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Bill Schmalhofer

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About Bill Schmalhofer

  • Birthday April 26

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    Carmel, IN
  • Interests
    Family, Blacksmithing, blade smithing, woodworking, camping

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  1. Joshua, these are all turning out beautiful. Your work (and several other notables on the site) is extremely inspiring. A lofty goal to shoot for. I noticed in your original pictures, most (if not all) the forged blanks have fairly well defined (AND STRAIGHT!) plunge lines forged in. How do you do that?
  2. Wes, that's exactly what I was talking about on the heel. Interesting idea. It does add something. All the chef knives I've looked at have that area straight down. Could this become a "signature" of Detrick Chef Knives ? Thanks for the dimensions. Not to be pushy, but how thick is it at the ricasso?
  3. I think you should be making more chef knives. Absolutely beautiful work as always. Question; any reason you put what looks like a slight hook back on the bottom of the blade near the hand? Also what are the dimensions? I just got my first real commission to do a chef knife and am collecting information on sizes, construction, etc.
  4. What would scale and decarb look like when heat treating? All the times I’ve heat treated the only time I get something on the blade is after the quench there is a flaky black coating on the blade. I just figured it was the quenchant.
  5. Well I got the knife heat treated and for the first time I did a sacrificial blade before the real knife to break it and check the grain. I didn't end up using a muffle pipe. I did end up using this heat treat forge that I threw together a while ago with the thought it would be good for longer pieces once I get to that level. I was really curious to see how it would work. It's 10 inch diameter duct pipe lined with one inch of Kaowool ( or the equivalent - don't remember the brand I bought) and two layers of satinite. Burner is a tiny 1/2 inch side arm. I had it running at a sputter (pressure didn't even register on the gauge - it sounded like a steam locomotive). Once I had it set, it kept temperature pretty well between 1475 and 1625 depending on the setting. Just touching the gauge dial up or down could change the temperature. The one down side is it's real difficult to see the sides of the knife so couldn't really watch for decalescence. I basically waited until the knife was the color of the inside of the forge (based on thermocouple temperature) waited 3 more minutes then pulled it out, either for thermocycling or the quench. Now the real question. The steel I'm using it 80CrV2. Thermocycled three times 1575F, 1525F, 1475F letting cool to black in still air between temperatures. I then heated to 1500 and quenched in a high flash point vacuum pump mineral oil (no idea on the speed). I think the grain looks pretty good, but I would really appreciate more learned opinions. Thanks for feed back.
  6. Thread is getting hijacked... On phones and tablets, hold down the letter you want the umlaut on and several options should pop up (at least on iPhones and iPads...)
  7. Thanks for the reply Joël. I never really thought of vermiculite as an insulator but I guess it is. I was thinking it would act as thermal mass, once it got hot, that you could slide the blade in and out of as you thermal cycled. What would be the minimum wall thickness recommended? BTW been meaning to ask you what kind of whisky?
  8. I am going to be heat treating my next knife and had a question concerning baffle pipes. Has anyone ever tried filling the pipe with some kind of material ( like vermiculite) to help control temperature fluctuations? Or is this just crazy talk? Thanks.
  9. John, Thanks for the feed back. Joshua, Thanks for the idea. There is a bit of "extra" bolster material near the pins so if it get slightly re-profiled it probably won't hurt the overall look.
  10. At one point I found a thread on the forum about different methods for protecting high carbon kitchen knives. For the life of me, I can't find it again (down side of SO much information here!). I have a 80CrV2 / 15N20 low layer Damascus chef knife I am working on for a friend and I am trying to figure out the best way to protect it. Any help in tracking this thread down would be appreciated. Thanks!
  11. Alan (and Will), duly noted on the length. Any rules of thumb on handle length versus blade length for shorter blades? Came across a discussion on the forum about alignment after I had drilled the holes. One of my many lessons learned. Thanks for the compliment on the cable Thanks for the comments, Will. When you say wider I'm assuming you mean spine to belly. I actually found it pretty easy to weld up. The bugger was in the quench. I think I ground it too thin (edge was less than a dime thick) and it picked up a nasty twist in the direction of the cable lay. Got most of it out, but if you look edge down, there is still a slight twist that I just couldn't bend or grind out.
  12. Thanks for the feed back Alex. I actually was trying for a bit longer ricasso but then I rolled one side on the belt grinder. That's when I went looking for ways to stop that as that has been a problem of mine (enter File Guides!). But as one side was "ruined" I had to "ruin" the other. I think Alan said one time "long ago" something along the lines of "If it is equal on both sides it is not a mistake, but a design feature" .
  13. Well, I've been visiting the forum for quite some time as a guest and I first want to say thank you to all the posters here for all the information that you are so willing to give. I have learned a lot and have tried to put much of what I have read into practice (with varying success). Unfortunately the day job keeps me from working on blades as much as I want to.I am truly impressed with all the work that gets shown here. The plunge for me is actually getting an account and posting a piece for critique. This is my first attempt at cable Damascus which I did at Conner Prairie with the guidance of Nathan Allen (have taken the Damascus class twice and the ax making twice and will be taking them again this year). Blade is 4 inches (EPS) flat grind and the handle is 4.75 inches (Brass and Patagonia rosewood). This is not the first knife I have made, but it is the first one I felt was decent enough to post to get feed back on. Disclaimer before anyone makes comment, yes you can see the pins on the bolster. I was trying a different way to peen them and obviously it didn't work right (if anyone knows a way to fix this, I am all ears!). Will be going back to the way I originally did it... So without further ado... I figured I won't advance any by keeping to the "Oooh, look what I made" mentality. Have to start getting feedback from the people in the know. Thanks for all comments.
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