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  1. Rich Hale Lets start with materials and quality of work. Keeping in mind that it is your shop, and you make the rules and can change them whenever you wish. If you make cheap knives, you will sell cheap knives,,, That simple; Excellence is a decision. Talent is not necessary for excellence; Persistence is necessary for excellence. If you wish to make real nice knives, decide at some point wot is the worst thing you will allow to leave your shop, and if you do that, look at each piece before it leaves and see if it meets your expectations. A knife is an assembly of pieces.Hopefully each part will complement the others. I like to have a plan in my head or on paper before I make a blade... We covered forging to a pattern in 101 I believe. If you grind,,same thing,,,make a blade that will be nice to use and look at. Lots of questions on here lately about using this steel or that steel and how would they work in a knife... We will cover that, but I know the questions will keep coming. Mystery steel is just that. You can do many things to it,,like the hardening testing methods we covered in 101,,,,That will not tell you the steel type,,but as we did then, we knew it was a piece of a coil spring, and we could harden it... Those told us we could make a blade from it. I see a lot on here about spark testing. I never tell new folks to try that as it is not a method you learn the time you learn to do it well, you likely already have found out wot we will cover next. Now let us think about mystery steel some more.. What does it cost you to go find steel that may in fact not work for a blade? How far will you drive and wot does that cost, for that two way trip? I gave that up years back. I can dial a number, and in less than a couple of days, have steel sent to my house and I will know exactly wot it is and exactly wot it takes to heat treat it. I can also select the right steel for wot I intend to make with it. I recently bought a 6 ft bar of the finest SS I can find; wonderful stuff...5/32" x 1 ½". I paid over eighty bucks for it. Not only that, I have to send it to a heat treater for that part. For all of this money, I make blades that sell for a lot of money and I get notes each spring on how a lot of them did in the fall hunts. They are marvelous blades. And so are blades made from high carbon steel, and so we do not forget it, the last two or three numbers of the four or five numbers in a steel is the carbon content. Like 1084 is .84 carbon. 5160 is .60 52100 is 1.0. Anything less than .55 or up is needed for a knife blade And rr spikes are not high carbon. They are at most .30 for the HC labels. Guard and handle materials; you can use mild steel for a guard,,,cheap and easy to work. You can use ss; little harder and and may cost more. Copper and brass look good at first. Then they oxidize and look bad,,,,if the new owner knows this, they may maintain them and look great. Nickel is nice, and I feel it has a warmer color than SS,,,I cannot explain that.. Handle materials: I do not put a piece together with anything I do not think will last along matter wot it does in its new life. Sheep horn looks great,,,,,makes a great handle. It is made from the same thing as hair. If you set sheep horns outside for a time, they go bad fast. If that horn is stabilized, it lasts forever. Same thing with ivory.. Most woods need to be stabilized. The process they use it is to put material in a chamber and vacuum all the air out. Then they add a product, and then after a time, compressed air. When you cut a piece in half, the product is all the way through.... When it is finished on a knife, it does not need a coating,,,Sand and buff. oldtimer Can you stabilize Deere antler? steve sells yup all horn is the same stuff really hair Rich Hale nope, too sense .. stay with a couple of the woods like desert ironwood steve sells OK. Lets clarify; I do stabilize white tail deer antler. Not all is as porous, but its all made from the same material in nature. OK. People have been talking about RR spike knives and other non blade material to fashion blade like objects.. So rich and I have decided that if you insist on using RR spikes to make a blade, we will show you how to make one that WILL hold an edge. First off HC marking does NOT mean High Carbon steel. At best its .30 carbon; not enough to get hard. Sorry. Even your super duper quench cant change physics. So ya cant get a good edge from rr spike alone. BUT we can cheat. We are smiths, so we forge weld a real high carbon steel bit to where we want our cutting edge to be; simple as that. IF you insist on using them, at least make them a Real quality blade. They will look the same, but having the 1080 or higher section for the cutting part, it will hold that edge. Next is a BP of sorts explaining how I go about forge welding. Don't worry about patterns yet; Just get the part of joining 2 metals together at first. Damascus.htm It's already on my web site, so I see no reason to re type it all here. Plus http://www.iforgeiro...-forge-weld-r35 The main thing to remember is clean the steel. I use 40 grit, leaving the scratches across the bar; not along with it, to allow crud to exit when welding. I wire them into one unit and heat to red, then flux at dull red, Return to fire and get it HOTTER. How hot; that all depends on the steels used, and YOUR shop. I call it orange for welding. Others say cherry red. A few call it yellow. We all see color a bit differently than others do. If you never forge welded before, start using scrap mild steel to itself. After you get good at that, then higher carbon is easier and lower temps. In the past, the apprentice started by cleaning the masters shop, AND forge welding the scraps from other jobs into ONE bar for use in future jobs Welding is NOT advanced skill, but a basic smithing skill. Pattern welding, where I manipulate the layers into controlled patterns is advanced, but there is no reason a person cant learn to forge weld metal into one bar. I covered cleaning, so now... flux. I don’t care how many don’t use flux. As a beginner, USE it til ya get good. Then mess around with dif things. Why make your life harder than it is already? DRoberts rebar too poor quality to practice with? steve sells 20 mule team borax from the store in laundry Isle. Not the soap, but the borax laundry booster is great and cheap. Rebar isnt good to learn. Its junk to start with, and not consistent. You will never know what your mistake and what its caused by the junk in the rebar.
  2. steve sells This is our third edition for the advances class 200 series, next week we will be returning to the 100 series for beginning knife makers .. Those iof you who are just joining us, this is the advnaced class for knife chat, for one hour we take over this chat room to talk blades, So far we covered some steels to start using, later we will get into some strangs mixes, for now I would like to alk about various fluxes used, and some NOT to use and why. Some use Wasps nests and also sand is used, becaue they were available, also burned straw ash these can work, but are not the easiest to use, Borax is common in many places, and works well, There are also commercial fluxes available, and some of them are no good for pattern welding, the addition of iron filings in some will leave strage things in the visable weld lines and in some case can ruin the looks fo your blade. IF you wish to try thesethat is up to you of course. but I am attempting to get people started, after the start we expect people to experiment and learn new things I do not have all the answers, only have answers to questions I have asked myself, and in some cases theyr are other answers I have not found. please read all you can. 20 mule team borax is about $4 a 2# box so its cheap, at room temps its used as a mild washing aid, but at forge welding temps it turns liquid and has a PH of -2.2 this is extermily currosive so take precautions of splatter becasue it isnt only heat you have to worry about, also it will stick to you like honey and will not flick off too well. the stuff I get in the grociery store does had water bound up in it, some people prefer to cook this off prior to using as a welding fluc, thats fine, do it if you feel it works better for you. One thing is Flux is used to protect frpom, Oxygen to prevent scale. it also as a currosive cleans the weld jkoint for us to get a nicer weld scale is cause by oxidation, and scale melts at about 5,000F meaning if we have scale we cant get a good if any weld. if there is scale it will show normally as a black line that likes to rust, if you have it only way to fix is to grind that out and try welding closed again. Using sand. Not all sand is created equal, where I gre up on lake MIchigan we has white silica sand thats great for glass making and for flux. but here in Indiana its red clay that dont work too well. so try a test melt in your forge before you decide to use a billet with the sand I have never used wasp nests, I am assuming its the sand form the mud dauber they use I dont know so I cant comment on it, please feel free to post it as a question in the forum. I use borax for most all my welds, Having said that Its not enough fro some alloys HIGH CHROME needs more that plain borax most the time Stainless steels can be forge welded, and in a coal forge, I have done it. and I know others that have also The thing that ake it stainless is becasue it has more tha 13% free chrome, notice I said free chrome, D2 has 12.5% chrome but is not a stainless because most is bound up ion carbides, but that is left to another class. the pioint is Its stainless nae,k come from the resistance to currosion. that is beacuse the chroms formes a microscopic layer of chrome oxides that protects the steel that same chrome layer formes with any thing that includes chroms in the alloy to a point and this can effect welding so to aid in this problem, we add a few other things to our flux some thing that is not published because it is very toxic and I just happen to be alergic to it, so while its good for all to wear a resperator, I have to for the Flourine compound that is added to the borax to eat at the chrome layer to allow a clean forge weld. In low chrome alloys like 52100 and such the addition of Borix acid will help a l;little and if you clean well before the weld should be enough to get that to weld for you. also watch your tempts the higher we go, the saster the oxid layer can form, oldtimer Is it possible to weld without flux? steve sells Yes it is, a lot of people weld steels with out flux, but I still recomend when learning to make your job easier and use it, but after you get good at it, feel free to try. I doubt high chrome steel can be with out flux but I have been wrong before that is all I have for tonight, Rich Hale This week we will show a little of the shop work for the billets we talked about last week. It would be real good if you review last week’s lesson after this one to get this clear in your mind on how these go together. Printing copies for a shop folder of all of these tutorials would be a great way to keep steps inline. We will show steps in two billets. One will be the 1084 and 15 N 20, It has 11 layers and has had first weld done. It has also been drawn out to 24” long and is ready to cut, grind, stack and reweld. As many times as we need to get the layer count we are looking for. How many layers do you want? My thoughts are simple. What I have in mind for the blade I will make will determine the layer count,,as well as the size of the blade and the handle material. I make some slip joint pocket folders, I want a higher layer count for these and a nice clean tight pattern. For a Bowie style blade I can do a lower layer count for a kind of rough look, or a high layer count for a refined appearance. Wot is high and wot is low? This first billet is 11 layers at first weld. That is too few for almost any blade I can think of. However it will be enough if you are hand hammering and want to make a first pattern welded blade. I like a minimum of 50 layers for a twist. 100 looks better to me. How tight you twist will change the look also. A 12” long bar will loog one way if twisted three turns and a lot different if twisted ten turns. This would be a good time to layer some modeling clay with at least two layers and twis and see wot you like. The top billet in this pic is the one we spoke of above. This is that billet cut into four pieces an all welding surfaces ground and ready to assemble. Tacked and wired ready for forge. I will heat til it just starts to show color and tap to eliminate the spaces between layers,,then flux and back in fire. At the end of this weld I will have 44 layers. I can use it at that count or draw, cut grind stack for any count I wish. Cut once and reweld for 88. Cut into three pieces for 132 four pieces for 176 etc. If you are working more than one billet is is easy to keep track on work bench with a cahilk mark for layer count on each…also a note about wot metal is in each. In the first pic I also showed the canned billet ready for first weld. Here it is after that weld and I have reduced its thickness by about one third. That assures me that as long as I have prepared every layer of the metal for welding, I have made sure to eliminate oxygen from the can by the paper insert and an airtight can, I will have a solid billet inside. I will flatten the billet out and remove the can. I use a four inch side grinder for billet work a lot. I use it to cut a drawn billet and to remove scale before restacking for next weld. I could use a a belt grinder but I seldom wait for the billet to cool and I am not going to take a chance on quenching these steel in water so I can hand hold. Stick in the vice and cut or grind. You can clamp billet and grind the welds off and see if the can will peal,,,if it is welded to billet you can grind entire can off. Or for those of us with a milling machine with a carbide tipped cutter can do this nice and clean. I clean all billets up in the milling machine and make all sides and thickness’ parallel. This is about 100 layers of nickel and 1095 in ladder pattern. It will be a folder and the spring and blade from this piece. It was welded in a can like the one above. The patterns really come to life after heat treat and with pure nickel in them they look even better if hot gun blued. Keep in mind that nickel will not bond with nickel. When I open that can I must not grind the thin layer of 1095 so that the nickel shows, When it mates with another piece for another weld, if that piece also has nickel exposed in the same place it will not weld. In these pics you can see that I did not spend a ton of time getting all pieces of billets exactly the same thickness or width. When all welds are completed and layer count is correct I will use a kiss block and flat dies the power hammer to make it right for thickness while eyeballing for width. For twisted I will make a square which I will knock the corners down into a rough eight side before twist. A one inch sq is a good place to begin. After twist will use kiss blocks. I like about a 3/8” thickness for a knife blade billet before I remove scale and profile and rough grind for blade. Thinner for billets for folders. about ¼” I feel that with all of the work I put into developing patterns in a billet, I do not forge to profile or bevels. It distorts the pattern. However many folks do and it certainly make an interesting pattern. Use wot you wish. This session will be the last in a three part series of advanced knife making for a while. I will now move back to knife making for those working up from our basic series. For the advanced we will get back here in the future.
  3. Steve sells I will try to explain how I do wooden sheaths, with and with out leather and metal hardware, and if time setting stones like cabochons. for now lets not worry about what kind of wood. all that matters it it will hold together, so soft woods are not the best choice. also if the wood will be visible you want a attractive color and grain pattern. If fiddle back or such stabilizing will be needed to keep it from falling apart also I start with splitting the wood plank down center to get 2 flats for east side. by starting with One thick piece and splitting it I get to match the grain for later with its finished 2 separate boards are not likely to look as one. after plainning and rough sanding (80 grit) the insides I mark these inner sides at one end so they align later more easy for this example I will use a sword for giving us enough space for a liner and lots of hardware. but I use the same basic methods for a dirk lay the blade on the wood tracing out the outline of the blade, then I do the other also this is my starting point. I use the drimel tool to cut about half the thickness of the blade deep, so if the sword is 1/4 inch thick at base I will cut both wides to 1/8 inch deep here. then carefully remove the wood in the ares the blade laid. ( yes i know its going to be a little to large, and thats good ) I sand this area to 8-0 grit also leaving a over size slot, test fitting the blade until there is easy play to insert and remove the blade. you can check by coating the blade with colored clalk ( I use the stuff for carpenters string lines) THis is for a simple wood sheath. Now for the leather liner, the tricky is starting with ONE side I lay in the leather liner I am using. elmers glue is nice for this the white cheap never lasts like other glues. this temp hold allows me to check spacing again, not the blade should still slid in and out ok, if not then remove the liner form than side and sand a little more enlarging it slightly,. after it seems lightly loose, then do the same to the other side except now with both sides having a temporary liner it should crab a little bit after a few test fits I get teh vblade to slightly grab as it slides in and out, all the way in. after I get thsi THEN i clean up the white glue and prepare for final gluing. Before I go one let me explain a few things I like the blade to stay in the sheath and not wobble around so I do want a little tension while its inserted, also avoid chemical tanned leather for a liner, the chemicals are currosive to the steel blade!!! I have been told lambs skin is best to use duw to the natural lanolin, but I have no sourse for it back to installing a liner. since we test fit it, and trimmer , now we use a permany glue to install the liner. I actually use elmers Yellow wood glue it holds well enough and can be removed later if I HAVE to repair it later. after gluing this down ( both sides ) i clamp the sides together again, ( i use 20 to 30 2 inch C clamps for this same as I do when I an test fitting it, then i PLACE THE BLADE INSIDE THE SHEATH TO DRY this keeps a bubble from forming that may block blade insertion later. I let this set over night, after its dry remove clamps and check the insides trims each side of extra leather that over hangs we want a nice meeting of the leather no over laps, or extra hanging out. Obviously we want thin garment type leather not mototcycle jacket hides ! Lol not trim the out side of the wood, because up to now its still a block of wook with leather liner added. leave at least 1/4 of wood on all sides more if not stabilized. I use the same grinder but NEW belts dont want metal dust ruining the wood. I get this very close to what I want for a final contour, then I can start working on hardware. We will finish this after Hardware... I at least get a collar around where the blade enters the sheath to hide and protest the end grain of the wood sheath many will also get a tip at the pointy end to protect it., I try not to form hot hetal on wood (I have had to do it, more about that later) so I made a few templates to use mild steel blocks shaped like ends for sword and knife sheaths, as well as the entrance places too, these I clamp into a vise and use as sweges for forming the metal also stake anvils I made. I can work got or cold and test fir to the wood with out fear of burning as its cool when I test fit remember as we work metal hot its size will be different than after it cools due to expansion. on the slotted end where the blade enters mostly I can use a simple 1/2 wide 16 gauge or thinner brass, make the wrap braise if closed and add a oblong disk for one end to make the slotted piece. OR add details like engraving angles how ever you wish it. I have a dirk I wear at ren fairs what I plated with Stirling silver over the brass. double coat. no protective over layer so its aging nicely looks very old now also did pommel and tip of sheath same way I mentioned rarely hot fit, the one exception I found was wrought iron I also did a leaf blade that is in the forum, sword belt mount that was not at the end but 6 inch away from the slot where the sword entered, so I have to forge close, then hot fit and quench fast to fit it. using pins to pull it tight after it cooled. I over sized the sheath around this point and removed the last after fitting so no burned wood remained, I planned fopr the scorching also after fitting and removing the wood I still had to etch the Wrought Iron fittings, so I double coated varnish (to be removed later) and applied ferric chloride alternating with Hydrochloric acids to etch and add topography. I used q tips to apply both acids and the neutralizers. then neutralized and removed the heavy coat of cheap varnish along with any stray acids colorization. and after full clean up did a proper finish ok enough of this for now Rich hale has something to share, so I need to give him some time tonight. I wanted to give you ideas of other ways to present a Fine blade rather than sewing leather. Rich Hale Just a couple of updates. I was asked to show a knife or two that we had worked on in the lessons This is one we did a slotted guard on And we soldered the guard in place,,showed how the blade is notched For fit and finish that soldered joint should be clean. It is also on the top of the blade. clean there also... The finished piece should look like guard and blade are one piece. Like this We also did a piece with bolsters. And we left the back end of the square.. They do not have to be They can be curved,,,,remember four ins riveted to hold them on And again the final fit and finish should be as if they are part of the blade,,,not add-ons I do those bolsters so I can have an area to engrave We also did a hidden tang with a slip on guard Now a short bit on woods That bright gaudy handle is stabilized maple burl Rather than just put the block on I cut and added black and silver spacers A few stabilized blocks ready for handles,,,I hit one end with a buffer to show colors Thuya burl Maple burl Spalted maple Red gum burl from Oz box elder Dyed and stabilized, One more thing about the last block,, It is cross cut from the tree . So you are looking at it like you were at top of tree looking into the can see growth rings if ya look And the last I will share is walnut When we have worked so hard on a blade,,to me it does not make sense to cut corners on fit,,finish or materials .
  4. Rich Hale First is a way I clean my abrasives Both flat and belt I have used a rubbery item that knife suppliers sell for it,,, For a couple of years now I have used an air hose,,,blow it off while running works great It really shows where to remover stock About them belts: When you put a square edge to a belt it removes grit as it works,...more so than a rounded or less sharp edge. I grind blades with the edge up But before I do that I take that edge off with the blade edge down So it looks like this This blade is prepped for heat treat,,it is SS and I send them out Same blade as one earlier There are a few things I have also done on this blade,,,,,I use two different SS types,,,this one has two center punch marks on the tang,,,not near the guard location,,,,The other steel I use gets one punch I also have stamped and H on the tang, That helps me get this blade back from a large batch I have rough ground the hollows with it and left cutting edge of a dimes thickness Now for a quick update on a billet I started a while back This is the one with .030 1095 and .003 pure nickel,,,welded in a can and has over 50 layers The can is off now and you can see where the nickel was not cut exact same as 1095 and overhangs a bit,,I r ough groung that off,,,then for kicks dipped one end in etchant, I drew that out triple its length and cut twice and stacked and rewelded, it is almost ready to pattern now, power hammer hit a stumbling block today will be back up next week, mike-hr Do you pay attention to the direction a belt runs? Specifically, with the engineered grit on orange blaze belts. Rich Hale No I do not but just got a few different brands and they have an arrow,,, steve sells One thing to get more life is after you think the belt is worn too much flip it over and I can get a little more work, when desperate, but its best to forget cost of belts when using them replace as needed. Rich Hale If a belt seems a little dull flipping it makes it work a wee longer Steve Sells Keeping with our 2 subject per chat I am going to cover large blades. not really getting into swords. but large blades are not the same as small ones - as we get longer there are harmonic nodes that come into play and we can't just make a blade large with out planning for the vibrations we will get from them, for the most part it is not a real problem if we are aware of them and pay attention, but if you just cut a edge on a flat bar of steel like many first time knives are there is gong to be a big problem. First will be the weight, they will get heavy. Second as parallel sides running long lengths its asking for vibrations to be set up. Easiet way is the distal taper we already covered early on in this 100 series that breaks up the parrell sides a bit and it also lightens the blade. And third it will make the blade less tip heavy, leaving it feeling more like an extention of the hand rather than a block ot steel pulling down like a base ball bat (or cricket bat for you brits) The last sword I did was o.31 inch at the guard and about 0.125 about 2 inches from the tip. A long bowie may be 0.25 at guard and 0.125 near tip. 12 inch blade lengths start this vibration problem, shorter ones are not much of a problem, but long have a tendancy of when you make impacts they have enough mass and length to vibrate more and this feels BAD in the hand, so as we get longer it is a needed matter of function to have good smooth distal tapers, but how do I get them in? Hand hammering! I work on profile of bleds, and then the sides as I work down the length getting close to where I want. I almost never do a full reduction in thickness at once pass, I mentioned in a earlier lesson that I try to work maybe 1/3 the reduction at a time after finishing the length start over and get more, this helps prevent burning the already thinned areas while I am getting the new thicker area heated. After I get the blade close to where I want it ( remembering we remove about .030 off all sides to remove decarb after heat treat) I will bonk (thats a technical term) the new blades against a block of wood and try to feel vibrations 1/3 the way from guard toward the tip seems to be a sweet spot for causing this so I try to impact it there to see how bad it is. If its pronounced I thin that area more, if not I check a few other areas, its not much, just a few more passes with the grinder/belt sanding machine only a few minutes can tune a OK blade and make it a great feeling blade. mike-hr You're saying, you can remove the tuning fork effect, by the distal taper? Justin11045 i had made a 26ish" blade before, the first time i hit something with it it felt like my arm was going to vibrate off kinda like a stinger while playing baseball steve sells Yes that is the basic way to do it, to keep the max vibration point away from the hand and make it the null zone of vibrations instead Rhettbarnhart so this makes chopping nicer? steve sells Yes Rhett, and the tuning fork effect is very accurate description and exactly the same reason. The vibrations you experience is what I am talking about, they are harmonic vibrations. I can explain things in math but what it means in simple terms is the Tuning fork effect, some can be very annoying, Us paying attention to the distal taper is the START of how to relocate and perhaps remove them. The wide tapers effect this as well, one reason why some designs people come up with dont work well on sword, knives and in between, these have been used by mankind for thousands of years, what works is repeated for manufacture what does not work well is dropped. I covered enough for now I will get permission some day and I have graphics I would like to post, but no answer from the maker of those yet. they are showing and explaining in more detail these nodes I mentioned. the floor is open to comments and questions now, mike-hr I suppose I can assume that many of those fantasy video game blades haven't gone through massive harmonic vibration simulation tests.. justin11045 Of course they have those are counter weights to reduce vibration with all the crazy stuff coming off of those things Rhettbarnhart i just made a bowie with a 6in blade would these vibrations play a part in this knife? steve sells all metal will vibrate the larger it is the more pronounced it will be I worry in all my blades after learning about it, but in reality less than 12 inch not likely to notice much larger and we had better start to watch out for it. Justin made a point i want to touch on: the counter weight is for balance but it also plays a part in the vibration, that IS correct and we can use that to help us also Rich Hale As as aside, rifle barrels have the same harmonics A pile of identical barrels may have them in different forms justin11045 Thats why "free floating" is used to help with accuracy in barrels A pile of identical barrels may have them in different forms he vibrations will rub the stock and cause all sorts of problems but thats a whole nother monster steve sells If you have parallel edges and sides there will be more vibrations than it its all tapered smoothly some subtle bevel adjustments can effect them also I am just giving you all a start of what to look for, we can cover more in 200 series class
  5. Rich Hale Tonight is a rather trivia night to bring us up to speed on some things that we thought folks wouild kinda know about, a refresing step back is in order. That said lets look at shapes This is a drop point hunter, cannot see it but it has a slotted guard soldered in place, And a tapered tang. I covered tapereing tangs in an early session This blade shape is called a trailing Point The first one dipped down at the top this sweeps up If youilook at the spine of this blade it does not bend down like the drop point,,it has a straight line to the tip. it is called a clip point We shold talk abouit bowie style blades also here. This shape can be called a bowie style. This shape can be called blurred, But also could be called a bowie The real thing to remember is that no one knows wot the real bowie looked like, There is some thoughts that the spine was straight all the way to the tip Hoowever if you Look atg places that seel bowies, they most likely will have a deviance from that straight line. ieth upp, down with a swoop in it or something. There is not ahards rule on wot you call a knfe An of them. However if you use common shape names most folks will know what youi are thinking. Call this a dagger and it is a common language This may not be a lot different than a drop point but is is called a spear point Not alot different than a drop point..but the top line drops down to abouit the middle of the blade at the tip. Clip point with tapered tang slotted guard and pins in the scales. Guard is soldered Now back to this one... Had tapered tang and the metal on the sides are bolsters. they have four pins through each side blade and other side and hammered down like flush rivets when ground down the pins do not show. In another class I will hav epics of doing a slotted guard and bolstersw, I have already covered a slip on, soldered guard on a hiddin tang knfe. steve sells ok We have seen many people asking about places to get steel. I wont bother in this chat but I will include a file of URLS of steel suppliers that carry knife grade steels, its not a short list, but its also not at your local walmart, PLeas add urls you use, wehen it gets posted. in addition to steel there are other items we like to have like wood, bone, antler, gems and other metals for bolesters, and even meteorite Rich Hale I use stainless and pure nickle for guards and bolster , butt caps steve sells also scraps of damascus make lovely additions or wrought iron Rich Hale I get these from one of several knfe making suppliers. For the ss parts I use 416 steve sells also find them locally antler Drops will start appearing now its FREE Rich Hale Form either K and G, Pops knife supply, Sheridan knife supply, Jantz or Texas knfemakers supply steve sells the blade I made for Rthibeau was a bolster of antler carved to look like Ivory, Smaller sections of damascus scrap can be used for pins, one of my clients makes long bows, after curing his woods some are warped too bad or have cracks, so I get those woods from him cheap, since he can not use them for a long bow no cost to me! Rich Hale i have listed all the belts I use in bp 0235, I get trizac and blaze belts from tru girt in CAl. The rough grit belts I used in thqt bp I have now changed to blaze by Norton. I get pins made of 416 or Purenickel for the same places I listed above steve sells look at some gems. I used jasper and agote for inlays in handles and inserts for cross guards. Tourquois is popular also, and they do not need to be large stones, chips can be mounted same as the old viking swords did for the hilts Rich Hale I get packets of wet or dry sandpaper from Hog abrasives in Cal. steve sells I get the 3000 grit wet dry from auto zone they have 1000 and up for body finishing . Rich Hale I use epoxy from K and G, it is there own two part brand,,holds forever it seems and you wash up with water, steve sells remember to not get the quick set epoxy's they tend to fail at about 5 years aftrer we use it. Rich Hale I use a flat grinder wnat use a spry glue thtg I get from NAPA auto parts stores. It is used by body shops to stick paper to orandom orbit sander, I spray glue on back of paper and on sanding disc,,,when I am ready for finer grit the paper peels off and I can reuse it. You can also you 3M 77 spray adhesive for this However if it gets cool at all it will not peel off, you will have to scrape it off, Works fine if shop is over 100f steve sells Has anyone tried using stone or shell or gems ? garey abalone shell. it is brittle. needs to be inlayed flush and supported good steve sells can it be flatten like antler our must we look for flat pieces to start ?? garey look for flat pieces. dont breatyh the dusty from grinding it. is bad for lungs. Rich Hale Woods and horn, antlers etc ,,most of the knfe sujpply house have on line catalogs with pics of samples I get mother of pearl from Culpepper back east somewhere, I see them at shows, Almost all of these places are on line and also advertise in knfe magazines like Knives illustrated and Blade. steve sells Anyone dry cure their own fresh woods for handles willing to tell us how you are doing it? success and failures? ok if not I will, I wax the ends to slow down the drying this prevents some cracking, also place in my basement celler that is 30% humidty max, and averages 60 F year round. My basement being cool and not really arid is a very slow (about 2 years) dry cycle and I get very little cracking this way garey i have some Osage Orange in the loft of the shop from east Texas. ends are painted also. been up there for 12 years. I cut some up to use as needed. steve sells OK running out of time, I repeast I will include urls and phone number for suppliers, PLEASE add to the list, and as I see additions I will add them to the main list. and later after time has passed I will compile them into a post in the knife Reference section by recourse topic so people can look there for the list rather than look through a thread full of other text Kearnach Is stabilized wood worth the extra cash in terms of durability and longevity? garey i think so. steve sells YES i stabilize most of mine rich buy his that way Rich Hale Thank you ,,try not to make this a Rich knfe show,,however I will not infringe on anyone elses copywrite this way BigCotton89 I've heard that some people will dry their fresh wood by putting it in an oven on roughly 150 for 6-8 hours and that gets it below 7% moisture steve sells it can but losing much wood from cracking also is a but possability Rich Hale Now to tell the tale of sorrow, Todoay I spent afternoonn in shop doing a pice for tonight,,,a drop point huter with ivery scales and bolsters I fitted the 415 bolsters and showed how to hold and drill for pins and how to prep pins.....the front of the bolsters and the flat sides of the blade h ave to be finished polied before attaching At last buff on blade I found some smill imperfections. I reground to 200 and back through finer to buff,,,same thing Set it aside,,next day or so will do again,,if not right will use a chop saw... Will do that lesson next week with or without this blade
  6. steve sells tonight we continue with the advanced class of series 200 by covering steel choices for pattern welded blades. Not all steels work together easily, some pull apart easily when cooling due to differing expansion and contractions rates. If you are just starting out please review the 100 series for getting started, this is for people that already know blade smithing, and want more we advise learning to forge weld before trying the pattern welding as many patterns place a lot of sress on the weld and if not 100% solid WILL pull apart Steel choices Using as simple as possible and still geting a usable blade means paying attention to alloy cpmtemt as well as carbon. if carbon is too low it will not harden. So a 1095 and 1005 mix will not result in a very good blade. due to carbon migration, in the forum I posted links to testing that shows it doen not take very long for carbon to migrate completely, so equal parts or 1095 and 1005 will result in about 1045, WHy ?> 50% is the simple math but you will lose some to atmosphere as well. Maybe more depending on how hoit you weld. I perfer to use only steel that make good bldes by them selves, to limit theis problem of migration I suggest to start, 1084 or 1095 and 15N20. 15N20 is bascially like a 1075 with 2% nickel added and they heat and expand at the same rates, also welding temps are very close. as the nickel diesnot effect it much if at all work with simpler steels, same as when first learning blade work itself, to limi the possable problems you will enounter, adding in more challanges as you learn to use this. Jumping all over with various mixes all the time is confusing for PW just as with basic forging, we need to allow a little time and wexperiance to gain the skills with one, then moving on is fairly easy, One example of confusion is a recient post in the forum where a member just started and he choose a higher alloy for his first attempt at a good blade, he tried a differential quenching and had all sorts of problems, incluing cracking. I can guess, but He cant understand what when wrong, I feel that is because he addded too man new (to him ) things at the same time, so thererfore he does not know which new addition cause the problems. If we slow down and only add ONE new item to our training schedule we can focus on that one new addition, becdause we were already cofortabel in that we were dpoing before, DOes this make sence ?? to limit new addiots to ONE ara time whe ever we can ? ok its not that I want to stop anyone from enjoying themselves, but as I said before I has seen people give up in frustration becaue of ocver load, I am mearly attempting to limit that, and help people grow, even if not doing blades, pattern welding can add many testures and colors to our work I didnt have the link handy because I just thoguht of it, but in our forum there is a wonderful Clock a member made from pattern welded steels also bowls, and jewelry I have used scrap's form blades to make fishing luer's if they are too small for a bolster. One thing we need to be aware of if a NON hardened steel will not look the same as when after the HT is done, the colors wash out until after hardening. I an not sure exaculy what happens to cause this, maybe Rich Hale knows, but I have seen it. we can cover other HIGH alloy steel but I thiknk you get the point start sinple then as we progress in skill, add more things, CUrrrently one of my tacxher has ne working on his MAD 6 mix which is M2 A2 D2 in a coal forge. I have not got it yet, be he says he does it and I can learn to, I now turn to floor over to Mr Hale. Rich Hale As this is another of our advanced sessions, I will offer another mix tha may interest some of you. Steve spoke of high carbons and low carbon stgeels, So let me talk about high carbon and no carbon he mentioned 15N20 as having a low percent of nickel and with that it provides great contrast to HC like 1095 It offers nothing but looks to a blade That said, I am putting a billet together with 1095 and pure nickel.I have done a lot of these. There is no carbon migration, The two do not weld but bond well. A one inch strip of 1094 sttel .030 thickness it had some patina on it,,and i am nto going to use any flux at all in this weld. The surface has to be realy clean or it comes aapart The side I have started cleaning is nto clean enouigh in this pic. I could have cleaned it with a soak in vinegar but was out, If I grind it on both sides there would nto be much left I used a sctchbrite belt to clean The nickel I am ujsing is .003 thick and is clean up front Here is the pile of clean parts Right at 50 pieces Now for youi withouit a hnand hammer think about that: At the completioon of a first weld with this mix I have a 50 layer billet I could just flatten it out and forge or grind a blade from it. Or if I draw it three times its 8 inch length and stack and forge weld I will have about 150 layers, The way each of these metals expands and the thinness of them makes it not possible for me to tack on end together ,,wire in several places and forge weld to one solid block. So we do first weld in a can Nickeil will nto bond to itself The outer layers muxt be HC i cut some eighth inch mild steel bar stock for the can I need to knwo how deep the can needs to be so I gather the pieces and get a rough measure of how tall the sides meed to be i cut a bottom out, Two sides that will be right for the thickness, And a top,,that will slide down in between the two sides Then time to weld And if we do not remember histgory we are doomed to repeat it. The two sides on this are over an inch tall and welded to the botttom That will not work like it did not in my past. The sides have to be taller so I can put the lid on this loose stack and clamp it down Teh I can tack lid to sides and cut off the sides so I can weld along them to lid. When I have have bottom welded to sides and before I stack layers in I can put some paper card stock in as first layer., I mentioned no Flux,, As the card stcok smolders in the forge it will usde up all oxygen in the can..There mus be no air leaks anywhere for this to work. i clamp top on,,tgack trim sides, weld sides and lend caps on. We must know which way the layers are insdie the can...I weld ahandle on,,and the flat part is same as layers,,, We wlant to forge this down so the flat s get thinner Takes a while to get to welding heat,,,it has to be hot all the way through,,and in fack it will weld at less heat in a can than outgside a can weld with light taps,heat weld other side etc, When youreduce thick neww by about a third it should be one block inside It will all look same color when solid. The mild steel I used for can I did not clean may still bond with the HC It will all be ground off Ok when we have this billet welded up: lets think about the carbon contgent with this mix of HC and No c metals WE have about 50 layers,,one more than half is Hc,,,1095 and the other nickel,,, HC is .030" thick Nickel is .oo3 My shop math says that we have about 90% HC that remains at 1095,,or a little less than one percent HC steve sells I dont think rich mentions, but we use very thin sheets fo pure nuckel because it will tend to alloy witht eh surrounding steels and appear thinker. also careful about folding too much because of this issue. Rich Hale WE do not want to drolp over all content b elow about .60 Carbon,,we have not,,,If we layer in thicker nickel we could, if we draw this billet out to three times its length and cut intwo places and restack and weld the nickel will be about .001" thick,,,and amaizingly bright in the etch. This will make a bright solid blade that has all tha we wish in a blade.... Weh we do cut and restack and weld we will have three pieces, each of which has HC on the outside. WE do not need to make a can for this weld Tack one end, wire a couple of places and weld,,I use flux then Twenty mule team. You can pattern this billet however you wish,,,and ite marvelous, will b If you are not up to thise high skill work put it offet up to speed and g For heat treat just treat itg like 1095. stuarthesmith I did not understand the can part Rich Hale We are going to enclose all side of this stack of metals We mentioned welding in a can in last weeks session..this is in addition We will take pics of this as it goes together for next week steve sells THis is an advanced class. if you got lost please read the 100 series to understand, be aware when using multiple billets of twisted bars, to shim between the billets with carbon steel because the nickel can not touch itself or there will be a void ruining your work, One cool thing about using pure nickel sheets is we can chemically hot blue this for wild effect, because pure nickel wont take the bluing additional reading see: