Making a Rondel Dagger – Part 3

All of my garden has woken up, but none of the figs or pomegranates have shown even a budding leaf. I got so disheartened at this that I had to go and do something fun. So I went to work on the dagger to lift my spirits at least slightly.

I have decided to grind the bevel higher up to the spine, but not the same way along the whole blade – I ground less towards the tip so it remains strong. This has meant that the blade has a bit complex geometry which meant I could use hard belt most of the way, but I had to switch to slack belt for the tip. Luckily I have kept the option of half hard/half slack belt setup on my improved grinder.

I also ground the spine at approximately 45° angle to take off some weight. But again not all the way to the tip, so the tip is reinforced.

After I ground this basic shape It took me about an hour to get through four ceramics belts (60, 80, 100, 120) and the final was a zircon 120 grit where I stopped. This is actually a fairly difficult and delicate process and it is still possible (nay – easy) to mess up the lines and irreparably ruin the blade geometry, so easy does it. Because I am not too experienced with the belt grinder yet I had a few heart-stopping moments, but I managed to correct all the blunders in the end. From my previous works I know I have to be extremely careful up to approx 600 grit. After that messing up the lines in hand is not possible. But on my previous dagger I found out that on belt grinder that level moves up to 1000 grit, possibly 1200.

A lot of eyeballing was involved. After certain point I could no longer use the masking blue color and scribing tool, so to check whether my grind is symmetrical I used a folded piece of paper that I cut with shears to two aligning points. When I folded it around the blade  I could see whether the lines are in the same position by putting the point on one side of the blade  on the line and checking the point at the other side. After the final grind I scrubbed the blade lengthwise a bit with coarse abrasive pad to remove the quickly building rust and to scratch through the grind marks.

Ground blade shape.

©Charly, all rights reserved.

The future cutting edge is now approx 1 mm thick. Next step will be hardening the steel. For this I had to check whether this file was carbon steel throughout or case hardened. That I have done before polishing the whole shape by dabbing the spine and one side of the blade approx 5 cm from the tip with  ferric chloride because in this area is preserved steel that was near the surface of the original  file as well as steel that was deep inside. If the file was case hardened, the steel that was originally near surface should turn grey, while the steel that was deeper should be shinier. If the file is carbon steel throughout, it should all turn grey.

It has all turned monotone grey, so it is carbon steel throughout. That is good since it makes the hardening process easier. It is possible to make a cutting blade from case hardened file, but it requires to perform again case hardening, which takes more time and resources.

The Sleep Paralysis Of Nicolas Bruno.

© Nicolas Bruno, all rights reserved.

© Nicolas Bruno, all rights reserved.

The matters of our psyche and our dreams, in particular, permeate the work of Nicolas Bruno not only as a phenomenon but moreover as the articulation of personal experience. The allusive, surreal and haunting works he creates are embodiments of the state in between waking and sleeping. They are an effect of the artist’s torment; the situation in which he is constrained to embrace the subconscious and its perils while being paralyzed in bed. Although the works of Nicolas Bruno are quite personal and might seem hush, bizarre and even violent, they are explicitly suggestive and are calling the observer to participate in the sense of enrolling their own associations or perhaps dealing with their own anxieties and fears.


© Nicolas Bruno, all rights reserved.

© Nicolas Bruno, all rights reserved.

Photography As Therapy.

Nicolas Bruno was born in 1993 in Northport, New York, a small harbor community located on Long Island. He studied at Purchase College and received his BFA in Photography in 2015. His studio is located in Northport, so practically all of the preparations for the shoots are taking place there, as well as postproduction. Since all of his practice is very much devoted to the symbolic of dreams, the artist keeps the dream journal and starts each new series by analyzing previous experiences. As a matter of fact, his creative process begins with in-depth planning, but the very shoot is far more spontaneous and open to experimentation.


© Nicolas Bruno, all rights reserved.

© Nicolas Bruno, all rights reserved.

The Sleep Paralysis of Nicolas Bruno.

The foundation of his photographic experimentation lays in Bruno’s struggle with the sleep paralysis, from which he has been suffering for almost ten years. It is a common phenomenon occurring in between wakefulness and sleep, in which the body becomes immobile and it often causes severe hallucinations. This state of inescapability forced Nicolas Bruno of finding some sort of solution and with the advice of a therapist he found it through creative expression. Therefore, he started working on surreal self-portraiture as a therapeutic translation of night tremors in order to cope with these fears and simultaneously share these familiar emotions of anxiety, suspense, uncertainty, and danger.

© Nicolas Bruno, all rights reserved.

© Nicolas Bruno, all rights reserved.

Nicolas Bruno’s works are haunting, evocative, and terribly poignant. They not only express the explicit fears brought to Mr. Bruno in his paralyzing sleep, they also express implicit fears and anxiety of people in general. Each photograph is a masterpiece of unspoken fear, and when viewing, you simply cannot help but to feel, in a very small way, what the night and sleep is like for Mr. Bruno. Sleep Paralysis is not common, and unfortunately, not well understood either. Many people do have an isolated incident of sleep paralysis. I had a period in my teens into my early twenties of sleep paralysis, and it’s terrifying, to say the very least. Nicolas Bruno has come up with a unique way of dealing with it, and I think he deserves a much wider audience for this amazing work.

You can read and see more of Mr. Bruno’s bio here, and his portfolio here. There’s also this all too brief video:

Feathering Nests

The blue tits seem not to mind that I fell the cherry tree and hung the nesting box on the plum. I see them daily there and they sing in the tree, so I think they are nesting there even though I have not seen them entering the box. What was my surprise then when I looked at this picture and I saw one blue tit and one field sparrow with a bunch of feathers in his beak. A few moments later I heard some squabbling and the fluff floated down from the tree. Maybe the sparrow was stealing bedding from the tits?  These tiny birds are pretty mean to each other so that would not be surprising.

Birds on a tree

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

And a first daisies came out.


©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Y Is For Yachting.


This sailing boat was on the sea in May 2016. I took he photo on an evening sightseeing cruise to the Helsinki Archipelago.

The bonus picture is about the long off-season for yachting. These boats must have been sitting in the dry from late autumn. The sea ice could have broken them so they had to be lifted from the sea. The photo was taken in late March 2018.

Click for full size!

© Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved.

Indian Country Today Is Back!

Who Will Be Our First Founding Member? The new Indian Country Today is launching a membership drive and an auction. Top bid will be forever known as Indian Country Today’s: “First Founding Member.”

Who Will Be Our First Founding Member? The new Indian Country Today is launching a membership drive and an auction. Top bid will be forever known as Indian Country Today’s: “First Founding Member.”

Indian Country Today is back! The NCAI has taken over, and this is grand news.

From September through February I have heard about the importance of saving Indian Country Today. So many people across Indian Country had the same idea:

What if … What if we all contribute?

What if I step up to make certain Indian Country has solid, accurate, fair reporting?

Is it worth it to save this voice? A national media platform for Indian concerns?  And how much will it take?

Yes. Yes. And the answer is a lot  — or perhaps a few tax-deductible dollars if we all contribute together.

We are building a new Indian Country Today on a public media model. We will have some advertising, but most of our resources will come from members, tribes, enterprises, and non-profits.

We need you.

We are launching a membership drive and an auction.

The membership drive will solicit help from our “members” as $100 Founding Members, $500 Sustaining Members, and $1,000 for Premier Members.

Unlike public media we don’t have nifty gifts as a thank you. No t-shirts. No coffee mugs. Just a better news report. We want to use the money to build our news operation, a multimedia reporting platform about what’s going on across Indian Country. We’ll stretch your dollars by partnering with other organizations, and amplify our reporting by letting others repurpose our editorial content.

We will serve.

This is great news, but to work, ICT needs help from people. If you can drop a few dollars into the fund, please do, and if you can’t do that, please, please, spread the word, get it out everywhere! You can read more by Mark Trahant at Indian Country today, or go straight to the membership drive. This is so very important, it’s vital for Indigenous peoples to have a voice.  Also, be sure to check out the new edition, there’s all manner of interesting reading!

ETA: I should point out that it’s possible to donate $5.00 to the membership drive, which is all I can manage right now, but I’ll be dropping more fives each week.

X Is For Xylem.


Xylem is a scientific term for vascular plant tissue that transports water and nutritients from the roots to other parts of the plant. Wood is xylem and the term comes from the Greek word for wood, xylon. The pictures are close-ups of the wood, pine, birch and oak glulam boards, used in the pieces of crude furniture I’ve made for myself. I’ve applied a mixture of linseed oil and polyurethane lacquer on them as finish.

The pine board with the Phillips head screw is the top of of my windowsill extender. With the extender I can get a second level on my window sill, so that I can grow more herbs. The extender stands on the windowsill and consists of an oak bottom board, legs and support structure of the top made of pine slats and the top itself.

The oak board with the holes is the top of a short-legged table for my laptop computer. The holes are there to help supply air for the cooling of the computer. The table is usually on top of my table/desk and I keep my music keyboard, WiFi router and miscellaneous other stuff under it.

The birch board is the top of a cabinet used for housing my plant watering equipment, Raspberry Pi stuff and paper to be recycled.

Click for full size!

© Ice Swimmer, all rights reserved.

Thor’s Day Mood.

Fit For An Autopsy – Black Mammoth.


Fools gold, siphoned and sold, merchants of death. Dead in spirit, now dead in flesh.
Born of violent flames, landscapes of ashes. The roots soak up the rain, burning in acid.
The wounds are cauterized, and left un-bandaged. Wilting beneath a sun, withered and damaged.
Tragedy reigns forever.
Rejoice in masses. The tribe collapses. The mother weeps in her dying breath.
Rise from the ashes, oh foul Black Mammoth. Dead in spirit, now dead in flesh.
Tread on sacred terrain, envenomed and ravaged. The peace upon the plains, seized by the savage.
Primitive practices, uproot and vanish. Modern barbarians, new rite of passage.
Rejoice in masses. The tribe collapses. The mother weeps in her dying breath.
Rise from the ashes, oh foul Black Mammoth. Dead in spirit, now dead in flesh.
Tragedy reigns forever.