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Well here's how my day has been..rip


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Posted (edited)

Well, broke 2 blades. First one was the bowie I'd been working on. Gave it a couple LIGHT taps on a log near my bench. Fell right apart. Grain looks good, but clearly a micro crack right on the edge, and a hammer mark inclusion on the side. So I'd been working on a seax, also. Heat treat done. File felt like it was digging, so I heat treated again.. file still digs slightly but not as bad. Sanded off the forge scale and it skates beautifully. OK well files bite forge scale 10 4. Dropped it. Popped it right in two. Grain looks like crap. Extremely brittle from two quenches. Time to start over. Lol. Good news is our mechanic gave me this nice 52100 bearing race off a mack this afternoon. Maybe I'll work it next. 

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Edited by Derrick S
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It always seems like my best days come after a day like you described.  Hang in there :)

 

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1 hour ago, Brian Dougherty said:

It always seems like my best days come after a day like you described.  Hang in there :)

 

 

Gotta have a little sadness once in awhile so you know when the good times come.

 

-Bob Ross

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Posted (edited)

Appreciate the encouragement.  Think I'm gonna try to make a tanto out of one of the bearing races next. Already so close to the shape once I unroll it. Figure the failed blades are just paying my dues. 

 

Edited by Derrick S
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It's the lows that make the highs meaningful. If everything came easy, there would be no point. I'm sure you've learned from this, and that's what it's all about. I have a feeling your next blade will be stunning! Best of luck!

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How long before cracking did you harden them, and had you tempered yet? You don’t want to wait too long before tempering, sometimes blades can crack just sitting over night after hardening but not being tempered. 
 

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On 5/4/2021 at 7:21 AM, Jesse Lange said:

How long before cracking did you harden them, and had you tempered yet? You don’t want to wait too long before tempering, sometimes blades can crack just sitting over night after hardening but not being tempered. 
 

The bowie had been tempered. Tempered it within a couple hours if the quench. The seax didn't make it that far. I was grinding forge scale off after the quench when it slipped out of my fingers, hit the concrete, and popped right in two. 

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1 hour ago, Derrick S said:

I was grinding forge scale off after the quench

Hopefully this will be the last time you try to do anything to the blade tempering it for at least a one hour 'snap' temper.  

 

Unless you are one of those savants who straighten blades that warp during the quench while the blade is still in the 400-700F range (is this called pre-martensite formation?) I guess...

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1 minute ago, billyO said:

Hopefully this will be the last time you try to do anything to the blade tempering it for at least a one hour 'snap' temper.  

 

Unless you are one of those savants who straighten blades that warp during the quench while the blade is still in the 400-700F range (is this called pre-martensite formation?) I guess...

The bowie actually did take a warp on quench. I put it between 2 pieces of angle iron on my vise and let it finish cooling. Took the warp right out. Perks to being a forged in fire fan I guess, I have at least learned a few neat tricks. As for the stress fractures in the bowie, those had to either come from the heat treat itself or from hammering when it wasn't hot enough. I'm thinking the latter. As for the seax, after quench I let it air cool to the touch before grinding. Maybe 30 mins or so. Took a break. Grabbed a bite to eat So im not sure exactly how long it was. My intention was to take the scale off, and do a bit of finer shaping before temper. Refine the bevels a bit and such. If its a better bet to go right to temper that's good to know. 

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26 minutes ago, Derrick S said:

 If its a better bet to go right to temper that's good to know. 

Yeah, there isn't anything to gain by doing this before tempering, and as you have discovered, there is a  lot to loose.

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Not to derail the conversation (I think this is relevant)...

I, too, use 1 1/2" thick aluminum straightening plates during my quench:  6-8 seconds in Parks 50 and then immediately into the vice with the plates. 

I'm wondering if anyone has ever had a blade crack during this operation?  I'm guessing this might be more of a risk (because of a smaller window of opportunity) with more high-tech steels than the simple and more forgiving 1080/15N20 I use.  

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harsh. Just a heads up that bearing steel (probably 52100) is a really miserable steel to work with. Horrible under the hammer (hard and short), and fussy heat treat. I avoid it like the plague even with 15 years playing at the game!

 

Bit of known steel like 1070 is really not expensive and removes so many variables from the process! -

 

Enjoy the process even if the outcome is sub optimal, more learnt in the failures than the successes at the start of the journey! 

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30 minutes ago, John N said:

harsh. Just a heads up that bearing steel (probably 52100) is a really miserable steel to work with. Horrible under the hammer (hard and short), and fussy heat treat. I avoid it like the plague even with 15 years playing at the game!

 

Bit of known steel like 1070 is really not expensive and removes so many variables from the process! -

 

Enjoy the process even if the outcome is sub optimal, more learnt in the failures than the successes at the start of the journey! 

Appreciate the info. I've heard it's rough to work. My thought was those bearing races are already so close to a knife shape it wouldn't take much hammering. They're wide on one side and pretty much have a bevel already ground on the other. For a tanto, I'd pretty much just use the ridge already on them and hammer out the tip, then go right down the back of the blade for the taper. Any advice on nailing the heat treat? 

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On 5/7/2021 at 10:48 PM, Derrick S said:

Appreciate the info. I've heard it's rough to work. My thought was those bearing races are already so close to a knife shape it wouldn't take much hammering. They're wide on one side and pretty much have a bevel already ground on the other. For a tanto, I'd pretty much just use the ridge already on them and hammer out the tip, then go right down the back of the blade for the taper. Any advice on nailing the heat treat? 

 

Im afraid no tips on it. I have made knives from bearing race, but not enough to have any quantifiable technique. All I know is its hard to work under the hammer (not enjoyable) and fussy. 

 

Steel's the cheapest bit of bladesmithing (takes a while to appreciate that) - I need the odd 'easy win' with my hobby so stick to simple steels ive 'learnt' , and I use expensive (but still very cheap in the overall scheme of things) Japanese steel for most of my chefs knives (Aogami Blue paper etc), which Im getting a handle on now. Lots of ways to cock up making a knife, so I try and remove a lot of the variables, which makes pinning the mistakes down a lot easier for the next attempt!

 

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