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View Full Version : A day in the shop with Hoss....



Zwiefel
04-16-2013, 12:51 AM
I really cannot say enough kind things about Hoss and his family. They were all very interesting, considerate, educated, and engaging. Devin in particular was amazingly kind and generous with his time and shop...esp considering he had no idea just how useless I am...my ignorance of knife making has few boundaries.

Aside from making a new friend, I feel like the major thing I accomplished was to gain a much better understanding of how poorly I understood this skill set. It has definitely helped me to look at a blade and understand--a little more--what happened and what it means. We spent at least a 1/3 of the day hanging out chatting and getting to know each other. He is as eager to share his knowledge as he is to listen to something new. A very genuine and modest man, particularly so for his accomplishments.

I should have a couple of more opportunities to go to Vegas for work this year, and hope to make it back up to Panaca again...if Hoss doesn't come to his senses and rescind his invitation!

OK, the Knutty stuff now...Here we are taking the blank and thinning it down a bit before the heat treatment.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8392/8652376319_40d86df964.jpg

After HT and oil quenching, we put the blank in a vise to prevent warping while cooling further.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8527/8652374849_37d0ca9ec5.jpg

Getting started on a handle. This was the first time I ever used epoxy.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8106/8652373221_94fb78afc4.jpg

A soak in Nitrogen for about 10 minutes.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8529/8653472504_348412a595.jpg

After the N-soak, we tempered the steel while we had lunch. Then we discovered the blank had warped

Hoss very skillfully corrected this with a torch and a vise.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8113/8653470992_680c1055a3.jpg

Here you can see the high spot created by the warping.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8103/8653469774_c502f51734.jpg

After correcting the warp, we thinned slightly more.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8526/8653467916_08fee0f9cf.jpg

Then I had my first ever experience with a grinder. Started off decently...
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8258/8652364671_f49055217d.jpg

But that didn't last very long. I made several mistakes, and in the process of correcting those, lost a lot of height, and changed the profile considerably.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8257/8653464680_c92123d11d.jpg

I also created an ugly overgrind
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8388/8652361557_03cde694ee.jpg

Devin re-profiled it, which corrected most of these problems.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8266/8653461176_e6d80562a2.jpg

Then we set the bevels for the distal taper.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8536/8653459108_f5afab2626.jpg

Which the man himself finished by hand...there really wasn't enough daylight left for me to fix anything...assuming that me using the grinder could even be described as "fixing"...
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8543/8652356061_9913502ce7.jpg

The rough finished blade. Needs polishing and bevels, and a handle obviously (the one we worked on is too large for this blade).
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8103/8653455114_f17d87a5ac.jpg

This is a pretty crappy picture, but it will give you some idea of the final grind.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8393/8653451696_f752dd4dd7.jpg


For anyone interested in seeing more pics and/or some additional descriptions of what's doing on:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10151598499144415&id=144012669414

For higher resolution photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/84378626@N05/sets/72157633251683731/

Thanks again to Devin and family for having me in your home.

azchef
04-16-2013, 12:54 AM
That's awesome. How did you get to do all of that?

Jmadams13
04-16-2013, 12:58 AM
Great write up. Blade looks nice, and looks like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing

DevinT
04-16-2013, 01:09 AM
We had a great time. I couldn't do much because of my foot problem, but maybe it was better than having me look over Z's shoulder every minute.

Z brought us some of the best proteins I've ever had. Rib-eyes, pork chops, and turkey legs. We put most of it on the Weber. It was fantastic.

Z has some great knife skills and he did all of the prep while he was here. We talked about lots of stuff. Z is a very strong reader, he reads 60,000 pages a year. It was fun having him here. Hopefully my foot will heal before the next visit.

Love and respect

Hoss

El Pescador
04-16-2013, 01:10 AM
Sounds like you had a great time. I hope to get up there myself sometime this year.

knyfeknerd
04-16-2013, 01:11 AM
I'm very jealous!
Sounds like an awesome time. Devin is truly a stellar guy.
I wanna take a field trip to Casa de Hoss. Isn't it crazy that most people that go to Vegas would want to go for all the gambling, entertainment ,etc. but we wanna go hang and make sharp things!

Customfan
04-16-2013, 01:16 AM
Sweet... Would love to make a pilgrimage.... Maybe one of these days!.. Hint... Hint..

Congratulations and thanks for sharing! :stinker:

WildBoar
04-16-2013, 01:31 AM
Sounds like a great day!

Lefty
04-16-2013, 10:41 AM
That's awesome! My hat's off to Devin for being so welcoming to a stranger and giving up his time just to teach and chat. I remember how amazing Randy and his family were to me, and it seems you had the same experience with Devin.

Once again, the members here have demonstrated why it's such a great place.

Mrmnms
04-16-2013, 11:07 AM
I would much rather spend a few day cleaning up after and assisting/learning from Devin than going to Las Vegas. Devin appears to be as gracious as he is talented

Zwiefel
04-16-2013, 11:56 AM
I would much rather spend a few day cleaning up after and assisting/learning from Devin than going to Las Vegas.

:plus1:

I will say though, I stayed off the strip and enjoyed LV more than previously (never did much gambling).

Also, as I was falling asleep last night, I realized a single word to describe my day: Hossome!

zitangy
04-16-2013, 03:22 PM
Glad to hear that you had a great day with an esteemed knife maker. Definitely on my bucket list.. to grind and fix a handle and keep the knife complete with my misteps/ ****-ups as a testament of my serious attempt in knife making ( can only go that distance) and be dang proud of it as long as it cuts straight.... its still my handi work.

Have tried french polishing on some of my antiques and the poor finishing is a testament of my inapt standard.. butu I am proud of it.... that I did it.

Not too many poeple wld have the priviliege to be able to do so..

rgds
d

Zwiefel
04-16-2013, 04:07 PM
Glad to hear that you had a great day with an esteemed knife maker. Definitely on my bucket list.. to grind and fix a handle and keep the knife complete with my misteps/ ****-ups as a testament of my serious attempt in knife making ( can only go that distance) and be dang proud of it as long as it cuts straight.... its still my handi work.

Have tried french polishing on some of my antiques and the poor finishing is a testament of my inapt standard.. butu I am proud of it.... that I did it.

Not too many poeple wld have the priviliege to be able to do so..

rgds
d

Exactly how I have felt about my few feeble repairs + enhancements. I think if I hadn't screwed this up so badly, we would have left a lot more of my flaws in place.

Of course, with the polishing, sharpening and handle still on the ToDos for this, there are plenty of chances for my "signature!" :whistling:

zitangy
04-16-2013, 04:31 PM
Real heir-loom piece definitely ..... seriously.

D