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Mike Krall

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  • Location
    Lander, Wyo.
  • Interests
    Building things.<br />Looking at the art in life.

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  1. I simply don't know if steel plates would work, Gerhard. I think I've heard of folks successfully using thinner aluminum. I got 1" plates because they were there. I know of a lot of plate quenchers (slip joint, liner lock makers... Owen Wood and his O1 multi-pattern damascus, and ???) mount the plates in a woodworker's vise... quick release type considered best but standard definitely works. Me, I use hand pressure. I've had blades come out of the plates wobbly but it's not common and they were save-able... takes time and patience, though. What I think (think), is a vise may keep the knife steel flatter during quenching, and for many that advantage is worth the tooling... but... ??? And I've come across plate quencher descriptions of vises that don't work well because applied pressure causes springing (misalignment of the jaws/plates) and uneven quenching do to lack of contact... or some such. Mike Oh, just had a thought. Would you have access to scrap copper cheap? Do you cast? Castable Bronze scrap. Might you know of a place to get high voltage copper breaker bar? I came a cross a couple of 4" x 12-ish" bars and scooped them up. They are only 1/4" thick but they should take heat very quickly.
  2. Just a little thing... I've messed with O1 and plate quenching. Learned it from people at one of Sword Forum or Kevin Cashen's old metallurgy forum... straight razor builders. 3/32" max. thickness at knife-like austenitizing temp. (lower end of range). Consistently got "as quenched" Rockwell readings in the 64.5 RHc to 65.0 RHc range (throw out first test, average next four). It works because of O1's nose at 8 -10 seconds is time enough for 1" aluminum plates to get 3/32" past it. 10 - 12 timed seconds in the plates and 3/32" piece is at lower temp. than "hand warm". Heat Treater's Guide shows 5160 nose (1555 F austenitizing temp.) at 4 - 5 seconds. Should be enough time to plate quench... big angle iron ought to be able to take enough heat (near-surface) for some level and/or depth of hardening (pretty speculative in this part... maybe not enough sink mass... way too much thickness... not really enough time... wouldn't it austemper with the extra heat and not be brittle?... or ???). Is this it... or any part of it? I don't know enough to know. Mike
  3. Thank you, Charles... Mike
  4. Thanks, Charles... worth way more than it's weight in gold... =] You haven't happened to have used the boric-acid-powder-on-heated-steel-that-rinses-off-with-water-method have you? If yes, hearing a little detail on it would suit me. Mike
  5. Gerhard, Twice now you have said, "carbon balloon". I can assume you are seeing scaling, but you know how assumptions are. There are simple inert gas set-ups for kilns and there are anti-scale compounds applied prior to heating pieces for quench or annealing or normalizing. I've used liquid anti-scale and it works (not as well as my understanding of inert gas use does). Mike
  6. You're welcome, Gerhard... Mike
  7. Gerhard, Heat Treaters Guide (my "HTG" from post before yours)... that is, "the book" from the American Society of Metallurgists... says under 5160,5160H, 5160RH, under normalize: "Heat to 870 C (1600 F). Cool in air". Here, they do mean still air. You have a kiln, and when the kiln stabilizes (less and less on time for the amount of off time, to a point where the on and off times don't change... not to say equal amounts of time, mind you), a piece of steel of the sections you are dealing with placed in the oven for 10 minutes or so will likely be through-heated to kiln temperature. Taking a narrow peak into the kiln and looking for a piece of steel that is the same color as the kiln walls will give a pretty good verification of steel and kiln temperature being equal. I have to say... a thick piece of steel can show exterior color same as kiln and NOT be at that temp. internally. Sometimes (sometimes) a thicker piece will show light shadows (slightly darker) areas even if predominantly kiln temp. color. I've always read that as "piece not temperature equalized"... but that's me guessing at things. I don't know what you know... For steels of this general type, grain growth temps. are 1650 F to 1750F... closer to the lower is my guess for this steel. For knife like structures, finer grain (within reason, please) is better. Part of the aspect of normalizing is causing all grains to be the same size. Bigger grains are not wanted here (or maybe any where, but ???). A temp. close to grain growth temp. for the steel will cause the grain size to equalize quicker. (An awful lot of steel stuff is time and temp. dependent... less time, less temp. less happens, and then the opposite... with constraints on both ends). So for 5160, through-heating to 1600 F and cooling in air will make grain size equal. If the blade has been forged, and/or had other high temp and/or time excursions applied to it, a single normalizing process with leave a person with equal but LARGE gains. Many forging knife makers (and others who are not heat treating professionals) normalize 2 (usually, at least) or 3 times (that's what I learned from the more knowledgeable). Each following normalizing cycle causes the grains to get smaller. I was also taught to step down the normalizing temps... all being above the temp. a person wants (needs) for quench. "The book" for 5160 says 1600 F to normalize and also says 1525 F to quench. That's a small range. Me, I'd use 1650 F, 1600 F, 1550 F for the normalize. I have used 25 F steps in normalizing a number of times and feel (feel) I'm right and proper with the world, so it could be 1600 F, 1575 F, 1550 F. I'm sure there is a difference in those two, but I don't know what... or if it would make a use-find-able difference. Is that enough? Mike
  8. From Alan's quoted response: "It'll almost air harden in thin section, so make sure when you normalize you leave it in warm still air, no cold breezes or cold anvils." I'm guessing, Andrew... You are looking to normalize and not run into any air hardening aspect. HTG says, "In the thermal sense, normalizing is an austenitizing heating cycle, followed by cooling in still or agitated air." The "agitated air" is a controlled aspect... like sticking the piece in a tube with a fan blowing air through it. No matter if still or agitated, air is considered fast cooling... still air being a slower fast. It's drafts that can cause problems... still air is consistent... agitated air is consistent... drafts are not consistent. I keep the doors to the shop closed (no windows). I've heard of others using tubes of various materials, sheet metal, casing, multiple layered tubes of metal window screen, cardboard even, and hanging the blade in it to avoid potential drafts. I'm pretty sure breathing hard does not fall into the "draft" category, though... =] Mike
  9. Clint, I'm glad you like them. I don't really know why I didn't make them full tang. Maybe I've got an irrational phobia. Making the fit at the front "glue-line-less" was a lot of paying attention. I need to learn to make domed pins differently, too. All I did was put a curve on the pin ends... no upsetting. I think the way I did it is the hard way, but don't really know. Mike
  10. George, Thanks for the links. I'll get to them now. Sorry for not responding quicker. I can't figure out why I'm not getting notified when some one adds a post... seems like everything is set correctly, but ??? Mike
  11. Sorry for not getting to this quicker. For some reason I'm not getting an e-mail notification when someone posts. I'm probably missing something in the set up for notifications... looked once but I'll try again. Thank you. The handles are black walnut, supposedly-maple (it's softer than I figure it ought to be, so ???), green & black canvas micarta. Kevin, Thanks for the comment and encouragement. I've made knives with guards and evolved to decent fits, after a while. Made these knives so "Gramps" could afford them. Most of the stuff I do (not many in a year would be bragging on the quantity) I forge... both straight and damascus steel.
  12. I forgot to post these last year... Three-finger stock removal knives... 2 3/8" blades of A2 at RHc 60. The handles are hidden tang with the wood tight fit to the ricasso. The tangs are very little smaller than the handles and the same thickness as the ricasso (1/8"). There should be no flex point near the handle front. Made for a couple of young grand kids and the dad of one of the kids. The fourth was an "in case I screw up knife, so I'd end with three good ones. #5 did screw up... still on the steep part of the learning curve. I made belt sheaths for these but don't (for some reason) have pictures of them. Mike
  13. I forgot to post these last year... two made for a couple of young grand kids. One made for the dad of one of the kids. One made for "just in case I screw up". One in the trash (I screwed up). Little three-finger stock removal knives... 2 3/8" blade... A2... RHc 60. They are hidden tang w/ domed pins. the ricasso/tang-start fits back into the wood a little on both top and bottom... that is, the handle is not fitted to the back of the ricasso as a guard would be. The tangs are wide and long and I left them the thickness of the ricasso (1/8"). I made sheathes for these but don't have a picture of them... and I don't know why not. Mike
  14. Gary, I helps a lot... thanks. Knowing the picture size lets me scale the blades and handles. Doing it rough off of the picture I posted has most of the handles (with guard) at 3", and under. Some of the shorter blades are 3" long. The longest blade in the bunch (center knife) scales at 5" and the longest handle (three right of center) scales at 3 5/8". I got the term "Garter Dagger" from the display's label at top center of display box frame... supposed to be prostitute's knives. I'll have to keep digging to find out how they were carried. I suppose they could simply be slipped behind a garter (in sheath) but that seems like an iffy proposition. Thanks again, Gary... you made me a Christmas present with this... =] Mike
  15. Here's a link to a Sheffield Garter dagger... http://www.antiquesnavigator.com/d-27340/antique-1800s-sheffield-garter-dagger-knife-w-pearl.html I've got a bug to make one and know absolutely nothing about them. Was wondering if anyone has information on sizes of handles and blades, pictures or descriptions of how they were carried, or links to information on them, or anything else? I've got a picture of a display box full of garter daggers that I collected from ??? years ago and that is what started my interest. Thanks for any help... Mike
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