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JJ Simon

KITH WIP 2016 picture heavy

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Friends.
Here is the beginning of my KITH knife.
I chose to make the blade from hearth material.
Today a melted and started consolidating.
Here are the pics.
I started with cut nails.
I figure the carbon content in using just them will give me consistency and I know they are higher carbon than other nails.
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Here's their spark.
I'm not great at reading carbon content of spark but I'd guess they are mid carbon.
I will spark the billet after it is fully consolidated and see what the difference is.

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The hearth shell

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The hearth running

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A nail being transformed in the hearth

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The sponge

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The first break in consolidation.
That is a 2.5 LBS hammer in relation to the material.

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Thanks for looking.

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JJ,

That is a very clear demonstration of your process....thank you.

 

Jan

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Way to think outside the box!

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Wow, you make that look simple. I know it isn't.

 

Do the briquettes cause you any contamination issues?

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Thanks guys.
The briquettes are Stubbs and they are hardwood with a vegetable based bonding agent.
I did some research to see what they were made of and learned from a barbecue forum the different ingredients of a lot of briquettes.
So these are the only ones I'd use.
I know that's long but I don't think they are adding sulfur, I'm not getting a lot of cracking.
I could use hardwood charcoal, but then I'd have to chop it and the firefly's from it are terrible.
Also the briquettes are a uniform size.

So far I'm two folds and welds into this billet and its doing pretty good.
I've over carbuerized material before and it just became unworkable.
This looks like it should be very suitable for this project.

Brian, this is the simplest method of creating steel as a homemade product.
And with firebricks vs. making a bowl hearth it is easy to measure and do.
Its just depth of the bowl, air, and distance from the tuyere.

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Wow, you are tempting me big time. Making my own steel is in my future, but I have been fighting the urge to learn the smelting craft until the kids are out of the house and I have more time and money. This looks like a nice stepping stone.

 

Can you recommend some reading to start?

Edited by Brian Dougherty

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How many pounds of cut nails is in that block?

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Wow, you are tempting me big time. Making my own steel is in my future, but I have been fighting the urge to learn the smelting craft until the kids are out of the house and I have more time and money. This looks like a nice stepping stone.

 

Can you recommend some reading to start?

 

There are whole threads in the Bloomers and Buttons threads here on the forum.

With very good info.

Its pretty closed in so it being around kids would probably be a good way to introduce them to this kind of stuff.

Hotter than a barbeque but not bigger.

 

 

How many pounds of cut nails is in that block?

I had 4 pounds in the box and didn't use them all.

Maybe 3 pounds went into the hearth.

I'm going to guess I will end up with 1 to 1.5 pounds of material as a bar to forge the blade from.

This is certainly not the most efficient use of resource.

It was suggested to me that I could just carborize them in a can in my forge with charcoal which is absolutely true.

Then I would have to forge weld them together.

Which I have to do with the sponge any way.

 

Edited by JJ Simon

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JJ, This is just too cool not to try! I think I have to finally fire up that coal forge..............

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Continued consolidation of the billet.
And a final bar before I forged it into a knife blank
I will attach those pics later tonight
The bar at the end after the ends were cut true measured

5.5X1.25X.5 inches.

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Here's the photos from working the bar down to a knife blank.
I tried to keep a pretty traditional shape.
Unfortunately there is a delamination in the ricasso.
Fortunately I planned for any issues in the material.
This material can be very grumpy and I have found that working it at welding heat is pretty much the protocol.
Tomorrow I will attempt to weld the ricasso and heel of the blade back together.
As long as it works, it will be ground an ready for thermo cycling by Thursday.

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Here's the blade ground before thermal cycle and final heat treat.
I will be claying it for a hamon.
In working to fix the couple of weld flaws I had to grind the blade to more of a modern fighter shape.
I'm glad I left some meat to be able to make adjustments.
In the close up pictures you can get a sense of some of the pattern in the steel.
Kind of a loose random pattern.

hearth bowie.jpg

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Now that's how you get good high carbon steel from the hardware store! Great looking blade my friend.

 

Zeb

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Thanks Zeb,
It sparks pretty star like, but a real tight pattern, like it doesn't radiate out very far.
We'l see how well it hardens

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Holy Smokes! I never would have imagined that. I am now rethinking my original blade steel idea.

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I'm pretty surprised myself.
There is no pattern manipulation other than hammering.
And the material was only folded 6 times.

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Ye' gods! talk about raising the bar!

-Gabriel

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Sweet! How much time did it take to create the bloom?

Actually melting the material with setting up the hearth and getting it full of burning charcoal takes less than 2 hours.

The actual process of feeding material in is a little over and hour of that.

 

Ye' gods! talk about raising the bar!

-Gabriel

Thank you.

I'm just trying to get better every year.

This is ambitious and could die in the quench today.

We never know.

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Actually melting the material with setting up the hearth and getting it full of burning charcoal takes less than 2 hours.

The actual process of feeding material in is a little over and hour of that.

 

That's just too impressive not to try some time myself, even if I would massively fail at it. Thanks for showing what can be done :)

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That's just too impressive not to try some time myself, even if I would massively fail at it. Thanks for showing what can be done :)

Its a blast, and the simplest "Homemade" steel there is.

I have 20 pounds of wrought iron nails that will be the next material I feed to the monster.

Edited by JJ Simon

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OK JJ,

I'm making a grand assumption here, but what's the bloom process?

lay down a bed of charcoal,

pile the nails on it (randomly or organized stack? I assume randomly)

Light it up and cover with more charcoal.

turn the blower on and monitor, adding more charcoal as needed to get it to semi-consolidate

Pull out the sponge and start forging

Repeat as needed.

 

Is that the crux of the biscuit?

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