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philip wakeham

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About philip wakeham

  • Birthday 01/12/1971

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  • Location
    oxford UK
  • Interests
    makeing things,reading books,art
  1. First thing to rember is this si the most complicated and difficult part of knifemakeing, dont look for easy or simple answers. You can spend a lifetime on this subject.What both Gusippee and edgar have said is good info. ill try and outline the most bascic method to heat treat steel. first you need some high carbon steel, Iron or mild steel will not work. Personaly i think the best place to start is with an old metalwork file as ther a relible sorce of plain carbon steel. This is not instructions to make a knife. Annealing. heat it till it will no longer atract a magnet put it straight into a bucket of dry wood ash, or vermachelite. leave untill it is back to room temperature this will take several hours, best to leave it overnite. the steel should now be anneald wich means its soft. So cheak this useing a file it should eisily cut the metal. Hardening. Heat again to critical temperature cheake with a magnet. Plunge strait into oil. keep it in the oil untill ther is no colour left in the blade.Now and this is a very important step. Cheak that it has hardended!. A file should now just slide of . if the file bites the metal it is not hard. And you have to repeat. If the steel hasnt hardend thers 3 possible reasons 1. it didnt get it hot enough (let it soak a little longer at critical) 2.it didnt cool down quick enough (try preheating your oil to 160f 70c or use a faster one eg cooking oil)) 3. Its not carbon steel.(try a different make of file) Tempering. sand the steel to an even shine with 120g paper. put in a kitchen oven and heat to 230c or 450f . for at least 1hr you have now tempered the steel to a range were it can hold an edge but wont shater if you bend it. Thogh a good experiment to do is to take the piece of shiny steel and heat it gently with a blow torch or over the oven ring and watch it change colour it will go from a light gold tint to straw then darker shades of bronze beacomeing redish the bright vermillion then light blue through to dark blue, once it reache dark blue its back to soft, as a very rough guide knivs are generaly in the light straw to darke bronze range. good knives a diferentialy tempered this means that the edges are hard the midles are springy and the backs are soft. Ill reapeat again this is not how to heat treat a knife to do it well is very much more complicated than this and changes acording to the steel your useing and the type of knife your makeing. All the above is just the most basic guide to hadrening and tempering steel it is just a starting point on learning to heat treat your blades.
  2. Ok got some results. brught 3 spanners this morning a Lister, and american Herbrand and one just marked dskf the all sparked differently but i have no experiecne in reading sparks. i then etched first in a 5% hydrochloric/nitric mix they all behaved differntly the herbrand was postivly boiling i think you can see the bubbles in the pic the dsfk formed very small bubles on the surface and the lister none atall. i then dipped them in ferric chloride both the lister and the herbrand quickly darkend but the dskf was virtually unmarked, Sucsess Whilst this obviosly doesnt prove the dsfk is L6 it does demonstrate it would produce a very brightline in damascus, and another plus it weighs over 2lb the test also shows that 3 randomly selected sppaners they were all quite different alloys, and why did the herbrand reat so violently in the acid whilst the lister did nothing yet they both behaved the same in the ferric? and thanks to Edgar for the sugestion.
  3. Thats fantastic. Love the realy bold damascus and the deep blade shape and how it fills up the curve of the anterler. beautifull work
  4. with 2tons they could make about 20 great link.
  5. Its usually whats above the blade as it reflects that. so outside when the sky is blue can produce a good pic. or you can try holding a pice of white cardboard above the blade . also if you put the blade on a darkish background gray forinstance if its to light the blade can come out underexpoed. Experiment with differnt backgrounds and reflectors above the blade.
  6. Is this true? you can carry a sword but not a dagger? it truely is a mad world. like i should worry i live in a country were its ilegal to carry ANY fixed blade or lockable Knife. the only legal carry is a non locking folder with a blade less than 3" and geuss what since theve introduced these laws knife crimw has increased (just the same as gun crime has incresed since they banned legal ownership of hand guns) when are idiot politicians going to learn that criminals dont obay laws Its why ther criminals!! Very Nice work on the knife. Cocobolo goes realy well with the damascus
  7. Your right it is sean bean, its from the BBC series Decisive weapons. there was a few of them from the longbow through to the tiger tank and spitfire
  8. It was quite a surprise to me just how much difference the angle of the jet makes and its tiny movements ither side of center before the flame brakes up and goes loud, im going to test the temperatures of the quite and loud flame, i dont have a thermo couple so will have to make do with timeing how quicly it heats a pice of steel to critical. yes the stainless is hopefully to stop the end eroding(my furnace burner is a good 4"shorter than when i made it ) and also as a flame retention cup (proberly not needed) its just a piece cut from a Buell exhaust manifold. ive got some titanium exhaust manifold too which would proberly be even more erosion resitant , but you cant braze it to steel, so went for the easy opption
  9. I would geus that both draw knives and sens developed from useing ordinary knives draged sideways . obviously tools for woodworking came before metalworking tools. and metal working tools are all esentialy adaptaions of woodworking tools only with smaller teeth rasp-file .saw-hacksaw. Someone please correct me if im wrong but cutting tools for metal working can only off been possible with the development of steel. so from copper to bronze then iron the only way to shape metal was casting forgeing and grinding. i wonder what came first for metal working drawnives/sens or files i would geus sens, once you can make a good steel nife and see that it can cut shaveings from iron ins not much of a leap to adapt woodworking drawnives? and after that a file is essentialy alot of sens in a row
  10. ive been haveing fun today tuneing my new venturi burnner. lenght is 11" burner tube is 1 1/4" mild the flame retntion tip is stainless , the inlet bell is handformed form 16g mild. ive fitted a butterfly valve in the inlet mouth just behind the brass injector tube. past experience building a 4" diamter simple burner for a furnace was that the criticle variable is the jet size. if its to small you get a lean mix which increases burn speed resulting in the flame burning inside the tube which very quickly over heats the burner (you can clearly see were this has been happening in the temper clours on the tube) in extream case actualy backfireing throgh the inlet. if the jet is too big it results in to slower burn speed whcih blows the flame off the front of the bunner result it wont stay lit. i started off with a .5mm jet then went up to .6 im now on .7. and by adjusting the butterfly valve i can keep the flame on the tip but this sugest i need a still bigger jet will try .8mm tommorow. but something very intresting ive found is how much effect the angle of the jet effects the burn. because ive kept the injector tube removable so i can drill out the jet. it means i can twist it inside the burner if the jet is even slightly off center the flame goes ragged and ther is a big increase in noise. i will attempt to photograph this tommorow.
  11. Thats beautifull , i love tools made for the job, no frills just purpose. thers also something magical about sens , shaveing cold steel .
  12. WoW this is beautiful, and exelent photography to , shows the damascus pattern clearly and caught the figure in the maple .
  13. Hi Bob Im sorry i realy wasnt trying to denegrate Blacksmiths, Or uppset any one with my oppions (ther only oppinons it doesnt make them right )I have great respect and admiration for blacksmiths and a sense of kinship with fellow metalworkers Guys such as Antony Robinson,Giuseppe Lund, Alan Evans ,Serge Marchal and Albert Paley . All produce technicaly amazing and baeutifull work. And indeed as i was at pains to point out iam as yet not a bladesmith(but hope to become one) nor am i a blacksmith. Iam at the start of my journey , and as such am currently makeing the tools i will need, so i have built a forge, and today i am grapplerling with the intricasys of tuning the venturi burner i have designed. when this is done i will move on to makeing a set of forgeing tools , cut off hardy, spring fuller, and indeed tongs, But haveing done this i wont think that means a blacksmith or that i could make a living doing it. But i have an inquireing mind i love challenges and doing things that are difficult and make me think and learn. iam genuanly sorry if i annouy anyone a truely dont mean to but my enthusasim often gets the better of me.
  14. hi Brian its funny how difficult it is to communicate even when were speaking the same langage I wasnt for one moment sugesting that the book was an instruction manual and if only every one in this thread read it all there qustions would be answered. As you say the techniques described are very spacific and traditional and useing an 800year old technology. I was mearly pointing out that the bladesmiths who invented clayhardening and the appretaion of the Hammon as an art form work realy hard at it and have to except alot of "faliures" to acheive what there looking for. While i am only a beginer bladesmith. In the artform i have experience in (pewter and bronze) ive learnt and beleive it to applie to knifemakeing is if you want to acheive the very best you can you have to except even welcome "failure" as part of the journey. maybee this is more a discusion for The Way?
  15. smite it man smite it! Haveing read through this thread i find myself agreeing with Owens originale point. that bladesmithing is ultimately a deeper subject with more to learn and providing more chalenge to an inquiering mind. (i should also poit out that iam neither a black or bladesmith) but before i explain my reasoning i think we should seperate out the terms Artist and Craftsman as it clouds the issue. .A Blacksmith or a bladesmith must be craftsmen but thay dont have to be Artists. So let me prepose this thought experiment . Imagine if you will a village blacksmith a master of his craft he can make you a garden gate or a shovel or a length of chain. Now imagine a Japanese Swordsmith. Give the swordsmith a bar of mild steel and ask him to make a garden gate. a shovel or a length of chain. Now can you realy belevie that at the very most he couldnt provide you with one of these by the end of the week? Now back to our blacksmith, give him a lump of Tamahagane and ask him to make you a Katana. Iam not in anyway trying to denegrate blacksmiths or to sugest that the swordsmith knows all ther is to know about blacksmithing ,but rather that blade smithing is ultimately a much deeper subject with more to learn and atempt to master. But i think we will all do well to rember the budhist concept of 'beginers mind' I know from my own experienc that the moment i think ive 'masterd' somthing it all goes out the window and i have to spend weeks geting back to that point!
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