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B. Norris

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Everything posted by B. Norris

  1. This is a good design for testing. You will learn far more, much faster, if you commit to testing a few blades to destruction once in awhile. Testing before you actually submit the knife will help you to avoid repeat visits. In regards to your choice of steel... Do you have a large enough supply of unused, scrap, leaf spring (all of the same alloy) to make blades for the next 5-10 years? My point is that, especially for a test knife, you should stick with the steel you have the most experience heat treating. This is where sticking with 1 steel and having a good supplier really helps. As far as waiting another 3 years or paying the back amount, plus an overdue fee. I would pay for a 5 year membership and plan to test in 3 years. Testing for your stamp with more experience under your belt will only increase your chances of being successful. ~Bruce~
  2. That is a very, very, nice! What is forging Elmax like, out of curiosity? The briar looks like a nice choice for handle material. ~Bruce~
  3. Here are some pictures of a few recent pieces. ~Bruce~
  4. There are several different "Hardox" alloys: Hardox 400, Hardox 450, Hardox 500, and Hardox 600. The Hardox 600 is the only one that would have enough carbon (0.47 max.) and, even then, it is on the low side for a knife. Search results. Sorry, no practical experience with it. The brochure does make mention of heat treatment... Hardox 600 is not intended for further heat treatment. It has obtained its mechanical properties by quenching and when necessary by means of subsequent tempering. The properties of the delivery condition cannot be retained after exposure to temperatures in excess of 250ÂșC . Looking at the alloy content. Looks like bring it to non-magnetic and quench in oil or, possibly, air. Alloy content is similar to L6 with extra nickel and the addition of silicon, and slightly less carbon. Should be very tough stuff. ~Bruce~
  5. Thank you, all three of you, for the hard work you put in to keep the forum running. ~Bruce~
  6. I've run across references to using wood from the roots for knife handles a few times in the past as well. The structure of the root wood is different than the rest of the tree. Not quite sure how that affects things but, I suspect it doesn't absorb moisture the same way. I've not had time to try any as an experiment but, am somewhat intrigued. Dense, oily, hardwoods are another solution. They are naturally stabilized, being so full of oils. Another thing to consider is that, historically, handles would have been made from branches and small diameter trunks. As long as the center pith is removed, the piece can be dried without cracking or splitting too much. This construction would be much stronger than both A and B, above. ~Bruce~
  7. "Stronger" is somewhat open to interpretation. Strictly talking about yield strength, probably the top illustration. However, if you are thinking of durability - especially over time - it is important to know how the wood changes shape with changes in moisture content. Of course stabilization pretty much shuts that down and is more of an argument for using stabilized woods than the whole "strength" issue, IMHO! The hole for the tang needs to hold the tang solidly and yet still have enough space for the wood to expand and contract around the tang. Some sort of adhesive that is flexible enough to move with changes in moisture content, yet still holds solidly, is necessary. The other option is to limit the amount of moisture the wood can absorb with surface treatments or by stabilizing it. ~Bruce~
  8. Geoff, Sword. Just the word brings instant connotations and associations to mind. The idea seems so simple - a stick, with sharp edges, that you can slash and (sometimes) stab with. The reality is quite different and rather complicated. Swords, when you think about it, are quite specialized. There are, after all, so many different types: short sword, long sword, cutlass, scimitar, rapier, katana, and so on... The reality is that swords are designed around the intended use. How far away is the opponent and how much room do you have to do each other in? A two handed sword would put one at a distinct disadvantage on a ship, for example. Will your opponent have a shield and is he armored? Mounted? And so on. Before you even look at the idea of pommels as counterweights, you pretty much have to narrow it down to one specific type of sword. Then, as Mark mentions, you can only add so much weight to the pommel before the entire sword becomes too heavy (and slow) to be viable as a weapon. In most instances the pommel is not going to move the point of balance very much anyway. In some situations, such as fighting an opponent with a shield and chainmail, for example. You actually want the blade more forward weighted because, once you get around the shield, you will not be able to swing the sword very far before it hits and when it does you want it to do more than bounce off! This perhaps explains the hollow construction of some sword type pommels, such as "Viking" swords. A well designed (and made) sword would be pretty close to balanced the way it needed to be. Why add extra weight to slow you down and tire you out sooner? The pommel, if it was used to balance the blade out at all, seems like it would boil down to the personal preferences of the owner. In other words, it would only be used to move the point of balance a small amount. ~Bruce~
  9. John, Theresa and I have been looking to buy in our area and will probably get the pre-approval around February. She thinks I'm crazy but, I've been using Realtor.Com to keep an eye on the market. Have you looked at all in your area? What I am seeing up here is just crazy! Some places look quite decent and go for a bargain (usually quickly) and others are in horrible shape and have huge price tags. A lot depends upon the part of town they are in. You can get a lot of information off the website. The map, at the bottom of the overview page for each listing, can be switched to satellite view for more detail and information. You can set filters to find what you are looking for out of available properties. Quite useful once you learn how to work the controls! Link to the search. Anyway, looking in your area (well, within 5 miles at least) the address at 11694 Metts Rd. Conroe, TX 77306 stands out. Not the cheapest, not the most expensive but, it comes with a garage/shop and living quarters, in the form of a modular home. All on 6 acres. You would have room to build a better/nicer shop or home later. Only 8 other properties are less expensive and they all are just land, many do not seem to have any water, power, et cetera. Quite a few others are more expensive, both with and without buildings. Not sure of the area. It has been years since I've been there. Not quite sure what you want but, there's my 2 cents! Hope all is well with you and yours. ~Bruce~
  10. Try quenching into some melted paraffin if your regular quenchant gives you trouble. It was the only thing that worked for a leatherworking awl I made years ago. ~Bruce~
  11. "I currently use a 2 ton epoxy from Devcon." Pretty sure the epoxy itself is part of the problem. I have also had bad experiences with the Devcon epoxy. Have you seen these links? Glue Wars 2 Read the whole thing but, pay special attention to post #38, on pg. 2. Notice also, how Devcon 2 Ton does? Testing for the Ultimate Adhesive Pretty much the same thread but, on a different forum. ~Bruce~
  12. One of the forum members Ariel Salaverria has an awesome website full of tutorials (look under "Tutorials" and "Knifemaking") He does not have a tutorial on forging san mai with stainless jacket and non-stainless core but, here is one on welding two different stainless steels together. Forging stainless 304 and stainless 420 MV. The technique is the same for the stainless/non-stainless san mai. I thought he had a tutorial on that but... Hope this helps. ~Bruce~
  13. If you buy some 1084... How is it going to be any different from what you are doing now, if you do not have the equipment to anneal, harden, or temper? Not trying to be hard on you, just the best course of action right now would be to acquire knowledge about what you are doing. Knowing what you are attempting to do, and why, will open your eyes up to what can be done. All four of the knives that you have shown could be completed with minimal tools but, it will require knowledge to do so. Besides that, only one of the four knives is giving you problems? What is there to prevent you from finishing the other three? The most limiting factor, with the steels you are working with, is getting them to the correct austenitizing temperature and holding them there for about ten minutes or so. They can be hardened without the soak at temperature but, at the cost of giving up some of the potential performance these steels are capable of. In other words, you can do it but, with a slight loss in edge holding and toughness. Most people will never know the difference. The one knife that is giving you trouble will cease to do so if you can temper it at a hot enough temperature or anneal it. Both of these procedures could be done in a campfire (you might need a source of air to get the fire hot enough depending on your fire building skills and your setup.) The big limitation, for you, will be your source of heat. Besides a campfire, what do you have for a source of heat? Can you scrounge up materials to build a forge if necessary and, if so, do you have someplace to put it? The most crucial thing would be a blower and a pipe of some sort to deliver air to the fire. Some clay, from the ground (pretty sure you have that in La Porte, TX!) could be used for everything else. The only other thing that might cost would be lump charcoal from the hardware store for fuel. Here are links to two Google Image searches one for "Tim Lively Forge" and the other for "Ground Forge" to give an idea of what can be done. You could also try reaching out to other blacksmiths and bladesmiths in the area. Several of the forums members are in the Houston area. There is an active ABANA (Artists Blacksmiths Association of North America) chapter in Houston, HABA (Houston Area Blacksmiths Association). It just takes some lateral thinking and a bit of work on your part. Last of all, you will not want to take the blade edge down to final shape before hardening. Too thin and you will have problems hardening your blades. Somewhere around as thick as a dime or nickel is what you are shooting for. ~Bruce~
  14. Top rate materials and excellent workmanship. A flea market booth is probably not the ideal market for your work. The only criticism that I would have is that little notch at the base of the blade... I am not a fan of them. ~Bruce~
  15. Welcome back Tim! Been quite awhile. That is some mighty nice work there. Especially the ring on the end, I assume it is forged? Not to mention those grind lines! ~Bruce~
  16. ANNEALING Definition: Heating steel to, and holding at a suitable temperature, followed by relatively slow cooling. The purpose of annealing may be to remove stresses, to soften the steel, to improve machinability, to improve cold working properties, to obtain a desired structure. The annealing process usually involves allowing the steel to cool slowly in the furnace. While it is possible to anneal simple steels in a campfire, it is more important for you to know what you are doing with the micro-structure of the steel. Not to mention, why. In other words, whoever gave you those directions did not let you have the whole story. The Bladesmith's Forum is an incredible tool, at your disposal, to learn about the craft of making knives and tools. I strongly suggest that you use the Advanced Search function on Google to search this domain. Search for basic terms such as: Martensite, hardening, heat treatment, normalizing, annealing, austenite, simple steel, deep hardening, shallow, hardening, W2, D2, 1095, etc. The members of this forum have seen the same questions asked, over and over. The answers are already here, all it takes is a bit of time and work on your part. Many times, if a person cannot be bothered to put some effort into looking, the members of the forum are not going to give up their own time (which would be much better spent making knives instead of answering questions.) Also, asking specific questions, will usually get a much better response than a broad spectrum inquiry for basic information. Information that is already here as previously mentioned. Your problem with the w2 should go away if you can get the piece to a hot enough tempering temperate. Here is a link to another topic, on The Bladesmith's Forum, simply title W2. As you can see from the chart of tempering temperatures, you will need to get this steel rather hot in order to soften it enough to work with hand tools. About 900-1000 degrees Fahrenheit (just before it starts emitting light i.e., no dim red glow in a pitch black room) should do the trick. The steels that you have mentioned working with (D2, 1095, and W2) are not considered good steels for the beginner. They are a bit more finicky to work with and require the ability to hit a set temperature, and hold it, in order to harden. !080 or 5160 would be two steels much easier for someone starting out at bladesmithing to work with. ~Bruce~
  17. What is your procedure for annealing? I cannot help without knowing what you are doing. Often, a high temperature tempering cycle does the trick. ~Bruce~
  18. Why does keeping the hammer polished help when peening brass? What ever the level of finish on your hammer head, that is the finish left on the metal you strike with it. A hammer head, polished to 600 grit, will leave a 600 grit finish on the surface of the rivet head. A high polish on a riveting hammer can save a lot of finishing work later on. ~Bruce~
  19. The Puukko and the Pig Sticker are the most pleasing to me aesthetically. The other two, with the cutouts at the base of the blades, just seem off. Are you trying to file, hardened, W2? If so, why? W2, as hardened, can hit 67 on the Rockwell C scale. Pretty darn hard, in other words. Even that hard, modern abrasives on an angle grinder should have no problem. However, if already hardened why would you use an angle grinder and risk overheating the blade and ruining the heat treatment? Also, if hardened, is it tempered? W2 tempers fairly hot, usually up around 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit. Properly hardened and tempered, W2 would still be a bear to file, you would be much better off using coarse sandpaper and a hard backing. How thick is the edge? How much meat is there left to remove before you hit the intended geometry? You might be better off annealing, doing the rough shaping, and re-heat treating. Last of all, pick one. Finish it. Then pick another. Working multiple knives, at the same time, often leads to procrastination. ~Bruce~
  20. That is a really neat little integral JD! Do you have any pictures of the spine? The pattern weld on this is pretty sweet. ~Bruce~
  21. That depends. What do you want to make and how do you work? The bigger the kiln, the more energy (i.e. expense) it will be to heat. If you make knives in large batches, from the same steel, you can heat treat them all at once and the cost per knife for the energy will not be too bad. If you want to use a large kiln to heat treat a few knives at a time, the cost per knife will be obscene! I would avoid buying a large kiln with the intention of "making a sword someday" because, in the meanwhile you will be stuck paying more if you are not working in huge batches. ~Bruce~
  22. "High Carbon" is a misnomer in this case. Here is a link to the only listing of the chemistry I could find - ZOC Industrial Railroad Spike. As you can see, not much Carbon but, quite a bit of Manganese. My recipe to heat treat is to get them far hotter than you would a tool steel before quenching. The higher austenitizing temperature promotes grain growth which in turn increases hardenability. In this case, with so little Carbon present, there is pretty much no chance of the blade being too hard or brittle and using the hotter temperature lets you get just a little bit more hardness. I've never tried the Superquench (just cold water) but, anything you can do to get more hardness here will help. I do not temper after hardening. This gets me an edge that will skate a file but, is a lot less abrasion resistant than tool steel when sanding or sharpening. ~Bruce~
  23. When you make the fixture, there is one very important thing you must do. Place a couple of sheets of paper between the two pieces of metal before drilling the holes. This makes the hole slightly smaller, just a few thousandths of an inch, than the stock you are using and allows it to clamp the metal. Without doing so, the fit is still tight but, you end up just hammering the metal into the hole instead of forming a rivet head. One, possible, problem with bolting the two ends together, like your illustration, is that there is nothing supporting the metal in the center of the jig to prevent it from flexing. I prefer to make jigs for this purpose from heavy angle iron because, it is more resistant to flex. I also prefer to use the vise to clamp the jig together because, it supports the entire length of the metal and prevents any flex in the jig and... It is faster to use than the two bolts on your design. The one problem that I do have with my jig is getting the two pieces to sit level with each other because, the inside seam of the angle iron is a curve instead of a true right angle and this does not sit well on the top of the vise jaws. This is definitely not my own original idea. I think my first encounter with the idea was from a jewelry technique book. You will probably want to allow more space between each hole in your jig to avoid marring up the next hole over with an errant hammer blow. ~Bruce~
  24. Have you seen this post? Making Grinder At least it is on your side of the pond. It looks like an incredible tool but, you may want to pick it up in person! If you choose to go this route. Be sure to read the last post. Not sure what your budget is or why you would be looking at a Kalamazoo, in the UK? ~Bruce~
  25. Here is another video specifically on micro-bevels for Japanese knives. He demonstrates non-chisel ground edge but, the technique is the same for chisel grinds. He touches on this towards the end of the video. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/xwnFrjiAA_8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> ~Bruce~
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