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And so it begins...

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I finally got started on mine this weekend. First, the materials so far: six feet of 1/4" music wire (aka 1095), six feet of 1/4" round 1018, and a nice curly ash shovel handle:


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The labels for the music wire and the 1018.


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The idea was to make a version of cable, so I cut the round stock into six-inch lengths to build the billet. Nine rods of 1095 and six rods of 1018 bundled up in such a way as to hopefully get interesting contrast on what will, through the magic of carbon migration, become more or less equivalent to 1070.


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I know there's only eight rods of 1095 in that picture, I added one to the bundle to even out the spacing of the 1018. To keep things straight I blued the ends of the 1018 after grinding clean so I could tell them apart.


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I didn't want to use my crappy stick welder to contaminate the ends of the billet and I didn't trust my ability to wire it tight enough to keep things from slipping, so I used a pair of sacrificial stainless steel hose clamps to hold it together while I welded the ends. Welded:


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And the clamps held up! Never again to be useful, to be sure, but still...


kith 07.jpg




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After welding the rods into a solid bundle, I twisted it in a relatively loose twist. I'm after a wide zebra-stripe look. I somehow got to wrapped up in the process to take pictures of the twisted billet before drawing it out, folding, and welding into a rectangular billet about 1" wide x 3/8" thick.


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Check out those stripes!


And then it was time to make a blade out of it. Here it is during the normalizing cycles.


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And done.


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I'll fix the point and the clip with the grinder next weekend. 9.5 inches of blade, no serious delamination seen so far (fingers crossed!). I haven't decided on the handle yet. It may be a frame, it may be a through tang with plumbing parts. We shall see what the magic Ace Hardware can provide as time goes on...

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Ye' Gods!

Love it!


I really need to get going on mine....



The fundamental cause of trouble is that the stupid are cocksure, while the intelligent are full of doubt. -Bertrand Russell, philosopher
follow me on Instagram @raggedravenforge

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My local Ace Hardware. They supply the local R/C airplane modellers, it's the owner's hobby. Quarter inch is as big as it comes, though. You might try a good hobby shop.


My three local Fastenals stock jack sh!t and act annoyed if you disturb their coffee drinking, and Tri-City Bolt & Screw (love that name) only stocks O-1 and A-2 drill rod.

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There is a hobby shop up the road.
I'm just thinking of all kinds of possibilities.
Small hand tools in a pinch that kind of stuff.

Anyhow, can't wait to see the pattern your twist produced.
My Fastenal guys will order for me and allow me to pay cash on their accounts and get their discount.
Its kind of awesome.

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Wow, all of you guys move fast. It would take me a lot of hours to go from rods to cable to forged blade.


I like this idea a lot. As I wandered around the farm store this weekend, I was eyeballing the fencing and thought about twisting up a cable from it. Then I looked up the carbon content of the fence wire...


JJ, the local hobby shop here has piano wire in a number of sizes.


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That's great about your Fastenal, JJ. The guys at the one closest to me didn't know what drill rod was, that steel could be hardenable, or the difference between 1018 keystock and 0-1, which is what I was looking for at the time. They told me to try online. Oh, well, if I ever need an overpriced ladder or several pounds of drywall screws I know where to get them.

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Very resourceful Alan. Looking good so far.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  





J.States Bladesmith | Facebook



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Had a good long weekend due to snow, so the blade is now done, time to start thinking about the handle.


Pre-HT polish to 220:


kith 11.jpg


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Coated with anti-scale compound since I had to do this in the open coal fire, it's too big for the pipe I usually use:


kith 13.jpg

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I decided to do a full quench because I did not want any auto-hamon as I feel that messes with the pattern. This was, it turns out, a mistake. There was a tiny delamination pocket near the spine on the left side, and it blistered up in the quench.


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After much soul searching and creative use of language, I decided to go ahead and finish it out to see if it was worth saving. In my opinion it was, because the delam was so thin and so close to the massively thick (3/8") spine, and thus has no effect on the integrity of the blade. On the plus side, it now has a name: Zombowie, the undead blade! 'Cause it looks like a bit of zombie hide, y'know... :rolleyes::lol:


Right side after etching:


kith 15.jpg


And the all-important left side with the zombie scars. Two views to show the pattern to its best advantage.


kith 16.jpg


kith 17.jpg



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That is just character!

Perfect if you ask me...


The fundamental cause of trouble is that the stupid are cocksure, while the intelligent are full of doubt. -Bertrand Russell, philosopher
follow me on Instagram @raggedravenforge

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