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So if been busy, les yaky yak, more wacky wack (great expression from Mr Steele) I’ve moved around  a lot of mild steel and have been inspired by a Jason Knight video. My first blade will be a Japanese petty, the outline I was able to download from Tharwa Valley Forge. I’ve have ordered a length of 1075. (high carbon steel is hard to come by, ordered from Tharwa Valley Forge) in the mean time I’ve started the handle, understand it’s all a bit backwards. The body of the handle is Tasmanian oak, I love the gum vein but appreciate some will not. I agonized over filling the voids but decided to leave some as vacant, albeit sealed. The transition to the blade is spotted gum, both timber’s being Australian hardwoods. The transition between the spotted gum is brass. Hopefully the 1075 will arrive tomorrow and I’ll forge out the blade over the weekend. I have in my mind about the sequence of:

grind

heat treat

normalize

but still attempting to understand the process.  

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Anyhow after finishing the rest of the bottle and halfway through the second one, this is the result. It all started from wanting a 10c rivet. I blame you all for fostering this obsession.

Your wife, whom I’m sure is an intelligent, supportive and understanding partner, is, well, simply wrong. I, on the other hand dabble in the dark art of bladesmithing for a couple of hours over the we

Well Billy, that’s a great question, any time I've attempted to influence my wife, in my favor, by the subtle  use of wine, has not gone well. Sooo I’m thinking better to ask for forgiveness rather th

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2 hours ago, David Heron said:

I have in my mind about the sequence of:

grind

heat treat

normalize

 

The sequence for a forged blade is

1. forge

2. normalize x 3

3. grind

4. normalize again (optional, but helps prevent warping)

5. harden

6. temper

7. finish grind

8. hand sand for hours;)

 

For a stock removal blade, you grind first and then normalize x 3, but the rest is the same. 

 

While technically anything you do involving heat is part of the heat treatment, I like to divide it into those sections.  Normalizing resets the grain structure and removes stresses, leaving the blade as soft as it's going to be short of annealing, which is why you don't do it after the harden-and-temper bit.  

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Good morning, Alan.  Do you count grain refinement as part of the first normalizing cycle?  (or am I getting a bit too technical here:rolleyes:)

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I do indeed!  The post-grind normalizing is just a stress relief in case of uneven grinding, overheating, or other stress-inducing things.  I usually only do that on very thin blades.

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Thanks so much, I’ve read and watched so much on the subject I’ve become unsure. You've been so generous with your time but wonder if you can confirm the following procedure.
1. forge

2. place in preheated oven at 180c for two hours, let air cool to the touch

place in preheated oven at 180c for two hours, let air cool to the touch

place in preheated oven at 180c for two hours, let air cool to the touch

3. grind

4. place in preheated oven at 180c for two hours, let air cool to the touch

5. place piece in a tube, feat to 1450f (magnet test + 5 mins) immediately quench in preheated canola oil
6. place in preheated oven at 180c for two hours, let air cool to the touch

7. finish grind

8. hand sand

 

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Not quite:

 

1. forge

2. heat to just past the phase change decalescence  and allow to cool (recalesence) to black

repeat this twice more (Thermal cycling/normalising - this is best done with a baffle-pipe).

3. grind

4. Repeat step 2 once (normalising)

5. place piece in a tube (baffle tube) and heat to just past decalescence (the temperature varies by steel) immediately quench in preheated canola oil
6. place in preheated oven at 180c / 350f (with thermal mass) added for two hours. Let air cool to the touch, repeat once or twice (tempering)

7. finish grind/sand


There are some articles on this site about the baffle tube and also on decalescence (the shadows in the steel). You can use the search bar or a google site-search to find them. Good luck.

 

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Thanks so much Alan and Charles, I truly appreciate your time and advice. You must have the patience of Jobe answering the same questions over and over. Point being, it’s not intuitive and there is so much conflicting opinion about this, and almost everything else about the dark art of bladesmithing. Given your advice I now have a much better understanding of  decalescence. I still have so many more questions than answers but think the way forward is to give it a crack. I’m not sure I will truly understand the process unless I do it, if it all turns pair shaped, failure is a great teacher. 
 

I look back on my previous post with some embarrassment. Charles, your opening comment “ not quite” is kind, to say the least. I commit, in perhaps 10 years, If I have gained enough knowledge to pass on to others, I will be as patient and kind.

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You’ll get there David

 

1 hour ago, David Heron said:

I still have so many more questions than answers

Read all the pinned topics in the various sections. Great information there. If you are able, I can’t recommend taking a class highly enough. Where are you based?

 

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9 hours ago, Charles dP said:

Let air cool to the touch, repeat once or twice (tempering)

Also going to add that tempering can be cooled faster.  A water "quench" from those temps won't hurt anything (nor will air cooling).  

 

9 hours ago, Charles dP said:

7. finish grind/sand

And keep in mind here to keep the blade from getting hotter than your temper temperature.  If you are using power tools it is surprisingly easy to over heat the steel, especially in thin sections.  

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Just a couple of housekeeping questions 

1. Is there a way of ordering these posts, last post first?

2. Can anyone recommend a glove that will in any way stop me from burning my (insert expletive startling with “f” and ending with “ing”) fingers. I’m currently wearing leather riggers gloves, the first thing I notice is smoke coming off the glove, then closely followed by an intense burning feeling, closely followed by me attempting to shake the f#%^ing glove off. I get technique is a big factor but the Dragons Breath (an expression  I learnt from this Forum and which fully describes the beast ) is an unforgiving master.

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4 hours ago, David Heron said:

Can anyone recommend a glove that will in any way stop me from burning my (insert expletive startling with “f” and ending with “ing”) fingers.

Another solution is longer tong reins (you are a blacksmith now, afterall....B))

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With those kevlars, and there's another brand sold by blacksmithsdepot.com that's even better, you can hold a piece of red hot steel for a few seconds before you feel it.  Unless the gloves are wet with sweat, in which case you'll get an instant steam scald.  

Billy has the best answer.  You absolutely can't hold onto a hammer with the kevlars. They're like oven mitts.

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Never wear anything on my hammer hand, Alan.  I've got a pair of Ove-Gloves I wear when casting my lead bullets.  I tried using them for forge work, but they only go to 400 degrees..............not far enough, at least not for me.  I'll check into the link you suggested.   Thanks.

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http://store.carolinaglovecompany.com/kva65285.html This is the cheapest I've found them by the pair.  

 

Blacksmithsdepot.com ups the price, but they sell them singly (for the price of a pair from the maker's link above!) so you don't build up a huge supply of unused right-handed gloves.  But I'm serious about the steam burns.  You'd be amazed how little sweat it takes to flash scald your hand.

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Heck, Alan, I've done that with welders gloves!  Yep, I "caught" what Blacksmithsdepot.com  was doing.  I've never found a decent price on their website so quit even going there a long time ago.

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21 hours ago, David Heron said:

1. Is there a way of ordering these posts, last post first?


No, but this might help:

 

On the main page, top right, click on unread content. This will bring up a list starting with the most recent post. If you click on the black dot (or star if you have posted anything in that thread) between the title and the last poster’s icon it will take you to the first unread post of that thread. Pictures will tend to push that down a bit so you may have to scroll down in some threads but there will be a blue line separating the read and unread content. 
 

Clicking the back button used to the also clear the post you have just looked at but now it stays there until you click refresh/reload.

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On 7/19/2020 at 12:12 AM, billyO said:

Another solution is longer tong reins (you are a blacksmith now, afterall....B))

Your quit right of course Billy, however blacksmithing as is life, is never that simple. I was in fact working on my tongs (I have two pairs) I had turned up a rivit on my new mini lathe that Alan was nun to complementary about (little like calling one of my children ugly really, but still) to replace the bolt I had originally installed. I set the rivit which made the jaws to tight, heated them up again and was trying to work the jaws with the other pair of tongs and my gloved hand. Then came the dance of pain, starts with a puff of smoke from the burning leather then mild discomfort which quickly builds into an intense pain that causes language only ever heard in a 1950’s waterfront bar. 

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Don't get me wrong, I loved my mini-lathe!  I just outgrew it about the time a bigger one came available. The little one served its purpose well, and has gone on to a better life with a guy who doesn't ask as much of it. B)

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Alan, no offense taken, mearly attempting humor (sadly as advanced as my my bladesmithing skills) (always consider API, assume positive intent) Having said that Larry the lathe is feeling better but Graham the grinder is still smarting, just sayin)

 

Note to self;

1. when making the shiny bit between the handle and the blade, maybe collar, maybe bolster, cut the slot for the tang prior to profiling said piece

2. needle files are tedious

3. a Dremel is not a precision tool

4. the music you listen too whilst at the anvil is incompatible when using needle files 

5. six year old twins are incompatible when using needle files

6. bladesmithing, or whatever I’m doing, is sooo rewarding

 

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Just a couple of quick questions, (I hope you all don’t tire of my endless posts)

 

1. I’m committed to  a 6” petty for my first blade (still waiting for the steel) What is a reasonable spine width for the blade given my experience (or lack of it)

2. Is a “hammered” finish above the primary grind easier than a single grind to the spine 

3. is there a preferred radius for the pointy end of a cross pien hammer

 

Ive left no post unread in an attempt to understand these concepts but are still left with confusion and seek your recommendation

 

Im so grateful of you experience  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No worries, you're coming at it with a good attitude and you've realized the first rules of smithing with your notes to self above. :lol:

 

1. By spine width do you mean thickness?  Around 1.5mm at the handle, tapered evenly to .5mm at the tip.

 

2. A single grind to the spine is far easier.  You don't have to worry about even height of grind, plus on a kitchen knife a smooth blade is generally better, at least aesthetically.

 

3. About the same as the end of your thumb, looking down at the nail.  Call it a 15mm diameter circle, with a bit of a flat spot if you like.  That's on my larger hammer, a 4lb.  My smaller hammers have proportionally smaller diameters.  Be sure to add a bit of side-to-side rocker, that prevents digging in the corners.  I have pics of my hammer faces and piens in the pinned hot work thread "forging a tomahawk my way" if you want a look.  

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I know I harp about this but I’m so grateful for your mentoring.
 

I’m all set to go but sadly no steel yet. I have a baffle for the thermal cycling and have fabricated a steel tube for the quench, hoping the single burner forge gets hot enough, lll find out soon enough. I have a number of Shun knives also Wusthof that I’ve run the vernier over, I’m beginning to understand my passion for Japanese style kitchen knives may exceed my ability. I’m comfortable with the forging process, thinking I’ll do ok with the grind, fabricating the handle and the fitting to the blade is probably the thing I’m most comfortable with but the tempering, heat treat, normalizing keeps me up at night.


I’ve made enough tongs to get the job done and reshaped my main hammer as well as replacing the handle, also fashioned a cross pien and ball pien hammer and fitted appropriate handles. I’m so ready as I can be. 
 

 

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