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David Kahn

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Everything posted by David Kahn

  1. Let me start by saying that I am a rank beginner/amateur, and, what's more, I don't have any experience with this particular steel. That said, I seem to recall reading somewhere at some point speculation that the presence of a relatively high level of silicon in the rice straw flux used by traditional Japanese smiths might account for some of the desirable attributes of the blades they forged, with increased toughness in particular being a possibility. Also, I may be wrong, but I think the S-series tool steels that are designed for increased shock resistance/toughness often contain somewhat
  2. I've admired the old-time style raw hide sheaths made by folks like Daniel Winkler, and have been wanting to try my hand at this style of leatherwork. Can anyone point me in the right direction in terms of materials or technique? In particular, does anyone know what sort of raw hide is used for this stuff, and where can it be purchased?
  3. Yeah, I have and have used a stamp in the past. The thing is, sometimes I want to harden the entire blade, and even with molten salt, I feel like I need to leave some meat on the blade during heat treating, which gets ground off after quenching and tempering. Right now I'm working on an 8-inch chef's knife with broad flat sides. If I stamp before hardening, the stamped mark will be distorted or ground off in finishing, and stamping a hardened blade is obviously problematic. Hence the inquiry about etching.
  4. After years of practice, I'm finally getting to the point were, every once in a while, I somehow manage to turn out a blade that I'm not entirely ashamed of. As a result, I've been thinking that maybe I'd spring for an etching machine of some sort so that I could put my mark on the blades I make when I've finished them. Wonder if anyone has any suggestions, recommendations, or other wisdom on this topic? I'd like something that works well and is reasonably easy to use. I'd like to use a Japanese character as a mark (the character Sai -- http://www.jp41.com/kanji/rhinocerous.html ) and the
  5. I've been working on Japanese style kitchen knives lately, which start out as a piece of water hardening tool steel (for me, 1080, W-1 or W-2 usually) forge-welded to some wrought iron (old anchor chain). No folding; the steel stays on one side (the concave edge part), and the wrought iron forms the non-cutting side and the tang of the blade. Anyway, I recently read the article written some time back by Howard and Dr. Verhoeven -- "Carbon Diffusion Between the Layers in Modern Pattern-Welded Damascus Blades" -- and I got to wondering, when I forge-weld the steel and iron together and then f
  6. I've been working on Japanese style kitchen knives lately, which start out as a piece of water hardening tool steel (for me, 1080, W-1 or W-2 usually) forge-welded to some wrought iron (old anchor chain). No folding; the steel stays on one side (the concave edge part), and the wrought iron forms the non-cutting side and the tang of the blade. Anyway, I recently read the article written some time back by Howard and Dr. Verhoeven -- "Carbon Diffusion Between the Layers in Modern Pattern-Welded Damascus Blades" -- and I got to wondering, when I forge-weld the steel and iron together and then f
  7. For the price-insensitive, I just purchased a pyrometer set up from the good folks at Omega, and it is really nice. The components are: HH-21A -- Digital pyrometer read out ($175) -- http://www.omega.com/pptst/HH-20SW_21A_22A_23A.html KQIN-316U-18 -- Inconel sheathed, 3/16-inch diameter, 18-inch long ungrounded K-type thermocouple ($30.20) -- http://www.omega.com/pptst/JQIN.html RECK1-4 -- Retractable (coiled phone-cord style), 4 foot thermocouple extension cable (for type K thermocouples) ($18.50) -- http://www.omega.com/pptst/TEC_REC_GEC.html So, for around $225 (plus shippi
  8. I sometimes use a Coleman ice chest for quenching. I put some metal sheet pans (from my kitchen) in the bottom, so that if the blade breaks or gets away from me, it won't melt through the plastic. (Quenching some 4140 dies for my press, I once managed to heat up the quenching oil enough to melt the 5 gallon plastic bucket it was in. Cleaning up the resulting mess took several hours, and I now try to use a metal container whenever I can.)
  9. Curious as to whether anyone has purchased or used any of the knife steel sold by the German company Dick.biz? In particular, this steel is interesting to me: http://www.dick.biz/dick/product/719625/detail.jsf. It's like 1070 with some vanadium added. (Pricey though, particularly with shipping from Germany added.) If anyone has experience or thoughts about heat treating this stuff, I would love to hear. Playing with some now, and I'm tempted to treat it like W2, but if someone has other ideas, I sure would be grateful to hear them.
  10. I'm not an environmental lawyer, and this is not legal advice, but I think there are federal laws relating to the disposal of so-called "hazardous waste." (RCRA maybe?) Getting crossways with this sort of stuff can result in ruinous fines/penalties and can land you in the pokey. As they used to say on that old TV show: "Danger Will Robinson!"
  11. I may be mistaken, but my understanding is that using a carbon cover (which I think just floats on top of the molten salt) has a couple of beneficial effects. First, I'm think it reduces out gassing by the salt, so one gets less salt vapor drifting around the shop. (Always a good thing, no?) Also, I beleive it helps some with salt bath chemestry so that rectification is needed less frequently. Lastly, I think the carbon has some insulating properties so that less enegery is required to maintain the bath at temperature. None of this is huge, of course, and quite possibly, it's just not wor
  12. There is an article on this topic by John D. Verhoeven and our very own Howard Clark: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6TXJ-3VNGMVW-2&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1128097491&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=186f6d30f341b400854e97214499eabe It's my understanding that because of the way carbon atoms are situated within iron, such migration occurs very rapidly, even when dealing with relatively thick layers.
  13. Anyone know where one can obtain something like Park Carbon Cover C carbon cover for high temperature salt baths? Naively, I called Park/Heatbath directly, and was politely but firmly told to go piss up a rope. To my surprise, it wasn't a money issue. In my experience, usually throwing money at a problem like this produces a favorable effect. In this case, however, they seem to have some (in my view misguided) concern about legal liability resulting from sales to folks who are not big industrial users. Is there someone not as picky about their customers who sells this stuff? Ca
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