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wendal

Steel and sanding question

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I was reading on here that 1084 is great for beginners.

I also see a lot of people use 1080.

So as a beginner which do I buy?

Also when sanding the grind marks out of the blade by hand I see guys put some liquid on the blade before/during sanding.

What is it?  Is it worth it?

thanks

 

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1080 and 1084 (As well as 80CrV2) are very similar in carbon content and it heat treating. The difference between 1080 and 1084 is pretty much down to availability from the supplier who has the right size in stock at the cheapest price with the cheapest shipping.

A liquid is a great assistant in hand sanding and everyone has a favorite. I got an old can of "polishing oil" intended for French polishing certain wood furniture finishes, in a box of tools at an auction.  Worked great. In reality people get good results from cheap Windex knock offs, real Windex WD-40, mineral oil and on and on. IMO the important thing is that the liquid is thin enough that the sand paper can make full contact with the steel and not float on a layer of the lube. The liquid forms a slurry from the particles of the abrasive and the steel which creates a more even finish, faster, than dry sanding. 

Edited by Vern Wimmer

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Whether you order 1080 or 1084, the chances are really good that you will end up with 1080 regardless. So order whichever one suits your wallet better. I use orange degreaser for a hand sanding lube. Simple Green works really well too. The reason I choose those is because they are by far the most effective for the investment. I buy the gallon jugs and the spray bottles at the local home improvement palace. 

2 hours ago, wendal said:

What is it?  Is it worth it?

It is a lubricant that keeps the sand paper from clogging. It lifts the grit away and lengthens the usable time for a given piece of abrasive. It also makes the sanding much less resistant.

Yes. It is entirely worth every penny.

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The New Jersey Steel Baron, aka Aldo Bruno, has all three of the steels that Vern mentioned.  You can go to his site and compare the composition of each.  Just be aware that the target assay might not match the actual assay but it will be close.  I believe that the 1080 that he has comes in 1" square bar and the 1084 in flat bar.  Both will produce a hamon if you want to make one and may do an auto-hamon even if you don't.  The 80CrV2 comes in flat bar.  The Chromium content will provide better hardenability at a given grain size and the Vanadium will help retard grain grown possibly making it a little more forgiving when it comes to overheating.  Anyway, with proper heat cycling, that can be corrected and any of the steels mentioned

None of them require a long soak to put the carbon into solution in the iron matrix so they're very compatible with heat treating in a forge.

Doug

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16 hours ago, wendal said:

I was reading on here that 1084 is great for beginners.

I also see a lot of people use 1080.

So as a beginner which do I buy?

Also when sanding the grind marks out of the blade by hand I see guys put some liquid on the blade before/during sanding.

What is it?  Is it worth it?

thanks

 

I am soooooo over hand sanding. If you have a belt grinder/sander try some trizac belts from tru grit.

After 36 grit I go to an a300 ,then 100 then a 45. If I want a full polish blade after that I use a random orbital with 180 then hand sand with wet or dry 200...then 400...then straight to the buffer. The 200 and 400 may take 10 min max.

This blade is 15n20...crap wrong photo...edit coming. lol

 

birdseye.jpg

b1.jpg

b2.jpg

Edited by Kreg

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Thanks guys for the reply's.

Do you oil the knife steel you have in storage?

Thanks again

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I live right on the coast. I oil my toilet paper.

  • Haha 2

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I live in the middle of the Arizona desert. I don't oil anything...…… at least not for rust protection.

Edited by Joshua States

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11 hours ago, Kreg said:

I am soooooo over hand sanding.

Not to belittle your work in any way, but as I look at the photos and the finish, I don't see what most folks around here would call a high quality job. You still have a lot of coarse grit marks in that blade. An orbital sander is OK for hiding stuff, but eventually, it peaks through again. I also see some pitting that I think should be removed. Just my personal opinion.

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Joshua brings up a point to think about. A whole lot of successful knifemakers still do a lot of hand sanding to get their finishes and most of them own belt grinders. Wonder why the get their good to great finishes by hand ?

I think of the finest level of file work and the last step on the belt grinder As "smoothing" steps, hand sanding as "finishing" and "polishing" 

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13 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Not to belittle your work in any way, but as I look at the photos and the finish, I don't see what most folks around here would call a high quality job. You still have a lot of coarse grit marks in that blade. An orbital sander is OK for hiding stuff, but eventually, it peaks through again. I also see some pitting that I think should be removed. Just my personal opinion.

I am not a big fan of polished blades......and agree its not a mirror finish.  The trizac belts are the shiz.....just ordered 3 more.

EDIT; and for the record I didnt say orbital.....random orbital. Basically and electric version of a automotive DA(DUAL ACTION) sander.

None of the marks you are seeing there are from that.....I suspect those are 220 marks.

Second edit;  Can someone help me make this my profile pic. I cant seem to figure out how to do it.

mirror.jpg

Edited by Kreg

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On 6/28/2018 at 12:39 AM, Vern Wimmer said:

Joshua brings up a point to think about. A whole lot of successful knifemakers still do a lot of hand sanding to get their finishes and most of them own belt grinders. Wonder why the get their good to great finishes by hand ?

I think of the finest level of file work and the last step on the belt grinder As "smoothing" steps, hand sanding as "finishing" and "polishing" 

I don't enjoy the hand sanding process much, but I don't see myself getting away from it.  My hand finished blades just "pop" more than ones I use the grinder on.  I've tried a number of machine finishes.  Scotch Brite comes close, but all the ones I have tried leave me feeling hollow inside when I am done because I know I could have done better.

I go up to a trizact A30 belt on the grinder, and then start the hand process with 220 redline paper.  I just got an 8" chef's knife out of the 220 stage in about an hour the other night.  That is as fast as I have ever been able to do it.  It is a 255 layer ladder pattern that I will take up to around 1000 grit before etching, but the rest of the grits will go pretty fast now that I have the machine marks out. All of my work is pattern welded, but I like a pretty high polish on the steel before etching.  I like to see my reflection in the 15N20 bands when the blade is done.

I don't know what it is, but a scratch left by my grinder at 400 grit seems much bigger than one I leave by hand at 220 grit.  However once I am to a hand sanded 220 finish, the rest of it goes pretty quickly.

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A good hand finish is more about consistency in the grind marks than anything else. It does not have to be a mirror polish, and that was not my intention when I gave @Kreg a critique. I do not look for, or try to achieve a polished blade or a mirror finish. Typically, I stop at a 400 grit.

The hand finish allows you to get even and straight lines that are uniform across the surface of the blade. For most knife sized blades, it does not have to be endless tedium either. I take my finish up to 200 grit on the 2x72, set my plunge cuts with an A45 Trizac and move to the disc sander and go from 220 to 400. This takes almost everything below 320 away. Hand sanding is from 220 or 320 to whatever I choose to end with, but usually doesn't go past 400 grit. Change directions with each grit step so you can visually see the previous lines vanish.

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On ‎6‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 7:51 AM, Brian Dougherty said:

It is a 255 layer ladder pattern that I will take up to around 1000 grit before etching,

I'm not convinced that sanding past say, 400 grit prior to acid etch shows any noticeable difference in the finish or etch on Damascus. Have you (or anyone else) a good reason for attaining such a smooth surface before etching? It seems kind of counter productive to me.

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7 minutes ago, Joshua States said:

I'm not convinced that sanding past say, 400 grit prior to acid etch shows any noticeable difference in the finish or etch on Damascus. Have you (or anyone else) a good reason for attaining such a smooth surface before etching? It seems kind of counter productive to me.

I can't provide any data for analysis, and my polishing regime is still evolving.  However, my goals for a kitchen knife are to have no topology in the blade surface, but to have nice contrast.

What has been working for me lately is to polish up to ,800 or 1000, and then do 5 to 10 minute etches with polishing the blade at 1200 in between.  After a few cycles of this, I get bright mirror like 15n20 stripes, and matte grey 1095 stripes.

Will the same thing happen at 400 grit?  Possibly, I just haven't tested it.

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On 7/1/2018 at 7:33 AM, Brian Dougherty said:

After a few cycles of this, I get bright mirror like 15n20 stripes, and matte grey 1095 stripes.

Sounds worthy of investigation.

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On 6/27/2018 at 11:49 PM, Joshua States said:

Not to belittle your work in any way, but as I look at the photos and the finish, I don't see what most folks around here would call a high quality job. You still have a lot of coarse grit marks in that blade. An orbital sander is OK for hiding stuff, but eventually, it peaks through again. I also see some pitting that I think should be removed. Just my personal opinion.

I just found the first knife I made that I had lost. Since I was just starting, I didn't really get the idea that I need to remove scale before hammering, so there is quite a bit of pitting. Since you had mentioned removing pitting, is there a way to do that without turning an already-narrow blade into exacto blade thickness?

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On ‎7‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 10:31 AM, Jack Wheet said:

I just found the first knife I made that I had lost. Since I was just starting, I didn't really get the idea that I need to remove scale before hammering, so there is quite a bit of pitting. Since you had mentioned removing pitting, is there a way to do that without turning an already-narrow blade into exacto blade thickness?

If I can quote my mentor, Tim Hancock, he would say "just make another knife".

Basically in order to remove the pitting, you have to grind the surface down to the bottom of the deepest pit, or fill the pits up with something else. Luckily enough for you, "brut de forge" is fashionable these days..

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On 7/15/2018 at 11:37 PM, Joshua States said:

If I can quote my mentor, Tim Hancock, he would say "just make another knife".

Basically in order to remove the pitting, you have to grind the surface down to the bottom of the deepest pit, or fill the pits up with something else. Luckily enough for you, "brut de forge" is fashionable these days..

I wish I could make another one at the moment. However, I'm about to head to college and am currently trying to find a smithy open to the public near campus so I can continue forging. I had made another one that had much less pitting, but unfortunately lost that one while boating... sad. I've got two leafs from a leaf spring, so hopefully I can find a smithy (and hopefully they have a power hammer, because those leafs are hard as nails). 

Luckily, I'm not too worried about a superb appearance, it was my first ever forged blade and it's not even high quality steel. For future reference though, what would you use to "fill the pits up with something else."? I've done a good amount of TIG welding, but don't have access to one of those since I graduated.

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2 hours ago, Jack Wheet said:

I wish I could make another one at the moment. However, I'm about to head to college and am currently trying to find a smithy open to the public near campus so I can continue forging. I had made another one that had much less pitting, but unfortunately lost that one while boating... sad. I've got two leafs from a leaf spring, so hopefully I can find a smithy (and hopefully they have a power hammer, because those leafs are hard as nails). 

Luckily, I'm not too worried about a superb appearance, it was my first ever forged blade and it's not even high quality steel. For future reference though, what would you use to "fill the pits up with something else."? I've done a good amount of TIG welding, but don't have access to one of those since I graduated.

I think he was joking about filling it in. When you work with old pitted metal, sometimes the really deep pits get pushed further down and don't get hammered smooth. Frequent scale removal results in a smoother forged finish. You can do this with a wire brush, or water on the anvil/hammer. Other than that, the old saying is "forge thick; grind thin". 

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If you shift your paradigm a bit it wouldn't be that difficult to do a bit of knifemaking via the stock removal method. It will still give you practice at design hand filing and finishing. I'd think about getting some appropriate bar stock, building a filing jig, grinding some profiles out ahead of time and hand working them when you have time. Put a shout out for a maker in the area of the college who might help with the heat treat and tempering. Make a friend in the college maintenance department if they have a drill press.

Meet people and make friends. You never know who might have a place They would let you set up a one brick or paint can forge with a sledge hammer head anvil.

I'm just trying to say "keep making steps and don't say you can't do something" . Learning how to do things with little equipment is not a bad thing. College is supposed to open doprs.

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Jack, may I ask where you're from? If you're comfortable with answering of course.:) You might find someone close by willing to point you in a good direction. 

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2 hours ago, Vern Wimmer said:

If you shift your paradigm a bit it wouldn't be that difficult to do a bit of knifemaking via the stock removal method. It will still give you practice at design hand filing and finishing. I'd think about getting some appropriate bar stock, building a filing jig, grinding some profiles out ahead of time and hand working them when you have time. Put a shout out for a maker in the area of the college who might help with the heat treat and tempering. Make a friend in the college maintenance department if they have a drill press.

Meet people and make friends. You never know who might have a place They would let you set up a one brick or paint can forge with a sledge hammer head anvil.

I'm just trying to say "keep making steps and don't say you can't do something" . Learning how to do things with little equipment is not a bad thing. College is supposed to open doprs.

this. everything I've ever had to do in life, which includes being an electrician, working as a technical draftsman with CAD, to building my 2 land cruisers from the chassis up, to making knives, has had to have been done with bare minimum or no starting equipment or experience. im not trying to blow my own trumpet, rather, what im trying to say is, anything can be accomplished by anyone with any amount of tools/experience. the only thing that varies is how much time/effort you are willing to put in. and how much you are willing to listen to others who have walked the road before you and learn from them. never be afraid to ask questions. the only dumb question is the question you didnt ask. 

Edited by Ross Vosloo

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On 7/17/2018 at 10:50 PM, Zeb Camper said:

Jack, may I ask where you're from? If you're comfortable with answering of course.:) You might find someone close by willing to point you in a good direction. 

I'm from Northern Indiana, but am going to college in Tulsa, Oklahoma. To my dismay, my college does not have a forge and sadly, will not allow me to build one. I had created a post asking if anyone knew about a public smithy in Tulsa, but so far, only have one lead.

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