Monday, December 20, 2010

Pecan-handled pair

This is a pair of knives with some interesting history. They were commissioned by an old friend of mine from public school. One is for himself and the other for his father-in-law. He wanted one to be a bit longer and one to be forge finished and the other satin finished. The steel is leaf spring from his first pickup, and the wood for the handles is pecan because his father-in-law has worked in the pecan business for years.

He changed his mind about which should have what finish after I had already forged them, so I had to leave a few spots of forge texture or grind too much steel away on the shorter one. I also re-forged the long one to get the blade down thinner, where I typically have it for a forge finished blade. This altered the shape a bit, but I liked it and went with it. I haven't done too many trailing tip knives, but think I may do some more now.

I had never used pecan wood as a handle material before and was surprised at how much figure the wood had. It was bit light, but darkened up when I oiled the handles. I like it!

Something I read years ago: "Real Texans know that it's pronounced puh-KAHN. A PEE-can is something that goes under the bed and empties out the winder."

Friday, December 17, 2010

Finished up forged copper baptismal font for church

I haven't posted a whole lot lately, but it doesn't mean I haven't been busy.

Among other things, I finished up and delivered the copper baptismal font recently. Here's how it ended up after final shaping:

It's approximately 29 3/4" across the inside of the rim.

After cleaning up with muriatic acid:

And after going over it with a ScotchBrite ball chucked up in a drill:

Although shiny, the basin is highly textured, with ripples left from the raising process and hammer marks from sinking it. The church wanted this rather than a smooth, perfect finish. Personally, I really like the textured finish, particularly the ripples, which mirror the ripples of the water.

A steel stand was fabricated for it at another shop, then plated with a bronze patina at a third. Finally, after many months, it was delivered and installed at the church. If you look to the left of the large doors at the back, you can barely see it in this picture:

In addition to being used as a baptismal font, the basin will stand next to the door and hold holy water.

And here I am, looking dirty but pleased to have it in place.

I have a lot more pictures and footage of the process of making it that will be put together into videos and uploaded to my Youtube channel at some point.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I have an Etsy store!

In time for Chistmas shopping, I have opened an Etsy store! I will be adding more items and a wider variety of items, but for now, check out the inventory I'm starting with:

Forged candle holders! The short ones were upset with my hydraulic press from approximately 2" round bar, and the tall ones were forged on my power hammer and by hand from pipe. Oh, and a steel dish that started out as a 4 1/2" length of the 2" round, but it's already sold to a woman who bought another for herself and this one for her sister.

Pretty exciting stuff! Keep an eye on my store, because I will definitely be keeping it stocked with some interesting stuff.

Helm Enterprises, Forging Division at Etsy