"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

Ya ever seen my house?

Ya ever seen my house?
Neither have I Ted! You douchebag.
"Here lies the bravest soldier I've seen since my mirror got grease on it."

Zapp Brannigan

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mentally Ill in a Socialist Paradise

Here's my dance card for the present.
At least that's the heat-treated and needing-only a handle... or details related to same... and a sheath, dance card.
There are more that aren't this far along.
What's this in aid of?
Haven't a clue.
The old melon's been stuck in some kind of pleasant rut these past few days.
Trying to wrap my head around our new president.
Let me be clear: I voted for the guy.
I'm not disappointed, just surprised... and surprised to find that I'm surprised.
I've been in proud possession of a post-apocalyptic world-view since before it was fashionable. Now I find myself confused by unaccustomed feelings of... optimism.
Optimism... that ain't me, folks.
What the hell is going on here?
There's a new forum addressing our state-in-the-world-as-it-presently-is.
You can find it here (Find the misplaced comma in the banner title and win my undying respect).
Anyway, these guys tell me we're entering a new dark-age; a Socialist nightmare state of decent health-care, cared-for roads and other things too bleak to contemplate.
However, it could be a mere two years if only (fingers crossed!)the "other guys" get some legislative seats back.
Again... Fingers crossed!
Okay, I don't know what to do now.
Throwing rocks at the neo-natal-cons has now become akin to ridiculing the special-ed kids so...

A different tack.
It's all about me.
Above the latest manifestation of my obsession with the venerable V44.
I love the stacked-handle theater knives so I thought I'd "theater produce" my own.
Brass guard and pommel, spacers of aluminum, leather and black ABS and the big chunk is English walnut.

Next is one I've mentioned before, the Australian, home-front, private-purchase knives (Did I have enough modifiers in that sentence?).
I made this thing three years ago and have yet to try to sell it.
It just seems so... "it's just a knife" if that makes any sense.
At the same time the scenario of the production of the originals is just too cool to pass up.
As mentioned, the originals of these knives are consistent in one thing: What Ron Flook (British and Commonwealth Military Knives) calls a "...low standard of manufacture."
Pretty harsh...
Certain little details make me think the story's got more to it.
All of them have an off-center glue-line in the handle - never mind that the handle isn't in one piece.
But, the o/c glue-line only means one thing: You only have to gouge out a space for the tang in one piece of wood.
What all this is pointing to is simply a general "dumbing-down" of the construction processes. "Dumbing down" meaning only that the process was simplified - no value judgment.
The consistent handle shape - but random quality of the shaping - the aforementioned glue-line and the fact that they're all made of sheoak an Australian hardwood tells me, and just me mind you, that these were either made from a kit or plans in some handyman publication.
So, these guys laboring away in their garages, putting handles on ready-made blades supplied by Gregsteel or others, putting stuff together for the war-effort, helping the lads out... and maybe making some bucks in the bargain.
This is life. I love it.
Now, what the hell is this thing?
Oh! I know, teacher... I know!
Okay, that was dumb.
This is the, just finished, casting pattern for the handle of a V44 "in the style of Rudy Ruana".
It's made from the original (!!!) pattern for the "Son 'o Gung Ho Knife". Actually, I'd already cut it (the original) in half to make the pattern for the brass-trimmed knife shown above.
By now, it's one tired collection of wood, glue and Bondo.
But, back to the picture; "Why does the handle appear to have a mohawk?", you ask.
You did ask. Admit it.
Next slide please...
The mohawk simply leaves a void, when the mold is made, enough that the sand core (right) can be registered and supported.
The part of the core that intrudes into the casting, for one thing, simply takes up space, lest the metal shrink into a giant hole upon cooling.
Back to the pic, the dotted line shows the extent of the cavity that will be left in the casting.
Therefore, my intention - with the full support of the board of directors - is to put a pin through the middle of the pommel so that it, and the cavity become a lanyard hole that's not a lanyard hole.
So, welcome to my nightmare.
Oh, ps: A sand core is made up of sand, sawdust and sodium silicate (aka "waterglass").
It's job is to take up space/make a hole in a casting.

4 comments:

Culpeper said...

Hey, if this makes you a happy camper than I'm for it!

The mold is interesting. Thanks for sharing that with us.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Off topic to this post, but knowing your fondness for WW1 photographs, I wanted to draw your attention to these.

Culpeper said...

Clifton

Great photos!

Assrot said...

Nice knives. You should probably stick to what you know. Politics are not your strong suit.

I'm not a neo-con and I don't see the socialist nightmare everyone else is whining about coming to fruition.

Still, I fear the change that I think is coming and I have little hope after our November 4th debacle.

I am an American and do respect the office so I'll give the devil his due and hope he makes changes for the better.

I just don't see how anyone can do even a quarter of what Mr. Hopey Changey has promised and I'm not sure that much of what he promised is a good thing.

We'll see huh?

Joe

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