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Alex tritten

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    forging in France, working in North Wales
  • Interests
    bladesmithing, woodturning, building stuff, windsurfing, my kids, my wife sometimes...

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  1. A few better pictures... I may grind this bad weld at the heel, but for now, it's going to get some kitchen time! .
  2. I had to redo the spine to fit the guard, so on goes the nail varnish to protect the rest of the blade whilst I re-reveal it. the guard is going in the ferric chloride a few bits of double dyed thuya, oak, and a classic walnut to fit this knife. sanding the handle heating up the epoxy, it's cold outside today! polishing the handle 4000 grit stone Classic look for an organic pattern... ...and It cuts!
  3. Productive day today, onto the grinder for the final grind, from 120 to 240 then every one's favorite job Not forgetting the choil! Three baths of 10mn And after one more bath, instant coffee this time! You can see a bad weld on the heel, little black spot... Size wise, i'm pleasantly surprised, it's the same size blade as my latest chef's knife, and the heel is the same height as my stainless work horse, so I'm quite happy all in all. Can't wait to cook with it! I can't find a good piece of stabilized wood in my arsenal, so I spend an hour or so cutting a piece of walnut tree I have lying around, and stick it under vacuum with cactus juice. It will go into the pressure pot next for the night. Little piece of random damascus for a guard, here goes my afternoon.
  4. Thanks Alan, will do! And will start doing proper normalization too now that i know the difference!
  5. Thanks Jerrod! I actually knew that, but I came across a few videos (my main source of knowledge) where it was mentioned as "the blacksmith normalization", as in, as short cut to air cooling three times for lazy people like me! I don't know exactly how much difference any process makes, when I did make some comparisons (i always use 1075 and 15n20), the grain looked the same to my untrained eye!
  6. probably a bad weld then, not throughout the blade, but still! Pictures coming up! If I understand well, thermal cycling is normalizing the steel? But what about carbon migration? I've read it's a process that occurs in the forge, didn't think it could be controlled
  7. The too that gets used the most in the shop, apart from myself... Tired of the grinder, so I stick a 60 grit on and get it flat to see if I can get rid of the little line on the weld on one side. I have 6mm to play with so shouldn't be a problem Cutting to shape. I really wish I was better at forging, but then again, it's a way to get rid of mig welds and I get to place the spine of the feather where I want it... refining the outline and getting it straight, then rough grinding the bevels, up to 240 grit. The line in the spine is still there... I don't want to thin the blade out anymore though, it's right where I know there is little risk of warping during heat treat. Non magnetic, soak a bit and dunk in warm oil... it doesn't go PING! And it's hard, file is skating. Into the oven at 200C for a couple of hours... And we have a hardened and tempered blade! The tiny line in the spine is still there so I know it's not a perfect blade, but then again, my kids aren't perfect either and I'm still keeping them so...
  8. So I chose to cut my billet back along the bad weld and weld it all over again. There was a whole square centimeter of inclusion in the middle! Tired of stick welding the handles and loosing them, thought I might as well Mig weld my handle and loose it... Bit of Borax... Three heats with the hammer for luck, and four heats flat under the power hammer before starting to draw it sideways. Bit of fish mouth on the end, hammering it flat gently Start a bit of a tang, mostly to be able to hold it with better tongs, Hammer a pointy bit. I'm always weary doing this and always end up with less of a point than I would like... Then I draw out as much heel as I dare before flattening the whole lot and drawing out the tang a bit more. No way am I trying to forge the full shape, I'm going for a nice thickness, about 6/7mm, as I have seen a little line develop on the weld... The blank is left in the forge to cool down slowly from non-magnetic, it's as much normalization as it's going to get. the morning after, grinding willl tell if we have a knife!
  9. I'm just starting to realize this! Next I'll try a simple high layer count into a feather, it will be slightly less steel greedy! tired now, but can't wait to get this knife blank out of the forge and check the weld!
  10. Hi Gary, thanks for your post, very helpful! Would have been even more helpful had i read it before going back to the forge! I actually didn't know scale could be converted back to steel, so i decided to cut it back in two, welded it and back into the fire! It went well enough, and there is a knife shape normalising inside the forge right now, let's hope it grinds out well! a question though, what do you call oclusion? thanks again!
  11. next session coming up, I only have enough for a three stack, this steel is disappearing fast!Light tap with the hammer, notice the new respirator, the ceramic fibre lining in my forge is coming apart and i don't want to be breathing it... then under the hammer. It's worth mentioning I am trying a full mig weld along the edges here, and no flux. It ends up being one of my worst forge welds ever, with deep cold shuts I will have to grind for a while... after reading a thread on this forum, I now realize that flux-less welds are done at a slightly higher temperature... If life was simple, it wouldn't be interesting... trying to brush off the scale as often as i can, these are two steel brushes screwed inside a frame, quite practical! ...And more drawing out Guess what? the handle has come off again... Very fine pattern emerging, so fine it's hard to see! Cutting in five. I'm thinking, I want to keep it relatively wide so I won't need to do too much lateral drawing later on. Drawing out a good heel on my chef knives is my black sheep (one of the herd) No more cutting discs for my machine, so I have to use the grinder and pray for straight cuts. Only welded the corners and using borax. two rounds on the hammer then onto the power hammer, good long soaking times in the forge, not taking any chances. The billet is small, so I can fit it with a blunt cutter tool under the hammer and cut it in two heats only. Man do I want a press! Last half inch with a very old axe, which dies in the process. The rest of the blade will make a nice wedge... When i have a press! I then flux the gap and hammer it all back together. For once, the handle hasn't come off, so I need to cut it off so I can hammer the gap flat, soak it and weld it back together. Somewhere along the way, something went wrong, and the weld comes apart first time I try to take it sideways on the power hammer, possibly because i didn't do my usual four flat squeezes, only two (but 2 with the hammer also...). So back in the forge to soak for a while with a bit of flux, and start the process again, press twice with the hammer, then 4 heats flat with the power hammer, next try on the side seems to hold, and here are the results, what seems to be a BAD weld on the spine of the feather!!! I'm not crying yet, as this is a partial success (I have a feather), and the fat lady hasn't sung yet. I have several options, giving up not being one of them: I can soak it back up and give it a squeeze, then try to draw it out. I can heat it up, split it back up, and try welding it again. I can cut along the seam in two halves, clean them up, weld them, then forge weld them, solution i am leaning towards... Let you know when I know!
  12. RHAAAAA!!! Help!!! I messed up the last weld! Way I see it, i have three options: -put it back in the forge, soak it well, press it back together, hope and a prayer -back in the forge, split it back in two with the wedge and restart . -cut it along the seam, clean it up and weld to forge weld it... Any suggestions?
  13. second session at the forge, here are a few pics, so far, so good... first stack of four welded up plus some Borax a few taps with the hammer and under the power hammer it goes! And drawing it out! once again, i loose the handle before the end and finish off with the tongs... It seems I can't get a handle welded on properly... ever! i use 3 mm sticks, do a couple of passes, but it never lasts till the end... and some good W's appearing, this feels like victory, nevermind the end!
  14. and the first etch...not so good a picture, but there is a distinct distortion of the layers, better than last time already!
  15. ok so I thought I would post a few pictures this time so that if it goes wrong (again) it may help some others... here are the first stages in pictures... 1075 and 15n20 rounding off the edges. my power hammer needs more power for this jig through, but it seems to have worked.
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