"A Copse. Evening"

"A Copse. Evening"
A. Y. Jackson, 1918
"I don't make hell for nobody. I'm only the instrument of a laughing providence. Sometimes I don't like it myself, but I couldn't help it if I was born smart."

1st Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden.
"From here to Eternity"

Paul Valery

"You are in love with intelligence, until it frightens you. For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time."

The Wisdom of the Ages

"When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, 'All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed',"

Mikhail Kalashnikov
"Here lies the bravest soldier I've seen since my mirror got grease on it."

Zapp Brannigan

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Back To A. G. Hicks...

I've been chewing on the Hick's knife idea for some time now - to the extent that I wandered all over town looking for 1/16" X 5/8" brass, flat stock. I'm ready to bite the bullet but one question remains unanswered: A. G's ethnicity. It's either unimportant or I'll find out later. In any case his knives are interesting.
This example,at the top (from Wes Cowan's excellent website. I find lots of cool knives there) exploded my original thinking, based on the only other picture I'd seen thus far, I'd seen of his blades, that the guard/ferrule combination had been cast as a single piece. Reading the copy attached to the above photo, we have confirmed that he was a planemaker, and that goes some distance toward the why of the unusual construction he uses. Anyway, the brass fittings appear to be built-up from flat stock, which only makes sense, now that I think about it. A maker of handplanes would have little need to cast metals. Brass used there is mostly in the form of wear-strips.
For a little context, here's a jack plane from about the same period (1840"s). I bought this thing solely because it had a Butcher iron. I hoped to be able to build another plane around it. As you can see, the iron has been used to the point that a few more sharpenings are going to have eaten as far as the cap-iron, mounting slot. Ah well...
However, what I do find interesting is this: The plane is American. At the front it is stamped "(beat into illegibility by LOTS of hammer marks) Tool Co. New York". But the iron is English. Not too surprising for the period around 1830's-40's. The U.S. was producing steel at that time but not in the quantity or to the standards, of the products of Sheffield. There's a closeup of the iron trademark in the upper-left. "W. B. Butcher, Warranted Cast Steel, Sheffield, England". The question is this: If a period planemaker in New York state was using imported irons; would a colleague, in the wilds of Ohio, use anything but Sheffield blades for his Bowie knives? Not a big issue. I just like to be able to impart the appropriate level of crudity in construction.
As soon as I can get caught-up, I'd like to bang out a Hick's and see how it does on the website.

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