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Vern Wimmer

So, you want to make a knife. OR,

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Alright ill do that.

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If you do cut a propane tank make sure the valve is off of it so any pressure from expanding gasses has a large enough hole to escape. In order to get the valve off i take a leather belt and wrap it around the body of the tank so when you turn the valve out the belt tightens around the tank and gives you something to hang onto. It is usually a 2 man job.

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Burnt r134-a from refrigerant tanks is extremely toxic. I suggest you proceed the same way as for propane tanks. 

Edited by Joël Mercier

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Satanite is not toxic, but don't breathe the dust anyway.  

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So if I get a new propane tank does it have anything it it? Or can I start cutting into it right away?

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Okay good! Thanks.

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7 minutes ago, Conner Michaux said:

Okay good! Thanks.

Just make sure it's not pre-filled. Ask the vendor to be sure.

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Alright.

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If you are going to buy a new tank anyway, you may want to go with a compressed air tank.  Harbor Freight sells them in 5 gallon and 11 gallon sizes.  

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On 2/13/2018 at 3:36 PM, Vern Wimmer said:

I have written with a pencil by campfire light. On a manual typewriter by Coleman lantern. 

The point of the brick, or sand tray, is precisely TO "soak up heat". Technically, they would be called "heat sinks". You use them to balace out the up-down cycles of the oven, as ovens, theoretically "average" the desired temp going from plus 20 degrees to minus 20 degrees (or so) . A heat sink levels that out for the object placed on in or near it.

 

This may be a dumb question but do you put the knife in the sand or on top of the sand?

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Just lay it on top

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On 2/14/2018 at 1:21 PM, Jeremy Blohm said:

I have cut many propane tanks and have never had an issue. Just dont cut it with a cutting torch like alan said. I would go to your local mechanics shop amd see if they have a freon bottle laying around. That is your best bet and your not spending $30 on a new tank justbto cut it open.

Cutting propane tanks is fine even I know this.  Just make sure they are either A brand spanking new and empty, or B they are completely empty of gas and well cleaned before you even begin to cut.

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On 2/15/2018 at 12:19 PM, Jerrod Miller said:

If you are going to buy a new tank anyway, you may want to go with a compressed air tank.  Harbor Freight sells them in 5 gallon and 11 gallon sizes.  

I personally would agree with this.  You get a larger forge, it is already designed to lay down and has the feet for it, and there is zero chance of any gas ever being in it.  

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larger forge is actually not ideal for beginners. The more volume inside that tank, the more heat needed to get up to forging/welding temps, and the more fuel you'll go through. And those bigger tanks require a minimum of two burners, whereas the 20lb propane cylinders can get up to a good heat with just one burner. Pros and Cons for both - just sayin.

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I stand corrected.  Still in the early stages myself and if I had it to do again I'd build instead of buy.  

   Improper research and jumping in can cost more than patience.

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1 hour ago, Ben Hoover said:

I stand corrected.  Still in the early stages myself and if I had it to do again I'd build instead of buy.  

   Improper research and jumping in can cost more than patience.

Don't worry about the difference in the tank size too much. 2" of insulating blanket will suck up a lot of the interior dimension. When you compare the HF 5 gallon with 2" of blanket vs propane tank with 1" it will be practically a wash.

If you are using a blown burner one burner should be just fine. One of the high speed T-rex or Chile forge burners should work well for an aspirated as well. A Freon tank or NEW, unused propane tank is more compact if you want to mess with them of course but I think we are evolving past the used propane tank, and it's problems.

A lot of things COULD be used but for simplicity and availability the HF tank is hard to beat.

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Great read - I thought I was almost at the end but was barely halfway. I will of course read to the end when I have more time to spare.

Quote

It only takes one learning experience to prove the value of buying new steel. Even when everything has gone right using mystery steels, I have lost track of the number of people who have said "....but it was sooo much easier the first time I used new steel."

But where's the fun in that...!? ;)

To be fair, I finally broke down yesterday and laid out cash for some 1084 but it did feel like I was cheating. I've only just started turning my hand to blades and so far, everything I've made (blade or otherwise) had been fabricated from the pile of junk in my yard. In addition, I wanted to get to grips with the multiple processes involved - forging, grinding and heat treating blades - using junk steel before I splashed the cash.

They say there's no harder lessons that the ones you learn for yourself. And there's no greater motivator than when someone tells me that I can't do something... even if they turn out to be correct.

Edited by MickM

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To be honest most everyone starts that way but at the time I wrote that the Forum was experiencing a burst of folks who were going through some pretty contrived machinations to get their hands on usable "junk" steel of mystery composition. I think it fair to say that some spent a lot more money and a whole lot more time trying to find suitable material than the time and money it would have taken to sit down, check out New Jersey Steel Baron (Aldo) or Alpha and place an order. All to make their first knife. There is much to learn and not a lot to be learned from driving distances to paw through a junkyard. If one has access easily to, say, drops from a spring shop or known coils from a junkyard very cheap then it's great but three gallons of gas (at that time) $15 in scrap and 4 hrs time and it was approaching the cost of a bar of 1084 or 80CrV2 and you still had the time put into turning the scrap into a usable shape. That adds to the cost of forge fuel as well. I wouldn't trade what I learned, before the internet, pounding scrap but I did learn that there were easier ways to go about it. Back then when I finally ordered "real" knife steel the guy on the other end of the phone told me that 1095 was a "water quenching steel" . After putting the time in making a blade I ended up with a cracked piece of junk and the only thing I learned was not to trust salesmen on the phone. The fact that people who read this whole thread are reading it on the best and most informative Forum on the internet proves that they have good taste and can profit from the experience and advice shared. So if you have suitable scrap steel at hand use it but if not weigh the upsides and downsides of committing to using scrap vs new.

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I hear ya...

Quote

check out New Jersey Steel Baron (Aldo) or Alpha and place an order

I ordered a few pieces from Alpha yesterday. I did see NJSB in the Google search but for some unfathomable reason, I didn't check it out... until now. Good selection and options! Am I missing something with the color-coded boxes?

Edited by MickM

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I think that is just the color code that will be on the end of the bar when you receive it.

Yah, you can learn a bit from just reading the descriptions in Aldos site. Double check in the Forum "metalurgy" section.

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I am in awe. My first forge shows up in less than a week and I didn't realize how much more homework I had until I read this. yesterday I stumbled across another thread addressing mystery steels and the hazards they may represent. as such my scrap steel box has been lightened by about a dozen ratchets and several sockets. I am putting the link here so other new or aspiring smiths may get the same warning.

 

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Great and informative post, and all done on a cell phone... you're one miracle away from being nominated for Sainthood, Vern.

   Only question I simply must ask of the knife gurus on here (yeah, I am considering trying to make one finally)... 1080, 1084 and 80crv10 are supposedly all the same? Or am I being seriously mislead, when using a canola quench?

   If one of you were teaching and it was the first ever blade... what would you recommend if I may ask?

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Posted (edited)

Ive not seen Vern for a while so I'll try to answer the question in his stead. 1080 and 1084 are basically the same, though I believe Aldo's 1084 steel may be of better purity than the average 1080. In 80CrV2, 80 stands for 0.8%carbon(similar to 1080), Cr for Chromium added(a small amount to improve toughness) and V2 for around 0.2% Vanadium. So this steel has some add-ons over 1084 that are beneficial to toughness and grain refinement(both are interlinked to an extent). I'm sure Jerrod will chime in if I'm full of shiz :lol:

Edited by Joël Mercier
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