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GEzell

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Everything posted by GEzell

  1. Thanks for the thoughtful replies. I hadn't considered the decarb that forms between welds... that might do it. At what temp does carbon migration start? Would thermal cycling, normalising, and hardening be hot enough for it to happen, or does it take the higher temps of welding for it to happen at a significant rate? Goddard's study on cable indicated very low carbon iron forming at the welds, I'm not sure if the cable had gone through the full heat-treatment when tested or not. Steel is some facinating stuff, isn't it...
  2. Several smiths have mentioned a 'damascus cutting effect' involving a patternwelded blade having a better bite in a cut because of the alloys wearing/sharpening at different rates. Given carbon migration, it would seem to me the differences due to other alloying elements would be very small...(the whole hard/soft layers isn't there after a few welds to my understanding). On the other hand there's the wootz blade cutting silk scarfs and the odd properties reported of the 'dendritic' cast blades. Would carbide formers in thin sheets not quite lining up with the edge cause... something? Maybe
  3. I love bone handles, regardless of species and treatment, dyed jigged or natural. As far as woods, I tend towards blackwood, or stablised burls, with a bit of local stuff for good measure (oak, hickory, bodock, maple). I have to agree with Hÿllyn, I've been moving away from some species due to concern over harvesting practices.
  4. As a general rule, a hidden tang should be at least 2/3 the length of the handle. I make my hidden tangs as wide as I can get away with, slightly tapered in all dimensions. When in doubt, overbuild... If the tang does not pass completely through the length of the handle, it is a really good idea to pin it.... never just trust the epoxy to hold it together. I've never burned in a tang, never trusted the method enough not to damage the handle material. I expect the heat could have a detrimental effect on most of the materials I use.
  5. I'm sure that the answer will vary depending upon who answers, but here's my thoughts on what defines a fighter. The blade is slender yet stout, with a good sharp point for effortless penetration. Bowie style blades are popular with us Americans. False edges are common, but not the rule. A guard is almost always present to prevent the hand from slipping onto the cutting edge, and can be single or double. The handle needs to be non-slip, either by shape, texture, or both. The knife needs a good balance right around the guard, not too heavy in either the blade or handle. Good lookin kn
  6. I may be wrong but my understanding of it is scale is a form of iron oxide that forms at temps over 1200 degrees or so. The only way to completly avoid it is to forge and heat-treat in an atmosphere devoid of oxygen... So scale forms when steel and oxygen get together at high temps. It happens in a gas forge too, and has an ugly reddish tone to boot. I've found that wire brushing while the steel is still hot, then soaking in a ferric chloride solution for 15 minutes or so, goes a long way towards dealing with scale. The FC solution loosens the scale, making it easier to remove.
  7. Thank you very much for this information. This is one of those things I knew could be done but had no clue as to how to go about it. Now I have no excuse not to try it....
  8. I forge because I enjoy it. I forge because without setting up the bevel with a hammer, I can't grind a good bevel. I forge because it saves me alot of time behind the grinder, eating steel dust and using up my belt supply. It's the thermal treatments that matter, not how you shaped it...
  9. A ladder pattern has always been the easiest for me....getting the welds to stick, that's the tricky part.... I prefer to cut the channels then forge flat, but either way works. One thing that can be neat, as far as random patterns go, is to leave the blade extra thick and put some really nasty deep hammer marks in it, then grind it down to shape... each hammer mark will leave a 'divot' in the pattern, with really pretty results. Good luck with your billet. George
  10. Generally speaking, what alloys of bronze are good for forging? I've wanted to work with bronze for a long time but what types available would be best for fittings? Something that could be cast and forged would be ideal... I've used copper, brass, nickle silver, iron, and steel for fittings. Silver is a metal I'd really like to try in the near future, but feel I need to expand on my soldering skills first. Happy New Year to you and your's. George
  11. Stablized african blackwood...1/4 inch spine....overbuilt in a good way... [ylsuper] Looks comfortable, useful, and dependable. I'm glad you won this battle.
  12. I'd say your father will be very happy with it. Congratulations on your first... [ylsuper]
  13. As far as I know, European smiths didn't use clay, but that doesn't mean that you can't. Be very careful to use the same amount of clay on each side of the blade, otherwise you're asking for warps. A double edge looks great with a hamon, but requires very careful temp control to pull off right.
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