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Adequate to the Task

Lee Sauder

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I've been working off and on on a series of experiments on using phosphoric bloom iron in blades. This has been a slow process, since I've been having to acquire the bladesmithing skills as I go!


It seems to me that the basic definition of whether a blade is useful is whether it will field dress, skin, and butcher a deer. This one passed with flying colors.


buck knife-1.jpg


PW2 (2).jpg


PW2 (1).jpg



The blade is a composite of two kinds of phosphoric iron- high phosphorus, low carbon iron that is too brittle to work-harden, and medium-phosphorus, low carbon iron that will work harden. I found that when I combine the two, the result will work-harden and functions better than either material alone.


I had to touch it on a stone often as I worked up the deer, but that's true of all the steel knives I have, too. The knife actually excelled at the skinning, I don't know if that was a serendipitous result of the design or that character of the iron, or both.

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Very cool. that is my favourite way to test a knife, As Mike said it is a great feeling to be able to use your knife for dressing an animal you harvested.

Edited by Luke_Sorensen
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And that is how it was done; as they used to say. The best barometer of a blade is it's performance since first and foremost it's a tool.

Very well done that is a beauty. It's nice to see you get some more payback for all the research and testing you have done. Thanks for helping the rest of us along.


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Very cool Lee. Does phosphoric iron work harden "better" than non phosphoric iron?




Yes, Zeb, much harder.


Thanks for the kind words, folks, I know I'm a duffer at this knife game so thanks for the encouragement.


I'm actually butchering this deer today with this knife, I've been at it a couple of hours, and it's actually my favorite blade ever for this job! I usually switch between several knives during the course of working one up, but I feel no need to this time.


I'm working on a writeup of the experiments. Still need to shoot and work up one more deer to complete the series!

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