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Everything posted by will52100

  1. Thanks, got the idea for the handle wrap from James Helm's video on cord wrapping.
  2. Just finished this up, still need to do the sheath. Forged 5160, 4 1/4" cutting edge, 9 1/2" overall length.
  3. Looking good, love the profile on both.
  4. Just make sure you put bolts in the holes for the die blocks. I didn't and didn't know they went all the way through. Lead started trickling out the holes as I was heating and had to stop and cool down and drill out and plug with bolts.
  5. Nice! I had the lead come loose on mine, it was bought second hand and had run for a couple of years before I got it, and run hard for several years after I got it. It eventually got to the point the block of lead was sliding up the hammer tube and smacking into the toggle arm pins while running. I plugged the lower die bolt holes with bolts and put the head over my turkey frier/scrap lead melter and remelted it. Afterward stuck a 1/8" plate down inside the tube and welded the corners so it couldn't move again.
  6. Try the New Mexico artist blacksmith association, don't know how far away they are from you, but you'll likely meat a few knife makers along with some blacksmith during one of their meetings. Also Google makers near you, and don't be afraid to give them a call and ask to visit. Worst they can do is say "no", and most of us enjoy the company. Also check out the different Facebook groups and see who's near you and ask to visit. Don't be a pest, but most makers enjoy teaching and visiting newbies. If you get an xxxx just write it off and go to the next maker. Just some ideas. Anyway, I fully understand about money issues, so do what you can as you can.
  7. No reason not to stock up now and save for later. The trouble with chains for damascus is it is another level up over basic layering. Same with quality wire rope damascus. But no reason not to rat hole what you can when you can as you will eventually use it, possibly sooner than you think. Probably the best thing is to visit a maker who is making damascus and see how they do it, or even better a couple of different makers. Hard to describe on line or in a video what 5 minutes in person can teach. One of ways I was taught to make damascus was the individual stacking of single pieces, or "frontier damascus" or "scrapmascus" Makes some interesting patterns and no two are alike, and is fun, but the main thing is it's a good way to learn that you don't need a lot of force to forge weld and what the colors and flux looks like and how the steel responds at temp. And it's fun. This is a pic of one I did a while back, it's got pieces of files, saw blades, ball and roller bearings, a chunk of a wrench, some leaf spring, some pieces of O1 from a knife I screwed the grinding up on, 1084 and 15&20, L6, pieces of chain saw chain and roller chain, predominately all high carbon and care was taken to try and put contrasting materials together and not say two pieces from the same file. Each piece welded up one at a time and then draw out length wise and sideways and folded and stacked until the pattern evened out. I don't do a lot like this, but it's a good learning exercise. Would mention that while I use both gas forges and a coal forge, for damascus I vastly prefer a vertical gas forge as you are not as likely to burn your steel. Coal is great for some things and I love mine, but all it takes is a few seconds in attention and you've turned several hours work into a roman candle. Anyway, the best thing is if you can visit a maker that is into damascus and see how they do it and then go from there. If you were closer I'd invite you down for some hammering, but I'm sure if you look around you will find local blacksmiths and blade smiths.
  8. You have a point, I am assuming that blade steel is the target, but that is not always the case. Reason I am assuming this is because of previous post talking about high carbon steels. It is a good thing to know how to weld wrought iron and mild steel, just saying to learn high carbon first, provided that's what you plan on doing. So, in other words, if you want even layers, start with thicker 1084 and thinner 15&20? Kinda what I was getting at. I might be wrong about the mechanics, stretching vs. carbon diffusion, vs. simple scaling, but if you start with the same thickness material and get to a decent layer count the 15&20 will appear to be larger. Not an issue with random and twist patterns, but can look off with others. What I was talking about stretching is kinda like using two layers of clay, one is every so slightly softer than the other, not clay and wood that stays still.
  9. I have to call "nonsense" on the nickel alloy NOT stretching. I didn't say it would not draw, I said it will not draw as much. It will draw very nearly as much as the 1084/1080, but not quite. I have made enough damascus to prove this on more than one occasion. You start with the same thickness 15&20 and when you get to the higher layer counts it will be very slightly thicker than the 1080. When you first weld up a billet you can see on the edges that the 1084 has stretched more. I haven't messed with pure nickel much, but from what I've seen I doubt you will get carbon migration to it, at least in the 3-400 layer counts, or at least enough migration to make it hardenable, but maybe a metallurgist can add more insight.
  10. First, I don't know your experience with forging high carbon steel, so disregard if it doesn't apply to you. Forget forge welding mild steel or wrought iron for right now, you run high carbon to the temps needed for either and you'll burn it. It is a good skill to have, but learn to forge weld high carbon first if damascus is your target. The absolutely easiest way to weld a billet of damascus is to get a stack of 1084 and 15&20, sheared to length, 6"x 1 1/2", 1/8" thick on the 1084 and about .080 on the 15&20. Reason for the thicker 1084 is that the high nickel of 15&20 means it will not draw out as much as the 1084 so by the time your at 3-400 layers the layers are about the same thickness. Grind the mill scale off, last batch I got was clean so no need, and stack alternating layers with the 1084 on the outside. Forge weld, and draw out, cut and re stack. This has the benefit of making layers fast and is easy to replicate patterns. 1084 and 15&20 are also close enough that the same heat treat applies to either or both. I've heard some people say you need a hydraulic press to weld, but I started with nothing but a cast iron anvil and a hammer, just made smaller billets and would take longer. A hydraulic press is certainly well suited to damascus, but is not necessary. On a side note, 1084 is sometimes hard to get, 1080 works just fine in it's place. Probably the best way to learn to forge weld is what a friend of mine calls "frontier damascus". Basically start with a chunk of a large file or other low alloy, high carbon steel. Forge it flat and stack a slightly smaller chunk of different alloy high carbon steel on it and forge weld, and so on and so on until you have a nice sized chunk. Flatten out and square up, draw it out and cut and stack with at least one side fold. Makes for interesting patterns and is fun to do, but you need some idea of what alloys you are using. Reason for calling it frontier damascus is that it sounds better than scrapmascus and back in the frontier days smiths would weld up any small pieces to make a larger one, steel didn't get discarded. For forging damascus, probably the best tool is a hydraulic forging press. Next would be an air hammer. I've got a hydraulic press, a tire hammer and a treadle hammer, and they all are useful, but each has their strengths and weaknesses. What one is good at the other not so much. If I was primarily forging damascus and could only have one machine, it'd be the hydraulic press. There have been many wood splitters converted to forging presses, but if you have welding experience you'd likely be better off building one from scratch unless you can get the splitter for free. A wood splitter will need modification and reinforcement.
  11. I have been through the house and shop and can't find my plans for the life of me, which is very irritating as I normally keep all plans and equipment books together. I'll likely find them while looking for something else. Anyway, I'm needing to fab a new wedge for the top die, and while I can certainly figure it out from the old battered up one, I'd like to reference the plans first. Anybody got measurements for it? Thanks Never mind, I found them, figured as soon as I stopped looking I'd find them.
  12. Nice, love the shape and handle finish.
  13. Absolutely gorgeous, outstanding work.
  14. Nice and clean, love the lines and I bet it's very comfortable to use.
  15. Just finished this yesterday, 6/8 blade, 3" long, 400 layers of 1084 and 15&20 twist damascus, half hollow (smallest contact whee I have is 8"), maroon linen mycarta scales and spacer, brass pins and washers. Shaves well, though it needs a little more stoning. This is my second razor, and while it's got a few things I would do different next time, it's not bad and a big improvement over my first. The biggest thing is I want to get a smaller contact wheel and go for a 1/4 grind. I tried to get a decent pic of the edge thinness, but it's hard to see how thin it is.
  16. Very nice work, and love the safety. I've been trying to figure out a method of putting a safety on liner locks myself, but haven't settled on one yet.
  17. Well, I've got a 2 and 3 pound and 7 pound, now I just need something in between like say 4-4 1/2 pound. The larger the stock the easier it is, but I had a couple friends over a few weeks ago and we forged 3 and 3 1/2 pounders out of 1 3/8 axel shaft, just had to cut long and upset, kinda a pain, but that's the beauty of metal working, you make the material fit you, not you fit the material.
  18. Used a swedge block, tried a cupping hardy at first, but it was too small and started to pinch the edges.
  19. That's what I like about it, you can just lift it and drop it and it does the work and with a good anvil the rebound helps you lift it again.
  20. I understand the difference, but the terms solder and silver solder and silver braze is used so indiscriminately now to describe several different heat and strength ranges that I ask for heat range any more instead of silver solder or braze just to be sure of what I'm getting. You are correct that -100 is not cryo in the proper sense of the word, but knife makers usefully use the term, incorrectly, for dry ice and kerosene as part of the heat treat. I never said I would not do an interference fit, just that I'd be cautious about it, namely that there is little reason to go -100 deg. when kitchen freezers will shrink it enough and not risk damaging a couple days work.
  21. Granted it's not as cold as liquid nitrogen, but it's still considered cryo and as long as you get the blade below -100 deg. it's still doing it's job. I did not say it would not work, just that I would not risk it with stainless, or carbon steel for that mater, as blades below -100 are very brittle, and the sudden temp change of a hot guard could cause a fracture at the junction, and if you decide to give it a little tap to seat the guard it could fracture as well. 20-25 degree in the kitchen freezer on the other hand will cause enough shrinkage to allow an interference fit with a guard that has been warmed to 200 deg. in an oven to slip on without undue stress to the blade, or taking skin off while your doing it. This is supposition from not wanting to break a blade and not taking chances on something I've got a couple days work in. I was talking about silver braze, not solder, ruining the heat treat and unless you can find a braze that will remain solid at 2000 deg then don't do it before heat treat either. Silver solder, or low temp solder, is fine, and done rite will not ruin the temper of most any knife out there. Most times I simply wrapped a wet paper towel around the blade to prevent heat transfer if needed. There are various low temp solders out there, but I don't know of any off hand that will flow at below 350 deg. and work and look rite for a guard, but it wouldn't surprise me overmuch if they exist.
  22. I am no expert by any means on stainless, do only a handful every so often as I much prefer carbon steel. Anyway, I would not sub zero a blade and slip a hot guard on, might be OK, but could cause the stainless to fracture at the junction from thermal expansion. Like I said, it might work, but my experience with cryo shows that the critical point is not the cooling down, but the warming back to room temp where if it's shocked it likes to break. Should work fine at regular refrigerator/freezer freezer temps and warming the guard. I'm not up on stainless braze, I use silver braze on some applications like adding on to a stick tang, but all I've used flows in the 1400-1500 deg range and the last stainless blade I heat treated was at 2000 deg. so it would not work to braze the guard before heat treat, and would damage the heat treat post heat treating. I have seen stainless guards made of the same material as the blade TIG welded on with strips of blade metal prior to heat treat. Good idea to check the temp ranges to make sure everybody is on the same page as to solder/braze.
  23. The solder is less important than a flux that will etch the metal. Regular old past flux won't cut it on higher alloy and stainless steels, and a good solder like stay brite will not only flow well and have more holding strength than lead solder, but it stays bright and shiny longer instead of turning grey. I've never used a solder stop, but I would be willing to bet that the sharpie trick works well as it came from a maker that I respect both as a person and there craftsmanship. If they say it works then I'd be willing to give it a try. I have a feeling it's pretty much doing the same thing. Also, I have sharpies on hand, would have to go and buy solder stop. The argument on tanto's is unending. What your talking about and others are is the American tanto vs. the traditional. Or as some would call it, a knife with a tanto point. I love the traditional blades, and really don't much care for the American tanto, but if that's what you want to make then there is no rules saying you can't, so call it what you want and make what you want.