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Earths magnetic effect during quench


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I myself, do NOT believe earths magnetic attraction has any effect on a blade during the quench process. Many smiths I know believe that horizonal blade quenching must be done with a north south alignment, or the blade can warp from the earths magnetic draw. I quench vertically, so even if it was remotely true, it would be of little concern to me. What say you others?

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14 minutes ago, Wick Ellerbe said:

I myself, do NOT believe earths magnetic attraction has any effect on a blade during the quench process.

 

Neither do I based on all I've read to the contrary over the years.

 

However, I had a long, rectangular brass pan I used for horizontal quenching for years. I can't remember having a warped blade.

 

I have since gone to a stainless steel pan for horizontal and have had several blades warp.

 

Coincidence? Probably. But even superstitions can mess with your confidence.

 

I plan to go vertical as soon as I acquire the proper vessel.

 

By the way... is this THE Wick Ellerbe? LRB? This weekend I pulled some papers out of my leather work box on how to make a center-seam sheath and thought "wonder how Wick Ellerbe is doing. Hadn't heard from him in a long time". So, good to hear from you!

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Hi Don. Good to hear from you too. Been awhile. I'm pretty much retired from all but occasional sheath making. I made my vertical tank from an old water heater tank. I holds 5 gallons of Parks AAA with some room left over to prevent slopping any out. Plugged all the intake and outlet ports, and cut an end off with a metal cut off wheel in my Skill saw. It is deep enough to take overall blades of around 20", as I recall. Mounted it over a gas fish fryer rig, and a strap bolted to the end of a work bench.

Sits next to my oven. I can remove a blade from the oven, turn and plunge. Take care old friend.

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As someone who actually had to calculate the potential energy generated by a coil of wire passing through the earth's magnetic field, I personally feel the forces involved are so minute that they would be completely overshadowed by the "Real" variables in quenching.  The forces inside the steel as it cools are many orders of magnitude higher than the magnetic pull of the earth.

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What Brian said.  I completely disregard anything someone says if they insist on magnetic north playing a role in quenching.  

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Would seem easy enough to test. Quench next to a sizable magnet. If that dont do it then the Earth's magnetic field certainly isnt going to.

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Yep, just an old superstition. Good to see you, sir!  Your work has been a great inspiration to me over the years. 

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41 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

Yep, just an old superstition. Good to see you, sir!  Your work has been a great inspiration to me over the years. 

Thank you sir, those are kind words. I wish I could have stayed with it longer, but age and health reigns. Even so, the interest stays. Yeah, I was 99.9% sure it was superstition, but many bladesmiths in living history circles preach it as gospel, and will also swear that motor oil and ATF are great quenching oils. Thanks again.

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Wick, it has been a coon's age since I last saw anything from you! I lost touch after the muzzleloading forum got sold! My sign on didn't want to work anymore and then all the adds were a PITA. 

 

Good to hear from you! I didn't know you weren't making anymore. I still send folks to your site to see how a real maker does it! I learned more from talking with you than probably anyone I ever talked to about making! The one thing that always struck me was no matter how dumb my question might have been you never treated me that way!! 

Edited by C Craft
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Not too worried about magnetic north but new moon and full moon after the equinox seem to be pretty good (if quenching in unicorn blood of course).

Edited by Charles dP
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Well heck, any fool knows that, but most often 

4 hours ago, Charles dP said:

Not too worried about magnetic north but new moon and full moon after the equinox seem to be pretty good (if quenching in unicorn blood of course).

Well heck, any fool knows that, but when you just kain't wait, and unicorns are outa season,  you gotta go with "science" and do the northern line up. Kain't miss!

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15 hours ago, C Craft said:

Wick, it has been a coon's age since I last saw anything from you! I lost touch after the muzzleloading forum got sold! My sign on didn't want to work anymore and then all the adds were a PITA. 

 

Good to hear from you! I didn't know you weren't making anymore. I still send folks to your site to see how a real maker does it! I learned more from talking with you than probably anyone I ever talked to about making! The one thing that always struck me was no matter how dumb my question might have been you never treated me that way!! 

 

9 hours ago, Wick Ellerbe said:

Well heck, any fool knows that, but most often 

Well heck, any fool knows that, but when you just kain't wait, and unicorns are outa season,  you gotta go with "science" and do the northern line up. Kain't miss!

 

15 hours ago, C Craft said:

Wick, it has been a coon's age since I last saw anything from you! I lost touch after the muzzleloading forum got sold! My sign on didn't want to work anymore and then all the adds were a PITA. 

 

Good to hear from you! I didn't know you weren't making anymore. I still send folks to your site to see how a real maker does it! I learned more from talking with you than probably anyone I ever talked to about making! The one thing that always struck me was no matter how dumb my question might have been you never treated me that way!! 

 

15 hours ago, C Craft said:

Wick, it has been a coon's age since I last saw anything from you! I lost touch after the muzzleloading forum got sold! My sign on didn't want to work anymore and then all the adds were a PITA. 

 

Good to hear from you! I didn't know you weren't making anymore. I still send folks to your site to see how a real maker does it! I learned more from talking with you than probably anyone I ever talked to about making! The one thing that always struck me was no matter how dumb my question might have been you never treated me that way!! 

It has been a while. I seldom go to ML forum any more. Seems like Face Book has killed off a lot of forums, and diminished the rest. Good to see you're still making. One problem I have at this time is that I have a cataract surgery lens gone wrong in my left eye, might as well be blind in that eye and can't distinguish depth very well when doing close critical work. It is  fixable, but It is not possible to take the time to have it redone right now. Soon I hope. Very good to hear from you. Take care my friend.

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45 minutes ago, Wick Ellerbe said:

 

 

 

... Seems like Face Book has killed off a lot of forums, and diminished the rest...

This is sad (and frustrating) but true.  Forums have been such a great way to share and grow a knowledge base.  At least when they are well run as this one is.  It will be a loss when they are all gone.

 

Speaking of which, I am a relatively knew knife maker.  I wandered into the craft 6 or 7 years ago.  (Good lord, where does the time go?)  I've always felt like I was in about a 4th or 5th generation of knifemakers who was reaping the rewards of a knowledge base that was started by a much smaller group of people about the time I was born.  This forum, and a small number of other places on the interweb, have made it easy for someone to start from scratch and learn to do good work.  None of that would be possible without the generosity of folks like you.  It's a pleasure to "Meet" you so to speak, and I hope you hang around with us for a while.

Edited by Brian Dougherty
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6 hours ago, Brian Dougherty said:

This is sad (and frustrating) but true.  Forums have been such a great way to share and grow a knowledge base.  At least when they are well run as this one is.  It will be a loss when they are all gone.

 

Speaking of which, I am a relatively knew knife maker.  I wandered into the craft 6 or 7 years ago.  (Good lord, where does the time go?)  I've always felt like I was in about a 4th or 5th generation of knifemakers who was reaping the rewards of a knowledge base that was started by a much smaller group of people about the time I was born.  This forum, and a small number of other places on the interweb, have made it easy for someone to start from scratch and learn to do good work.  None of that would be possible without the generosity of folks like you.  It's a pleasure to "Meet" you so to speak, and I hope you hang around with us for a while.

Yep. Things have changed. Mostly for the better in knife making. I made my first from a file in 1971 using pointers I got from Pete Hamilton, Randall's shop boss. There were no books, and very few makers would help you. Those that would help often didn't know they were doing themselves. The early good makers were too busy working to keep the wolves from the door. It was more a hobby with me. All I wanted was enough to pay for materials in the early years. I was a firefighter and had some off time between firefighting and odd jobbing. I'm sure I'll be checking in time to time. Good to "meet" you too. Take care and good luck with your work.

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On 4/24/2021 at 6:21 AM, Wick Ellerbe said:

Yep. Things have changed. Mostly for the better in knife making. I made my first from a file in 1971 using pointers I got from Pete Hamilton, Randall's shop boss. There were no books, and very few makers would help you. Those that would help often didn't know they were doing themselves. The early good makers were too busy working to keep the wolves from the door. It was more a hobby with me. All I wanted was enough to pay for materials in the early years. I was a firefighter and had some off time between firefighting and odd jobbing. I'm sure I'll be checking in time to time. Good to "meet" you too. Take care and good luck with your work.

I have not "met" you before Wick but add my welcome to these pages and the vast experience the other members have indicated you have garnered and  shared with them

 

It does seem that those of us who started in the 70's were on our own so to speak and for myself I was trialing hunting and working  knife design more than anything due to poor commercial offerings, and it was a solitary enterprise  with no internet or interest in computers so wasn't aware of any of the forums etc untill I had to get one for my building business and this opened up a whole world of hunting forums initially all of which I stopped visiting except for the near 70K international  membership  Hunting forum which has a similar culture of polite interaction that I have found here. 

It was showing them the making of a skinner that had the first "will you make me one" that has gone on to closing in on 700 now in 8 (at last count) countries so as needs arrose there has been a delightfully addictive tooling upgrades and building from the primitive ones I did all my initial making with as they were then one at a time then tests for months etc before deciding on where and what changes needed to be made. 

I see many new makers now being able to find information and those who will offer advice but sometimes I think that when it comes too easy there is a loss of depth of understanding of some of the finer points that only experimenting for yourself will do.

 

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