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Introduction & thanks with my 1st knife

Brian Dougherty

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Hi all,


I've been lurking here for a while, but wanted to share what your collective knowledge helped me achieve. This is my first real attempt at forging a knife. It is my take on a yanagi ba style knife. It is made from 1095 steel differentially quenched in brine for 3 seconds and then into canola oil. I ultimately decided that I liked the hamon better without etching it so I polished it back out. You can almost see it in one of the pics.


There are a lot of flaws in the knife, but the pics hide them pretty well. I learned a lot from this one and it won't be my last.


Here are a few pics:










Here is a test cut video. It isn't up to the legendary edge these knives are supposed to have, but it is the sharpest one in my kitchen...



Thanks to all of you!


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Nicely done Brian! And welcome, looking forward to seeing more...

To become old and wise... You first have to survive being young and foolish! ;) Ikisu.blogsot.com. Email; milesikisu@gmail.com mobile: +27784653651

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that does look great. far and away better than my first forged knife. I can't really see the flaws. I can tell the ridge isn't as straight as it could be, and the shoulders of the blade need to fit closer against the handle/bolster. Still, that is a great first effort. Looks like it has a cool hamon, too. After you have played around with making them some with clay and appropriate steel (w2, w1, aldo's 1095 or 1075) then you will be ready to start learning how to polish and etch to really show hamons off.


Walter from the forum has a great video on this. I use his techniques except I use vinegar instead of lemon juice and FFFF pumice as the powder abrasive at the end, and I only use it on the transition line and below (habuchi and hamon). Either the highest grit sandpaper you can find (abrasive paper, really, 2500 grit or higher) or Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish (sometimes abbreviated MAAS for some reason).


looks great. Hope you don't mind the suggestions. I mean no disrespect or whatever, just trying to help.



please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/


“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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Thanks Kevin, I'll try to look up the videos you mentioned. I assume he has them on youtube? I definitely have a lot to learn about polishing.


Here is a pic of the hamon when I etched it with alternating applications of vinegar and lemon juice:




In the end, I just polished it back out. I wasn't happy with the "Muddy" appearance I was getting. Of course, after a couple of weeks of work in the kitchen, the blade is developing a patina that shows of the hamon again.


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Nice work! Excellent for a first attempt.


Welcome to the forum.




"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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