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Gerhard Gerber

Rust proofing mild steel....or Aluminium?

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I've got a lift for a knife back to NZ end of July so I'm making something for my best friend from high school who is lucky enough to have escaped.

I'm using and O1 blank only 9cm long, he asked for a simple drop point, flat grind and a swedge.

Long story short, the blade came out good, he wants black and green micarta......but the hardware.....he wants a bright finish, basically SS.  Normally I use Brass of Copper flatbar about 2mm thick and matching 4mm pins......which is al the tang allows.

I can't get 4mm SS rod in this country :angry:

I have suitable mild steel and I was expecting to use that, I fully expected him to want something completely impractical, but now I have the complication that he'd like to use for food prep occasionally.

I've never used mild steel for this purpose, is it advisable and how should I finish it?

So Aluminium, I've seen the documentary, but I still use "tin" foil to roast veggies on the fire........also an option, what says the crowd?

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Aluminium for food prep I believe is acceptable so long as you are not heating it up and inhaling it I believe. You will only get a tiny amount of oxide on your hand off that little pin anyway. And after all, how long have you been storing your leftovers in it? 

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Aluminium it is. B)

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Posted (edited)

Gerhard,

Dunno if it's to late, but can you get any stainless steel at all ?  If you can,  forge out a rod and then stick int in a drill and grind it down to where you need it if you want to do the work.   Otherwise, I've had good success keeping rust away by etching the steel.  I'm sure it would work on the pins as well.    I've used a few knives that used nails for pins.  Rust wasn't the much of an issue.    Can you get small stainless steel machine screws, and use those for pins ?   Or maybe copper ?      Do you use a coating on your handles ?   Oil, or polyurethane or something ?  If it's a hard coating, then maybe under size the pins slightly, and let the coating do the protecting.   If you have access to any old computer hardware, like an old printer or scanner,  if you take those apart, they contain stainless rods in them.  If you are looking to scrounge.

Here in the states,  I worry more about the food itself, than what I'm putting in it.  Darned recall on something every day.  Then we get health code standards and blah blah blah blah.   As long as you aren't using anything toxic, I really wouldn't worry about it unless your friend is in the food prep industry.   Heck the germs on the average counter top are more dangerous.      The fake tung oil we get here Hornsby's that a lot of guys use on handles or boiled linseed oil is Not food safe.  At least until it is Fully cured and polymerized, but either way, you wouldn't want to eat any chips that may flake off.

As far as aluminum, personally the color is just too off shiny for my tastes.  To each there own.

Best of Luck.

Edited by Bruno
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Hi Bruno

I have 6mm stainless rod, but getting that down to 4mm accurately enough will be a mission, I use 4mm and 6mm solid rod for pins and drill 4.1 and 6.1mm respectively so the fit is quite tight.

I liked your one idea, I only need one pin, but I honestly can't recall ever having seen stainless screws for sale locally.

Also, I would need to buy at least 1m of SS flatbar for the guard.......not much other use for what's left.

I made a batch of small knives where I used CA glue to seal the micarta handles, nice effect but I won't be sealing this handle.

 

It'll be a first for me, let's see.

Solder doesn't take on Alu I believe......:ph34r:

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Gerhard,

What if you drill a 4mm hole in a block of steel,  then make a point on the 6mm rod and pound a piece into the hole.  Something like a nail header, like the old timey blacksmiths made nails with.

If you take 2 pieces of say 1/4" flat bar,  and stick them together in a vice, then drill the 4 mm hole down the seam where the two plates meet, then you should have a 2mm half circle in each piece of flat bar.  Then pound your piece of 6mm down into it as much as you need, then remove from the vice and you can easily remove the new pin.

Hope that makes sense.  

 

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