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Stephen Asay

Wip: Kephart Inspired Hunter

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Hello everyone, I just got started with my first knife in over two years, a friend of mine saw my facebook post on the tongs I made for bladesmithing and he commented he'll take a kephart styled with a scandi grind. I had never heard of them before to be honest. I drew up a design based off an article with pictures, and got through forging. The material is 1075 high carbon steel. Because it is going to be a scandi style grind I did not forge any bevels, but as it stands right now the entire blade is about 5/32 thick, going to be grinding to about 1/8". Should I do the entire primary bevel after heat treating, or should I do some before?.

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If it's Aldo's 1075, I'd forge or grind some before the quench as it is on the shallow hardening side of steels because it's low on manganese and may not fully harden to the core if the cross section is thicker than 1/8". 

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55 minutes ago, Joël Mercier said:

If it's Aldo's 1075, I'd forge or grind some before the quench as it is on the shallow hardening side of steels because it's low on manganese and may not fully harden to the core if the cross section is thicker than 1/8". 

Thanks! Yeah, I might grind down to about 1/32 edge thickness before the HT. It would be really cool to see some hamon activity, but the goal is just to end up with a nice, hard use knife.

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Here is today's progress, it is ending up with more of a spear point, I don't know if it would look better with a more straight drop point. Overall I am pleased with the scandi grind, it is really flat and is about 20 degrees, still a couple of mm on edge for the heat treating, which I have to wait for until I get my cobalt drill bits in the mail for pin holes.

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I initially put a handle on it with no epoxy to test the blade. was staying sharp but chipping too easy against hard things. I tried the brass Rod test, was chipping about .25 mm off of the edge (initial temper was only 1 hour at 375) . The hardening was done in water, I was not getting a good harden in oil. Since making this I have forged several more, one of which snapped in the water quench and warped like crazy, so I am making sure to leave the blades a little thick going into the HT.

Today I got around to tempering it again (an hour at 425) Now the edge flexes instead of chipping, if flexed past about 30 degrees it sets, which I actually much prefer over chipping as it opens the possibility of stropping/steeling the blade whereas if it chips the only option is to take more material off.I might try 400 degrees for the next blades, I really need to figure out my HT first though. The one that cracked was way overheated I figured out. If it is kept from being overheated warping/cracking shouldn't be a problem. I am thinking about investing in a high temp IR thermometer for about $75.

I also got around to properly fixing the handle, I used T-88 and brass pins, which were left a little long to be peened on the ends, which are applying a mechanical bond from being upset. The fit up is not perfect, about a .5 mm gap in some places, I am going o spend more time on flattening the tang in the future, also may get a disc sander after I sell a knife.

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18 hours ago, Stephen Asay said:

The one that cracked was way overheated I figured out. If it is kept from being overheated warping/cracking shouldn't be a problem. I am thinking about investing in a high temp IR thermometer for about $75.

Two things: Get yourself a length of pipe or tubing to act as a muffle in the forge, then you can see the decalescence and know for sure you're normalizing or hardening at the right moment, and those cheap IR thermometer are only good for a black heat, up to around 1000 degrees.  They can't read glowing steel.

For a little more money you could get this: https://www.omega.com/pptst/HH11C-HH12C.html or this: https://www.omega.com/pptst/HH307_308.html  and the appropriate probe: https://www.omega.com/pptst/KHXL_NHXL.html and you would know exactly what temperatures you're hitting in the tube or gas forge.  I wouldn't put one of these probes directly in a solid fuel forge, it's too easy to exceed the range of a type K is open solid fuel.  

I have the HH308 and a 36" probe, but most people would be fine with the 18" probe.  I just needed (wanted) :rolleyes: a long one for a sword forge.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, yeah I am also probably going to try building my own kiln at some point. I am worried that this blade and the one other I heat treated are way oversize on grain because of the unknown factor. The other blade I did has a little warp in the tang, I will try to bend it a little more straight, and if it breaks then we will know for sure. I wouldn't feel good selling a knife at handmade prices if it does not perform at least better than a $30 factory knife.

Anyway, here are some finished pictures:

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Blade: 1075, 4.5" long, 1/8" thick, 20 degree scandi grind polished/ sharpened to 3000 grit (imperfectly). Left as quenched.

Handle: Dense black mesquite with brass pins, T-88 epoxy, finished with two coats of tung oil. Hand sanded to 150 grit then polished with fine steel wool.

Other notes,

-I ground off the scale and wiped the tang with acetone before epoxy up to ensure a good bond, I realize now that I forgot to wipe down the pins, shouldn't be a huge deal but definitely going to in the future.

-Because I shaped the scales before epoxying I ended up with some mismatches, You can see in photo #2 the shine of the tang where it extends about 1 mm out from the wood. Going to start only shaping the ends and rough profile of scales before epoxy.

-The shape is not perfect, the original I think had the widest part of the blade closer to the tip and a much more abrupt and steep drop point.

-As I said before their are some gaps in the fit up, I need to get better at that, to the eye it looked perfectly flat, but it clearly was not.

 

Overall this knife took a lot of time, maybe about 15-20 hours of work, which is ridiculous considering that is not even counting the sheath. I hope to get to the point where I can make a 'simple' knife complete in one day. Anyone have any input on materials, design, execution? I would sure appreciate it. 

 

Edited by Stephen Asay

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15-20 hours is not ridiculous. Most of my knives require as much or more. I would not worry about speed, it'll come with practice. 

It seems your scandi grind has the right geometry. Typical scandi is 11° per side which makes just a tad less than 3/8" wide bevels on a 1/8" thick blade. 

Like Alan says, getting a good thermocouple is a good idea. I have the 1/4"x6" OmegacladXL I insert in my swirl type forge away from the flames only when I HT. I BBQ roast my blades next to it :lol:. Slowly spinning it to ensure an even heat and it worked great on my last 5 blades, none warped. The pipe in the forge trick did not work properly with my particular forge design but it's definitely worth a try in yours...

Overall it seems you have done a very useable knife! Also, those minor fitting issues can be fixed if you want to put some time into it, however it's not necessary.. 

Good job Stephen!

 

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13 minutes ago, Joël Mercier said:

15-20 hours is not ridiculous. Most of my knives require as much or more. I would not worry about speed, it'll come with practice. 

It seems your scandi grind has the right geometry. Typical scandi is 11° per side which makes just a tad less than 3/8" wide bevels on a 1/8" thick blade. 

Like Alan says, getting a good thermocouple is a good idea. I have the 1/4"x6" OmegacladXL I insert in my swirl type forge away from the flames only when I HT. I BBQ roast my blades next to it :lol:. Slowly spinning it to ensure an even heat and it worked great on my last 5 blades, none warped. The pipe in the forge trick did not work properly with my particular forge design but it's definitely worth a try in yours...

Overall it seems you have done a very useable knife! Also, those minor fitting issues can be fixed if you want to put some time into it, however it's not necessary.. 

Good job Stephen!

 

Thanks! Yeah I decided to go with about 10 degrees on each side figuring my setup was not too precise. I am really liking the utility of the blade, much better for working in the yard than a convex or full flat grind.

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