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Eric Morgan

Nessmuk-ish skinner

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Had some forge time today, and knocked this little guy out. Still have a long way to go as far as cleaning things up, but it's heat treated and tempered. Forged from a ball bearing race. 

 

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Nice little blade! I will try 52100 soon too. I am wondering why didn't you drill the handle before the quench? 

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For the record, bearing races are often not 52100.  Roller bearings usually are.  The races are often case-hardened 4140 or similar.

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Eric, I think that I would have made life a little easier on myself, just in case the race was from something like 52100, and cleaned it up before heat treating.  That way the steel would still be nearly as soft as possible.  You can still clean it up but it might take you another belt or two and more time.

Joel, you can drill your holes before or after heat treating.  One thing that you can do is not to harden the tang when you harden the blade.  What I do is to use spade tipped carbide bits to drill the holes in the hardened tang and then use a carbide bur to enlarge the holes slightly if needed.

Doug.  

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Good to know, Alan and Doug! This forum is such a nice source of knowledge.

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Joel, I didn't drill the holes first as I did a differential heat treat, and only the edge is hard.

 

Doug, I did get a little ahead of myself since this is the first forge time I've had in about a year, but I really should make myself slow down lol. 

 

Alan, I agree with you about bearing races. I get these races from work, and the knives I've made from them are very strong. I've hammered them through stainless tig wire as well as 3/8" brass rod with no edge deformation or rolling. I'm not positive the steel is 52100, but it sure seems like it. It doesn't like moving quite so easily as some of the lower alloy steels I've fooled around with.

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Finally got this guy finished up. Still a lot of things I could’ve done better, and hopefully I’ll use that knowledge on the next blade I make. 

 

Ended up using brass pins and black walnut for the handle. Blade was etched in cider vinegar

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I like it. I made a friend a blade almost identical to that out of 80CrV2, and he swears it is the best deer skinning/cleaning knife he has ever owned.

 

The quality of heat treatment we can do on carbon steel blows away what most people are used to with factory stainless.

 

I do really think that is a great blade shape. The original Nessmuk was a little pointier, I think. I have a copy of Woodcraft and Camping somewhere (on my computer). I may try to find it.Hatchet and Knives

 

 

Edited by Kevin (The Professor)
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You’re right about the nessmuk being pointier. I haven’t got to try this out on a deer (yet), but it is quite sharp and seems like it will be a great skinning knife. 

 

I need to work a lot on my fit and finish, and getting my bevels even and crisper? More defined I guess is what I’m trying to say. I do think one of my handicaps is using a 1x30 grinder. I’m currently building a 2x72 so hopefully that won’t be an excuse much longer 

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a better grinder does help because it cuts better. People tell you to not blame your tools if things don't come out right. But, your tools do shape (literally) the final product. A good grinder makes a big difference. It did for me, when I switched to a grizzly, and then again when I switched to Uncle Al's. Variable speed is worth it, but it means that you need a lot more horsepower. The vfd seems to take a good bit of power away,

I wasn't criticizing your work at all with the picture from Woodcraft. I was just putting it there for reference. The shape of blade you made is a great one.

You can make your bevels much more crisp and flat with good files, too. Plus, learning to file is probably the most important thing you can do in terms of working metal and wood.

 

 

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I didn’t mean to imply that you were criticizing me, it was mostly me calling myself out on what I perceive (especially when viewing the caliber of work so often presented on this forum) as shortcomings in my work.

 

No offense taken at all, but feel free to criticize constructively any time.

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So I finally got to put this guy into service the other day on a 5-pointer I harvested with my muzzleloader. After gutting, skinning, and quartering the buck, the knife was still sharp enough to take hairs from my arm. Not quite as easily as before I started, but it certainly retained a much better edge than any box-store knife I’ve ever used. 

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And it was back to a ‘new’ edge after a couple strokes on a whetstone and stropping on a belt. I’m very pleased so far, and can’t wait to put it to use again.

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Congrats and good job on the knife. 

Satisfying to use a knife you made on a deer you brought down;)

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