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Cable Hunter & Longhunter's Knife.


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This blade was forged from the same 1 1/4" x 12" cable as the last 2 knives posted. It measures 9 3/8" overall, and has a 5 1/4" blade. The handle slabs are giraffe bone with combination brass/copper pins. The sheath is my usual 8 oz veg. tanned cowhide.

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Love the knife and sheath! 

So I got a question or two. I have never tried to forge cable and I have to differing views to this question! How hard is it to forge cable? I have been told it easier to do on a power hammer and with hammer in hand there is a learning curve!!

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Thanks! I am pretty new to forge welding. I've done a few low layer blades and as far as the welding goes I thought the cable was easier, and I had fewer weld voids with the cable. I was expecting more voids which is why I chose to weld up the whole piece in one shot instead of cutting it and doing smaller pieces. I don't have a power hammer up and running yet, and this was all done with a coal forge.

This was a lot of hammering but from one 1 1/4" x 12" cable I made two 9"+ full tang knives and one 12" blade with a through tang. It hardened up well and threw wicked sparks on the sander. To me it's hard to beat a good 1084 or 1095 blade, but so far I'm impressed with the cable.

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I was told to avoid rusty cable- mine was rust free. I was also told the oils will all cook out of it. Well, to avoid filling my fresh coal fire with oil and all. I heated the cable with a torch just to clean it up. Then went to the forge, heated, untwisted, and fluxed. Back to the forge and back to the vice tightened twist back up beyond where it was originally. More heating, FLUXING, and did 3 full length weld passes (probably only 4" at a time due to coal forging). Once I had a billet I cleaned it all up and etched it to see what I had or didn't have. All was well so I started hammering the blades out.

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Thanks for the info MacCrea. Now that you mention it, I think the rusty part may have been what some one told is a nasty thing to weld!!

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I'd like to make a couple cable knives- figured it would be fitting as a rigging knife, and we work with cable a lot. The stuff we use has a nylon core though, where do you get your material, and do you know what kind of steel it is?

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I found mine through a guy on facebook,  but its the same as this I believe... https://www.fastenal.com/products/details/45546?r=~|categoryl1:"601922 Lifting and Rigging"|~ ~|categoryl2:"601946 Cable and Accessories"|~ ~|categoryl3:"601947 Cable 9and Wire Rope"|~ ~|sattr04:^Steel$|~ ~|sattr01:^1-1/4"$|~  

1 1/4" is plenty large. For most knives you could get away with less. Keep away from rusted stuff unless you have some kind of chemical that might remove it.

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For the record, IPS or Improved Plow Steel is 1065-1075.  Wire rope come in PS, IPS, XIPS, XXIPS, and XXXIPS, which correspond to an approximate jump of .1% carbon with each letter grade.  

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14 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

For the record, IPS or Improved Plow Steel is 1065-1075.  Wire rope come in PS, IPS, XIPS, XXIPS, and XXXIPS, which correspond to an approximate jump of .1% carbon with each letter grade.  

Looks like X or XX would be desirable for knives, know where that may be found?

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Dunno, but I have also seen it marked EIPS instead of XIPS, that may or may not help.  I've used some cable over the years, but not enough to try and find a source. 

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This is the 3rd cable knife from the same 1 1/4 x 12" piece of cable. It measures 16 3/4" overall with a 12 1/4" blade, and 1/8" at the thickest portion of the spine. The guard, pommel, and scabbard band where formed from mild steel. The belt clip 1095, and the pins are a copper tube with a solid brass center. Leather is an 8 ounce vegetable tan. IMG_20170902_103623852.jpgIMG_20170902_103635845.jpgIMG_20170902_103718805.jpgIMG_20170902_103737604.jpg

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In the 18th century longhunters where market hunters that would supply meat and hides to towns, cities , and forts. Many where known to spend time in Indian territory and would carry knives such as this. Unlikely a cable blade though.

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Whether they would have carried cable or not is mute but any of those knives would look right at home in that setting. Very nicely done.

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First post in 10 years.... almost seems surreal to me considering I have been here since 2003.  But I'm trying to become more sociable ;).

@Doug Crawford -- The last time I bought cable was from Ellis Custom Knifeworks, which has unfortunately since gone 'the way'.  I'm fairly certain the business itself was bought out by High Temperature Tools (http://www.hightemptools.com/wirerope.html).  Assuming they work through the same suppliers, I can confirm that these sections do not need any special treatment -- i.e. there are no non-steel strands/cores.  The shot below include my last remaining two feet of material and a pair of blades I haven't gotten around to finishing.  This would be Extra-Improved (1085).  Takes a killer edge.  The bottom blade is my recreation of an early 20th century Remington hunting knife that I can't seem to find references to anymore, recreated by Daniel Winkler some time in the early 2000's (please reply if you do know it).  The top is a bowie/camp I'm supposed to make in trade for a gorgeous shin gunto with a sad history, that my Navy friend doesn't like in his house now that he has children (because of its history, not because it is a sword).  The lower blade was etched at one point to check the pattern, which is barely visible by now if you zoom in.

QhpC1b-ALbGIfelLFTVfx7jrSn2utEfddylvMaV0

XeuV37ohhd6GAYzUQij2XMsMt1WqhVg5fpAldmGW

 

Cheers!

 

Edited by AdamRidlon
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Thanks!

Always liked the crackled look of giraffe bone. Never had any to work with, but found some at Jantz to use on that one. Hard and dense stuff really despite the crackled look and the quick growth rate.   Nice blades you've got there! I've seen a lot of Winkler blades, most years ago. Any recent ones where smaller fixed blades or folders.

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