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Doug Lester

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Everything posted by Doug Lester

  1. About all that can be said about Wayne Goddard's article has already been said by people who know a lot more about the topic than I do, but I'd like to rise in defence of the knife rags. Many or most of the issues or like this last one where there is only one article that is worth reading but occasionally there is an article that is geared towards the knife maker rather the the buyer, or wannabee buyer. They are also my source of info on upcomming knife shows in time to put in for vacation time at work if I need it to attend. Without Blade, I would not have known that there are two shows next month that are within reasonable driving distance of me. I do have to agree that there is too much eye candy featured. Most of the knives pictured are lookers, not users. Let's face it precious few carved, engraved, enameled pocket knives with gold MOP scales or going to be carried in anyone's pocket and just as few mosaic damascus skinner are going to take the hide off of any dead critter but they are nice to look at. Doug Lester
  2. It are look'n good. Doug Lester
  3. Looks like you haven't forgotten much in the last 5 years. I'd be real interested in seeing the completed product. Doug Lester
  4. Niko, I'm not really sure what you're asking. I don't think that the pits that you are seeing are the results of clumps of the chromium, vanadium, or tungsten. I don't think that they will form carbides that you can actually see and to desolve them, you would have to melt the steel as all of these elements have a melting temperature above iron. I think what you are seeing are defects in the steel; slag, scale, or other impurities caught in it. There is no heat treating that will remove these. I once had a bar of 9260 that had a line of scale trapped in when it was rolled out. It didn't show up until I ground the blade. Fortunantly, I was able to grind out most of it. Some people over here are also having trouble with inclusions in 5160. Annealing allows austinite, which is the crystal form of iron when it is hot enough to be non-magnetic, to recrystalize into it's normal form, ferite, and cementite in the form of pearlite or pearlite and cementite. Pearlite is a crystal formation consisting of altenating plates of ferite and cementite, the sizes of which will be determined by the carbon content. If the carbon content of the steel is about 77 points ( 0.77% ), the maximum carbon that will disolve in austinite, it will form cementite crystals between pearlite crystals. Cementite is actually a carbide of iron, which is one of the carbides that can contribute to the hardness and wear resistance of steel. When these various crystal reform on cooling they tend to reform as smaller crystals than what the austinite was in which causes the steel to be softer and less wear resistant. When steel is austinized, the iron crystal changed into it's hot form, the cementite will break down into it's iron and carbon elements and the carbon will disolve into the austinite. Any elements, like the chromium, vanadium, or tungsten that had combined with the cementite will also go back into solution in the austinite. If those elements were in the form of their native carbides, that element bound only to carbon and no cementite, they will not go onto solution but will be suspended in the matrix of austinite. This is what causes red hardness. I'm sorry if I turned this into a metalurgy lecture; I can be a little long winded. Doug Lester
  5. I think that I had to Google filing and/or hand filing. Wikipedia give a lot of information on the different types of files. Files only cut one way. You could also do a search here and on the other knifemaking sites. As you are pushing a file as one normally does, it's on the forward stroke and you let up on the pressure as you draw back. To draw file, you push or pull the file sideways along the surface that you want to file. It will leave a smoother and more level result. To tell which way the file cuts when you draw file look at the teeth. If you want to cut on the push stroke, the teeth have to face away from you, on the draw stroke the teeth will face towards you. Again, remember to ease up on the opposite stroke and hold your hand on the file close to you work to avoid flexing the file as much as possible. The reason that I recommended a smooth single cut file is to get as smooth as surface as possible before going over to polishing stones. Also remember that the steel billet will need to be annealed to file. Once hardened, your filing is done, and if you need to got back to files, you will have to reanneal. I would even recommend that you go up to 400 grit on the polishing stones before hardening. It will save time on polishing after hardening and remember that the stones only polish. They remove metal way too slowly to use for shaping, so make sure you're through with one phase before going over to the next. The job ain't done until it's done. Doug Lester
  6. I used to be an advocate for using a belt sander as a belt grinder only because I didn't know any better and there are probably one or two others on this board who went through the same phase. It is supprising how fast you can work with a file once you learn how. Get some single cut files, long ones, in bastard and smooth cut and learn how to draw file. Half round and an assortment to small files to help shape the blade are good. A file card is a must to provent steel chips from building up in the file teeth and scratching the heck out of the metal. Get a few so that you can always locate one (I can misplace mine quicker than anything) and use it every 20-30 strokes. Once I learned how to file, I found that it wasn't much slower than using my 4X36" sander. Then get yourself some polishing stones for polishing. I've used both oil and water stones and have found that the water stones are not worth the extra expence. I get my oil stones from Congress tools on the net. Get some that are medium hard. I'm making a Persian dagger with an 8" blade using all hand tools. It's a lot of work but a lot of it is stuff that you can do in front of the TV is you don't have anyone around that objects to the scraping noise (and remember to ALWAYS vacuum up the filings as soon as you finish) I'll be setting up my Coote grinder this weekend but that knife is going to be finished with hand tools with the exception of drilling out the pin holes just so I can say that I did it. Just for the record, I forge my blades. If you work by stock removal, an angle grinder will probably work well for roughing out your blank. Just grind close to the outline and refine it with files. Doug Lester
  7. Absolutely outstanding, Chris. I'm sure that you made you mother happy. Doug Lester
  8. HoooRaaa, lock and load!! Doug Lester
  9. Normally I don't get too excited about fantasy blades but that knife shows a lot of great work and attention to detail. By the way, what is the wood that you used for the handle? I love it; looks like some type of burl. Doug Lester
  10. Marius, nice idea there. I have often wondered how to apply a bottle jack press to forging. I hope that it works out. Please keep us posted. One thing that you said about having a difficult time forging out 25mm W1. I just forged out some W1 that was twice that diameter the other day and didn't have any problem moving it with a 1.5Kg hammer. Are you letting the steel get hot enough? You need to get W1 a little hotter than some of the lower carbon steels. I usually start forging up in the yellow range and then correct for any grain growth with multiple normalizations. Doug Lester
  11. Both charcoal and propane have their limitations. Propane is cleaner and better for welding and the fire is easier to get the way you want it. By the way, I agree strongly with Mike, if you smell propane after you get you fire started then you need to shut down and look for gas leaks. Use soapy water, not a match. Charcoal takes more fire tending to keep it the way you want it, it is dirtier, and the fuel is harder to come by the year around. Now that I'm using a blown burner for my gas forge, charcoal is also more expensive. Charcoal, or really any solid fuel, is much more flexable. Depending on your forge design, the fire can be made small to heat just one area of the blade or larger to heat a larger area of the blade. Where it really shines is being able to heat just the middle of the blade. Because a charcoal forge is open rather than enclosed like a propane forge is, it can be used on irregular shapes that might not be able to fit into the fire chamber of a gas forge. This is important when it comes to making some styles of axes or making some of your own forging tools. I actually have and use both, though I do have to say that I am partial to charcoal. Talking about smell, your neighbors may like propane over charcoal. Charcoal does put the smell of burning wood in the air where, properly run, a propane forge is odorless. It might make you unpopular in the neighborhood if you burn your charcoal forge when they have their laundry on the line. Whichever you use, remember that you have to have good ventilation. Both types of forges absolutely gush carbon monoxide when tuned to produce minimal scaling. Doug Lester
  12. You can use it straight up but the water in it might make it splatter just a bit. A lot of people use it right out of the box with not trouble at all. Doug Lester
  13. This is just a wild burro guess, but see'n as how "bladesmith" seems to get highlighted by various computer word checkers, I'd kind'a think that it's sort of a modern technical term started by a bunch of uneducated louts combining the term "blade" for a cutting instrument and the word "smith" denoting some feller who makes something to mean some feller who makes sharp cutting things. Doug Lester
  14. It is probably good steel and I assume that it has no non-steel elements and is not coated with anything but grease. You don't want to be using any plated steel. The only way I know to test it is to weld up some and see if it will harden. You will have to experiment with proper tempering as it may have anything from 60-80 points of carbon in it. I've messed with a little cable. I broke mine down into individual strands. I burned off the grease in the forge, fluxed it, and then twisted it tighter before forge welding. I always seemed to have some individual strands of wire that seem to not want to weld down after everything else was welded up. Those will just have to be ground off. After doing a few strands, I put mine aside until I could build a blown forge that ran a little hotter than what I had. I've built the forge so I'll probably pick the cables back up soon. Good luck with your cable. Doug Lester
  15. Doug Lester

    spiral sword

    I'd second the opinion that these were sacrificed blades. Oakeshott mentions that the Celts rather routinely destroyed captured war booty before depositing them in religious offerings after a battle. He also mentions that some blades were bent or broken before being deposited in graves by various groups. He doesn't mention if these were ritual "kills" to release the spirit of the sword or just insurance that no one was going to come back to open the grave at a later time to recover the blade, which was also often done. Doug Lester
  16. Proof that hammering hot steel warps the mind (just jealous that I didn't think of it first) Doug Lester
  17. If done right, you will be decreasing the ferite crystal size by normalizing. I have read a discussion on Ed Caffrey's site on The Knife Network where it is possible to make the crystals so small through repeated cycling that you will end up with one heck of a tough knifeblade that doesn't have enough hardness and wear resistance to hold an edge. Doug Lester
  18. I can't draw; stick figures are a challange for me. I have to go from a vision in my head to trying to produce it in steel. If I'm lucky, I end up with something that look like what I was thinking about making; sometimes I add to my collection of paperweights. Doug Lester
  19. If you need to find a bell reducer try www.elliscustomknifeworks.com. I have a blown forge that has a 12" black pipe burner tube connected to the bell reducer. I ran my forge for about 3-4 hours yesterday and the bell reducer stayed cool to the touch. Anything aft of there should be ok for galvanized pipe. Someone told me that you can remove zinc from the pipe with white venigar if you can't find black pipe for the burner tube. If your steel is shedding a lot of scale inside the forge, you're running it with too much air in relation to the LPG. Ideally, you should have very little scale left on the anvil after forging except for when you're at forge welding temperature and then it will probably scale up on your after you remove it from the forge and expose it to ambient air. Your problem may also be that you don't have enough air going into you forge to keep the pressure up. I love my blown burner. It's much more effecient in burning and easy to tune to what I need. Doug Lester
  20. Just to be picky, picky picky...you don't normalize in an oven, you temper in it. Getting your own toaster oven is probably the best idea but you can learn to temper according to color changes on the surface of the blade over a flame or a bed of coals. It's not the best way of doing it but it was done that way before there were temperature controled ovens for the job. I believe that Wayne Goddard address the process in his books and Jim Hrisoulas may have the process in his books also. Looking at my bandsaw, grinder and chop saw sitting in my living room, I guess that there are some advantages in being single. Doug Lester
  21. I envy people who can sketch their ideas down on paper. I have to go from brain to steel. I love the design. If you're right about the steel, it should be a good choice for a chopper. If the end product turns out like the sketch who ever buys that knife is probably going to feel compelled to chop something with it. Doug Lester
  22. I was going to mention Ellis Custom Knifeworks but I was beaten to it. A lot of people do use Satanite to coat the inside of a ceramic fiber lined forge with to help prevent putting small particles of silicates in the air and their lungs but I haven't been happy with it for that use. There is not much stregth to it and it's easy to punch trough into the fiber which results in frequent patching. It's also not very flux resistant. I like Mizzou refractory for coating the inside of a fiber lined forge. It's much harder and flux resistant. I haven't punched trough the Mizzou lining on mine yet. You can also cast the whole forge body out of it, though Darrel Ellis states that another product that he sells has better insulating qualities than Mizzou. Darrel carries Satanite, Mizzou, the rammable refractory I mentioned above and other refractory products. Doug Lester
  23. From what you said about the overall length, I'd say thatt the handle is just a tad too long. From the sketch it looks like it would be 5+" as drawn. However, I'd keep the flaired end as is. Overall, it has great lines; I love the way you carry the curve straight through across the back except for a little reverse curve at the flair of the handle. The width of the blade looks good to me as is. It looks like the blade will end up around 10" but still not be a "chopper" so a high carbon steel like W1 or W2 would be apropriate. I would also keep the blade towards the thin side. However, (always the "however") it's your baby and you're the one who has to be happy with the end product. Doug Lester
  24. You said it right when you said 20# tank, they're the gas grill size. Your elevation my have something to do with it if you are running a venturi burner. Your fire chamber might also be a little large if you are only using 2" of kaowool. you might also want to restrict the opening to the fire chamber and see if you can keep some more of that heat in. A blown burner is less troubled by altitude, or it's easier to tune to adjust for it. They are actually easier to build than a venturi and not expensive if you have a source for a cheap recycled blower. Only the burner tube needs to be black pipe. I ran mine the other day; it has a 12" burner tube, actually it should be called an injection tube because there should be no burning in it, and after 2 hours the reducer bell was still cool to the touch. So galvanized could be used for the rest of it. I was able to get a bright yellow on the steel and was able to weld structural stuff with it. Doug Lester
  25. I would look to the forge body instead of the burner as a solution to the problem. What kind of a set up do you have? Doug Lester
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