This is a thread for showing off something that you’ve built/fabricated/constructed/sculpted/forged.
We’ve got a number of cool threads for people with artistic talents like photography, sketching, or fine-detail modeling, but nothing out there for creative activities that involve… I dunno… angle-grinders.
In the past six months I’ve gotten involved in my local maker-space. If you’re not familiar, a maker-space is basically a communal “shop”, filled with all the cool tools and machinery that you wish you actually had room for in your garage or basement. Our local place is pretty amazing, filled with a bunch of professional-level woodworking tools, high-powered laser-cutters, a full machine-shop, and even an industrial sewing machine and embroidery bench. And of course a slew of soldering benches, 3D-printers, and a mess of Arduino gear. Heck, we even procured a 3D-scanner the other week (though I’m not checked out on it yet).
But what drew me to this place was the anvils. It’s got like four forges, some six anvils, a couple grinders, and a pneumatic press. If you’re a fan of Forged in Fire, you know why I’d be drooling over all this stuff.
I’m now out there at least a couple nights a week, swinging my mighty (if inaccurate) four-pound hammer and every once in a while making something useful. For the most part I make some mild-steel garden implements or BBQ pokers, or else I practice making little leaf key-chain type things to practice my hammer-work.
But, as anyone raised on Tolkien and fed a near-constant diet of AD&D modules knows instinctively, forges plus anvils equals swords! And the only way to learn to make swords is to make knives… which is kind of where I am now.
So BEHOLD, my first knife, whose name in elvish is “Meithel Sikil”… which of course means “crappy knife”:
And it really is a crappy knife - not particularly well-designed for any real use whatsoever. The bolster in the middle is too long for a chef’s knife and not big enough where it meets the handle for a working knife. There’s no real “heel” on the belly of the blade that would make it safe to use as a chopper, and the tip isn’t aggressive enough to be a fighter. A buddy of mine pretty much pegged it as a good prison shiv, but that’s about it.
Flaws (aka “opportunities for improvement next time”): There are some scratches from the rough grinding that probably should have been sanded out, but fixing them would take another three hours of work for practically no payoff. Less fixable, the plunge-grinds (deep cuts where the sharpened areas meet the unsharpened ricasso area) are a few millimeters off from each other on the opposite sides. There is a very-slight twist to the blade that isn’t visible when looking down at the spine, but which you can see if looking up at the blade-edge. And finally, in the middle of the edge, the spine’s taper is a little thinner in one place, then thickens back out, before finally tapering properly to the very tip.
But, since it started life as a railroad spike and I was able to gently “convince” it to be a non-spike shape and then grind it down, I’m still pretty proud of it for a first attempt. I stole a chunk of mahogany from my dad when I visited him the other week and fashioned a respectable hidden-tang handle, sanded down to 400 grit and finished with some Tung oil. The blade itself is reasonably straight, decently hardened, and then tempered to be able to bend well. I polished the visible metal to 1200 grit, which isn’t quite mirror-shiny, but isn’t too far from that either.
Next up, I’ve got a chunk of 1060 steel that used to be a truck’s leaf-spring. I’ll weld a piece of rebar to it for use as a handle and start drawing it out a bit. This time I’m hoping that I can get it into more of a Bowie shape… hopefully more Jim Bowie, but I’ll settle for David if need be.