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Having missed out on last years KITH, I wanted to start this year with plenty of time to finish.  I'm trying for a san-mi dagger, 1084 over 15n20, 4-5" long.

Starting billet is 3 layers of .070" stock, 1" wide, by 4.75" long.

20210604_184446.jpg

The welds seem to take really well.  Rough forged:

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And some random cuts to give some character:

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A couple of the cuts got away from me, which caused some headaches in the final forging. 

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It came out a bit thinner than I wanted.  I'm going to have to get creative on the grinder to salvage a knife out of it, but I think theres enough there to make it work.

 

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Managed to get the blade profiled, and almost all the way done with the bevels.  She's definitely a bit on the thin side, right around 3mm, but it'll make for a wicked sharp little blade. 

 

Here's a snapshot of what it looked like after profiling. 

20210605_132507.jpg

You can see some of the sketches I used to get it symmetrical.  It's a bit hard to see, but I found that if I scribed the centerline from both sides, and continued it all of the way out to the tip, it gave me a good idea of the symmetry, even without the sketches.

 

After roughing in the bevels on the grinder

20210605_142713.jpg

 

And then I managed to get one side drawfiled and evened up.

20210605_144815.jpg

 

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to finish up the other side, define the ricasso and tang, and get the heat treat done.

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Looking good already!

 

You are a brave man, drawfiling with open shoes like that, I wouldn't like those sharp shavings in my toes:lol:

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, Pieter-Paul Derks said:

You are a brave man, drawfiling with open shoes like that,

Lol.  Thanks!  You should have seen me forging in them a couple years ago.  Lesson learned there, still have a perfectly circular scar on top of my foot from hot scale falling through one of the holes.:wacko:

Edited by Alex Middleton
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So I'm really happy with the way this blade turned out.  The symmetry is pretty decent, and the plunges came out significantly better than my normal.  Here's a pic of one side after hand sanding in preparation for hardening:

20210606_143438.jpg

Not perfect, but I'm very happy with that aspect.

 

Then I gave it a test etch to check the symmetry of the pattern.

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20210606_150716.jpg

 

Overall, not horrible, but when I was laying out the centerline there was a little voice in the back of my head that kept saying I needed to bring one side over a touch before I started grinding.  I should have listened.  The pattern on the good side was pretty much what I was looking for, the other side obviously washed out a bit. Time to start over.

 

This time I need to leave things a bit thicker during the final forging.  Hopefully that will pull the pattern up higher.  Even on the "good" side the 1084 comes down to the edge too much.  Also I don't need to isolate quite as much for the tang,  it came out a bit longer than it needed to be.

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Well, on the positive side, that's some nice drawfiling and shaping to make a dagger!  

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I would say that you brought that off rather nicely.  I love to see WIP photos to show a blades progress from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan.

 

Doug

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Thanks Doug.  Just goes to prove that almost every knife turns into a stock removal project and some point in time.  Especially when you are as bad at forging as I am. :D

Getting the San-mai properly centered is one of my goals for this KITH, so I really don't mind starting over again.   Hopefully I can forge the next one a bit cleaner as well.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Take #3.  A bout with covid has kept me out of the shop for the last couple of weeks.  #2 just wasn't working either (sorry, no pics).  I might have been able to save it if I had put it back in the forge, but that little voice was telling me to scrap it and start over.  This time I decided to listen.  I only managed about 45 minutes in the shop before I was totally gassed,  but managed to get this rough forged and normalized.

20210627_173633.jpg

 

Looking at the pic, I may end up having to tweak it some more.  That little dip in the tang might cause a bit of trouble.  Either way it's a start and it felt pretty good to get back to working again.

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I'm glad you're feeling better and back at it!
I love watching these types of blades come to life!  Way way too technical for my skills, lol!

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13 hours ago, Jaron Martindale said:

Way way too technical for my skills, lol!

Judging by your KITH project, I call BS!  :D

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BAHAHAHA!!  Naw, mine can look "rustic" and I can get away with it..:ph34r: 

These Daggers really show some true craftsmanship!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Haven't had much shop time lately.  I took a half hour or so tonight to straighten out the tang.  I also cut the tip off and reforged it to get rid of a delam at the end of the billet.

20210727_194845.jpg

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6 hours ago, Alex Middleton said:

Haven't had much shop time lately.  I took a half hour or so tonight to straighten out the tang.  I also cut the tip off and reforged it to get rid of a delam at the end of the billet.

20210727_194845.jpg

YEAH! Rockin' the shop Crocs B)
:lol:
I even forge in them:lol:

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3 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

YEAH! Rockin' the shop Crocs B)
:lol:
I even forge in them:lol:

Lol.  I'll wear them if I'm doing light forging.  The perfectly round scar I have on my left foot reminds me that they're not a good idea when doing anything with heavy amounts of scale though!

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  • 1 month later...

Finally got back to this after a month.  Managed to get quite a bit done today.  Still need to draw file the bevels to even everything up.

20210828_144432.jpg

 

A quick etch shows the layers right about where they should be.  Theres not a whole lot of activity to the transition like I wanted, but sometimes you have to crawl before you run I guess.  Sooner or later I'm going to have to decide on what I'm going to do for the handle.

Gotta be well over 100° in the shop right now, so that's probably it for today.  Hopefully I'll get a few hours at it tomorrow morning before it gets too hot again.

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Posted (edited)

A stupid mistake on the grinder came back to haunt me, forcing me to redo the ricasso a bit.  In the end I think I like it better now, may have to rethink the handle some more now.  Also managed to get one side drawfiled and sanded up to 320 in preparation for heat treat.

20210829_125357.jpg

Had to take a break before starting the other side.  Fat guys and hot weather don't get along too well! :lol:

Edited by Alex Middleton
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Finished hand sanding the blade and did a quick test etch to make sure I was on the right track.

20210902_192314.jpg

A little hard to see in the pic, but this side is looking perfect.  The outer layer runs a bit farther down to the tip on the other side, but after final grinding I think that it'll be fine.

 

Also started doing a bit of inspirational reading and sketching out handle ideas.

20210902_210016.jpg

 

My apologies for the crude sketch, I'm horrible at free hand drawing.  I'm not 100% satisfied with this route yet, but its the idea I'm leaning towards currently.   With the blade only being 4" from tip to plunge, it'll be difficult to get a full sized handle on it and still keep it looking proportional. 

Edited by Alex Middleton
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Alex, the blade looks good, balanced, symmetrical. Nice job draw filing. Etch and polish will stand out nicely.

Though only 4” I wouldn’t overthink the handle design. My thought is slim with some swell. JMO not to make the guard wide at all. 

Gary LT

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7 hours ago, Gary LT said:

I wouldn’t overthink the handle design.

Thanks for the input Gary.  Easier said than done for me though, especially on a KITH knife.  I have a few more ideas that I haven't sketched out yet.  I'll probably work on it a bit more today and see what I can come up with.

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You got this!

And you know what they say about “opinions”!

Gary LT

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After a few redraws I'm going to see if I can pull this off:

20210904_103556.jpg

I'm leaning toward a three finger sized handle at the moment.  I may stretch it out closer to full size once I get shaping the handle block.  It'll depend on how it looks and feels once i get that far. 

With that (almost) decided, I guess it's time to go out and get this thing hardened and tempered.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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