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Zeb Camper

How bout another bowie WIP?

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This one is for no one in particular. The rest of the design is yet to be decided. Any and all input welcome. This is one of a possible batch of 3. One will be tactical-ish (going to an ex marine), the other maybe more classic western (Might even go for a straight profile instead of a recurve), and this one is unknown, but I think it should be a different style than the others. 

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Might as well add this second blade to the WIP. I forgot the other blade at home, so I couldn't work on it. I didn't take pictures of it's forging process, but I forged It out, ground it and heat treated it earlier. Which is good progress since I started so late. It seems it may have a very cloudy hamon with some utsuri over it. I think my clay was a tad thick. My hamon is very low. This blade is somewhere in the 10" relm, but the tang is really long so the blade looks short in photos. I used soapstone to kind of draw the unfinished bevels and highlight the hamon line. Well, here it is! 

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Nice work! The height of the hamon seems just fine to me. That's exactly what I would be aiming for.

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Thanks Joel! But you can see where it gets about 1/4" from the edge in one spot. I found a warp earlier probably had it before heat treatment and didn't notice it. I think I'm gonna fix the warp and try again on the hamon. 

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Is there a chance the edge did not fully harden at that specific place or it's just an easthetic issue?

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For my particular curious streak I'd like to know if there is much of a disparity in the hamon from one side of the blade to the other in the area of the warp?

 

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The hamon line is about the same height on either side. It has sort of a cork screw warp which i suspect was just left in there after forging and I just didn't notice it. I'll get it red hot and throw it in the vise and twist it with a wrench. 

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Thanks. I thought for a moment I'd found a new mistake to perfect.

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I got utsuri... Again! I straightened my corkscrew warp out and did another heat treatment. i wanted some rolling hills in the hamon, but my clay started to peel up resulting in a lack of much hilly action. However, I got tons of utsuri out towards the tip. Utsuri etches dark grey above the black hamon. Now, utsuri being something I just discovered like a month ago, I have to wonder if this is due to a recent change in technique, steel, or perhaps my brand of clay I switched to. I have only gotten it with Aldo's 1075. Perhaps a porous clay could result in the half hard/ half soft steel that is the utsuri? Here's a pic of the blade sanded to 80 grit and etched for a short time in ferric. You can see a small amount of utsuri the whole length of the hamon above the ashi, but it has about 3/4" of it at the tip. Anyone have a recipe for this phenomenon?

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Figured I would do a mass bowie WIP. I'll just post all my bowies here to tidy up my sparatic posting habits. I'm bound to trigger someones OCD, because I figure I'll include my new "fantasy" (<--hate that word) sword build too.

I have never fully assembled a sword yet. Those of you who remember my katana WIP, I deamed it unworthy to finish. I didn't like the habaki, nakago length, and my ridges weren't sharp enough, so I abandoned ship. I'll be back for it someday, but not till I get some more expierience. 

So, here they are. All exept for the original I posted, it still looks the same lol. I'm hoping to get more done on these in the next months to come, hope you guys enjoy :D

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Nice! It is tickling the little urge in the back of my head to try a Schively style "Bowie" with hamon. A lot of things ahead of it though. If I did a WIP it might take forever. I wonder how it would look a little "plainer" than the original for expediency.......? Hmmm.

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6 minutes ago, Vern Wimmer said:

Nice! It is tickling the little urge in the back of my head to try a Schively style "Bowie" with hamon. A lot of things ahead of it though. If I did a WIP it might take forever. I wonder how it would look a little "plainer" than the original for expediency.......? Hmmm.

I think It'd be perty cool. The schively bowie... I think ol' Garry made a pretty BA pattern welded one like that. Didn't have a hamon, but it was a seriouse piece of art. It does look a bit tricky to make, but that's part of the fun! And noone will judge you if you dumb it down some. My knives are hardly even bowies. Hardly even knives compaired to some people's work on here. I just call em' that because it sticks better than "recurve fighter". 

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Hamon is created by a combination of factors coming together at one point.
Clay layout, Time, Temp, Geometry and speed of quench.
This is why you can get an autohamon out of steel with no clay but an appropriate temp and quench medium.
If you want specific shaped hamon you need the proper steel, proper layout and for sure the correct speed of quench.
A hamon .25" from the inch is not a problem.

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49 minutes ago, JJ Simon said:

Hamon is created by a combination of factors coming together at one point.
Clay layout, Time, Temp, Geometry and speed of quench.
This is why you can get an autohamon out of steel with no clay but an appropriate temp and quench medium.
If you want specific shaped hamon you need the proper steel, proper layout and for sure the correct speed of quench.
A hamon .25" from the inch is not a problem.

Thanks JJ. The main problem i had was the warp. I may have kept it, but I had to fix the warp. I also just didn't care for the look of it. On both attempts my clay began to peel up, so my ashi layer was pretty well wrecked. I still got some utsuri this time though which is why I kept it sloppy. Most of my hamons aren't that sloppy. My issue was oil on the blade before I clayed it. I go for nice even rolling hills most of the time. I would like to think I know what I'm doing most of the time. I am a beginner though, so I haven't done all that many and I appreciate the advice. 

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What are you using for clay?
When you have a hamon the only portion that is truly hardened is below the hamon.
Japanese swords warp all the time in cutting. Both bends and twists.
They are straightened with a set of hand held wooden jigs that allow a person to either counter twist them or bend them side to side.
I would guess that if you had a twist you could have probably taken it out with a vise and a twisting wrench without cracking the blade.
The blade in the first pic an the blade in the pic where you say you got Utsuri both have ashi.
Just not a lot of roll to the habuchi, the line.
The hamon is everything. Its the whole thing not just the line.

 

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Check this link out. 

 

I got utsuri in this one, and when I etched it it had the same dark grey above the whiteish habuchi which is why I suspect I got it again.  

my clay application is some cheap refractory cement in a caulking tube. I squirt it on the top 1/3rd of the blade 1/8" thick, sharpie lines for my ashi streaks to go, then pop it in the forge until decalescence, then quench in hot canola. 

Edited by Zeb Camper

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25 minutes ago, JJ Simon said:

What are you using for clay?
When you have a hamon the only portion that is truly hardened is below the hamon.
Japanese swords warp all the time in cutting. Both bends and twists.
They are straightened with a set of hand held wooden jigs that allow a person to either counter twist them or bend them side to side.
I would guess that if you had a twist you could have probably taken it out with a vise and a twisting wrench without cracking the blade.
The blade in the first pic an the blade in the pic where you say you got Utsuri both have ashi.
Just not a lot of roll to the habuchi, the line.
The hamon is everything. Its the whole thing not just the line.

 

I meant to use this quote in the previouse reply. I need to look into those wooden tools. 

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Hey, Zeb! There ain't no such thing as an "ex" Marine. 

You can always tell a Marine.

 

 

Not very damn much, .......but you can always tell 'em.

 

(Not a former Marine, just taught better by some)

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Yeah, he educated me of that real quick! 

JJ, here's the utsuri pictures from that thread I spoke of incase you didn't wanna read through it all. 

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Yep you got Utsuri and also ashi.
If you buy some Parks 50 you will probably get more of the activity that you want.
And The trick with refractory cement is to add a little water to get it to the consistency of creamy peanut butter.
You can make it the consistency of clay you see in japanese sword smithing videos.
Then apply it and heat treat it.
You can even heat treat it without drying it though it does puff up.

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3 hours ago, JJ Simon said:

Yep you got Utsuri and also ashi.
If you buy some Parks 50 you will probably get more of the activity that you want.
And The trick with refractory cement is to add a little water to get it to the consistency of creamy peanut butter.
You can make it the consistency of clay you see in japanese sword smithing videos.
Then apply it and heat treat it.
You can even heat treat it without drying it though it does puff up.

Thanks JJ! Parks #50 is pretty expensive though, I'll buy some someday I'm sure, but I wanna buy some more equiptment first. I need a welding forge, and a better grinder for sure. I might be able to make the forge, but the grinder I'm not so sure. 

The clay I use now, do you think I would have better adhesion to the steel if I thinned it, or better activity?

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Thinned clay is more workable and I think sticks better.
If you want to do pattern weld you will need appropriate quench medium.
Parks isn't that expensive when you think about how long it lasts.
At least a decade.
And what you get from it. Which is less problems, less cracks, full hardening. So less head aches.

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Thanks again JJ.

Just one more question if I may: why can't you quence a Pweld blade in canola? Just not deep hardening enough? 

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For pattern-welding you quench for best results with the steels you used.  For 1095/15n20 , or other blends like W1, W2, low-Mn 1075, Parks 50 is good.  Note these are the shallow-hardening steels it was designed for.  If you're using 1084/15n20 or O1/L6, Parks 50 is too fast.  15n20 is a nice steel to have.  It will harden in almost anything.  1095 will certainly harden in hot canola, you just have to get it there fast.

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Thanks Alan.
He said it better than I could have.
I will say that I quench 1075-15n20 mix in 11 second oil but I don't interrupt and it hardens quite well.
I just hardened 1084 in 11 second oil also.

 

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