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.

A Brief Update on the HDD Magnets

I have been mostly working on a shelf this weekend. It is very needed because there is more than enough stuff just cluttering up the house and it is getting on my nerves.

But I also had worked on my little project involving the magnets that I have salvaged from defunct HDD a few months ago.

First I took a piece of 3 mm thick, 20 mm wide galvanized mild steel and I cut off a piece big enough so I could bend it into a U-shape in such a way that the magnets can sit inside with about 2 mm free space between the magnets and the bends. then I also cut two just 3 mm bits of the same stock. When put together as seen on the picture, you get a very strong magnet that only pulls in one direction (up). Plus the way the HDD magnets are magnetized means that this magnet now has four poles N-S-N-S. Also that the magnetic field is very strong, but has a very short reach. I tried to measure the force with which it holds a piece of steel and it was about 65 Newton, which is impressive for such a small thing cobbled together from scraps.

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

After this, I cut a few pieces of brass to fill the spaces as tightly as possible, and I drilled and cut an M5 thread in one arm of the U. Precision is essential here. Unfortunately, we do not get along very well and she is a mere nodding acquaintance, despite my best efforts, so everything was a bit wonky.

I have no pictures of that work because I still did not figure out exactly how my new phone works – I thought I took pictures, but apparently not.

When I had everything cut, I mixed a generous amount of quick drying epoxy and slathered it all around and glued everything together.  And after the epoxy hardened enough I have ground off (manually) excessive material and I trued and polished slightly the magnetic surface.

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

So now I have this strong, one-directional magnet 50x20x10 mm. So far everything goes as planned, and I hope that the next step in this project will go similarly well.

A Marcus Solution for Ronja and Other Hairy Beasts

 

The Marcus Tactical Dog Brush

A few weeks back, Jack and I received a very special gift from Marcus. It’s a dog brush, but not just any dog brush. This little gizmo is the most practical dog grooming tool that we’ve ever used and it has a few little secrets that I hope Marcus won’t mind my sharing. I suppose the best part is the actual grooming surface which is very simply a hacksaw blade. It’s amazing. It pulls out hairs that are still only thinking about coming out and it never clogs. The hair just flies out in a big cloud and I don’t have to stop and de-clog the thing which means that I can keep going as long as my arm holds out and Jack doesn’t have a chance to get restless and wander away. It works so well that it’s an outdoor tool only at our house. I used it inside the first time we tried it and it took days to vacuum up all the hair it set loose. The hacksaw blade also makes the tool useful for lots of other situations such as an unexpected need to escape or sever an artery (hopefully not your own) and I think it’s accurate to call it a “tactical dog brush.”

It’s also a damned good scratcher for an itchy dog. Jack has seasonal allergies and some days his tablets don’t control the itch as well as others. If I see Jack scratching a lot we grab the Marcus tool and out we go for a few passes that send Jack into fits of pleasure. He leans into it, dances from one back foot to the other and gets this sweet, goofy grin that makes me happy, too.

The other good bits of the tool might be harder to replicate. Marcus has taken a beautiful piece of maple shaped it and cut a slot with his bandsaw for the blade. Then he carved a perfect hand-hold groove on the backside. The wood was then smoothed to perfection by the artist and resin impregnated for durability. It’s a joy to hold and sometimes I find myself just stroking the thing because I’m tactile and I like the way it feels. It was then fitted with a perfect silver ‘J’ and sent to Jack.

I’m pretty sure there are easier ways to make a hacksaw into a dog grooming tool, but there are certainly no better ways to do it. Thanks again, Marcus.

Blue as the Ocean in a shallow Bay

The last resin pieces for now:

This set contains broken glass pieces, giving it even more the look of a crystal:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Mr. looked at the box with the glass shards and asked where I got that. It’s a funny story I told him. I turned around and then there was this strange noise and suddenly I found the glass all over the kitchen floor. Our tiles really hide the dirt well, but they show no mercy to any plate or glass dropped.

Next is a cherry flower:

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I made three or four of these and I’m not entirely happy about them. First of all, pressing seems to have destroyed some of the structure of the petals and they became see through when I added the resin. Second I added holographic glitter and a black background and that’s too much for my taste, I should have stuck with one of them.

Next one is a galaxy oval:

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Here the idea is that you cast two separate pieces and then glue them together, giving it dimensions and depth. I quite like the effect. This one is small as I wanted to practise first, but I can definitely see more of them in the future.

And last but not least a terrible photo of a pretty pendant:

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Wind came up and it kept swinging so they were all out of focus. Can you guess what’s inside?

Yep, it’s a pine cone in resin, sawed into slices. I have another block with red and yellow, but I need to cut it first.

This concludes this series of work, but I hope there’s more soon.

Eternal Flowers

Some more resin, this time with a pendant I made specifically foe all my black tops with colourful flowers (I’m a sucker for the Spanish label “Desigual”). I still need to wire wrap it because a simple hook doesn’t seem fitting.

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Some flowers react with the resin and suddenly you have a totally different colour. Here on the left is a violet, only that now it’s a yellowlet (please, nobody explain to me how to spell “yellow”, will you?). Same with the erica. The violas are holding up their colours well. I’m going to dry a whole bunch of them.

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Next one is a leaping unicorn. This took me several tries because for some reason the Piñata magenta (a stock brand for resin) kept reacting with the blue and always turned a very dark violet and I needed to get a different pink from the company that also produces my resin.

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This is one of two unfinished earrings to go with the unicorn. When I cast these bigger pieces and cut them into shape there are often interesting bits and pieces that get turned into earrings.

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The final piece is unfinished yet and more of an experiment. I used one of the burl pieces to create a silicone mould. I cast some blue resin and then put it into one of my larger moulds and added the white, only that it’s too much white here, again hiding the burl structure. Currently my idea is to print a bird silhouette and add it, because it does have a sky-feeling to it.

BTW, I totally offer to sell/create piece for the FtB defence fund if anybody’s interested.

The sad Discovery of the Existence of too much Blue

It’s time for some resin. I never catch up with posting all the stuff I create, but I’m doing my best.

I did my first tries with the burl Marcus sent and alas, there is something like too much blue.

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The structure of the burl pretty much vanishes inside , leaving only the outside visible. You can also see that I didn’t catch all the scratches, but I left it at that because they’re only visible when seen against sunlight, which isn’t something that usually happens when you wear a pendent.

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This one is smaller than the one at the top, cut from the same cast. With a lot of light you can guess the gold I added. I still love the burl and the second attempt is a lot better, but not yet cut and polished.

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These ones, OTOH, turned out exactly as blue as I wanted them. Because here the focus is on the contrast between the birch and the resin. I cut this and the second piece from one block as well, both being about 3X5 cm.

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©Giliell, all rights reserved

Awww fuck it, there isn’t such a thing as too much blue, because, well, blue.

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Here’s some trinkets that will probably get incorporated into other pieces. They’re cast in silicone moulds for fondant, so the finish isn’t glossy, but I quite like them.

YouTube Video: Turning 2 hex nuts into a Diamond ring

Pablo Cimadevila Álvarez is paraplegic from childhood, after a car run him over at 4 years age. But his mother told him that if he cannot run, he still can swim – so he did. And he went on to  compete in several Paralympics and won several medals.

But besides sports he also designs and makes jewelry and had a smallish youtube channel where he shows his skill, which is really great.

This video of his went viral and his subscriber count exploded at the beginning of this year and very deservedly. Enjoy it – if you haven’t already. And if you had, it is re-watcheable (speaking from experience).

In which Marcus enters uncanny territory

It’s no secret that Marcus sends parcels of wonder across the globe, but by now I think he’s a mind reader. You all know that wood and resin is about my favourite combination ever, as in my latest necklace and earrings:

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But nothing surpasses the beauty of burl in resin projects, which I have been looking for for ages without much luck. You can imagine the look on my face when yesterday a parcel arrived and instead of being my husband’s new phone battery, it was these gorgeous pieces of burl:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

How did Marcus know? I have no clue, but I’m glad he did.

Thank you very much again, Marcus.

Even More Books…

Well, one more book. I have about twenty knife and swords books in the sights for future purchases, but I am still in the middle of reading the first seven I already have purchased. The flu-like illness that has been bugging me on and off for two weeks is unfortunately not very conducive to reading, especially to reading in a foreign language.

But Marcus was so very, very kind and has sent me this beauty, which I have not seen offered anywhere here. I must say it is a lovely book on first sight and it became a cherished possession instantly.

Now I had not planned on buying a book specifically about japanese knives, because I intend leaving making japanese knives to the Japanese, but there is no denying that they have a reputation of being superb tools so it won’t hurt to know about them. Quite the opposite, I am sure there is a lot of knowledge in this book that will be beneficial to me and I am very much looking forward to reading it.

However this makes me think a little – all the knives that I have made so far and that I intend to make in the future are my own designs and represent my aesthetical preferences as well as my style of using a knife. And whenever I look at works of other knife-makers (which I do not do very often), often I see that everyone develops a distinctive style. For example Bob Loveless has been renown for drop-point small hunting knives, Walter Sorrels sells mostly very pointy and straight, tanto-style all-purpose knives, Stefan Santangelo seems to like knives which have a slight forward angle between the blade and the handle with a little kink in it etc. I have no doubt that all these knives are perfectly functional and comfortable to use. There is no single “correct” knife design.

I find it remarkable how expressive can be a piece of craft that is essentialy just a sharpened sheet of metal with a piece of wood to hold it with, even when looking at just the outline.


Incidentally you can see two things in the last picture. Firstly, my left middle finger is nearly completely healed. There is still slight swelling and an area with tickling-burning sensation when touched, but it gets constantly, albeit very slowly, better. Secondly, in case you are wondering, that is my school pencil-case, about thirty years old by now.

YouTube Video: Tod’s Workshop

“You make one knife, you make another, and you never stop.” True words.

Tod Todeschini has put out a very short lovely video promoting his workshop.

I do not think that I will manage to pull it off with making knives for a living, to be honest. As in every endeavor, a bit of luck is required and the competition is tough. So even if I manage to do everything right (which I won’t, I never do), success is not guaranteed.  But I am definitively going to give it a try, because I am more than fed-up with being corporate drone.

And when I will be forced to seek employment again, I will do my best to avoid US owned shareholder companies like the plague they are.

Mould Making

Yesterday we saw the birth of a couple of little Mermaids, today it’s two steps back in the process: mould making.

I have long wanted some more natural looking moulds and with the mermaid moulds being so frustrating I finally decided to use the materials Marcus sent me last year.

I’ll only show the process for the pebbles, but describe the squares as well.

While you can embed almost everything into silicone, if you want a mould that creates shiny resin pieces, your positive has to be smooth as a baby’s butt, so my first step was to cover some pebbles and pieces of wood in resin.

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The problem with the wood was that the cut sides soaked up the resin, staying rough, so I decided to cover the whole thing again the next day. This times the sides became smooth, but the resin decided not to stick to itself on the top…

After I covered my pieces in resin I created the “mould box”. Marcus made those four pieces you can clamp to each other, allowing for variable sizes. You just need to put some putty into the cracks to seal it, something that worked well here, but not that well with the wood pieces, so I drowned my kitchen table in silicone and then had to somehow scoop it up again because I didn’t have enough to replace it.

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The resin had created a flat foot on the pebbles that I worked a little with sanding paper, so i could put the flat on the surface and pour the silicone on top with little worries that they’d rise to the top…

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All poured, now wait…

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This is the mould with the pebbles still inside. They came out nice and clean and I

really like that mould. Now for trying it out…

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The green one on the right was a different mould, one where I tried to make all round pieces. Those still need some working on.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

You can see that they’re really glossy while also really pebble-irregular.

The square ones are fine for making pieces that you sand down, but due to the issues with the resin not that nice and clean. Afterwards I remembered that Marcus had once sent me a “book club” block that would have made a nice clean mould…

I also tried some small globe shaped moulds, which still need some tinkering, so the next time I need to order resin I’ll also order some more silicon.