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I Forge Iron

sfeile

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About sfeile

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    North/West PA (near Bradford)

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  1. I started with leaf springs because I had a couple full packs given to me from a family friend when I started. As Chris said, they are a mystery steel. Free steel is good if you take the time to do some test samples from each pack to see how they react to quenching and tempering to dial them in so to speak. If you are buying them, you would honestly be better off just buying knife steel. You get a known alloy with known baselines for heat treat, and you don't have to worry about hidden stress fractures.
  2. Thank you, and you are welcome.
  3. There is a small herd in a town in NY close to me that hangs out on the campus. They will actually wait and look for traffic before crossing the road.
  4. Les is pretty spot on Chris. For smaller stuff you will be using a fairly low amperage and wont need super dark. My auto hood goes to 12 I believe, but I generally use 9 or 10 for most everything I do. Low amp tig 9, mig usually 10. 1/8 7018 it depends on indoors or outdoors. Indoors I use a darker setting. Fixed shade is nice and light, but the auto is nice when you are trying to do your own fits and tig tracking. Or crawling inside of a tight machine haha.
  5. Weight mainly. For example this kitchen knife. Notice how it is balanced on my finger. For many chefs and even home cooks, a pinch grip at the ricasso area is quite common. Having to heavy of a forward balance, it makes the blade harder to control. Too heavy in the rear, and you lose cutting weight and have to work harder. Of course your balance point will vary with intended use. A chopping knife like a cleaver or heavy use camp knife, you want a forward weight to assist the chopping. A small paring knife or carving knife, you want the weight to the rear to assist with control.
  6. One thing to watch as you get playing around trying everything at once, is how they affect your overall balance and what the intended use is. A little EDC like that, you may not notice a big difference, but you make a chef's knife and it is extra blade heavy, it can become uncomfortable to use in long sessions. On the opposite end, a large chopper/camp knife may not perform as efficiently being too light or handle heavy. Again, I know it's your first, but just more things to keep in mind as you move forward. I see some pretty good potential Chris.
  7. It could be used that way, but with the skeletonizing (is that really a word?) that was done, it would be a little redundant. Just to me personally, it makes the lines look a little odd.
  8. Not sure why you tapered the tang. To me, that looks a little bit odd. (But just personal opinion.) I can see some glue lines between the tang and the liner. Seems there wasn't even pressure when gluing the scales on. Also a bit of residual glue coming out at the ricasso that wasn't cleaned up. The brass pieces in the handle scales are off where your two halves aren't quite in the same alignment on the knife. There is also a bit of twist or warp between the blade and handle. It can be seen in the last forging photo, and also in the last finished photo. The plunge grind on the marked side looks to be just a bit deeper than the other side. I know those are a bit nit-picky for your first, but honestly it looks very nice over all. The shape is good, grinds are clean, distal taper looks even, looks comfortable and functional. You definitely seem to have the basics down and skills, now it's just refining the little things. Excellent result for your first though. I wish my first had turned out that good.
  9. Nice job on the knife. For a reasonably low cost alternative for a belt grinder, I went with a Bucktool 4x36 and added a Jiffy conversion to it. This changes it to a 2x48 with flat platten and 2 contact wheel sizes. Gives me a lot more versatility and much bigger selection of belts available. The one thing I did notice is that the platten of the 4x36 will twist a little causing your tracking to go all funny. I solved this with some angle iron and a support post of my shop.
  10. I hope that was just a joke. There is no reason to point a blade to magnetic north when quenching other than maybe it is the best lighting option when heating or the way your shop set up happens to face by coincidence. There is no scientific reason that will alter the blade due to what direction it is pointed on a compass.
  11. It meets a higher yield strength, not a higher carbon content or harden-ability. A lot of bridge bars are a coated in an epoxy finish for corrosion resistance also, so you have that to deal with before you can even start to forge it. It is still made of recycled materials, so you still don't know what kind of steel you are getting. Free rebar can be used to make some things as Das said, but you can buy 1/2 inch structural round stock for around $16 per 20 feet at a supply house, and have better steel for general use. (24 feet of 1/2 inch rebar at home depot is $30.) Still not good knife material though. A rail spike isn't that good either. It doesn't have the carbon content needed to properly harden for a decent knife. I believe they are spec.'d to have no more than 0.30% carbon content in the HC rail spikes, and only 0.20% for standard spikes. They make a decent letter opener, but not really a quality hardened knife. Leaf spring or coil spring is generally a 5160ish material. Maybe not exactly, but similar. That averages around 0.56% to 0.64% carbon content. Much better and can still be had for free or very cheap generally if you are using recycled/scrap materials. 1095 steel is around 0.95% carbon content. If you are going to buy steel specifically for a knife, 1095 is easy to work with, fairly inexpensive, and easy to heat treat in a home shop. So while you can make a "knife" from rebar or rail spike, will it really be worth all of the time and effort you put into it?
  12. You may want to check your internal space of your forge compared to what your burner is rated at. As a general rule of thumb, a 3/4 inch burner correctly tuned should be good for 300-350 cubic inches of open space in a forge. If everything is good there, then you need to let your forge come up to temperature. It wastes a little gas and time waiting, but it provides much better results as you get a more even heat in your work.
  13. Like Steve said, not all steels forge the same. Something else to consider. Did you grind to 1/8 inch then quench? Generally I like to leave mine a little heavy to allow grinding off any decarburization that may occur when quenching. For 1095 that you asked about specifically, the recommended forging temperature is between about 1700F and 2100F. Your normalizing temperature (the part where you heat it and then let it cool in air slowly) is about 1575F then down to room temperature. When you are ready to do your quench, your austenitizing temperature is 1475F. Thicker sections can be water quenched, but for under 1/4 inch thick an oil quench is a safer route. As far as burning the carbon out by placing it on one side repeatedly, that depends a bit on the type of forge you have and how much heat is in it. If you have a gas forge that the burner comes in at an angle and the whole forge is heated up properly and the same temperature, you should be fine. If you have a straight flame on a forge that isn't up to heat and you are using just the flame to heat the steel, then it could be a problem. With no details on your forge, we can't make a good assumption though.
  14. Rebar is generally pot metal. It is recycled whatever steel. It may contain old car rims, pieces of structural steel, old axle shafts, whatever junk they can salvage. You may encounter a mildly harden-able spot or two, but not likely the whole bar will be. There are some higher grades of rebar with a little more consistency, but you won't find those at home depot and still won't be a good consistency or even known material. Just that they meet a higher strength (not hardness) requirement. Unless it's specified as a weldable rebar, it doesn't even like to take a weld without cracking or chunks breaking off. As Thomas said, you already had cracks in it with a simple squaring, do you really want to try and make a knife from that? 5160 or 1095 are good easy to quench in a home shop steels that can be had for the same or only slightly more than you paid for the rebar at someplace like Jantz supply. Even leaf spring is a better 5160-ish material that will yield better results than rebar. It's not guaranteed to be 5160, but usually has similar properties and can be used for practice, tools, and gifts. Just be careful of stress fractures and avoid broken pieces.
  15. Food acids will color carbon steel. As long as the blade is being washed and dried properly after use so that it is not rusting, the patina is normal.
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