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B. Norris

Drawknife

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I bought this drawknife last summer and finally got around to cleaning it up. I started out using a Scothcbrite pad and oil but, after cutting myself, I threw the whole thing into a vinegar bath. When I took it out this is what I saw.

 

 

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It appears to have been edge quenched with the cutting edge at an angle instead of straight up and down. I can see the advantage of doing it this way for a drawknife and I wonder if this could be applied to chisels. I think that for knives it would just warp the blade although for the drawknife it seems to be how the slight arc in the tool was acheived.

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Edge quenched ? or is the cutting portion high carbon and the rest low carbon ?

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Looks like it was rocked back and forth in the quench.

or is the cutting portion high carbon and the rest low carbon ?

Normally, the higher carbon would just have been welded to the edge area. I don't think any would have ended up on the tang.

Edited by Phillip Jones

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Last year I made three drawkinves, all from 5160 coil springs from a RR car. This is the best of them; the handles are black walnut. All of them work better than I expected and I have used them to make some walking sticks. A shaving horse is a good project if you plan to use these tools.

FinishedDK.jpg

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Many better quality draw knives that were made some time ago had a high carbon plate laminated to the softer body from the bottom, just as the one pictured is showing.

Chisels were often made in a similar fashion, with the high carbon laminated on the bottom side only.

When you consider the way they are used, and sharpened, it makes much sense.

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B.NORRIS: It looks to be forge welded. I am at a loss to explain why the darker is on the handles. It looks to be an collectable knife.

It might be that they forged a longer piece and then ground it back to what they wanted for the knife part.

 

Chuck

Edited by CBENNETT

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I honestly had not even considered that it could be of a laminated construction. I do not think it is old enough and am fairly sure it was machine made, being stamped on the front "P.S.&W. CO.NoTEX" with, "8.N." off towards the left handle. My grandfather had one exactly like it that I used frequently as a child. Who knows, it may just be welded up but, if so, when etched wouldn't two lines show, one where the two metals meet and one for the "hamon"?

 

I was thinking that, when heat treated, a differential quench was used, in other words, only the edge immersed and the back left soft. My experiences with large cross-sections and quenching have been that only a thin area close to the cutting edge can be hardened. I saw the etch on this drawknife and thought that it had been put into the quench at a very shallow angle so that the bottom of the tool was hardened but, not very deeply. Thinking along that line, it seemed that the very shallow curvature of the tool, bowing up from the center towards the handles, could be induced in the quench instead of having to be forged in. The corner of the area drawn out to form the handles, that was hardened, could have been done to stiffen that section up just a little. In my mind, every step of the manufacture seemed to be deliberately intended to reach the final results with the least amount of effort. A very elegant solution and one based on a firm grasp of the properties of the materials used.

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The company name is Peck, Stowe and Wilcox. The 8 means it has an 8" blade. They made a lot of tools and are getting to be pretty heavily collected. If the blade were quenched at an angle or almost flat, wouldn't it have a bowl curvature like an inshave?

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Who knows, it may just be welded up but, if so, when etched wouldn't two lines show, one where the two metals meet and one for the "hamon"?

24431[/snapback]

 

 

Nope. It's a plain old high-carbon edge welded to wrought iron or mild steel, most likely quenched by dunking the whole thing. No tool manufacturers in this country bothered with things like Hamon, accidental or not, if they could do it faster by another method. The use of "steeled" edges continued later than folks think. I have a four-pound crosspeen hammer made by Bellknap/Bluegrass in the 1930s that has a wrought iron body with steel face and peen.

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In my experience using a drawknife, one is normally pealing slivers off of the wood. However, you occasionally encounter a knot that is considerably harder than the wood. It is sometimes necessary to "jerk" the blade through these areas. I prefer to have the entire blade hardended for these events. An edge hardened blade might deform under impulsive loading.

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Good points everyone and thank you all for your input. There is a small crack running along the junction of the two metals, on the section drawn out to form the handles, on the right, when viewed from the back. Probably is a delamination from drawing out instead of being caused from working at too low a temperature along with the additional stress of hardening as I was thinking. Whatever the case I know it will clean up some willow saplings to build a rose arbor. My Grandpa used his to remove the bark from fenceposts and I used it to roughout whatever I wanted to make out of wood at the time. You know, swords, bows, that kind of thing! Out of curiosity anyone care to put a date to this item?

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