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.
After HT and oil quenching, we put the blank in a vise to prevent warping while cooling further.
Getting started on a handle. This was the first time I ever used epoxy.
A soak in Nitrogen for about 10 minutes.
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.
Here you can see the high spot created by the warping.
After correcting the warp, we thinned slightly more.
Then I had my first ever experience with a grinder. Started off decently...
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.
I also created an ugly overgrind
Devin re-profiled it, which corrected most of these problems.
Then we set the bevels for the distal taper.
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"...
The rough finished blade. Needs polishing and bevels, and a handle obviously (the one we worked on is too large for this blade).
This is a pretty crappy picture, but it will give you some idea of the final grind.
For anyone interested in seeing more pics and/or some additional descriptions of what's doing on:
For higher resolution photos:
Thanks again to Devin and family for having me in your home.