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Hammer in portfolio WIP


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1 hour ago, billyO said:

Is someone else getting addicted to pattern welding??

Oh, most definitely. I'm saving up for a power hammer so I can start making damascus in my shop. 

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Here are a couple glam shots. I'll be honest, it's grow on me a little and it makes me feel a lot better that you guys think the handle is alright. Thank you for all the help with this knife.

So I finally got back to my shop for the winter and picked this project back up. I put a new handle on the seax knife because I really hated the last one and couldn't bring myself to scrap the blade.

Who would have thought I would find a use for hot pink nail polish. I etched the spacer yesterday and used the ugliest color nail polish I could find to cover the front and back to keep them from

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6 hours ago, Faye said:

The blade is still a bit oversized, especially the ricasso,

This is normal. You should be forging slightly larger so you have some material to remove to get to the final shape. 

The rule of thumb I was taught and still abide by, is within 1/8 inch of finished profile. 

My technique is to lay the template (which is the desired finished shape) on the anvil face and scribe around it with a soapstone. Then I forge until the workpiece covers the soapstone drawing. This gives me a little extra mass to remove and get the final finished profile. The only part I intentionally leave more room on is the ricasso length (front to back). I want to be able to really dial that in after I heat treat and am doing the finish grinding.

Edited by Joshua States
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The only other suggestion I will make for your forging is to make the shoulders at the back of the ricasso much smaller. Don't neck down so much in the ricasso/tang transition. Ideally, there is no reason to have more than 1/8" shoulders (after grinding) to butt the guard against. So the forged transition looks something more like the center blade here.

 

as-Forged.jpg

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It's pretty much ready for heat treat, everything is ground to 320 and I'll paint it before HT to minimize scale.

I did run into a small delamination in my fish mouth weld, but it didn't go all the way through so I got it ground out. However, that ended up making the spine taper a bit sharper than I would have liked. 

The weld line is also still clearly visible, even after normilazing and thermal cycling. I plan to do another round of thermal cycling before HT in hopes of getting rid of the fuzzy white line.   

20210320_111357_HDR.jpg

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19 hours ago, Joshua States said:

That tang is begging for a frame handle

That's funny you should say that. 

I decided to use some giraffe bone for this handle, but that means I have to do a frame.

I think I'll use a 15 layer twist for the guard, and for the middle part of the spacer. I don't have any stainless or silver pins only brass. So I was thinking of sandwiching the twist spacer with thin peices of brass or maybe african black wood, but it seems like spacer packages on this type of knife steer away from wood.

The frame will also be from the twsit damascus and will have five 1/16" brass pins in it.

I added a little more shape to the handle, but I've never really done one like this before. Is there any rule of thumb for spacing between the guard and point?

In addtion to all design critiques, please feel free to weigh in on any handle material ideas.  I want something classy looking, like a knife handle you might see on sharp by coop's facebook page. ;) 

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Funny thing is, I just completed a frame handled Bowie with Giraffe bone scales. Mine are dyed and stabilized so they are very easy to work with. You will need a respirator when grinding them. Bone dust is very hazardous and can be toxic.

 

4 hours ago, Faye said:

I want something classy looking, like a knife handle you might see on sharp by coop's facebook page.

My first suggestion is to look at lots of frame handles and make notes of everything. Pin placements, spacer packages, guard shapes, etc., and look at them with an eye towards relationships to other elements.

 

My second suggestion is that you draw what that handle looks like from the bottom and/or top. Then do a quick sketch of how it all will be held together while you grind it. Visualize the handle in an exploded view. 

 

Question: Do you have access to a surface grinder?

 

 

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10 hours ago, Joshua States said:

 

Question: Do you have access to a surface grinder?

Yes. It is two hours away, but I need to go visit some people anyway.

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If you plan to make the frame and/or the spacer or guard out of Damascus, you will need to use the surface grinder to prep them. Unfortunately, you will need it twice. Once when you make the rough frame and transfer the pin holes, and once after you HT the pieces and are ready to shape everything. You will also need it before drilling the blind pins for the spacer and possibly after heat treating the spacer. You may be able to do the final surfacing on a granite slab by hand after HT. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was able to get access to a surface grinder and mill and some expert advice to work on this project. Progress was made.

The gaurd and spacer package have two alignment pins on the sides that will go into the scales as well. Now the fun part begins.

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You probably should have curved that tang a little to get it more centered on the frame. Speaking of which, what is the frame material?

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The frame is 1080 and 15n20 in a 15 layer twist. 

The tang could certainly be more centered. I don't know if I'll be able to get a pin through the tang.

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The situation with the frame/tang relationship is going to cause some challenges further down the road. One of them you have already identified. The pins in general now will have to follow the upper right pin's location for spacing from the edge of the frame. I think you will find the pins being pushed too far to the outside edge. This puts them in the center of the curve of the scale. This makes them a bear to dome, and if you decide to grind them flush, they are oval, not round.

 

Anyway, here is a technique you can use for the next time you do this.

Twist Damascus frames are the most popular, because you can get the "stars" along the edge of the frame. However, the stars are located in the center third of the twisted bar. So how to get them on the outside?

Take a low layer count (7-15) twisted bar and flatten it to about 1/2 to 3/4 inches wide and a little thicker than you want it to finish out. 

 

Frame bar (1)_V2.jpg

 

Using either a band saw or the cutoff wheel in an angle grinder, split the bar down the middle lengthwise.

 

Frame bar (2)_V2.jpg

 

If the bar is long enough to match the perimeter of the frame, use half the bar. If not, you will cut almost all the way through, leaving a small section solid at one end. Now forge the bar to open it up and put the center of the bar on the outside perimeter.

 

Frame bar (3)_V2.jpg

 

This has a nasty habit of delaminating the twists, so do it carefully. Shape the piece to fit the handle frame profile. Flatten, surface grind, and do all the things you would do to bring the pattern out.

Edited by Joshua States
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1 hour ago, Joshua States said:

Anyway, here is a technique you can use for the next time you do this.

Nice.  Thanks.  Now I just have to find a place to file this for later use....

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1 hour ago, billyO said:

Nice.  Thanks.  Now I just have to find a place to file this for later use....

Do it once and you will never forget it.

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Fair enough.  However, frame handles seem a bit much for kitchen cutlery.  Perhaps it's time for me to do the damascus kukri a buddy asked me about a few years ago...

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8 hours ago, billyO said:

frame handles seem a bit much for kitchen cutlery

PM sent

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Got some shaping done today. The top of the frame is just a hair over 3/16 wide. I'm considering doing blind pins around the perimeter, and if I can make it work I'll put a visible pin through the tang.

 

20210502_162119_HDR.jpg

Edited by Faye
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After a lot of hair pulling, I went with visible pins around the perimeter regardless if they are far enough from the edge or not.

I'm doing a museum fit on this, so I left the scales a little less than 1/16" proud around the frame. I've never done a museum fit, but this knife is all about doings things I've never done before so why not.

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The alignment pins from the spacer to scales were a bear to get right, but I think I prevailed.

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2 hours ago, Faye said:

this knife is all about doings things I've never done before so why not.

Atta Girl! Go for it!

 

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Who would have thought I would find a use for hot pink nail polish.

I etched the spacer yesterday and used the ugliest color nail polish I could find to cover the front and back to keep them from being etched. I then resanded the edges to make sure there was no nail polish that would block the etchant. 

 

20210508_175629.jpg

 

The spacer turned out nice, with something resembling a star right on top. However, the guard unfortunately only has a couple of 15n20 lines that go across the face, so it doesn't give me the exact look I was going for. At least there are plenty of lines on the side.

 

20210508_192426.jpg

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1 hour ago, Faye said:

Who would have thought I would find a use for hot pink nail polish.

So you can empathize with how I felt when I bought my first bottle for this very purpose.

 

...and the funny thing is that the very next day I found a new bottle of metallic blue nail polish on my hike through the woods with the pups.:unsure:

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

OK, so at this point it is now glued together, for better or worse. The pins are flush and everything is sanded to 400 grit. 

However, I have run into a couple of concerns.

1, there are some black sharpie marks around the heel that won't sand out. (Yes, I was stupid enough to use black sharpie on white bone, but not stupid enough to ever do it again.) Would taking a bleach soaked Q-tip to it be a good idea? Or would it cause catastrophic damage?

2, I feel like the handle weighs a ton and could maybe be thinned down a bit. In hind sight I should have drilled some more holes in the frame to reduce the weight, but that's no longer an option. The balance point is right at the first set of pins. 

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Edited by Faye
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Ooh, sorry about the Sharpie marks!  :(  Bleach won't do it, and can cause the bone to crumble over time.  You can try acetone or lacquer thinner, taking care not to get any into the epoxy.  It's possible that salon-grade hydrogen peroxide (40%) could do it, but it'll also take your skin off.  Acetone is the cheapest and least dangerous.  Wear rubber gloves and use it in good ventilation.  

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