The making of a Cashen kukri

#1
While I have been shooting some video for myself for some time, I am rather late comer to the whole YouTube thing. In the past I would just send my videos to Dan Cassidy and he would handle all the uploading to YouTube. But since I was given part of the task of managing the ABS YouTube channel when Dan took a well-deserved break I thought I should probably start learning how it is done.

Because I didn’t want to risk learning the ropes with the ABS channel, the logical decision was to start my own channel and start putting videos on it. Last night I launched the Kevin R. Cashen YouTube Channel and uploaded my first video here:


It was footage that I took to document a kukri I was commissioned to make last spring. I had the files ready to go so I quickly cleaned it up a bit and uploaded. This video was shot with a Canon T2i DSLR, and edited with Adobe Premiere Pro, but one of the presents that I got for myself for Christmas was a new T6i and it is really stepping up my video game.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#2
fascinating! I was wondering how you would get the forward curve in the steel. Chopping with it across the anvil worked perfectly. The curve appears "natural" for lack of a better word.
 
#5
fascinating! I was wondering how you would get the forward curve in the steel. Chopping with it across the anvil worked perfectly. The curve appears "natural" for lack of a better word.
It takes a lot of tapping with the hammer to put that heavy preform in and a proper kukri can be 10mm or more at the spine, so I found out years ago that the quickest way to put it in on these massive blades is to let the blades mass work for you and just a couple whacks over the anvil horn and it is done in about three seconds. I love using techniques like this because it challenges orthodoxy, both blacksmiths and bladesmiths can get so uptight about using only hammer and tong techniques that they deem proper, and you are somehow not legit if you don't stick to the program. I enjoy watching them squirm a bit when you get something done in a fraction of the time by simply thinking outside the box. I once heard audible gasps from some of these guys when I welded the tip of a sword edge wrap by coming straight out of the forge and banging it point down onto the concrete floor. It was welded and back in the forge before the flux even got frosty but, Heaven forbid, I didn't use a hammer or an anvil to do it, so I am not a real smith like they are.
 
#6
Johan and Ted, thanks for the kind words, after seeing how quickly YouTube can generate interest I feel really foolish for doing video all this time without making it public. There will be more this year as I get the hang of the new equipment and learn the ins and outs of the YouTube control panel.
 

Cojab

Well-Known Member
#7
VERY good video Kevin.
It amazes me the difference in style between peoples techniques. You sir made the forging process look simple and effortless. A hallmark of someone who truly knows their craft.
 
#8
Johan and Ted, thanks for the kind words, after seeing how quickly YouTube can generate interest I feel really foolish for doing video all this time without making it public. There will be more this year as I get the hang of the new equipment and learn the ins and outs of the YouTube control panel.
You will turn us all into junkies! Lol...A knowledgeable video and a good video are two very different things...your's was both. I watch sheath making videos to learn and literally have to discipline my self to watch as many are good knowledge/bad interest wise.

If I were to recommend a primer, it would be Anthony's videos.Self made Knives here on KD. They are clean camera angles/perspectives, often humorous, he is a clever designer...so usually insightful. All adding up to fun and interesting.

Yours was too. keep up the good "stuff"...

Idk about the rest of you but Youtube has slowly replaced TV in my home...lol!
 
#9
Thank you Cojab. Ted, I know what you are saying, it was only a matter of time because YouTube totally replaced my network television viewing in my home. I only watch network television for about one hour each day just to get the news and then I turn on YouTube, where I can actually get just as much news, through certain channels.

I am studying a lot of YT video styles right now in order to learn, thank you for the suggestion, I will look at Anthony's stuff.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#10
both blacksmiths and bladesmiths can get so uptight about using only hammer and tong techniques that they deem proper, and you are somehow not legit if you don't stick to the program. I enjoy watching them squirm a bit when you get something done in a fraction of the time by simply thinking outside the box. I once heard audible gasps from some of these guys when I welded the tip of a sword edge wrap by coming straight out of the forge and banging it point down onto the concrete floor. It was welded and back in the forge before the flux even got frosty but, Heaven forbid, I didn't use a hammer or an anvil to do it, so I am not a real smith like they are.

I can certainly believe that. I had to unsubscribe from several groups for this very reason. I always thought blackmithing was about the most manly-man activity once could pursue. Wasn't I surprised to discover so many prima donna types.
 

Stew

Well-Known Member
#11
Hi Kevin,

Thanks for sharing your video. May I ask what it is you use in your 'belt hand' to push against the blade when grinding please?
 
#14
I can certainly believe that. I had to unsubscribe from several groups for this very reason. I always thought blackmithing was about the most manly-man activity once could pursue. Wasn't I surprised to discover so many prima donna types.
If you unravel that sweater you'll always find nervous hens at the end of the yarn...That's because "legacy crafts" communities are always trying to apply rules in order to keep things "authentic"without becoming impossibly hard to do...a "sweet spot" of technology so to speak. So the human bias is to find the level everyone can agree upon as true to craft. I personally find it mildly amusing to watch people jump into lockstep without just trying a bunch of different things. When I hear "is this allowed?" pertaining to methodology I cringe. For millennia trades people were known for advancing trades through creative application of new materials/methods. We are at a point in history where backing up a bit is considered noble and true. As an aerospace machinist for many years I have learned that men with crude talent will do crude work whether you hand them a file or a cnc milling machine. Since I have no dog in the fight on the legacy side of things I have had a joy filled time of discovery trying to make the best knives I can using whatever material is appropriate. In fact...the horizon is so broad it's overwhelming at times!Lol....

Carry on....
 
#15
Obviously I am a mix of technologies, I have been called a soulless technocrat bent on destroying traditional bladesmithing, and an all out luddite, sometimes by the same people. To be honest I get a huge kick out of all the options that the 21st century smith has available. I love smelting ore that I dug, in a clay furnace, to make my own 1,000 year old steel and then heat treating the resulting blade in digitally controlled salt baths, to me that dichotomy and balance is fantastic. 1st century crafts and scanning electron microscopes make a real exciting combination.
 
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