Friday, November 30, 2012

Donation knives for Marines

I haven't posted anything new in a while, but I've been busy. This isn't all I've been busy with, but it's taken a lot of the time.

When the attack on our people in Benghazi happened, it angered me enough that my lips exploded into fever blisters. It wasn't just the attack, but the events on our end that led to the attack succeeding like it did that angered me. The only thing I could think to do to help was to get some quality tools in the hands of some of our warfighters in the sandbox. I e-mailed a Marine I knew and asked him if he could get me in contact with five or six warfighters, regardless of which branch of the service as long as they were in the sandbox. He said he could, and I ordered materials.

I made six knives and got my friend and fellow knifemaker Tobin Nieto to make one as well to donate. A civilian customer whose order got bumped back to accommodate these and other military orders found out about what I was up to and sent me a check to cover all of the materials, as well as some other generosity for the other military orders.

These are in the hands of some Marines that are training for a deployment next year in Afghanistan. For the knives I contributed, they were forged from 1 1/2" x 1/4" 5160 with natrual canvas Micarta and flared stainless steel rivets. The blades are around 6" long (forgot to measure them before I packed them up) and are stout. After heat treatment and fitting the handles, I slammed several of their points into an old clothes dryer (no, they aren't what tore up the dryer so badly in the pics I last posted) and they stayed solidly in the hand and were undamaged while penetrating the sheet steel.

This is what they started out as:

This is what they ended up as:

The sheaths are coyote brown Kydex with TekLoks. I made them where they'll shake upside down pretty vigorously without moving, yet will pop out easily when pulled.

There's a little bit of variation, mostly in the angle between the blades and the handles, but they're pretty close to each other. All of them shave hair.

Tobin made his from 1084. He usually works in bone, antler, and wood for handles and leather for sheaths, so this was his first go at Micarta and Kydex. I helped him some on them. :) He went with olive drab with brass flared tube rivets.

We took some pictures when it was mostly done with his buddy's AR as a prop.

Tobin looking like Subotai:

And after final tweaking and sharpening to slice newspaper right nicely:

Tobin's blog: Stonehaven Knife Works

After cutting out the blanks, I drew the blade pre-forms out to length.

Then I forged the blades out.

Here they are all forged out with the final one going through its final normalizing cycle up on the fire brick.

Then I cleaned up the profiles.

Then I drilled out the rivet holes and the lightening holes.

And ground and filed the bevels.

After heat treating the blades, I cut out the handle slab blanks.

Then I bolted the slabs on temporarily and rounded the corners with a router table.

Then I contoured the front of the handles and beveled the front edge.

Then it was time to cut the tubing to length, epoxy everything together, and flare the tubes with dies in a 1/2 ton arbor press.

Good thing I drilled out those lightening holes or they would have been very handle heavy.

After cleaning up the handles, I started on the sheaths.

After cleaning up the remainging baked-on canola oil and sharpening, I ended up here.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Destructive testing aftermath

I haven't posted a whole lot lately because I've been working on a couple of projects that aren't finished up yet. But I wanted to show the aftermath of testing out one of the projects that I hope to be able to reveal soon. I'm kind of excited and it's hard not to show it. :)

That's a clothes dryer that was destined for the scrapyard, a cinderblock, a piece of seasoned oak firewood (the piece cut through is about the size of my upper forearm), and the round thing is the end of a propane tank that was cut off to make a gas forge shell.

More later. :D