Thursday, May 26, 2016

Second blade from the first billet of damascus

I forged this guy much thinner than the other blade and it has a distal taper from about 5/32 of and inch to about a 1/16 of an inch on the blade portion.

It's pretty cool to be working with the damascus.  Because it is so time consuming to make damascus I have had to take more time forging the blades closer to their final shape and hammering in the bevels to keep waste to a minimum.  This has helped me refine my smithing skill and helped on other projects.  In the next few weeks look for damascus blades on the knives for sale page.

Opening Weekend at Moose Lake Arena Flea Market

It's the kick off to the first weekend of the Moose Lake Arena Flea Market in Moose Lake, MN.  HBI will be in the arena in the back (same as last year) from 9ish until 1pm.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Over 5000 hits!

Wow!   Thanks to everyone who reads this blog.  I know in the blogging world that 5000 is what some people get in an hour but for a small shop in the middle of nowhere that is pretty good.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A milestone has been passed! Damascus blades have happened at the Iron works.

Before the etch.

My partner has gotten his BIG 2 burner forge up and running.  It can reach welding temp so he has been experimenting with damascus  billets made of cable and various types of high carbon steel.  The billet for the knife above is cable damascus and 5160 spring steel.  He folded the billet several times so it has over 200 layers,  Your humble narrator then forged the blade to shape.
After the 5 minute etch.
After about 2 hours in the etchant.
 After profiling and getting the bevels ground and ready for heat treat we did a quick etch with hot vinegar (don't use the nice glasses, the woman of the house will get cross!) so we could get an idea of how the pattern turned out.  A very lovely random pattern was revealed to us.  Then is was back to to the HBI shop for heat treat and all the grinding and drilling that makes a knife not a prison shank.  Then is was time for about 2 hours in the vinegar to get a nice etch. It was a happy thing to see the emerge.  Update...256 layer count. Then I gave the cutty parts a light buff to make them shine and put on some linen micarta scales with some stainless steel Corby bolts.
The finished knife ready for a sheath

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Custom cabinet hardware

This a prototype of  a pull for a cabinet door.  The item has been blackened by quenching in oil.  There are a few tweaks that need to be done before the customer approves the design.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fun with stainless steel

This is one of the odd jobs that keep things from getting too mundane.  A gentleman was doing some upgrades to his home and wanted something that wouldn't rust and would hold 100 pound icicles.  After getting a quote for painting and powder coat it was clear that stainless steel was the cost effective way to go.  3/8 in by 1 in 304 stainless was the choice because the customer wanted stout and no worries.  I learned that if you plan on drilling holes you shouldn't quench the stainless unless you really like the idea of squealing, squalling and disagreeable metal.

A down spout support for when your house gets 7-10 foot long icicles.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Custom orders are now running between 4 and 6 weeks for delivery.

Knife making, keeping the tables full and custom orders are making sure the shop is busy. I think we're gonna need a bigger anvil!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Another order done!!!

The cleaver is finally done!  It was an adventure.  The steel company was slow to respond and messed up the quotes and it took almost 2 weeks just to order the steel.  Then our new grinder arrived and it took a few days to get it squared away.  Then the place we ordered the belts from decided that customer service is a quaint idea from the past and didn't let us know they were holding our entire order because they sold out of stainless steel corby bolts and waited until we called a week later to inform us of this. Then it was the middle of the next week before they could be bothered to get the package in the mail.  The bolsters were also a frustrating thing.  I cut them a little wonky and it became quite apparent during fit up and it was back to the grinder and files for awhile.  I did learn my lesson!  In the middle of fit up I ended up with a sinus infection and took about a week off.  The mosaic pins had a defect where the epoxy had a void right where you could see it so I had to cut another couple out.  When it came time to epoxy it went almost perfect due to all the attention paid during fit up.  Sometimes one's perseverance and patience is rewarded,  My friend did a superb job grinding the blade. I couldn't be happier with the slicing ability and ease of use.  Now we get to see what the customers think because that's what really matters.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

2016 is off to a good start. Mom's Day will be our first Sunday in Mahtowa. Sunday 10am to 2pm

I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends in Mahtowa and I can't wait for a grilled bratwurst from TJ's corner store.
Random cute puppy picture
It's supposed to be a nice day so take mum to breakfast and then stop by to see us.