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dan pfanenstiel

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  • Location
    Modesto, CA
  • Interests
    Bladesmithing in japanese style. Learning stone polishing. I make some western knives.
  1. dan pfanenstiel

    Hamon questions.

    No, that would wipe out the effects of etching. I finish to final grit, 1200 is fine, then the etch process. Stopping polishing at various final grits give different surface looks. Stopping at 600 grit as opposed to all the way up to 2500 grit will look different. Why I'll etch between grits to see how things are looking. Doesn't hurt anything.
  2. dan pfanenstiel

    Hamon questions.

    The process I use is similar to the lemon juice one, only with dilute ferric chloride. I'll etch for a minute on the first one, rub out with finest paper. Second etch, ferric for 30-60 seconds, rub with paper. Third etch 30 seconds, rub with 600 grit loose abrasive. Last few etches are quick and move to 1200 grit loose. I might even leave the last one, without rubbing for a darkened effect above the hamon and rub the hardened section below the hamon to whiten it. You could finish with lemon juice to highlight activity. So many variables, but it is a progression. I just talked to a very knowledgeable fellow that said rubbing Simichrome on a finished blade, vigorously, would give a blueish color so desired in koto blades. Something new to try. Always something new to try. Just thought of something, make sure you're using lots of water when rubbing out with paper. Just dry paper smears the surface. The loose abrasives can be a paste to very watery depending.
  3. dan pfanenstiel

    Hamon questions.

    There ya go. Much better. If your're happy, stay there. For more detail you can sand out on your finest paper, not full sanding, just to remove oxides and etch again, paste rub. You can also just paste rub the hamon to the edge to highlight that. Use a small pad of blue jean material. Watch each step you do to see the effect. The bug becomes a fever.
  4. dan pfanenstiel

    Hamon questions.

    I like the tanks because I can do test etches really easy as I polish. Just dunk for a few seconds and see what's happening. My ferric is very dilute, maybe 10:1, faster than vinegar but not damascus etch. Also good for darkening the blade between grits to easily see where you're polishing. For finishing up, try an etch (few seconds to a minute) then rubbing out with finest paper. Maybe a couple of times. Then etch and rub out with loose powder (I use 600 grit, or 1200 depending), see if that looks good. Quick etch and finish with fine paper for a shinier look. Play with it (why I like the tanks) to see what gives good results. Seems like I spend more time playing with these things than actually finishing stuff :-)
  5. dan pfanenstiel

    Hamon questions.

    My etching rig for years. 2" ABS pipe with caps epoxied on the bottom and rubber caps on top.
  6. dan pfanenstiel

    FLat bar tongs for sale.

    I second that. I've been struggling with a meager tong selection for years. I used my new JJ Simon tongs this last weekend and enjoyed them very much. Excellent for flat bar holding, but for me, when I get to finishing a Japanese style blade, they also hold the finished shape and allow for choking up on the blade. Not something a bolt or flat tong does. thanks again, JJ Dan
  7. dan pfanenstiel

    FLat bar tongs for sale.

    hey JJ, email me at Danpfan at Comcast.net
  8. dan pfanenstiel

    FLat bar tongs for sale.

    Ya, my mailbox says error ex145 or something. Oops, just read that Alan is working on it.
  9. dan pfanenstiel

    FLat bar tongs for sale.

    Sign me up for one JJ. At least I won't be able to blame my tong selection on my lack of work :-) Dan
  10. dan pfanenstiel

    Best temperature to straighten a katana

    Pretty easy to make, some 3/8 or 1/2" aluminum saw cut to vice jaw dimensions. Faces are slightly radiused. Inlet some small round magnets. Works good 'cause easy to store near the vice, can put any orientation and slide closer together or further away as needed. Thanks Alan, I have gained a lot from this forum. When I grow up (I'm only 53 now) I want to be confident enough to be able to say I'm a decent maker Dan
  11. dan pfanenstiel

    Best temperature to straighten a katana

    Knew I had one here somewhere...
  12. dan pfanenstiel

    Best temperature to straighten a katana

    Zeb, blade straightening is one of those necessary evils. If getting into long blades, it becomes a necessary skill. I have used gabe's mention of the three penny thing for years and glad for it. My set up uses aluminum posts that fit over the jaws of my bench vice, basically giving me a three point pressure system, two on one side and one on the other to press the peak of the curve with as little or as much force as I need. (Used to have a picture, can't find now). I've used this on fully hardened blades (hamon, no tempering), tempered, and antiques. The key is to get familiar with what you can get away with and you can use this set up to apply very little force, walk away with it under pressure, and come back later to see if it was enough. It can take some time. I also prefer to do this at some temperature, right after tempering or might play a torch over the blade to get up to 300f and put in the straightening jig. Some blades are easy to move, some fight you. Depends on the alloy and amount of hardening. Same goes on with antiques. whew! Most I've written in a while! Dan
  13. dan pfanenstiel

    First Real Hamon

    I use ferric, but dilute it down a bunch. 10:1 is a good start. Blade in for a minute or so and neutralize. Do multiple times after rubbing out each time. Also try progressive method, etch then rub out with last highest paper, etch and rub with powder (I use blue jean squares), etch then Flitz or finer powder. the blue jean squares are a good carrier for the powder and cheap :-) dan
  14. dan pfanenstiel

    Tools Defined

    Wait, who needs a coat where it's 800 degrees outside?
  15. dan pfanenstiel

    Some advice for a Wak I bought

    The end of the tang does look weird. The whole tang looks off to me. On the welded tang idea, does the yasuri mei, the file scratches, all follow through or look interrupted at the discoloration? Altering or welding the tang was done, but usually to preserve a signature on a good blade being shortened. I don't think this is the case with your blade. As can see, I have a few 'special' cases myself.