Between Heats – Stainless Wedding Band

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A “heat” is the time it takes for a piece to be hammered from glowing hot, to too cold to hit, and it’s put back to the fire.

The fewer heats you can bang a piece out, the better you are as a blacksmith (bragging rights).

The time between heats are the short periods where your workpiece is in the forge, and your steel gets reaches 1500-2000 degrees, ready for forging (or forge welding).

During a collection of these breaks while razors were heating back up, I finished out this wedding band for a friend.

Shop Update

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I’m very grateful for a brief bit of time away with family during my sister’s wedding, and then some very important time with family during the holidays.

After getting back from each of these, I put my head into the shop and crafted to catch up from this time away. Looking back, I’ve been a bit too much of a hermit, and have not posted updates about recent completed work, and I have a stack of emails to catch up on.

Please, if you’ve reached out recently, and I have yet to respond, please touch base again and I can get back to you very quickly. I’m getting through my messages as fast as I can, structuring my day to balance communication and crafting. I don’t want to keep you waiting, so please reach out via email.

Here are a small group of blades that I’ve sent home recently, with many more to come before Christmas, and some soon after.

I’ll be keeping my head in the shop to finish up my work as fast as I can, and be available more through emails, and look forward to catching you up on what’s happening in the shop.

-Christopher

Traditional Japanese Kamisori
A shop update with recent work - a damascus blade in carbon fiber scales.
A shop update with recent work - a damascus blade with ancient Runes.
Viking iron ore and a couple of straight razors I made.
Koa Wood Custom Straight razor by ShaveSmith.
Modern Sheffield Style Custom Straight Razor
A shop update with recent work - a damascus kamisori with unique forging.
A shop update with recent work - a damascus blade in camel bone scales, unique profiled blade.
A shop update with recent work - a damascus blade and foreign ironwood.

Back in the shop. Catching up.

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Handmade Wedding band by shavesmith
Blond ox horn damascus custom straight razor.

A great week away celebrating my sister’s wedding, and now I’m back in the shop.

A little glimpse into the production of the gold wedding band that I crafted for her husband, with lots of firescale. Looked much more like 14K gold after some polishing and a bath in jeweler’s pickle.

Also, one of the unposted custom blades I finished in somewhat recent time.  Damascus, ox, and a hefty beard chopper.

Catching up on emails today, and working my way back into the craft (back to the grind, literally, and happy for it).

-Christopher

Good steel heading home

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These last months have found me more at the workbench than the computer, and as a result, I’ve been catching up with my queue of custom straight razors. It’s been a good feeling getting blades that I’ve designed with folks home after a long wait.

I try to make each blade a little better than the last, with notes of growth as I go on this lifelong journey as a craftsman.

I’m grinding good steel every day, and glad to hear from the fine folks who are shaving with my steel, or waiting for theirs to arrive.

-Christopher

A brief Trip , Kitchen Knife with African Blackwood

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My new brother got married, and I’m happy to call his wife family.

Took a flight, train, and drive to reach central Pennsylvania, all while carrying a 14″ chef’s knife. I have this condition where after something is done, I look at it  periodically (and neurotically) to ensure it’s safe.

It’s a thicker blade than a Japanese chef’s knife, but thinner than a German chef’s knife. Made entirely from high carbon Hitachi blue #2, hand ground, hafted with African Blackwood and aluminum pins, grip is asymmetrical, with an excellent handshake. Cutting edge shaped with a subtle nod to an itallian herb cutter called a mezzaluna for a nice rocking motion.

Hitachi blue will age and tarnish, and over time this will build into a beautiful and unique patina that protects the steel. I’m sure we can pull out a metaphor for a good marriage from this.

I’m back in the shop, crafting, typing out emails, and my faithful assistant (border collie named Indie) is helping me catch up.

-Christopher

Customer Visited My Workshop, Picked Up His New Heirloom

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Customer visit
7/8ths, Wedge Grind, African Blackwood, Fine Silver  – Custom Straight Razor

A good friend and customer picked up his custom straight razor from my shop recently, and I snapped a quick photo of him holding it.

I was happy to hear that this business traveler is working close to my workshop for a few months, so we stayed in touch, and I was able touch up his edge as he started shaving with his new blade.

We chatted about razors, I told him about the nuances I loved within his blade, and talked about the good things in life.

It makes me really happy to get to know him, and know how his shaves are progressing, and see his collection grow.