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Stock removal with hand tools


Joël Mercier

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After sanding the first bevel, I can tell it's been hardened properly this time. Now that both sides are done, bevel is only 0.020" thick at the edge. Much better geometry! 

Now I got another question. I will be using ferric chloride to etch the primary bevel to add color contrast. It says 43° on the bottle. I know this etchant comes in different concentrations. How much dilution would be required at this concentration?

Edited by Joël Mercier
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It is harder than it seems. In fact, it tells me exactly where my sanding was bad haha. 

I like this patina, however this isn't the clean look I was looking for. My idea was to etch the bevel and polish the peaked spine. 

I may need more contrast so will longer soak times make darker finish?

P_20170925_210544.jpg

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On 9/14/2017 at 6:02 PM, Jon Cook said:

I've had the best luck thinning down by using an edm stone. I clamped the blade down and used the stone like a sanding block. Yes, it takes forever, especially when you think you're done, then you shift the light and find a low spot you missed. But, when you don't have power tools, it does the trick.

Jon, believe it or not making one with hand tools does do a lot of things. It will make you appreciate power tools when you finally get to that point. Also learn from this time. You are discovering valuable lessons that down the road will give insight into the entire package of knife making! Or as they said in the movies, "not yet Grasshopper! 

C Craft Customs ~~~ With every custom knife I build I try to accomplish three things. I want that knife to look so good you just have to pick it up, feel so good in your hand you can't wait to try it, and once you use it, you never want to put it down ! If I capture those three factors in each knife I build, I am assured the knife will become a piece that is used and treasured by its owner! ~~~ C Craft

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2 hours ago, Joël Mercier said:

It is harder than it seems. In fact, it tells me exactly where my sanding was bad haha. 

I like this patina, however this isn't the clean look I was looking for. My idea was to etch the bevel and polish the peaked spine. 

I may need more contrast so will longer soak times make darker finish?

 

Oh ya, etching will not hide a thing, but will certainly highlight where you went wrong.  Your polish has better be on point, or it will show.

And I hate to say it, but getting a completely uniform finish with an etch in Ferric is just not in the books.  There will always be slight variations.  i would encourage you to look at the "I want to see your Hamon" thread.  Even the blades that look uniform in there, I would say have small variations in the etch.  If you want uniformity, then a blade coating is what you want.  

Yes, the more soaks you do, the darker it will become.  

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“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer."  -Albert Camus

http://www.krakenforge.net/

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That's interesting that the tip and spine aren't etching as dark as the rear of the blade.  There will always be variation, as Wes said, though.  If you want uniformity on this one you might think about cold gun blue.  It will not respond to minor variations in structure nearly as much as etching. 

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@C Craft I think of this stage as failing in slow motion. It's less likely for me to destroy everything when I'm dealing with dozens of feet per minute, and fractions of a horsepower. I.e. the pressure I can put on a file or sanding block.

Knowledge is picking the right tool for the job. Wisdom is considering your skill level during the selection process. 

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3 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

That's interesting that the tip and spine aren't etching as dark as the rear of the blade.  There will always be variation, as Wes said, though.  If you want uniformity on this one you might think about cold gun blue.  It will not respond to minor variations in structure nearly as much as etching. 

Cold blue seems like a good option. Do you think I could apply it on an etched surface? My common sense tells me it would make a more durable finish to apply blue on a porous surface like an etched blade but I may be wrong(that wouldn't be the first time!).

Edited by Joël Mercier
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I have been experimenting with G96 cold blue creme last evening. I used 000 wool between each application. It sorta made a polished finish with a few clouded areas. I an not entirely satisfied. Will try to remove less blue between applications. 

P_20170927_114945.jpg

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000 steel wool is still pretty aggressive for a final polish.  I don't even use 0000 for polishing between etches because I think it is too aggressive.  (I'm assuming the Canadian numbers are the same as the ones south of the border :) )

I like to use Mothers wheel polish between etches, or 2500 grit paper. (Or both)

-Brian

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4 minutes ago, Shmuel said:

I must say that this thread is very inspiring. Also a little intimidating :blink: I won't be posting pictures of my first five blades at least.

Thank you very much! I try, from time to time, to remind myself that the journey is more important than the destination. I must say I am getting a little impatient to get this done though. Cutting corners is increasingly tempting but I shall resist! Haha.

Do show us your work! Poeple here make very helpful comments as you can see on this thread. 

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3 minutes ago, Brian Dougherty said:

000 steel wool is still pretty aggressive for a final polish.  I don't even use 0000 for polishing between etches because I think it is too aggressive.  (I'm assuming the Canadian numbers are the same as the ones south of the border :) )

I like to use Mothers wheel polish between etches, or 2500 grit paper. (Or both)

Thanks for the advice, this will save me a lot of work, haha. 

I've got bars of compound for buffing wheels. Do you think those would work if used by hand with a piece of cloth?

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4 minutes ago, Joël Mercier said:

Thanks for the advice, this will save me a lot of work, haha. 

I've got bars of compound for buffing wheels. Do you think those would work if used by hand with a piece of cloth?

I've never tried it, but it sounds like it would work.  You'll have to clean the blade with acetone or something similar before you try to applying the cold blue cream again to get the grease from the buffing compound off the blade.   (I have to do this when I use Mother's too)

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-Brian

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If you use brake cleaner do a final wipe with acetone to get all the residue.  There won't be much, but it's there.  And not all cold blues are equal.  You may need to experiment to find the one that does what you want.  Finally, if you want an even blue you need an even surface.  

That said, I'm seriously impressed with you, sir!  B)

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

If you use brake cleaner do a final wipe with acetone to get all the residue.  There won't be much, but it's there.  And not all cold blues are equal.  You may need to experiment to find the one that does what you want.  Finally, if you want an even blue you need an even surface.  

That said, I'm seriously impressed with you, sir!  B)

You may be impressed by my work(which is very flattering) but I am surely more impressed by all the help I received by this community and this forum in particular. Thumbs up guys!

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37 minutes ago, Joël Mercier said:

That's the one I wanted to use but it was not available locally :(

Much as I hate to say it, Amazon is your friend on these things.  The stuff I use is hard to find and I don't remember the name, but it gives a good deep blue-black with no streaking if applied to warm steel.  I think I mentioned it in the "Forging a hawk my way" pinned thread in the hot work subforum, but if you can't find it remind me to go out and look tomorrow.  It's not Birchwood-Casey.  That I found to be a little streak-prone for my taste, or at least for the way I applied it.

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