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Ross Vosloo

Mini Bowie

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Hi all, so here's the latest blade. It's an old farriers file,  so a but of a mystery, but its hardened up very nicely and taken quite an interesting hamon 

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so I'm not sure what is going on with the lines streaking across my blade after the etch. I made sure the hand sanding was pristine 2000 grit before the etch, and then I did a 30min etch and then polished again with 2000 grit. So I'm almost positive that the lines can't be because of bad sanding/scratches. 

And in some places, they not even straight, they are wavy. Could it be some form of alloy banding??

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any info would be greatly welcomed 

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Did you grind off the rasp's teeth before forging?

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32 minutes ago, MikeDT said:

Did you grind off the rasp's teeth before forging?

Ja, I did. Basically had clean steel to start with when forging 

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That is classic alloy banding, exactly where it shows up with hamon.  Just means you got the HT pretty well right on a blade that's done a lot of thermal cycling, not necessarily on your end.  Ten years ago Admiral Steel sold a lot of 1095 that had severe alloy banding from the mill.  That and calling 8670 L-6 almost cost them their business among professional makers.  Alloy banding is not necessarily bad, but if you don't want it it's an issue.

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The banding does give a unique character to it...........B)

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Alan nailed it. I even had a batch of 1075 that did that, and the reason I bought that particular steel had been that it has a low alloy content to begin with (not all 1075, just this batch - it was below spec on manganese so I snatched up a lot of it).

 

anyway, the knife looks good so far.  l like the hamon, and the overall shape of the blade.

kc

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I would be somewhat irritated with the banding if it showed up unexpectedly in a batch of steel where it shouldn't be but as a one of a kind rasp/file knife project I think it looks pretty cool. The polish is great, it just has some unexpected patterning. Strike it up to a happy accident, it's still a great looking blade and more interesting than a uniform, mirror polish would have been. I would be searching for wood grain or dyed bone to accent the effect with the handle.

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9 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

That is classic alloy banding, exactly where it shows up with hamon.  Just means you got the HT pretty well right on a blade that's done a lot of thermal cycling, not necessarily on your end.  Ten years ago Admiral Steel sold a lot of 1095 that had severe alloy banding from the mill.  That and calling 8670 L-6 almost cost them their business among professional makers.  Alloy banding is not necessarily bad, but if you don't want it it's an issue.

 

7 hours ago, Clifford Brewer said:

The banding does give a unique character to it...........B)

 

6 hours ago, Kevin (The Professor) said:

Alan nailed it. I even had a batch of 1075 that did that, and the reason I bought that particular steel had been that it has a low alloy content to begin with (not all 1075, just this batch - it was below spec on manganese so I snatched up a lot of it).

 

anyway, the knife looks good so far.  l like the hamon, and the overall shape of the blade.

kc

 

5 hours ago, MichaelP said:

I would be somewhat irritated with the banding if it showed up unexpectedly in a batch of steel where it shouldn't be but as a one of a kind rasp/file knife project I think it looks pretty cool. The polish is great, it just has some unexpected patterning. Strike it up to a happy accident, it's still a great looking blade and more interesting than a uniform, mirror polish would have been. I would be searching for wood grain or dyed bone to accent the effect with the handle.

Ok great. I thought it nay have been this, but glad to hear experienced hands confirm it. 

It's not that I dont like it, but it does seem to interfere with the character of the hamon a little. Oh well, I guess it gives it it's own character. 

For future, is there a way to negate the effect?

And yes, got a great price of muwanga which will hopefully set it off nicely 

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I"ll be watching for it...................................B)

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you have to soak the blade at crazy high heat for about 15 minutes (1900F or so). that will usually put everything back into solution. Then normalize twice or three times to get the grain back down. Finally, especially in this case, do a controlled spheroidizing anneal (1350 for about an hour, then down slowly to 900F over the course of 4 hours). 

That will put everything nicely distributed and ready for hardening.

 

 

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If you don't have access to the furnace needed for a speroidizing anneal, two or three soaks at the aforementioned crazy high heat, allowing to cool to black in between, followed by three normalizations, will also do it.  You really have to reset the steel completely.  

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3 hours ago, Kevin (The Professor) said:

you have to soak the blade at crazy high heat for about 15 minutes (1900F or so). that will usually put everything back into solution. Then normalize twice or three times to get the grain back down. Finally, especially in this case, do a controlled spheroidizing anneal (1350 for about an hour, then down slowly to 900F over the course of 4 hours). 

That will put everything nicely distributed and ready for hardening.

 

 

 

31 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

If you don't have access to the furnace needed for a speroidizing anneal, two or three soaks at the aforementioned crazy high heat, allowing to cool to black in between, followed by three normalizations, will also do it.  You really have to reset the steel completely.  

So, in other words for my small coal forge is, just accept the alloy banding as character :D

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No, that's why I added what I did:  it is not easy to hold at near-welding heat in a solid fuel forge.  The good news is you don't have to maintain an exact temperature like you do if you are actually soaking a high-alloy steel.  Just keep it hot as you can without burning it for a while, let it cool, then do it again a couple of times.  All you are trying to do is get everything evenly distributed.  Since you are not quenching from the way-too-hot heat, the actual temperature isn't that important.  You will be growing the grain like crazy, since rasps are usually a straight carbon steel (except when they aren't).  That is why you need the normalizations at a lower heat.  Just not too many, that is one way to get alloy banding to begin with.  Three cycles is good enough.  Twelve or more normalizing cycles can cause really prominent alloy banding, especially in high-alloy steels.

I don't have any high-tech stuff myself, just a coal forge and a 1923 power hammer.  I temper in a toaster oven.  Mostly by choice, too!

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On 9/3/2018 at 10:10 PM, Alan Longmire said:

No, that's why I added what I did:  it is not easy to hold at near-welding heat in a solid fuel forge.  The good news is you don't have to maintain an exact temperature like you do if you are actually soaking a high-alloy steel.  Just keep it hot as you can without burning it for a while, let it cool, then do it again a couple of times.  All you are trying to do is get everything evenly distributed.  Since you are not quenching from the way-too-hot heat, the actual temperature isn't that important.  You will be growing the grain like crazy, since rasps are usually a straight carbon steel (except when they aren't).  That is why you need the normalizations at a lower heat.  Just not too many, that is one way to get alloy banding to begin with.  Three cycles is good enough.  Twelve or more normalizing cycles can cause really prominent alloy banding, especially in high-alloy steels.

I don't have any high-tech stuff myself, just a coal forge and a 1923 power hammer.  I temper in a toaster oven.  Mostly by choice, too!

Right, got it. Thanks for the info. I find a lot of the time, although everything is technically possible with minimal tooling, not having the same tools as the guys making the suggestions is troublesome for trying to do what they suggest. So it's nice to have detailed instructions from some one with the experience and the same tools as I am using. 

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Update time. My malaria has easied up enough after a week of bed rest to allow me to do some fiddling in the workshop. Here's where I'm at

So, we have a black wood spacer (would that be a ferrule?) Between 2 stainless steel shims, backed by the muwanga wood for the body of the handle 20180908_181000.jpg

This is the first time I've really tried putting in some decent profiling into the handle. Liking it so far

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Malaria?  Ouch!  :o

I like the blackwood, but a ferrule by definition is a reinforcing ring overlying something else.  I like the color contrast, but it still looks a bit blocky to me.  It is good to have enough handle to grab, but too much thickness can limit usability a bit.

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11 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

Malaria?  Ouch!  :o

I like the blackwood, but a ferrule by definition is a reinforcing ring overlying something else.  I like the color contrast, but it still looks a bit blocky to me.  It is good to have enough handle to grab, but too much thickness can limit usability a bit.

Ok, makes sense. That's why I've always thought of a ferrule as something made of metal 

As for the handle, thanks for the pointers. I guess I'm prone to making them blocky.  I'm always checking to see fit and feel, and to be honest, it feels great. It indexes so nicely to my hand. But I can see the blockiness you refer to. Something to keep in mind, for me that is

Edited by Ross Vosloo

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I like almost everything about it. A bit smaller in the handle dimensions with the same profile and it will be a great looking and handling knife.

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17 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Malaria?  Ouch!  :o

I like the blackwood, but a ferrule by definition is a reinforcing ring overlying something else.  I like the color contrast, but it still looks a bit blocky to me.  It is good to have enough handle to grab, but too much thickness can limit usability a bit.

 

7 hours ago, Vern Wimmer said:

I like almost everything about it. A bit smaller in the handle dimensions with the same profile and it will be a great looking and handling knife.

I think I fixed it :)

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I still think the front of the handle is too blocky. I would like to see the front finger groove move up a little. And the cross section become a bit more egg shaped. 

Other than that it's a good lookin little knife! 

IMG_20180909_103037.jpg

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Oh ya, dependingonthr size of your hands that really has it happening now. Nice job

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5 minutes ago, Vern Wimmer said:

Oh ya, dependingonthr size of your hands that really has it happening now. Nice job

Just for a size reference 

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Looks proportional.

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And the mini Bowie is done! Really enjoyed this one. Lots of stuff learnt and lots to improve on.

So to sum this one up, Steel is old farrier rasp with a nice hamon with alloy banding.  Handle is african black wood with stainless steel shims either side backed with muwanga and held together with a peened brass pin. Sheath is veg tanned leather with my impression of Boswell the dancing elephant of Mana pools scribed on. 

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