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  2. D2 is a tool steel. By that I mean its hard and can retain a edge for quite a while before needing to be reground. And it does have corrosion resistance due to being alloyed with chromium. But it comes with a few pitfalls for a beginning smith. First, it has to be worked consistently at high temps. That means a lot of heating up, a short forging cycle and then back to the forge for getting it back up to heat. Mess that up and you run the risks of cracks forming. Its also a an air-hardening steel. It needs a solid preheat of 15-20 minutes then good soak time of about 30 minutes at full temperature, preferably in a foil packet to help exclude oxygen and then being held in cool, still air. Again, many people use quench plates for an even quench to avoid thermal shock. A cryo treatment to help with converting the austenite just like you would with stainless steel is really needed to achieve its full potential. Sorry, but when steel is alloyed with chromium, there isn't a lot of wiggle room in how it needs to be treated. It requires longer soak times, special quenching and then cooling in order to it to achieve the best results.
  3. So what is you opinion of d2? Hard and not as susceptible to rusting. Is it easy to heat treat and work with?
  4. Today
  5. Well, considering most standard 20 pound propane tanks are about 14 inches long and 12 inches across, you'd have about double what most people start out with. With that being said, what do you plan on making? If you plan on general knives, then its a bit oversized. But if you're thinking knives and swords, you might like the extra length of it. As for stacking your insulation, you're going to need more than just the insulation to make it work. It will crush down unless you cover it with a thick layer of refractable. In fact I suspect that it will sag over time even with that. I would ask Wayne Coe, I would consider him one of the board experts on this.
  6. 440C can probably be called getting your feet wet stainless. Most people go for it because its a well known alloy. But like Alan said, stainless requires special heat treating and quenching prep as well as being recommending for cryo treatment. As I recall, you need to preheat it for around 20 minutes, soak it for about half an hour and then quench it using heavy aluminum plates and compressed air. Then it needs to be cryo treated in either liquid hydrogen or kerosene full of dry ice. But don't let the worry of corrosion get to you. Most hunters will take care of their knives well enough to prevent that. You can help by make sure they know to keep their knives cleaned and wiped down with an oily rag as well as oiling their sheaths. Another way of preventing rust is to put a mirror polish on your blades, though that takes a great deal of patience, and the areas you etch will still be prone to rust. But with that being said, I use 1084 and I have blades years old that have yet to rust.
  7. Thanks man. That's a great compliment. I've still got a lot to learn, like all of us.
  8. Safe travels Dave. About that most recent creation. I absolutely love your style. You have a gift for making new knives that look like they were plucked out of time and transferred to the present day. Your work always evokes a mysterious and ancient time. This. I think you once said: "it's a Zen thing"
  9. You have some weird critters down under mate.
  10. I am loving those Totems!
  11. Red skies at night, sailor's delight. Red skies at morning, sailor's take warning.
  12. land in this part of NM is still pretty inexpensive. 5 acres is going for around $20K
  13. Thanks maybe I’ll just continue to buy finished blanks for now. Most all the hunters I know prefer stainless for a hunting blade. I’m mainly focused on hunting knifes and it sounds like heat treating the stainless might pose a problem. There are a number of suppliers that have 440c cryogenically treated blanks that seem to be pretty good quality.
  14. A smart guy once told me to use what you have when building from scrap. It’s almost always true. But here’s my situation. I have a 30 gallon compressor tank in great shape. Yes it’s 17” diameter and 28” long to the rounded ends. Yes that’s huge but.....I was at an auction the other day and there was this huge box of what looked like insulation. At first I really didn’t pay it any attention. It turns out it was 2600 degree ceramic insulation 2” thick, 48” wide and 12.5 feet long. Says 8 pound on it. I guess that’s the density? So what if I put 4” of insulation in then coat with refractory? Would 4” walls be bad? Seems like it would only be better but I figured I’d ask you all. I have enough insulation to probably reline it a couple times over. I can cut a vent hole in either end but still line the ends 6” deep to reduce internal volume more. If my math is right 17 wide -8 for walls and bring the ends into 16” it would be about 1050 cube. So 3 burners? Idk, I know it’s huge but I’d never need a bigger one lol. I know it will use more gas than a smaller one but I’m ok with that for now. If it uses too much I can build a smaller one later. My main question is if there’s anything bad about 4” thick ceramic fiber? Btw I got that roll of fiber for $1
  15. Hey guys, finally got some real steel on the way, won't have to use old cold chisels anymore! I'm really enjoying forging from round stock, especially since I like doing integrals. Since apparently 1084 and 1095 don't come in round, I went with some 3/4" round 5160, from Ray Kirk's website. From what I gather, it's harder to heat treat than 1084, but not quite as finicky as O1 or 52100, for example. I have a friend with a digital HT oven I'm going to use, so I should be able to execute a reasonably precise HT. Does that sound doable for a beginner, or am I setting myself up for difficulties when I try to heat treat? Would I have been significantly better off just sticking with 1084 for now? Thanks, Alex
  16. Yesterday
  17. Looks nice! Hard to critique without giving it a test run - proof of pudding is how well it cuts, everything else is quite subjective. It is really the 'thickness behind the edge' that has the biggest effect on how a chefs knife cuts. I grind & stone the bevels on my chefs knives pretty thin before sharpening (so the edge is say 0.004" - 0.006") - its a funny one, as a 0.012" edge can seem thin before sharpening, but its triple the thickness of a 0.004" edge ! Like you say it does not have much distal taper (thin tip is important on a chefs knife for 'swishing' through onions etc), and to my eye there is quite a lot of handle there for a kitchen knife. Looks great and well sculpted for a 'Stab Grip' , but how does it feel in hand for other grips, like 'pinch gripping' which is used a lot. The other thing that I have found to be very important on kitchen / chefs knives is 'board clearance' for your knuckles when chopping etc. You don't want to be working with your knuckles over the edge of the board all the time, which you do if there is not enough clearance. It might be the angle of the photos, but it looks like your knife would be a bit tight for clearance. If so kicking the angle of the handle up a couple of degrees, relative to the back 2/3rds of the cutting edge would make it much easier to use. My knives tend to be all in a more traditional Japanese style, which is very minimalist. I dont have much experience making 'western' type chefs knives so my ramblings might be off the mark for this knife though!
  18. In the meantime, I found some photos I took during the forging of the wolf tooths spearhead I posted few days ago.
  19. Thanks, I'd really like to see that! A winged spear is something I have not made.
  20. Yesterday I started a new project - winged Viking age spearhead. I based on archeological find from Ostrów Lednicki (Poland). I am not quite happy with the final effect, there are some miss-weldings between socket and wings, I did it the first time, I hope next one will be better. In two days I am going to upload Video about the forging of it to my yt channel.
  21. R. Thiele


    Hit the flea market yesterday early, and hit a stash of old Nicholson and Simmonds files....about 40 or so. Bout to let em soak!
  22. Like Geoff, I am a carbon steel guy, but I have been investigating stainless for pocketknives. Forging is out for most stainless alloys suitable for blade work, except maybe 440C. For stock removal, your heat treating setup is your limiting factor. Most blade stainless steels need a long soak at 1900 - 2100 degrees F. This means for most of them you will need a programmable oven like a Paragon or Evenheat, or you will need to send the blades out for heat treatment. The exceptions to this are Uddeholm-Bohler AEB-L and Sandvik 12c27 and 14c28. People have been having good results from these alloys using a well-controlled gas forge to soak in. These are relatively simple alloys for stainless steels. That said, I have no personal experience with them yet. I intended to by now, but life keeps getting in the way.
  23. Thanks! The copper was kind of an experiment, turned out ok. I think that technique definitely has some potential. Maybe make it bigger, and use a jewelers saw to cut out floral patterns in the copper or something
  24. yes, I am hoping to make it...but with whats going on I have no idea if that will be possible or even prudent.
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