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Aiden CC

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Everything posted by Aiden CC

  1. Interested to see how this turns out! $10/kg is by far the lowest I have seen for tamahagane, usually its 10-20 times that. It may have to do with receiving different grades. I imagine there isn't as much demand for the lower carbon parts of the bloom and areas with poorer consolidation as these days the blooms are only used for super high-end stuff.
  2. There won’t be significant progress on knives from me for some time, but two more of these blades have been wrapped up since my last post: The handle on this short sax is a bit of an experiment, I wanted to see what a leather wrap would be like with a handle that has a “shoulder” like the full tang broadsax/langsax examples suggest. Maybe not for everyone, by I like how it came out Next is this broken back seax, inspired by the Honeylane blade. The handle is horn and oak. I wanted to try out a mouth band for the sheath, as originals often seem to have had them (decorations absent along the margin and mouth). Thanks for looking!
  3. Thanks! I like the bone too, though unfortunately it looks like Culpepper and Co. doesn't sell it anymore. Agreed about the bandsaw, I just couldn't get it to work right, even with course blades. I think a big, wobbly table saw blade with unevenly sharpened teeth would be the perfect way to go . I think these scales may have actually been made with something like a 36 grit sanding disk, which could be interesting to try. The cuts look a lot deeper in photos than in person. The Loctite worked well! It does smell a lot worse than epoxy. Kind of amazing the directions say you don't even need to remove oil/grease from the parts (I did anyways), I used masking tape on the underside of the liners to try and contain the mess. The peened pins theoretically mean the glue shouldn't have to do much work, but we'll see how it holds up in the long run.
  4. Two very different takes on a large chef knife. One is MagnaCut with a resin handle filled with dried herbs, the other is hearth steel and old chain with curly birch. I wanted to make both of these knives, so I figured I would leave the choice to whoever draws my number.
  5. I managed to finally find some time to finish the second knife, so both are done now! My plan was for the person who draws my name to get to pick one of the two, they are certainly very different knives. I’m pretty sure that old chain isn’t wrought, but instead a very low C/Mn mild steel. I’ve found 1018 hardens a bit in water, and this one didn’t seem to at all. Also, very few sparks. Thanks everyone for following along, and I look forward to the drawing!
  6. My last EDC knife is the three blades stockman I made back in 2017, and while I like it quite a bit, I’ve wanted to try something different. I just completed a pretty major move, so it seemed like a good time. This stockman isn’t retired, just something else is up in the rotation. About a year and a half ago I decided to try getting back into making folders, and I cut out these parts for a swayback and a Barlow, that just sat around after heat treat. I decided to finally pick back up at least one of the knives. Here you can see it after finish grinding and soldering on the bolsters. The blade is still 15n20, like the previous one. I decided to try out a different adhesive for the scales, one of the spray on activator plus glue ones, I’ve been told it works well for these knives. I also decided to relieve the liners with electrochemical etching, which ended up working fairly well, though one side may be a bit shallow. Much simpler construction than the last one, just one blade and only a bolster on one end. I like this scale material, so I’m glad to show off more of it. Here you can see it next to the other knife. I wanted something a bit smaller to try out. I also made sure to sink the tang entirely into the handle when it’s closed to be a bit more pocket friendly. I have a few scratches on my phone screen from the other (3-4 in 6 years isn’t that bad though!). Thanks for looking!
  7. It's dyed bone, based on the sawcut pattern that inspired the later delrin scales. It's somewhere between the two pattern wise, I'm not sure how it was made exactly. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be available for sale anymore, so I may experiment with making my own in the distant future.
  8. I have two knives to finish before a big move and this is one of them. A bit if a throwback for me, I haven’t made anything like this for six years or so. I’ll put together a thread for it soon, but here is a poorly lit preview:
  9. Looks good, Ryan! As Jeff mentioned, it’s important to avoid sharp transitions like that with the welds, either by making the two bars the same length or by scarfing the end of the edge bar. I like to use the process of forging the shoulder to really blend the weld there. I always like to cut in the tip like you did here, it makes things look a lot better in the end. One trick is to forge a longer bar and do a number of diagonal cuts in the middle. For each cut, one side can become a tip and the other a tang. I mostly do that with hearth steel to save material, but it’s always nice to be thrifty. I look forward to seeing where this goes!
  10. I'm a bit confused as well. I've been trying to make sense of how this sheath is stitched to try and replicate it, but haven't quite gotten there. When you used a single hole, how do you keep the thread loop from pulling through? Does each "slit" branch into two "tunnels" in the leather?
  11. I had a hearth steel blade (based on that sax from Sweden with the carved handle) fall apart in the quench. It was more of a “pop” than a “ping.” I was taking a video of the quench and you can very clearly hear it . I was hoping to get in contact with the archaeologist who first documented it, but haven’t heard back yet. Maybe this is a sign I should call her tomorrow morning to see if they’re are any further publications/reports and try a second blade. I’ve been cold calling Danes and Swedes for months while looking for a job, I might as well add one more! Also shown are a light broadsax and a blade to recreate that Viking age knife with the curly cue tang. In the “after” photo, you can see a cut I made to arrest the crack. It will take a thorough inspection to see if the rest can be anything. The silver lining is that the sliver of hearth steel that broke off (after grinding parallel, but no temper) was quite hard! Over 65 HRC, harder than I expected. I may have underestimated the carbon content of the edge bar…
  12. While looking for something else there, I found that the catalog at the National Museum of Denmark has lots of great knives, including lots of pictures of old Sami knives. Additionally, there quite a few knives from Siberia (Sakha, etc.) which can be hard to find good documentation of online. You can take a look here: https://samlinger.natmus.dk/objectbrowse?media=image,rotation&keyword=kniv
  13. Two more forging sessions and something is starting to come together. Here are the two edge bars from that billet. They are both hardenable, but have different carbon contents (maybe 0.6 for one and 0.8 for the other). I decided they probably wouldn’t play nice as the two edges on the same blade, so one will become a single edged blade, and the second will wait for a buddy to become a double edged sword. Speaking of single edged blades… if everything goes right, this will become a single edged Viking age sword. The blade is currently 71 cm, I think I can bump that up closed to 75 with a bit more forging, which was my original goal. It also still needs a wrought tang welded on, so hopefully one more session and this will be done. The watering can in the background was to wet down the floor, my shop thermometer said it was 113 F once the forge was running! At least it’s a dry heat I forgot pictures, but this afternoon I also processed another puck which now just needs to be drawn out to 3/8” square to join up with that other bar. My second sword core turned out to be some kind of old fashioned mild steel instead of wrought (I found out from my KITH knife), so I’ll also need to break down some more anchor chain too. I think the single edged sword will be a good stepping stone before I work on some double edged blades (I haven’t forgotten about the later medieval sword, don’t worry!).
  14. It's definitely a long one! This and Stefan Mäder's "Stähle, Steine und Schlangen" are some of the most interesting literature about construction of old knives to me. For whatever reason, a quick search found more metallography of early medieval knives a opposed to later ones. The study "METALLOGRAPHIC INVESTIGATION OF IRON BLOOMS AND BARS FROM THE SMITHY SITE OF KÄKU, ESTONIA" seems to be on a later site though, and includes analysis of an un-finished knife billet, which is quite interesting. One thing I have found reading papers like this, is that the authors often have a limited understanding of the practical considerations of actually making things out of bloom material. The biggest example of this is how the refinement process is often overlooked, with folding, etc rarely mentioned. Weld lines are often, ironically, faint to imperceptible on the micro-scale when you might be able to see them with the naked eye on a more deeply etched sample. Mäder is an exception to this, as that study consulted with a Japanese sword polisher (and had some old finds polished). The low hardenability of these steels is also something that isn't often considered, especially with the likelihood of an "auto hamon"; Blakelock concludes that knives with martensitic edges and pearlitic spines were "gradient quenched" (edge quenched, clay quenched, etc.), and Mäder suggests the visible hamon on a polished seax blade may have been the result of clay, when both cases could have resulted from a standard quench of a knife with a thin edge and thick spine into oil or possibly even water. Sometimes you can also tell that the authors of a paper were more on the archaeo side than the metallurgy side, or vise versa. The former seems more common, though that might just be that my background makes it easier to spot. There are lot of instances in the literature where I would have loved to see a higher magnification micrograph, more appropriate polish/etch, etc., to support some claim.
  15. Thank you! I find the Honeylane profile difficult because it is a very wide, thick, blade that needs to taper down significantly in width to the handle. This makes it difficult to make a pre-form that will end up looking good once forged down; if you make a rectangular blank and weld on an edge bar, forging it down narrow will distort the line between the edge and body. The same applies to sanmai, but you get a distortion of the height of the weld line. These are mechanically fine, but IMO don't look great. What I have tried recently is to either forge the profile taper into the bars before welding, or rely more on grinding. The latter is essentially what I did here. This blade was actually made from part of a failed single edge sword blade (the other half became a light broadsax, soon to appear here), which gave me the room to cut out a lot of the shape and then tune it up in the forge. I would have to check it against my template, but while it is close, this blade is a little wide at the base due to some adjustment to the shoulders, and maybe a hair narrow at the widest point. Another possibility is that it's just very difficult to make an exact replica of any profile, and this is just one I have paid close attention to!
  16. It's been hot here, but not that hot! The thermometer in my shop was at 108 F, but only when the forge was running. It may be a while before I run the hearth again, I have a big move coming up and my shop time will go back to being a few bursts per year, so I wanted to get a lot of runs in. This is the most material I've put through in one session, and for the first time, I actually started melting some of the bricks. Somewhat amazingly, I've been able to make all of my steel with the same set of bricks this whole time, this may be a good time for their retirement! The main difference during forging comes down to how well they consolidated in the hearth (and then only up to the first 1-2 folds), with a few exceptions. I try to get 10-20 lbs of a feedstock at a minimum, the main reason I keep track is to see if a batch has poor carbon uptake (likely P), hot shortness (probably, Cu or S), etc. That, along with the experience of others here with them, is why I stopped using Globe Elevator nails, for example.
  17. It was quite cathartic A better picture of the pucks. From left to right: 1-4: thick, curved wrought plate (giant tire of some kind?), 5: round wrought bars, 6: all the ritually killed knives, 7: some gnarly wrought chain scrap and a failed hearth sanmai bar, 8: wrought iron and refined hearth steel drops and ends, 9: raw heath scraps and wrought iron drops, 10: failed wrought iron knife blanks, with and without hearth steel edges. I also had an hour and a half today to forge, so I was able to get these two bars (#2 and #3) up to 4 folds. Tomorrow the goal is to produce as much 3/8” square edge bar as possible from them at 7-9 folds, depended on how the behave. If everything goes well, these will have enough for a doubled edged Viking age sword plus a langsax.
  18. It’s been a while, but I ran out of hearth steel from the last run, so time for more! I have some wrought iron sword cores forged out that need edge bars. Here’s the feedstock, about 25-30 lbs. A number of failed knives and saxes also got thrown in the pot. A bit sad to see them go, but each had an issue I couldn’t solve. Now they can be something new! Here are the results, ten pucks total. I have wrought iron prepared for a double edged sword core to replace the failed one, and a langsax spine as well. Thanks for looking!
  19. After some major failed projects I decided to take a bit of a break from hearth steel and work with more predictable steel. This past week though, I decided to start finishing the hearth steel blades collecting dust half finished! A fairly close copy of the Honeylane profile, this is a shape I’ve been trying to get right for seven years. There are still some tweaks I’ll make on the next one, but this is my favorite yet! I forgot to take pictures, but this is now glued into an oak handle with a horn bolster. This billet actually came from part of a failed sword blade. The longer part of that blade will become a broadsax with some reforging, but I don’t have a photo of it yet. This might be the hearth steel blade that’s spent the longest in a drawer. It’s 8 fold material and wrought wagon axel, and I decided to scale down the handle shape from broadsaxes and langsaxes evidenced by their full tang versions. The leather wrap confirmed to the contour quite nicely, which was part of why I wanted to try this on a smaller scale. This is a short-sax, but still has a substantial feel.
  20. A few more are finished and available. More photos and detailed descriptions/measurements are available at on the Etsy listings for each knife Another hat-sheath puukko: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1510692674/ $250 including domestic shipping Another Kokemäen puukko, this time with a longer blade (131 mm): https://www.etsy.com/listing/1524874279 $250 including domestic shipping Finally, a smaller puukko with a 91 mm blade: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1510701910/ $210 including domestic shipping.
  21. It looks like for the treatments with no cryo there is some increase in the hardness for the higher tempering temperatures, which would make sense if retained austenite is a significant factor. Is the idea that carbide precipitation reduces the austenite carbon content and destabilizes it? That would make sense, I've wondered how carbide precipitation on its own could make so much of a difference, especially at temperatures where tempering would reduce the hardness of other parts of the microstructure. A number of years ago I had some secondary hardening issues making springs from CP 154 (for the Swiss army knife project that's still gathering dust on a shelf ), but there are quite a few differences between the two alloys. If I recall correctly, I think I've seen that grade called a "high speed steel" somewhere, which seems like it would imply the secondary hardening is intended. A bit of a digression, but I actually met Larrin at a conference a few weeks ago, steel metallurgy is a surprisingly small world! If this had been a bit earlier I guess I could have asked him about any potential higher tempering temperatures he had tried.
  22. I made this blade a while ago based on a tracing of a medieval find from Germany, but I just have it a handle and a sheath. The blade is hearth steel and wrought iron. Also, I tried red dye for the sheath, and I was skeptical at first but it’s growing on me.
  23. Thanks, all! I’ve wanted to do a clear handle for a while and KITH always seems like a good time to try new things. I thought about it with this one, but I’m not sure whether or not MagnaCut undergoes any secondary hardening. Now that one knife is done, I’ve been putting in some work on the other. I made a smaller practice blade and tried a stone finish. I couldn’t get good contrast with wrought and hearth steel with stones, so I decided to use the same finishing route I do for seaxes and etched it. Here it is after etching. This anchor chain is either extremely clear wrought or is some kind of very low carbon steel. It sparks like wrought and I thought one link had a fibrous break, but there’s not really grain showing here. A little polishing compound and final sharpening and this blade will just be waiting on the handle!
  24. "The Early Medieval Cutting Edge of Technology:An archaeometallurgical, technological and social study of the manufacture and use of Anglo-Saxon and Viking iron knives, and their contribution to the early medieval iron economy" by Eleanor Blakelock is an interesting read. It is a PhD thesis that I found and read to take a break from reading other theses. It has details on construction and metallurgy, one of the most interesting to me being combined metallography and microhardness readings. It also examines societal factors that may be responsible for the distribution of different techniques of knife manufacture both around the British Isles and in time. EDIT: I realize you were asking about late medieval knives specifically. There will likely be some info here that is relevant, but the general time period is earlier.
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