Bladesmith’s Shop Tool Definitions


I have written a few shop tool definitions from a knifemakers perspective ©

a refractory chamber heated to high temperature , then used to convert once usable metal into useless black scale or  artificial meteorites.
The forge consumes ridiculous volumes of evermore expensive propane from tanks the size of a small refrigerator that you have to lug down to the moving truck franchise store for refilling  and lift by yourself back into your truck because they are forbidden from helping you by corporate decree  in order to herniate that last good disc in your spine because you patronized their business.
also note that the forge has the potential to produce prodigious volumes of exhaust laden with toxic metal vapors and 20% carbon monoxide requiring continuous  cooperation of three huge noisy oscillating fans to dilute the risk of suffocation while ensuring either windchill or heat stroke  of the shop occupants depending on the season (except the resident mutant vermin, which are immune to extremes of temperature).
large  and surprisingly heavy long metal plier-like tools used to retrieve red-hot artificial meteorites from the forge while pinching your fingers with a mechanical advantage five times greater than regular pliers
a solid steel tool which costs it’s weight in gold , used to back-up the action of a hammer in such a way that the red-hot metal being struck is launched unpredictably but usually towards your face at great velocity as the now very hot tongs slip and pinch your tissues while simultaneously burning you
a distal body appendage which mysteriously attracts falling objects (see hammer)
a fearsome beast of a tool which can squeeze hot metal between it’s jaws to either flatten it or launch it at great speed off into the shop in order to ignite the one combustable item in the entire shop area (your new winter coat) all the while making terrifying squeaking and popping noises which can only occur in metal under 40 tons of pressure
A device which uses large amounts of high voltage to dim the lights in your workshop and tanks of expensive inert gasses in order to almost instantaneously convert a rolled spool of wire into horrible tangles of metal unsuitable for any birds nest while sending sparks out into the shop at surprising distances towards your socks, the inside of the cuff of the welding gloves you are wearing during the attempted operation and the other combustable items in the shop.
These actions are usually very quick and short in duration but the consequent actions of getting the hot slag off your skin, extinguishing your socks , immersing your new coat in the rusty water of the quenching barrel  and unwinding the wire tangle to get ready for the next attempted usage may take up the rest of the day which you had hoped would be productive
a less expensive , less complicated but equally power-demanding version of above  which does not create tangles of wire but   still creates the secondary effects as above with the added features of spitting molten metal slag everywhere around the item which was attempted to be welded. The slag is remarkably adherent to everything especially nicely polished or painted metal , and your skin , which it reaches by burning through your clothing like a high energy laser beam.
a special liquid laden with acid  or super-saturates of chemicals such as ferric chloride intended to eat away the outer layers of laminated steel objects such as labor intensive knives to demonstrate the pattern of the laminations and the hidden flaws in the steel which you have been working on for 3 days steady to then find that the item is unusable.
Etching solution will also instantly stain your skin brown until / unless it is replaced by new skin and reaches your skin by eating through anything in the way much like the molecular acid  blood of the of the creature  in the movie “Alien”.
a container intended to hold clean water to cool hot steel , extinguish smoldering clothing and sustain mutant vermin which have invaded the shop and nested in your best coat which had been put safely away from the reach of welder slag into the cabinet that was supposed to be secure because of metal construction and the key, which has been lost in the bottom of the rusty water of the quenching barrel. Never drink from this barrel.
a volume of  randomly tempered steel in variable inferior configurations usually semi-attached to the end of a stick of marginal strength, conformation and durability  , which is intended to be used to force butter yellow hot metal covered with liquid glass flux from one distorted form into another while liberating a stimulating spray of the molten 20 Mule Team laundry borax mixed with termite powder and fluorospar intended to protect the metal surface from oxidation in the forge but which usually protects it from welding properly.
 Impact of the hammer transmits force to the  object being stuck, especially so if the object was not intended to be squashed. Generally speaking, the hammer may inadvertently become unleashed at maximal velocity when your glove which had been made hard  and greasy by satan’s appearance at the oil quenching ritual loses it’s grip, thereby launching into an observable primary trajectory and due to the handle, unpredictable secondary path to whatever is breakable and or painful within the workshop. (see Toe). Hammers are mystically attracted to breakable or soon to be painful unintended objects.
Occasionally (usually when new and used for the first time) the hammer head and handle will unexpectedly part ways in the most dangerous manner possible by separation at the hammer eye or breakage of the handle into sharp porcupine quills that stick into your face and mask while the hammer head ricochets about in search of breakable sensate objects (except vermin, which are invisible to hammers)
a device intended to grind hardened steel into pointy sharp knife-like objects all of which have the potential to be launched point first at high velocity into your liver, but usually used to convert swords into toothpicks and huge volumes of small particles of metal which escape the water filled bucket placed directly below  intended to catch the hot grinding sparks, so as to embed in your clothing , skin, and best coat back in the vermin nest cabinet.
Please note that the high speed belts used in the grinder can slice the end off your glove in a microsecond giving you an instant of clear view of your finger tip capillary arcade no longer contained by skin before more blood than you ever imagined could be in the end of your finger begins flowing so vigorously that it takes multiple wraps of black electrical tape to slow it down enough to apply crazy glue to stop the bleeding and affirm that the now bare nerve endings in the grinding zone are indeed alive now very angry at having been doused with crazyglue
poly carbonate clear or specially tinted eyeware to protect your eyes from frying while looking into the hot forge or  being penetrated by flying objects when working in the shop , especially while using the belt grinder. Generally these tight fitting glasses make sweat drip directly into your eyes causing a burning feeling, then excessive tearing and interfere with your vision while reaching into the hot forge to retrieve hot artificial meteorites or grinding potential missiles and glove/finger tips on the belt grinder
a safety  device intended to be worn over your nose and mouth to protect you from inhaling dangerous particles or fumes from the shop environment. These are highly combustible if placed too close to the hot forge, if hit by a spark of hot metal at the anvil or belt grinder and have the added feature of displacing your safety glasses a bit so hot grit ejected from the belt grinder at high velocities can have chance for a trajectory to your eyes
Safety masks are surprisingly expensive and if you buy them via the internet are usually late in arriving , thereby causing you many unproductive days waiting for a new box of masks to arrive and finally forcing you to use old masks which have been taped over the burn holes and spontaneously fermented the volatiles accumulated from your breath into an aroma reminiscent of the bottom of the cat box after being used vigorously by your two cats during  that two week vacation to meet your crazy relatives in mississippi including your uncle who only has one tooth in his head.
a high performance expanding water proof adhesive activated by moisture intended for gluing handles onto the metal tooth picks you grind from swords which unintentionally spreads like a bad rumor to your clothing and hands despite nitrile gloves which you discover are solubilized by etching solution or gorilla glue.
Once on your skin, it turns black and will stay that way unless replaced by new skin or removed by uncomfortable , vigorous mechanical abrasion using your wife’s pedicure file which you clandestinely commandeer whenever she lets you enter back into the house to take a shower .
a high performance non-expanding two part adhesive which either never sets and remains permanently sticky or rapidly sets in an exothermic manner melting your mixing cup and permanently affixing the toothpick handles in misalignment while solubilizing your cheap nitrile gloves from china so as to gain access to your skin to accrue unwanted debris for later removal through vigorous mechanical abrasion.
a quick setting clear acrylic solution best used for hemostasis and testing residual sensory nerve function
because your vigilant wife sees a rat walking on top of  the wall behind your pool which separates the civilized portion of your yard from Clampetville where your shop resides, then instructs the pest man (who ordinarily walks around your yard every two weeks spraying water and pretending to kill cockroaches) to kill the rat. He then places a mix of long acting tasteless anticoagulant poison and yummy (for vermin) suet enclosed in a   pet proof feeder box which the stupid filthy vermin eat, then die.
Then your dog secretively gorges upon dead rats and bleeds internally resulting in it’s  emergency admission to the canine ICU requiring multiple transfusions,  fractionated serum replacements  and your veterinarian finally being able to buy that new Porsche.
The poisoned rats which  were not eaten by your dog had taken agonal hiding in various corners of the shop and later make their location known by emitting “the dead rat smell” which is permanently absorbed by what remains of your once new coat. It is not a good summertime smell in your shop until 5 years afterwards and all the dumb rats have been removed from the diabolical vermin community.
a multi purpose shop item used for holding knives and handles in misalignment while gluing for permanent misalignment, hemostasis, covering  holes in your fetid used masks, and thermally bonding onto whatever surface it is close to when hit by hot slag or molten flux.
an expensive device you keep in your pocket while you are working in the shop which your wife uses to notify you when lunch is ready or when toilets overflow . It never rings unless your hands are coated with glue and always falls out of your pocket into the quenching barrel when you are extinguishing your clothing thereby necessitating another visit to the cellphone store where the clerk calls you ” mister Sir”.
something you NEVER quench  more that once in your life, trust me on this one
very heavy and difficult to move , a once upon a time precision machine which you bought via craig’s list when you once had money with the intention of making folding knives and beautiful distal tapered blades .  However it has been sitting for 3 years blocking your garage which is too full of stuff to park the car in there anyway, and gets moved to a new location in front of your workshop roll up door to block it from errant vehicles.
accumulated waste oil from the neighborhood mixed with ATF to achieve a lower viscosity intended for immersion tempering of hot steel to achieve destructive thermal shock fracturing of expensive complex steel items you worked on for many days.
Each quenching creates a huge cloud of smoke which always floats over to the hot forge where it ignites in an impressive fashion as if Satan were appearing while generating a small concussive sonic boom event which triggers the urban gunshot detection system stimulating the METRO police SWAT team to break through the door of your shop with weapons drawn in the first use of their medium armor urban assault vehicle ram accessory from DHS while wearing their new blue UN helmets.
They are mad because your surface grinder was in the way, causing their LAV to high-center and get stuck there.  You are  lucky they don’t shoot you but they “impound” all of your knives and give you a ticket for having an unlicensed commercial manufacturing facility in your yard while instructing that you have 30 days to tear down your shop because it does not meet the new building codes.
In addition , because of the quenching oil, you must pay an up front cash-only large arbitrary fee to have the site remediated by the EPA or they will confiscate your house. In their onslaught, they determine that your quenching tank is an unauthorized pond which has threatened the health of the shop vermin, which they declare a new endangered species.  The only reason you are released from handcuffs is that your wife hears the noise , goes past the pool wall  out to the shop and recognizes the lieutenant as the husband of her tennis partner who she calls to intervene by texting instructions to her ken doll to let you go.
There are more but I just got a call that I need to go plunge the toilet
SamWise ©
IMG_1728 Image 4 Image 5



Klingon Kleaver Warranty Repair


IMG_0795 IMG_3515 IMG_3516 IMG_3518 IMG_3521I Recently  I had a new experience with the return of a knife for repair.

Not just a knife but a Klingon Kleaver complete with Electo-Etched Klingon Writing.

The tang had separated from the blade body but was still tightly installed in the handle.

The Klingon  field repair cutting tools technician has thermally fused the blade onto another tang while carefully protecting the blade temper through application of heat sink material and salvaged the “Cook or Fight” etching intact. see    KLI.Org
Thereafter, the blade was shortened by mechanical abrasion belt grinder approximately the dorsal skin thickness of a DenIb Qatlh  (Denebian Slime devil) and a new ricasso was established . The thermal fusion repair was not fully ground and was left as what it represents , a prideful scar for a tool well used.  Although now shortened, the blade retains good balance for kitchen craft and battle,with sufficient size of edge to dispatch jaghla’
A new brass ferrule has been machined, polished and fitted along with a new pressure impregnated stabilized olive wood handle of proprietary contour/configuration which has been attached using a binary catalyzed polymer.
The saya has been sanded smooth and new penetrating tung oil finish applied to enhance it’s appearance and serviceability.
The blade has been diamond honed after a careful flatside  polish to revive the cutting edge to renewed razor sharpness which was demonstrated on cellulose sheet.
The blade should be fully serviceable in one earth rotational period and is awaiting transport back to the owner.


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The Aside Post





PAST, n. That part of Eternity with some small fraction of which we have a slight and regrettable acquaintance. A moving line called the Present parts it from an imaginary period known as the Future. These two grand divisions of Eternity, of which the one is continually effacing the other, are entirely unlike. The one is dark with sorrow and disappointment, the other bright with prosperity and joy. The Past is the region of sobs, the Future is the realm of song. In the one crouches Memory, clad in sackcloth and ashes, mumbling penitential prayer; in the sunshine of the other Hope flies with a free wing, beckoning to temples of success and bowers of ease. Yet the Past is the Future of yesterday, the Future is the Past of to-morrow. They are one –the knowledge and the dream.
Ambrose Bierce quotes (American WriterJournalist and Editor18421914Ambrose Bierce quotes
Book: Devil’s Dictionary quotes

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The Quote Post


From  Radius Knife users

“When I first used my cleaver I realized that I had never before had a truly sharp knife, I had been bludgeoning food into smaller pieces and not really cutting until now.”

“I love my knives!!!”

“Beginning to really utilize the form and function of this type of blade.  Very nice to use for vegetable prep. The quality of every component is becoming more and more apparent.”


“I had to buy more bulk meat so I could do more cutting”


“I received the Kleaver yesterday and it is FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much”


“It arrived yesterday and in good shape. It was good you had marked on the outside “very sharp”.
Since I am not such a careful person, I could have lost some drops of blood. The knife is an amazing


“Wow! That is one serious knife! I have not had such a solid, nicely balanced knife.”


“I used the cleaver this weekend. It worked fantastic. I really liked using it because it makes chopping quicker and more pleasurable.”


“I keep forgetting to tell you that I use the cleaver all the time.  I like it.”


“Boldly Going Where No Knifemaker Has Gone Before.  The Klingon Kleaver King”


“The beauty arrived today.  It’s beyond.  I am so honored to own it.”


“I never knew, metal can have such distinct pattern!”


“I have used my cleaver a couple of times to cut up lettuce and salads, it works a treat!”