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tanto_1_copy.jpgrough_tanto_drawing_copy.jpgStarted on a tanto and wanted to get yalls opinion. I'm making it from a saw blade from a sawmill (Didn't forge this one out). It's just under 1 1/2" wide and the blade is 10" long and just about 1/8" thick. I've got a long way to go before I clay coat it and quench it. Hopefully it'll curve a little bit and form a hamon. (Keeping my fingers crossed on that one). LOL Also plan on making the scabbard and handle out of black walnut with black wrap on it. The fittings and such, I plan on making them out of copper. I went ahead and posted my rough drawing also. Hope it helps yall get a idea on where I'd like to go with this one. I'm going to try and take my time with this one. So far I haven't pulled out too much hair yet. LOL Any feedback will be greatly apprecieated. Thanks, Willie Nappier
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for your post JM. I appreciate it. I'd have thought that that there would have been more folks give their two cents. Looks like I'll call ya "The Lone Ranger" LOL. As a matter of fact, that's what I'll name the tanto when it's finished. Yeah, I like that....."The Lone Ranger". I'll post the progress as it happens. Thanks, Willie Nappier

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Looks fine so far.With sawmill blades you may or may not get hamon.Sawmill blades can be anything from shear steel(if its very old)to 10xx's,to l6.Do keep us all updated and try not to become frustrated when you posts something and little to nobody responds.It happens to me too but it doesnt matter because I love this craft and KNOW most everyone on these forums would give the shirt off their backs to help people.

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Just ordered some satanite so I'll be coating and quenching pretty soon. Now I gotta scrounge up a magnet and set up a quench tub. I hope I can get it quenched before I go back to work next trip (work a week away from home then come back home for a week). I'll take plenty of pics and post them. Thanks for yalls support. Willie Nappier

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A couple of tips.Only apply the clay up to 1/8th thick.Dont overheat the steel.Quench it in oil.If you mix in some borax at a 10 to 1 ratio,satinite to borax,it will stick alot better but will be a little harder to remove.Also if you mix some real thin and coat the entire blade you will get a lot less scale.

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Thanks for the tips McAhron. I'm getting that nervous anticipation thing going on right now because this will be the first time to do a blade like this. keep your fingers crossed. lol

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update: coated the blade with satanite day before yesterday, heated and quenched yesterday. The blade developed a few cracks during the quench. The good news is that the blade did curve about 3/8" (happy about that!). Bad news, I snapped the blade into a few pieces because of the cracks. I'm going to forge the next one out for sure! Anyone got a steel type to recommend? I'm looking on this as not a failure but as a learning experience. Can't wait to get started on the new one!! Thanks, Willie Nappier

Edited by Willie
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Did you use oil!?Unless you realy overheated it,left deep scratches on the edge, or left the edge to thin it should not have cracked.If you used water then a more successful way would be to quench in pre-heated water for 3 seconds then pull ot and very quickly put the blade into pre-heated oil at tempering temperature.Just make sure to use oil with a high flash point like peanut oil.

1050-1080 is quite forgiving.I mostly use 1065 and 1070.

Edited by McAhron
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I didn't use oil. I used HOT tap water. I believe the blade was too hot (pitting and the edge was "blown away" in a few spots). I believe that I left the edge too thin, it was too hot to quench.......I owe it all to myself. I was so anxious to get the next part of the process done that I didn't take the time to do it right.

 

I can sum it up with a joke.....A young bull and the Daddy bull is standing on the top of a hill.....Small bull says to the Daddy bull," Hey, there's some cows down there; let's run down there and have sex with a few of them." The Daddy bull says to him,"No Son, let's walk down there and have sex with ALL OF THEM."

 

This is the first major quench I've tried. I'm in no means discouraged by it but happy with the outcome. I learned something. That's the main thing. I know what "NOT TO DO".

 

I apprecieate the advice yall have given me.

 

I'll post the next one for sure!!

 

Thanks for yalls support, Willie Nappier

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Willie , I feel your Pain ! But have some advice to offer. From my experience If you are quenching an unknown toolsteel, A warm oil quench at lower Critical temp is the safest, in the worst case senario it won't harden, you can usually re-heat and quench at a higher temp. Better yet try some known steel. Since I started buying 1080 and 1084 in 50 foot bundles I got rid of THE major variable in my adventures in heat treating. I went from cracking almost every other blade I made to playing with some cool hamon lines in almost no time.

 

Jens

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Maybe the steel you have is oil hardening.

You have to monitor your blade in the fire and don't let it go over "critical".

As soon as the magnet stops catching your steel, you have to dip it in the quenchant.

Some people prevent cracking by doing an interrupted quench.

Here is a great site that covers the author's quenching methods and gives a few tips on how to avoid edge cracking: LINK

 

PS:

By the way, we have a similar tale about bulls and cows:

Three bulls - a young one, a middle-aged one and an old one are sitting on the bank of a river. They spot three cows on the opposite bank.

The young one: "Hey, let's cross the river and go to those cows! Common, common, common!!!"

The middle aged one: "Cool down, youngster, why wet ourselves? Trust me, those cows will come here on their own" ;)

And the old one (scared): "Goddamnit, and what are we gonna do if they really come, man?" :ph34r:

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That's a good one about the 3 bulls!!! LOL! Oh man, that's priceless! I'll have to tell that one next time I'm at work. I hope you don't mind. I'm not at all broken hearted about the quench. I know that I gotta be more patient and use some good steel. Thanks for yalls support. It really means so much to me. Thanks, Willie

Edited by Willie
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Three bulls were walking around the pasture one day, when they overheard the farmer talking about bringing some new blood into the pen. First bull says, "Man, I've been here 5 years, and half those cows are mine. I don't think I'll be sharing with this newcomer." Second bull says, "well, I've only been here a year and a half, and there's about 20 cows of mine that ol' Mr. Bull ain't gonna see company with." Third bull says, "I've only been here 6 months, and there's maybe only 5 cows out there that even like me. Mr. Bull is gonna be in a world of hurt when he gets here, 'cause I sure ain't sharing."

 

Next day a big cattle truck shows up. Farmer drops the gate, and the biggest, meanest, bhrama bull steps off of that thing. He was so big, he didn't have to look through the fence to see the cows in the pasture, he just flat-footed looked over the fence. First bull pipes up and says "you know, maybe I was being a little jealous at first, but I think I'll share with him." Second bull says "you know, you're right. I just was being pigheaded about the whole thing. I think we should go introduce ourselves to Mr. Bull."

 

But the third bull busts out of the pen, snorts, and grunts, paws at the earth, bellowing and stamping and making a great commotion. The first two bulls holler out to him, "man, you're gonna get yourself killed by him! Get back in here before you get torn up!"

 

But the third bull looks back at them, and says "I just want to make sure that he knows I'm a bull."

 

 

-------------------

 

 

I also suggest the warm oil as a first quench. With any unknown steel, it's wise to forge a small portion to blade-size, and progressively quench it in different mediums from warm oil to cool water, then breaking it, to see what works best. Only through this kind of testing can you take an unknown, and be confident in what you do with it. There are too many variables in steel to make assumptions at the heat treat, and the work you put into that blade is now wasted. If you learn something from it, then great... that's how we get better. But never assume. If I were you, I'd also do the testing without clay. Clay is a more advance technique for differential hardening and producing hamon that you should work on after you know how to heat treat the steel generally first.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Looking at the photo I would say you had it too hot when you quenched. Take it slower and bring it up to temp nice and gently. Let it soak in the heat and you will get a much more even temp throughout the blade, you'll also stop the edge getting hotter than the core that way. If you rush it you can be burning steel off the edge while the core is still lower than critical and attracting a magnet.

 

The other thing I'd advise is some sort of thermal cycling before the quench. The simplest is to normalise. Slowly heat the entire balde to critical (don't go much above if you can help it) and then let it air cool. Do this three times in a row before going for the quench and you will drastically reduce the cracking you are getting. Other tricks involve rounding off the edge, interupting the quench (in for two, out for two, back in) and changing the quechant from water to oil. I personally prefer water and will only use oil on a new steel if everything else fails. I think (at least from my experience) that you get a nicer hamon in water.

 

Good luck with the next one!

 

Take Care

 

Oz

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