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Streamline Integral for a Friend


John Page
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Over the past two days while working to finish the field knife for my sister, I made this. A friend and mentor of mine will be graduating and commissioning as a Naval Aviator this weekend, and I wanted to make him something special. And, as a first finished knife, I couldn't think of a better person to give it to (and the first knife I made with the intent of not keeping).

 

Some of you may have notices that I have a lot of WIPs going, and that I haven't finished anything in a while. Well, that's because I haven't. This is the first knife I have really finished, the forging, HT, finish, edge, sheath, everything.

 

Overall, I am happy with how it turned out, although I discovered in the process that there is still much I have to learn with leatherworking and finishing techniques. For the time I had, I couldn't have asked for more. Since the pictures were taken, I refinished the handle to remove the scratches.

 

Steel is Aldo's 1084

Sheath is black leather with sinew stitching and paracord accents.

Blade length- 13cm/~5.1in

OAL- 24cm/~9.5in

 

 

I'd love to hear your opinions, things I could improve for next time, things I should keep doing.

Thanks for looking.

 

 

John

Sheathed.png

Bared.png

Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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John I'd like to critique, however your photo doesn't convey a lot of information. Perhaps you could take a few more from a closer POV, or even more and different angles.

Right off the bat, I'd be most interested in how you heat treated it, as I know Aldo's 1084 is tricky stuff. Things like edge geometry are hard to tell from this image but my immediate impression is that the edge could be set at more of an acute angle and continue farther up the blade.

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Thanks JD, here are a few more shots I just took, but I'm having trouble getting anything that gives a little more away with the lighting. You are right about the edge- it definitely is too wide an angle, and I'll fix that before I send it off. Thanks for noticing that.

 

The HT went as follows

Triple normalized from 1550-1580 f to room temp in still air

Annealed in the forge as it cooled from ~1600 (f) to room temp over several hours

Twice quenched from 1500 down to ~130-150

soaked only long enough to reach a uniform temp

I used a muffle this time, which helped considerably over my last attempt at reaching a steady temp throughout

Tempered at 380 for two hours, three times

 

Before the tempering cycles, the blade was hard enough that the files would not bite for anything, and only the roughest (36grit) would really scratch the surface. After the temper, it passed all the edge and flexibility tests I could throw at it, and I had a much easier time cleaning up the surface of scratches and putting on a finer edge.

 

Here are the pictures I could get that show something, although I'll try and get some better ones. The reflections play some strange tricks on it, making things seem wavy or bent, but the edge is straight as well as the spine, and the edge is centred with respect to the spine.

Thanks again

 

John

Handle to tip.png

Tip.png

Edge.png

Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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The HT went as follows

Triple normalized from 1550-1580 f to room temp in still air

Annealed in the forge as it cooled from ~1600 (f) to room temp over several hours

Twice quenched from 1500 down to ~130-150

soaked only long enough to reach a uniform temp

I used a muffle this time, which helped considerably over my last attempt at reaching a steady temp throughout

Tempered at 380 for two hours, three times

 

Why the anneal? If you're going to do a full anneal like that, do it before the normalization steps, and do it only if you really need to in order to shape the steel cold. It doesn't help your grain one bit, and in fact erases whatever benefit you got from normalizing. Your double quench step did refine the grain back a bit, though. Also, 1450 F is plenty hot enough for 1084, no need to go hotter.

 

Just some opinions to help you get the most possible out of your steel. B)

 

Edited to add: JD, why do you say Aldo's 1084 is tricky? Just curious, I've never had a problem with it.

Edited by Alan Longmire
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Thanks for the tips, Alan. I thought annealing after the normalization sounded strange, but the internet told me so I went for it :mellow: I also didn't really know why I had to anneal it at all, but I did anyway just in case.

That's good to know about the 1450, I'll make note of that. With the muffle in the forge, it was quite a bit easier to control the temp, and by principle get it lower (I had trouble getting down in that range for 15n20 without it).

Thanks again!

 

John

Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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John... Overall pretty nice. My biggest critique right off the bat is what seems to be an overly convex edge. I like to see flat grinds most of the way to the edge..and then feathering in your convex edge.

 

I think you may have been reading about spheroidal annealing. This is when you do some sub-critical heats to spherodize the steel.. then quench to lock everything in place for final grinding and machining. This supposedly sets everything up very well for final heat treating. But I'm no expert.. and most of the steels I use don't necessarily benefit that much from it .. at least from what I understand... at least in terms of blade performance. A lot of good stuff in the stickies on Blade forums for this.

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Why the anneal? If you're going to do a full anneal like that, do it before the normalization steps, and do it only if you really need to in order to shape the steel cold. It doesn't help your grain one bit, and in fact erases whatever benefit you got from normalizing. Your double quench step did refine the grain back a bit, though. Also, 1450 F is plenty hot enough for 1084, no need to go hotter.

 

Just some opinions to help you get the most possible out of your steel. B)

 

Edited to add: JD, why do you say Aldo's 1084 is tricky? Just curious, I've never had a problem with it.

Alan,

I did a class in Auburn ME. last fall for the ABS. it was a class to prepare bladesmiths to pass the ABS JS. performance test. We were using Aldo's 1084 and very poor results with what I thought to be the standard treatment for 1084. A couple of months later Jim Crowell taught the same course and had a similar experience. Luckily one of the students in our class had ordered a Rockwell tester and had it shipped to the school for pick up. That tester along with an accurate thermocouple and a gas forge configured just for heat treating, allowed me to arrive at a reasonable set of specs for that steel.

Aldo has these "boutique"mixes done for what we think are standard steels. In fact he had added a considerable amount of manganese and vanadium to the mix over and above the standard 1084 formula. This caused the steel to through harden and develop very difficult to dissolve carbides. The consequence of all this was that blades were snapping at or around 90 degrees of deformation on the bend test. The blades were extremely strong. They took a great deal of force to deform them. but the standard heat treatment, with all the soft back draws etc. did not help. the blades still snapped at or around 90 degrees. when we rockwelled the blades at quench they were extremely hard( Rc72-73) tempered for 2 hours at 400 didn't even bring them down into the 60's. Suffice it to say, all of this was quite frustrating. In any case I was able to, with help of the Rockwell tester, develop a set of specs for this 1084 mix that actually works. Once we put it into use the problem with breakage ceased. 3 minute soak @ 1450 to 1500; quench in 200 degree Park's 50; Temper at 450 2 hours. soft back draw; this seemed to give good results.

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J.D. Thanks for the info.

I have some 1" x 1/4" of Aldos 1084 that I bought several years ago. Might not be the same batch as what you tested.

I have been using higher temp(150 to 170) Texaco quench and double quenching with two draws at 375 --my oven is not very accurate.

 

Most times with a wet rag, I will torch draw the top to a light blue--Is this what you are calling a soft back draw. I don't try to pull them to a 90--I stop at 40 to 50, trying to get them to go all the way back.

I can't imagine why anyone would want to pull a blade to 90 except for an ABS test.

 

thanks

 

chuck bennett

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Thanks, JD. :D

 

I had noticed it through-hardens very well indeed, and that there can be hard spots. I find those when polishing, there's always a spot where the grinder marks just don't want to go away... :rolleyes: I usually do what Chuck (Sandpile) says, and bring the whole back to a full blue almost to the edge using a torch. That should be in the 550 degree range for all but the edge. I have not tried the 90-degree bend test, since I just don't do that. :lol: They do end up nice and springy, and will do a 30 to 40 degree bend and spring right back straight, which is what I'm after for what I do with the stuff.

 

I may start heating my oil a bit more for 1084, it's usually around 150 degrees. The last sword blade I did with it the oil was closer to 220 by the way it reacted to getting rained on, which may be why that blade seems a bit tougher than the last one I did.

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That is interesting JD, I too have noticed that hotter than normal oil is desirable for Aldo's 1084.

 

John, that is a great first completed blade. I agree with JD about the edge thickness... I've noticed that on the first blades that people make this is one of the most common design flaws, thinner is often times better. Though there is a time an a place for most edge geometries.

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Thanks, JD. :D

 

I had noticed it through-hardens very well indeed, and that there can be hard spots. I find those when polishing, there's always a spot where the grinder marks just don't want to go away... :rolleyes: I usually do what Chuck (Sandpile) says, and bring the whole back to a full blue almost to the edge using a torch. That should be in the 550 degree range for all but the edge. I have not tried the 90-degree bend test, since I just don't do that. :lol: They do end up nice and springy, and will do a 30 to 40 degree bend and spring right back straight, which is what I'm after for what I do with the stuff.

 

I may start heating my oil a bit more for 1084, it's usually around 150 degrees. The last sword blade I did with it the oil was closer to 220 by the way it reacted to getting rained on, which may be why that blade seems a bit tougher than the last one I did.

I hope no one gets me wrong here. I'm not complaining about the steel, it's just that for the ABS JS performance test, which require a destructive test bend, this steel requires that one know just how to use it properly... which by determination and scientific method we found out. It is actually a very excellent steel indeed; and as I mentioned, with the standard heat treatment is quite a strong tough material. It took an incredible amount of force to make it fail; far more in fact than it ever would be subjected to in real life, even very high stress situations. In my way of doing things, that actually makes it a BETTER result than a HT procedure that will allow a bend to 90 and take a set! The exercise of the class was NOT how to make the strongest, toughest knife possible, but to pass the ABS JS performance test. Two very different things indeed.

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Thanks for the info, JD. I still have a majority of the bar left, and knowing that HT information will help me make a better finished knife.

 

Scott, that spherodial annealing might be what I read about, that's something I have never heard of before. Someday, I might look into it, but for now, I'll scrap that.

 

I took the edge down some, making it thinner and following a more acute angle farther up the blade. I couldn't get any more pictures before it left my hands, but it's far better off with your advice. In the future, I'll be particularly mindful of this.

Thanks again!

 

John

Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

-Shards of the Dark Age- my blog
-Nine Worlds Workshop-
-Last Apocalypse Forge-

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I'm right with you, JD. :)

 

The point of the 90-degree test is to prove you have the knowledge to make steel do that, nothing more. I do like watching it, though. Somewhere I have a picture of a 250-lb guy hanging off the ground on the end of a five foot length of pipe trying to get his blade to 90 degrees. :ph34r: He eventually got it, too. No cracks, either. It was 5160 though, which I understand is the usual choice just because it's easier to deal with than some other steels for that specific purpose.

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I'm right with you, JD. :)

 

The point of the 90-degree test is to prove you have the knowledge to make steel do that, nothing more. I do like watching it, though. Somewhere I have a picture of a 250-lb guy hanging off the ground on the end of a five foot length of pipe trying to get his blade to 90 degrees. :ph34r: He eventually got it, too. No cracks, either. It was 5160 though, which I understand is the usual choice just because it's easier to deal with than some other steels for that specific purpose.

My recent apprentice Zack Jonas, did his JS test with a blade he forged from 1095. That's a steel I taught him to use very well. His test blade presented was straight after the 90 deg. bend, with only a slight bend at the ricasso where it was soft. some questioned if it had been bent at all. Fortunately we filmed the test! That's the kind of performance I'm talking about!

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I got some 1/8" 1095 from Tronny Toler at KNIVES PLUS in Amarillo.

 

I managed five handle pin holes without breaking a HHS bit.-- three tripped the normalization.

Forge heated the blade to guess-a-mate of 1400+ or so. Differential quenched in (what I thought too hot Texaco--185) then quenched again just not quite so hot on the color of the blade. Both of these quenches were like you(I) would do in water except the spine never went in the quench--The spine seems to be case hardened(for lack of a better word).

 

Then for the heck of it just to see if it was going break like A2 or stay together. I torched the the first half inch of the blade then quenched a count of four in, out five in to about four hundred or so , then to the preheated 400 + oven. Two one hour draws with a cold water quench after each.

I really expected a crack or break in the final quench line.

On the off side there is a suspicious place but no crack. It is hard but not much harder than a water quench, again checked by file.

 

I don't have any thermal or hardness testing equipment. I used to have a kiln and heat sticks but now shut the barn door and guess.

 

I did NOT put it in the vise and will not sell it but did put my name on it for the kids later on.

I am not photo literate but will see if I can get one of my kids--Grands-- to post it if not I might telephone it to Alan. You can see all three quench lines even with a buffed out etch.

 

I tried to tear this 1095 up but it was just too tough.--Lucky maybe.

 

God Bless

 

chuck

 

P.S. I am not recomending this process to ANYBODY.--Was just curious to see what would happen.

Edited by sandpile
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