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About JPH

  • Rank
    Cranky Old Dog Face
  • Birthday October 25

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  • Gender
  • Location
    soon to be Florida
  • Interests
    making metal stuff


  • Location
    Henderson, NV
  1. Heck...when I was in school if you didn't have two (2) knives...a fancy one with at least two or three blades for show and a user one you were considered weird... JPH
  2. Hello: This stuff was pretty rusty when I scrounged it so I did a vinegar soak after I unwound the strands into the 7 basic parts. Followed that with a rather aggressive wire brushing to get out as much rust as I could. Now this cable had a sisal fibre core so that went away . That made it a bit interesting when it came to putting the things together again but it worked. After I got the pieces as clean as I could I took some strips of the SS foil and spiral wrapped then around 3 of the six strands and then just bundled them together as best I cold and started to weld and twist. This is what I ended up with. Didn't turn out half bad at all if ya ask me.. JPH
  3. Hello.. I had a few hours of what would be (Dead) free time... so I whipped this out not wanting to waste working time... Welded cable from a pre 1910 mine here in Nevada with some SS heat treat foil thrown in for colour/contrast just cause I can... "Fossil Bos Taurus" ivory and phosphor bronze mounts.. I think it came out OK for a "time killer" project... It's up on my site as we speak/... Hope these pics come out OK.. JPH
  4. Hello: These RR spikes make OK knives IF they are made from the right spikes and you know how to do he correct thermal treatment...even then..they are just OK.... Wrote this a little while back....may behoove you to take a look.. hope the link works...if it doesn't, look in the knifemaking section it's in there.. I sell these things by the dozens... Hope this helps... JPH
  5. RCT: Thank you for he kind words..yous should see it up close and feeble photo skills do not do this one justice at all... Still it turned out pretty good for an old hammer head like me... JPH
  6. Hey!! I was puttering about in my studio with a hour or so on "dead time" so I hammered out 8 Rail Road spike well as writing an article on this for my web site...Sooo I though I would share a bit as far as how I do a RR spike knife... Forging a knife from a rail road spike is something that has become quite popular of late...and here is how I do it. I make mine a bit differently than most other so, however a word first about RR spikes. Most RR spikes have very little carbon will simply not harden enough to make a "using" knife...however there are a few that are marked "HC" that have a smidge more carbon that when properly heat treated can make a some acceptable knife. Contrary to popular belief the "HC" does not mean "High Carbon" but from my sources at Union Pacific RR it means "Higher Carbon"... from the way it works..I would say that the C content is about 40 points...BARELY enough to just start to get hard enough to take an edge,...BUT it is enough to harden to a point where the blade can be I mentioned above..when properly heat treated. Step one: The spike is flattened, starting from the head and then working down the spike shaft. This will be the gripping area. carefully flatten head section and "blend" it into the start of the spike and continue to flatten this out until you have a flat area about 4" long or so...NO longer than 5".. that will result with a grip area that is a good bit too long and that will "throw off" the lines of the finished blade Once this area is flattened and drawn out the thickness is checked for uniformity and overall "blending" of the head and grip area. When this is done, flatten and spread the remaining spike to form the blade. It doesn't look like there is much material there to make a blade more than a couple of inches long but there is. The blade is forged flat and is widened and drawn out into a rough forged shape As you can see there is a considerable amount of material in one of these spikes after all and you can forge out a pretty good sized "user" knife in a variety of blade shapes and styles. Working from the tip back, start to flatten and spread the blade. Widen as you go and then start in on the distal taper. When you get to the riccasso end... carefully widen this area and make sure the whole forging "blends" well into the shape you want. After the blade is forged out and shaped into the rough shape of what you want to make, this rough forging still needs to be profiled to final shape. Note: at this point the edge bevels have been formed ("packed") and the knife is pretty much in its final cross section. Now is the time to do any refinements and make certain that there are no drastic changes in cross section and that everything "flows" into everything else The next step is blade profiling and grinding the blade edges.. This is done either by hand with a file or a high speed grinder. Here the knife takes on its final "finished" shape. This will be a rather quick process as everything should be pretty well shaped by the forging, and the edge bevels , already being "set" by the hammer shouldn't take much time at all to clean up. Now it is ready for thermal treatment. Thermal treatment consists of two normalizing cycles, which is bringing the entire forging up to approx 1600 degrees F and letting furnace cool over night. You want this steel to be totally relaxed and soft before hardening. After the normalization is completed (this is done to make sure the steel grain is not enlarged, and hence "ruined") the blade is ready to harden. Now since this is a plain carbon steel that has what I feel to be the minimum amount of carbon in it to harden into a cutting edge, I have found that a water/brine quench works best. I use the same basic brine mix that I use when doing refractory thermal treatment (for a "temperline" using clay and 1045/1050 steels) except for a RR spike I use the quench at a temperature that is a good deal lower ambient room temperature instead of heating it to 240 degrees F as I do for the refractory methods. The quench I use is a caustic soda brine mixed from common salt, sodium hydroxide and water. The blade is heated to non magnetic and then held there for 1 minute to ensure uniform heating throughout the thickness. After the soak the blade is removed and then quickly quenched point first to help prevent warpage. Once the blade is hardened it is tempered to a light straw colour (approx 440 degrees F.) and then allowed to air cool. After cooling is is final ground, being very careful to make sure that the steel is not overheated..this could result in "soft spots" in the blade..and these are NOT acceptable Here is the finished blade shown with the "raw material".. These spikes, when properly worked can make some very tough and serviceable knives..when properly heat treated.. They make a very unique blade that is only limited in its design by your own imagination! I hope this works!!!
  7. Steve..Yeah I taught Laddy-Buck..I still miss that old man... just goes to show ya that you CAN teach an old dog... JPH
  8. Thank you for the kind words.. This is just one of many of the blades that I have made over the 10 years and a bit that I have been doing this.. Believe me if I can do this pretty much anyone can... JPH
  9. Oh boy this is it... OK..there are experts that have walked the walk...paid their dues and otherwise worked their ways up from nothing (no one is born knowing how to do this stuff..more on this in a bit...) to being considered an "expert/authority" in the field..not by themselves personally but by others who are already respected in said field. There is a place for "book learnin' " as well as the experience OJT side.. Study is opens the door...but actually DOING the work..well that walks you through the door... Then there are the "experts" that read a blog or webpage and now they know it all...about everything..and the ones that are the best are the folks that say my family have been blacksmiths for 11 generations so by birth I know it already...Oh please....get a takes all kinds to make the world...but still... Argue all you want about the specifics and all comes down to when the hammer hits..does it work? You can know what works for this or that..that is the practical side of this...the side that does the actual work...without knowing the why it works....that is the academic side...the "whys"...this does what it does... To need some of both to get good at this...simple as that. Yeah...ya all can say " What the heck does this guy know anyways?? He doesn't belong to the ABS, Knifemaker's Guild or anything..." and you'd be 100% right..I don't...but I have been doing this for a couple years and a bit and I picked up ALOT of "stuff" in doing so...and I can tell you all this...all of one side, whether it is the academic or the practical isn't best way to go about anything... What matters most is the ability to learn something and then use it.. Some things some folks are "naturals" at...others have to try see it every day... in just about every field and line of work.. All I can say is if you want to get good at this and improve your skill set...get our there and DO IT... Simple as that.... which brings me to a side note on "experts"... Yes experts..the second kind mentioned above..we all know the types...we have seen them many times make fools of themselves...usually they just do something that is so totally over the top and ridiculous that you laugh so hard you wet yourself..or usually you just shake your head and ask "why ?".. Well most of the time that is harm done..but in this field.. these guys can get you FUBAR'd . As I have said before...we are not making toys or widgets here... just about everything out in my studio can mess you up... Remember hand tools injure...power tools maim... and before you try anything suggested by one of these "experts"..please think it through... Hope this helps... JPH
  10. Hello: When you have been doing this for as long as I have (close to 5 decades...)you get "fast" simply by knowing what to do and when to do it. Contrary to popular belief pattern welding is not all that difficult. It can take some time depending upon the pattern you wish to create. Ladder pattern blades are some of the fastest ones to it is more or less lamination followed by grooving and flattening... Composite twist/built composite and mosaic patterned blades can take a lot longer to assemble and hammer out. Believe me..if a ham handed hammerhead like me can do this stuff just about anyone can...It just takes practice and a bit of stubbornness and dedication.. JPH
  11. Hello: Something I whipped out yesterday for RPFS. 1095/L-6 with some meteorite thrown in. The grip is a nice hunk of Sambar stag that I have had for oh the last 20 years or so..bought it when you could still find it and it wasn't priced at a ridiculous level.(I still have about 100 or so pieces of his stuff..getting really pricey IF you can find it.).....This one will be sent down to my E-Vile minions for next weekend... Turned out pretty good for a few hours of puttering about.... JPH
  12. geeeze...I sell 1 1/4" x 36" x a healthy 1/4" bar of ladder pattern 1095/L-6 for $450.00. surface ground clean and light etched to show...gotta raise my prices...well..maybe not... JPH
  13. Hello: Ref workshops and classes..I do offer them...for details see my website... Regards my location..I will be moving to florid and setting up large studio there to accommodate more equipment as well as a couple more people which will make classes more enjoyable... Back to work for me JPH
  14. Hello: Whether it is Bakelite or "tested" as Bakelite when I got it....All I know is it sure is pretty...That's all I can tell ya...I went and bought he rest of what the guy had so I have a small supply and I AM going to use it..believe me!! JPH
  15. Kozzy: From what I can tell the pre 1940's Bakelite is quite different from what is marketed under the same name nowadays. The "Old Stuff" came in quite alot of colour variations and it was very popular as a jewelry item as well ..made into bracelets, earrings and SLTT.. I was able to obtain a few more pieces (in fact I bought all that the fellow had left) I even got some of the "red amber" stuff..looks odd but you never know till ya get into it what it will turn out like... All I know is I had to work it real slow and careful and it did take a beautiful polish..A better polish than I have ever seen on any of the other resin based material like micarta....probably due to the earlier process/materials used back then... I think they came out pretty good... JPH