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What did you do in your shop today?


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I got another pirate (grandson) with a birthday coming up next month and he's in need of a treasure chest.

 

I've got most of the woodwork done:

 

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I made the boards from some very old white oak from my grandfather's barn (thus a few worm holes).

 

I'm thinking about ebonizing the oak with iron acetate and doing brass hardware. Or perhaps white oak with iron hardware. Still have to think on it.

 

I do plan to round the facets on the top.

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Finished another folder.  Little bitty bugger, 2.5" / 63mm closed, 4.5" / 112mm open.  O-1, brass liners, nickel silver bolsters and pins, ebony scales.  Still needs an edge and some cleanup, but it's

Yesterday, and not my shop.

Finally got my bench cleared off and back on some knives. This one was fun, but glad to see it done.   My oldest grandson turned six this weekend and I promised to make him a box for his tre

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Something new for me I had a request for a boot knife. Came up with a dagger and fighter design he liked the fighter style better. I had never thought about them before now I like them. 

 

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Got a few blades heat treated today. I had to thaw out the canola oil first though. It was a balmy -11 degrees fahrenheit this morning.

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So after doing some space projects today ended up being a grinding day so I didn't have to travel in a snowstorm.

 

I was able to set the bevel on this knife and will just need to even out the transition line and make it look pretty until the materials I ordered for the handle arrive.

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I also pulled a do it later project out that I don't think I've touched in almost two years and did some grinding on it to start its bevels. Though its awkward shape and weight are making it a learning experience.

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Dropped off a 6" fillet knife to a buddy of mine that owns a bait shop.  He lked it so much he immediately asked for as many more as I could bring him.  Also wanted 4" and 5" versions.  We're on the fire department together and are going to split the proceeds 25%/25% with the other half being donated to the firefighters association.  It'll cover my materials and start to get my name out there.  I went back to the shop, made some templates, and started getting a bit more organized.

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My fun little hobby is starting to get serious. :wacko::blink:

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I'm taking the plunge and going to try my hand at a (short) sword length object. I'm probably going to bite off more than I can chew because for my first attempt I'm also going to try my first attempt at a multi-bar.

Got the pattern worked out (18 inch blade, 24 inches overall), Paper_Pattern_IMG_2350.jpg

 

made a metal template,Steel_Template_IMG_2351.jpgand got my steel all ready Starting_Material_IMG_2352.jpg(it's now cut and waiting to be stacked). Going to make a billet of 8670 for the edge material, planning on ~100 layers of 15N20 and 1084 in a twist (may try for herringbone) and thinking of a "softer"spine of 1040. Now I just have to wait until it warms up and the 10 inches of snow melts from my forging area...

 

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got all the handles shaped up so the cutlery is looking ready for another 50 years or so. The acrylic is called spilled milk but not a lot of it shows in the smaller pieces

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Edited by Garry Keown
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Finally got around to making my first blade! Used an old lawnmower blade (for some reason I had got in my head that these were hardenable steel - I don't think they are after playing with it), and made myself a nice little chopper! I must say, I was super surprised at how intuitive it was to make a half-decent balance on the blade. 

 

Hot cut the mower blade in half using the most rudimentary of tools that I had lying around, and got to work hammering (all by hand 'round here - no fancy presses and such around these parts)! The poor old 75lb anvil that I've got here (as you can probably see) is not in the best of shape, but I sort of got it to work. I had a lot of fun messing around with this, ended the day by quenching it in the snow. Subsequently, I discovered just how much of a warp a blade can actually take - its a LOT :lol:. I did a file test and discovered that the blade was most definitely not hard, but really that's fine as this was nothing but a fun practice piece. I might try to print off a reference for spark testing and spark test the metal to attempt to identify it, because I really suspect my initial spark test was totally inaccurate. Doing some brief reading tells me that mower blades are usually low-med carbon, but alloyed - anyone care to jump in and correct me?

 

On my final photo, you can sort of see where the tang turns into the blade, the metal has folded over. Any tips on how to avoid this? This was my first time even messing around with hot metal so any tips and tricks are definitely appreciated.

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20 hours ago, David Kleinfeldt said:

Doing some brief reading tells me that mower blades are usually low-med carbon, but alloyed - anyone care to jump in and correct me?

They are all over the place, depending on manufacturer, but generally not overly high in carbon.  Your snow quench isn't doing you any favors.  Snow is a terrible quenchant.  

 

As for the tang transition, the key is to fix it as you go before it gets too bad.  

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40 minutes ago, Jerrod Miller said:

Your snow quench isn't doing you any favors.  Snow is a terrible quenchant. 

 

Haha yeah I wasn't expecting an amazing quench by any means from the snow. Again, I was just messing around, trying to get a feel for how the metal reacts to the hammer and such - the snow quench was straight out of left field to see if anything would stick from my underequipped shop to the mystery metal. Hopefully I can move to oil soon enough.

 

44 minutes ago, Jerrod Miller said:

As for the tang transition, the key is to fix it as you go before it gets too bad.

 

Gotcha, so I guess I should just go slower on that front - hammer a bit, turn 90 degrees, flatten, turn it back on edge to hammer a bit more, flatten again, etc?

 

Appreciate the feedback, Jerrod. It's great to have people sharing their knowledge!

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16 minutes ago, David Kleinfeldt said:

hammer a bit, turn 90 degrees, flatten, turn it back on edge to hammer a bit more, flatten again, etc?

 

That's pretty much it.  B)

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1 minute ago, Alan Longmire said:

 

That's pretty much it.  B)

 

Cheers Alan, thanks for the help! I'll probably use the other half of that lawnmower blade and see if I can get the technique down.

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22 hours ago, David Kleinfeldt said:

for some reason I had got in my head that these were hardenable steel


Heat a small piece past critical then quench it in water. Clamp it in a vice and hit it with a hammer. If it breaks rather than bends, it’s hardenable.

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But you still won't know what it is.  Keep in mind that mower blades are designed to be lawsuit-proof, as in, will not ever break and send metal shards flying across the yard to injure anyone, resulting in a major liability claim against the manufacturer.  In some cases, like on some commercial mowers, the blade steel is somewhat hardenable, but is sold in a way-soft tempered condition emphasizing toughness rather than hardness.  In other cases, like consumer-grade stuff from the big box stores, they are not hardenable at all just in case some genius gets the idea to harden his mower blades so they stay sharp longer, and which then explode into a fragmentation bomb killing the neighbor's kids the first mowing session thereafter.  

 

Never underestimate human stupidity, or legal greed!  :rolleyes:

 

That said, I suspect the thick commercial blades for bush hogs and such are T-1 wear resistant plate or something similar, AKA grader blade.  Great for that purpose, but blade material it ain't.  

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9 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Never underestimate human stupidity, or legal greed!  :rolleyes:



“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”

 

Albert Einstein 

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Very pleased with the days progress. Had a length of heavy walled (3/8) 4 x 4 box section so cut a couple of sides off it and after a bit of a clean up can use them to clamp the bearded knives straight out of the quench to keep them straight and leave them in this way through the two tempering cycles so the loss through warping should hopefully be over. With that done and a few blades heat treated it was time to do some handsanding. Two of the blades are san mai so that will make an interesting change. As a way to take the stress from my fingers I made a new handsanding block which allows for the palm and arm to take the load. Gave it a test on the bearded chef and was very happy with the result.thick wall.jpg

 

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Edited by Garry Keown
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My shop, home to mosquitoes and lacking productivity.
Made myself go in there a few minutes yesterday, probably the first time in two weeks, blame the day job.....

Busy with a belly ripper/gutthook, basically copied the design of the Buck PackLite gutthook with the ring/handle from the same black&white micarta as the knife it will accompany and the blade from 14C28N, same as the knife.

 

Fortunately the deadline is towards the end of April:ph34r: 

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Some more stunning blocks arrived from Texas with Koa, maple spalted hickory, spalted buckeye, ironwood and rosewood with a gifted piece of mammoth tooth. Just a quick pic that dosent really show the quality of these blocks. I have a selection of yellow cedar burl, dark tasmanian blackwood and a few other goodies on order as soon as it is finished processing

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A bit of leatherwork finishedIMG_0542.JPG

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Last couple of weekends were spent getting a group of O-1 integral EDCs ready for HT.

 

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Today I learned it's not a good idea to straighten a warp in normalized O-1.  

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The good news is the grain looks pretty good, even before another thermal cycle and quenching.  10X:

 

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The reddish stuff is anti-scale powder.  The bright specks are carbides, and are a little large for my taste, but as I said, this is after normalizing and before more cycles from 1500 F.

 

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A couple of safety lessons got reinforced the hard way today.

 

First, the one that got ignored.  Always pay attention to what's on your bench when MIG welding, and never blindly walk away without at least looking around first.

 

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Paper towel and an old t-shirt shop rag.

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My MIG gun. :angry:

 

Secondly, the one that I'm glad I didnt ignore.  Always keep a slack bucket or extinguisher handy in the workshop.

I'm really glad i looked up from the forge when i did and noticed the smoke pouring from the shop.  Thankfully no other damage, except the MIG gun is going to be a pain to replace.

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19 hours ago, Alex Middleton said:

A couple of safety lessons got reinforced the hard way today.

 

Unfortunate that they had to get reinforced that way; thankfully no injuries! Safety is no joke, and it's definitely way too easy to get complacent when you've been doing work in a shop for years.

 

Luckily, all this lesson cost you was a bit of pride and some money at the end of the day. Hopefully that MIG gun isn't too much of a hassle to replace! Good luck, and safe smithing!

Edited by David Kleinfeldt
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I've been on a mono-steel Kick for a while now. Working on another Bowie.

 

V2 1 Drawing.jpg

 

That spalted maple block ended up having a bunch of voids in the center. So I switched gears and pulled some stabilized bone (I seriously can't remember what animal it's from) and surfaced the pieces down from almost 3/4" to just about 3/8" thick.

 

V2 2 Bone Scales.jpg

 

Then I got them drilled for the frame pins.

 

V2 3 Drilling pins.jpg

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