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dan pfanenstiel

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Modesto, CA
  • Interests
    Bladesmithing in japanese style. Learning stone polishing. I make some western knives.

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  1. Legacy scratches are the bane of my existence, and the polisher’s reason for the saying “the slower you go, the faster you’ll get done”. Dan
  2. Yes on the thermocouple. I would have a PID control with thermocouple reading directly in the sand. I was hoping to have somewhere in the 24” long range for the pot, dunno if that long a probe (nichrome sheath, etc.) is doable. Don’t know why not. The electric coils are in hopes of getting even temps down the pot, rather than one or two burners. There’s a slim hope that having the coils spiral just around the outside of the pot with a half inch air gap, that target temps of around 1500 deg was possible with 110v and 1500 watts of power. I may be dreaming. I had not heard of sand qu
  3. Interesting, Jerrod. I was thinking about bringing the air supply in from the bottom of the pot. Your comment about the air cooling factor made me remember that some of the first iterations of home built sand pots ran the air line down from the top, inside the pot. Pre-heated air. Just for clarity, the air coming up from the bottom is to agitate the sand. In my test pot, it took very little air. Like needle valve almost closed. Just enough to get the sand gurgling, but not blow the sand out the top, and allowing a blade to move down into the sand mass easily rather than being shove
  4. I have done salt pots in the past, propane fired, and it does work well. In an effort to move away from that, the sand pots made sense. I cobbled together a small sand pot, with gas burner, and had trouble with it. Like Gilbert, getting it tuned in was a problem. In an ‘ah ha!’ moment, thought why not an electric version. Since I had pieces and parts from past electric oven builds, I started thinking about it. I know Paragon offered an electric version sand pot, but big and cumbersome and pricey. The sand does offer up even heating and temperature control. If the electric version can
  5. There has been a few sands tried, Alan. Most common is aluminum oxide in 120 grit (sand blast medium). Think of a salt pot, but with sand and a way to introduce air from the bottom. Takes very little air. Eliminates most of the danger of salts, but introduces decarb potential if not using inert gas. There’s a few YouTube vids on the subject. I played with home built salt pots and there was just enough anxiety over it to give it up. I keep with the forum regularly, just not a lot to say. Finished work has been sparse, trying to correct that :-) Dan
  6. Hey guys, I’ve been mulling a design in my head about a high temperature sand pot and thought I’d ask. If one were to build this, pretty much a 24” vertical heat treating oven with a pot (muffle tube) running down the middle, PID and SSR control, is there any reason why the coils can’t be very close to the pot? Not touching the pot but running in grooves in the soft fire brick with say a half inch of space to the pot? Everything I see has some sort of chamber size, which is correct on a gas burner design, but electric? Thanks Dan
  7. I asked a friend, who's dealt with nihonto for more than thirty years, and he thinks the functional benefit to burnishing is to minimize scuffing of the mune and shinogi-ji (if there is one) when entering and drawing from the saya. Otherwise, he mirrored what's been said about it being a later period "fashion" thing, like hadori style polish. I personally could take it or leave it. Looks good when done well, but I like to see the steel and it's flaws too.
  8. Mune-yaki, or hardening of the spine would be much more effective than burnishing for combat parrying, so I still don't think so. I could be wrong. I checked some of my books and still couldn't come up with a reason for burnishing. I'll ask around, as you've piqued my interest :-)
  9. I don't think so, Al. The burnishing would do little or nothing for blade to blade contact. Intreresting question though. In all my reading and research I don't recall a reason for the burnishing. I would guess that it was a visual thing that caught on, maybe in the later era, much like hadori polishing. It just seems like a technique to highlight the shinogi. I can't imagine burnishing on a blade meant for combat. Dan
  10. 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.
  11. 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 kn
  12. 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.
  13. 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 th
  14. My etching rig for years. 2" ABS pipe with caps epoxied on the bottom and rubber caps on top.
  15. 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
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