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Branick Hess

A special WIP

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This WIP is going to mean alot to me, for those of you who dont know Tim Hancock passed away a few months back. This man took me into his house for a week, free of charge and taught me almost everything I know about knife making. He forged me a ladder pattern damascus fighter which we both worked on together and still sits in a case unfinished, it means more to me where we left it rather than finishing it....

 

Anyway there was an off cut piece of the billet that I saved for a future project which leads me to today. My buddy just found out that his father is suffering from a pretty aggressive case of Parkinson's (which is what Tim also suffered from) and it dawned on me that this is the project Tim would have wanted me to use the off cut piece on, my friends dad is a pretty avid elk hunter so I was thinking of making a decent skinner that he can use, he was also a battalion fire chief so I was thinking of making micarta from firehose and using that as the handle, I would love some input from this community if you guys wouldn't mind. 

 

I'm trying to finish it before Tim's memorial mid november to bring it with me.

 

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read this.

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I would recommend brass fittings if you're looking to appeal to his firefighting roots.  I don't know enough about micarta to know if fire hose jacketing would work or not, but I would think that the outer nomex shell from some discarded bunker gear would work very well.  I've been toying with the idea of using old hose for a sheath but haven't tried it yet, that would be something to consider as well.  I'm not sure where you're located at, but I could possibly help you get a hold of some materials if you decide to go that route.

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I just saw this. Tim was a very good friend of mine. Hopefully you and I will meet next weekend. 

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Hey everyone, so I have been dealing with this knife all weekend and during heat treat it had a pretty bad warp, was able to grind most of it out luckily. Currently have it sanded to 400 grit. This is usually where I stop but will a 600 or 800 look better? Sometimes my etch comes out a little muddy looking and I feel like it's because I don't go to a high enough grit.

 

Alex, thank you so much for the advice I will now try and incorporate brass into the knife! As well as using some fire hose in the sheath as well, I never thought of that. And thank you for offering to get some supplies but luckily I have a really good friend who is a firefighter that will be getting me alot of supplies!

 

Joshua, I am so sorry for your loss. I might not be able to make it because my wife is due with our child any day now. But if God willing, I look forward to meeting you this weekend.

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On 11/11/2019 at 9:37 PM, Branick Hess said:

Currently have it sanded to 400 grit. This is usually where I stop but will a 600 or 800 look better? Sometimes my etch comes out a little muddy looking and I feel like it's because I don't go to a high enough grit.

A bit of information on acid etching PW steel.

1. Most guys dilute the FeCl with 3 parts water to 1 part acid.

2. Agitating the solution while etching makes for displaced oxides and a faster etch. I use a fish tank bubbler to agitate the tank. (learned that from Hancock)

3. The contrast will generally be fairly low. unless additional steps are taken to increase it. Coffee etching, gun bluing (hot or cold blue), and baking soda applied before wiping the oxides off are three methods I know of increasing the contrast.

4. Generally speaking, I etch until the depth is enough that I can "feel" the topography with a bare finger and light pressure.

5. Only etch after HT is complete and the blade is at final tempered hardness.

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Thank you so much for the info Joshua I will be buying a fish tank bubbler tonight!

 

I currently spent 2 days hand sanding up to an even and smooth 800 grit alternating between 45 degree and horizontal strokes, and will be etching tomorrow!

 

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