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Steve Conley

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About Steve Conley

  • Birthday 11/18/1970

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Dover, Delaware
  • Interests
    Knife making, Blacksmithing
  1. I thought I would post here to show the work I've been doing. As a new knifemaker's, my results are not worthy of placing in the other forum. I am proud of the work even though there are a number of mistakes I know I made and I will try to remember those errors, so I do not repeat them in the future. This project was to build a knife for my brother as a birthday present. I originally thought of making a knife out of a circular saw blade. Luckily I found this site shortly after beginning this project and realized my first mistake (not using a known source). Not kowing what I was doing, I ordered some 3/16th inch x 1.5 inch 1095 flat stock online. I didn't have parks 50, but decided to give it a go with heated canola oil, since I already ordered the steel. I first tinkered with a few neck knives. I made a propane forge out of a few firebricks and rigged it so I can keep ahold of the steel with vise grips and hold it in front of the flame. I first cut out the design with an angle grinder with a cutting wheel. Next, I shaped it on a grinder wheel and a 1x30 belt grinder. When I had the shape the way I wanted it, I used the 1x30 grinder to get the edge down to about the thickness of a dime. At this point, I heated the steel to non-magnetic twice and let it cool down to room temp between heats to normalize. I tried to heat the 3 gallons of canola oil in an ammo can by inserting hot railroad spikes, but it never got to 130*F. I heated the steel to the first yellow beyond non-magnetic and held it there for about a minute by sliding the blade in and out of the flame to keep a constant temp. I quickly dunked the blade into the oil with a sawing motion. Now, I'm not sure what my blades hit on the Rockwell scale, but my file skated across the blade, but would bite into the handle. Seemed good to me. I put it in a pre-heated toaster over at 400*F for one hour to toughen the blade. I used the 1x30 belt sander to work the steel up to a sharp edge and fitted it with small scales for a handle. I shaped the handle on the belt grinder and walah! It even cut me while wiping it down. Anyway, I was talking about making a knife for my brother. A regular size knife. I used the same concepts. I drew the pattern on the piece of 1095 steel, roughed it out with an angle grinder, finished the shape on the bench grinder and belt grinder. This time, I heated the blade to bright red and used a ball peen hammer to put indentations into the top 2/3rds of the blade. This time, I got the heat of the canola oil to 138*F with an electric griddle under the ammo can. I heated to one yellow above non-magnetic and held it there for about a minute. I quickly dunked the knife in the oil and used a sawing motion to keep the blade moving until cool. Again, the File skated on the blade and I let it set in the oven at 400-450*F for 1 hour to toughen. I cut out some scales from rosewood and fitted them with epoxy and brass pins. I also have a brass tube in case a lanyard is desired. I soaked the handle in a mixture of warmed boiled linseed oil, tung finishing oil, Danish oil, feed and wax beeswax and orange oil, and turpentine for 24 hours. I then wiped the handle and let dry for 24 hours. Then I applied a coat of Tru Oil. Here is the result... It cuts like a razor and I just applied a second coat of Tru Oil. What do you think?
  2. I love that you have a fire going and a beer poured!
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