Be careful dear readership what you leave in the library books you return. This photo appeared on my facebook wall or timeline this morning. Ironically, this morning, I threw away about 20 or 30 of these little library receipts that had accumulated in all my pockets, my purse, my library bag. I suppose there is material that could be gleaned for identity thieves. The worst case scenario would be that the ritual abuse cult people could use it to try and get at me, or...I just may have a fan! At least I wasn't checking out something I would be ashamed of reading....or having people know what I have been reading.
Today, I finished Brians dagger. It has a final coat of boiled lindseed oil for the finish. Two knives completed in 2013. I may finish up another one before the new year comes in. Both blades were recycled from an estate. Neither blade was finished. The library closes in a few minutes, so I will sign off for now, and get back to work. It has been a very productive year for me.
I finally dug out my meteorite dagger to compare to Brian's unfinished dagger. I can see that I have lots of sanding and finishing to go in order to get his knife as finished as my first one. Wish me luck dear readership, I have the tools, and the know how to do this. Thankfully, now, there is no pressure of a deadline. I am preposting this on Thursday, so there is a good chance Brian's knife will be more finished by the weekend.
On Christmas Eve, I bent a crucial tool that I need to replace in order to finish the knife. I was dissapointed that I did not make the Christmas deadline for this project. Hopefully, I will be able to get hold of the replacement mandrel, and finish in the next few days. The pins are in place, and I am planning on the final turquoise inlay rivet covers. 24 hours of drying time....of course!
This pair of ear rings got finished and left my house before I could take a picture of them in their final form. Solstice night was a grand time. I love drumming with my drum buddies. We celebrated the increasing light. That is the closest I will get to any Christmasy feeling. I have to keep reminding myself, this is not my holiday (Christmas). I stopped celebrating it because it made me unhappy. There are a lot of unhappy people out there right now...trying their best to celebrate. They are hurting, and feel in bondage to this commercial farce. Poverty has saved me from seeking water at dry wells. Christmas, like Christianity is a dry well for me. I am happy I wont be forced to spend time with people who do not like me, nor do I like them. Perhaps I am the lucky one.
I put together two silver feathers yesterday. These are not set up with beads yet. They are $20 each or a $40 pair of ear rings. Get a hold of me if you are interested in a Solstice or Christmas gift. I will be working night and day till the 24th of December ( I do every year:). Tonight, I will be drumming in Columbus at Summit and 16th.
I woke up this morning (sound like a blues song?), and glued and pinned the knife together. As you can see the handle is still a little thick. Better thick than too thin. I will do the final shaping tomorrow, and hopefully recut my rivets this weekend.
Yesterday, I failed to show you how all the pieces will come together. I am pre-blogging this post in anticipation that I won't be coming into the library on Wednesday as I will be finishing up with the epoxy process. The rivets will be holding the knife together, but the epoxy will keep the blade waterproof inside. I am hoping I will have a completed blade by this weekend.
This morning I ground down a steel nut for the butt end of Brians knife. This will be glued in place and allowed to set for 24 hours. Once this nut is secure I can begin putting the final shape on the pommel, reset the pin holes, and sand the rest of the handle down to its final shape.
My friend Brian loved my meteorite blade, and so we designed his blade to be similar. We substituted Black Walnut for the Ebony (as my Ebony was stolin during my move). We substituted synthetic turquoise for the gemstones, brass for silver, and of course steel instead of meteorite. Hopefully soon, I will be able to photoagraph both knives together in their finished form.
It occurs to me that I might color the epoxy glue with acrylic turquoise paint. I have not decided whether or not to add a black spacer between the turquoise spacer and the brass. More will be revealed as I try to finish up.
On Monday Robert Huelet visited my studio and showed me a couple of his forged knives. Robert is our local Blacksmith. He specializes in what is known as damascas steel which is taking wire and bending it over several hundred times until it fuzes and becomes a solid piece of steel. I have known him since college and he attended my reception. My picture does not do justice to this mans talent and his knives. I was fortunate to be able to talk with him about all the knives on my bench, and I will be taking his advise and talking with him in the future. I may even be visiting his shop one of these days (after the holidays) and trying my hand out on forging a blade. I am thinking....peace pipe tomahawk....what do ya think dear readers?
I cracked the second walnut handle yesterday. The black walnut was too thin, even though it was twice as thick as the first! I am at the 11th hour on this project with feathers to make ASAP. My third attempt looks more promising. I will be using brass rod instead of cutler's rivets, as I know how brass rod behaves. I do not know how cutler's rivets behave, but it was not the rivets that were the problem yesterday. It was the tang (knife handle under the wood) that cracked the piece. Today, when I return from Columbus, I will begin shaping the handle on the belt sander and making a spacer for the pommel. It was lucky for me that a librarian friend scored more black walnut for me right after my eBay purchase. Had he not, I would be up the proverbial shit creek without a paddle.
On Monday, I began working on the walnut handle for Brian's knife. This time, from the top which will line up with the turquoise spacer. On Sunday, I purchased a piece of brass rod from Tractor supply, driving in the beginning of what looked like a snow storm. There is not a day to waste, and I bought the last piece of brass rod they had in stock! My thinking is that my cutler's rivets expanded more than the wood (walnut) scales could accommodate. If I decide to put in rivets at all, I can make my own without the inside expansion. I won't be coming in to the library till late Tuesday afternoon, so I am pre-posting this blogspot on Monday morning in hopes to get my momentum on this project to maximum. Keep your fingers crossed for me dearest readers, I really need everything to work smoothly from here on out.
I waited for a day to approach Brian's knife after splitting the walnut knife scales on Friday. Saturday, I took a chisel to it and disassembled it. Today, I am beginning the handle with a different approach. There is no time to deliberate what went wrong. It could be so many things. What is apparent to me at this point is that the knife scales that I purchased off eBay were too thin to handle my cutler's rivets, so I will start with a piece of walnut that is twice as thick, and hollow out the inside by drilling from the top. This will be tricky as I won't know exactly where my metal rivet holes are, and there is no wiggle room. Christmas is just around the corner, and I need to get this project done, and my other Christmas projects started.
On Saturday right before the next step, The walnut handle cracked from the stress of the cutler's rivet. No matter how careful, no matter how much planning....things like this can happen. There is not time for deliberation to discover whether the wood wasn't kiln dried, whether I used to thin of scales....I just need to try it again and try to get it done in time for the Santa express!
Thankfully, I have back up Walnut that is ready to go! This is an opportunity to try something else, and end up with a better product.
Last night at about 8pm, I lined up my rivet holes, and glued the handle together. After rivets are placed, the handle can be shaped. I began working on this knife in September, and have had to work slow...waiting for parts from eBay, getting the money together for glue...refilling acetylene tank, acquiring proper quench bucket and oil. There has been much delay, and much anticipation up to this point.
If you are reading this blog on Friday you can bet that my handles are carved out and drilled by now. My Friday mornings are pretty much taken up with coffee time with my girlfriends, and I usually can not get to the library till late Friday afternoon as I don't want to give up that time. I will be back here on Saturday with a knife update:)
The Knife Tang is measured and outlined and pilot holes are drilled into the Turquoise spacers while the are still rectangular. They will eventually be ground off flush with the handle and fitted snug against the blade guard. This is the tedious part of this project as everything must be flush, snug....and when I hold it up to the light, no light cracks.
It was disappointing to tell Brian that I have little or no experience setting faceted gemstones in August when we were designing his knife. A few days ago I called him up and asked him if he might be interested in turquoise spacers between the blade guard and the handle, and then repeated before the butt end of the knife. He was thrilled of course...almost as much as I am to be able to compensate for not knowing the process of embedding his tourmaline faceted stones. We are at the point of no return, so I began cutting the spacers this morning. These spacers are stabilized turquoise, so they are going to strengthen the overall knife handle, while also providing an attractive stripe next to the brass parts. It is more work, but worth the effort. I need the spacers in place before drilling my rivet holes, so this has to be done ASAP, and it has to be done next.
Keep your fingers crossed for me dear readers as I will be submitting this painting (Every thing's Peachy) for Accessible Expressions Ohio 2014. I shortened the title to simplify the process. I spent the morning calling the art council to try to get some wiggle room, having a photo taken with a good camera, and retrieving it in an email. Now it is on the flash drive, and I am off to make a print. My blog will be late tomorrow afternoon as I am expecting guest's tomorrow morning.
I paid bills and rent on Saturday. I am frugal with my gasoline, so I dropped into the hard ware store and purchased a roll of duct tape. Duct tape is a miracle art supply as well as a necessary tool for the home toolbox. I use it for lots of things. Mostly, to hold together something temporarily, or until the item finally breaks forever. There is a duct tape festival here in Ohio that is on my list of places I want to go one of these days. It comes in all colors. For today though, just the primer gray will have to do until I can afford other colors.