Announcement Heat treated a few openers where I felt it would improve the contrast.
Heat treated a few openers where I felt it would improve the contrast.
lwroth on May 24, 2016
Absolutely fabulous! And didn't expect the lovely case for it. I may have to keep it for myself and get another one for my Finnish friend, who's visiting later this year. A work of art. Hope you're set up in your new home soon!
dinogorgon2013 on Apr 15, 2016
When it arrived, I was amazed! Big yet slim and elegant. The pattern is downright mesmerising, and has a nice dark tint which doesn't make it look overly "blingy" like a silver pendant of this size would. Long-handled Thor Hammer very similar to the historic type worn by the Goths and Teutons (the Icelanders believed Mjolnir had a short handle so most of their pendants were not so long). The Damascus pattern looks great with long leather jackets. The hole at the top is a simple small one for a basic leather cord, which works great as you don't want anything braided or too fancy going through there anyway, the hammer is already quite a conversation piece on its own!
Hand forged pattern-welded (damascus) bottle openers from Bend, OR.
I've been blacksmithing in my garage since early 2012 when I purchased my first anvil and used a cutting torch to heat steel. This was a logical extension from welding (TIG and Stick primarily) which was and still is a hobby of mine. For both welding and blacksmithing, I primarily taught myself from books and experimentation and created most of my own equipment along they way when practical. I've been actively forging in my garage for about 3.5 years now, primarily making tools (punches, drifts, chisels, hot-cuts, etc.) to make other tools as well as experimenting with forging knives, froes, axes, corkscrews, and of course, bottle openers. Having made well over a hundred out of mild steel (by my informal count), mostly given to friends and neighbors, and a dozen or so from damascus sold to local friends and strangers at bars that saw them on my keychain, my wife (Rebecca / Calipidder) and I (David) decided it was about time to put them up for sale online.
I've always been fascinated by pattern-welded or damascus steel, which has a rich history spanning millennia and multiple continents. However it's most common embodiment, damascus knives, are often relegated to a safe or at best carried as a dress knife where they are rarely used. However, bottle openers, see much less abuse in day to day use than knives, and the potential point of wear - the tab - is small and not so visible. Plus, if you're like me, you use a bottle opener at least one or two times a day. Unlike the common mass-produced aluminum keychain openers, wear from frequent use is not an issue for a carbon steel opener (aside from minor scratches from pocket wear). So I felt bottle openers presented a great medium to demonstrate the beauty of damascus patterns and with the popularity of craft beer these days, I hope there is demand for such one-of-a-kind tools, forged to last several generations, which is the focus of this shop.
Everything produced our shop is hand made by me. I've finally modernized and now am using a 24-ton hydraulic forging press in addition to 5-10 pound hand hammers to forge my damascus billets from sheets of 1080 and 15N20 steel. These billets are then forged to the functional shape, normalized, belt-sanded to around 600-1200 grit, and then repeatedly etched in Ferric Chloride and re-polished by hand with 1000 and 2000 grit sandpaper. In general, I've been normalizing all openers and leaving them in that state, which is tough and very durable, recently I've been experimenting with various heat treatments (oil quench, austempering) and I'll clearly state in the individual product listings if an opener has been processed beyond my standard triple normalizing. I do not outsource any part of the process (forging, welding, heat treatment, grinding, sanding, etching, final polishing, and oiling - oiling is the easy part!) - with one exception, sometimes Rebecca gets to help with Quality Assurance (opening beers with a new opener).
I've started a series of guest blogs on my Rebecca's site (Calipidder.com) under the tag 'damascus'. I hope to add more entries before long.
I'm also frequently posting photos on Instagram (@drunkenmarmotforge) of damascus works in progress, my apprentice Thor (yellow lab), and occasionally wildlife.
About the forge name:
Just google 'marmot' and 'radiator hose' or 'radiator fluid'/'antifreeze' and you'll get the picture. And as a bonus, we now have marmots in the vicinity of the forge after moving the shop to a barn in Bend, Oregon!
Owner, Curator, Assistant
- Accepts Etsy gift cards
Returns & exchanges
- Custom or personalized orders
- Perishable products (like food or flowers)
- Digital downloads
- Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
- To communicate with you about your order
- To fulfill your order
- For legal reasons (like paying taxes)