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Long shot, but looking for help.


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A buddy of mine had his truck catch on fire the other day.  Unfortunately in his glove box was a knife his father in law had given him as a wedding present 20 years ago.

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It a 20th anniversary whitetails unlimited blade from 2002.  I told him I could clean it up and put a new handle on it for him, but I'd really like to redo the heat-treat as well because I'm pretty sure the temper is gone up near the tip.

Anybody ever run in to one of these?  Any idea what the blade may be made from?  It has a surprising lack of patina on it, which makes me afraid that it may be stainless of some sort.

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Re-doing the heat treat is going to kill that logo etch as well... :( but make it usable again.

 

Found this online.

Screenshot_20210531-220604_Samsung Internet.jpg

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@Welsh joel, your google skills are amazing!  I played around for an hour the other day trying to find something like that!  I even emailed WU but haven't heard anything back from them.  "Carbon steel" is still pretty vague, but way more than I could find.   I'll give it a heat to decalesence and quench it and see what happens. 

I told him the logo wouldn't survive.  Thankfully he's pretty realistic about the whole thing and is just happy to have a chance at having his knife back.  

Thank you sir!

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I tried to do some further net research on the "carbon steel" referenced- to no avail... that was literally the only one I found online.

 

Sounds like a worthy project to try. Good luck with it!

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The Silver Stag website says they use primarily D2, so you might try a plate quench first.  I always figured they were something like 420J, and back in 2002 they may have been.  Good luck!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks @Alan Longmire.  A plate quench will be a new one, but should be doable.  IIRC, D2 is somewhat air hardening as well.  Would you recommend blowing compressed air in between the plates, or just clamping everything together and letting it cool?

Edited by Alex Middleton
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I just checked the ASM heat treater's guide companion, not having any personal experience with D2, and based on what they say I wouldn't do compressed air.  They say cool in still air as evenly as possible on all sides, so the plates may not be necessary, except for warp control.  They also say to temper between 400-1000 F, giving hardness from Rc 61-54.  Depending on how hot it got in the fire, in other words, it may not need rehardening.  Probably does, but it's worth checking with a file...

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Thanks for the heads up.  I ran a file across it once and it bit a little.  It may have been just the gunk left from the fire though.  I'll ckean it up a bit and then dig one in a bit harder before I get all silly and fire up the forge. :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

No temper colours on the blade, handle not burnt off. I would be surprised if it has exceeded the tempering temps it was made with! what does a sharp file say about the existing heat treat condition?!

 

Dont try and fix if if its not broken! :D 

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  • 3 months later...
On 6/10/2021 at 2:41 PM, John N said:

No temper colours on the blade, handle not burnt off. I would be surprised if it has exceeded the tempering temps it was made with! what does a sharp file say about the existing heat treat condition?!

 

Dont try and fix if if its not broken! :D 

I was just about to say the same thing. I will add that the distinct lack of patina also tells me this knife doesn't get used much for its intended purpose.

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Definitely doesn't get used much.  Keeping it in the glove compartment of his truck seems like an odd place for something of sentimental value, but who am I to judge.  I still have it sitting on my bench waiting for him to figure out what he wants to put on it for a handle.  I did dig a file into a bit harder and it bit pretty good.  Once I get around to getting the handle off it I'll try a comparison in a few different spots and see how it reacts. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Somebody remind me to never take on a restoration project on a production blade again.  I got everything taken apart and started to clean up the blade.  The amount of low spots on the "flats" is incredible.  I thought about just blending everything by hand and buffing the hell out of it but couldn't bring myself to do it.   Looks like I have a lot of hand sanding in my future, and I'll probably have to refit the guard after I'm done.

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