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Salem Straub

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Salem Straub last won the day on December 6

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About Salem Straub

  • Birthday 05/07/1983

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  • Website URL
    http://www.prometheanknives.com

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Tonasket, WA
  • Interests
    All types of ferrous metalwork. Shop machinery, acquiring, rebuilding, and using. Tai Chi Sword, the practice and the blades. Playing music, eating good food, reading good books. Enjoying life!

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  1. Salem Straub

    Integral Chef forging WIP.

    I clean up both sides on the surface grinder, shimming as necessary on the chuck to obtain flat surfaces, with major points centered when finished. I try to remove a more or less equal amoutn per side, down to the target thickness in theis case of .090" at 36 grit. This leaves an angle cut in the "plunge" area on both sides. The heel on both sides and parts of the edge are still black. From the top, stock left to remove is roughly symmetrical. Grinding the tang some, beginning to define the lines of the front and back of the bolster, with a 12" contact wheel at this time. Also roughing down the unground section at bolster front to the rest of the blade flats. Blade flats up to bolster roughed in... looking for assymetry now. You can see in this pic several issues to be refined. The tang is a little to right of the spine center line... but a grindable fix. I work mostly with the edge of the platen to carve things even now. This way, both sides... And from the bottom. Angles are kept simple and corners sharp to help see geometry. Shaping under the heel... the belt can be run out of the platen edge pretty far if needed, a sharp platen edge in one spot would be a nice aid. Truing the blade flat more at bolster front, evening spine thickness and truing bolster sides more to each other. Grinding angles... matching all around, using visual cues and references to inspect clearly. More... I've done this a lot of ways, from files years ago, to small wheels less years ago, but now I generally carve them in with the platen edge, first steep to match then mellowed out for comfort after HT. I think of it as grinding large plunge cuts. The bolsters are not flat on the sides here... rather they taper a bit larger toward the rear. I will not be using my file guide later to set them, so I don't need them to be parallel. Ultimately I like them thin up front, and swelling into a continued taper in the handle. On some I will keep the sides flat and use a file guide at the tang shoulder, before hardening. Both ways work for different styles. Nothing too fancy and analytical here, just light, eyeballing, carving. I just get it roughly good before HT, no sense making it too pretty yet. Just always look carefully, and thoroughly. If you must, checking relative heights of things is not very difficult with a flat surface and height gauge, calipers, or other expedients. Practice is the most important element. Profile is dialed in... A witness grind is established. The heel is centered.. the witness grind runs back clean into it leaving .040" edge thickness. Same on the other side. Whatever scale may yet exist along the edge will be easy to lose, as the witness grind shows... it's all part of getting a clean blade from a rough forging. Purely stock removal guys may not appreciate what an art this can be. The rest of the edges look like this. Some more grinding, and the whole piece is clean and ground to a slight convexity, from .085" spine down to .040" edge thickness, not mush distal taper yet. This is thin enough for quenching. Blade gets a thin satanite wash for a little extra thermal mass, and anti-scale barrier. Dried off with a torch, and ready for the Paragon. And that's it for part II! Part III will show finish grinding, and some pics of the final knife. Thanks for reading.
  2. Salem Straub

    Integral Chef forging WIP.

    Lol! Thanks for the pin, Alan. Part two to come later today, then. There's even a part 3...
  3. Salem Straub

    Integral Chef forging WIP.

    This is a tutorial I did last winter, in response to a request for help in forging integral chef's knives. Here the starting block is a piece of feather pattern damascus that I'd already forged- the WIP won't show that part. Instead we show the process of shaping said block into an integral blade, with an emphasis on material conservation. This is a somewhat machine-centric way of doing the forging, as at the time I was refining my forging process to apply to forging Damasteel integrals from large round bar- and stainless damascus is VERY red-hard and needs force to move. The steels used here are 1080 and 15n20. Let's begin! Starting block, one side sawed off of a loaf of feather damascus. About .625" thick by 1.4 by 5.5" long. I start by pointing the bar roughly on the LG 50 with mild drawing dies, and tune up a little by hand. I only run the dies about 2/3 up the bar, saving thickness near the bolster and heel areas. With the point roughed in, I put a block on the bottom press die and lightly define the bolster area and drop at what will be the heel. This area is all at full thickness. This is just a marking step more or less. I put a spring guillotine in the press and lighty chomp at an angle to define where the bolster front will be, leaving the heel almost full thick and chomping right at it. This spring tool draws sideways, light overlapping chomps right at the heel in front of the bolster... it helps to start doing this while the steel is still quite thick. A few rows of that, alternating sides. Keep it hot! Block back on the press, keeping the heel pressed down and lessening the hump on the spine from spreading at the bolster. Some general widening along the blade, with the LG dies. Widening more near the heel. Wider, with a bigger hump... Knock the hump down. Put another block or plate on the point side to restrain the tip from shoving down too far. Getting there. Blade is still 5/16 thick at spine near bolster. Cross peening by hand at the anvil, alternating sides, to pull the steel out into a deeper sharper heel under the bolster. More of the same, moving out into the blade proper a little, widening along the length. Pull that heel. More and more, both sides. Diagonal blows. Check your width to the 2.25" mark soaped on your anvil step... Check to the 9" mark for lenth on the side of the anvil. Dang, I guess it's a 10" blade! With blade width, length, and general material distributed, shwock as necessary on hollowed stump with soft hammer to adjust profile. Blade profiled. Try to look for low spots and correct them so material waste on the grinder is minimized, and pattern flows better (with multibar or edged patterns.) That heel should be pulled out to a point right under the front of the bolster. It is tres chic to do so, among integral knerds. The heel can lose some thickness, just make sure the heel is centered... Chopsaw the handle off. When precision is important, I'll still guillotine by hand. Knocking in the tang step. Closeup... Drawing the tang on the LG. Tang drawn, rebar remainder chopped. Make visually sure that the blade and tang are aligned, and centered in the bolster. I just correct by hand at the anvil, although a press straightening jig is easy enough to make. The edge side. Make sure the tang, edge, and heel are aligned, and centered in the bolster. You can see there's still some meat to grind off along most of the edge. Blade profiled, beveled, normalized, ready for further cycling in the Paragon oven. Don't forget to leave some funk here and there for the grinder to get! That's it for the forging process. I could post part II, which is of the grinding and other work, if there is interest. Hope that's been of some value to some smiths out there!
  4. Salem Straub

    A bunch of pattern weld kitchen knives from this year...

    Thanks guys for the encouraging feedback! BillyO, no secrets here. I always forge the blade first. I start with a chunk of pattern weld say 3/4" thick by 1.25-1.5" tall. I lightly guillotine fuller where the front of the bolster will be, just to mark it really. Fullering it much to start will curtail your ability to drop the heel right from the bolster later. I draw on my LG50 mostly at the point to start defining the blade shape, getting it thinner and pointed out at the tip, then start stretching and widening the blade back toward the midsection. I stay away from the bolster area for now, leaving the material pretty much the original size there. After the tip and midsection are out of the way somewhat, I use either a top fuller on my #9 Beaudry hammer, or a spring fullering set on my hydraulic press, and stretch the bulk of the steel in front of the bolster out into the feel width of the heel shape. This shape gets finished and drawn farther by hand with a cross peen. A hump will form in the spine at the front of the bolster, which needs both prevention and correction by hand or by press or hammer with a set tool. The bolster is further formed by setting on a bottom block on the press, and upsetting it spine to edge side so as to accentuate the heel drop further. After the blade and bolster are tuned up, stock is pinched from the back of the bolster to draw out into the tang, with a guillotine fuller and then the LG50 to draw. That's alphabet soup, I know. You know what, I'll post a WIP in here of forging an integral feather mascus chef (it already exists on FB and is of the green handled integral feather chef above.) Note though, that several of the knives pictured in this thread, certainly the top two, have the bolsters forge-welded on to best preserve the pattern... which is a separate process to get into.
  5. This is mostly what I've been up to of late. I do still love making daggers, fighter, hunters and folders but the Instagram market has been snapping kitchen knives up this year! I like kitchen knives, because I like to cook and have done so a lot, because of the challenge inherent in these particularly performance-first knives, and because of the large canvas they often afford for the pattern welder! Sorry for the few lower quality pics... sometimes you already have it sold, and only have time for a quick snap before shipping... And that's all I've got for now!
  6. Salem Straub

    Latest engraving I did for Roger Bergh.

    Beautiful work! Question: Do you use foot control or palm control on that Lindsay Classic?
  7. Salem Straub

    San Mai WIP

    Cool!
  8. Salem Straub

    1st Florida Blades

    Excellent! Those look great, I really like the fullers in particular. What a good feeling it must be to be back up and running. How does the new shop compare to the old? More space? Different feel? Nice to be somewhere new?
  9. Salem Straub

    Forge Press Design Help

    Another thing to think about is possible cross breeze or moving air in the shop... that can really wreak havoc with shielding gas. If you can, tipping it over so you're welding flat rather than up or down would be preferable. Often just because a weld could be performed vertical doesn't mean that's necessarily ideal given your particular situation, equipment, or experience.
  10. Salem Straub

    Forge Press Design Help

    I'm not gonna sugar coat this, I'd abandon that frame etc. and just make forging dies for the log splitter. That's going to work better and be safer. Those welds do not look trustworthy and the design of everything really suggests an unfamiliarity with forging press necessities. You need to have good strong welds and a good strong guide system.
  11. Salem Straub

    San Mai WIP

    Another nice thing about 400 series is that, unlike 300's, they stick to a magnet... so if a surface grinder is a big part of your san mai process, like me, that works with the mag chuck on the machine.
  12. Salem Straub

    braided mosaic pattern welded steel.

    Great video! My favorite part though is Busta with "Gimme Some More" in the background at 4:30... I rock that stuff too pretty often when forging!
  13. Salem Straub

    Salem Straub's twisting rig

    Hey Joshua, I didn't see until now that you'd posted this here! Jeez, I need to visit the Forums more often.... Anyway, thanks a lot! I'm having a blast with all my pattern welding tooling...
  14. Hi you smiths! Been a while, here's some pics and a bit of preamble. The first pic is of a dagger, with 13" turkish puzzle pattern blade and basket twist handle with takedown construction, w's pattern bolsters and bronze finials. I made it this summer. The second I'm not sure if I have shown here... it was from 2016 as I recall, and is another basket twist handle, this one with the quillons integral to the grip, with bronze accents, and a 17" blade of merovingian twist with CruForgeV edges. The third I'm sure I did show here, in 2014, but the pic is so much better than mine that I thought I'd post it. It's a two bar/twisted w's blade with guard of the same pattern, a spiral flute grip with conformed iron herringbone twist wire, copper twisted wire turk's head knots, and a twist dammy finial. All three have ended up in a large and amazing Chinese collection... they had sheaths made for two of them so far and send me the pics gratis. I'm pretty stoked to have them! Anyway, here they are...
  15. Salem Straub

    Mosaic Damascus Multi-Bar Kiritsuke-Santoku

    Killer! I can see the Cimms influence clearly... you could do a whole lot worse than learning from that guy. I like your approach to the layout here.
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