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Steve Conley

New knifemaker's second attempt

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I thought I would post here to show the work I've been doing. As a new knifemaker's, my results are not worthy of placing in the other forum. I am proud of the work even though there are a number of mistakes I know I made and I will try to remember those errors, so I do not repeat them in the future.

This project was to build a knife for my brother as a birthday present. I originally thought of making a  knife out of a circular saw blade.

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Luckily I found this site shortly after beginning this project and realized my first mistake (not using a known source). Not kowing what I was doing, I ordered some 3/16th inch x 1.5 inch 1095 flat stock online.

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I didn't have parks 50, but decided to give it a go with heated canola oil, since I already ordered the steel. I first tinkered with a few neck knives. I made a propane forge out of a few firebricks and rigged it so I can keep ahold of the steel with vise grips and hold it in front of the flame.

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I first cut out the design with an angle grinder with a cutting wheel. Next, I shaped it on a grinder wheel and a 1x30 belt grinder.

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When I had the shape the way I wanted it, I used the 1x30 grinder to get the edge down to about the thickness of a dime. At this point, I heated the steel to non-magnetic twice and let it cool down to room temp between heats to normalize. I tried to heat the 3 gallons of canola oil in an ammo can by inserting hot railroad spikes, but it never got to 130*F.

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I heated the steel to the first yellow beyond non-magnetic and held it there for about a minute by sliding the blade in and out of the flame to keep a constant temp. I quickly dunked the blade into the oil with a sawing motion. Now, I'm not sure what my blades hit on the Rockwell scale, but my file skated across the blade, but would bite into the handle. Seemed good to me. I put it in a pre-heated toaster over at 400*F for one hour to toughen the blade.

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I used the 1x30 belt sander to work the steel up to a sharp edge and fitted it with small scales for a handle.

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I shaped the handle on the belt grinder and walah!

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It even cut me while wiping it down.

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Anyway, I was talking about making a knife for my brother. A regular size knife. I used the same concepts. I drew the pattern on the piece of 1095 steel, roughed it out with an angle grinder, finished the shape on the bench grinder and belt grinder. This time, I heated the blade to bright red and used a ball peen hammer to put indentations into the top 2/3rds of the blade. This time, I got the heat of the canola oil to 138*F with an electric griddle under the ammo can. I heated to one yellow above non-magnetic and held it there for about a minute. I quickly dunked the knife in the oil and used a sawing motion to keep the blade moving until cool. Again, the File skated on the blade and I let it set in the oven at 400-450*F for 1 hour to toughen. I cut out some scales from rosewood and fitted them with epoxy and brass pins. I also have a brass tube in case a lanyard is desired. I soaked the handle in a mixture of warmed boiled linseed oil, tung finishing oil, Danish oil, feed and wax beeswax and orange oil, and turpentine for 24 hours. I then wiped the handle and let dry for 24 hours. Then I applied a coat of Tru Oil. Here is the result...

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It cuts like a razor and I just applied a second coat of Tru Oil. What do you think?

 

 

Edited by Steve Conley
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Pretty good for the first two!  Sounds like you have the heat treat dialed in, although there is no need to soak it.  That's a lot of stuff to throw at that rosewood, though, I usually just buff it and call it good.

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1 minute ago, Alan Longmire said:

Pretty good for the first two!  Sounds like you have the heat treat dialed in, although there is no need to soak it.  That's a lot of stuff to throw at that rosewood, though, I usually just buff it and call it good.

Say, that is pretty good, 20 times better than the first one I made OMG was that horrible lol.  His looks good.

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I love this post. This would have also been a great show & tell post so just forget about this idea.

22 hours ago, Steve Conley said:

my results are not worthy of placing in the other forum.

You have done what I always suggest to new makers and that is go stock removal for the first couple of knives or more. Using the stock removal method allows you to learn how to do the fit and finish with nice, flat steel. You get to concentrate on learning how to grind the bevels and grind the shape without having to learn how to forge it to shape as well. Bravo!

I think you did a great job on those two and I think your brother will be quite proud to carry that knife around. The only thing I might change is the tempering heat in the toaster oven. I temper 1095 at 350 and then 375, one hour at each. Toaster ovens are notoriously inaccurate and usually get hotter than the dial says. If it sharpens really easily, it's probably too soft and will dull easily. If it's a bear to sharpen, you can always throw it back in the oven for an hour at a higher heat to brig it down. Once you have tempered it too soft, it's too late. You would have to harden and re-temper to get it back to where it should be.

BTW- The rosewood finish looks fantastic.

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For the record, yes, the rosewood looks great!  I meant no disparagement whatsoever.  

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23 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

For the record, yes, the rosewood looks great!  I meant no disparagement whatsoever.  

I doubt anyone took it as disparagement Alan, I certainly didn't. I do agree that his method is very complex, but dayem, I have never gotten rosewood to look like that.

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