Tuesday, September 11, 2012

WIP: “Gourdy”.


I never have seen one before, but have had the idea in the back of my mind for a while now, ever since I started gourd work as a hobby about a year and a half ago. I finally decided to give it a try.

I started by cutting off the end off this gourd, scraping out the inside and cleaning the outside. I filled the inside with “Apoxie Sculpt”, used a bent piece of ¼ inch round copper to form a curved pilot hole for the tang and a piece of brass tubing for the inside diameter at the open end.

...some JB Weld to secure the tubing in place. This will add some support to the open end of the gourd section and give a place for a decorative ferrule.

I used an intermediate piece of brass tubing on the inside of the copper ferrule to get a good snug fit.

Now for the other end.

I started with a decorative washer and a stem.

…silver brazed the two.

Then, made a hole at the back end of the gourd for the stem.

Lastly, trimmed the stem to fit.


I forged this little blade for “Gourdy ” this morning from 1/8 inch 1095 with a distal taper. Of course, the tang will have to get ground down to fit the handle, but it was left oversized during the forging process to make it easier to hold and to prevent it from bending back and forth.


The majority of stock reduction and fitting done prior to heat treating.


A stud with my maker’s mark was added... made for the underside (edge side) of the handle as the final part.

At this point, the blade requires further sanding before heat treating. After heat treating, clean up and final assembly will follow.


Here’s the set up used in this case, along with J-B Weld for final assembly. The rubber band keeps the whole knife under compression, nice and tight, while it sets up. The vice is padded with leather and tissue paper.

… Taken down to a black hard Arkansas stone, leather/cork/wood strop and a rouge cloth.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

How To: Making A Ring.

#1. Wrap the wire around an appropriate mandrel.

#2. Saw across the wrappings with a jewelers saw. The ring is supported by a piece of copper pipe with one end flattened so it can be held in a vice.

#3. Bend the ring so that the ends line up. Flux the joint with silver brazing flux. Use cross lock tweezers to insure that the seam doesn’t spring open.

#4. Position a granule of hard silver solder towards the inside of the seam. Heat the area with a torch until the solder flows into the seam by capillary action. Pickle and wire brush the ring after soldering.

#5. True it up over a ring mandrel if needed . Use a wooden hammer or mallet so as not to deform any detailing.

#6. Scrape and/or burnish the seam. If there is excessive solder, it may be cleaned up with needle files prior to burnishing.