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Alan Longmire

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:

 

kith 01.jpg

 

The labels for the music wire and the 1018.

 

kith 02.jpg

 

kith 03.jpg

 

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.

 

kith 04.jpg

 

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.

 

kith 05.jpg

 

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:

 

kith 06.jpg

 

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.

 

kith 08.jpg

 

Check out those stripes!

 

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

 

kith 09.jpg

 

And done.

 

kith 10.jpg

 

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....

 

-Gabriel

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Great stuff there Alan. You solved issues I had in a failed experiment doing something similiar. I'll have to borrow some of your ideas for attempt 2. I'm looking forward to seeing how you finish this blade!

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Wow, great progress.

 

We did say June, didn't we?

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Yeah, June 30, but I know myself... now that the easy part is done there's no telling when the rest will come together!

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Great idea.
Where did the music wire come from.
I'd love to find a supplier where I live.
I can get O1 at fastenal but not 1095 or W1

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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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That music wire is great for making tools and miniatures, 1/4" by 3' is less than $5 at my hobby shop, I was hoping that it came in thicker sizes though. I never thought id see it made into a knife that size!

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Dang, I wish it wasn't so cold here! It's hard to just forge on a whim when it's -30 and you ahve a charcoal forge xD

 

But dang! That is going to be awesome!

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My fastenal has a structural steel rack and then a drill rod rack that has Oil hardening or Air hardening.
It has a water hardening slot but there's never any steel in it.

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Very resourceful Alan. Looking good so far.

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This is a new one for me, I've never seen this technique, but I'm very curious to see how it turns out. What kind if pattern does make?

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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

 

kith 12.jpg

 

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.

 

kith 14.jpg

 

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

 

Opinions?

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That is just character!

Perfect if you ask me...

-Gabriel

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looks pretty boss- is that an engraving on the ricasso? hard to tell from the pics -- makers mark maybe?

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Thanks guys, glad I'm not alone in liking the effect!

 

Gabriel, the left ricasso has the maker's mark, the right says KITH 2016.

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