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Artificer: [ART-IF-ISS-URR] : Noun: A craftsman who makes things

What I do...

I make things - it is my hobby, and occasionally my job. I try not to say, "I can't make that"; rather, "How do I make that?"
That comes from my Dad - inspirational teacher, gentleman, gentle man, and a "cunning artificer" if ever there was one.

Everything here is supposed to be useful - nothing is (or should be) decoration for the sake of it. If it doesn't do what it was designed for, I've done it wrong!

I also make things for other people - if you like what you see and want something made, get in touch.

What is here

Follow the links in the top bar to see things made, projects in progress, and completed stuff for sale.

I do try to keep the site current, but I have a day job as well...

What is new?

11th March 2020
Errr... Ok - six and a half years have flown/ambled past with no updates...
Stuff has happened, stuff has been made - I will endeavour to get some more content up, as there are lots of photos.
I'm also going to try to migrate the site onto Wordpress, although that does mean getting access to the site control panel, which I haven't looked at for years, and can't remember how to get to. This also assumes that my (now free!) webspace supports php and sql, which is by no means a given.
Watch this space...

5th September 2013
Hmmm... another 5 months has flown by, and what has happened?
The two ash bows have been finished and shot with.
I made some repro gladiator gear for a production of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum", and put on a gladiatorial display as part of the street theatre. The caligae I made for this are on the Leatherwork page - more will appear when I have some decent photos.
The other day I made my first blacksmith's knife - on the Knifemaking page.

13th April 2013
Oops - it's been nearly a year...
I have been busy, but not that much to put up here. I have been making bows, and there is now a Bow-Making page accessed from the Wood index page.
I made a quick draw-knife for the bow-making activities - OK, it's very crude, but it's sharp and does the job.
Last autumn, I was occupied with making rapier and dagger scabbards for the Icarus Theatre Collective, for their production of Romeo & Juliet, followed by a 3/4 scale working guillotine for Riverside Player's production of "A Tale of Two Cities".

16th April 2012
Another dagger and a second rapier completed - the dagger has it's scabbard and frog complete as well, and is up on the Stage Weapons page. The rapiers are both still awaiting scabbards and frogs.
Both rapiers and two of the daggers have been to a couple of Combat Lab sessions, and have had some fairly heavy duty fencing sessions. Balance seems OK on the daggers and the second rapier. The first rapier started out slightly point-heavy and slow - comparing it to the second revealed an entirely different taper, leaving much more meat on the foible. I have re-ground the blade to steepen the taper and lighten the foible compared to the forte, and this seems to have speeded up the blade to the point where it is comfortable.

25th February 2012
In January, I completed my BADC Level 1 course in Stage Combat. Possibly the toughest week I have spent in many years!
I am also making weapons for stage combat, with a view to hiring them out to local drama groups. Details on the Stage Weapons page.

11th December 2011
The tanto was completed in July
, and the toothpick whittler was presented to one of the joint winners of the camp challenge. I am making another prize knife for the other joint winner...
I have been recycling old axe heads - a rather battered, rusty old hatchet was revealed to be a Brades Criterion from the 1950's, which has been cleaned up and given a new helve (recycled from a broken sledgehammer handle) and mask.
An extremely manky-looking head, under the rust and gunk is actually a Marples 3lb felling axe head, made just across the road from where I used to work in Sheffield. A worn-out pick handle is allocated to this one, as I becoming a convert to straight handles on axes.

18th June 2011
More progress with the tanto previously mentioned on the Knifemaking page - the blade is now finished, and awaiting a set of fittings. 

4th June 2011
The toothpick-style whittler is finished, and is now wearing a handsome set of desert ironwood scales.

16th May 2011
The katana is finished, saya is complete, and there are some photos up on the second restoration page.

18th March 2011
Red Nose Day!
Katana restoration: The samekawa (rayskin) is now drying after being glued to the tsuka core.
Photos of filleter sheath received from Tony, now up on the Leatherwork page.

14th March 2011
The restoration of the  katana is proceeding - I have some excellent photos of the fittings up on the restoration page, not taken by me, I hasten to add...

3rd March 2011
I have finished both the filleter sheath and the seax, and both are now with their new owners.
Seax is here...

14th January 2011
Completed my Tuominen knife with desert ironwood and mammoth ivory. See here...
I have also started a sheath for a filleting knife, a handle for a reproduction pattern-welded seax, and a restoration on a katana. Busy, busy...

4th January 2011
Finished a Karlsson puukko, handled with the other piece of maple burl I had left over from the Eklund. See here...

28th November 2010
Finished a Mikhael Eklund puukko in AEB-L stainless - see here...

19th November 2010
Just finished putting some ironwood scales on a damascus Mule for George - photo on the Knifemaking page.

23rd July 2010
I have made some alterations to the knifemaking page, as it was getting too big and unwieldy. It is now more of an index, with thumbnails linking to sub-pages for each project.
The damasteel knife has gone to it's new owner, and the proceeds have gone towards this summer's trip to the Channel Islands by our local Scout troop.
Following an enquiry from Down Under, I have started another whittler - details on the knifemaking page. The forged nessmuk has still not made it to the front of the queue, but hey-ho... The kitchen is a higher priority this summer!

24th May 2010
The damasteel knife is complete, pics up on the knifemaking page.

12th March 2010
The replacement ZDP Mule will not be appearing - the cracking problem is apparently related to the "molecular bonding within the steel". I would translate that as a problem with the crystalline structure, as steel doesn't strictly have a molecular structure, but not everyone is a chemist! Disappointing though it is for this one to fall through, the original  point of the Mule program was to gather more information about exotic steels in use, so it has at least achieved that.

I have also passed on the CPM-S35VN Mule to another collector/maker, as I won't have the time in the short- to medium-term to do anything with it.

The damasteel blade is shaped and ground, and is away to be professionally heat-treated.

16th February 2010
The O1/Ebony neckers have been completed and despatched - photos on the knifemaking page.
The leather stamps made up by Kerne are working really well, so the mark now goes on every bit of leatherwork that goes out.
I have bought a small piece of damasteel (stainless damascus) - this has jumped to the front of the queue...

5th January 2010
New Year has been and gone.
I finished the damascus blade before Christmas, and it has gone to it's new owner. Photos on the knifemaking page.
The fat-belly bushy blade was prised out of my grip by another keen maker, and has been finished by him.
Details here.

How to get in touch

Email  me
Get in touch via one of the forums I frequent - see the links page. My username is CaptainBeaky on all of them.

Copyright Peter Nicholson 2009. And just for spam-bots everywhere: