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Fine Embellishment Everything from hand engraving and scrimshaw to filework and carving. The fine art end of the knifemaker's craft.

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  #1  
Old 08-15-2002, 06:46 PM
Gene Gene is offline
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Question Copper guard and pommels?

I'm a very dumb newbie, with a great deal more enthusiasm than experience. . . . so please try to forgive me!

The third blade I've finished in the last 61 years is about to go out West for treatment, a 15 3/8" California Bowie.

But Judith, "the Lumber Lady", really blessed me with a matched pair of spectacular museum grade Paela handle slabs for this blade, and the copper, red, gold colors are truly cosmic!

And I dabble around with watercolors enough to enthusiastically appreciate that bright copper pommels and guard - with these stunning copper Paela slabs - would go way beyond striking!

But apparently none of you true knife artists use copper, I've never seen it, at least.

Sure you'd have to run a polishing cloth over the pommels and guard once in a while, and you couldn't run over the guard with a truck. But we have two massive copper sheathed columns in the middle of our living room, here on the Suwannee, holding up our cupola. And we only have to touch them up a little every six months or so - no problem at all.

So (a) can I successfully use copper for my pommels and guard, and,

(b) Where would I buy 1/4" copper bar stock, 1 1/2" wide?

Thank you very much indeed!

Gene
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2002, 07:26 PM
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Bob Sigmon Bob Sigmon is offline
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Gene,

Ron at LHKnives uses copper quite a bit. If you use the member button at the top of the page go to the L's and click on LHKnives. You can then send an email or PM (some people don't like private messages).

Ron is a very accomplished maker from Canada and should be able to let you know about the ins and outs of copper.

If this does not work out, you could always post in the "Outpost" closer to the bottom of the main page. These are the forging guys and they probably use copper also.

Good Luck, it sound like it will be a great knife. See if you can get someone to take some pictures and we'll see if we can get the pictures posted for you. We all want to enjoy your creation!

Bob Sigmon
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  #3  
Old 08-15-2002, 08:08 PM
Gene Gene is offline
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Copper guard and pommels

Thank you very much, Bob !

I'll follow your advice!

And yes, I'll get a picture to you!

Thank you very much!

Gene
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Old 08-15-2002, 08:28 PM
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caveman caveman is offline
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an electrical supply house would certainly have copper bar, they use it for buss bars & ground straps on everything...

T E Conklin Brass & Copper Co. Inc. located in New York should have it also.....1-800-225-5510

good luck


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  #5  
Old 08-15-2002, 09:30 PM
DC KNIVES DC KNIVES is offline
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Gene,I use copper often and it's a big seller.I get mine from Sheffield's Knifemaker's supply.Dave
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  #6  
Old 08-16-2002, 10:15 AM
Gene Gene is offline
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Copper Guard and Pommels

Thanks for all the help, guys!

I need 1 1/2" x 1/4" bar stock, and some girl at Sheffield just now told me - very bluntly, as a matter of fact - they will only sell me that bar size if I buy 500 pounds of it at a time. Wowweee! You could make a BIGGGGGG MAMA Bowie with a 500 pound guard and pommel!

I'm still lookin'.

Thanks again!

Gene
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  #7  
Old 08-17-2002, 04:43 PM
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Dave Larsen Dave Larsen is offline
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Gene, I have some 1/4" copper that may work for you. Drop me a line and let me know your minimum dimensions and I'll see if any of the pieces I have will work. If so I'll send em out.

dclarsen@mchsi.com

By the way, I've used copper for bolsters a few times and I really like it. To get the best patina I've found rubbing with thumbs and fingers for a few days will bring out nice blue and green highlights and prevent the crusty oxidation you can get with copper. It's really kinda pretty.

Dave
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Old 08-17-2002, 05:30 PM
Gene Gene is offline
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Copper pommels and guard

Thanks, Dave, for your very kind offer!

But I located the 1 1/2 x 1/4 copper bar stock I need at Kelly Brothers Sheet Metal, in Tallahassee, Florida, 850-878-1148 (about 1 1/2 hour from me each way), and I promised them I'd be there Monday morning to pick it up.

And I particularly apprecite your thoughts on burnishing the patina onto the copper. Believe it or not, I actually used that same trick on a copper-trimmed sporan (for my Scottish kilt outfit), when my wife and kids and I used to live on an island way up in the Inner Hebrides, in the Highlands of Scotland! It works!

My only real problem is copper pins. I forgot to ask them whether they had any copper pins, so I may be back to you Monday - looking for them also!

Thank you very much indeed!

Gene
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Old 08-18-2002, 05:43 AM
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Dave Larsen Dave Larsen is offline
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Sure thing Gene, I have a lot of sizes of copper wire you could make pins from, and spin heads on them. Lemme know, and please let's see your work when completed.

Dave
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2002, 10:04 PM
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Geno Geno is offline
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Gene,I'v used electrical copper wire for pins too.
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  #11  
Old 08-19-2002, 10:20 AM
Gene Gene is offline
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Copper pommels and guard

Thank you so very much Dave and Geno for your great help!

I'm on my way to Tallahassee this morning to pick up the copper bar, and I found some 1/8" and 3/16" copper rod at Sheffield's. I was not bright enough to think of copper wire! :-(

And this morning I ordered some air dried, gorgeous Cocobolo scales from Idaho (yeah, I know, that's another problem!).

But if I may impose on your patience just one more time, please:

I'm going to be pinning straight through - three pins - through one pommel, through the tang and then through the opposite pommel, naturally.

Do I "countersink" the pin holes in the outside of the pommels so the pins will have somewhere to expand and hold the pommels? Or do you just drill the hole straight through, period?

I have a spinner. but don't know how to use it. How does it work? I assume you put it in an electric drill and spin down the protruding pin? But do you pien the pin first, then spin it. Or do you spin in lieu of piening?

I would think piening would be stronger than spinning, unless you pien and then spin? And I would think countersinking the pin holes and then squashing the pins out into the countersinks would make them much stronger than not countersinking.

I bought two of the famous how to do it knifemaking books, but neither one of them says anything at all about piening pins nor spinning.

I was hoping to make the pommel pins flush with the pommels so they would not show, but with spinning, this obviously could not happen, correct?

Thank you very, very much! CKD has been a real knifesaver!

Gene
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  #12  
Old 08-20-2002, 05:35 AM
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Dave Larsen Dave Larsen is offline
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Hi Gene, let me show my ignorance first: I don't think spinning the pins is compatible with peining them. But I could be so far out of whack on this I'm visiting Venus... Wouldn't be the first time. Maybe someone who knows something will straighten me out.

Most people do countersink the holes before peining the pins, so you should do at least some shaping prior to inserting the pins. For myself, I usually don't, just whale away and fill the holes with pin.

A couple caveats. If you hit hard it tends to cause the pin to bulge inside the hole; peining lightly causes the tops of the pins to expand before the part inside. Both have their merits, but you have to be careful not to push the bolsters away from the knife by peining too hard and making the pins swell inside. Hope this isn't too convoluted a description, it's early...

Good luck, be sure to show us when you're done!

Dave
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  #13  
Old 08-20-2002, 10:16 AM
Gene Gene is offline
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Copper pommels and guard

Thank you very much, Dave!

Just by guess alone, I planned on countersinking the holes in the pommels, but I hand't guessed your caveats, so I indeed appreciate them

I had also planned - after I pin on the pommels - on trying to make a solder joint between the tang and the pommels. But each pommel is large, 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 1/4", and if I successfully pin them down really tight, there would be very little room for the solder to flow between the tang and the pommels.

He he - you should have seen me yesterday at the Williams Brothers metal company in Tallahassee. Those guys are used to sellin' thousands of pounds of copper at a time, and I had the vice president of the company goin' way back into his supply warehouse to whack off a 14" piece of 1 1/2" x 1/4" copper bar stock for me! He had to have hated me for wasting his time! But he was very kind indeed!

Thanks for all your help, and unless I hear from someone about spinning pins, I guess I'll just peen them.

I really appreciate you guys!

Gene
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  #14  
Old 08-20-2002, 05:09 PM
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Geno Geno is offline
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Hello Gene,
I spend most of my time on Tool Time.
Yes I flare each hole by hand with a 4:1 taper.
Dremel has a nice tapered tip I use in a pin vise.
I spin only as a last resort. I like pins flush.
If you are using 1/8" pins, leave about 1/16" hanging out of each side to peen.
Work around the edge in a clockwise motion.
A hundred tiny taps works much better than a few hard hits.
The idea is to flare not smash. Don't get it a hurry, or that beautiful new wood will crack.
Sand the face when finished, and polish. Walah!
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  #15  
Old 08-20-2002, 08:19 PM
Gene Gene is offline
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Copper pommels and guard

Thank you very much, Geno, for the help!

I truly appreciate it!

Gene
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