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JJ Simon

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  1. You can build a furnace for an even heat treat. It will have to be long or tall depending on if you do it vertical or horizontal. I have a vertical one that will take a 43 inch blade. it does have some heat issues from top to bottom. Its hard to regulate. If you want to go low tech. Make a long enough tyure and a V shaped trough that it can lay in the bottom of. Heat up a charge of charcoal and then sit the blade in it. You don't need the air on. Just let it come up to temp. Once in a while you may need a little air draft but it wont take much. Do this at night and you will be able to see the color of the blade and if there are any shadows in it. Make sure you have a suitable quench medium. Tempering is also a challenge. I just did a 40" blade with a 3" ricasso and tempered it first with a heated bar of steel. Heating the bar and then laying the blade on it. The blade will pull heat from it. Probable best to clean the blade so you can see the temper colors. Long blades like that can be tempered to a spring. Straightening is also a challenge. I use a piece of angle and a 3 point clamping system that allows me to heat any stubborn spots with a torch.
  2. A word on belts. Cheaper belts track worse than high end belts.
  3. Kelly Cupples has Parks the last time I checked.
  4. Geometry is based on the angle and the angle is based on thickness from spine to edge. So if the spine is 3/16 and your edge before sharpening is .01 there will be a corresponding angle. I generally am more concerned with edge thickness before sharpening than the angle. So a work knife I will sharpen between .01-.008. Get a digital micrometer. Then when you are at thickness put a secondary bevel on and sand/polish to a desired grit. 220 will be toothy. 600 will be more razor like though both will shave hair.
  5. I think for what you re trying to do. Alan's method is probably best. You can get needle files that are so fine as to be like 400 grit paper. You have to learn to file. Files only cut on the push or as a draw. Pulling back will ruin your files. Also once you have a pre hardening finish you will have to deal with decarb after hardening. Which is hard to sand out. I would suggest getting anti scale. Wipe the blade with amonia and then paint with the anti scale from brownels and the blade should come out as clean as it went in.
  6. If you really want to make hamon buy 5 gallons of Parks 50. It is the best oil for the steels you will be using. 1075, W1, W2, 1095 will all react with great happiness to parks. Your next oil choice would be 11 second from Mcmaster carr. Parks is a few seconds faster.
  7. It would sort of be like the japanese wrapping a billet of Tamahaghane in paper and a clay slurry. It could work. I would stick with the canister. The canister is almost guaranteed to work as long as your material is clean and you reach appropriate temp.
  8. What are you quenching in? Hamon will show with a fresh belt 120 grind. But to see it well and bring everything out you will need to polish to at least 1000 grit and etch and clean the oxcides off. The picture you posted of the 1084 blade with that hamon I have serious doubts that is 1084. Anything is possible but having seen Wally Holstteters 1084 hamon on swords I would doubt that much activity in that steel. If I was to guess that blade is either 1095 or W1. They both have very fluffy habuchi which is the white line. W2 seems to have a thinner line with more activity and Aldo's 1075 can have crazy activity with both fluffy and thin habuchi. Its a personal favorite for hamon.
  9. Yeah, cutlers resin is the only thing that comes to mind.
  10. You can forge cast at very low temps. How do I know this. A maker blacksmith I know was given a piece of Wootz puck and surprisingly came back with an amazing knife his first attempt at forging it. When asked how he did it he just said "You forge it the same way you forge cast" WHY WHY WHY?????? I have no idea. However I have another friend who is a maker who forge welded cast in between layers of home made steel. It melts super quick and then gets trapped in the layers and made a crazy pattern. It can also be decarbed into steel or iron in a hearth. This takes some real skill but Jesus, Mark Green and Emiliano have all done it. So it has possibilities but as a stand alone material cannot be used.
  11. For 3 plus years and 27 knives you are slaying it. Your dedication and education from the masters you are working with shows. I've been making for 10 years and have gotten no where close to this level of work. I'm glad you're posting.
  12. I know not this Occam but here goes. I was thinking of taping off the ricasso to the edge and then chasing the proud parts to the edge and filing flush Essentially using the ricasso itself as the guide. Of course this could be done with a file too. It would have to be done under magnification and of course its always possible that you'd either dimple the ricasso or leave a file mark in it. I thought about trying to scribe the face of the proud parts also using the ricasso as the guide again. And then filing a chamfer to the scribe line so that it meets the lip and then knocking down the high spot on the habaki with a file or stones or whatever works best.
  13. Thanks for the answer. As I was looking at it and brain storming I had a few crazy thoughts about how to fix these things. Your plan is a lot more tame than mine.
  14. I'm curious how you are going to fix these small issues? Because you have a 4 sided shoulder where the pre guard bolster meets the shoulders are you going to grind it flush? File it flush? Sand it flush? How do you do that and still keep the angle of the bolster. This question applies to both places that its proud. The same thing with the plunges. Are you going to put the file guide back on and adjust with files or something else? This project is amazing and I appreciate you sharing the process. Thanks, JJ
  15. Damn nice!