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  #21  
Old 05-13-2020, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by greywynd View Post
Been watching, not sure what to say for a bit.

As a Tool and Die Maker, (often called Toolmakers) I see where Jen is coming from. As the person who makes something, they are intimate with the outcome, as they are the reason for it. Whether it be hammer marks from forging, a milled part being slightly off in some way, a bit of material gone from too much grinding, the person that did it will know. Many will say “It’s good enough” and call it a day. A craftsman will say “It will work, and is okay, but it could be better”.

When I was working in die casting, I did tool build for a while. Majority were production tools, designed to make and be serviceable for thousands, even millions of parts. These tools were superior in terms of fit and build quality, final fitting was done by hand to less than a tenth of a thousandth for clearance at times. In my opinion, they were basically a piece of art.

We would also build prototype tools, often to make parts for real life testing, as the design would maybe be on ‘the edge’ somehow. Strength, lifespan, function, whatever. Generally we would be making 50-1000 parts. For these, it was quick and dirty, and ‘good enough’, as long as we could make the few parts we needed.

I look at Jen’s bigazz axe, and am impressed, because I know what it took to get it ‘done’. A lot of work, sweat, and knowledge for sure. I’m also impressed, because it’s a neat process, and will work and function quite well as it is.

I can also see where she will see the ‘imperfections’, and where I, or some people could say they are ‘character’ marks, she sees them as flaws. Not big enough to make it scrap or un-usable, but flaws in her craftsmanship. And I can understand why she is striving to do better next round.

Sure lots of people can heat a piece of metal and beat on it with a hammer. Pretty much all of us here can, or have. Some can even shape it into things.

The difference is that the attitude is whether it’s “good enough”, or if it’s an “It’s good, but I can do better”. I see the latter here from several people, Jen and Matt being two that readily come to mind. And to me, people that strive to do better, are the ‘craftsman’ versus the ‘builder’.




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  #22  
Old 05-13-2020, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywynd View Post
Been watching, not sure what to say for a bit.

As a Tool and Die Maker, (often called Toolmakers) I see where Jen is coming from. As the person who makes something, they are intimate with the outcome, as they are the reason for it. Whether it be hammer marks from forging, a milled part being slightly off in some way, a bit of material gone from too much grinding, the person that did it will know. Many will say “It’s good enough” and call it a day. A craftsman will say “It will work, and is okay, but it could be better”.

When I was working in die casting, I did tool build for a while. Majority were production tools, designed to make and be serviceable for thousands, even millions of parts. These tools were superior in terms of fit and build quality, final fitting was done by hand to less than a tenth of a thousandth for clearance at times. In my opinion, they were basically a piece of art.

We would also build prototype tools, often to make parts for real life testing, as the design would maybe be on ‘the edge’ somehow. Strength, lifespan, function, whatever. Generally we would be making 50-1000 parts. For these, it was quick and dirty, and ‘good enough’, as long as we could make the few parts we needed.

I look at Jen’s bigazz axe, and am impressed, because I know what it took to get it ‘done’. A lot of work, sweat, and knowledge for sure. I’m also impressed, because it’s a neat process, and will work and function quite well as it is.

I can also see where she will see the ‘imperfections’, and where I, or some people could say they are ‘character’ marks, she sees them as flaws. Not big enough to make it scrap or un-usable, but flaws in her craftsmanship. And I can understand why she is striving to do better next round.

Sure lots of people can heat a piece of metal and beat on it with a hammer. Pretty much all of us here can, or have. Some can even shape it into things.

The difference is that the attitude is whether it’s “good enough”, or if it’s an “It’s good, but I can do better”. I see the latter here from several people, Jen and Matt being two that readily come to mind. And to me, people that strive to do better, are the ‘craftsman’ versus the ‘builder’.




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Extremely well said. thank you.
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  #23  
Old 05-13-2020, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by allessence View Post
Yes, I think for many it's a balancing act.. But it doesn't have to be..

Personally, while I am happy so many people are forging and so many are discovering this craft.. The level of or quality of work is terrible. Not everyone is making terrible things.. But, dang there is a lot of terrible.

But, If everyone decided that good enough is good enough there frankly would be terrible work.

If you show someone good work.. "They instantly know it"..

Rhetorical question:

If you can make a clean forging in the same time it takes to make a iffy one.. Why would any one choose to make iffy?

It literally takes the same amount of time..

This ax by many standards is a raging success if looked at by 99% of the people..

Is that because they don't know any better or because they settle..

One of the things that has always driven me is to not settle unless I am happy with the item.. Disregard everyone else opinion on the item.. It has to meet my standards..





Yes, I'm completely with you.. I think the main problem in knives is the forged blade doesn't seem to be noticed unless it has hammer marks or unless you are doing Damascus where the pattern is squeezed.

I'll say this as a general statement because I don't really know anyone who is contrary ( 100% is all about the finish work)..

Having a knife blade that functions either through stock removal or thru forging it all comes down to fit and finish.


thank you.. You do beautiful work.. I am beholden to no person.. Only to myself.

So it's been what 3 or 4 years since I came out of retirement forging. Just now I am starting to find my legs again.. the only way to get better is to push the forged to finish on every item..

With this in mind.. There has to be enough material there to actually finish it.. That is where the problem lies. The eye material is as thin as I dare go because I lost to much in the welding sequence..

Next time I will leave more material and then have something to grind off which was pretty much what has always been done.


In the old days that had "Pattern books of Toys".. Toys were tools. Light and heavy tools.

They show drawings of the items made.. All hand made and all to a finished product.. For myself there is a standard which maybe by the time I get to the end of the road. I can look at an item and be happy.. LOL..


Thanks again..
I fully support the quest for a perfect hammer finished piece, I just mean don't beat yourself up when you get 97% perfection, some of us are still proud of 82%

On the subject of knives, I make no distinction that forged is better or worse than stock removal. I started with stock removal and moved onto forging just because I think its fun. I can make either type of blade perform well, and when everything goes right you wouldn't be able to tell which knife I did which way. My disdain is for the people who claim theirs is better because they hit it with a hammer 4 times. They're pushing a false idea in addition to taking credit for work they didn't do. They're trying to elevate poor craftsmanship to something more than it is.

I know what you mean about modern work being terrible as well. The "maker movement" frustrates me. I suppose many would say that I am a maker, as I dabble in a lot of things and not any one specific trade. I look at some very popular youtubers who are sponsored with a dream shop full of tools and turn out brilliant videos of mediocre work and I just shake my head at the praise they get, and the prices people pay for their stuff. They are setting the bar, and like you alluded to it is not very high, but they have convinced people that it is.

Keep your drive, and keep trying to make the perfect hammer finished tool, just keep in mind that you are your own harshest critic and that what you call a B+ a lot of skilled folks call an A-
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  #24  
Old 05-13-2020, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt Shade View Post
I fully support the quest for a perfect hammer finished piece, I just mean don't beat yourself up when you get 97% perfection, some of us are still proud of 82%

On the subject of knives, I make no distinction that forged is better or worse than stock removal. I started with stock removal and moved onto forging just because I think its fun. I can make either type of blade perform well, and when everything goes right you wouldn't be able to tell which knife I did which way. My disdain is for the people who claim theirs is better because they hit it with a hammer 4 times. They're pushing a false idea in addition to taking credit for work they didn't do. They're trying to elevate poor craftsmanship to something more than it is.

I know what you mean about modern work being terrible as well. The "maker movement" frustrates me. I suppose many would say that I am a maker, as I dabble in a lot of things and not any one specific trade. I look at some very popular youtubers who are sponsored with a dream shop full of tools and turn out brilliant videos of mediocre work and I just shake my head at the praise they get, and the prices people pay for their stuff. They are setting the bar, and like you alluded to it is not very high, but they have convinced people that it is.

Keep your drive, and keep trying to make the perfect hammer finished tool, just keep in mind that you are your own harshest critic and that what you call a B+ a lot of skilled folks call an A-

Sorry if it sounded as though I was aiming the stock removal vs forging aspect.. I too like forging.. Good work is good work.. My point was the finish work is what most see.


I hear you on the hammering it 4 times..

I knew a guy back in the 90's who did that very same thing.. But he was into hardware.. Not one of his pieces was hand forged.. All welded construction and he left it looking rough.. The guy killed it at ever show..

He has a forge setup and anvil and he never made one thing, though he did make it look nearly impossible vs what I would do. He'd hit metal and it would fall on the ground and he'd moan while bending over to pick it up.. He must have been about 45 then.. Fairly skinny guy.

Anyhow at the end of one show he came by with a wad of cash and empty bins.. On a 4 day venue he said he sold everything.. Pulled in like 5K.

I was lucky to sell 1 or 2 pieces for what I thought was decent money..

As a sample at one of the shows I copied one of his towel holders and each one was 37.50.. When he saw I had 37.50 on mine he raised his to 35.00 though originally they were 17.50.. This guy plagued me at nearly every show for years.. Every single piece was fabricated and welded together few hammer marks.. Argh..

When the guy died turns out he was worth about 1.5Million and lived in a mansion with a fully equipped blacksmith shop with all brand new equipment.. the only items used were in the fabrication shop where he had a mass production shop setup with welders, benders, jigs and a paint booth.

He would walk by just about at ever show laughing and flashing that wad of cash.. LOL.. Every show. Just before he asked me how I did, he'd flash that big wad of cash. As he hurriedly walk by.

Matt, your work is always stellar. I've gotten inspired by seeing your projects a time or 10..

If I did not come from where i came from back when I was a pro. I doubt today that I would be as persnickety as I am now. I've got catching up to do..

I am critical of my own work, 1 because I know what it's like to be in a professional realm/skill set.

2 because as you pointed out the "Makers" mentality today.

3 because if everything everyone sees is only mediocre it becomes the new standard.

4. the ability for maybe 1 person to question something I have made that is so clean which then opens a conversation into history and what true potential is.

5. Today I am all about teaching.

The people on this forum kept me mentally active and your items and AJ's questions kept me looking at the smithing aspect.

Thanks..
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If I defend myself I am attacked.

My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

I'd like to think of something smart, but I don't want to hurt myself.

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  #25  
Old 05-14-2020, 11:39 AM
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A guy like that is a step above mass produced low quality stuff, but only marginally. However the people buying it would be pitching it to their friends as handmade/forged/whatever to sell it as expensive.

It’s like buying a ford escort versus a lincoln, then telling people you have a lincoln though.

Sadly sheeple that don’t know the difference eat it up, and they are the masses.


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  #26  
Old 05-14-2020, 12:55 PM
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So I dug out the photo of the towel holders.. I thought I had one.



They sure were.. sheeple.. The guy when he dropped the metal would act like he was 80 and in bad shape..

Not sure if they bought the stuff because they felt bad for him or what. But he was an excellent salesman.

I can still to this day see him clearly as he skipped by flashing that big wad of cash at that fair.. it was a beautiful day.. Sunny, warm.. Just wonderful..
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Jennifer

If I defend myself I am attacked.

My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

I'd like to think of something smart, but I don't want to hurt myself.

My google+ page

DoALL 36"
Another Johnson model J Project
Lathe? Maybe..... 1958 SBL 13"
Yeti Esseti Aka running welder on 3phase.
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  #27  
Old 05-14-2020, 01:00 PM
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It swings wonderfully. I took the time yesterday to do the final clean up and finished the sharpening.

I then went out and beat the axe up cutting old dead maple and elm.
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Jennifer

If I defend myself I am attacked.

My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

I'd like to think of something smart, but I don't want to hurt myself.

My google+ page

DoALL 36"
Another Johnson model J Project
Lathe? Maybe..... 1958 SBL 13"
Yeti Esseti Aka running welder on 3phase.
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  #28  
Old 05-14-2020, 02:06 PM
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Wow, seeing the depth of the cuts/hits on that maple is impressive.

I spent some time off and on doing prospecting work in my late teens/early twenties. We usually carried a three pound or so axe. Even in soft woods like spruce or pine with a decent sharp edge, commercial axes were thicker, and wouldn’t take bites anywhere near that.

Beautiful function, along with a nice design and shape, well done.


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  #29  
Old 05-14-2020, 05:52 PM
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That is awesome. The cuts are impressive. There is something very enjoyable about using a good quality axe and making the chips fly.
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  #30  
Old 05-14-2020, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywynd View Post
Wow, seeing the depth of the cuts/hits on that maple is impressive.

I spent some time off and on doing prospecting work in my late teens/early twenties. We usually carried a three pound or so axe. Even in soft woods like spruce or pine with a decent sharp edge, commercial axes were thicker, and wouldn’t take bites anywhere near that.

Beautiful function, along with a nice design and shape, well done.
Me growing up my Dad was a lumber jack.. He had axes for his work (skidders, chainsaws O45 Super which I now have, but he had terrible axes).

when I started making blades I realized that for a good cut the blade had to be reasonably thin for a given weight (the right thickness for the weight) and then have a slight roundness to the sides of the axe (for leveraging out vs getting stuck)..

I've tried to stay with these concepts and it has proven time and again to work out well..

This head at 4.5lbs or so complete is a little heavy for lighter work but with the thin edge and good balance it swings nicely even into that old wood..

The only thing that is lacking in the blade design is there is not much center rise as the blade is designed to wear into it's shape. Thas why the very prominent center ridge (this will make the blade very rigid and allow for years or use and reshapening).

As it wears I'll add the center rocker which will make it leverage out easier.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Shade View Post
That is awesome. The cuts are impressive. There is something very enjoyable about using a good quality axe and making the chips fly.
Sure is. And it's even all the better when its a quality tool one made themselves..

I don't really have any good trees to go and just take down as I cleared most of them for the new shop. But, this ax is a chopper for sure.

THanks guys.
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Jennifer

If I defend myself I am attacked.

My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

I'd like to think of something smart, but I don't want to hurt myself.

My google+ page

DoALL 36"
Another Johnson model J Project
Lathe? Maybe..... 1958 SBL 13"
Yeti Esseti Aka running welder on 3phase.
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