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Doug Ayen

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polish, polish, polish [Feb. 18th, 2004|09:05 am]
Doug Ayen
If anyone has ben wondering what I've been up to the last several weeks, the answer is polishing. I gathered all the knives that I'd been working on and brought them all to the final polish level.

That's a total of 16 knives, of which one is a kitchen knife, three are medieval replicas, one is a anglo saxon seax, and the rest are tantos from the mass-tanto making of a few months ago.

In other news, I picked up a milling machine. I hope this will speed up the next steps in the process for these knives, making the fittings. As I kep reminding myself, if I can get into the workshop just an hour or two a day, these will get finished fairly rapidly.

Polishing was done on the grinder, using the Norax belts I wrote about earlier. I used the small drive wheel on the grinder, which slowed the belt down considerably. I took the knives up to the X5 grit, about 3000 grit. This is a pretty good finish, just needs a little hand work, which can wait until the fittings are done.

The seax is the blade that I made from some of my home-made steel. It's a mixture of wrought iron and steel in the core, twisted into a nice pattern, with a steel edge. I've had it etching in vinegar for the last couple of days, the pattern is becoming very pronounced. This is going to look really cool when done.

I also placed a wood order for some exotics. A bit pricey, but it should be worth it when these are done. Camphor burl, redwood burl, some olivewood for the kitchen knife, some black palm and some bubinga to round it off. Along with the kingwood, ash, oak, and lacewood I have in stock this should give a nice set of knives. And, hey, exotic wood is always fun to work with.

More updates as work progresses.


[User Picture]From: perspicuity
2004-02-18 08:12 pm (UTC)
cool cool :)

sounds like you need a drum or oil or cosmoline to store things in when you're not using them (any rusty metal)... that random surface rust must be a pain.

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[User Picture]From: blackanvil
2004-02-18 08:44 pm (UTC)


Yep. It's my own damn fault for not working on them all the time, but even so, an oil bath container might do the trick.

Short term, I use Ballisol, a firearms lubricant, as a general purpose coating. It will last a while, usually at least a couple of weeks, before rust starts. For longer term storage, I've developed a blend of mineral oil and beeswax that does a great job, better than anything I've found commercially. It's really only when I ignore them for a month or more that the surface rust starts. It can be a real pain, though -- I usually have to go back to X30 (about 400 grit) then work my way back up through X15 and X5. Rust near an edge is particularly annoying -- can't go too fast or I'll distemper the edge, and then I'd have to either re-heat-treat or carefully grind back the edge past the damage.

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[User Picture]From: tcb
2004-02-19 04:14 am (UTC)
whenever I hear you talk about polishing, I remember your story of polishing the tantos..


hope you're well..
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