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Mike Ward

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Posts posted by Mike Ward

  1. 6 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

    The title of your topic made me wonder, how many knives do you make in an average year?

    Gerhard,

    This year and mostly the first half, I finished (operative word here) 12 blades, I think. There’s a pretty good pile of blades that I screwed up with the grinder. I believe these are the rest of them, at least what’s in my photo library.  

    I’ve really started to find my groove and maybe my style with each piece building on the next one in terms of form and shape. I haven’t done anything recently because I’m working on turning my garage into my workshop. And my current one with

    my forge and grinder is an hour away.
     

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    This is the only pic i have of this one. It’s 6” blade out of W1 with walnut and on the handle. Made it for a friend from college to give to her dad on his birthday.

     

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    The knife and cutting board were made as wedding gifts for someone related to me. I think it’s about 7.5” long and 1 7/8” tall. It has black micarta liners with Padauk and black micarta pins. Padauk is a fantastic wood because it has those light and dark rings of wood that give the effect that it’s on fire. The cutting board is walnut, zebrawood, Padauk, and cherry I believe. 
     

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    I dubbed this one the “420” because it was made in April and is 420 layers. That was pure coincidence and was not planned, I promise :D. It’s Padauk and walnut with black micarta liners and pins. 
     

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    This is an attempt at a utility/hunters knife but the handle is a bit short could’ve had another 1/2” loner and been fine. It’s 12 layers with cocobolo on the handle. I sculpted the handle by hand with only files and sandpaper. Definitely took several more hours but I remember enjoying it so no harm. 
     

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    this was another wedding gift knife and had a partner chef knife that I apparently didn’t take any pics of. Idk why because I remember they turned out great. Curly maple with blue G10 and brass for the handles.

     


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    And this full set I actually started in August of 2020 but didn’t finish until March of this year. This was a PITA. W2 steel with walnut, blue G10, and brass pins. I remade all of them twice and the nakiri style three times just because the hamon was too close to the edge or didn’t harden at all and I found out only when I got to about 400-600 grit handsanding. This turned into one of those things where you’re overjoyed to hand them off because you’re sick of them. 

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    • Like 1
  2. Haven’t posted or been on here in a very long time but here are the blades I’ve finished this past year. I don’t know exact dimensions because it’s been a while since I’ve made them but I’ll do my best. 
     

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    Little over 8” blade out of 80crv2 with black linen micarta and bocote. Heel I think is 2 1/8” tall, I remember that this was a thicker blade both at the spine (.13” maybe?) and edge (.01-.015?).

     

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    This is about 7” blade out of W1 drill rod with some autohamon from a forge heat treatment. Between 1 7/8” - 2” tall heel. The handle is dyed curly maple with green micarta liners and copper pins. The wood is sealed with tung oil and carnuba wax.

     

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    Approximately 8.5” blade made out of 1084 steel. The heel is 1 7/8” tall which I have found to be the absolute minimum height for a regular chef knife. Handle materials are curly maple with black G10 liners and brass pins. The wood is sealed with tung oil and carnuba wax. 
     

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    Those three knives were sent to a chef I know for testing in a real restaurant. He’s been using them for the past 4 months as his main knives butchering chickens, lamb and pork racks, vegetables and everything else. And so far they’ve out lasted and out performed every other knife he has. I have videos of him just flying through butchering full chickens to immediately (after sanitation) slicing and chopping herbs without issue. He’s has given me valuable insight and pointers on design and usage, and confirmed a starting price point for selling.

     

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    This is a approx. 7” blade made out of 80 layer density damascus. I attempted a layer pattern but needed deeper cuts to actually achieve the pattern. The handle is dyed curly maple with black micarta liners and copper pins. The wood is sealed with tung oil and carnuba wax.

     

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    This is a 8” blade made out of 80 layer density damascus. The handle is mahogany with Forrest green micarta liners and brass pins. I successfully did a museum/heirloom fit to the handle scale and tang. That was a first and kinda just went for it. I also etched the tang before glue up so every part of the layering is visible. The wood is sealed with tung oil and carnuba wax.

     

    What do you think? Yay? Nay?

    • Like 7
  3. I found this site that sells pure tung oil, real milk  paint (https://www.realmilkpaint.com/category/oils/). 

    People use their tung oil products for countertops, turned bowls, butcher blocks and cutting boards. They has MSDS sheets too. I have used their pure tung oil and half & half tung oil and citrus solvent. I use a couple of coats of the half & half letting it dry off then 1-2 coats of pure tung oil a day for about 5-7 days before letting it dry then buff however long that takes.


    I used it on these wenge handles with no problems at all. I use both every day and they get moisture exposed a lot. The wenge is very porous so I put more coats of the half & half to penetrate. Gives it a nice non glossy, satin finish you can put wax on to shine it up.

     

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    16 hours ago, Jon Bishop said:

    Tung oil looks great on walnut by the way.

    100% correct.

  4. Does anyone have an issue with their propane tanks where the flow limiter is extremely sensitive and activates not matter what? 


    I have two new Manchester propane tanks from TSC, a 20 lb tank and a 40 lb tank. Both are still on their first fill up. My dad is using the 20lb to heat water for a steam box or at least wanted to. It won’t even let a turkey fryer be lit because it’s tripping. It’s basically a dud right now.

     

    The 40 lb I am using to run my forge. I have used it probably 5-7 times with mostly no issues. The flow limiter has tripped several times. Especially at the pressure needed to get to welding temps, 8-9 psi. But I’ve been able to shut the quarter turn valve I placed before the burner and slowly reopen it to light it again. I usually run it at 4-6 psi for regular forging and 2-3 psi for heattreating. At those temps, the limiter doesn’t trip.

     

    Today I had a good time running it in the early afternoon for ~3.5 hours and about half that at welding temps. I was able to weld, cut and reweld a stack with no issues with the limiter. I took a break for lunch and tried to relight the forge. But no matter how slow I opened the valve, turned the regulator off and slowly reopened it, or how slow I opened the quarter turn valve, the flow limiter always tripped.I also tried disconnecting the hose and letting everything clear out. I tried the smaller tank to no avail.  
     

    The 40 lb tank is about half full and the only thing I can think of is that the tank needs to equalize inside. I’m going to try again in the morning.
     

    What do you think is the issue? Do I have a crap tank?

  5. Not today, but a couple days ago I tested my new forge with getting up to welding temps. And it worked great! I stacked 3 pieces of 1084 .25” x 1.25” x 3”, tacked and added a handle and forge welded them to a solid piece. 
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    I did another first with the new block and made a big integral chefs knife. Overall, I’m pleased I was able to do it, especially all by hand hammering. Now I know what to look for when making integrals and have ideas to fix the little things I don’t like. 

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    Now I’m waiting on that delivery of 15n20 and 1084 to make some fun stuff :ph34r:

  6. I’ve been cleaning and reorganizing my shop for the past couple of days. Today, I made a hammer and tongs stand to replace a table that I put everything on. Still need a bracket to put tongs on.


    I still have to change a couple of breakers out for 20 amp and rewire for a 30 amp breaker to run a welder.

     

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    • Like 1
  7. Thanks guys. I think that’s the issue, however I’m only running at 6 psi and it was in the middle of the forging session where it was running for awhile. In the future though, I’ll turn the regulator down before turning on the gas just in case.

  8. SERIOUS, HELP!

     

    Is there any reason why on a new 40 lb tank that the pressure gauge randomly drops to zero and won’t supply gas?

     

    I’ve been using a different 20 lb tank just fine but once I switched tanks it sputters then losses pressure. All lines and fittings are leak free and tight. The openings of the forge are clear. And the tank valve is wide open.

     

    What in the blazes do you think is happening?

  9. I got the guard lugs filed down to near finish thickness and shaped them to a point. It’s all pinned together and profiled.

     

    Next I’m going to handsand the blade to 600g and glue it all together.
     

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    • Like 2
  10. Finally got the guard fitted right, only took 3 days, and rough cut the guard out. Started to work on the handle, drilled it out, and bedded the tang in epoxy for a good fit. 

     

    Next steps are to match the faces together between the handle and guard. I’m thinking of adding a copper spacer. Should I? There is going to be a copper pin holding it together also.

     

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  11. Found the edge to be about .01” for most of the edge and .025” where the convex starts. Hopefully, it’ll be fine. 
     

    I used a piece of coil spring to make the punch and it worked a treat. The guard is very close to being fit up nice.

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  12. Got this heat treated and ground to 120 grit. This is a very slim knife for this style, the ricasso is at about .140”. Probably going to end up as an oversized letter opener.
     

    Tomorrow I think I’m going to try and hot punch the guard. I drilled a series of holes today and am curious to try punching it out.

     

     

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  13. It works!! I left the refractory to cure in a bag with a wet towel for 2 days then let it dry for another. I hooked everything up, checked for leaks, and fired it up. Ran a few short cycles to get rid of any left over moisture and then let’er rip.

    5 psi seems to be a good spot to continuously run it at and ~3 psi is where the burner starts to stutter.


    This is one of the first lower heats.
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    And this is after running it for ~15 minutes. The flame outside is tinged slightly with blue also. Does that mean that it’s not burning all the propane in the tank?


    Also, I forged a knife to test it out and there’s not a lot of scale.

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    All in all, I am happy with my first gas forge. I already have plans on how I would make a similar one that would be easier to make.

  14. Is this the right consistency for the kastolite? I can clump together and bounce it in my hand a couple of times before it breaks. I was careful to add only a bit of water at a time, but it seems like it’s clumpy almost in small particles.
     

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  15. I now have all the material apart from some plumbing. As shown, the most of the kaowool is cut and put in for sizing. Before I go further, what size front and back holes should I cut out? I stayed with a Venturi burner and know that they need good venting to prevent to much back pressure, but am unsure how big or the area needed.
     


     

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  16. I’m going to stick to a horizontal forge because the interior is only going to be about 8” long. That’ll help with heat treating longer pieces more evenly. And I definitely am not going to be welding 14-18” pieces, only enough for 1 maybe 2 blades.

  17. 21 minutes ago, Zeb Camper said:

    Mainly because without a handle welded onto whatever it is you are forging in a vertical you have to hold the billet with tongs.

     

    Good point. I don't have a welder so a vertical would be annoying.

     

    And honestly I don't really anticipate doing alot of welding maybe just a wrapped hatchet or san mai here and there, not higher layer damascus. I don't have a press or power hammer to help me. As for blade sizes, I'm not planning on doing anything larger than 10" max.

     

  18. Just wondering if I missed something important or if someone might know of a better deal somewhere else before I order everything.

     

    Bill of Materials

    • Black Beauty Burner + shipping  ---  $64.50
    • Plistix (w/o shipping, Wayne Coe) --- $15.00
    • Kast-O-Lite, 20lb (HighTempTools)  ---  $64.35
    • 30 psi regulator + pressure gauge + 5ft hose(HighTempTools)  ---  $55.50
    • 5ft Kaowool + shipping from HighTempTools  ---  $36.00 + $35.43

    Total = ~$270

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