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Conner Michaux

Bevel height on a bushcraft knife

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Thanks Alan! I’ll get some of those when I can afford it.  I hope the day when I find a 16 inch Nicholson on eBay comes soon. :lol:   I wonder if there are bigger files being made somewhere. 

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Once upon a time (ca. 1880-1950), Nicholson made 24" files.  :ph34r:  Disston did as well.  They show up at flea markets on occasion, but usually have big chunks of teeth missing.   

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Wow, it would be amazing to own one in perfect condition. Not sure if I’d use it or hang it up on my wall :lol:

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I got most of my files (and I'm starting to have plenty) from FB marketplace and garage sales. Bought those in bulk and some were in bad shape while others were like they were never used, most were very good quality. Old Nicholson, Dick's, Black Diamond, Globe.

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Hi Conner,

You can make just as good a blade using files as anyone can make with a grinder if you have the patience and take the time. A good file card used regularly keeps your files clean and helps prevent gauling marks which are a pain to get out. One drawback is I have thrown out a few pairs of shorts due to the filings. Best of luck and look forward to seeing more.

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Good evening folks, I got out into the shop for a few hours tonight and got the other bevel all filed in, The plunge lines are clean, but they are a little un symmetrical to each other because the file always lines up differently against the file guide, And I filed more on one side that the other, so the taper is a bit wonky. But I think I did the best I could with the tools I have. 

 

Now I gotta figure out what the heck to do with the pointy bit under the blade portion, that just looks ugly. 

 

 

IMG_1087.JPG

IMG_1086.JPG

IMG_1085.JPG

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File it down even with the edge?  You can put a little notch (a choil) at the transition if you want. A small chainsaw file is good for that.

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Looking better.  I think this one will look very nice with a 600 grit satin finish on it.

B8335EE4-9422-45E8-B439-A9DEED1D5391.jpeg

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Looks great Conner B)

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I would use that in a heartbeat. Good practical design that is balanced, symetrical and well designed. Be interested in seeing you bring this one to the finish gate.

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Thanks!  

 

Means a lot coming from you guys, y’all are all professionals at this knifemaking stuff in my eyes. :D

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I’m thinking of hitting the bevels with the disc sander, is it easy to remove to much material? I don’t want to ruin all the work I’ve done so far, but I want to cut down on some hand sanding and get the blade to a somewhat rough 400 grit.  If I use a 400 grit disc it won’t be to easy to slip and ruin it all... Right? 

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disk sanders are tricky, i wouldnt try it without some practice, and people would say that about any belt grinder  but disk sanders are trickier i think.

 

 

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This is the reason I like my 3x21. It's slow enough I don't mess up.

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Yeah this is what I guessed, to hand sanding it is! :lol:

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One thing power tools allow you to do is to screw everything up in a heartbeat.

 

Doug

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Instead of a disc sander, perhaps look into an orbital sander. Ive done that on a few larger blades and it wasnt bad at all. 

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Thanks all! Im having a super difficult time cleaning out the scratches in the plunge lines, I usually use a thin round file, but I mistakenly stepped on it and snapped it in 2, and neither ends are long enough to to the job. So I resorted to using my drill attachment buffing wheel and buff the absolute heck out of the plunges, Its working very well, But I just ran out of buffing compound and need to order some more. Hopefully I can get some soon. :D

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Here's what I do: 

 

 I typically do a rough grind, and use a chainsaw file to establish the radius at the plunge. 

 

I have a piece of 2" angle iron with rounded edges. I wrap it in sandpaper and clamp it in the vice. I start with 60, or 80 grit. If I think the shape needs refinement I will sand the blade and plunge by pushing the blade as if making cutting motions. After I have the right shape; I start to use stabbing motions across the paper and bump the plunge line into the paper on the edge of the angle iron. 

 

Dont be afraid to take it back to a course grit and get everything finished to that grit and go back up from there. Otherwise you'll start getting waves and stuff from chasing deep scratches. 

 

Good luck man!

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So Im coming close to being able to heat treat this thing, But I don't have a high-speed quench oil. I really want to try a hamon though. 

I am faced with two problems, I have nothing to clay the blade with, and I don't have special oil to really form the hamon.  I don't have furnace cement or any kind of refractory. 

Can I mix some clay from my garden and ground up coal dust together with some water to make a paste?  How risky is it to quench quickly in water and then into oil? That may be an alternative to parks50 if its not too risky.

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First, what steel is it?  Some steels don't do hamon.

 

Second, If it's a shallow-hardening steel like W1, 1095, or Aldo's 1075, hot canola oil is fine.  Of those three, the low-Mn 1075 is the only one I wouldn't be scared to do in water.  Which brings me to...

 

Third, with water-into-oil it depends on the steel and your overall karma.  It's usually recommended to go into the (hot) water for a count of three to get the hardening started (beating the nose of the TTT curve, getting to Ms Start in the right amount of time) then immediately into warm oil.  When I try this with W1, it invariable cracks before I get to three. "One, two, t (TINK!) hree..." which tells me I have poor hamon karma.  :rolleyes:

 

Fourth, the clay.  The only way to tell is to experiment.  Make up your mixture and spread it on some scrap mild steel, let it dry as much as you can stand (I warm it over the forge to dry it) and see if it sticks when brought to heat.  Try a starting mix of one half clay and one half ashes and powdered charcoal.  Just enough water to make a thick paste.  Fire a bit and see what happens.  

 

Fifth, you can always edge-quench to get a line.  It will not be as fancy as a clayed hamon, but you might be surprised, especially if you can keep your cool well enough to sort of agitate the blade up and down in the oil without letting the spine go under until it cools to black.  If you're using 1084, 5160, 80CrV2, etc. this is about the only way to get a good line.  

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 Thanks for the info, I would be totally lost without this forum.. :lol: Its W2 from Aldo's, Im pretty sure thats shallow hardening and very easy to get a Hamon on, If hot vegetable oil will at least bring out some form of Hamon I will try edge quenching it. I use a bread baking pan to quench in so I can always shake it a little bit to agitate the oil and hopefully get some activity in the Hamon.      Ive got one more question, Since this steal is annealed and has not been touched with heat since being made at the mill, Is it really necessary to normalize it? Or Will It just be a way to risk and most likely get some decarb? I am using the coal forge and a pipe so its not super accurate.

Edited by Conner Michaux

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Okay, now we're talking!  Yes, Aldo's W2 is very low Mn and makes a great hamon, even in hot (hotter than usual, like 150 degrees or more) canola.  If you can get the clay to stick, you're golden.  If not, an edge quench with agitation will give you something decent.  There is a style of hamon called gunome which is just a gently billowing line without anything fancy going on.  This is what an edge quench in agitated oil will do.  So, when you see the decalescence in your pipe in the forge, quickly pull the blade and quench the edge in the oil, making sure both the tip and the heel are under the surface at all times, even if you move it up and down. Count to four slowly and then slide the rest of the blade into the oil.  

 

Then you get the fun of polishing for hamon reveal, which is a whole 'nother thing.  

 

On normalizing:  It won't hurt to do at least one normalization to even out the carbides and refine the grain.  Finer grain equals lower hardenability equals better hamon.  If you toss a piece of charcoal into your muffle pipe it will prevent any decarb.  Your pipe does have one end closed, tight?

 

If you do get the clay to stick, you don't need much.  The thickness of a nickel is plenty.  

 

This is W1 quenched in hot canola, clay and no agitation:

 

hamon.jpg

 

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