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Robert D.

Kith WIP

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So I finally got all of my materials rounded up for this years KITH project.

 

Decided to play to a strength in a sense bladewise, and got a Stanley Wonderbar for the blade materials considering its made of 5160, But since they did not have any brass sheeting for me to use to make a guard out of, I decided to use some old files and a crappy miter saw blade, in the hopes that I could forge weld them together to make enough materials to make a guard from ...

 

This is my very first successful attempt at forge welding carbon steel, I have had some luck with Mild in the past, but every attempt I have tried up till now with carbon steel has been a complete failure.

 

The blade still needs some work, but this is where I am so far.

 

20160430_132945.jpg

 

The handle guard materials, and the handle.

 

20160501_143312.jpg

 

The blade materials.

 

20160501_145703.jpg

 

Getting the blade materials into the right shape ( Straight )

 

20160501_213004.jpg

 

Finished work for the day.

I still need to finish grinding out the guard material, at the moment its roughly 8 layers, I would like to cut and restack it at least once, I only forge welded it, as 2 of the 3 files were tapered, I had to grind it out to a uniform thickness, honestly I expected to fail at this so when it actually worked out I was left with a good amount of grinding left to be done. I hope the next weld goes as well as the first did.

 

 

 

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So here is the guard, seems i was able to fix the forge welds i had issues with last week.

 

I hot cut the slot, ill be cleaning up the blade and hot fitting the guard to the blade, at the moment its at around 23 layers.

 

20160515_203742.jpg

20160515_203735.jpg

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Nice :) I need to find the courage to try to hot punch a guard slot...

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I did it on a whim to be honest, I was looking at it, and realized that if I were to drill it out, It would be a very narrow piece, and might not work for the handle material I have planned ( the wider end of that hammer handle in the first pic ) so I decided I should probably just hot fit it to the knife, so I clamped the knife into the vice, and heated the guard up, as I was punching it I realized I still have some work to do on the tang and ricasso area, and hot fitting it now would ensure that it was a loose fit come time to put it all together, so I just slit it and left it as is for the moment, going to get the grinding and whatnot done on the knife today and tomorrow so I can harden it this weekend and start on the rest of it.

 

Still have to figure out what I am going to do for the rest of the handle, I want to do a spacer in the handle, but I didnt have enough billet to do more then just the guard. and ill be cutting it VERY close on even having enough for that.

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Got the blade profiled and ground up, now on to hand sanding, I am going to try and get it nearly perfect, but the other side has a couple deep dings in it that might end up having to stay in.

 

Choppa.jpg

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since I have had my kids for the last 3 weekends in a row, I have not had much time to work on this in the shop, but today I was able to get some serious sanding done thanks to my wonderful girlfriend watching my kids while they played outside in the sprinklers.

 

20160605_200325.jpg

 

20160605_200337.jpg

 

20160605_200358.jpg

 

20160605_200403.jpg

 

Tomorrow, I am going to hot fit the guard to the tang, I am hoping it goes well, as well as I will be hardening the blade tomorrow as well, Its a bit thin so I am VERY much hoping for no warps in the blade. but its not the thinnest thing I have ever hardened so we will see how it goes. did a quick vinegar etch on the guard piece to see if there would be a pattern, its very faint, but there is actually some differences in the coloration. I am going to round out both of the longer pieces so hopefully there is some decent patterning going on even though its just flat patterning,

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GAH!!!!!!

I hardened and tempered this, then started the process of hand sanding it.

thats when I came across the crack in the spine, that goes ALL the way and about 1/2 inch down into the blade.....

I THINK I might have a decent back up plan however, I have an old OLD Truck Wrench ( basically a 2 inch socket with a pry bar component ) Which might work out well as a blade, the round section is easily an inch in diameter, I am going to harden and file test a chunk of it today, if it works out, I can start over with it, Otherwise I wont have the funds to start a new one from a prybar till after the deadline, which will SUCK!!!!

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Aww, that blows!

 

Where is the crack? Maybe you can grind a bottle opener into the spine :)

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Its pretty close to the Ricasso area, perhaps 1.5 - 2 inches into the spine......

I had not thought of such an idea, Honestly that JUST might work.....

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Brian......

YOU ARE A GENIUS!!!!!!


20160614_145225.jpg

 

I will need to do a bit more cleanup sanding on it, but I think your suggestion worked, the cracks were close enough, and only went about 1/2 inch into the spine, I am on my way right now to buy a bottle of beer so I can both test the opener and tip a brew in your direction for such an awesome fix.

 

I thank you good man!

 

 

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It will definitly weaken the integrity of the knife, but that's awesome! :D I need to get me one of those....

Edited by Timothy Artymko

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Ha! I love it. Now we just need to get one of the mods to delete that last couple of posts so that nobody knows it was a fix rather than a design feature.

 

I teach 4-H rifle tonight. After keeping track of 20 kids with rifles, I'll be joining you in that beer. Cheers!

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Yeah, that is my biggest concern with it as well, especially with how close it is to the ricasso/guard area,

 

I am actually considering drawing the spine back now due to that, leave perhaps about 1/2 inch of the edge area hard and have the rest of the spine be soft. but I am not sure that would make matters worse or better.

Or perhaps just draw it soft the the lowest level of the bottle opener surface, leaving the rest of the blade below its lowest point hard.

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I am glad that I decided to be abusive to this knife before I spent the time to finish it up and send it out.

I broke it....

and by broke it, I mean the blade snapped so easily my 5 year old daughter could have done it.

 

I sanded the initial side first, where I first noticed the cracks, the cracks were non existent on that side after grinding the bottle opener into this blade. Got it up to 500G and then flipped it over, started sanding the other side, and thats when I noticed the one line that would not go away.

after about an hour of sanding at 220, and most all of the other lines being gone, I realized that the line was a crack, and not a deep scratch, so I clamped it into the vice, grabbed it with my left hand, and just to get a measure of it, pushed on it,

And it snapped like a dead twig.

 

Here is the grain structure from the first break, it broke clean on the crack, so on one side it did not go all the way through, but on the other side it appears the crack went all the way to core and all the way to the edge.

20160614_195935.jpg

I suspect the discoloration in the grain seen there, is due to the wd-40 I was using as a sanding medium.

So I broke it a bit more, This time I had to give it a few good whacks with the 1lb hammer to get it to break, and I know I lost a piece of it in the resulting flying steel, but the grain structure was much better in the next break. ( going towards the tip )

20160614_200526.jpg

Here is the grain shot of the tip, basically the first Inch of the knife, Cant say I will complain about the grain structure on this one, pretty decent for a home brew forge with no temp control and the thinnest section of the blade.

 

20160614_200851.jpg

 

From what I can see, it would appear that the closer to the handle section I get, my grain appears to increase in size, so I would guess my normalization cycles did not do enough grain refinement at the thicker sections of the knife, but worked well at the thinner sections.








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Aww, that's too bad. I was looking forward to seeing this one finished, but at least you got some useful data out of it.

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Oooph. Damn shame. I agree though, at least you learned something. One of the traits of a good bladesmith is that they aren't intimidated by failure.

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well, if things go my way, I should be getting enough Charcoal to try again this weekend.

I have a couple odd things to try, but I think I am going to give a san mai blade a try.

I have a large old square file that I am going to grind the teeth off of, and stack with some more Miter blade pieces and forge weld up, and an OLD old Truck Wrench ( probably circa WWII ) that I can use to make a jacket, No idea what the steel is for the truck wrench, But the file is for sure decent. so we will see. Will depend on a few things including my newb forge welding skills.

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Ok, So here is what I have to work with for Round 2.

 

The rest of the pieces of the files from the guard, more of the Miter saw blade, and a couple large chunks of the big square file.

I had forgotten that I had a 4 inch piece of the wonderbar left. So I Have a new plan, which will likely fail but I wont know till I try.

20160620_125404.jpg

The two stacks on the left of the pic, are going to be forge welded out at the current layer count. and then sandwiched on the piece of wonder bar I have left, for a " Damascus san mai " type build.

The stack at the top, is going to be forgewelded and drawn out and folded over drawn out into a 4 inch square bar, and then twisted.

Then I am going to forge weld the twisted bar onto the spine of the sandwich. then forge the knife from the resulting monstrosity.

if this does not work, I will unfortunately will have to bow out of the KITH this year. but with my recent successes with forge welding, I would have to say I at least have a shot at pulling it off. and IF I do, I will be quite happy with myself.

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Good luck. There are some recent posts on the board about 5160 not being the easiest thing to weld because of it's chromium content.

 

Edit: Ok, that actually sounds condescending after I read it, but that was not my intent. the good luck is heartfelt, and the cautionary piece was supposed to be helpful...

Edited by Brian Dougherty

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Yeah, I have heard the same as well, from my understanding ( which is not in any way experienced ) 5160 does not like to weld to itself. but other steels its not as big a deal, If I had more miter saw blade I would use a piece for a shim between the layers, but I dont, although I do have an old circular saw blade i could cut to use, so I might do that.

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Got er done bubba! We are rootin fer ya!

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so either the last two successes in forge welding were a fluke, or I screwed up.

I think the pieces were not hot enough, but I was unable to get any of the three billets to weld, it was pretty bright outside so I guess my problem was not letting them get hot enough.

As such, I have decided to " Cheat " as I do not wish to bow out. However I did decide to go with the whole spirit of the reuse something Ideal. So I grabbed a chunk of leaf spring, and forged a blade out of that. Still needs quite a bit of hot work before its ready for the grinder, but I should be able to get the hot work done today, and have it ready for the grinder this week.

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