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  1. I've been making kiridachi lately, and I'd like to finish the tops of the blades (which is wrought iron) with a draw filed pattern. I've been using a fairly course Nicholson 12 or 15 inch cross cut file, which produces an acceptable, if somewhat subtle pattern of parallel lines/ridges. So, does anyone have any suggestions about how to go about getting a more pronounced effect? I'd like to be able to produce deep, even, parallel lines that almost look like they were cut in with a graver. Is there a particular file type or shape that works best for this sort of thing? Any helpful wisdom out there?
  2. Rank amateur that I am, I don't go though belts fast enough to have to reorder all that often, but I am finally running low. I logged onto the Tru Grit website for the first time in some time, and they have a bunch of new types of belts I hadn't seen before. For me, this is a hobby, so I don't need to worry so much about keeping production costs down, etc. Just would like whatever will cut the best and give me the best results. Any thoughts on what works best?
  3. Well, I know this is going to sound odd, but I am very happily married. I wear a platinum wedding band, and I'm actually on my second, because they get so badly banged up and abraded, that after a while, they just look like hell. So, I was working in my shop a couple of days ago, and I had this idea -- why not make a wedding band out of steel and then harden it. Figured it would have to be stainless or it would rust on my finger, and the only stainless I have in my shop was a slab of 3/8 inch 440C I bought once thinking I would use it to make up some chef's knives. (I never got to it, and have always used straight carbon steels for my knifemaking.) Anyway, I bandsawed out a round (the stuff is tough on saw blades, btw), drilled an appropriately sized hole for my finger, made up a little jig to hold the piece on my little shop lath, turned it to size, and then polished it up. I haven't heat treated it yet, but it actually looks really nice, and even soft, I bet it's much harder/tougher than any gold or platinum ring. Plus, given how much I enjoy working with steel, there's something nice about using it for my wedding band. (Of course, I'm now hosed, because I showed it to the Missus who immediately demanded that I make her a "bangle".) I need to do a bit more polishing (still have some very light tool marks), and then heat treat, after which I thought I'd try tempering it back to a nice spring blue/purple color. All of which got me to thinking, how cool would it be to do a ring that had a temper line running down the middle of it? In fact, I bet there'd be a market for such a thing. (Maybe I could quite my day job!) I was in a jewelry store recently, and they were getting $400 for a men's titanium wedding band (probably consisting of about 30 cents worth of metal). I can see the marketing slogan already -- the spirit of the samurai in your wedding ring; no two alike... Of course, now that I've outed myself making something other than a knife, Don will probably throw me off the board and never talk to me again. Anyway, thanks for the info on fire bluing stainless. If it comes out well, and I still have posting privileges, I'll try to put up a pic.
  4. Apologies if this has been covered before, but I'm working with 440C for the first time, and have two questions. First, will this (or any other stainless) show a hamon? Second, is it possible to fire blue stainless, and if so, does it take color at the same temperatures as straight carbon steel? Any insight would be much appreciated.
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