigh) I'll see about setting up in the horse barn, where at least the smoke will be able to escape easier than the workshop. It will just be a double row of bricks, with a pipe tuyre down the middle, a little longer than the sword. The idea is to slowly bring it up to temperature, with a deep enough fire that it comes up evenly. It should be done in the dark, so it's easier to judge temperatures, but I may just do it in the daylight to get this done -- it just takes a bit more care. Then it's time for final polishing and fitting. I should be done tomorrow, barring accidents. Hey, I can hope, can't I?

A friend is coming over on Sunday to help with the test firing of the smelter (Thanks, Carl.) If it works, then I've got a little bloomery. If it doesn't, then I'll see if I can figure out what went wrong. Looking forward to this.

Time to start thinking about the next project to work on. I have an order for a tanto, a friend also wants me to make him a katana for tamashgiri, not sure if I'm up to that yet. I want to make myself a sword, of a design I used to sketch a lot when I was in high school and college, sitting bored in class. Pretty much a straight saber, rectangular guard, straight handle with a knob on the end. Then there are the kitchen knives I've been working on.

Aaarrrrggghh. too may projects.

--doug
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