Saturday, December 26, 2009

A knife, A camera, the right light (sometimes....)

So, taking a camera into the woods is almost always a bad idea for me if I need to accomplish anything but taking pictures. I just get side tracked and never get back. Today I was supposed to be out looking for spots to set up as a permanent camp site on the folks place. Didn't happen that way... not so much, nope.

Instead we have a photo study of the necker in differing lights and new positions. I liked the pics so I figured I would post um up. Might as well count for something since I got nothing else done today... I am so bad.

Anyhow, thanks for looking and take care.

2009 Draws Down

Well, the prospect of a new year looms ahead of us while the definite crushing that was 2009 is almost over. I wish I could say it was a year of unparalleled successes in all regard however, that would... overly optimistic. There are so many work things that just sapped the life out of the year this year and I really can't talk about them in any detail here. Probably wouldn't anyway. They suck. Let's talk about 2010 and see what we can see with that.

Being who I am, I tend to face the new beginning thing as a chance to make a plan for how to best optimise my use of the available resource. I tend to ramble aimlessly if I don't. For the coming year I want to get the broad strokes down, by month....

Jan. - Squirrel and deer are still in season this month. I am going to get out and hunt my backside off (4 to 6 times) and probably all for squirrel. As an overlay to that I have been wanting to do a bit of geocaching and endurance testing. I am going to place a couple of those as well, just to see how they do.

Feb - Squirrel is clear out and Deer goes in the first week this month. Hunting season draws down. I expect it to be unpleasantly cold for the first couple of weeks here. We'll get out sometime in the second half to have the first of 4 or 5 bushcraft days I will have until Sept rolls back around. We'll think of the skills to work here but I am going to go out on a limb and say fire and shelter will be the big ones. Primarily I will be scouting a place to set up a camp site, preset for my getaways when I need them.

March - I'll get out for sure again in March. I am going to institute a tradition of observing my own birthday as a holiday and I'll find something to do. I'll probably start building camp site 1 and see if I can knock it out.

April through June - All questionable here. Ish is do to arrive and I doubt Mrs. Hunter will ever let me out this close to D day.

July - I may only get one day in this month and I will make it a full range day. I miss shooting...

Aug - Bush day and prep.

Sept through Dec - Well, we know what happens here don't we.... ;-)

I am sure the later months will firm up as the year passes. There about a thousand other things I am not going to detail here that will go into making 2010 better. It should be a good year and I am looking forward to it. Cheers, one and all.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Christmas Rush

So, you know those things you like to do that your friends don't do but like it when you do for them? I have one of those things, requested on a Christmas rocket. :-) It seems my good friend, let's call him Mr. T, and I never got together to talk about a Christmas present he needed made and he, also, did not go anther way for the recipient... Now, imagine my surprise when I get a wife to wife directive via my wife, from Mrs. T, to get Mr T on the phone and make it happen.... even if it will be late.

So I am laughing a lot as I type this because:

1.Now... I have an excuse to go to the shop and make the sparks and the dust on a day when I usually get bored about 2 in the afternoon. (Woohoo!)

2. I do this sort of thing all the time with other stuff so I know how it goes.

Check out the pic above there. I had this blade ground and on the bench and had just not done anything with it. Turns out, Mr T's intended gift recipient likes to hunt. Bingo! I spent about an hour sanding up to 400 on the flats and the bevel and daaaannng.... nice blade. Seems I got one right and should have made this one up a while ago. Mr T chose to pair it with the coolest spaulted maple scales I have ever seen and one of the 3/8 mosaic lanyard tubes I had in the shop and this is going to be a dandy. I'll be sad to see it go but glad it will get used well.

So for now, off to get wide (er) on the holiday cooking. I'll be fitting scales in about 36 hours. Merry Christmas Mr T., Mrs. T, and Mrs.T's Dad.... I'll have her shaving your arms before new years....

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Robert Ruark's Africa by Robert Ruark

Imagine my disappointment when a year ago I went looking for this book and discovered it was out of print and would cost on the order of $150 to get to read. Couple that with the announcement this past Spring that Safari Press would be printing this book again late this fall and things improved quite a lot. $35 later, I have a copy and have read it through.

This is a fantastic book which contains the compiled columns of Ruark from his return from Africa to just before his death. While I found Horn of the Hunter to be a little too full of the vernacular of the day, I find that bits written here are as straight forward and well spoken as a half page feature should be. Ruark is a fantastic writer and it shows here. If you enjoy reading Ruark, order this book. You won't be disappointed. So to it then...
  • Read Ability - 5 of 5 - Ruark's style just works for me. From it I would say you can establish a baseline for my reviews. I like things written like this, if you don't, find the ones I don't like and you'll have what you are after.
  • Editing - 5 of 5 - Michael McIntosh clearly did a fabulous job researching, providing background and knitting these together into a really good read. Top marks here.
  • Subject Matter - 5 of 5 - All africa, all the time. Nuf said.
  • Did I like the Story - 5 of 5 - well told by one of my favorite authors, about some of my favorite things to want to do. What's better to read than that?
I am excited that Safari Press decided to release a new printing of this book. I can say that for the money, this book is a must for the fans of Ruark. It is written with the usual direct gracefulness that is a hallmark of the man's style and contains writings not published in quite a while. To find it, go to and order. Essential read, in my opinion.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Let's Make with the Holiday Heat Treat... Deep Cryo Style

Well, here it is... all ready for transport to the heat treat place. There are about 6 hours of sanding in getting that 320 grit finish to glow like that. When it gets back I'll take it all the way up to 1000 probably. We'll have to see.

Packing was something new for me. I've never tried to pack and unsheathed blade in a box this big. I had to double wrap it in cardboard. Let's hope it holds...
On the upside, while this is travelling and heating a cooling and hardening and then coming back, I have time to work on other things... Let's see where that gets us shall we?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Camp Knife - The second of the Two knife set

So, the itch has taken me once again and while things around the house are still crazy I am starting to get a bit more time to work on these knife things again. I have five blades I need to get to done now but I am sadly, distracted. Check this one out.

I have recently discovered that I have a thing for Scagel knives. Specifically, I love the lines. Combine that with my love of the Nessmuk form and you get something like you see below here...

Here it is on the steel, wating to be profiled

After doing quite a bit of reading I decided to go with A2 for this blade. It's tougher than O1 steel according to Crucible and has equivalent or better wear ratings. Seems like a not brainer. I am going to get it ready and ship it to Paul Bos after new years. Should be a dandy when I am done....

Here it is profiled out. That's a Turley Knives Big Piney model next to it for comparison there. It's a big one. 11 inches OAL, almost 2 inches thick in the widest part of the blade. This should handle most camp jobs well.
The grind is full convex again. I did the blending after the initial grind a little bit different this time and used a disk sander to smooth things out because my grinder running slack belt is just not that good. The disk appears to have worked like a dream. Here it is all ground out and on the bench in the basement for sanding. The lights are horrid so please forgive the pic.

I've located some dynamite walnut with gallery hardwoods and Larry is cutting it out for me this week. Things will slow down into the holidays at this point. I owe a BCUSA forum member a knife that I will start this evening and then I owe 3 to RFC member I hope to dig in to later in the week. Busy busy busy.... Later.

Monday, December 7, 2009

One of the things I like to mess with is video. I am just learning but this is something I have wanted to try. So here, without further prattle, is a slide show of some of my better creations....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Kit Revision - Necker Addition

So, part of the idea I had for this kit was the addition of a knife I could attach to the bag or wear as a neck knife. The knife itself is covered over here. Even though it worked out well, the sheath still remained. This past week I had some time and got it done. While it's not much to look at, it works very well. Check it out. Here it is attahced my bush rig. The 550 cord is supposed to be a set of D rings but I couldn't find the size I wanted... so I tied it up. It still works.

Here it is with a long bit of 550 attached to go around my neck. This seems to work very well if I am out just moving around with no kit. I need to get some time out with them both and I'll decide if the execution is all I thought the idea could be... ;-D

Thanks for looking.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

And the Necker is Done...

Sometimes it is just meant to come together... This is one of those knives. I got the whole thing finished out in about 3 hours today. Never underestimate the power of a movie to enthrall a 5 year old while you sand...

It came out so well. Rosewood is just a joy to finish. The grain is tight and sands like a dream. The dainish oil just made it pop.

I am really looking forward to the first round of sheath making for this project.... cheers.

Drilling, Heat Treating, Scale Fitting, and Sanding

You know, one nice thing about doing a knife that is designed to be dirt simple and fairly traditional is that it goes by the numbers. This one is the first 'normal' one in a while and I am pleased with how it is coming together.

I decided to go with 16th inch pin stock to pin the scales. As is pretty common on my knives, it's also got a 1/4 inch lanyard tube. We had to make a trip yesterday so I took it along and tempered it up while the girl played like a wild person, descended of monkeys...

Ah... light straw. The color that says 59/60 HRC. We likey. I agonized over the scales for this thing for ever it seems. I finally decided that the rosewood was just too pretty, and honestly too cheap, not to use on this. So last night I cut them out and fitted them up. Epoxy doesn't mix well in the cold so I brought it all in and glued it up in a vice overnight.
While the girl was still snoozing this AM, I fired up the sanders and got things all roughed out and detail fitted. Next up is contour work and Danish oil... Hopefully I can ply her with an hour of two of Spoongebob today and get the shapes sorted out and sanded.

Next up... dust and stickness. :-)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Project Double Knife - Concept and Beginnings

For a while now I have been looking to set up a two knife rig that would work for me in the field and integrate with my existing kit. After hashing it out on paper a dozen different ways from Sunday, I came up with the concept I'll be using. I think it's a reasonable assessment to say that while an average knife will handle the batoning and abuse that comes with chopping, every one is better served to have a knife fit for game prep and small work and a larger one, made mostly with an eye to chopping and more abusive chores. I'll be testing that idea with these, BTW :-) Should be fun.

So pictured below here is 'the bear', so named mostly because if it's shape. As size goes it's not all that long but has some serious mass in steel. It's 6.5" long and 1.5" wide. Made of 5/32 O-1, it's packing all sorts of weight. I did a full distal taper on the blade and reduced it pretty dramatically but it's still not something to drop in your pocket or on your toe. It is, in fact, going to be a necker when I am done.

Here it is convex ground and ready for sanding and drilling. I am still up in the air about handle materials. It's a good problem to have though. I have sooo many things on the bench right now. I am thinking Dymonwood just because it is tough as heckles and looks pretty nice.

Next up.... Drilling, normalizing, and Heat Treating

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Light Kit - Field Trial #1

Well gang, here it is. I was out and about today for the first time what seems an eternity and I was rigging for squirrels. I spent a few days working out the things I was sure I would need for 7 or 8 hours out plus the usual FUBAR bag stuff and came up with this.

From left to right, top to bottom there we have:
  • My musette bag. Handiest thing I have used in a while. I need to mod the shoulder strap a bit and she'll be set.
  • On top of it there is the FUBAR bag. Inside are the compass, emrg blanket, spare fire thing, my headlamp / beacon, all my first aid gear. The bag itself is a zippy cabelas thing that works very well.
  • My Gerber sliding saw. Fantastic for making tree branches not poke you in the back...
  • The skinner I bought from Lance Okendon. (click here to see it) Great knife.
  • Gerber Multitool. Also great gear thing.
  • My $10 walmart poncho that has lasted 4 hunting seasons now.
  • 25' of 550 paracord
  • Camera
  • GPS - Garmin eTrex. Don't leave home with out one...
  • My Altoids tinder box. (today populated with the sure thing... cotton in Vaseline :-)
  • 100 rounds of Aguila 38 grain hollow point subsonic ammo
  • My Ruger Mk III target which is also hell on squirrels...
  • Spare mag
  • My German canteen & cup combo thing I got for $2.
  • A sling I bought on that I am still playing with. Today I threw a rock and didn't hit myself in the junk. It was a good day... :-)

Mostly I packed it up to see how it would carry and how it would do in the serious cedar thickets on the farm. All was well as far as I can see. No gear lost, damaged or otherwise abused. In addition, not noisy at all which is a plus for hunting.

On the upside, got to use the fire gear when I discovered that some of the lame neighbors has set up a deer blind on the folks place. Pretty funny how fast canvas will take a fire once you hit some good tinder with a spark.

About the only thing I need to add going forward is the MRE I forgot to pack. What you don't see in the pick is the Tim Horton's bagel I stopped and grabbed for lunch on the way out this morning. I was munching while shooting pics. It really gets no better than this.

When deer season kicks off for me finally ( I know the rest of the state has been at it for 6 weeks already) I know how I am packing. Replace the Mk III with a Thompson Encore I am set. I did scout 'The Spot' today as well. Assuming I make it, I may actually get another one this year.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Yew is Coming

So, in all the time I have been making knives I've discovered that while I really like Maple and Walnut and Amboyna burl, English Yew really trips my switch. Where I lucked out was finding a guy who makes furniture out of English Yew who also likes to cut knife scales. He's sending me those guys in the picture above. In addition to those, I have one more set of figured Yew. This puts me to six.

For a while now I have been wanting to put together a couple of really nice two knife sets. Each would be something like a bushcrafter and a small game thing in a nice double sheath with a firesteel. I am going to use these for that. I have the firesteels ordered and all I need to do it get the time. Seems doubtful until year end at this point. Ah well.... always something. I am going to get some designs on paper and see where it lands.

Take care and more soon. Thanks.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

So they call this stuff bushcraft eh? Sweet....

So, I've been tied up at work for ever it seems but the end is in sight. For the next two weeks I am going to be on-call and then, culminating like the head on a giant yellow zit, the last weekend of my hell is an all night thing at work. The good new though is that after that, I am pretty much clear until January. With this knowledge in mind, I've started plotting the remainder of 2009 and the first half of 2010. Let's run through it a bit...

First and foremost, as soon as I can get a day out of the office, possibly as early as 11/23, I am going squirrel hunting. Odds are what I will do is hike to my favorite, remote patch of hardwood. Gather up some tinder and make some tea and sit and wait for a whole day and probably shoot nothing. Sounds perfect to me.

Following this are two of my three favorite events in all of the US: Thanksgiving and Ohio Gun Season. I have the 454 Encore oiled, sighted, and ready. Bucks beware. If I see something over 4 points , it's going in the freezer.

After that... well... I am not sure. One thing I do know is that I will be finding a reason to get out into the open spaces about once a month going forward. I've recently discovered a place on the web call and I have to tell you, I am excited about the things I am seeing there. I have worked up a laundry list of things I want to do and learn over the next 14 months and all but two have nothing to do with hunting. Not that this is good or bad so much as I feel like a decent hunter. I want to be a good woodsman (for lack of a better word) in terms of both skill and rigging. So let's get that initial list of goals written up here and see what it looks like:

Gear - I think most guys are hung up on this aspect of things. To be fair, as hunters go, I was too. My rifles are a testament to it. Given that I need to put these goals in the forefront.

  • Establish a one day kit that fits in a shoulder bag and weighs less than 6 pounds (no including the axe). This rig needs to contain:
  1. Two meals
  2. Shelter (poncho)
  3. Water
  4. Fire starting gear
  5. Journal
  6. Pencil
  7. Dry socks
  8. Emerg blanket * 2
  9. 50 ' paracord
  10. F A kit
  11. Knife set
  12. Camera
  13. Hammock

I figure if I can get that working I am off to a good start and we can build on it for larger trips.

Next comes the start of the important stuff. Let's go big picture first...

  • Trees. I need to know a lot more about trees. Given that I'll set a goal to be able to ID each tree I run across while out and about in Ohio by this time next year. In addition to that, I'll see if I can know which is good for what. It's a tall order however it has the advantage of being cheap to do. :-) Trees are in every park, info about them is available everywhere on line. Good stuff.
  • Fire. I need to know more about fire. So, let go at it like this: I will know what goes into a tinder bundle and where to find it. I will gather it and assemble a tinder bundle and use it to build a fire with a firesteel. Also, I will make a firebow and learn how to use it.
  • Horticulture. I know nothing about horticulture and I need to know more. The simple fact is I know so little about this it's nearly impossible to formulate a goal. Let's start with identification of species. I'll figure out how to ID plants and document them then research what they are good for. Should take forever. :-)
  • Cordage. This is an easy goal to establish. I'm going to make some. Oh yes, I will know how.
  • Shelter. I need to learn more about this but I am not sure we can put a goal around it for this year. I'll make it the first stand by goal.

This ought to keep me posting for the next year or so. I'll document the progress as I go and see if the objectives need to be altered. Big up to the guys at BCUSA for setting up. Just great folks and nice site. It has really sparked my interest.

Well, it's done. I've posted it a couple of places around then net and it seems that the world is polarized into two camps: Those who dig the Nessi form and those who don't. I am in the former camp....

Anyhow, have a look...

I am liking the way the scales finished up. I really like the handle shape.

The flare on the end really did what I hoped it would. I can hold the handle on the end with a really secure grip and when I have my hand mid grip, it provides this nice sense of security on the back.

I need to get a sheath made and sharpen it up. I am thinking this will be the primary bus implement for my light kit and find a place in my heavy kit as well. Also, If you haven't yet, go to and read about what you're missing out on. :-)

Next up... I'll have a go at a Khukuri. That should be fun.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Scales on and rough shaped

It's been a while and I thought I would post up where I got this project too before my head cold turned into some debilitating sinus portal to hell... (ugh)

I decided to go with the Amboyna I had in inventory. So far it is coming to get very well. I'm not sure if I made this again I would pimp it quite as much as this one it. For sure, I prefer 1/16th inch pins to 1/8th. They just look nicer.

On the other hand, bling or no, it looks pretty durable and feels that way too. Once I am back to where I can breath again I hope to shape it up into something a lot more ergonomic. So far it feels nice in the hand even with the squared off scale edges.

I'm trying something a little different on the pommel on this one. I am going to flair it out so it can be gripped further back more securely. We'll see if I can pull it off. Lots of shaping yet to do.

I am thinking I will keep this one. I like it very much. Probably give it a go in the bush after I get it done and have some time to get out of the office. I miss my life. :-)
Take care.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Catching up the Nessmuk and on to the Heat Treating.

I am so far behind on everything these days. I've finished the grind on the Nessmuk. The original buyer backed out on me so I guess I get to finish is as I see fit. :-)

I am waffling between some Dymondwood I have that will be tough as nails and I like pretty well or going with some of the spaulted maple burl I have stabilized. Either way, 1/8" brass pins, 1/4" thong tube, mosaic pin this time. Red epoxy, red liners. Should be gorgeous.

I hardened it twice trying to get it down to where it needs to be. The toaster over is on the fritz and won't hold 400 any more. It wants to hang out at 450. Had to switch back into the house. Mrs is very happy about that.

Just wanted to get it documented. I have three working right now and I'll post the others when I get them further along.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Nessmuk Grinding

I got the profile work done, for the most part anyway, today and went ahead to the grind. It took some work but things are set up now. I got new files but the old one seems to still be cutting. We'll use it a while longer.

The angle thingy says we're cutting at 10 degrees. We'll see I guess. I am struggling with the scales right now. Not sure what I will use, though I am feeling Dymond wood because I want it to be tough and last.

Steel for the other blade should be in tomorrow or Sat and I will get that blade all set up as well. Work is improving and if it keeps up, I may have a life back before Thanksgiving... just in time for deer season...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nessmuk Go Time

Well, a few days off and back to it. I wasn't kidding. It's time to make one of these. I just love the things. I've decided to build it as a part of set. I got the youngster in bed and set to profiling.
I got cut out and rough ground. I touched it up on the belt sander and it smoothed out pretty well. I'll fine tune the profile tomorrow. I want to look at it a bit. Here's how it came out compaired to the drawing I made.

The bottom guy there is the one I will make to go with it. The steel is on order and should be in in a day or two. Off to bed now. Busy days ahead...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A nice day out, seldom as they are anymore....

Holiday weekends are a real plus in my book. The seem to provide the sense that extra time makes it OK to take an additional vacation day and make a long weekend, longer. I got lucky this week and did just that. What else is there to do with extra days besides go hunting? :-)

I am pretty lucky, as I think I have said before, to have family that owns a few acres still covered in woods. I figured with deer season approaching and this being what I think will be last day out until after the Turkey day, I would squirrel a bit and scout for deer.

I got a couple a squirrels pretty early and after cleaning them decided I had done enough for the cause of feeding the world with tree rats and decided to just have a look around. Recently, I have started reading quite a bit over on the site and wanted to have a go at a few things I have seen there. It turns out, playing with fire is fun. I took some steel wool and cotton balls coated in Vaseline and made myself a fire. I wish I had taken a tea bag or two. Would have been fun. Live and learn I guess.

Along the way, I bumped into Mr Turtle here. I hear they make good soup but I was just not in the mood to clean any more game so I decided to MRE it up instead. Mr Turtle gets a pass until next time.One of my favorite parts of hunting here is getting up on the hill and looking out over the cedars into the valley. There's a deer track there and the view is just spectacular in the fall. I wish I were going to get out more but work is calling and sometimes being a grown-up sucks. There's always December I guess. More on that later. :-)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth by Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC (Ret.)

I love to read Jeff Cooper's stuff. I don't always agree with him but I like the way he makes his case. As an argumentalist, he understands both the strength and weakness of his arguments and where the rationale ends, he sees that it all just about his beliefs at that point. Having said that let's talk about this book.

To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth is really two books. One is all about the mind set and skill of a firearm enabled warrior for the core of his ideals... and brother, this guys is hard core. You may not like it but you have to respect it. This guy would stand his ground in the face of certain death. It's to admired and respected and the book bears this out. Agree or not with the ideas, Col Cooper is the man. The second half of the book is all about Jeff Cooper the hunter and more specifically Cooper the Buffalo hunter. There is no book, anywhere, the does the job of discussing this subject better than the stories contained here. They are frustratingly short. Given the skill behind them, I was just left wanting more. What a good read for the hunter in you... So to it then:

  • Readability - 5 of 5 - Cooper writes in the King's English. He's grammar and style is impeccable.
  • Editing - 5 of 5 - I doubt the editor had much to do after this was written, however there we no mistakes. None.
  • Subject Matter - 4 of 5 - Some of the rah rah dead criminal stuff bothers me a bit but only to read it. All in all, top notch stuff. I wanna go to Okavango. ;-)
  • Did I like the story - You know, this should just be listed as an automatic 5 if I am typing it here. I loved this one as well.

If you are looking for a good read on hunting and shooting, this is good place to go. This is also a good view into the mind of Cooper and a good litmus test to decide if his work is for you or not. I loved it. Excellent read.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Belt Knife Completed

Well, it's done. I am pleased. The finish sanding went well and the wood took the tung oil with no issue.

Wet sanding on the blade left it a nice matte finish and all that's left now it sharpening. I may even do it. :-)

I do want to make a sheath. I'll have to make sure I have enough leather and go for it. I guess it may also be time to do somethings around the house before I get the boot from the Mrs.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Getting my grip on... Buckeye Style

Well, I decided given the perfect weather and nice day with my girl to spend my day letting her play around in the front yard while I glued bits of wood to my belt knife... ;-) I ruined a set of black ash scales yesterday and decided, in keeping with the spirit of this project, to try a different way to make the things fit. I had this old set of buckeye burl scales I had ordered on eBay and gotten ripped off over and I figured these would be good candidates.

The initial fit went without incident on the second set. I drilled them singularly and then pinned them to drill the thong tube and all seems in order with the world after that. I mixed epoxy and got some clamps and went to it. 3 hours later, everything was set up enough to begin profile sanding. Again, completed with out incident and contouring began.

It escapes me how we ever got along without drum sanders. I just love setting my drill press up to hyper-spinning speed and watching the thing work square shapes into not square shapes. Does my heart good. I have all but the final sanding of the contours done. Only 9 or so hours later... I don't wonder where my days go anymore...

The file work is looking very nice and I think I will be pleased with it just the way it is. I am really pleased with this project so far. I will probably give it as a gift this holiday season but until then, I'll pack it around a bit and see what it's good at. The next one may be something special.

Signing off now, before I get divorced over this silliness. Take care...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Belt Knife WIP #2 - Finishing and Heat Treating Day

I have got to get something else to do. This is a serious issue for me. It's about 10 till 2 and I am just wrapping up a day of working on this knife. I figured since I had the day off and it was raining, why not. Anyhow, the grind is completed. I spent a fair amount of time sanding and de-scratching blade flats to day. Also put on some file work. Not sure how it will look in the end so no pics yet... Here are then, all ready to start normalizing.

No normalizing issues and so I paused for dinner. A friend came over and we talked knives and knife making for a while. He's all interested. It was darned fun, like watching a kid in the candy store. He was all excited by the double can forge spewing blue flames. When the fire brick got pink, he got even happier.

I paused a couple times during the actual run-up to hardening to check the blade. Dude was ecstatic about the mid to light orange color it was turning in the heat. That is just hard as heck to photo. Here's the blade all hotted up in the forge.

Quenching went without issue and the blade cooled nicely. I took it down to the bench to sand...

and it came clean quite nicely. My only fear at this point is always dropping the blade so I move to the oven and got tempering moving. My shop oven is on the fritz so I had to use the kitchen over. Mama will be happy about that. Nothings says lovin like that burned oil smell....

Here we are coming out of the over about 10 minutes ago, all nice and straw colored. I am digging it but now I am going to bed. What a great day.