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Aiden CC

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Aiden CC last won the day on April 8

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About Aiden CC

  • Birthday 04/01/1998

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  1. Aiden CC

    Shibuichi, Up Close

    Tear out could make sense, this stuff is pretty soft. Here are the bulk samples/one of the mounted sections: This stuff is really pretty, especially out of a water pour. I polished/etched some more rolled samples this morning, I’ll get some pictures up when I have more time.
  2. This semester I've been working with some of the MatSci faculty at my school to do a metallurgy focused independent study (half a class worth of science credit to learn about metals processing and analysis). The first part of that has been learning about phase diagrams, and for that I decided to use a copper-silver system since its a binary eutectic system and has some interesting micro-structures. I chose a composition the base shibuichi composition of 75% copper, 25% silver, and also decided to try a pour into cloth stretched over a bowl in a bucket of water (a traditional Japanese technique) in addition to a graphite ingot mold. This is an optical micrograph of the ingot sample. Focus isn't great, and the polish could be better (though this stuff is so soft I also think I scratched it with a cotton ball). The copper colored phase consists of the copper dendrites which formed above the eutectic temperature while the silver colored phase is the metal which solidified at he eutectic temperature. I'm still not sure what all of the dark grey inclusions are. I looked at he composition of one in the SEM and it consisted of copper and silver oxides, though a professor suggested some of them may also be inter-metallic inclusions, so it warrants more looking into. This is the sample cooled in water at the same magnification. The main difference I notice is that the phase formed in the eutectic transformation looks slightly different. Also, I think the dark interiors of some of the dendritic copper grains may be a result of coring, with the copper solidified at higher temperatures containing less dissolved silver (the sample has been etched in a solution of ammonium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide to preferentially attack the copper). A closer look at the ingot sample. You can see the copper and silver in the phase formed in the eutectic solidification fairly well. I definitely enjoy looking at these micro-structures! Here is the water cooled sample at the same magnification. You can see more of the possible coring, as well as what looks like more copper in the eutectic phase. I want to look at it more quantitatively, but it may be that the faster cooling has something to do with it? I also recently got trained on using the SEM, which is really cool. This is a sampled of the ingot which I rolled, taken at roughly 20% reduction (starting thickness was 0.083", this was 0.066"). I believe the dark discoloration is from some problems with my etch. Deformation was along the vertical axis of the photo, this sample was polished parallel to the rolled surface. I have a few more rolled samples (50% reduction and 80% reduction) that I want to examine to look at deformation and possibly re-crystallization. I guess this is only tangentially knife related (though I'm going to switch over to steels after a couple of weeks on brasses/bronzes!), but if figured it was worth posting. Thanks for looking!
  3. Aiden CC

    Origin of the "Modern" Puukko?

    That’s really interesting! I had always thought of pins as being meant to deal with forces in line with the tang, but I can see how they can relieve some of the strain near the blade end of the handle when the blade is in bending as well. Also, wouldn’t really consider it a hijack, definitely an interesting conversation. In other news, instead of waiting for a sunny day for pictures in New England in the Fall, here is my “replica”: The blade was an experiment in that after forging it was only made using the contact wheel on my grinder and a buffing wheel, the goal being to emulate the geometry and finish of some originals I’ve seen. The bevel and “flats” are both slightly concave, though only slightly as I ground them on a diagonal on a 10” wheel. Then I polished with two grades of scotchbrite belt and finally buffed with emery. Substantially less work than a hand polish (plus, stock removal is much faster on a wheel), and yields results that look similar to a few examples I have. Also, the sheath is coming up. I spent Saturday helping to clean up the access road and off-road race track (used by the vehicle project team I’m on and my school’s autonomous tractor team) in the woods by my college, and we ended up taking down a few small birch trees. That means I ought to have enough bark to make at least one woven sheath.
  4. Aiden CC

    Origin of the "Modern" Puukko?

    Wow, totally missed these replies! That's a really cool knife. It's interesting how sharp the front edge of the handle is. I've seen that on a few other old knives, but its cool that it goes back so far. I have a knife inspired by one of the puukkos I posted pictures of I'll post pictures of when I have good light. I also bought an old puukko that looks a lot like this (though not nearly as old and in similar shape), that I hope to make a replica of. It's true that a lot of old knives have relatively poor fit and finish by modern standards, but there are definitely examples of knives where both are excellent going back a long ways.
  5. Aiden CC

    Mushroom Knife Hardness (65Mn)

    Now that I think about it, mushrooms are probably one of the least demanding things to cut. No busch whacking with this one! My hope is that 50 is soft enough to drill with questionably sharp HSS bits since that's pretty much all there is here (though the shop staff did give me water-jet time to make fillet knives, I could probably borrow a nicer bit if none of the cheap ones work).
  6. It's been a while since I started a new project (was out of state over the summer for an engineering internship at a stainless steel mill in KY), and now that I have access to some tools again, I'm trying to get a bit back into knife making. I'm currently helping my girlfriend make herself a mushroom knife and I ran into a bit of a metallurgical question. The material in question is 0.40" 65Mn, which as its name implies has 0.62-0.70% C with 0.90-1.20% Mn. It is left over from another project (making the reader for a music box) and is pre-hardened. I measured the hardness and it is right around 50 HRC. Basically, my question is should I anneal/re-harden it for this project or not? I've thought a bit about the pros and cons, but would love to get some more input. First, it's a thin knife which will be used pretty much exclusively to cut soft things, and a low hardness might not get punished much while making it more resilient. In addition, heat treatment would add some time (the box furnaces here are slow), and would increase the work polishing. I would be annealing/hardening in an electric furnace, and am also worried about decarb from the oxidizing atmosphere. On the other hand, I feel it might preform a bit better if it were a little harder (mid-high 50s), and I'm not sure how easy it will be to drill the holes for handle pins (we're trying something I've wanted to do for a while with a "partial full tang" where the tang sits in a slot cut into the handle material). This could be a nice way to get used to the workflow here (using the furnaces, etc), but heat treatment would add a lot of time (especially since I need to have the lab director there if I do an oil quench). Would love to hear what some of you all think!
  7. Aiden CC

    Swiss Army Knife WIP

    I looked a bit, and it seems like finding opaque, red, polycarbonate might be difficult. I definitely want something tough. I may try and make some at some point, that could be fun for sure. I may end up getting a few different options. I had definitely thought about doing jigged bone and stainless bolsters, but I want to try the hidden rivet blocks like Victorinox does. I do have some jigged bone and antler sitting around (I don't think the stag would really match the look). My concern about bone is that it isn't as tough as a synthetic would be, and without bolsters, the ends of the handle wouldn't be as durable. I'll still consider it, it may even be worth trying bolsters and covers with hidden pins. I thought I would have some time to work on this project, but things have been fairly hectic getting ready to move to Kentucky for an engineering internship this summer, and I've been trying to prep a bunch of "kits" to work on while I'm there, and this project kind of got put on the back burner. I was talking with the person I'm renting a room from, and it turns out he has a full wood shop in his garage and does carpentry professionally, so I may have access to some tools, but it will likely be a little while before I get around to finishing this up.
  8. Aiden CC

    Swiss Army Knife WIP

    I'm getting to the place where I need to start thinking about the covers for the handle, and was wondering if anyone has any input (I may make a new thread for this question in design and critique). I have a lot of woods, but I think a synthetic handle would be more in line with the "philosophy" of the knife as tough and low maintenance. I have some black G10 scales as well as blue and white liner material, but would definitely be open to other suggestions. Red paper micarta is possibly the closest thing to the originals, and might look more SAK than the texture of G10. I'll take a picture to show this, but basically all of the pins get peened into the brass rivet blocks I turned on the lathe, which then sit in counterbores in the handle covers when they get epoxied on and act as hidden pins. I don't have a lot of experience with synthetic handle material, so any input would be appreciated.
  9. Aiden CC

    Origin of the "Modern" Puukko?

    That would make sense. Sheet metal forming takes pretty specialized tools and thick pieces of brass are likely cheaper/easier to get now that they used to be. I was interested in the shift in style, since I’ve seen a lot of pictures of old styles, and lots from the past 10-15 years, but not much from what led from one to the next. Maybe because the old ones are antiques and the new ones were made when the Internet was prominent. Thank you! I believe wedges were only used sometimes, I’m not sure what would cause them to be used on some knives but not others. I haven’t seen very many examples of originals with this construction, but they definitely exist.
  10. Aiden CC

    Origin of the "Modern" Puukko?

    As some of you may know, I've been interested in puukkos for a while, with them probably being my all time favorite knife to make. When I started out, I looked almost exclusively at contemporary examples with the "standard" pattern of wood/birch bark sandwiched between two pieces of 1/4" brass and a blade the same width as the handle with the shoulders seated square against the handle. More recently, I've become interested in original examples from the past few centuries and have noticed that they rarely follow the general design people tend to make today. Overall, I'm wondering if anyone knows much about how the current puukko design most makers follow originated. As far as older puukos, a few general types tend to stand out: Ones like this are pretty common, ferrule and an all wood handle with a kick at he end. I may try making a ferrule punch and die set to form them from formed/soldered sheet metal. Sometimes there is a ricasso, sometimes not, same with a small fuller. The tang goes all the way through and has a small rivet block. There are also knives with metal fittings on the top of the handle and the bottom. Sometimes they are barrel-shaped, while other times they have a decorative shape, like a horse head. There are lots of examples with wood and birch bark, with birch bark sometimes having a metal ferrule by the blade and a block of wood to make the kick. Additionally, these knives will ocasionally have blades which are slightly wider than the bottom of the ferrule. Finally, what are probably my favorite type: the partial tang designs, often hand-made. If I'm correct the first two are maasepän and the final kokemäen. This is a style that seems to be replicated significantly by modern smiths, with a few differences. One, the shoulders in these knives often have a small gap above the handle. This could be for cleaning, sharpening, or simply not wanting to have to fit them. I've seen a few examples of modern kokemäen puukos with this feature, but few others. The biggest one is the shape of he blades. These old knives tent to have narrower, straighter, blades while modern knives have blades the same width as the handle with narrow slightly towards the tip. It should be noted that there are definitely other styles of knives which would be called puukkos which I haven't included, such as leukus and other knives in the Saami style. It seems like often modern versions of these knives are actually quite faithful to the originals in form, materials, and ornamentation, possibly because the knives are even more strongly tied to tradition and culture. One possible answer to the question of where the "modern" puukko came from is a design by Tapio Wirkkala for Hackman Cutlery in the early 1970s, I would love to hear other people's take on that idea/if there was similar work done earlier which inspired him. Looking at the broad range of styles seen in old knives has definitely inspired me to try and make some that way (especially the old maasepän ones), and hopefully some other people might feel the same way.
  11. Aiden CC

    Puukko From the Woods

    I've wondered why my tar came out hard instead of liquid, and from what I can tell its that all of the moisture and turpentine was driven off. As far as I know, historic pine tar was essentially a thick liquid, and that when we made it there was an excess of heat/oxygen which burned or boiled off the liquids. Some of the old setups for making liquid tar had a drain pipe to take the runoff away from the heat source to avoid drying it out.
  12. Aiden CC

    Puukko From the Woods

    Thanks! If your tar is liquid rather than hard, you could also mix it with turpentine and linseed oil, or even use it on its own, for a nice finish. That was my plan, but mine turned out too thick for that.
  13. Aiden CC

    Puukko From the Woods

    Shoot, I didn't think of that! There are some marshes I could've found some in . My school does a yearly charity auction, and I may end up making a paring knife with the same materials for it. After getting everything, it was a pretty quick to actually make the knife.
  14. Aiden CC

    Puukko From the Woods

    Got some time to wrap up the handle this morning! Sanded out the knife marks with strips of emery cloth and then sanded up through 800 grit. Then burnished until no more whiskers were raised. The handle with the first coat of oil. This stuff is more like a grease than an oil, and is pretty thick. I only did three coats because I doubt its getting very deep. If I want to thin it following my rules, I would have to distill turpentine from some resin I brought back with me, so I think this is good enough. I really like the way this acts as both a stain and finish! Buffed with a cotton cloth, rubbed on beeswax, then buffed again. I was worried the birch oil wouldn't bring out figure that well and was definitely pleasantly surprised. In the long run, I may try a birch bark sheath, but my bark is currently in storage, and isn't great since I got it all from dead trees during the winter. Peak collection season is coming up, and I have some friends who are doing research at my school over the summer, so I may be able to ask nicely and get some in the mail. For now, I'll probably just make a blade-cover from some birch planks from a standing dead tree I found some nice spalting in.
  15. Aiden CC

    Puukko From the Woods

    My campus has a plot of woods that was originally going to be developed, but those plans fell through and the woods are still there. There are plenty of strange things out there, one of them being an overturned and half buried car, which by my best guess is 60-70 years old. Late last fall I went and got some spring steel to make knives out of, which is where this project started. A little later on, I ended up asking the director of facilities about gathering dead wood because a project team I was on needed some. He gave me the all clear, and even pointed me to the pile where cut up downed trees end up. I got some beautiful curly ash/ash burl, and some maple or tulipwood burl I posted in here: Anyways, all of this got me thinking about making a knife where all of the components came from that plot of woods. I've wanted to make a Scandinavian style whittling knife for a while, so that's the style I settled on. I had wood and steel, but still needed an adhesive and a finish. Enter some alchemy: The can is full of fatwood from the branches of a downed fir tree that looks like it fell a few years ago. It has holes in the bottom and there is can underneath it buried in the ground to catch the liquid dripping out. Mixed the pitch from the fir with some of the charcoal left in the top can and a touch of bees wax from the bee-keeping club. The use of a double boiler is important since this stuff is pretty flammable. Once it was all melted together, I got it globbed up on the end of the mixing stick to make a pitch stick for gluing. I originally wanted this to be a finish, and only switched to it as a glue because it was more of a pitch than a tar. This meant that I needed some kind of finish. For that, I turned to birch bark. Same process as with the resin, but this time with birch bark from various dead trees/branches, in the can to render out the birch oil/tar. I packed the bark in pretty helter-skelter, and I think if I had packed it with all the bark vertically I would have gotten a better yield. The birch oil is interesting stuff. Smells like a camp-fire, and tastes like smoky wintergreen (don't worry, I looked it up before I tried some) which slightly numbs your tongue. I forged the blade over spring break, and today I brought everything together. To use the cutler's resin, I fit he tang into a block of wood for a tight fit, then finished polishing the blade. After that, I heated up the tang with a torch. Then I used the heat in the tang to melt a puddle of resin and coat the tang. A few taps with a mallet and hopefully the blade and handle are together for good. It was somewhat more stressful than epoxy because I new I had a limited amount of time before the resin set up. However, that also meant that, unlike epoxy, the handle was ready to work on almost immediately. Decided to try roughing out the handle with a saw and knife. It took a bit longer than a rasp, but was pretty relaxing. I'll finish the sanding tomorrow. Also did a test of the birch oil on some scrap. It's hard to see, but it darkens the wood nicely, and gives it a smoky smell I hope mellows out with time. Definitely excited to finish this. Thanks for looking!