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About sfeile

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    North/West PA (near Bradford)

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  1. sfeile


    I'm curious as to how you got such a smooth and even blade slot in a knap-able material. What material is it and how did you do that?
  2. sfeile

    DIY Micarta

    I just used wax paper. I wrapped around the lid and put a couple staples in the top to hold it in place so I didn't have to fight it, and then just lined the inside of the box. Mine are basically the same thing as what you made. I'm no expert, but the pressure sort of depends on what you are using. Blue jeans or flat material you aren't (shouldn't be) getting big amounts between the layers, but being flat could handle a little more pressure. Using something like scotchbrite or wood chips, you aren't going to want massive amounts or you will squeeze all of the resin out of your piece(s). I just used some of those quick grip bar clamps on each end and snugged them down just to hold the lid even and in place. Snug, but not reefing on them at all.
  3. sfeile

    DIY Micarta

    I've heard that the surf board resin works pretty good too. Guess it would depend on price over normal casting resin as to which would be better.
  4. sfeile

    DIY Micarta

    I actually just used fiberglass resin for body repair. Only thing I could get locally. It turns fairly dark though, so probably not something you want to use on a nice wood or something you are trying to show colors on. I just was doing it more for proof of concept to myself.
  5. sfeile

    DIY Micarta

    I made some of my own from an old pair of faded ripped blue jeans. My dad does custom cabinets so I just took some 3/4 cabinet grade plywood scraps and built a little box that the lid would just fit inside. Lined it with wax paper, then used a couple clamps to compress the lid down.
  6. sfeile

    What did you do in the shop today?

    You are correct for knives and tools SLAG. Also correct on the sandpaper. They also have what is called lapping film that goes up as far as 0.3 micron "grit". There again, that is not needed for tools or knives. The quote KiltedWonder used was in relation to a post quite a ways back where he asked me what I used to sharpen a straight razor. A straight razor is quite a different animal when it comes to sharpening. The theory is the same. You are rubbing an abrasive on a piece of hardened steel to create an edge. The practice is a bit different though because you are dealing with such a fine edge on a very thin piece of steel. If you used the grits of stone or the pressure used to sharpen most knives you would flex the edge and never hit your apex all while grinding your material away at a very high rate. (I learned this the hard way while learning to hone my first razor......) An 800 grit stone to a straight razor is roughly equivalent to taking your chisel to a 36 grit belt sander. For tools and even good kitchen knives you are definitely correct, and your methods (as I'm sure you already know) give an excellent edge for their intended use. For a straight razor though, it takes a bit more finesse and refinement to efficiently and comfortably shave.
  7. sfeile

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Thanks Mudman. I'm using a 3.3 inch wheel. Not ideal for this type of grinding, but it's what I have. An 8 inch would be better. I twisted them and then hammered them flat. Then a little cleanup on the grinder while evening my thickness. The top one isn't going to get scales on it. It is going to be a kamisori style, or non folding. It was decided afterwards and then thought of doing a full twist. It didn't work out too well trying to match the original twist with a second try, so I am going to forge another to replace it. It's actually a little bit thin for that width to have the proper bevel angle also, so I'll just practice my "smiling" grind on it. Or maybe narrow it a bit to change the ratio and salvage it. Not sure yet.
  8. sfeile

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Dang! Everybody has been doing some awesome stuff! Good job all! I spent some time hammering yesterday, and grinding today. Making a few "choppers". Still pretty rough, but they are starting to shape up. (Bottom one is a 5/8 blade for size reference.) The top one I am going to try a full bellied hollow grind. Not sure if I'm going to get it just right freehand grinding. It'll be a test for sure.
  9. sfeile

    Newbie Needs Help

    I've had good luck with the leaf springs I've used with a similar heat treat/temper to 5160. First I do two normalizing cycles. Bring it to just above where it becomes non-magnetic, let it air cool to black, then do it a second time. It should be around a bright cherry and 1575 degrees. If you don't have a thermo-couple or way to measure the temperature, a magnet will work, but pay attention and keep checking as you are bringing it up to heat so you don't get too hot. Also during this process and heating for the quench, be careful not to overheat your tip. It is thinner and will heat faster. Then heat back to just above non-magnetic again and let it soak at that temperature for about 3 minutes. Then quench in your oil. Canola oil can be bought at walmart for about six dollars and change a gallon if you strike out finding used oil. Keep your piece moving while it is in the oil. After it is cooled down to about room temperature, put it in whatever oven you are using to temper. I do mine at 400 degrees for one hour, cool, then do another one hour cycle. It gives me an edge that will slice paper, chop into a 2x4 about ten times, and still slice paper afterwards. Good hard edge, but still very durable. I also should mention I do test quench/temper on each set of leaf springs I have tried. So far they have treated like 5160 and that is an alloy often used for them. There are other alloys though so you are in essence dealing with an unknown steel. You may want to do a test piece before you do your actual knife. Use that to get the feel for the movement and to get a better idea of your colors as you are testing with a magnet. You've done a lot of nice work on your blade, so it would be worth the extra effort to play around a bit and make sure you have it figured out before you overheat it or find out that you have an alloy that reacts differently.
  10. Mine wasn't as fancy as the ones you guys are posting, but I did make one last fall when I was first getting going.
  11. sfeile

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Thanks! I say it's 5160, but I can't tell you 100% honestly. It is leaf spring, but my sample pieces took a quench and temper very well using the specs for 5160 and I know it is an alloy that is sometimes used, so I just go with that. Short soak just above non-magnetic to an oil quench, then 2 one hour cycles at 400 gives me a blade that will do a clean paper slice, chop into a 2x4 eight or ten times, then still give me a clean paper slice directly afterwards. The handle I do know though, it is mahogany.
  12. sfeile

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Love the profile of that blade Jennifer. Looks like it has a great balance and should have an interesting pattern after etching too. I didn't have my fire lit today, but did some handle work. Should be lighting the forge tomorrow though as I have 3 more straight razors to hammer out. These will be a new experience as they will be "smiling" razors. Going to be interesting to grind....
  13. sfeile

    What style/shape blade is this?

    Not sure if this will come up full size if you save it, but this chart has a good reference point for many shapes. Here is the link if it doesn't. I don't think this link violates TOU. https://visual.ly/community/infographic/how/knife-buyers-guide-understanding-blade-shapes
  14. sfeile

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Das, that little guy looks awesome! Mudman, great work on those punches. Hans, that kiln looks fantastic! I was able to get out and do a little bit today. Got the razor ready for honing and a few final polishing touch-ups. It has white oak scales and a black walnut spacer. I didn't seem have quite enough taper in my tang to let a wedge work well, so I went with a spacer on this one.
  15. sfeile

    What did you do in the shop today?

    I hear you Tomas. I was an Ironworker for 15 years walking on those little beams way up in the air. Then moved to millwright work, welding, and machinery moving and instalation. For me, "dressing up" for work is putting on my Carhartts.