Christmas holidays come and go, but not my to-do lists


As the year comes to an end during this discombobulated holiday week, I’m trying to tidy up the shop and my apartment/office so I can fully devote myself work related tasks instead of getting distracted with housekeeping chores.  The various “to-do” lists are long, but I will be planning to work hard and long to check them all off.

The Heat treating problem was identified as being a SNAFU by the heat treatment service in which the batch was martempered instead of austempered.  It is being fixed now, and I expect to have properly heat treated blades back in the shop tomorrow or Tuesday.  When they are all inspected, straightened and have a couple of final grinding operations done on them, I will be looking ahead for good Cerakoting weather while I contact folks on my order list to verify colors and options.

While installing the T-slot table on the CNC router, I dropped some metal chips on one of the controls board and shorted something out.  It has been sent back to the manufacturer to be fixed, so as soon as I get it back, I’ll be putting that machine back in action making sheath jigs, handle blanks, and various other bits and pieces that go into our finished products.  These sort of “fix-it” tasks don’t often go quickly for me, so we’ll just have to see how long it takes to get everything figured out.  The next time I get a CNC machine, it will be one that is totally turn key and set up for success from the get go.

In order to fill a quick custom order for an old family friend, I tried my hand at some new techniques (to me) and made a pretty fancy version of my “Baby Crow” dagger. The blade is hollow ground 1095 with about a 30 micron satin finish, with Brownells cold bluing on it.  The guard is silver that I hammered out from piece I snipped off of a 5 ounce silver bar my dad gave me to play with.  The bolster area I guess you’d call it is Jade from Washington state.  I used a diamond tile core drill and some diamond burrs to cut a hole in it so it could slip over the tang, and then milled the linen micarta to make the rest of the handle.   I think I’d like to make a few fancy knives like this every year, but since it took quite a few extra hours to do the fancy part, I think the cost will be a fair bit higher than the semi production versions. Bill's Baby Crow

I have plenty more to tell, but my eyes are glazing over, and I need to figure out what I need to do tomorrow.