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B. Norris

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Everything posted by B. Norris

  1. This is a very interesting topic and one that I have spent a great deal of thought on over the years. Like a pebble curious enough to pick up and take home, that reveals something new each time you come back to it and take a close look. I first stumbled upon this pebble when I made, and sold jewelry for a living. I would often wonder why some of the pieces that I made would be sold as soon as I put them out, and sometimes even before, while others sat and a few never sold. I even started talking to the other vendors at the craft shows that were my primary market and one of them told me something that stuck with me. I will paraphrase it, and poorly at that. The conversation was about jewelry and why some things sold, and some did not. The gist of it was that Native American Jewelry, as it exists today, came into being because the Indians were taking something that they perceived the white people valued - silver coins - and adding energy i.e. mechanical work, to make them more valuable. What stuck in my mind was the addition of energy. I think that there is something intangible and ephemeral, which we are all attuned to and capable of perceiving. I came to realize that it was not just items that are made by hand, though hand made items seem to posses this quality to a greater degree. An example would be a craftsmans tools. They probably are not handmade yet, over time they have been used, maintained and cared for. There has been an investment of energy, perhaps money, and that person became attached emotionally to the item. Someone else can come along and be able to tell: they will be drawn to that item, it is as though the very fact that someone else cared and bonded makes it easier for others to do so as well. Shibuimi. At last, a word for the idea. I realized that the pieces that went immediately, were invariably the ones that I was not making because "I have to make these, to sell them, to earn a living" or "I need twenty of these to replace the ones I sold last show" but, rather the ones I did because I wanted to. The ones I became so wrapped up in that the work that I was doing was no longer a conscious process and, in a way, there was no longer a distinction between the materials, myself, and the work that I was doing.
  2. Oops! Only can attach one picture at a time, here is the other one.
  3. Here she is again, cleaned up a bit, tip reground, and with a nice new sheath.
  4. Are your firebricks hard or soft? Yes, they are both firebricks but, the soft ones are infinitely better insulators. The soft ones can be scratched with a fingernail and can easily be cut with a hacksaw. I would not waste my time, or any ITC100, on the hard firebricks. Below are two links, the first is to a knifemaker who sells soft firebricks for $4.00 per brick. He also sells ITC100 in smaller, and therefore less expensive, quantities. The second link is to Ron Reil's Forge and Burner Design page and is extremely useful for anyone building a forge. Ellis Custom Knifeworks]Ellis Custom Knifeworks Click on the "Refractories and Knifemaking Supplies" button. Forge and Burner Design Page 1
  5. Whoops! Guard is copper and wooden spacer is red oak.
  6. My first picture post, assuming it works! I haven't before because, well, no knives to photograph. This one came back from the gent I traded for antler (whitetail), the same as on this knives handle. Blade steel is from an old file, I had some 1080 on order but couldn't wait to play with my newly built forge. This one was complete a little over a year ago and just came back for a sharpening. When I gave it to the owner I let him know what this pattern of blade (bird and trout) was intended for, I gave him specifics on caring for carbon steel and let him know that I had tempered the blade a little on the hard side given its intended purpose. His only previous experience was with commercial stainless steel blades. Of course, He had to try it out on some deer as he is an avid hunter. He is extremely pleased with the knife having never experienced an edge that would stay sharp so well before, though after fifteen deer he says that he can tell it is getting a little duller. He also has been using the knife to split the pelvis on his catch, says it "just goes right through but, I must have hit a bone with the tip on the last one". Here is my question, is this use or abuse?
  7. B. Norris

    Romans

    Legion XX Here is a place to start, not precisely what you want but, may have links.
  8. Tai, what gauge square wire are you using? Here is a link to pictures of some patterned wires for the curious. http://www.tbscorp.com/images/Patternwires_copy.jpg I also use the concrete nails to make small tools and have always been curious what kind of alloy they are. They have an odd spark, at least the ones I got from Menard's. I always seem to get them so hard they shatter when pounded on or else they bend, doesn't seem to be any middle ground. I haven't spent much time on getting it right though.
  9. Dwight, hope this helps. I did a search for "scrimshaw" and emailed to ask about your rancid ivory, this is the reply: I've never had any ivory stink up a house -- it's smelled pretty bad when I sanded it, and I've had it come in with --some-- odor, but it sounds like this ivory may have been found in a swampy area? Hard to answer, really. As far as solutions, I'd put it outside for a year if other creatures would not take a liking to it. Bleach for a couple of hours then rinse it is another possibility, but may tend to crack as it dries, so soak it in baby oil after drying it (for about 3 months), change the oil once a month (or 3,000 miles). After that, let it air dry for a month or two. The baby oil will "chase" the water out and the ivory shouldn't crack and check - it will also be easier to work with if you're carving it. Sincerely, Andrew Perkins, www.scrimshaw.com
  10. ISFJ. The test online placed me as a ISFP but, other tests in the past all came up ISFJ and the personality type description is spooky.
  11. Anyone else catch the article in the Wall Street Journal last week or the week before, about research on centurnarians? The short of it, was that 60% had a mutation which caused the enzyme used by the body to remove waste products from the blood to be a larger molecule. Tai, a longer life may be closer than you think! No concerted scientific effort seems to be focused on increasing the size of male genitalia. What does that show about our culture? As a society are we focused on living longer, more productive, lives while ignoring the frivolous base pleasures life has to offer?
  12. Mostly just for the sake of curiosity, I would love to know more about how all you carvers out there work. What tools do you use for what purpose? How do you hold the work? What are your sources of inspiration, or how do you come up with the design you make? Do you carve the handle before or after it is on the knife? What are your experiences with different woods? Pictures would be great as well, perhaps you have a favorite piece to show off!
  13. Geoff: when you say "welded" what do you mean? I.e., is this mokume made with the diffusion welding process or have you used solder. The reason that I ask is that the two will behave differently. Mokume Gane will have as a limitation the lowest melting point of the materials used. Soldered Mokume Gane thus has a lower melting point, that of the solder. One more thing, most nonferrous alloys are annealled by heating to red hot then quenching in water - the opposite of ferrous metals.
  14. Grizzly Grinder, good enough to get you started and CHEAP! Grizzly Grinder. One of the knifemaker supply houses, I think Texas Knifemakers Supply, sold an assortment of 10 belts for about $60 - much less than buying each separately. I would give you a link but, could not find it in a quick look at their catalog.
  15. Disclaimer: The following is only opinion and not to be taken seriously. That said, what good is it spending $50 on a "good" hammer when the skills have not yet been developed to really appreciate it? I would suggest finding the cheapest hammers you can get, Harbor Freight comes to mind, and try a variety of shapes and weights. Fifty bucks ought to get you about ten hammers. Fixing them when they break will be good practice and you won't feel like it is sacrilege to get them hot and shape them the way you want 'em as you gain experience. The other suggestion I have is to think about how the shape and size of the hammer face interacts with the steel, i.e. different shapes move the steel differently. Hammers are essentialy dies used to move the metal the way you want to. I would suggest using a hammer with a larger face to spread the force of the blow over a larger area resulting in less cupping of the metal and fewer ding marks. Think about it, you are trying to forge in bevels using a 2# hammer with a face about the size of a quarter and this on stock that is rather thin - how will the steel react to this application of force? The weight of hammer you are using, 2 lbs., seems just about right to me. A lighter hammer will allow more control - you won't ding the metal by hitting it with the edge of the hammer face because after 20 minutes you lack the fine motor skills you had when you started. That said and done, I like a 4# club hammer to flatten out stock because it really makes it move, as well as, having a large, only slightly, radiused face that doesn't curve the metal too much or give me a bunch of dings to deal with. I use a 1.5 to 2# cross pein for the profiling and to forge in bevels.
  16. Thank you everyone for the responses, it gives me a clearer concept of what I am doing and need to do, in my heat treatment. Tom, that link is great! Howard, I did not mean to rub you the wrong way, it was just easier to use the term "edge packing" though, in hindsight, it made my question less clear. A while ago I broke all the blades I was working on and some of them were much more brittle than the others,even though I had used the same steel and tempering temperature. I thought that it was just because some of them were edge quenched and others were through quenched but, now I am thinking differently. I had variation even among the blades that were edge quenched and one in particular stands in my mind because it was so tough. It was the one that kept warping on me in the quench,so I would heat to a black heat, straighten, then re-normalize another three times before quenching again. That blade got about three cycles of this. I had read about multiple quench cycles but, didn't view them as providing more than a fractional increase in performance, the article explains why Howard likes to use it. Just like the multiple normalizing heats it helps to set up the steel for the final heat treat. So... In theory, to get the most from a steel normalize, the more the better, to distribute the carbon in the steel,allowing for better results from the quench. Quench, the entire blade not just the edge, then normalize and re-quench as many times as wanted with the final quench being an edge quench. The question that I have is; would working the steel at a lower than critical temperature cause the grain to be refined, would that refinement preserve the small grain size when quenched in the same manner that the multiple quench cycles do, and, if so, at what point during all this would be the best to apply it?
  17. I am curious to hear how other bladesmiths view the technique of edge packing. Most of the blacksmithing books that I have read mention this technique and it stands to reason that it provided a quantifiable increase in performance. I wonder where the benefit originates, from a metallurgical standpoint. The mechanics of the procedure remind me of how several normalizing cycles before hardening, serve to reduce the grain size of the steel. Steel will work harden when hammered cold and I have read that doing so has profound affects at a molecular level in the steel, though I do not quite get what is going on in there. Edge packing seems to combine the two methods of manipulating the metallurgy of the steel - anybody care to illuminate the subject?
  18. Do you utilize this process before or after attaching the handle to the knife and, if before, how do you work with it when using epoxy?
  19. Dale, I do not know what size wire, though I would guess 20, 22, or 24 Gauge. The 22 Gauge is about as thick as a typical lead in a mechanical pencil, 20 Gauge about as thick as the thicker leads you sometimes see, 24 Gauge is quite fine. Why would you buy the wire in a half hard temper? I would think dead soft would suit what you are doing much better and given the choice would probably go with fine silver, 99.9% silver vs. 92.5% for Sterling. Whatever temper you use here is a link to the best place to get silver wire that I found in my 5+ years doing wirewrap jewelry. Thunderbird Supply Co. They have a minimum order amount, I think $25, and a business license may be required. A 10 Oz. quantity of wire will easily meet the minimum, or you could get a few ounces each of a variety of gauges and tempers and see what you like. They do sell wire in different tempers, but you must specify when ordering or you will get half hard. Hope this helps!
  20. Regol This link is to a company that sells W2. I found them doing searches for steel and marked them because the had it, but know nothing more .
  21. The answer to the riddle is in the nature of the steel. A2, posseses a hardening curve that is extremely forgiving in comparison to the 10XX series. The 10XX series must be brought from the austenitizing temperature to the Ms (Martensitic start) point in, about, 5 seconds or less in order to harden. A2, however, can just taken out of the forge and let cool. The hardening curve is different than the 10series steels, The amount of time to get to the Ms point is greater and the Ms point itself is hotter. With 10series steels it is easy (HAH!) to add thermal mass (clay coating) to a portion of the blade and thus prevent it from dropping below the Ms point when quenched. The end result is Martensite at the edge of the blade with a different, softer, structure in the body of the blade. The steel at different hardnesses etches differently and thus a hamon is formed, the interstice of these two states of steel. A hamon could be formed in A2 steel by causing the steel in the blade to adopt two different structures. Two ways to accomplish this would be to: heat only the edge of the blade and not the body, or, prevent the back of the blade from cooling quickly enough to cross the Ms point. The method and techniques are up to you to discover.
  22. I have a question of my own regarding blade warping and hamons. Specifically, using 1084 from Admiral, and edge quenching into hot mineral oil I have been getting warpage, to the side i.e. tip slightly out of line with center of blade viewed from above, about three quarters of the time. I viewed this as a result of uneven forging/grinding and chalked it up to inexperience. I would then try to correct the error by reforging/grinding and normalize for an additional three cycles before hardening again. The third try at this seemed to be the magic number when everything would work the way it was supposed to and the blade would be straight. I remove the scale from my blades, prior to finishing, by soaking in vinegar overnight with the added bonus of being able to view the hamon. The blades that I ran multiple hardening cycles on would, without fail, show a distinct hamon from the last hardening cycle along with a less obvious one from each prior quench... Any theories about what is going on? Please note, I am edge quenching in oil, not using a clay coating and water.
  23. Whoops! Linked to their "Drill Rod" page, just click on the Spring Steel heading on the menu to the left.
  24. I have not ordered from this company, but they do sell both 1050 and 1075. Thompson Metal and Tubing. This is from my list of "leads".
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