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lameness, depression, recovery - Doug Ayen's Blacksmithing Blog [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Doug Ayen

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lameness, depression, recovery [Apr. 11th, 2003|10:42 pm]
Doug Ayen
Gah. Just spent, what, two-three weeks not getting anything done. Had a bout of depression, didn't feel like doing anything, not even getting up, or, for a while, eating (did lose 10 lbs, which I guess is a good thing.) No progress on the job search, either.

I did get the buckets, plumbing, and suchlike to hopefully get the mini-bloomery running. I'll be teaching a class in June at an SCA university event on medieval knifemaking, and would like to have a bloom to show them. I'd also like to have one "made from scratch" knife ready by then, along with some other demo pieces to hand around. I still need to get the refractory, which is turning out to be fairly hard to find. I tried one homebrew refractory recipe off the internet (10 parts sand to 1 part portland cement) but it was too fragile for my purposes. I'm going to try to find real castable refractory again, as it really isn't that expensive for the temperature range I'm looking for.

My bronze sickle client finally let me know the runes she wanted engraved on it, so I'll be practicing my engraving skills for a while. Should be a pretty blade when done.

For those of you who've asked, I'm trying to put together a web site for showing off work and selling some of my stock. I'm also hoping to get rid of some extraneous tools on ebay -- I want to start paring down my unnecessary belongings just in case I end up moving, which seems more likely the longer I job hunt. We'll see. I've got the domain blackanvil.com, so it shouldn't be too hard. I am having some communications difficulties with a guy who I started negotiating for web design work, but I'm partly to blame for that myself.

Supposedly some friends are comming over tomorrow to use the workshop -- I hope so, at least, as it's getting lonely out here.

At Lunacon, I took some hints from a lost-wax caster, and have obtained some wax and investment to play with. We'll see how this goes -- the first pieces I'm casting will be a pommel and guard for a vikingsword. Said sword will be a wedding present for a friend, made of 5160 steel (aka OCS -- Old Chevy Spring, though of course I always use virgin stock.) with a tea-cosy pommel, bar guard, and a deerskin wrapped oak handle, unless I decide to go with an unauthentic but prettier exotic wood. Blade is rough-forged, so we'll see.

had a good idea for a kitchen knife design as well -- I'd been trying to figure out how to do an integral bolster style knife, and fooling around with some 1" O1 and L6 stock I bought for the purpose. I was having problems getting the round part of the butt, the flat part of the handle, the round part of the bolster, and the flat part of the blade all lined up and matching. Then it hit me -- how about an integral handle? Sure, it's a bit heavy, but these are pretty studly knives, and by thinning the handle a bit, the grip is more comfortable anyway. I'm going to try making a few of these and having some chefs test them out. We'll see how well they work.

I decided to try some experimenting with steels for the tanto blade that I've been commissioned to make. I'm going to try O1, L6, and 1050, and see which has the best hamon when polished out. He'll get the best of the three, he should be happy.

Be well


[User Picture]From: perspicuity
2003-04-11 08:36 pm (UTC)
that depression thing is tricky. i've been "up and down" all spring,
mostly as a symptom of the weather ; when it changes radically and quickly
it drives me to ground and i spend a lot of time inside shuffling things.
time for spring cleaning.

there's currently a movie called _the hunted_, and one of the stars is
basically a knife. various bizarre uses ensue. our hero make a knife
on the fly with flint and stone. the bad guy makes a new knife from a
truck spring. some guys at a local show were sniggering about that. :>

studly kitchen knife idea sounds good. i recently ran across a becker
knife and tool "magnum camp knife"... interesting up sweet, designed by
jerry fisk. the handle are tres comfy, and available if you ever want
to use such. injection molded swiss polymer stuff. made for workin.

apparently talonite has a nickname of "glamor metal" because the elves
made it make the minds of the better knowing go wibble :>
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: akrissy
2003-04-12 02:49 pm (UTC)

kitchen knives

I got a friend that has used custom made knives for his chef work. I believe made by similar methods you are using. Maybe an info/discussion with him on what he has liked or disliked for custome made knives? Let me know if your interested :-)
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