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  1. 10 points
    Let me present Roðinn Hrafn - the Red or "Bloodstained Raven". Blade in folded and twisted railroad steel, in a san-mai lamination with Øberg steel for the core. Handle in stabilized Maple, with Holly for the core, copper, brass and vulcanized fiber. The Holly is engraved with Elder Futhark runes - written in old Norse - and filled with ashes. Any and all critique, is ... as always - most welcome. :) Sincerely, Alveprins.
  2. 7 points
  3. 7 points
    Back from spring break. The kids had fun and no bones were broken... I guess I prefer going the opposite direction, downhill... Really fast Definitely a beautiful place! Back to business... Got some time to engrave tonight, so I started taking pictures. Caveat time... These pictures are really close up, I look back at them and the lines look horrible. Understand that this is magnified, and at normal working distance/ holding it in your hand, everything looks better I start by drawing what I want to engrave. I'm going more geometric on this design, we will see how it turns out. For straight lines on a curved surface I like to use tape, I have found electrical tape has super sharp and straight edges and can make complex curves given the round surface of the knife handle. Using a mechanical pencil I can get a precise line: I finish the outline Since this is smooth surface, this will wipe off very easily so I use an art fixative. Then it is time to engrave. I use a sharp skew chisel I made about a year ago. I have had difficulty recreating this thing, but I have modified it several times so that it fits my fingers as I hold it. Currently, I have it wrapped in Kirlex medical tape which cushions the handle and improves grip. The right hand guides the direction like a pencil, the left hand provides the power behind the edge. The whole concept is you are making a "V" shaped grove. You cut one side and you get a raised edge. Then switch directions and cut the other side. I have found if I'm doing it right I get a thin curly shaving that comes out of the groove and resulting V groove. Then I began the border design. I'm just kinda making this up as I go at this point. Another thing I started using was this measuring tape, it is awesome for laying out a design. I cut each line in one direction Then work the other way until the lines are cut. For a triangle cut I use a different, tiny chisel and make all the cuts in one direction (which I think helps maintain consistency). Then I switch directions and make the same cuts in the other direction and try to clean it up as much as I can. This is kinda like chip carving. Alright, I'm finished up for the night. I realize this is taking forever, but I have pretty limited time each night, so that's how I roll. The best part is the reveal, so I gotta finish up with a shot after I rub pigment (I use artist oil paints) into the groove. There you go. Hope that helps someone. Adam
  4. 7 points
    Made this one a few months ago. Blade is 10" and forged to shape from a billet I made with a centre core of 80CRV2 and 15N20/1084 mix. Guard is stainless, handle is African blackwood, pommel is low layer damascus. Thanks for looking. Clint
  5. 6 points
    This little Bowie as a 6 1/4" blade of 1080 & 15N20. Handle is some nice black walnut burl with 416 fittings & ivory escutcheons. (The escutcheon pins are through pins.)
  6. 6 points
    I thought it would be advantageous to have a thread to reference for the benefit of beginners (or anyone under equipt). In this we are only going to look only at our beginner safe steels. Being that I am highly underqualified to direct anyone on metallurgy, correct me at will, and add what you think, or any questions! First up; steel selection . What makes a beginner safe steel? The answer is to keep it simple. A general rule of thumb is the less complex the steel; the less complex heat treatment is (with exceptions). High chromium steels who's carbides require long soak times in order to get into solution are not safe for beginner's. However, Alloys like 5160 with a moderate amount of chromium are easy for beginners to use and are a fan favorite for its attributes such as toughness, wear resistance, and edge retention alongside harder to heat treat steels like 1095. Alloys like vanadium can actually help keep grain size small. Manganese can have an effect on the depth of hardness. Low manganese steels are shallow hardening (use for hamons) and classified as a water quenched steel (don't try water). Higher manganese steels are deep hardening and classified as an oil quenchable steel (definitely don't try water). A lower-high range of carbon content (.75-.84%) can use a slower speed quenchant (such as 120°F canola oil) and are less sensitive to overheating. So our favorite begginners steels are: From the 10xx group: from 1075, 1080, and 1084. Unrelated to those; 5160, 80crv2, 15n20. How to work these steels There is no doubt some will want to try forging a blade. Anything heat wise you do to a blade is a part of its heat treatment. These steels need to be forged at what I see as a high orange color to a mid orange color. To me, red is around 1,100°F- 1,300°F. Don't forge anything more than to straighten a blade at this heat. You want to be at a temperature of around 1,900°- 1600°F for forging. This can be tricky to go by. Some claim the steel is "cherry red" others claim it is yellow or orange. We all see it differently. Normalization It is next, but not until we learn the big word below. Decalescence "De"as a prefix means "to be away from", or "without" and "calescence" means "to warm up" in Latin. So, "decalescence" means (roughly) "to be without warming up". Since energy is matter, and matter is energy; the steel will release light and heat energy When heated. When you heat the steel to a certain point, the steel begins to change its atomic arrangement. Such a change requires energy to accomplish, so the steel cannot emit its light energy, and heating may slow down. This creates a visible "shadow" in the steel that can be used as a waypoint in the normalization and hardening processes. Recalescence is the same thing as decalescence but in reverse. So you see it as the blade is cooling. Here's a video by our own @Wes Detrick (hope you don't mind Wes ). For a closer look, I'm gonna quote the guy who explained it to me in another thread; Alan Longmire. (On recalescence)- "It's not heat, nor is it grains. It's photons and individual crystal structure. When the crystal goes from face-centered cubic to body-centered cubic it takes energy to accomplish, thus the momentary darkening. It does not cool off (much), and when it brightens again after transformation is complete it is because the photons are being emitted again rather than absorbed. Exactly the same thing happens in reverse (decalescence) when you heat it up. The swirling shadows you see are the crystals transforming from body-centered to face-centered, absorbing energy. This is the dimming via lack of photon release, it is not cooling off. We're in the realm of subatomic phenomena here; where visible light is due to electrons jumping up or down one step in energy level, releasing or absorbing photons in the process. Matter is energy and energy is matter, light becomes solid and vice-versa. E=mc^2 and all that. Grains are just groups of crystals growing in the same alignment, not unlike quartz crystals. You can have big ones you can see or tiny ones you can't, but that make up a large mass anyway." Remember, decalescence happens on a rising heat; recalescence happens on as it cools. Think of it this way, using "re" before a word usually means its the second go around. Recalescence is the second shadow. Back to Decalescense So, if you couldnt make sense of that; the steel darkens or forms a "shadow" at the temperature right before you would be ready to quench. You continue to heat the steel until the shadow brightens until it becomes the same color as the area just outside of the shadow. You want to heat as evenly as possible until the shadow is gone. Heat thicker areas first, and then move to thinner areas. I pull my blade in and out of my forge's hot spot to achieve even heat. Some use a pipe capped on one end inside of the forge to create an even heat. This phenomenon is best seen in low light conditions and is used for both normalization and hardening. Normalization continued We're going to skip annealing as I see it as unessesary and difficult for a beginner to accomplish. To soften the steel for stock removal and drilling as well as grain refinement prior to hardening; we normalize. Using decalescence, we typically (using these beginner steels) run 3 cycles to refine grain after forging or annealing. To do this, you take the first heat a little above "critical" (the point after decalescence) and let cool in still air until no color is left. I typically quench in oil at this point, others like to wait until it's just about cool enough to grab. Then, another heat is taken to right at critical temp and then allowed to cool in still air. Lastly; the blade is taken to a dull red heat and allowed to cool in still air. Note: if this project was taken to welding heat or fully annealed more cycles of normalization won't hurt. I typically do 3 sets of each cycle above. Hardening This is just about the same as the second step of normalizing with the addition of quenching. The above steels can all be heat treated using canola, or peanut oil. You'll need to heat the oil in a metal container to around 120°F. I judge this as uncomfortable to hold my finger in for more than a second. If you wanna get fancy; buy a meat thermometer. Scrap metal can be heated and dunked in the oil to heat it. Have your oil warm and just a step away. Heat your blade to critical, and without lollygaggin, put it tip first into the oil and make slight cutting motions through the oil with the blade. Wait 12 seconds to pull it out. Any warps you have can be fixed in the temper. Tempering This is what softens the brittle blade and should be done immediately after hardening. The right temperature for tempering should be decided with the design of the blade in mind. A blade with a lot of force and leverage applied to a robust edge should be tempered hotter for toughness. A chef's knife might be left harder to maintain an edge longer. This is a compromise between toughness and edge retention. You can temper in a toaster oven, a conventional oven, or even a real tempering oven. If you choose a conventional oven or toaster oven, use a meat thermometer to measure heat. Most ovens are out of calibration, and have temperature swings. To combat this; use a heat sink such as a tray of sand, or a firebrick. Flip the blade each cycle. The cycles should be one hour minimum for 3 cycles minimum. I do three 2 hour cycles. Leave it alone for one cycle, take it out, and quench in water. Repeat that until you are done. The point behind cycles is: When you harden a blade; you heat it to critical which forms a grain structure called austinite. The austinite is converted to martensite when quenched. Some austinite is left. Retained austinite turns into untempered martensite while tempering, so you temper in cycles just to try and get everything tempered. Now you're done!
  7. 5 points
    Here is something I made for a friend - he wanted it simple with a rust browned/blackened blade. Handle is hickory 18" long. Blade edge is 3" and 6 1/4" from edge to back of poll (1018 body with a 1075 bit). Nothing fancy, just a basic hawk using Alan's great tutorial to guide me along. One of these days I have to try my hand at doing some fancy file work on one. Critiques always appreciated.
  8. 5 points
    Today was a day for experimenting. After spending the majority of it making different styles & shapes of guards for this little dagger I went back to the original forged ball-tip guard from 416 and sent the rest to the round file. (the shiny spots on the side of the guard is where I had to grind the sides parallel in order to chuck them up in my mill for making the tang slot.) I plan on adding a front handle spacer from some left-over mosaic damascus to this hilt but found that it needed to be annealed before I could mill a tang slot in it so that's a job for tomorrow after it comes out of the annealing oven. You can't really see it here but the mastodon scales for this one were too thin for what I wanted to do so I added some 1/8" ivory micarta to the back of each one for added thickness. Once everything gets ground to shape & polished I think you'll like it.
  9. 5 points
    Before ICCE. A little damascus sticker, dirk, thingee OL 11 3/4" BL 7 Fluted buffalo NS collar, guard, and cap Sterling silver ferule (recovered from an old carving set) Thanks for looking Geoff
  10. 4 points
    I decided to try working on knives in a grouping of more than two. I typically only work on one or two at a time. So here is the beginning. It started out as 7 blades. Some got discarded along the way and replaced, some got redesigned after forging, others just got tossed. First I grab a pencil and some paper and design the whole knife. Then it's take a template (or make one) and choose the handle material and prepare the blade steel stock. Then it's fire up the forge and start banging them out. I keep the templates handy during forging. I even draw the profile with a soapstone on the anvil face and hold my forging over it to see where I need to push the steel. Eventually, I wind up with a bunch of forged blades.
  11. 4 points
    Rather then claim to know what is fact, I thought I recount my experiences and what I've been taught about linseed oil, tung oil and varnishes. My first experience with linseed oil was my grandfather showing me how he maintained his garden tools. Every Fall, he would coat the metal and wood before he put them away for the winter. He also used it to help prevent rust by coating the bed of his pickup. I don't know if he used raw or boiled, these lessons were before I was ten, and by the time I would have asked, he had passed on. Along with my grandfather's uses, my great uncle fed raw linseed oil to his livestock. While I've used linseed oil most of my life, my first real learning experience with linseed oil and finishes was the years I worked on wooded sailing vessels. As one might image, we used a lot of linseed oil, various vanishes and every boat had it's secret formulas for deck oil, spar varnish, and rigging tar. Of course, they were really all the same, but folks like to feel as if they have special knowledge. The boats left me with a good base of knowledge, and a healthy dose of skepticism. Beyond the boats, my own use of linseed oil is pretty basic, I use it the same as my grandfather, putting a coat on all my garden tools and I use it on any wood surface that I don't paint. All my craft show display boards and walls were finished with linseed oil. I like that dark yellow finish that you get with time. Light wood is a nice contrast with black iron but every scuff shows up, with the wood a little darker, not so noticeable. Most of the time, any furniture I refinish gets a linseed oil finish. The exception is when I don't want the wood to darken, then I'll use tung oil. But the devil's in the details, just how to use linseed oil and what's all this other stuff on the shelves? First off, one can not use linseed oil without thinning. It's simply too viscous to do much beyond sitting and turning into a sticky mess. If I want a nice finish on wood, I build up the finish in progressive layers. I start with linseed oil thinned out 1 to 4 ratio oil/thinner, finishing with a 4 to 1 ratio. I apply each and allow it to start to dry and then wipe off the excess. The first couple applications will not need this, as they're so thin as to almost appear not be there. If I want a hard durable finish, I'll then apply a top coat of varnish. Putting on linseed oil in this manner gives the finish a bit of depth. It also acts in the same manner for the varnish as does primer to paint. Having wrote that, most of the time, I just need/want a simple finish and will use linseed oil and thinner mixed in equal parts. Paint it on and after a few minutes wipe off the excess. I do this because it's easy. No prep work, no need to sand and if it gets scuffed up, I can reapply in the same manner. For iron, I'll use the 50/50 mix and do the same as with wood, let it start to get sticky and wipe off the excess. Let it dry and reapply. If you keep the coats thin, they will dry in a few hours. I'll do this several times to get a bit of thickness to the finish. I can not over emphasize, you have to wipe off the oil. If you don't, it will take a long time to dry. But for the most part, I no longer use linseed oil on iron. It's not long term waterproof, so it's no good for outdoor finishes and clear paste wax works just fine for indoor finishes. I've got coat racks I waxed 12 years ago and even with all the wet chore clothes I've hung from them, the finish is still good. I don't use tung oil very much, but just thin it out and put it on the same as linseed. Don't know if this is the correct method, but it appears to work. I've also been told and my experience bears this out, Tung oil is heat resistant enough to use on fireplace screens. Now about the other stuff. When talking about drying oils, there is no other stuff, there is only premixed/thinned/dryers added oils and the marketing companies do to make their mix attractive. I sure there are other drying oils out there somewhere, but most of the time, the only oils you will find in any mix is linseed, tung, and modified soy oil. Soy being the most used, as it's the least expensive. All will have a bit of linseed or tung oil to be able to make the claim. Formby Tung Oil Finish is an example of this, mostly soy with a bit of tung for the marketing claim. Some are thinned versions of the oil and some are very thinned varnish. Danish oil being one of the thinned varnishes. Bear in mind, I'm not knocking these products, they all work and some of them work quite well. Look at Tru-Oil, it's 4% linseed oil, 10% soy oil and 86% thinners and solvents, yet people on this forum speak highly of it. Penetrating oils, I've used them on floors but really don't have the experience nor knowledge to say anything about them. Spar varnish, what is it? In it's simplest form, it's linseed oil with some type of resin. For ship use, spar varnish needed to be more flexible then the varnish you would use on furniture, so the ratio of oil to resin was higher. Now days, it's a generic term for any outdoor varnish. I spend the last few weeks reading articles on the net. Lots of opinions, not much useful information. But one stuck in my mind. Here's a slice of it: “Every now and then someone comes into my shop, and in the course of conversation volunteers to me that his (it’s always a him) family had a secret formula for a finish that had been passed down for generations. Of course he wasn’t going to share it with me because then it wouldn’t be a secret anymore. So I would have to tell him what it was: 1/3 boiled linseed oil, 1/3 spar varnish (I never understood why it had to be spar varnish and not simply any varnish), and 1/3 turpentine. Now we might use mineral spirits (paint thinner) instead of turpentine, but this was an ancient formula, surely before there was mineral spirits. Surprise on his face. How did I know? Adding varnish into linseed oil is a way to make the linseed oil a little more protective and durable – not much, but a little. Doing this goes way back, at least well back into the 19th century.”
  12. 4 points
    Just sent this one away. 1095 blade, copper blade collar, blued steel fittings with copper accents. Carved bog oak handle. Bog oak and leather sheath: let me know what you think...
  13. 4 points
    ... it is not a blade ... but maybe Moderators will not remove this post. I finished the hammer of a Swiss infantryman from the turn of the 15th-16th century. I made it to the museum as an original from the period, so I had to make it. The long one is 132 cm long, steel plus iron plus bronze and black oak.
  14. 4 points
    Tonight's progress. Stretched my eyes a bit... Adam
  15. 4 points
    Options: 1. Matches or a cigarette lighter. Apply flame directly to facial hair. 2. Lean over a little too far when forging. Drag facial hair across hot steel or in the burning coal/charcoal/propane. 3. Smoke in bed. Allow burning ember to drop onto face/bed sheets/etc. 4. The only other way involves a lot of effort to understand, appreciate, and replicate the weaponry and pattern welding of the Viking age smiths combined with refining your sense of humor to the point where if someone said "If it's not Scottish, it's Crap!" you would know what they meant, or you spontaneously walked around singing "Eric the half a bee" for no apparent reason. The last part is akin to the ABS JS or MS test where you present a number of your works and sooner or later some dusty old fart (who already has a Fiery Beard) sees it, thinks it is worthy , and nominates you for the dubious honor of having your visage photo-shopped with flames on this small island of knowledge in an otherwise vast ocean of nonsense called the Internet. Luckily enough, it only takes two dusty old fiery-bearded farts to agree on your merits, whereas it takes a majority of seven to pass the ABS tests. If any of what I said is incorrect, please have one of the Mods make me stand upside-down with my head in a bucket of piranha fish. BTW- That's a really nice beard.
  16. 4 points
    Today I decided to finish this little PW blade that has been laying on my workbench for a couple of months. It has a small inclusion at the edge and it pissed me off . I think it'll be a nice gift for family nonetheless. I tried the coffee etch for the first time. Next time I'll sand to #1500 instead of #1000. The blade is not as smooth as I expected.
  17. 3 points
    Hey guys, its been a long time without any knifemaking for me. (something around 1 year) i was not in the mood. i dont realy understand why, but hey! sometimes you need even from the best hobby in the world a break. anyway, i made me a small blade for my belt. and it was great fun to me. and i think im hooked again. allready cant wait to forge again. its made from C100 steel with ebony scales. a sheath is already in work. hope to post some pics in the next days. and a little video for entertainment. thank you for your attention and have a nice day! Geko
  18. 3 points
    I've had the small hunter done for a week or so and just finished up the bow tie ax today. The hunter has a 4" 52100 blade, salvaged steel and wrought iron fittings and a sambar stag handle. 8" overall. The ax has a 1065 head and oak handle.
  19. 3 points
    I got the last of the pieces roughed out today. I think that I'll wait until tomorrow to begin the hand sanding & etching of the blade as well as the final fit-up & polish of the hilt.
  20. 3 points
  21. 3 points
    After a long break I'm coming back to reenacting, blades, axes and knives I was really busy during winter at some chandelieres and sconces to a Baroque monastery which is being restored. Some projects are waiting in a queue to be finished (like PW sword). I'm gradually catching up This sabre is rather heavy with big grip - for a massive man with a big hand. Total weight is 893g / 1,97lb / 31,5oz Blade lenght is 855mm / 33,7" PoB is 190mm - 7,48" Bend is 61mm / 2,4" Spring steel 50HF (51CrV2)
  22. 3 points
    It's cheaper in the long run to just use known steel from a reputable supplier (since if you know what it is there are loads of published sources of heat-treating methods), but if you're determined to use scrap/alternative steels, you become your own experimental metallurgist and have to figure out the heat treat by trial and error. Rule #1: do not forge plated steels like hitch balls or padlock shackles. You don't know what it's been plated with. If there's any cadmium as one of the layers (chrome plated objects have three or more layers, usually copper, then nickel, then chrome, but sometimes cadmium instead of nickel) it might kill you and anyone downwind. If it's zinc plated it will make you very sick to breathe the fumes, and might kill you if you have pneumonia or COPD/emphysema to begin with. I've personally known two people who have died from complications of zinc fume fever. Just don't do it. Rule #2: What the steel was used for is an indication of what alloy it might be. Automotive leaf springs in the US have been mostly 5160 for the last 50 years, although you will find some 9260, 1075, 1095, or even 1050. They all heat-treat about the same, which is why leaf spring is generally a good source of high carbon steel suitable for blades. Automotive coil spring is iffy if new. Older American coils may be 5160 or 9260. Newer ones may be HSLA (high strength low alloy) that can't be heat treated by our methods. Jason Knight says new Toyota coils are 1084. Post 2008 Ford coils are HSLA. Sway bars are sometimes 5160, sometimes 1050. Axles are usually 1050-ish. After all that, any used automotive steels may have stress fractures that won't show up until heat treatment. Prybars are usually spring steel of some flavor, 5160 or 1075 is common. Big lumber mill bandsaw blades (the ones that are about a foot wide and 30 to 60 feet long) are usually either 15N20 for the new ones or L6 for the older ones. These are not similar in how they are heat treated, so you need to know which you have. Small home-shop bandsaw blades for wood can be anything. Pallet strapping is often 1050, but some is 1095. I don't have a clue what jack cores would be, something hardenable but tough like 1050 would make sense. Large roller bearings are often 52100, but can also be case-hardened low carbon. Files are usually 1095 or W1, but are also found in case-hardened low carbon on some of the cheaper ones. Plow discs are anything from 1065 to 1095. Logging cable can be 1060, 1075, or 1095. If you have the label it will tell you in the form of IPS (1060), EIPS (1075), or EEIPS/XXPS (1095) Rule #3: The above list of "might be, might not be" is why it's usually better to buy a bar of 80CrV2 or 1084 from the New Jersey Steel Baron, or drill rod from MSC or Fastenall (water hardening is W1, oil hardening is O1) so you know exactly what you have and how to heat treat it.
  23. 3 points
    Working on this gift for my mother. It's got a 6" blade for perspective. Something I've noticed is that females tend to use smaller knives for almost any chores in the kitchen.
  24. 3 points
    Be careful following the Masses. Sometimes the "M" is silent.
  25. 3 points
    Spent the weekend making these. A holding block for a knife out of curly maple and walnut. And a big 12x18 cutting board that’s glueing right now.
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