The Age of Digitalis

Or: It’s all natural and plant based!

Wild digitalis is blooming in the woods all around and the family tradition of warning the kids away because it’s fucking poisonous keeps living on. “Keeping away” fortunately does not mean “do not take pictures”, so you get some treats. Sadly I think it’s a plant that defies photography: Take a pic of the whole plant and the beautiful individual flowers don’t show up right, take one of an individual flower and the beauty of the whole is lost.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

The bugs apparently don’t mind.
©Giliell, all rights reserved

I also found a white one. While there are bred white garden varieties, I don’t think that this one is, since it’s a far way form any garden and in the middle of a sea of purple ones.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Bufftoofbrush

I am currently in the process of re-organizing my abrasives and polishing compounds, so when Marcus mentioned the tedium of polishing his silver casts, my mind juped to this.

I have used this method once for buffing up the handguard for the rondel dagger when it was already mounted, so today just as further proof of concept of a procedure for buffing small parts that are difficult or impossible to do on the buffer due to complex gometry (or safety).

This is what I started with – an old rotary toothbrush head that I have saved up for this purpose specifically, an extremely old and corroded mirror holder (probably chrome-coated brass or something like that), a piece of never polished brass with patina (a waste piece from machining) and hard, coarse polishing compound. A bit too hard, this is a high-speed compound, a paste would be better, but I could not find it. Not pictured here are paper towels that I have used to wipe the polishing compound off of the piece after work and the green scrubbing pad (see further).

The corrosion on the mirror holder was extremely hard and resistant, so I had to use a piece of scrubbing pad too – but I only used it on the left (thicker) half of the part in the following picture, not the right, thin part so some of the pitting from the corrosion is still visible there.  A big improvement over the initial state nevertheless.

On the brass cylinder, I did not use anything else than the toothbrush and polishing compound

It is hard to take pictures of the results, but in the end, I found a way – I think you can see which side is the unbuffed part of the brass cylinder, and which the buffed part. The time it took me was about 5 minutes, but it would be mere seconds on the buffer. Nevertheless, the biggest obstacle to using this on a bigger scale is the battery capacity of the toothbrush, but it could be useful for getting into nooks and crannies on small thingies.

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

The Art of Book Design: Tanglewood Tales

Tanglewood Tales, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, illustrations by Virginia Frances Sterrett; 1921; Philadelphia, Penn Publishing Company

As promised, today we’re looking at the second book illustrated by Virginia Sterrett, Tanglewood Tales by Hawthorne, and the artwork is just as beautiful as that in Sterrett ‘s first book, Old French Fairy Tales.  The soft flowing lines and attention to small details are still present, but there’s more boldness in the colour palette and, perhaps because of this, a different quality of light. Sterrett was only 20 when she completed this work and was already sick with the tuberculosis that would eventually take her life.

Enjoy! [Read more…]

TNET 33 – Spring Cleaning

I am still not done cleaning up my workshop. Here you can see what I have done with my hoard of wood for knife handles – I had to figure a way to get it out of the way so to speak whilst at the same time have it accessible whenever I need it. Unfortunately, this capacity is not enough and I will have to figure out some more.

The incomprehensible mess that was my garden shed and workshop is slowly turning into a comprehensible mess. Today, I hope to turn it finally into ordered state and then I shall spring into action making knives. I cannot wait.

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

Open thread, talk whatever you want, just don’t be an asshole.

Previous thread.

YouTube Video: What is white supremacy? – A Response to Steven Crowder

Shaun’s videos are always excellently done, and this one is no exception.

I am a bit torn after seeing this video. I did not know much about Steven Crowder, apart from that he is a climate change denier and a typical American conservative in many other aspects. After this, I am even less interested in him.

However, one young and exceptionally talented knifemaker on YouTube is following Steven Crowder and Ben Shapiro. He is only 19 years old, so there is still a chance that he grows out of that shit because legalities notwithstanding, at that age a person is not yet fully developed and I myself was definitively a twerp at that time. But also that age is definitively high enough to know that racism is a bad thing and the excuse “he’s just a kid” does not hold water anymore.

Two years ago I stopped watching one interesting blacksmithing channel after I learned that the blacksmith is Trump voter. I just could not stand the idea of supporting a person who does something as vile as voting for an open and unapologetic racist and misogynist and wannabe fascist. I am not at that stage with this young knifemaker yet, but…

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s about as perfect as a day can get around here. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the air is warm with just a gentle breeze and all the growing things are happy. Jack and I took to the woods this morning and this afternoon we’ll be out in the yard. The forecast for the whole weekend is supposed to be just like today, which is perfect. I have an old friend visiting from Cobourg tomorrow and I’m planning a picnic by the lake for us on Sunday. A little homemade potato salad, some lovely crusty rolls with real butter (I’m usually not allowed, but it’s a special occasion), some six bean salad, crudités with a sour cream and bacon dip, fried chicken, a good old chedder, grapes, cherries, watermelon, and a strawberry pie. Yum!

I hope everyone has a good weekend and if you get a chance plan a picnic for yourself.