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Old 02-25-2011, 07:02 PM   #1636
Smithy
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Originally Posted by TheOtherBart View Post
Smithy, let's say I wanted to make some simple fixed-blade knives. I've made one before, ground from a file, but without any kind of heat treatment either to anneal the steel before shaping or to harden and temper after. Is there a variety of steel that a guy with no heat treatment furnace could make decent blades out of? Something where the recipe could be as loose as "heat to cherry red and toss into some oil, then temper in your wife's oven when she isn't around"?

I would first reccomend learning about Decalescence, that phenomena that happens when carbon goes into/out of solution with the steel. That is "critical" temperature, and much lower than most people think. Cherry Red in strong light is too hot by a few hundred degrees. I posted an excellent series of photos here: http://paleoplanet69529.yuku.com/top...4/Decalescance

Once you heat the steel to that temperature, and the carbon goes into solution, hold it there for 30 seconds or so (for most simple steels... some super alloys need a longer soak at temperature), then remove and quench in warm oil. Old veggie oil is best, doesn't stink like motor oil, and won't stink up the oven when you go to temper it. Old files may be worked this way if you need to redo the heat treatment, then tempered at around 400F in the oven for a couple hours. Some recommend, as do I, a second temper cycle 24 hours later to catch any untempered martensite that converted after your first cycle was done.

To anneal it pre-grinding, heat to critical, then cool very slowly. If you have a forge, an easy method is to simply cut off the fuel supply and air, cover/close, and walk away... the inside will stay warm for a long time, often to the next morning. If you're unable to do that, a bucket of vermiculite or wood ash will do as well, but I often find that heating a second or even third large piece of scrap, and binding the one I'm working between them before putting into the bucket creates a much larger heat mass, that helps the slow-cool. This will soften file steel enough to make stock removal easier... then heat treat when done, as stated above.

And don't blame me when one cracks - it happens to everyone once in a while. Maybe because it's just tuesday. But this recipie should get anyone started.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:33 PM   #1637
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithy View Post
I would first reccomend learning about Decalescence, that phenomena that happens when carbon goes into/out of solution with the steel. That is "critical" temperature, and much lower than most people think. Cherry Red in strong light is too hot by a few hundred degrees. I posted an excellent series of photos here: http://paleoplanet69529.yuku.com/top...4/Decalescance

Once you heat the steel to that temperature, and the carbon goes into solution, hold it there for 30 seconds or so (for most simple steels... some super alloys need a longer soak at temperature), then remove and quench in warm oil. Old veggie oil is best, doesn't stink like motor oil, and won't stink up the oven when you go to temper it. Old files may be worked this way if you need to redo the heat treatment, then tempered at around 400F in the oven for a couple hours. Some recommend, as do I, a second temper cycle 24 hours later to catch any untempered martensite that converted after your first cycle was done.

To anneal it pre-grinding, heat to critical, then cool very slowly. If you have a forge, an easy method is to simply cut off the fuel supply and air, cover/close, and walk away... the inside will stay warm for a long time, often to the next morning. If you're unable to do that, a bucket of vermiculite or wood ash will do as well, but I often find that heating a second or even third large piece of scrap, and binding the one I'm working between them before putting into the bucket creates a much larger heat mass, that helps the slow-cool. This will soften file steel enough to make stock removal easier... then heat treat when done, as stated above.

And don't blame me when one cracks - it happens to everyone once in a while. Maybe because it's just tuesday. But this recipie should get anyone started.
Those are awesome pictures! So what's the best way for a schmoe in his back yard to get the blade up to the critical temp before giving it the french fry treatment? Charcoal grill? Oxy aceylene torch? Mother-in-law glare? And if I were to buy a stick of steel is there one or another more forgiving?

And incidentally I'm going to do this if for no other reason than to use up the 3 gallons of turkey fryer oil I have left over from Thanksgiving. Mmmmmmm, turkey steel...
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:57 PM   #1638
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Torch will work, if you're careful. Grill will work if you're using hardwood lump, not briquettes, and are patient.

If you're going to go buy steel, I would reccomend a simple 10-series. 1070, 1080, or 1095 are all popular, and most are available from online suppliers. I use the New Jersey Steel Baron, myself, but smaller quantities can be had a little more easily from Admiral Steel - they have quality control issues I like to avoid, but for a beginner they're inconsequential.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:25 PM   #1639
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithy View Post
Torch will work, if you're careful. Grill will work if you're using hardwood lump, not briquettes, and are patient.

If you're going to go buy steel, I would reccomend a simple 10-series. 1070, 1080, or 1095 are all popular, and most are available from online suppliers. I use the New Jersey Steel Baron, myself, but smaller quantities can be had a little more easily from Admiral Steel - they have quality control issues I like to avoid, but for a beginner they're inconsequential.
Excellent, thanks!
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:29 PM   #1640
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithy View Post
Torch will work, if you're careful. Grill will work if you're using hardwood lump, not briquettes, and are patient.

If you're going to go buy steel, I would reccomend a simple 10-series. 1070, 1080, or 1095 are all popular, and most are available from online suppliers. I use the New Jersey Steel Baron, myself, but smaller quantities can be had a little more easily from Admiral Steel - they have quality control issues I like to avoid, but for a beginner they're inconsequential.

I'm fascinated by your craft. You are not only a craftsman but you are good at explaining stuff. Dunno if you teach this skill, but I believe you could.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:28 PM   #1641
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Schrade-Walden 153 UH

One of only two known to exist.

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

The other one is NIB and is owned by a collector in Australia.

Stromdog screwed with this post 02-26-2011 at 08:40 PM
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:52 PM   #1642
Smithy
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Originally Posted by DirtyOldMan View Post
I'm fascinated by your craft. You are not only a craftsman but you are good at explaining stuff. Dunno if you teach this skill, but I believe you could.

Thank you. That's a touching compliment.
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:05 PM   #1643
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And yet another blade seems to have followed me home...



A CRKT Stubby Razel. Solid little chunk o'steel, and I was intrigued by the blade design. I'll report on it's usefulness later.

My name is Motomedic, and I am a knifeaholic.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:48 AM   #1644
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I've been carrying a Razel for a year now.
Great tool but I would look for one with a bit of belly to the blade to
give more versatility.
The clip on the sheath is not well designed. It's a real scratcher.

People do look at me funny when I pull it out of my pocket.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:23 AM   #1645
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithy View Post
Torch will work, if you're careful. Grill will work if you're using hardwood lump, not briquettes, and are patient.

If you're going to go buy steel, I would reccomend a simple 10-series. 1070, 1080, or 1095 are all popular, and most are available from online suppliers. I use the New Jersey Steel Baron, myself, but smaller quantities can be had a little more easily from Admiral Steel - they have quality control issues I like to avoid, but for a beginner they're inconsequential.
Don't forget the old reliable, O-1 tool is also good for oil quench hardening.

When you go to harden, have a good magnet, you want to get the steel hot enough that the magnet will no longer stick, then you can quench.

I triple temper at 50 degrees lower each trip, and freeze the blade overnight between temperings.
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:59 PM   #1646
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Originally Posted by Manuel Garcia O'Kely View Post
Don't forget the old reliable, O-1 tool is also good for oil quench hardening.

When you go to harden, have a good magnet, you want to get the steel hot enough that the magnet will no longer stick, then you can quench.

I triple temper at 50 degrees lower each trip, and freeze the blade overnight between temperings.
I've read a lot about cryogenic treatments, is an overnight stay in the family chill chest cold enough to make a difference? And when you say "a good magnet", what distinguishes a good one from a not-so-good one? Is my telescoping pick-up magnet good enough?
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:49 PM   #1647
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Originally Posted by Motomedic View Post
And yet another blade seems to have followed me home...



A CRKT Stubby Razel. Solid little chunk o'steel, and I was intrigued by the blade design. I'll report on it's usefulness later.

My name is Motomedic, and I am a knifeaholic.
Cool. I have the Wilson version called the "Cop Tool". It's kinda handy.
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:53 PM   #1648
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Beautiful work. The sheath looks very well done.

All things considered, the pricing on that machete is a bargain.

I'm putting one of those on my "must have" list. Thanks!
You're welcome. I have about 20 Bark Rivers. I'm confident you won't regret it.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:32 PM   #1649
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Originally Posted by Stromdog View Post
One of only two known to exist.

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

The other one is NIB and is owned by a collector in Australia.
I don't disbelieve. How does this seemingly traditional and common looking knife come to be so rare?
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:53 PM   #1650
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Well I made this one. My first knife actually. Every part and piece you see, except the screws.


Some more I made



My first and second Auto during construction. I sadly quit making after I finished these.
Very nice. Why did you stop?
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