Testing, testing, 1 2 3

So, lately Maria has been suggesting that I start filming my knife tests.

I think it’s a good idea, but I’m just not sure how it would go. We are trying a test of a test..she filmed me while I tested the sharpness of the competition chopper I just finished.

Hmm.. here goes nothing:

Im not real sure how this will look here. But like I said, it’s just a test.

I was impressed with how the knife cut the water bottles, although I did have to slim down the handle a bit. It cut the first two bottles well, and then the handle twisted some in my hand.

My knives tend to sell slowly this time of year only to pick up in the fall. This gives me time to make them and get them listed.

Meanwhile, Maria’s tie dye is doing well.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If you are raising chickens and don’t have an egg collecting apron from No Harm In Farmin, then you are truly missing out. Whether it is tie dyed or otherwise.

Maria and I hope you have a great week. If this video thing starts to pan out I think I will upload them to YouTube as well as here on our blog.

All the best,

Chad

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You just never know when you are going to get it right.

Hey everybody, hope your week is going well.

I spent a day today making a knife. I know, big shocker. Haha

When making a knife you’ve got to harden and heat treat the blade. For people like me this can be a hit or miss operation. If you have thousands of dollars for special equipment it can be quite easy. If you operate like I do (on a shoestring budget) then its always a gamble. The only way to really tell is to test it after you’ve put in hours of work.

I’m pretty confident with this process, especially when I’m familiar with the steel I’m using, but it can always go bad.

Today as I was finishing a competition chopper, I had a little mishap that tested the blade for me.

I was drilling the handle material for the pins and the drill bit got bound in the hole. This caused the blade to spin like a helicopter blade. I had already heat treated and sharpened the blade so this was super dangerous and I was not happy. Luckily, the blade was long enough that as it spun, the edge struck the steel upright on the drill press with a whole lot more force than I could have done by hand.

I was initially pissed, until I examined the edge. NOT 1 SINGLE MARK!!!!!

That let me know that my hardening and tempering was done correctly and that the blade I had made would stand up to huge amounts of abuse.

Here is that beauty:

So even if that human flaw of self doubt tries to creep in on you while you work, be confident. Have faith in what you do, do it well, and know at the end of the day that you are a pro.

All the best,

Chad

Fresh ideas and new favorites…

I absolutely LOVE making knives. I enjoy the process, from the raw steel to the final polishing. It amazes me to see what comes from that process. I make knives out of my own head as far as matching blade style to handle material, etc, but I also do custom orders. The custom orders are usually what gets me excited. People are very creative and can come up with some wonderful combinations that I would have never thought of.

It seems though, that after hours of thinking and planning, I do come up with a new design and once it comes to life it becomes my new favorite knife. I very rarely make two knives exactly alike. I like the individualism of each one.

Last week my favorite was this beast:

But, the one I just finished today now has become the new favorite.

Its got a 200 layer Damascus blade, stainless steel guard and bolster, and a dyed bone handle. I think it looks like a thunderstorm cloud, to include the silver lining.

I would add some of Maria’s projects, but the egg collecting aprons have been flying out of the door, and she’s been busy seeing those. I really don’t know how anyone has chickens without one of her aprons.

We hope you all have a great week.

Chad

Busy days of hand crafted bliss…

Maria and I have been busy, busy, busy with a lot of things. Having “day jobs” always sucks, but it’s necessary right now. Then we have been working on the farm a bit at a time. Here at the nexus of our Etsy shop we have been working as hard as we can go.

Maria is always tie dying. She keeps coming up with new patterns for he best selling serving apron on top, she also makes these cool banners from tie dye scape. The coolest ( in my opinion ) thing she makes are these cool egg collecting aprons. They have individual pockets so your eggs aren’t all in one basket and it keeps them from breaking.

And of course we have the dog bandanas she makes being modeled by our shop manager and resident model, Fletcher.

I’ve been getting some blades done. I had a couple of custom orders for knives to finish. I’ve also been working on a couple of swords.

The swords are for a friend of mine to test and beat up. There is a spin off of Forged In Fire called “knife or death” where the contestants either forge their own blade or buy one and then use them in a variety of challenges. My friend has applied for the show so we want to have a blade ready for him. The first one is this Roman Gladius.

It’s made from 5160 spring steel. It has a fuller groove the length of the blade, and the handle is made from Bethlehem olivewood on the ends and laurel for the grip. It’s a beast of a sword but surprisingly light.

So that’s where we are, we hope you all have a great week.

And remember, you can check out noharminfarmin on etsy, or http://www.noharminfarmin.com to see more of our work!

Chad

Family day at the farm…

Maria and I had the pleasure of having my Dad and Step mom come down from Indiana for the weekend. We spent a great day at the house in Wilmington on Saturday, and then today we drove up to the farm. They hadn’t seen it yet and we wanted to give them the grand tour.

We went for a stroll around the property and explained what the plans were for each area. Yes, I know that grass near the creek needs mowed…next trip. We all took home a couple of ticks each from that grass, they seem to be starting early this year.

Those photos above are Maria and I leading the way down to the creek, and me and my Dad (Mike) discussing the bottom land while my Step mom (Rose) just enjoyed the view.

I guess Maria likes to take pictures of two old farmers talking, lol.

I explained how the creek is formed by three natural springs within a mile of our property and how the water is always cold, even in the summer. I dipped out a little in a soda bottle so they could feel it.

Then, of course, we had to pose for the camera.

🙂

We then headed back up the hill to the homesite. The folks wanted help out a bit with construction so we hung the rest of the tar paper on the walls. I wanted to finish sheeting the roof and paper it, but it was VERY windy today and I really didn’t want to be on that roof holding a loose sheet of plywood and have it turn into a kite. That bit had to wait.

I did have to move Darla Deere (our tractor) so we could move the ladders around. Maria decided to take a little spin with me. I am continuously impressed with that 33 year old tractor. We shade started it in 2 months and it fired right up like a brand new model.

So, it was a great day. The weather was beautiful (other than the wind gusts) we got to bond with the parents by doing a little homestead construction. Then after a wonderful meal at a local buffet (that included fresh banana pudding that was still warm!), the folks went on up to Alta Vista to spend the night and head back to Indiana.

We were sad to see them go, and can’t wait for them to come back to see what we’ve built next.

We all hope that you have a wonderful week!

Chad

The love of my life..

I wanted to shift gears from my normal rambling on our blog. I normally go on and on about the farm, or knives, or our business and I want to tell you about someone very special.

I’m normally the one who writes the blog posts, so naturally it comes from my point of view. Tonight I want to share my point of view about my lovely Maria.

8 years ago I met the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. We were both living in a semi crappy apartment complex. I was standing out front of the building talking with my upstairs neighbor and along comes this gorgeous woman walking her meat head dog (who I really love now, lol) She knew my neighbor as well and stop to chat. Josh (the neighbor) introduced us, and I was smitten.

I went home and thought about it for a bit and decided that I really wanted to ask her out. But, being a bit shy, I didn’t want to go straight to her apartment to ask. I felt like this would come off as looking really creepy. So I did the next creepy thing. I left a business card with my number on it on her door. She did call, and I asked her out, thank God she agreed.

Our first date was a bit different. I took her to a nice Irish restaurant for dinner and as we were talking I told her just about every stupid and embarrassing thing I had done in my life. She was gracious and compassionate when I spilled my guts.

She told me later on that when a friend of hers asked about the date she said “I found either a lunatic, or a gem.” I am very thankful that she decided to give me a shot.

We began to spend more and more time together. I then realized that I was the one who found a gem.

Our relationship over the past 8 years hasn’t been all summer shine and unicorns. We’ve had fights as all couples do. Some were pretty big blowouts. But we worked through them.

We both realized that we like to do the same things. We both love to be outside, and to make things. We also seemed to have the same sense of humor.

We ended up starting our business together, buying some land, and just last year we were married.

I am now married to my best friend. I can’t imagine doing all that I do with anyone else. She is absolutely amazing!

She’s kind, gentle, caring, nurturing, and beautiful to boot. She can be a girly girl, but then get to work and clear about an acre of heavy brush with a heavy duty weed whacker in just under an hour, not kidding, I’ve seen her do it!

She is looking forward to the homestead plan as much as I am.

Sometimes, when work schedules have me going up to the farm alone, she is the one who runs everything around here. I couldn’t do anything that I do without her. She is the glue that holds this whole operation together.

She embraces my hair brained plans and experiments and allows me to work on projects without judgement or criticism. Did I tell you how amazing she is?

Recently when I had to have all of my wisdom teeth removed, I sang her praises while under the influence of the laughing gas. So much so that the dentist said that she was going to go out to the waiting room and tell Maria what I thought of her. I also told the dentist that I had a dream in which Maria and I were in the movie “Smokey and the Bandit II” not 1 or 3, but 2. In the dream I was Burt Reynolds and she was Sally Fields. Lol, but that’s a whole different story.

Anyway, I just wanted everybody to know a little more about the love of my life. The person that I can always rely on and the person I respect and appreciate more than anyone I’ve ever met.

My lovely Maria

I hope that you all have a wonderful week, and show the one you love how much you appreciate them.

All the best,

Chad

Loving progress, even with a slight setback..

We had a fantastic day at the Old River Farms Spring Festival on Saturday. We met some really nice folks, sold a few of our creations, and had several people express interest in blacksmithing classes. It was a long day, but the weather was beautiful and there was a good sized crowd.

As soon as we broke down our vendor set up and got home, we unloaded all of that and reloaded the truck with our farm gear and supplies. I then got some sleep and headed north to our farm on Sunday.

The plan was to get the walls sheeted and wrap the entire building with tar paper.

Of course, things didn’t go quite as planned. When I arrived I noticed that something seemed, off. Then I realized that about 3/4 of the plywood I had put on the roof was missing. Apparently there had been quite a storm while I was gone. Once I located the sheets of plywood, I realized that the ones that had come off were the ones that I nailed down vs using screws. When I was finishing that project on the last trip, I had run out of screws and had them temporarily nailed in place. Those nails didn’t hold.

So, to add to the plan, I had to go back and re sheet the roof.

This wasn’t as bad as I initially thought it was going to be, but it was added work.

I did get the walls all sheeted. I also got all three windows installed as well as the door.

These photos show as I got the walls done, but you can see the sheets of plywood scattered in the brush where the wind had peeled them off and sent them sailing. Most were in good condition, but 3 sheets were damaged and couldn’t be used. I had to cover the roof with a tarp to keep the rain out and will have to complete it on the next trip.

Here it is as it stands now:

So even with a little setback, I was still able to make some great progress. Next trip ill have the roof finished out and start to tin the roof.

We hope that you all have a wonderful week!

All the best,

Chad

Come see us!!!

This Saturday, April 21st we will be vending at the 6th annual Spring Festival at Old River Farms. They are located at 8711 Old River Rd, Burgaw NC.

It should prove to be a good time for all. There will be great food, and music.

Come on down and see us for some great tie dye and smithing items.

The weather looks to be beautiful and there will be tons to do for the kids.

So….come on down!!

All the best,

Chad

Loving what we do..

Occasionally I get an idea in my head for a knife, or any project really. Once that happens, it won’t go away until I can bring it to fruition.

The other day, I had an idea to make an old style Howie with a brass strap on the spine. Supposedly, the purpose of this was for fighting purposes. The softer brass on the spine could potentially help you grab an opponent’s blade and disarm them. Whether that works or not, I have no earthly idea, but it looks cool.

The big challenge was securely attaching the brass to the steel. It has to be a functioning knife, not his some silly wall hanger.

To accomplish this I cut a sharp, narrow fuller along the spine of the knife and then folded the brass around it. Pounding it down tight, causing the brass to form to those channels.

I used 5160 spring steel fore the blade, and curly maple with a slightly charred finish for the handle.

Maria and I always enjoy a good challenge. This definitely turned into one, but that’s half the fun of smithing is figuring out how to turn ideas into items.

We hope you all have a wonderful week.

All the best,

Chad

OH, to have a hot shower…

Hey everybody, if you’ve been following us for any amount of time, you will know that we now have the roof sheeted on the cabin. The next step is of course, walls, door, windows, insulation..etc.

However, I am always trying to think and plan at least 2 steps ahead. After the last weekend, I have been thinking about a shower set up.

We don’t have running water or grid electricity out there, so water supply will be a refillable tank and power is a generator.

I’ve been thinking about building an elevated stand for the tank, installing a 12v pump, and a tankless propane water heater. There will be a half wall for a bit of privacy, but it will be essentially an all outdoor shower.

I normally try to wash up with cloth and tub after a long days work, but when you are that sweaty and dusty there is nothing better than a nice hot shower.

Right now its all in the planning phase, but I have high hopes.

If anybody has any pointers or suggestions, please feel free to throw em at me!

All the best,

Chad