Friday, March 26, 2010

Thoughts on the fair

Went down for the day, and it was really strange: no booth to watch, no forge to run. And there was this empty space where my setup used to be! Damn. On the gooder side, I saw more shows and other artisans work and more stuff today than I think I had in at least the last five years.

One of the things I really liked about working it? When someone would show up with a broken something and "Can you fix it?" Or a piece and "Can you make some more?" Or "I need 'X' for a display rack/support, can you make me one?" I saw a number of those pieces today; Deity only knows how many tent stakes are in the ground right now that came out of my fire.

I can't remember if I'd shown these before, but it seems appropriate: this is my sgian dhu, and the new dirk I made myself(one of the few blades I ever made just for me):The dirk is 18" overall, 13" blade, about 1.6" wide and just under 1/4" thick at the guard. The blade is 5160 spring steel, the guard and pommel hammered nickel silver, the grip curly walnut. The blade tapers in width and thickness over most of the length.

The sgian dhu is 8" overall, 3.75" blade from the front of the collar to the point, just under 1" wide and .13" thick. This blade started as a 3/4" ball bearing, 52-100 steel. And forging it from ball to bar was a pain. The collar is nickel silver, the grip walnut. The final finish on both blades was done with a buffing wheel and 400-grit greaseless compound.

And yes, they're both sharp.

I've still got my older 'dirk'- actually a stright-clip bowie design' but no picture handy, I'll get one later. That started off as something made to sell, but I couldn't turn loose of it. Good knife; I just decided to make one more fitting for kilt wear, with sheath to match.

I miss making this stuff.


Mattexian said...

Oooo, pretty sharps! If you made those, then you've got a real knack for it!

Firehand said...

Thank you. I think I turned out some decent pieces over time

GuardDuck said...

That's a couple of nice looking blades sir.

AM said...

Nice work on the ball bearing to black knife blade. 52-100 is a helluva steel. Then again so is 5160, altho much more user friendly.

Firehand said...

52-100 takes more hammering(in the same size piece) than 5160, and the heat-treat is a bit more involved, but it's a LOT easier to work with than a lot of the stainless or stain-resistant steels; those are a pain.

Always liked 5160 for the big blades that can be used for heavy chopping and such.

Jennifer said...

So why aren't you making this stuff now? I know there are local people that might be interested. Maybe even in my own household :)

Jennifer said...

And now I've read back far enough to see why. Sorry. That sucks.
I regret that we missed the fair this year.

Firehand said...

Suck, it do. But not much to do about it.

After Fair last year, it took close to three weeks for my hands to get back to what passes for normal nowadays, so it was time to stop. I can do a little bit at a time still, but not anything like the fair.