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John Page

Dréngjvalunnr- my KITH

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The name, which in old Icelandic, means something like "Waves in the company of gallant men"

Now I know that the puukko is not Icelandic, but my Finnish is not up to snuff :lol: (neither is my old Icelandic for that matter...)

 

Anyway, taking the lead from Michael Lenaghan, I decided to make a scrap-mascus blade from some things lying around the shop. After digging through the rubbish bin, I found a surprising amount of gold! There's near the entirety of an old ~220 layer billet in here, some half finished knives chopped up, other random mystery steel, and a strip of 15n20 that for some reason had already been into the forge but never worked. Welding this at the same time as another secret project, my anvil became the hottest it's ever been. By the end of the day I couldn't even touch it, much less sit on it! Good day's work for sure.

 

Starting off, the billet is absolutely hideous, but with a bit of blunt force trauma it welded like a champ. On one face the scrap pattern welded billet was half the thickness in two pieces, and the line between them is completely invisible now. I'm thinking of folding it a few times for pattern development, and then it's onto the actual forging part. Sacrificing the ugly ends, I was left with a fairly large, rectangular thing that I will be cutting down the middle long-ways or maybe just quartering. I must say, this is the first time I have ever tack welded a billet together (yes I know it's horrifically done) but it was about ten thousand times easier than the usual wire wrap. Won't be doing that old trick again!

 

For the handle, I already have a novel idea that will probably fail miserably...

 

Enough rambling now, here are the before and after pictures.

 

Cheers!

 

John

 

before-

image2.JPG

 

after-

image1.JPG

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Yeah dude! That's some forge welding mojo right there :)

 

I think I might follow after both of you and make a scrap blade also, I'm sure I've enough failed projects lying around to make it real interesting

:lol:

 

I'm excited to see this one come together

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Can't wait to see how this progresses!

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Thanks gents! I'm excited the welds took as well as they did :) this is going to be a fun project! And if all goes well, I may get an entire second knife out of it for my own first puukko.

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Forged and folded it twice more, 4x the original layers +1. On the second weld today I decided to do a hairpin and fold it over a thin strip of 15n20 without cutting it first. It worked remarkably well! Some of the nasty sides still show through and may need grinding out to get rid of some cold shuts, but it's coming along nicely. Still doesn't look like much, but after another possible folding it's onto forging the profile!

 

Along the edge (far corner from tongs) you can hardly see where the hairpin!

image1 (1).JPG

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A little more work done on this one, but nothing exciting. Took it back to welding heat to fix some small flaws before drawing it out into a manageable size. Another day where I've sweat as much as the rest of the week combined :wacko: Welding large stuff by hand... Or maybe it's the drawing out that's getting me! Anyway, it's the one on the left. The other two are for a special project, which hopefully will see some cool developments in the coming weeks.

 

11140331_798159793602636_740237284696900

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Took another pass at welding heat to close up a few little flaws and forged it to shape. There's still about half of the billet left over, but it's the bad half, so I'm hoping this one survives. At the tip there was a little delamination, but I think I got it to weld back together. That, and grinding moves it far enough away from the edge where it won't be a huge problem anyway. The question I'm having is this- how are the proportions? I have never made a puukko before, and the lines aren't feeling quite right. I'm going to bring the primary bevel farther up the spine near the tip, but is the rest of the opposing bevel the right amount of the blade? Also, what sort of thickness am I aiming for on the spine? It's massively thick right now, the cross section being aggressively diamond shaped from the forging. Anyway, I'm happy with the forging, as there has only been enough grinding so far to get rid of some scale for a test etch. The pattern is subtle from the quick etch, but the low layers are about what I was going for.

 

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It looks good to me!

 

-Gabriel

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Thanks Gabriel! It's growing on me :)

image3.JPG

Heat treated it yesterday and it survived the quench with no warping at all, something I was worried about with the extreme diamond cross section. Tempered arbitrarily to a dark straw colour, it seems to be doing alright now. After doing more grinding, I noticed a few flaws, one near the tip (that is actually visible in the previous post's picture as the dark line about a quarter cm from the edge), and another inclusion revealed near the back edge, half way up the primary bevel. Both of them seemed to be minimized by the end of the grinding, but they are definitely still there, however hidden from the etch. Not sure what to do about them, as it doesn't do anything functionally, but I would feel bad sending it out to someone with them there. Then again, it was made from some gnarly scrap, so I'm not sure what I should have expected anyway.

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Last picture is after the etch, fairly shallow and sanded with 1200, cold blued, then sanded again. I thought about leaving it all dark, but figured this is more traditional (whatever that means...) One thing I'm not thrilled about are the scratches near the spine and edge. Even the highest grit belt I have leaves more, so I finally relented and left it alone. Not a huge issue, but still annoying. Worst part is, they come out way deeper looking from the etch than they actually are. But anyway, here's the blade as it will probably be when I get the handle sorted out. Comments and criticism welcome!

image2 (1).JPG

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Hey John, looking sweet!

 

I wouldn't worry about flaws like that that don't threaten the integrity of the blade and are just cosmetic (but then aren't even cosmetic because they are hidden by the etch)

 

The scratches however, I would try to remove by hand sanding. Sometimes (for me anyway) if I grind too thin with a course belt, the grit marks will show up in the etch even if the surface is totally smooth, and I think its because some of the material got compressed and compressed steel etches darker all other things being equal. A similar effect is used in forensics, I think, if a serial number is filed off of a weapon, the number may still be able to be read if the plate is etched...

 

So yeah, I would remove more material with hand sanding (maybe 220 or 320 grit)

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Looking very nice. Maybe hand sanding with a block in a perpendicular direction to the original marks? That tends to smooth things out for me...

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Thanks for the advice! I on to hand sanding it is :rolleyes:

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Much better! In lieu of sand paper (which I only had gravel size (24#!!!) and 600+), I remembered I have a handful of EDM stones that get infrequent use. Being nice and flat and every grit between 36 and 600, it was quick work! The flats stayed flat and the belt sander scars faded away. I think it actually took longer to re-etch and polish than it did to fix the buggers. So here's round two-

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Above is the assortment of things on the bench, EDM stones, 1200# sanding block, gun bluing oil, and Renaissance wax. I only recently got into the wax, and I think I'm in love :lol: The stuff goes on easy and works like magic. Not only does it do what wax and oil do (which I previously used gun oil, but it leaves a weird tint), but it also gives the surface a bit more natural contrast by soaking into the semi-porous iron (II,III) oxide from the etch and bluing.

image2 (2).JPG

And here's the new finish on the blade. About the same as before, but much better on the little streaks running everywhere. I'm beginning to remember why I love the simplicity and effectiveness of hand tools...

Edited by John Page

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Looking good man.

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Looking smooth! Haha. I've got to get some of this renaissance wax! Can you use the blade when it has been waxed (cutting wood, eating with etc.) or is it mainly to preserve the blade for storing?

 

Cheers,

James

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Thanks gents! James, you can use it like you normally would, although I'm not sure about the eating part. I personally would, but I don't know if it's recommended :) The coating is so thin that I doubt it would do any harm...

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Good work pal. The idea of etching without hand sanding an extreme amount is wild to me! It really looks like you've got a great blade there, a real cool pattern, and you've done a good job bringing it out.

 

Something that may help with this sort of thing is (and maybe I'm dead wrong... who the heck knows) asking yourself, is this polish/geometry/profile the best I can possibly do? The answer is always no (in my experience anyhow) but it may help to reveal flaws that you didn't see before. Look at it in some nasty harsh light, spend time running your fingers over the blade... just hang onto it for a while and a lot of things come to light.

 

All that to say.... cool blade can't wait to see what you do with it. :blink:

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Thanks Nate, I'll be taking your words to heart. For me, the answer is always no too, something I have a lot of trouble with actually. It seems that there is always some point in a project where 'good enough' takes over when it's really not. I'm glad Luke and James called me out on it, as it's a much better blade because of that little bit of extra work. I'll be letting it sit for a little while for sure, and may go back again and revisit those things I might have thought were fine but could actually be much better. I feel that if I haven't learned something that will help me on another project, the current one might as well be a failure... So far, I think I'm on the right track for this little guy!

 

Cheers!

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This is coming along so well! I am way in love with the way the steel looks! Awesome job so far man :)

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Very cool! I need to get a set of those EDM stones again; they are super handy to have around. I can't wait to see what you do from here!

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Thanks gents! Once I find something suitable for the bolster, it'll all come together B) In the spirit of making it out of scrap stuff though, that might be the biggest challenge. I already have a fair idea for the handle, so I'll probably just start that in the meantime. Have to see if it works first though (and I'll still share it if it fails miserably, but after I figure out if it's worth trying to fix)

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Thanks Juho!

 

Some more slow progress on this as I try to figure out what to do with the handle. At first I thought I could get away with laminating a bunch of plane shavings from various scrap woods in a similar fashion to birch bark, but the thickness I need makes them extremely brittle, so that one isn't happening. I eventually decided to go with a scrap cutting (no idea what it is) that's been lying around for a while. It is a light colour and deceptively resistant to cutting and splitting, but is not as hard as it seems. Holes drilled and tang burned in, I was left with what to do about the ends.

 

image2.JPG

 

In the spirit of the theme, I shaped the block with hand tools, splitting it and planing down to a reasonable size, using a spoke shave on the corners to round it out. Still very rough after all that (not yet pictured) but I want to wait on the other pieces before taking it down any more.

 

image3.JPG

 

I had a few pieces of this hearth steel leftover from consolidation, but it was unusable for blades anyway because it's in the upper realm of cast iron levels of carbon. Little did I know that it was also chocked so full of chromium and vanadium that even after annealing for 14 hours I can't drill through it. Not even a little bit. So... I have to either make a hot punch equivalent of the knife tang and make a hole that way, or think of something else. To make matters worse, I'm moving at the end of the week and won't have a shop for the foreseeable future thereafter :(

 

image1.JPG

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Alright! Time to buckle down and get some work done on this thing. Did a bunch more handle shaping using the blade to carve and scrape mostly to the final shape, but after the bolster and cap are slotted properly I'll move to the belt sander to true up the alignment. Burning the handle into the mystery wood left a lot of residue on the blade, so I decided I will take it all back down with stones and re etch. In the mean time, I tempered it a little more and began work on some copper. It came from a scrap yard, and at the time I thought it was bronze, which would have made a sweet sword, but alas it was copper, so I cut a piece off the end and drilled some holes. This is the first time I have done a slotted anything, and it was a lot more filework than I thought! The tapered skew hexagonal cross section made it really funky to seat right, and there's still a little gap I need to close. The copper looks like it is headed towards a finger guard or something, but that's just the width of the bar that I haven't yet cut off for the back. Anyway, it's starting to feel more like a knife (albeit heavy!), and with the deadline just around the corner I need to get to it!

 

John

 

edit- sorry for the continued potato phone pictures :ph34r:

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image1 (4).JPG

Edited by John Page

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A lot of progress on this recently, shaping up to be done just in time for the deadline :rolleyes:

Here's a fb link to an ongoing album of the WIP with a few more pictures. I've been lazy and using my phone camera, which makes it more difficult to embed them here in a not-enormous and equally terrible quality...

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I had to move a few months ago, which means it's all hand tool work. Unfortunately, I don't even have a place to use my small belt sander, and my only work bench is my computer desk with a sacrificial towel over it.

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After laboriously cutting the copper with a dull hack saw and drilling it with the old mechanical drill, it was about two weeks of filing on and off as I slowly went insane. Fortunately, farrier's rasps make great work of copper...

 

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For the sheath, I have no idea what I'm doing so I found a piece of wood in the laundry closet and cut off a piece of the end, split it to width, and cut it in half so I could carve out a slot for the blade. In the end, it came out fantastically snug with an enlarged pentagonal profile that mirrors the blade. To profile the core, I used a plane on end and ran the wood across it like a cheese grater. For the final adjustments, it was back to files and card scrapers.

 

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With the core ready to go, I needed to finish the handle before moving forward with the sheath. But before that, I needed to redo the blade etch and polish which was destroyed in the process of burning on the handle. After a little internal debate I decided to go with something a little less traditional. The normal pattern contrast remains on the primary bevel, a little on the dark side, but on the reverse spine bevel I polished it back to flat. There's a little left to go near the tip on both sides, but you get the idea. After that, I'll epoxy and peen the handle (surfaced the outer faces of both pieces of copper today too) so I can bring it all to final dimensions. Hopefully, then that only leaves the sheath leather. 4 days to go!

 

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