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steven smith

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steven smith last won the day on January 31 2017

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  1. steven smith

    Sneak Peek, Opinions..

    If you look at the knife with the blade pointing down the handle is like a figure, if the wrap were clothing then you would have something like a long skirt thats been pulled up over the belly. it could be the wrap is a good length but it needs to be moved towards the guard or you might need to add length to both ends of the wrap. It looks better in the post right before this one, everything else looks good to me but the wrap is a little sloppy. Try getting the wrap better before any permanent modifications, that could be enough. Its a bit bulky looking. I like the knife a lot otherwise, I hope you can get it sorted out.
  2. steven smith

    Axe WIP

    I might have seen that 90* twist pattern somewhere before, but its still really rad. It makes me want to make a knife like that. Great job!
  3. steven smith

    Edge thickness pre ht/quench ?

    Edge thickness depends on spine thickness, I quenched a 1/6 scale bowie knife that was basically sharp with room temperature water and it was fine, the spine was a little under 1/16" and the blade was 1/4" wide and about 1 1/2" long. Depending on how long you have to heat the blade before quenching you will get decarb to some degree, if I had to soak my minis for ten minutes before quenching then they would need a thicker edge im sure. Im pretty sure that if you do a differential hardening by only getting the edge hot you can get away with a thinner edge. The edge can crack because of the different cooling rates between the edge and spine, at some point during the quench the edge can be hardened but the spine is still cooling and moving so it wants to tear the edge apart. So for most of my knives I try not to harden too much of the spine.
  4. steven smith

    Brut de forge on kitchen knives

    Time spent fantasizing about dirty dishes is better spent dirtying dishes. Saying one is dirty because the other is cleaner is like saying that were all too short because were not as tall as the tallest person in the world. That kind of "if youre not with us then youre against us" thinking is stupid and awful, there is a happy medium in practice which is cleaning your blade when its needed. There are many things that are much more exciting to think about than food poisoning but if youre squinting so hard that you can see a germ on some forge scale you probably wont ever see any of it. Im not big on sanitization but sometimes I wash off my soap bottle because thats what I grab when my hands are danger gross, I wonder if other people do that too?
  5. steven smith

    Tempering malfuntion

    If youre good at welding you should be able to fix it. but I would break it more, chop nails, that sorta stuff. Maybe keep it on a shelf. I dont harden my tangs because of this. Long ago I broke a miniature sword because the tang was hardened, then I saw I had huge grain and I found this site while learning about normalization.
  6. You can, mine is made from a spring, however ive been reading about them a bit and it seems like a file or something harder would be better. I dont really know much about sen and mine is not so great, I havent found a complete tutorial for making one, but mine is still way faster than any file ive used and its sharpenable. Of course you still need to use a file afterwards to flatten things up, the metal chips from using a sen are also very sharp so if you go with a sen you really need to sweep up after it.
  7. Forging to shape and a sen scraper are the biggest time savers and they are things any smith can do, forging to shape does take a bit of practice though.
  8. steven smith

    Recycled steel

    You can throw some 1075 in the forge and pull out whatever you want but you wont understand it just because you know what it is, numbers dont cut anything, neither does unworthy steel. The point at which it matters is opinion, the point at which it cuts is fact. If I make a spooky mystery blade that is as tough as 80crv2 then I can say its as tough as 80crv2 Whats spooky is steel never lies and if you know how to listen it will tell you what it needs. I bet nicholson knows what steel theyre using, they should hire me to turn the temperature control knob for their salt pots back the where it was before they went bad, and if that doesnt work I guess they need a different steel and a little knob twiddling for good measure. I got one of their new files and it had teeth on it so what else could be wrong?
  9. steven smith

    Recycled steel

    If mystery steel takes more than a quick heat and quench then its probably not worth it but if thats all it takes and it makes a good knife then it might as well be knifemaking steel. Near optimum might be very good but if you can really nail the hardening temperature with a controlled kiln, as well as normalizing and tempering temperatures, so you get the right hardness/toughness for the blade you are making then you are on another level. All of that is going to take plenty of testing no matter what steel you have, it would make sense to stick to just a few steels from one reliable supplier buying large amounts each time and testing every batch you get. That is optimum. Without near perfect temperature control you have to rely on decalescence, thermometers, and whether or not the blade holds up to whatever testing you might do. If your tempering oven is off by 15* does it really matter? I dont think its something anyone would notice unless there was a test against an optimum blade. Im sure there is that much or more variance in temperature throughout all the blades ive made and I cant think of any that were noticeably bad save for the few rare failure to fully harden ive encountered (probably from a very small quench tank). All steel should be tested, if it works it works, if it doesnt you will know. We are lucky that knifemaking deals with extremes, we all want to make knives to the best of our abilities and the steel will let us know when we mess up no matter what steel it is. For simple heat treament its all the same, heat to decalescence and quench (lets not get into 10xx vs. 5160 vs. 80crv2). for more precise heat treatment where truly optimum preformance is possible then it would be better to pick a steel alloy best suited for knifemaking. My sharpest knife ive ever made was from a drill bit extender, not pretty but super sharp and held an edge very well, it fell out of its sheath which was a jaw bone a few halloweens ago. I always wondered if it was a fluke because it was so nice. the gouge tool from a box end wrench is really cool but I hardly have enough wrenches to try that, ive been wanting a curved blade knife for a few days, I might have to make one with a couple wood carvers.
  10. steven smith

    Recycled steel

    I have 25 or so feet of 1/2" x 1/16" steel from a toilet snake, ive used it for some minis that I deburr metals with sometimes and it works great. I havent been able to find a place that sells steel in that dimension, admiral supposedly will roll custom springs but they either dont like small orders or checking emails. The only problem I have with my ToiletX90 steel is its too long. I also have some coil spring that might need to be a litle hotter than im used to for quenching but that problem is solved with more heat. For me with my simple heat treatment setup testing an unknown steel is cheaper than shipping for one bar of 1075 which is always out of stock in the thickness I want when I can afford it. But if you have a nice heat treat oven and you can be sure youre getting the best out of your steel then it might make more sense to go with knifemaking steel. My knives are the only handmade knives ive used and untill I get to try something with a high end heat treat I cant truly compare good quality and great quality but I feel that mystery steel can preform as well as plain high carbon, my 1075 knife cant cut my coil spring knife and vise versa, maybe they are both bad? I havent had a blade break since I learned to normalize before hardening, sometimes a blade comes out of heat treatment a bit soft so I check it against a good knife and maybe quench again or scrap it. there are ways to test the quality of any steel, you may not know what it is but you can understand it no matter what it might be.
  11. steven smith

    Damascus problem

    I usually have some pretty shallow delaminaton around the whole piece when I forge weld, if you forge it on its side and it holds together it should be fine though. You can also grind through the delamination to see how deep it goes. Most of what I read before I tried forgewelding was that the steel is hot enough when the flux starts moving and boiling, however it never worked for me untill the steel was so hot that I could see what looked like steam rising from the billet. So wait for the "steam" and let it soak for a little while and after you hammer it if any parts get darker quicker than the rest then you have a weld failure. You do have to clean off the dirty flux with a wire brush because it will dirty clean flux and I think it has caused weld failures for me. I have tried rewelding a failed weld but its never worked for me, I dont understand why it wouldnt work if the material is fluxed though, it seems to me that dirty flux doesnt like to move much.
  12. steven smith

    Bronze question

    I bought some silicon bronze a while back, I cant remember from where, it was a real joy to forge at black heat down to cold, ill have to get more someday. I think it was from online metals, me and computers dont play well so I cant get the site to open.
  13. steven smith

    Mini Power Hammer Concept

    Im surprised there arent more mini power hammers, they might not move much material (or maybe they can, I dont know) but they are still potentially very accurate and essentially the next step up from a blacksmiths helper/guillotine tool. I made mine for forging miniatures thinking that I can hand forge a preform and with the mini power hammer just forge the bevels evenly and end up with accurate complex tapers in the finished forging. Jeremy, the moving part on top of the hammer on my mini hammer is wonky so it does twist but if evrything is solid and level I think it would be fine, I had to add a guide pin and an extra guide to keep mine from twisting. I think the white plastic material I used is hdpe, the two middle pieces are slotted for adjustability. Im thinking about totally breaking it down and rebuilding it, if I do ill start a thread for it. I like AJs' hammer design but I would put it on a stand and have the anvil run down to the floor or put a hole in the bench where it sits to do the same.
  14. steven smith

    Mini Power Hammer Concept

    Im working on one, I think its a guided helve hammer, I found %90 of the material in the street! If I werent terrible at welding it might be useable by now but its very wonky. Maybe I can get a link to it on my instagram... https://www.instagram.com/p/BiQEKOjF5xK/
  15. steven smith

    Positioning Multiple Anvils for Use

    If a circle and a square are the same width then the circle has less area, stump takes less space. A stump could be engineered to "make space" like anything else, im assuming you mean attaching a bracket or something to hold hammers and tongs or whatever. Not to mention the cost of wood or steel to make a stand vs. Having the opportunity to carry 150 pounds of curly ash home on a bicycle or whatever you want for transportation. that ones opinion but ive got half a nice log still to make handles with. It can be difficult to square the ends of a stump, an axe or adze is necessary. Laminated 2x4s would be easiest but there is still potential for wobbles.