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Doug Lester

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Everything posted by Doug Lester

  1. Lee, I agree with Howard that $49.95 is outragous for shipping and handling. I got a book from the UK and shipping was only around $10. Have you looked at Amazon.com, that's where I got my copy? Or are they the one's trying to stick it to you on the S&H? Another question for you Howard. What is your opinion on why you can get a pattern with cable damascus where you start out with the same steel thoughout? No challange, just looking for another opinion. Doug Lester
  2. Good looking knife. One thing that you might try, besides Alan's suggestion, if ty try bolsters like that again with stainless pins is to go a little farther with the contrast and texture the bolsters before you put the pins in. Just a suggestion; you're the one who has to be happy with the end product. Doug Lester
  3. Ok, Howard, just to claify the point that I think that you are making. Assuming that we are starting with a simple 10XX series steel so as not to bring alloying elements into the picture, are you saying that if one weld such steel together to form a damascus billet by the time a decient layer count is built up the the carbon content will be homogenous and the only thing that will produce a pattern is the diffenence in manganese in the original steels, the manganese not being able to migrate at nearly the speed of the carbon? Doug Lester
  4. Yer right, Howard, I don't know who you are. Glad you're not offended but remember you did ask for the reasoning behind my statement. I think that we come closer to agreeing than you think. I did agree that alloying elements make the watering/pattern in damasmus more pronounced and I think that we can agree that using plane steel (10XX series) does leave a subdued pattern if one relies solely on diffence in carbon content. I have seen picture of blades on this site and others make with damascus made of such steels and I have to agree that the pattern doesn't exactly come out and grab you, but it's there. I have also seen plenty of cable damascus, also with a rather faint pattern. As I said, I had kicked this around on boards on the Knife Network and I got quite a few different replies, some from professional knifemakers who also produce damascus. Some, like you think that the carbon migration is rapid enough to make the steel homogenous in carbon distribution, others, just as strengently, declared that this does not happen and different layers with different carbon content are maintained unless the steel is over worked. Not having any more education on metalurgy than the various reference material that I have, Verhoeven's book included, I'm at kind of a loss to judge which expert is right or wrong. Doug Lester
  5. If you get six knifesmiths together and ask them this question there is a good chance that you will get six different answeres and they all will be right. There are a number of variables to contend with such as the types of tools and steel that they use. Some things just boil down to what techniques work for the individual smith. What matters is the end product, not how it's made. Doug Lester
  6. A rose by any other name is still a rose. Call it what you want. A person will buy the knife because he or she likes the looks of it and thinks that it will serve a certain purpose. The knife looks like it is well made and it deffinantly has a certain eye appeal. Good work. Doug Lester
  7. Craig, the "watering" that I was refering to is the pattern in damascus steel after etching Howard, alloying element can make a more pronounced pattern but welding 10XX series steel together, like 1045 and 1095, will also cause watering due to the different responce to the etchant caused by the areas of different carbon content. It will be just less pronounced. You can also get differential etching with welding cable strands of the same steel together. The most common theory to account for this is that the outside of the cable will decarborize during welding and forging, leaving areas of different carbon content through the billet. Doug Lester
  8. Craig, the "watering" that I was refering to is the pattern in damascus steel left by the etching process. Howard, alloying elements will produce a more pronounced watering/pattern in damascus steel but you can also get a less pronounced effect from combining plane steels of different carbon contents, like mixing some 1045 with some 1095, where there is no real difference in the steels but the carbon content. You can even get watering from differential etching in cable strands of the same steel. The theory being that the outside of the strands decarborizes during welding and forging giving areas of different carbon content that will resist the etchant differently. Doug Lester
  9. First of all, you need to learn how to make knives, whether by stock removal or forging. Few people are able to make a living at this craft. There is no way to meet the price point of a good factory made knife with a hand crafted knife and the pool of people who what a handcrafted knife is somewhat limited. You may well be able to have a hobby that will pay for itself, and with skill and practice, add a little to your income. But first you have to learn how to make knives. Many who do claim to be full time knifemakers have a cussion to help them keep going, like a retirement check or a spouce who can bring in a steady income and provide health insurance. Some may have partime jobs or run a side business like selling stuff to other knifemakers. Others may have other full time jobs that give them a lot of days off, like a fireman who may work two or three 24hr shifts a week and has the rest of the days off. You might try to see if you can swing something like that, but first you need to learn how to make knives. Until you learn how to make knives, you really can't answere the question of whether or not you can make any income this way. Doug Lester
  10. I was getting excited about another source of 9260 until I saw where you're posting form. I have limited experience with it. I find that it moves well under the hammer. It's basically, as shown above, 1060 with enough silicon to increase hardenability instead of using chromium. The one blade that I have finished out of it took a screaming sharp edge. I oil quenched it and tempered at 400 degrees F. It was exchanged in a KITH so I don't know how it's held up. Never tried a hamon, but when I was searching for sources of it here in the States I rand across a Japanese style sword maker who uses nothing but 9260. When I get relocated and if I'll be able to set my forge back up I entend to try to make a messer or maybe a falcion out of some that I have. Doug Lester
  11. Ok, Howard. I think I might have kicked this around on Ed Caffrey's site on Knife Network but here is the reasoning. From the rate of carbon migration noted in Verhoeven's book at forging temperatures it would seem to me that if doing low fold damascus with shim material or having to repeatedly fold starting up with 1/4" stock to get a decient layer count that the steel would become homogenous as far as carbon content goes. At least in plane steel, it is the difference in the carbon content that gives the watering in the steel after etching. If the carbon content was homogenous there shouldn't be any differential in etching to give a pattern. That is why, along with some comments made by others on Ed's site, that lead me to believe that I might have been take a little bit of information and jumping to a wrong conclusion. Another thing was remembering about the show that NOVA had on PBS about traditional sword making in Japan. The iron bearing sand and charcoal was loaded into the oven and baked for four days, as I remember. When the forge was broken apart and the mass was pulled out they had everything from wrought iron to cast iron in carbon content mixed in with the slag. Again, it seems to me that if the difussion rate of carbon was all that there was to it it would seem that the mass would be much more homogenous in carbon content. Doug Lester
  12. Man, you need to loose those training wheel. I used to shoot stick bows on 3D targets with a bunch of guys. While everyone else were messing with all their attachments on their bows, we just strung ours, through our quivers over our shoulders and started shooting and had a lot more fun doing it. And dispite rumors to the contray I did intend to deflect my arrow off the hanging grape vine and pinwheel the turkey in the 10 spot. Doug Lester
  13. Jerry, I consider mine money well spent and I refere back to if often. It is well organized with sumeries at the end of each chapter. My copy now has copious notations written in the margins. I have refered to it as kind of a "Metalurgy for Dummies" type book but it might be one step up from that. It give a thurough overview of the subject without needing a college degree just to understand it. However, it does have it's limits. For example, I read about the rate of migration of carbon atoms in steel and kind of came to the conclusion that pattern welded steel made of shim stock or at least folded numerous times would quickly become homogenous as far as the carbon content goes. Obviously, this is not born out in the real world so I'm assuming that there are other factors at play that may have not been covered in the book. That said, it did give me a good idea of that goes on in heat treating and forging and helps me understand what alloying does. Doug Lester
  14. Thanks for the well wishes. I'll be starting to disassemble my forge this weekend. I'll photograph that Rube Goldburg contraption and post it for posterity. Things even out, it may make my relocation to central Illinois come off sooner. Dee, if that's a picture of you that you posted in your avitar, I might have to consider relocating to Australia. However I might want to ask you to consider changing your shade of lipstick. Black lipstick kind'a make me weak in the knees. Glad to see you posting again. How are you coming on getting your knifemaking set up up and working? Doug Lester
  15. I don't want to be crying in my beer, but I do want to let people know how things are going with me. I have just lost the 6 year battle to keep my town house. I hope to make a quick sale and find somewhere that will allow me to stay in knife making in some manner but it looks like I have forged my last knife for a while. I hope to be able to post the knives that I have in the works but if I disappear for a while, you will know why. I do intend to be back. Doug Lester
  16. Some people swear by water quenching and some people swear at it. I've only done one brine quench and it was on 1095 that I got from Admiral Steel. The water temp was 160 degrees when I plunged it in. The reason that I went to some form of oil, I have use both Goddard's Goop and vegetable oil, is that the consinsus was pretty much that brine or water was much more likely than oil to cause the dreaded "tink". Nova on PBS had a program on the making of the samuri sword and the sword master featured said the he got a 25% breakage rate with water. Remember though that the steel in a samuri blade made in the traditional manner is not homogenous throughtout. It has high carbon steel wrapped around a core of low carbon steel and the difference of the martensite content of the two steels, along with clay coating, causes the curvature of the blade during the quench. This puts the blade under a lot more stress during quenching than would occure with a blade of homogenous steel composition. Doug Lester
  17. Ya got me, Howard , never was good at spell'n. Douglas Martin Lester (Wa'heck, ya' know it could have been named after the same feller I's named after)
  18. That was a great job. I'm still trying to loose my first knife. Personally, I think that the finish on the scales looks great. Did you lay guide lines on the handle blanks to guide your rasps? Doug Lester
  19. JKV, you need a little book learn'n about steel. Actually there may be more than a little info on this site. I'd do a search and print out what is said for future reference. As Alan said, that structural steel from Lowes won't harden, but the good news is that it can be used for blade furniture. I think what happened with the 1070 is that it didn't get cool enough before you took it out of the quenchant. The retained heat allowed the martinsite (the crystal form that makes steel hard) to heat back up and then convert into pearlite and ferite (the cystaline forms that makes a steel tough). Here's the process in a nutshell: 1) The steel has to be heated to non-magnetic. This indicates that the crystaline structure has converted into a face centered cube known as austinite. Soak for a couple of minutes to be certain that it has converted all through the thickness of the steel. This also disolves the most carbon into the crystal. 2) The hot steel must then be quickly cooled in a quenchant to (a) prevent the austinite from converting back into ferite and pearlite and ( to trap excess carbon molecules in the body centered crystal, which is known as martisite. Both of these at normal temperatures are abnormal crystaline structures and make the steel hard. The problem is that now it can be as brittle as glass and too hard to make a blade from. As a general rule, as hardness increases so does wear resistance (read edge holding ability) and toughtness, defined as resistance to breaking, decreases. This is very time dependant. 3) To make the steel tougher and less hard you need to allow some of the martinsite to convert into pearlite and ferite or cementite or martinsite with a lower carbon content. Pearlite it a crystaline form of steel that has ferite ( the body centered crystal of iron) arranged in layers between layers of cementite (a form of iron carbide, which is "soft" as far as carbides go). Steel below 77 points will form ferite crystals between pearlite crystals and above 77 points cementite will form between the pearlite crystals. Also the more carbon in the mix, the thicker the cementite bands in the pearlite are. The more cementite in the tempered steel the harder it will be. To cause this conversion you need to temper the blade. The higher the temperature the more the martinsite will release carbon atoms to form pearlite and lower carbon content martinsite. The retained austinite will also convert into more martinsite as this happens. The steel is cycled down to room temp and then taken back up to the tempering temp to convert the new martinsite to a softer form. Some of the martinsite will be lost to pearlite in the tempering process and other crystals of martinite will only give up some of their carbon molecules and remain martinsite but with less stress on the atomic bonds between the molecules of iron. This is what is involved in the tempering process. Look on the atomic bonds as springs between the iron atoms in the crystaline structure of steel arranged in a cube with an iron atom at each corner and another in the middle. The carbon atoms are stuck between the iron atoms in martinsite preventing the iron atoms from moving together and relieving the tension on the springs. As the steel is tempered, some of the carbon atoms are allowed to escape decreasing the tension on the springs, but as long as some of the carbon remains, the crystal remains martisite and contributes hardness to the steel but without as much stress on the atomic bonds which allows less hardness. If all of the carbon is allowed to escape from the martinsite crystaline structure, it becomes ferite which is tough but lacks hardness. The trick is to strike a ballance between the hardness and toughness. This has kind of taxed my poor little brain, so if I've gone astray, someone please make the corrections/pertanent comments. This is also a real quick and dirty explanation of what goes on and is not the whole story, especially if alloying elements are introduced. If you want to quench in something other than oil, I'd use brine instead of water. Heat the water to about 160 degrees and desolve as much salt into it as it will disolve. The brine will help prevent water vapor from forming around the hot steel which can slow the cooling, and worse yet, make the cooling uneven and increase the possibility of cracking. If you want to edge quench, I'd stick with oil. Just stick the blade edge first about 1/3 to 1/2 of the width of the blade until all the color has gone out of the blade and then drop the whole blade in until it's about the same temperature as the oil. Then scrub off the oil from the blade with hot water and detergent and temper for three cycles of of 1-2 hours each allowing the steel to return to near room temperature between. When you use oil as a quenchant you should always heat it slightly but don't let it get over 160 degrees. I'd probably start around 110-120 degrees. It's counterintuative but warm oil will cool quicker than cool oil because it will wet the steel better. This to too much for an old man after a hard night's work. Doug Lester
  20. There is more than one way around that problem. Preforming is one. I like the way that the late Bill Moran did it. He would straighten the blade as he formed the bevels. That means that you use a few heats to form the bevels and then one heat or two to straighten out the blade. The trick is to not let it get too out of line before you straighten. I've done a seax like that and it worked well for me. One trick is to only heat the section ahead of the curve so that the area behind the curve stays put. Whatever way gives you the end product that you want is the right way for you to do it. Doug Lester
  21. Thanks for the info, Bruce. This is something that I hadn't picked up un Verhoeven's book but what you pointed out does make a lot of sense. I guess I'll go back to three cycles for tempering. Doug Lester
  22. I am totally in awe of your work. That knife with the three fullers is truelly the product of a master's hand. I doubt that there are many who could do as well, let alone exceed what you did with that knife. Doug Lester
  23. From my references, that steel looks pretty much like 1070. I don't think that it has enough silicon in it to effect hardenability. It should be a good tough steel with a fair wear resistance and usuable for general knife making and even sword making where toughness counts more than wear resistance, within limits. Doug Lester
  24. I would recommend at least 1hp. You could use less than that but the grinder might stall with much pressure applied to the belt. Doug Lester
  25. I think that just about all fly presses are made in India these days and there are a couple of on line stores that handle them. I was thinking that when I moved back to Illinois and got a shop with a roof on it that I might save up my pennies and get one, probably a four or a five. I think Old World Anvils carries one that they call a super five. It's the same size as a regular #5 in the frame but the wheel is heavier and has a larger diameter. Not knowing where exactly I'll be relocating to, I might need a quieter machine and it's possible that my hot shop might not have power. Another thing that I noticed when I went to one of the sites to drool over fly presses they carry is that they mentioned that the really large presses, like #7 and above really take two people to operate. One person could manage it but it might be a little difficult. Kind of leave you stuck with needing a striker again. Doug Lester
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