I made a new auto shift knob for my 350Z recently. I think it came out pretty well. It's way better than the stock one, that's for sure. It's bare aluminum in the pics but I'm getting it anodized black.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
This is a knife that I did a few years ago now. Since my daughter was born, I have only made two knives. This was the first and the second was another of the santoku knives. Anyway, I have finally gotten around to posting this one.
The blade is another twist damascus blade by Grand Leavitt. The handle is stabilized spalted box elder burl and matches the blade perfectly. The bolster is a piece of stabilized maple burl with a line of ebony between them.
It's a really nice blade, a little thicker than more traditional fillet blades and therefore not as flexible but it feels great in the hand non-the-less. I think that overall, this is one of my favorite knives that I have made because the burl and damascus work so well together.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
These are my newest speakers. I have made a couple of other sets that I haven't posted here. I finally got tired of the huge towers that I had before and, at the same time had a bit of time to put these together. The box layout is designed by Masaaki Takenaka. I would post a link to his design but his website seems to be down-or at least the part of it that has this design on it. Anyway, these use Fostex fe166 full range drivers. I have had these drivers for quite awhile now and have been constantly impressed with how well they perform for their cost and size. The cabinets that I made are solid 4/4 maple with solid 4/4 walnut and maple front baffles. I sanded them down to 600 grit and finished them with 3 coats of wipe on ploy gloss. The finish work out very well and really makes the bits of figure in the maple pop.
I'm still getting used to the sound as these speakers are much more analytical than what I had before. I do like the detail that they give and the bass is quite impressive for coming from 6 inch drivers.
I finally managed to build this reel! I've been toying with the idea for over 3 years now and finally got the design together and cut the parts. When I was first thinking of this reel, there was only one hubless reel that I could find on the market. That company seems to be out of business now but there are a number of others that have started making hubless reels of various flavors since then.
The main ideas behind this reel are simplicity, lite weight and eye appeal. I first thought that I was going to make something with a fancy drag with and a clutch bearing and all the frills that go with that concept. After looking around and getting the general feeling that everyone making reels these days seems to be doing exactly that, I decided to head in the opposite direction all together. This reel has only a simple clicker to keep it from over spooling and a rim for palm dragging. It is 3.5 inches in diameter with a 2.25 inch bore all the way through the center and it weighs in at less than 4.5 oz. which is pretty good for a large arbor reel. I have been fascinated with idea of hubless reels and hubless wheels for a while now and love the minimalist look of the design.
I made every part in the reel except for the screws and the spring plungers used for the clicker. The bearings are all made from Delrin AF which is an acetyl co-polymer impregnated with PTFE fibers. The main parts are all aircraft grade aluminum and the counter weight is titanium (just because...).
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Here is my first attempt at a dagger. I did a number of new things on this knife so it was challenging and a good learning experience for me. The blade is about 5" long and is high carbon damascus. It was hand made in Idaho by Grand Leavitt.
The guard is a sandwich of brass and aluminum held together with nickel silver pins. I file worked the aluminum center and polished the whole thing to a mirror finish. I like the softer look of the polished aluminum over the cold shine of stainless for this application.
The handle is ancient kauri wood. This wood is the oldest workable wood in the world and has been radio carbon dated to around 50,000 years old. It was found buried in peat bogs in New Zealand and is now mined for use in fine wood working. The extreme age of this wood makes it an interesting conversation piece. It has a depth and glow that doesn't show in the photos but that gives it a very unique look and feel. Apparently, the wood was mineralized to a certain degree without being petrified while it was buried in the peat and that adds to the glow. In any case, it is a very beautiful wood and it fun to work with. I split the handle to make a mitered tang fit and accented the joint with wenge and maple veneer stripes. I used a manzanita root spacer and butt cap and finished it off with mosaic pins.
I also made my first wooden sheath for this knife. It is bird's eye maple, again with a wenge and maple veneer stripe and manzanita cap. It is made to be a presentation sheath so there is no belt loop or clip. It has very smooth and clean lines and has a nice friction fit on the blade.
Over-all, I think that this is my best work to date. It was a fun project and I am looking forward to doing more presentation fixed blade knives.
This is another santoku using the stainless damacus san mai blade from Jantz. These blades are really nice. My wife and I both really like the one that I made for her. This one is made with stabilized box elder burl from AKS that has a bit of rare red spalting in it. The burl pattern is a bit different than most of the other box elder burl that I have seen. I think that it really works well with the knife.
This is a small fixed blade fishing knife that I made for my dad. The blade, from Jantz, is damascus carbon steel and is about 2 1/2" long. The handle is exhibition grade curly maple with a manzanita root butt cap. I split the maple block down the center to make a mitered tang handle. Rather than trying to hide the seam where the wood was glued back together, I accented it with a layer of maple veneer sandwiched between layers of wenge. I used a single mosaic pin to finish things off. The knife is small but feels good in the hand. It's a fairly different style for me but I really like the way it came out.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I recently got an older Nirve Inferno cruiser bike. It's a really cool bike and was begging for some modification. So far, I have made new pedals for it and I made handle bar caps and an inside grip cap for it. The pedals are really nice for riding since I made them way over sized from what came with the bike. I think they add a bit more character to it too. The bar caps and grip cap replace some cheep chromed plastic ones. They are way better visually and feel so much more solid. I'm sure that there will be more custom parts for it whenever I get time.
I'll be adding pics of the bike and the grips pretty soon.
Here is my latest DDR2. I used mazanita root again for the scales. The bolsters are the ones that came with the kit but I counter sunk them for flathead screws and ground the screws flush with the surface then jeweled the whole thing. I also file-worked the screws and liners, jeweled the liners, and added a manzanita backspine.
There are also photos of this knife on the knifekits.com website! This knife appears in gallery 2.
Here's a paring knife that I did a while ago. It's the first fixed blade that I have done with a full tang and scales. I used hidden pins since the wood itself is complicated enough visually. The blade is a stainless steak/paring knife from Jantz. The bolsters are manzanita root with a stripe of maple veneer. The scales are osage orange end grain. The osage orange is cut from an old fence post that a friend of mine found. It has very bright bands of yellowy orange that give the knife a pretty exotic look.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Here is another DDR2 that I recently finished. This one was a custom order which was a new challenge. I used the stainless bolsters that came with the kit this time. I dovetailed, polished and jeweled them. The liners are also polished and jeweled. The scales are from a piece of wood that I found that I believe is walnut. I laser etched the zebra wood backspine as requested. This was something new and I think that it came out really well. I filled the etched area with superglue to seal it and keep it from collecting dirt. Superglue is a great filler for checks, cracks and holes in woods. It cures clear and can be worked down easily.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
This is a knife stand that I made for my wife for Christmas. It's a fairly simple design but it looks nice and is a mix of modern and classic in style. I didn't really want to build a traditional knife block and had seen some interesting bent acrylic knife stands last time I was in Japan. I wanted to try to reproduce that style but add my own design elements to it. The "windows" are acrylic and simply slide in place. This allows them to easily be taken out to wash if they start to get funky. The monogram is paua shell veneer that I laser cut. The shell veneer cuts relatively well with the laser but the edges come out a little bit charred and it creates quite a stink.
This is my first fixed blade. It's a santoku that I made for my wife for Christmas. The blade has a VG-10 core wrapped in 16 layer damascus. It's a japanese made blade that I got from Jantz supply. They carry a whole line of these blades and it would be fun to do a whole set sometime. The handle is made from stabilized maple burl and I custom fit it to my wife's hand through a series of prototypes. I set a blue topaz gem in each side of the bolsters. This was my first time to try setting stones and I found out that it's a lot harder than I thought it would be. Stainless probably isn't the easiest material to try setting stones in for the first time though. My friend Thomas McGuane (the knife maker) etched my wife's name in the blade for me for a final touch.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Here are a set of DDR2 knives (again from knifekits.com) that I did simultaneously. They are all done from the same kits so they all have the same basic designs. The kits come with their own cast steel bolsters which I did not use. I made new ones out of three different materials. I also reversed the angle at the bolster/scale interface to change the look of the knives somewhat. The bolsters are all dovetailed, the screws are all file worked and the liners are all jeweled. I also made my own backspines for all of them. Each backspine is embellished differently.
Check out the photos of these knives on the knifekits.com website!
Here is knife number four. This one is a Spyderco Viele 2 production knife that I customized. The only thing on the knife that I left alone is the blade. I took the original G10 scales off and made my own out of manzanita root. It's a little hard to see in the photos but the manzanita is a beautiful deep red burl. Manzanita root bulbs are full of cracks and voids so you have to spend quite a bit of time filling them with superglue. The results are well worth it though.
I made a brass backspine and file worked it with a rope pattern. The original knife didn't have a backspine at all so I made this one up to replace the spacers that were there.
I jeweled the false bolster and the pocket clip and polished the pivot screw. I also jeweled the liners. For the jeweling on the liners, I did stripes rather than the more traditional geometric pattern of circles.
This knife also holds my first attempt at file working screws. File working screws is difficult and time consuming when you are first starting out but once you get a rhythm going they go much faster. They really add an extra touch to a knife.