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I Forge Iron

Chuck Richards

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About Chuck Richards

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    Salem Oregon
  • Biography
    KnifeSmith, Retired USN
  • Interests
    Knifemaking, Fishing,Forging Damascus
  • Occupation
    Knife Smith

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  1. Here are a couple examples of a ladder pattern. First one has been laddered then parkerized to bring out the contrast. Second one has a more polished blade and with the play of light shows a nice chatoyance.
  2. I purchased some "15N20" bandsaw material from a saw maker who purchased it from Uddeholm. I was assured it was 15N20. When I made the billet though, NO PATTERN. It is good to hear that Uddeholm admits their smaller blades are actually simple carbon steel (these were .062x6). Just goes to show that even when you buy known steel it might not be what you expect. Great first attempt, would be great for your 20th. Very nice contrast and it looks very solid. Nice Job :D
  3. Mine had been repaired once before. Actually both arms are welded and they used nickel rod. It held up for 12 years. I just welded it up with a mig so I'll see how it holds up. Looking at the arms they do not seem too complicated. I have the ability to do both the forging and machining so I hope I can make them up. I did find a company that says they specialize in parts for the Beaudry and other hammers but I have not spoken to them yet. Here is their link http://united.forginghammers.com/
  4. Hand made knives take a lot of time and patience. Hand filing will take many many hours of hard tedious work. If you can file a blade in 6 hours you are doing pretty good. As mentioned before it takes a lot of practice. I had a great teacher who told me once that he did not make knives any faster. He found that when he was able to get faster at a particular step of the process he just spent more time perfecting other aspects. He is one of the most talented makers I know and am proud to call him a friend. By the way his name just happens to be Tai Goo. Keep at it. There has been some great advice given. Find what works for you and perfect your process.
  5. OK lets give this a go. Stainless cable is normally 300 series and does not make a good knife. Cannot be hardened and does not weld good in an open environment. It can be welded in an inert atmosphere. A sealed canister is a great method. It is the way I do almost all my damascus. Cable can be problematic. It has lots of voids and crap in the strands that cause inclusions. What I have found to work best is cable in a can. I pack as much cable into a box with one end sealed off. Once I have all the cable I can pack in the can I fill the voids with HC Nickel bearing powder. I make sure it is vibrated down and filled in as much as possible. I then weld a cap on the open end. Then forge weld this as you would any other billet. Work it down and pattern it as you see fit. Comes out pretty nice and it can be manipulated differently than regular cable. Make sure you cable is HC steel. Much of it is just mild steel and will not harden. Do a practice HT on a small piece you forge welded. Also make sure you get as much carp out of it as possible. I burn out my cable then take it apart, at least the major strands. I then either wire brush the remaining burned grease off or sandblast it off. Then reassemble and make up the billet. Also try to avoid the cable with rope centers or remove the rope. I have also seen cable with plastic sheathing in the middle. Avoid this also it will cause you nothing but grief. PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM GALVANIZED CABLE. It is TOXIC when burned. Good luck and whatever you do have fun.
  6. I have a power hammer, well until I broke it today. I also have a press. There are advantages to both and will not give up either. When I began my mentor made me forge all my damascus by hand. He loved watching me beat myself up. Every once in a while he would have pity on me and draw out a billet on his 250# Murray. I finally got a 100# Beaudry and used it a little before I got a 50ton press. I can move material really fast with the press and smooth things out with the hammer. Noe I just need to get the hammer fixed. Luckily I know someone who can forge. :rolleyes:
  7. I broke my power hammer today. It is a 100# Beaudry and I broke one of the spring arms. It cracked at a previously repaired spot. It really sucks I am right in the middle of a big project. I re-welded it and stress relieved it. I hope it holds long enough to finish the project. I do have the press. I like to do some of the finish work on the hammer though. It can get things really smooth and it also helps to seal up any surface imperfections. Anybody have a spare set of spring arms laying around?? I really doubt I could find some. I did find a company that specializes in Beaudry's but I probably won't hear from them until the AM and they probably want an arm and a leg for them. I also found someone at a blacksmith site that forged a set. I guess I will look at making my own. Oh well I just had to vent a little. Thanks for listening.
  8. No he is not a chef. He had me make one for his fathers birthday and liked it so much he almost kept it. So my daughter asked if I would make him one. This one turned out much better than his dads. I think he might get the hint, but if not I can always use it for another purpose ;)
  9. Here is a new chef's knife I just finished up. Blade is 11.75" W-2 tool steel with a nice hamon. The collar is 416 stainless, handle is double dyed and stabilized box elder burl with a stainless and copper mosaic pin to set it all off. OAL is 17" This knife is surprisingly light in the hand. The blade thickness is .155 at the ricasso. This will make my daughters boyfriend really nice Christmas present. Thanks for looking
  10. Dustin, I would highly recommend getting involved with the American Bladesmith Society. There are many smiths in the northwest that would probably allow you to come over to the shop and pick their brain for a while. I would offer if you are ever in the Salem Or area. There is a Master Smith in Walla Walla which is closer to you I believe. I also second getting as many books on the subject as you can afford. You can occasionally find one at the bookstore but most will have to be purchased on-line. The $50 knifeshop is a great beginner book. Good luck and keep asking questions.
  11. Do not pre drill for a 1/4 inch hole. If you are using a nice sharp drill bit it will go thru like budda. Do not use coolants as the liquids will be absorbed and cause problems later. If you have sharp tools and work slowly it should go just fine.
  12. Though i normally do not get involved in the political arena, this bullet/gun ban/restriction is one that I will get into. I encourage all to do the same.
  13. Yes I use peanut oil. The highest smoke point food oil is called camellia or Tea Seed Oil. it has a smoke point of 486f, refined safflower is next at 450f then refined soybean at 448f refined peanut falls in at 444f. The cost of the camellia puts it out of reach for most $60/gallon.
  14. Well that is probably why it has been there for a while. They can be a bit high on some of their materials (antiques) but it is still cheaper than new. I found a really nice one there for $150. Did you find the box of 52100?? You can always go with the NWBA, Here is one in Portland, POST VISE
  15. I use a home built blown forge with a single 2" burner. I can get 18 + hours (welding) out of a 100#/20gal tank. If I am just forging or heat treating then I can get much longer. I like the 100# tank since it does not freeze up like the smaller ones can.
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