Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Trying to regroup and and make stock for shows in November

There is a mess of custom orders to get out and metric sh*t ton of stock to make.  Been trying to keep up and failing.   More supplies are ordered and on the way.
That is all for now.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Even more knives..I need more epoxy to keep going

I'm trying to  get my knife stock bumped up to a nice level for the start of hunting season.   It's time to grind out another couple of dozen.
Skinners and hunters ready for new homes

One of the reasons to wear a respirator.

Friday, September 8, 2017

More Damascus Blades



 Fun with etchant and the polishing wheel.  I think the patterns turned out very nice.  Now for the handles....




Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Working on a BIG anvil was a joy!

At the steam show in Esko,MN we had a blast working and demonstrating our craft.  The crowd enjoyed our work and we had a lot of people stop by.  There were awnings over our "porch" so we had a place for the fair goers to watch while escaping the rain.  There was a lot of rain. 
It was a joy to work on the huge anvil in their shop.  It weighs 400-500 pounds and had enough room for two of to hammer at the same time. 


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Heat treat for our swords is ready for it's trial run

A lot has happened this week.  The best news for the shop is we have scored a 50 lb Little Giant power hammer.  It is the big brother to the wee 25 pounder we are using now.  We even got it for a reasonable price.   Yay for us!!
Then I found out we are going to be blacksmithing at the fair in Esko.  We are going to be there Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week.  The heat treat tub for our long blades is ready for it's test run.  That is pretty exciting for us because that opens up alot of new doors.
The hydraulic press is back in action  and has new dies so we can start working with canister Damascus.   Stay tuned for more exciting goings on!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Goins on at the shop this week mid to late August 2017

The burners for the heat treat tank for the swords arrived and is now put together.  Fire is good.

The Wagner's got the new sign post for their old sign.  I forgot to snap a pic after it was painted black.

Here is the mighty Chad doing some noisy work to get the new tank ready for the burners.  Turn up the volume for the best effect.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Goings on at the shop late July and early August 2017

There has been alot of the world famous "Tasty Beverage Holders" going out the door.   Hopefully we'll have the the stock levels up for this weekend at Moose Lake.

We have new dies for the trip hammer.  The old ones were OEM and I really believe they had been on the machine for the last 90 odd years.  A sledge hammer was needed to persuade the pins to move.

Yes, it tasted as good as it looks!
My Sweetie took up the north shore for my birthday and it was fun and delicious.

We are another step closer to getting ready to produce swords.  My new quench tank is completed and has been tested for leaks.  I need a bigger shop, we're running out of places to put stuff,

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Goings On at the shop this week

More iron work for the stained glass guy.   Fun with radii.  Good thing I paid attention when Pi was being discussed in math class.


A customer brought in a big box of his grandfather's knives to be re-edged.  He was a butcher so there was a nice selection of quality knives that would hold an edge.  Those are the kind of jobs that are cool.  You get to see a little bit of history.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Things that make you go "Holy S*#+!!!!"

I went to reach for my hammer  and meant a new friend.  I've seen him around the farm a few times.  He is quite a large snake for this far north and there aren't too many this big on the place so he stands out..  I used to live where there are snakes that can kill you deader than fried chicken so my hand being this close to a snake was enough to get the old instincts to kick in. I pulled my hammer hand back so fast it went plaid.  After my heart slowed down I laughed at myself and got out the camera on the new phone.  Here you go for your viewing pleasure.   I think he was hanging out there because the anvil stays warm after using it for a while and he had a big heat sink to curl up with.



Friday, July 7, 2017

It's been a bit since the last post, we're still here and working!

After a trip to the ICU and all the follow up appointments I think I may finally be able to put some time in the shop.  
 Meanwhile Chad has been busy.  He has forged a very nice cut and thrust sword.  There is work in progress to get the long quench tank set up and heat treat problems are being sorted out.

We are also critically low on stock for the shows and it will be a few weeks before that will be remedied.   Lot's of things are going on and once things settle down we will be going gangbusters.
Chad's long sword and my viking sword in progress
A long sword in progress

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Damascus in Progress

More work in progress at the shop.   Not too much more to report at this time.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hooks Galore

16 hooks down and another 16 to go.  That's a fair sized order.  I have a customer who is a wood worker and the projects with my hooks usually sell first so he likes to have a few in stock at his place.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

I'm not going to be at the barefoot gardens event this Saturday.

Looks like the rain is going to be with us the next few days so I have to cancel my appearance at the event.  So sorry everyone, I was looking forward to it.

Monday, May 15, 2017

A New Venue for HBI



We'll be at the Barefoot  Gardening Day at the Barefoot Gardens Greenhouse. 
It is scheduled for May the  20th from 10 AM to 3 PM
They are located 3 miles East of McGregor on hwy 210.  There are lots of signs so it is easy to find.
The snow is gone and it's time the embrace the spring! Also time to stock up on your bug spray!

Monday, May 1, 2017

I finally got a hamon to show up after etch and polish!!

The clay on the blade ready to go in the forge.
In the fire!
After fiddling about with getting a hamon to show up, it has finally happened.  I cracked a few blades getting the water then oil quench method down pat.  I found that if I leave the blades a little thicker before hardening it helps with survivability.  I moved the etchant a little closer to the fire and I think that may have helped with the reaction.   The cold really slows down the chemical reaction.   There is a few more blades in the process of being forged with a hamon.   I'm going to try a damascus blade very soon.
After the etch in ferric chloride.  Reminds me of an Orca

The edge sharpened and a the polish complete.


The Summer Season will soon be upon the shop.

TJ's is starting on Sunday and we'll be there weather permitting.  I love the bratwurst and if you are in the area it is worth the stop.

The flea market at the Mooselake Riverside Arena will be opening on the 27th of May.  We are there every Saturday they are open barring any unforeseen circumstances.

  I'll add more to the 2017 calendar as things are sorted and confirmed.

Heat treat for a friend

A hidden tang drop point
  A fellow bushcrafter was over to the shop last week and made sure I was sweating by the end of the day.   There was a few projects he wanted done and some parts to pick up.  He is learning to make knives and I do some heat treating for him because he doesn't have the facilities at this time.  Here are some pics of his work.  

I also made him a pack-able draw knife, his had a longer blade than the first one and we put a slight angle on the handles.   We forgot to take a picture of it.   He also helped to make his own bottle opener which was blacked in oil.
 
An Otzi style blade out of steel.  He was going for the flint knapped look.

Friday, April 14, 2017

A new pack-able draw knife out of 1095

I had a little fun in the shop making some new stuff for myself.  I don't get to do that as much as I would like.  The idea came from some youtube videos.  There was a few different styles and I liked the way this style packed down.
Roughed out and ready for grind.

Sharpened and ready for use.  It zipped through some poplar like butter. I'm very pleased with the edge.

The pen is for scale reference if you want to make your own.  I wrapped it in some scrap leather and tied it with some of the nettle cordage I made to keep with the bushcraft theme. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Damascus 04/17 Spiffy new blade!

Fresh from the ferric chloride,  a striking pattern is revealed!  We are very pleased with the boldness of this pattern.   There will another 3 knives made from the billet that this came from.  Enjoy.   1095 and 15N20 if you were wondering about the steels.



Thursday, March 30, 2017

First show of the season is at the Pine Tree Plaza in Cloquet, MN (the mall) Friday March 31st 10-5 Sat 04/01/17 9-4

Super One Foods Spring Arts and Crafts Show
Friday March 31 from 10 am to  5 pm
Saturday April 1st from 9 am to 4 pm
Stock will be limited at my booth, but we will be taking orders also.  It's been a rough start to the year but I hope things will improve as the season moves along.

It'll be good to see old friends and hopefully I'll make some new ones.
The machine has not been idle the last few weeks!

Shop Dog #2 says "Please support your local blacksmith it keeps the supper dish full!"

Friday, March 24, 2017

Back in the shop!

The forge has been fired and steel ordered!   We will have a few stainless steel hooks for sale this year.  There is a show coming up next week and there will be more on that later.
Maybe the next pic of the view from the hammock there will be leaves.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Reasons to be miserable

2017 has started off rougher than I could ever plan for.   The eye infection so bad 2 kinds of antibiotics were needed cut into the work planning, then the new meds to keep my arthritis under control are not working as advertised.   It's usually not a good idea to be playing with machines that can remove body parts while taking fistfuls  of painkillers that are only marginally effective.  Some days it's all I can do just to get out of bed.
  I will miss out on our usual show for starting the season.  If things don't get better soon I will have to miss the spring show at the mall in Cloquet.
  I will update y'all as soon as I have a better picture as to what is going on.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Sorry posting has been non-existent. Going through a rough patch.

I've not frozen to death or been snowed in but it's been a close thing.  Be back soon barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Monday, January 2, 2017

New year's day bushcrafting

It finally got cold enough to walk in my bog.  I made a fire and tested the Kukri out. 
The snow is to put out the remaining coals after the hot chocolate was made.
We're going to be making some kukri and parang prototypes and field test them to see if we want to add them to the product line.