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Guest Tai

Edge Packing

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How many is too many?  I realize that once can be too many under the right conditions, but what is the upper limit under gentler conditions?

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Guest Tai

There's no real way of knowing, it depends on so many things, but as a general rule I would never push it past three.

 

If it hardens well the first time,... don't mess with it.  ???

(... or maybe one or two more quenches just to see what happens, if you are feeling curious.)

 

I think it is better to be satisfied with a "good" blade than to be dissatisfied striving to make a great one.

 

To me a good blade is a "great blade"!

 

If you try and make each blade as good as it can be, it will at least be good,... maybe better.  :)

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Guest Tai

All I do is try and encourage to steel to do what it naturally wants to do on it's own, within the context of "basic" bladesminting. I never try to force it, but just coax it along in it's own path. I try to "listen" to the steel. It always knows what is best.  :)

 

It is very sensual and a lot like love making to a fine woman.  :P  [ylsuper]

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It's hard to beat the basics.  [ylsuper]

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Guest Tai

... I guess I'll just ramble on some more then...

 

I've tried lots of fancy stuff over the years in bladesmithing, but keep coming back to the "basics". I've learned that you can never get too good or overly "advanced" within the basics. There is always room for improvement "within" the basics. The basics are not boring! The basics have eloved over thousands of years through tradition and innovation. The basics are rock solid. There is no escaping the basics. The basics require "surrender". The basics follow the laws of nature.  [ylsuper]

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Guest Tai

The "process" has a way of taking care of itself!

 

The basics are so simple that every individual will interpret them differently. There are infinate possiblities within the basics.

 

"The smith takes a piece of steel and heats it with fire. The smith then forges the steel while it is aglow, with hammers, into it's close form. The smith normalizes the steel and prepares it for stock reduction and heat treating. The smith refines the form of the blade with abrasion. Then, the smith heats the blade and hardens it through quenching, which is followed by tempering. This is done so that the blade will have it's desired physical properties. After the blade is heat treated, the smith polishes or finishes the blade and finally sharpens it for use."

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all sounds pretty basic to me  [dunno]

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Guest Tai

O.K. I guess no one is going to stop me, so I'll just keep going...

 

I suppose you can take the basics and make them as simple or as complicated, as direct or as indirect as you like. For me, I like to keep things simple, so that I can understand what I am doing and have a clear mental image of the process before hand. I also like to be as direct as possible. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. I try to keep focused on the path, not get side tracked, or end up back tracking. This all has to do with efficiency. Efficiency is especially important when you have limited means and or prefer doing things by hand with hand tools. Time and energy are required for this work. The more simple and direct the process, the more efficient it becomes

 

The efficiency and "beauty" of the process are always reflected in the finished blade.

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Howard; I sometimes let my southern manners slip a bit. there has been an occassion or two when I have been a little brusque myself.

I don't use the phrase" edge pack" myself. I do work and tweak the edge at decreasing heats. The hammer i am not sure about; but the normalizing heats do what they are supposed to.

I think that respect to those who came before us is necessary; even if we have moved beyond them in some respects.

There is still a lot to this heat treating business that I wish I understood. mike

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Now if by old timers we include the early Japanese smiths  [notworthy]

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Guest Tai

I don't worry about what the crystals are doing when I'm working. If a good job is done on each part of the process and a few basic rules are followed, the crystals will take care of themselves. I do each step once and try to get it right the first time. If not, then I do it over.

 

I think of the entire process as "transmuting" the steel, or raising it to a higher more noble form.

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As for speaking, you can't get more southern than Tucson, but it's also western. We talk as if no one were listening.  :D

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I put my "faith" in the basics. To me,... all else is vanity and striving after the wind.  :o

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Guest Tai

"There's beauty in that silver singing river.

There's beauty in that rainbow in the sky.

But none of these can ever touch the beauty,

That I remember in my True Love's eyes." B. Dylan

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Tai,

 

Eloquent words. I'm listneing if no body else is.

 

Some folks don't like ot hear about the mysteries of steel.For me it lives and breathes, just like rocks and trees.

 

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

 

Shane

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"The smith takes a piece of steel and heats it with fire. The smith then forges the steel while it is aglow, with hammers, into it's close form. The smith normalizes the steel and prepares it for stock reduction and heat treating. The smith refines the form of the blade with abrasion. Then, the smith heats the blade and hardens it through quenching, which is followed by tempering. This is done so that the blade will have it's desired physical properties. After the blade is heat treated, the smith polishes or finishes the blade and finally sharpens it for use."

Printed and pull on the wall in the shop. [notworthy]  Helps me to reach for the file instead of the switch.  I can realy screw some blades up with power and high tech stuff. :banghead:

Through my own work and from the influence of this forum [grouphug] , It has become clear to me that I need to work more on the basics.  I need to master myself and maybe then think about the belt sander, etc.

 

Ill probably still use the etching machine to put my name on blades  :D

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certainly true !!!

 

the basics amaze me ....    just watching a friend learn for the first time how to forge, gives me a fuzzy feeling !

All the steps ( the foundation of a great blade), are slowly passed through by the student and recorded in the steel.

 

If you look at it....  the blade is like a book or novel......  a story about you (the smith) and The steel...    as much as you record your efforts in the steel (hammer strokes, design and profile, the straightness of edge and spine) the steel has it's way of recording it's self in you..  ( the strengthening of arm bones and muscle, the memory of hammering a steel blade to shape, the hunger to see the birth of a cutter)

 

The equation is complete.....  and the anwer is right !

 

Greg

 

ps..  I guess spending lot's of time alone in the forge gets me thinking bout stuff....   glad there are some people to listen

[grouphug]

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That's beautiful  [notworthy]

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Guest Tai

Here's a Zen fable as told by Gurmukh:

 

"There was a Zen master who was wondering in the countryside of Japan, followed by a handful of his devoted students who were very proud of him. As they traveled through a small village, they attracted the attention of a Buddhist monk who followed a different teacher.

 

The Buddhist monk wondered what it was about the traveling Zen master that inspired such devotion. The monk stopped one of the Zen master's students and said to him. " I also follow a master, and he is a very powerful and magical man. He can wave his arm in the air, writing letters in the sky. If someone is standing nearby with a piece of paper in their hand, the characters magically appear on that sheet of paper. Can your master do any feats as great as that?"

 

The student of the traveling Zen master thought for a moment and then replied, " My master is very magical, too. When he sits down to eat, he eats. When he walks, he walks. And when he talks, he talks."

 

The inquiring monk thought about this. Humbled, he then said, "Your master is a very gifted man. I think I will follow him too so that one day when I am walking, I too will simply walk."

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