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WIP Knife with Hamon and need some help also


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I'm almost done with my new knife. All I have left is the sharpening. Till I get that done, here's some pics of the process starting with the blade with clay on. The clay I use is Rutland's Furnace Cement. Helpful criticism very welcome. Also, after this knife is complete, I'm going to make a Japanese style straight razor. But the only belt sander I have is the Harbor Freight 1 x 30. So any tips on how to go about doing a hollow grind on one side would be appreciated.

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First two pics are of the blade sanded to 1500 grit before being etched in vinegar. Other two pics are of the blade after being etched several times in vinegar and before being etched in lemon juice. At some point I sanded the blade to 2000 grit but not sure if its at 2000 grit in the last two pics. More to come after I put a sharp edge on the blade.

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I get a lot out of a hamon by using FF pumice to rub the oxides off of the hamon portion after each etch. it gives a counter-polish and also helps bring out activity.

 

nice blade and hamon, so far...

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@Kevin: I use flitz and then some used 2000 grit sandpaper to get the oxides off. What do you think about that method? Also, where can I get powdered abrasives?

 

@Wes: The blade has been etched with lemon juice and sanded to 2000 grit sandpaper and have handle wrapped. Just have the sharpening left. Will post pics as soon that's done.

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I have tried flitz, and semichrome, and mother's. I sometimes use Mother's maag above the hamon. Below, I either use 2500 grit and nothing, or FF pumice. You can feel the FF pumice bite into the steel where there is activity from the hamon (it is actually like a little mountain range, so the abrasive bites better where there is potential for activity and softer metal to remove among the hard).

 

I just order from amazon or ebay and it comes to my door. sprinkle it on, dry, and rub it like you are trying to rub a hole through the steel with little wiggly strokes with your finger or a leather pad.

 

then etch again, and again... and again.

 

kc

Edited by Kevin (The Professor)
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I totally forgot to ask...what steel is this?

 

Also, as Kevin said, you can get the pumice from Amazon; that is where I got mine.

 

@Kevin - I can't remember where, but I saw someone suggest mixing the pumice into some oil to form a paste about the consistency as toothpaste, and rub it with a cotton ball. Was wondering what you think about that...

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Nice and simple Imad. The best combination. Are you happy with how the hamon turned out? From what I can tell, it looks nice, but the pictures make it kinda hard to tell (not to be critical or anything)

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@Wes: This was my first oil quenched blade and I was assuming it would have a flat line for hamon but it actually turned out pretty nice for a heated canola oil quench. I got tired of losing blades to water and this time the oil quench worked out well. The hamon does not have any ashi but it does show where the clay was places if I hold it at the right angle. The pics are crappy and I think the hamon would have turned out better if I had some powdered abrasive. Overall I am happy with the blade. Looks pretty good in person.

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Ya, I have avoided water quenching anything. You are braver man than me. I do the heated canola oil like you do, and have not lost a blade to it yet (not that I done gobs of blades, but you get my meaning). The hamon does look like it has some nice activity. I am sure that you could coax is out of there more. I bought some powdered pumice from Amazon for fairly cheap (here) and have used that.

Good pictures are hard to take honestly. The only reason I can take decent ones is because my daughter has a ridiculously nice camera that my Uncle(retired pro photographer) gave her.

You should be happy with the nice. It is a good clean blade that is hard enough to achieve. Cheers to you man.

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You can also get sub-micron dry alumina for lapidary work on Ebay. That also does interesting things for polishing hamon and getting the oxides off (with a little Windex or water).

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Make yourself a wire frame that when viewed from the sidelooks like a 1/4 circle, and cover with a sheet or thin paper, place the knife inside and photograph without the flash, sunlight on the sheet works best, or a flourecent tube, this will stop reflections and glare, giving you beter pics...that seems to have turned out quite well there, nice work!

Edited by Miles Hebbard
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The idea is just to create a light box, which can be done on the cheap. If you have a few old white tshirts, you can fab a open framed cube from spare wood or go get some of those cheapy wood frame sets from Hobby Lobby. Or even cheaper, something like this.

Trash bag might be bad because it might create glare because of the reflectiveness of plastic.

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