Cold Iron Blog

What does ‘Story Telling’ have to do with bladesmithing?

Posted by on Jan 23, 2013 in About Me, Welcome | 0 comments

What does ‘Story Telling’ have to do with bladesmithing?

On my homepage you see the tagline ‘Storytelling through the forged blade’.  I thought I’d take a second to explain what I mean by that.  I believe that a forged blade can tell a story in multiple ways. The most obvious is the story that it tells about itself and it’s intended purpose.  For example.. a skinning knife. Elements of it’s story are the facts of itself.. a thin, sharp, lasting edge that is comfortable to hold and has the right edge geometry to do it’s job.  Then the story evolves as...

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For the Love of Iron

Posted by on Jul 12, 2011 in Techniques | 5 comments

For the Love of Iron

                                                                                                                                                                       Cold Iron Gold is for the mistress — silver for the maid — Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade. “Good!” said the Baron, sitting in his hall, “But Iron — Cold Iron...

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Return of the Pillaging axe…

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in Available | 0 comments

Return of the Pillaging axe…

This axe reminds me of one I called the ‘Pillager’ a couple of years ago.  It is a Viking style axe forged from a single piece of 5160 and the total weight, including haft, is 2 pounds 12 oz. The haft is hand-hewn Diamond willow.. a beautiful, light and strong wood. I’m asking $200 as pictured. ...

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Shear Steel Kogatana

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in Available, Other | 0 comments

Shear Steel Kogatana

Here is a laminated kogatana-type Japanese inspired knife.  It can be used as a small general use utility knife and is razor sharp. It will have a neck lanyard for use as a ‘neck knife’ if this is desired or it’s compact enough to fit in a front pocket. And with the display it can be kept on a desk top.  The blade was forged from shear steel I made in my woodstove by encasing historical wrought iron in clay and charcoal and baking for a week or so to carburize it into blister steel and then fold into a ‘shear...

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Woodcrafter’s Axe

Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in Axes | 0 comments

Woodcrafter’s Axe

Here is a salvage project. I took a 1930s Sager Chemical double bit axe that was far too abused to continue a useful life and reforged it into a short hafted, heavy headed wood working tool. I re-forged the bevel to be asymmetrical for right handed use and drew out a beard for choking up.  The combination of these factors (short haft, heavy head, asymmetry and beard) make for an excellent wood carving/shaping and carpentry axe that is also compact enough for camping.  The haft is hand-hewn from hop hornbeam (locally called iron wood)…...

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Morghash – An Orcish war knife

Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in Available | 5 comments

Morghash  – An Orcish war knife

This is a fun project I’m doing with Jai Mather a talented craftsman from Wisconsin https://www.facebook.com/Thyrthweorc We both decided that elves get all the glory when it comes to work based on Tolkien’s world.. so we thought we’d go Orcish.   This is Morghash .. or Black Fire in Black Speech. It is based on the Anglo-Saxon broken-back seax and is intended to be a knife of war for an upper-ranking officer in Sauron’s orcish army. Jai forged the blade and I ground it and fused bronze into the blade in the form of...

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Kogatana mounted in Kozuka.. Japanese ‘Earthquake Fish’.. (progress)

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Available | 0 comments

Kogatana mounted in Kozuka.. Japanese ‘Earthquake Fish’.. (progress)

This is a project I’m using to exercise my recent training in traditional Japanese metal work.  It will be a kogatana blade mounted in a kozuka.. a forged metal grip that is usually highly decorated. These were small knives carried on the saya of a Japanese sword.  The kozuka is made by folding and soldering sheet iron and then carving and inlay is done on the surface.  My version is based on an existing piece and will bear the Namazu or ‘Earthquake Fish’. The Namazu lives underneath the island of Japan and causes...

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Japanese mounted utility knives…

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Other | 3 comments

Japanese mounted utility knives…

I’ve taken an interest in traditionally mounted work knives in the Japanese tradition and here are some examples.  One is a small Japanese ‘picnic knife’ made from 15n20 and Lake Superior diver-salvaged flame birch.  The other is a kogatana blade that can be used for a variety of tasks…. carving, food prep, general utility, etc.  It works great worn around the neck and I like it as a ‘canoe knife’ or small camp knife.  These knives have a nice tight fit of the blade in the scabbard and are designed that...

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A seax in the Birka style…

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A seax in the Birka style…

Here is a Birka style seax or Viking knife with deeply etched/antiqued composite blade at 7.5″ length. It had bronze spacer plates and lanyard ring typical of the style.  The wood is feathered Lake Superior diver-salvaged black oak .. showing worm holes. The overall length is 13.5 inches.   It comes with a braintan deer hide Scandinavian style scabbard.   I’m asking $400 for this knife.  

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Collaboration o-tanto with Marcus Chambers (progress)

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in Available, Techniques | 0 comments

Collaboration o-tanto with Marcus Chambers (progress)

Here I am announcing a collaborative project that I will be doing with the extremely talented maker of Japanese sword fittings Marcus Chambers. You can see examples of his work here:  http://www.marcuschambersmetalarts.com/   Marcus and I both share an interest in the naturalistic textures found in ancient Japanese work and we are both in love with the resources that come from the Northwoods/Lake Superior region of Michigan and Wisconsin:  iron, copper, wood.  So this project will be a 0-tanto… or large Japanese dagger .. made from...

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A dueling sword: Game of Thrones inspired.. (work in progress)

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014 in Available | 1 comment

A dueling sword: Game of Thrones inspired.. (work in progress)

I’ve been captivated by the idea of dueling with the sword for as long as I can remember and I love the light, fast swords that embody the practice.. especially the ones being made from the 16th to 17th Century. I’ve also wanted to make a sword based on Arya’s sword ‘Needle’ from the Game of Thrones ever since I read the books. I’ve dabbled in complex hilts before but haven’t quite gotten what I wanted. One handicap is my terrible 110v buzzbox welder. But I’ve recently come up with an idea that...

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