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Posts posted by GEzell

  1. I should have given you this link first... This explains what each process does.


    I consider normalizing and thermal cycling (that is, multiple normalizations with descending heats) essential for a forged blade, as this refines the grain and puts the steel in an ideal state for hardening.  Annealing serves only one purpose, to make the steel soft enough to drill and file easily.  The only time I anneal is if I'm having trouble drilling holes in a full tang, otherwise I rarely bother with it.

    Your difficulty with your equipment will be judging temperature.  One thing that will help is the old magnet trick.  Steel looses its magnetism at approximately 1420°, which is about 80° below the ideal temperature for hardening.  It will put you at the low end of the ballpark...

    One other thing that will help is a phenomena known as decalescense.  When the temperature reaches the steel's happy place, a phase change begins to occur within the steel, and it requires energy to happen.  Energy that was being radiated as light starts being used elsewhere, thus the steel, instead of glowing brighter as the temperature increases, will stop glowing brighter until the phase change is finished at which point it begins glowing brighter as the temperature increases again.  What this looks like is a little hard to describe... As the temperature increases the steel gets brighter until it begins to change, and then it appears to not be getting brighter, and then, starting at the thinner parts (the edge and point) suddenly start getting brighter again while the thicker sections lag behind like shadows.  When the shadows are gone, quench.  It's only possible to see it in near darkness, but it is a surefire way to know the steel is hot enough to quench.

  2. That's the nice thing about a convex grind, it doesn't require any special equipment.  See that ridge where the primary and secondary bevels meet?  Sand it into a facet.  Now you have two new ridges either side of that facet... Make them facets.  And again.  And again.  Now blend.  Wah lah, you have a convex geometry.

    • Like 1
  3. 1 hour ago, Joël Mercier said:

    I started grinding the edge yesterday and the geometry looks weird. I sharpened at a 20 degree angle per side and the bevel is around 1/8'' wide. I am beginning to wonder if a 1/16'' thick edge was too much...and there is no way i can file the bevels now that it's hardened. will post a pic this evening. I may have to anneal the blade to fix this :huh:.

    It's good to leave the edge a little thick as it helps it survive the heat-treatment, but afterwards it needs to be thinned down.  You can use a coarse stone or sandpaper... I would suggest 60 grit.  

    A method I've been using for a very long time now is to convex the blade at this point, just enough to thin the edge down to a proper thickness... For me, I take the edge down to nothing, I want a burr along the edge, but that might be too extreme for some...

  4. 7 hours ago, C Craft said:

    GEzell, I love the entire piece as well as the sheath. Any pics assembled?? However the wood really draws my eye. What is the wood and how did you get the cross hatch effect is that just grain or how the wood was cut!

    That's Mr Andersen's work, not mine, but there's more pics of it here....


    • Like 1
  5. The GSA site is interesting in that it shows why certain alloys are used and the effects of different compositions, hopefully to give an idea of what alloy would be best suited for forging... After more reading, I've confirmed that leaded nickel silver is indeed hot-short.  I'm preparing to do some forging with it myself...


    There's an interesting video on YouTube that shows it being forged...



  6. 48 minutes ago, Alveprins said:

    I suppose this entails drilling a whole lot of little holes? :huh:

    Yes.  I usually use 1/16" brass pins.  It's not really that much extra work, and it does guarantee perfect alignment.  Hah, that's the term I was trying to remember, they're called alignment pins.  I learned about them from Karl Andersen and they are so useful wether the knife is a takedown or not.



    • Like 1
  7. One thing I've found that helps immensely for multiple piece handles that will need to be disassembled and reassembled multiple times is little pins, running parallel to the tang... There's a term for them but it slips my mind at the moment... anyway, all the pieces are pinned together so they can be worked on individually or together as a unit.  If done precisely, everything snaps together like Legos...:)

    • Like 1
  8. Looking good man, that's some lovely Cocobolo and I bet it will be twice as cool fluted.


    I've done just enough wire inlay to be dangerous... I've only worked with inlaying maple, which I've heard is very easy compared to tropical hardwoods like Cocobolo, and I'm not sure the methods would transfer from one to the other.  Anyway, Joe Keeslar has some good videos on YouTube that should get you started.

    • Like 1
  9. I like to forge san-mai pretty close to shape, including forging the edge bevels.  When forging the bevels you need to pay close attention to working it evenly from both sides so the core stays centered.  Something that I've found helps immensely is grinding 45° bevels on what will become the edge then forge the bevels... This virtually guarantees that the core will be centered along the edge.

    • Like 4
  10. You have covered the evidence well, I know of no other examples (but I am constantly on the lookout for more).  The resemblance between the fittings on the Aachen seax sheath and some belt fittings makes me wonder if some artifacts have been misidentified.  One would think that there would be an occasional sheath fitting showing up in the archeological record, but I've had no luck identifying any.

    I'm also keeping an eye out for period illustrations in manuscripts, surely more exist that we haven't noticed.

    Thanks for putting all this together.

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