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Here is a small hunter I recently finished.


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I have been reading and following this thread for quite a while but this is my first post. Please let me know what you think and where I can improve. I am planning to post more and take pics at various stages.

This is my first stock removal knife, I have forged  all my other blades. I am considering selling this design and it seems to be very quick using this method. 

I made this from an 8x1.5x0.125 piece of 1095. Heat treat was in the forge roughly 1700-1800 degrees quenched in 100 degree vegetable oil and temper for 1.5 hours at 425. 

 

 

398E5DDF-0FA5-4CE4-92AA-A6220DB87B57.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Don Rooker said:

I am considering selling this design and it seems to be very quick using this method.

What's your target price point?

How harsh of a critique are you looking for?

Edited by Joshua States
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12 hours ago, Joshua States said:

What's your target price point?

How harsh of a critique are you looking for?

It takes me 4 hours or less to make the knife I am thinking $60-$80 price point, $60 for a simple handle and $80 for what is pictured. 

Have at the critique I’d like to know what you all think. 

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1095 should be quenched at 1460-1475° ish. 1700 is way too hot. 

Your rear lanyard tube placement is off and your plunge lines don't seem symmetrical. 

If you fix these issues on the next one's, I believe 80$ would be reasonable. More if you improved the finitiob :)

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6 minutes ago, Joël Mercier said:

1095 should be quenched at 1460-1475° ish. 1700 is way too hot. 

Your rear lanyard tube placement is off and your plunge lines don't seem symmetrical. 

If you fix these issues on the next one's, I believe 80$ would be reasonable. More if you improved the finitiob :)

I see what your saying on the plunge line. I am hoping it’s something the camera did because I never noticed that. 

It definitely hardened I will try some sample pieces at a lower temp, I am going by color, and check them against this blade. One soon day soon I should breakdown and get a laser thermometer. 

Thanks for the input! 

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1 hour ago, Don Rooker said:

It definitely hardened

Hardening the steel is one thing. Properly doing it is a bit tricky. If you overheat, the grain of the steel will grow and the blade's toughness will drastically drop. If you underheat you won't get full hardness or it won't harden at all(1095 will usually do the later). There are various ways of monitoring the temp but an infrared thermometer should not be used because it's not accurate on red hot steel. You can either practice with decalescence or use a thermocouple in a tube (or both). 

I hope I did not sound too harsh. You have a lovely little blade here ^_^

Edited by Joël Mercier
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12 minutes ago, Joël Mercier said:

Hardening the steel is one thing. Properly doing it is a bit tricky. If you overheat, the grain of the steel will grow and the blade's toughness will drastically drop. If you underheat you won't get full hardness or it won't harden at all(1095 will usually do the later). There are various ways of monitoring the temp but an infrared thermometer should not be used because it's not accurate on red hot steel. You can either practice with decalescence of use a thermocouple in a tube (or both). 

I hope I did not sound too harsh. You have a lovely little blade here ^_^

I expected a worse beat up then that to be honest. I’ll look into your suggestions, I need to be more accurate I need to be more accurate in my quench. I should practice and break some to see how they look. 

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I have to agree with everything Joel said, but I'd charge more. ;)

Do break a test piece and look at your grain.  I  just taught a "knifemaking (mostly) unplugged" class for my local guild in which I taught the decalescence method and the benefits of normalizing/thermal cycling.   First I put my muffle pipe in the forge and let it warm up to what looked like a nice orange color, then asked them what temperature they thought they were seeing based on the common charts.  Everyone agreed it looked like the classic orange just above cherry red, or about 1500 degrees.  I put a thermocouple in it and it came out 1795 degrees F.  Moral:  Don't trust the color.

I also had some W1 forged to 1/4" square that I let soak at that heat for three minutes, quenched, and broke.    The grain was like table sugar.  I then did three thermal cycles (take it to critical judging by decalescence, let air cool to black, repeat) and quenched on the last heat and snapped another half-inch off the end.  The grain was like glass.  This showed them just how important temperature control is. and how easy it is to overshoot your target heat.  

The great thing about using decalescence is that it works for ALL the steels you can heat treat effectively in a typical home shop without a kiln.  Don't know the critical temperature for your steel? Don't worry about it, decalescence will show you.  1095 transforms at around 1450 degrees F.  5160 does it at 1525 F.  52100 does it at 1550 F.  But what about the magnet test?  Magnets are great, but not for heat treating.  All magnetic steels go non-magnetic at 1425 degrees.  That gets you close with most of the 10XX series steels, but not quite where you need to be.  with 5160, 52100, O1, etc, nonmagnetic is a subcritical anneal.    

So what is decalescence?  It is when the glowing steel stops emitting photons because the crystalline phase is changing from body-centered cubic to face-centered cubic, aka critical temperature.  In low light conditions it appears as a sort of swirling shadow inside the surface of the steel.  It starts at the thinner parts and creeps into the thicker as the heat evens out in the steel.  As soon as all the shadows are gone, the blade has fully transformed and is ready to quench or let air cool.  If you choose to air cool, you will see the opposite effect, recalescence.  This appears as a bright line that moves from the edge back into the spine, caused by the emission of photons when the crystalline phase shifts back.    These are quantum phenomena that can't be faked.  The class got a kick out of it once they saw it for themselves, and I told them they were now practicing quantum physics without a license.  

It sounds complicated, but it's really not.  You don't really need to know exactly what's happening at the subatomic level (although that's kinda cool if you're a big a geek as I am), all you need to know is to watch for the shadows on a rising heat and pull the blade when the shadows are gone.

Finally, the oil needs to be a little hotter.  130 degrees is the usual statement for canola or veterinary mineral oil.  That is the point at which those oils are the most effective at heat transfer, and for 1095 you really need the fastest heat transfer you can get short of cracking the blade, because with that alloy you have just under one second to drop the temperature from critical to 900 degrees or it's not gonna harden.  With 5160 or 80CrV2 you have around six seconds to do the same thing.  With O-1 you have around 30 seconds, which is why thin blades of O-1 will air harden.  

Finally finally, infrared thermometers stop working as soon as things are hot enough to glow.  

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20190316_120741.jpg

Here's a macro pic of the before and after.  On the left is W-1 left to soak at 1750 degrees for three minutes, on the right is the same bar after triple-normalizing.

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4 hours ago, Don Rooker said:

I expected a worse beat up then that to be honest.

Happy to oblige!

The first thing that jumped at me was the blade to handle proportions. The blade is too wide for that handle and it looks unbalanced and like it would be difficult to control. Take a black sharpie and reduce the blade width to about 75% of what it is now and see what it looks like. Personally, on a handle that small I would have a blade width of 3/4" to 1" max. The next thing was the tube/pin alignment is off. (Joel already said that). Get them both centered. The plunge cuts someone already mentioned. One is slanted and one is perpendicular to the spine. Make them both the same. The choil drops below the blade edge. Make it flush or above the edge. The way it is now, looks like you inadvertently ground the edge down too far and forgot to match the choil. The filework on the spine looks like an afterthought rather than a design choice. Make the cuts evenly spaced apart and equal depth cuts. Filework needs to be neat and consistent to look good. It looks like you spent some time on the finish sanding. To my eye, in the photo, it looks like about 320 grit. The lines are nice and straight and look good. However, there are a few deep scratches that show up as bright lines in the second photo. There are a couple of boogers, one on each side that look like black dots. Make those go away. In the second pic, the booger is right above the plunge cut. In the first pic there are 3 of them: one about halfway through the curve on the drop point, one in front of the filework, and another in between those two (sorry, that third one was a booger on my computer screen). I also worry about that inset strip of material in the handle and the two copper liners. Are there blind pins holding that to the micarta scales, or is it just held there by glue? If it's only glue, I anticipate a return by the customer when it falls out one day.

7 hours ago, Don Rooker said:

I am thinking $60-$80 price point, $60 for a simple handle and $80 for what is pictured.

Probably a good price for it the way it is. Make the corrections I outlined (improve the finitiob) and raise the price to $200.

Keep them coming. You are on a good path.

Edited by Joshua States
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Wow, lots of great comments and suggestions. Looking at through honest eyes and not the “Oh my god look what I made goggles” I can see you guys are right about almost everything. I am definable going to work in my heat treat and do some experiments to ensure I’m creating a quality blade. 

The lines and booger’s your seeing is a vinager patina after taking 000 steel wool to it. 

I will be posting more blades when I get the time to make some more. Lots to process and play with here 

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Don, I think that you did a good job for an early blade.  Take the constructive criticism as pointers on how to improve.  None of us has made much improvement without having our work picked apart.  Adopt the personal attitude that close enough isn't.  If it looks like a blemish, it's a blemish.  Do something about it or at least don't do it on the next blade.

Your handle looks interesting but it has too much going on.  I think it would have been better if you used the burlap micarta before and after the accent section.

Doug

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42 minutes ago, Doug Lester said:

Don, I think that you did a good job for an early blade.  Take the constructive criticism as pointers on how to improve.  None of us has made much improvement without having our work picked apart.  Adopt the personal attitude that close enough isn't.  If it looks like a blemish, it's a blemish.  Do something about it or at least don't do it on the next blade.

Your handle looks interesting but it has too much going on.  I think it would have been better if you used the burlap micarta before and after the accent section.

Doug

Yes the handle is busy. I like the way it looks but Josh was right, I didn’t pin it together. It was also a huge pain to do and I think I will keep the handles simple for now. 

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On 4/26/2019 at 12:53 PM, Alan Longmire said:

Finally finally, infrared thermometers stop working as soon as things are hot enough to glow.  

Alan,  I trust you more than a company that says their Ir thermometers work up to 1500 degrees.  The one I have allows you to program the "reflectivity" of the material you are measuring ( I use it for sub 500F tempering temp checks).  My question is why don't they work at higher temps?  Is it that once at a glowing temp, the reflective aspect of the material throws things off? 

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It's that reflectivity thing.  IR thermometers work on the principle of blackbody radiation (thermal, not nuclear), which assumes a nonreflective object (the black body) emits heat equivalent to its environment.  The lab exercise is to paint a cube of aluminum flat black, drill a hole in it, insert a thermometer, and leave it in the sun.  Reflective surfaces skew the result of remote IR observation, and incandescent surfaces totally freak it out.  IR noncontact thermometers are good on flat black surfaces right up to the point they start emitting light, which is around 1000 degrees f in total darkness, up to 1500 in full sun.  So yeah, you can calibrate them if you know the reflectivity of the object in question and account for ambient light, but that is calculations beyond my two years of undergrad physics.  It is best to just not trust them if they read any hotter than 900 degrees F.

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

It's that reflectivity thing.  IR thermometers work on the principle of blackbody radiation (thermal, not nuclear), which assumes a nonreflective object (the black body) emits heat equivalent to its environment.  The lab exercise is to paint a cube of aluminum flat black, drill a hole in it, insert a thermometer, and leave it in the sun.  Reflective surfaces skew the result of remote IR observation, and incandescent surfaces totally freak it out.  IR noncontact thermometers are good on flat black surfaces right up to the point they start emitting light, which is around 1000 degrees f in total darkness, up to 1500 in full sun.  So yeah, you can calibrate them if you know the reflectivity of the object in question and account for ambient light, but that is calculations beyond my two years of undergrad physics.  It is best to just not trust them if they read any hotter than 900 degrees F.

OK, So how come mine says it is good up to 2800*F?

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Thanks Alan, I knew you could explain it in laymen terms for those of us who studied history and psychology and not that sciency stuff:rolleyes:

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12 hours ago, Joshua States said:

OK, So how come mine says it is good up to 2800*F?

We're talking non-contact infrared thermometers, right?  Not thermocouple thermometers or optical pyrometers?

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1 hour ago, Alan Longmire said:

We're talking non-contact infrared thermometers, right?  Not thermocouple thermometers or optical pyrometers?

Yes, and my error on the temp. It's 1922* F

 

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Sounds like you have a good and expensive one that adjusts to correct for emissivity.  With that feature they can read higher temperatures, but most of the sub-$500 units top out at around 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Al Pendray had an optical pyrometer that would go to 4000 degrees Fahrenheit, useful for Wootz.  

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http://www.amprobe.com/amprobe/usen/HVAC-Tools/Infrared-Thermometers/AMP-IR-720.htm?PID=73788

That's the one I have. Mind you, I do not expect it to be very accurate above say, 1200*. I use it mostly to judge my normalizing temps.

Edited by Joshua States
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Looking at the specs, that one is adjustible for emissivity, from 0.10 (shiny object) to 1.0 (flat black).  The cheap one in that series, and most cheap ones, are fixed at 0.95 emissivity.  And that one is rated to 716 degrees F.

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The 720 one has a higher temp rating. 

In other words, you have to know the exact reflection factor of the item you are monitoring in order to get a accurate reading. In that case, the IR would work.. 

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OK you gadget nerds. Here's what I use this for:

When doing a normalizing, I put the blade into the forge and bring it up to heat. Pull the blade and shoot the temp. Is it around 1600? yes-put it on the rack to cool. shoot the temp from time to time to see when it gets below 800. Repeat for 1400 and 1250.

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Ok, so time for the noob question... how exactly do you use the thermocouple to check the temp of your steel? I mean I’m assuming you can’t just touch it to the blade and get an accurate reading right? I watched some videos on decalescence, they’re really very interesting but I’m curious if I can pull it off without over and under shooting and missing the good temp. 

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