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GEzell

another WIP

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I'm rather happy with how this project is turning out so far. This is my first time trying 203e as my 'bright' steel, since with these type of blades it will not be on the edge. My first impression with it is you better get it to stick on the first weld, it forms some nasty, hard to remove scale...

 

The initial billet is composed of W1 for the edge and spine, 2 twisted bars of 18 layer 1084/203e mix 'framed' with 203e, for a total of 6 bars.

DSCN0162a_zpswtdll654.jpg

 

As I forgewelded the bars together the billet started to bow, and of course when I tried to flatten it the welds popped apart. Undaunted, I re-fluxed it, heated it up and re-welded it, bowed. I let it soak at welding temp for 15 minutes, and then gently worked it flat. The soak worked its magic, the welds held this time, but I gave it a few more welding passes to be absolutely sure...

DSCN0163a_zpslje1y2ib.jpg

 

Ugly, but solid, and twice as long as it needed to be to boot.... you can see where I've already started to draw out the tang. I went ahead and chopped it to the length I needed, grinded the sides down to clean steel, and forged it into a blade...

DSCN0164a_zps73dfhqkv.jpg

 

This is to be a Japanese style chefs knife I've been commissioned to make. I didn't like the shape at first but it's starting to grow on me... Here it is after a rough grind and a test etch.

DSCN0165_zpsnxmp4ipc.jpg

I'm going to refine the shape a bit, trim about 1/2" off the tip, and it is now 3/16" thick and needs to be taken down to half of that, so I still have a lot of grinding to do...

 

I also had the other half of the billet, and had to make something out of it... take a guess...:)

DSCNO166_zpsro1hmvqb.jpg

 

Yup, a seax.... going to make the point about 1/2" longer/move the 'hump' back 1/2", it has a lot of curvature to the edge but I like it anyway.... I am so happy spring is almost here, I am coming to the realization I just cannot be as productive in the winter as I can during the rest of the year.

 

Thanks for looking.

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Nice twisties! I just looked up the carbon on A203E, and it's even lower than I thought: 0.09%! 3.5%nickel, though. And a little chromium, between the two of which I can understand the difficulties if you miss the first weld.

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Yeah Alan, the nickel tends to form some really nasty scale that seems flux resistant and will wreck a weld in short order... flux will keep it from forming in the first place however, otherwise we'd be seeing one small blade and a pile of crusty scrap instead of two medium blades!

 

This is the second billet I've had 'bow' on me, I think I have a process figured out that consistently works to fix it. I've heard it said that once a tall billet starts to bow you have to take it apart and reflatten the surfaces, otherwise it will just come apart when you try to flatten it. I have to give Deker the credit, he was the first I've heard who talked about the benefit of a long soak at welding heat once the welds are set. After the long (15-20 minutes) soak, the weld is much stronger and more likely to survive direct stresses on the weld seams.

 

Or at least that's my theory and I'm stickin to it.....

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Yep, a soak at welding heat greatly increases the bonding in a solid state weld. It also greatly increases grain size and decarb, but since you and Deker know how to handle that, go for it! I get nervous soaking more than four or five minutes at welding heat, but then I'm still a coal-burning luddite...

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very nice, George - are you planning to harden the W2 spine on the kitchen knife?

That's the plan. I prefer to fully harden thinner knives, otherwise they bend too easily, and I already have a decent amount of mild steel in it which tends towards bendy already... :)... and I think it will look best that way after it is etched.

 

I'm hoping to have these ready to heat-treat tomorrow.

Edited by GEzell

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I have been thinking about 203e lately, and thinking I want to try in in decorative roles. I am glad to see this thread.

 

The seax look great to me. I know less about Japanese kitchen knives, so I can't comment intelligently (which I am trying to use as a reason for not commenting more and more these days).

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They survived the quench, the chefs knife warped and gave me all kinds of problems but I ground it into submission... it ended up thinner than planned however, but should cut like nobody's business. Next time, I'll leave it thicker until after heat-treat. A bit more sanding and etching my logo is all they need before I can start on the handles.

DSCN0177_zpsbsnedfco.jpg

 

This photo shows the thickness of the blades.... the seax is over 1/4" while the chefs knife is barely 1/16".

DSCN0178_zpsickxagzd.jpg

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George, nice work. I really love the lines on the seax. Outstanding!

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Wow, thanks for posting as a WIP. Both blades are stunning. The seax is my favorite of the two.

 

What makes up the light line between the W2 and the next bar over? Is that another metal, or a transition effect between the two bars?

 

Edit, OK I reread the OP, and I guess it isn't another metal since you call out 6 bars total. I assume it is some sort of migration of alloy components going on at the transition. Whatever the cause, it is very striking.

Edited by Brian Dougherty

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I think it is some sort of transition effect, I'm hoping it sticks around to the final finish, it is rather cool looking...:)

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That seax is just ridiculously cool.

 

The kitchen knife is nice too, thin is the only way to go for something like that, I don't envy quenching that blade.

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DSCN0184_zpsd0hvoe10.jpg

The handle for the seax, surrounded by the tools used... a homemade broach and some modified sawblades. First a hole is drilled, then the hole is opened up to fit the tang. It took about an hour with this one... this is bog oak. I'm debating on whether this one will get a brushed finish.

 

DSCN0187_zpslbribqjz.jpg

Getting the handle ready for the chefs knife, I'll be 'octagonizing' the cross-section before I epoxy it together, the final cross-section will be oval when finished. The materials are stabilized redwood burl, bronze, and stabilized black nargusta burl... the woods should be much darker when finished.

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I should have mentioned this earlier. I think those two blades are really attractive.

 

I think the line between w1 and 203e is carbon migration or something similar. Just a thought. I don't think there is enough nickel to inhibit it in the 203e. At least, I am guessing there is not, due to the obvious line between the two. There aren't many other elements to migrate in W1.

 

However, I should also recognize that I have just violated my previous stated attempt to avoid commenting unless I can do so intelligently (I don't know how much nickel is necessary to prevent carbon migration).

 

alas.

 

kc

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I do like your seax handles. I stole your technique after the first time you posted any pics of the tools. ;)

 

I vote for not brushed, but it's your seax.

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Kevin, to my understanding it takes almost pure nickel to stop carbon from migrating, 203e has 3% so it didn't even slow it down... silicon and phosphorus also block, or at least slow down, carbon migration. I for one enjoy your comments, this particular one lead to a 20 minute forum search....:)

 

Here is an interesting thread on carbon migration and nickel: http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=23923

 

Thanks Alan, it might be simpler to burn the tang in, but I've never trusted that method... I blame my mentor for filling me with the fear of over-heating handle materials, as I was very prone to do just that when I was starting out. This bog oak is very coarse textured, I have it sanded down to 500 grit and I do not like the way it looks at all. I can either brush it for the weathered driftwood look, or try the oil-sanding method I've recently learned about (works great on walnut, not sure if it will work here) to fill the pores and go for the smooth look....

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thanks for the thread link. I had not thought of the potential role of flux in the white line. However, I can say that I don't get that white line when I weld dry, and wrapped in stainless foil. So, flux and oxygen may play a role singularly, or together.

 

Every time I learn something, it seems like I actually know less.

 

I have to make another seax once I finish all of the commissions. The fluid curves of the ones you have made lately have really inspired me.

 

thanks George.

kc

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George,

I looked around a bit at borax/boron as they relate to steel at high temps. Here is what I found:

 

"Boron, as a non-metallic solid element, can penetrate and form an alloy with steel under high temperatures. It forms a molecular bond with the metal. Unlike chrome, boron does not add a layer to the original surface. Rather, Boron treatment does the opposite; It removes carbon and other impurities from the steel, leaving a pure iron boride layer with boron"

 

this comes from the site of a company that sells boron and its related compounds.

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Very interesting Kevin. By removing carbon, it would actually raise welding temps... though I suspect it would require a long time to do its work, far longer than the steel would be exposed to it during forgewelding. It does explain the white line phenomena.

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It wouldn't raise the welding temp. The welding phenom is due to the amount of dissolved stuff in solution. Boron is in solution, too. So, it lowers or at least keeps it the same.

that much I am sure of. I was a Chemistry major for 3 years before I switched to Psychology (thank God).

 

kc

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Boron treatment does the opposite; It removes carbon and other impurities from the steel, leaving a pure iron boride layer with boron"

 

 

It wouldn't raise the welding temp. The welding phenom is due to the amount of dissolved stuff in solution. Boron is in solution, too. So, it lowers or at least keeps it the same.

 

Ah, but when you lower the carbon content, you raise the welding temp... I doubt we would notice the difference really, as I doubt very much carbon is lost in the process unless we were to subject it to unreasonably long soaks and temps before the weld is made.

 

They are both finished now and I'm working on sheaths and sayas...

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DSCN0195_zpsneeprwn8.jpgBoth knives finished, plus a hunter that slipped in... The saya for the chefs knife is walnut.

 

DSCN0193_zpsqscjddgq.jpg

and as always, the pattern is elusive...

 

DSCN0198_zpsqc9uvyuc.jpg

 

It occurred to me I might be the only one making modern kitchen cutlery in migration era patterns...:)

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I believe you are correct, but that just adds to the cool factor. They turned out great!

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DSCN0200_zps6grkpwh7.jpg

 

Forcing the leather to submit to my will, helped along by alcohol and clamps...:)

 

DSCN0201_zpsls0evh2o.jpg

 

Trimming away the excess. Stay tuned for the tooling and fittings....

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