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Found 16 results

  1. Greetings, I recently had a conversation with a blade maker who told me that his method for hardening and tempering is as follows. Using a tub of water, he places all but the half inch of edge in the water. He then takes an oxyacetylene torch and heats the metal using slow circular motions until it is bright red. He continues evenly down the blade in this manner until reaching the end. When the color fades, he takes the knife out of the water and lets it finish cooling in the air. This is very different from any other method I've heard of. Has anyone tried this themselves? Is this a standard practice I don't know about? The process seems logical, but at the same time, it seems to me that the blade wouldn't harden properly. The knife he showed me that used this method had a good, strong edge and seemed to be well made. Any thoughts? Thanks!
  2. Brand new here, but I thought I might jump into it. I have some annealed 1/8" 52100 flats that I was hoping to use for a pair of pruning shears for my foreman at work. And yes, I'm familiar with how 52100 forges. I've made a few knives from it. It's just that I've never really spring-tempered anything before (as shown in the design). As far as equipment, I have a break drum coal forge, a few punches, wolf-jaw tongs, a straight peen hammer, some hot cut chisels, a rail anvil, and a low speed bench grinder with a sanding attachment. With what I have, how do you think I should best go about drawing it back? Should I use a different steel in regards to the spring? Also, if I'm not being clear, if I'm leaving out some important details, or if you're just curious as to why the heck I'm asking, feel free to let me know. Thanks for the input!
  3. So recently I was involved in a debate about steel, more precisely, modern carbon steels used in knife making. This may seem like a bladesmithing topic but I think it applies better to general forging of modern carbon steel. at any rate its a good study of material science. It started as I overheard some general conversation about forging a complicated knife shape vs stock removal to achieve the same shape. the argument was that in a "modern carbon steel" it dosnt matter whether you forge the shape or mill or grind it away, it would achieve the same strength once it was properly heat treated. this went against my general understanding of forging of parts, blades, or whatever. my addition to the conversation was that, all things being equal, a forged shape would be stronger. if two parts were made, one in a machine shop via stock removal, and one in a blacksmith shop via forging with minor finishing as required to achieve similar tolerances. then both parts sent through the same heat treating process, the forged one inherently retains a more cohesive grain strength, making it stronger. the reason for machining is keeping tighter tolerances and speed of manufacturing. the argument back was that, when properly heat treated, original grain patterns do not affect finished strength, they are mostly reset. and that the talk of grain strength was just a carryover in blacksmithing from the wrought iron days of very large grains where it mattered greatly how the grain was oriented. now I don't discount that the difference may be minor, but I find it impossible to believe a forged shape isn't stronger.
  4. I was recently on the Anvil section of the forums asking about replace a cast iron face with an steel one. I haven't quite yet decided on whether I will or not. However I am leaning towards not replace the cast iron face. Now my issue with the cast iron face is just how soft it is. I realize that sounds a little bit strange however it dents rather easily, (I was under the impression that Cast Iron was very brittle not soft.) So I was wondering if possibly when I refinished the anvil face with a Angle grinder I might have undone whatever temper there was on it. (Not knowing too to much about proper anvil care at the time) What's your take on it. Attached is a picture of the face. I'll see about getting more picture/video of it. Thanks -Ray
  5. One of the age old methods for making hardie tools is to forge the tool to the basic shape and size of the hardie hole and then heat the tool, place it in the hardy hole and hammer it into the hole so that it fits the shape of the hole and has a flange around it - Noting on my new anvlil that this method tends to draw the heat to the anvil as would be expected but is also affecting the heat treating around the hole - Not wanting to hurt the temper of my anvil face I'm looking at alternate methods of fitting the tools - any other ways folks are doing this? I'd sure like to keep this anvil pristine - not sure it's affecting the face but it on one occasion has actually caused a color change around the edges of the hardy hole. Maybe I'm just being wimpy about my new anvil but it sure is nice having really good tools for a change. Could be that I just left the tool in the hole too long or had the heat too high - dunno.
  6. I wanted to make a spring flatter for a class I'm in but I didn't have thick plates of high carbon steel to make the striking plates. I decided to take two pieces of mild plate steel that were 2"x2"x1/2" and weld four pieces of auto leaf spring pieces that were 2"x2"x1/4" on the top and bottom with a MIG welder,I welded all around the edges essentially making a steel sandwich with the leaf spring as bread and the mild as the meat. What would be the best method of heat treating so that all three of the different metals used in the construction can stay stuck together and survive the hammer blows?
  7. as always there's tons of conflicting info out there. i'm making a square edge hardy tool mainly for tenons and lap joints from a piece of track. since there's really no way of knowing what the steel is for sure any thoughts on how to heat treat. after the time it's taking to forge a 4" section into what i need it would really suck if the thing cracks from being too brittle. any suggestions or a link would be great ...thanks
  8. I forged a couple of knifes from 1084 steel and hardened them at the forge. The dimensions are 1/8 th of and inch at the spine, about 1 inch wide and 6 inches long excluding the stick tang. I brought them home to temper them in my gas oven. I was aiming at 450 degrees. I put them on a rack in the middle of the stove and put a thermocouple probe next to them. (Klein tools multimeter MM200) I set the oven to 450 degrees and monitored the temperature as indicated on the multimeter. I found the oven temperature varying by plus and minus about 50 degrees around the 450 degree setting so I reset the oven to about 400 degrees and let it cycle up and down for about a half hour. As far as I can tell It tempered okay, Holds an razor edge and hasn't chipped or broken under heavy usage. Now the problem is, I am using a precision hammer (Harbor Freight 3 lb engineers hammer $7/50) and some unknown brand of smithing coal and an anvil of unknown origin, and I would like a more precise way of heat treating at home. I am thinking next time I will bury the blade and the thermocouple in a two inch thick layer of clean sand and use the temperature indicated by the meter to adjust the oven temperature control. Hopefully the thermal mass of the sand will prevent the large temperature swings. Any comments would be appreciated. P.S. Maybe that's why my roast chicken always turns out burned to a crisp. P. P. S. The blades seem to be pretty rust resistant.
  9. I am looking for a way to measure the temperature of my steel in the forge and wanted to see if anyone in the forums has experience with an IR temperature sensor. In particular, this is the current listing on Amazon.com that I am considering: http://www.amazon.com/Handheld-Non-Contact-Infrared-Thermometer-Targeting/dp/B007EYX0TS/ref=sr_1_17?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1395934068&sr=1-17&keywords=high+temperature+type+k The temperature measurement range is -58-3002F and also has a thermocouple input channel. If anyone has experience with this unit, please let provide some feedback.
  10. I tempered my first knife a day ago at about 400 degrees( my toaster oven only goes by hundreds of degrees). I put it in the oven and left it there for two hours. When i pulled it out it came out looking like a rainbow.What did i do wrong? I've spent some time thinking about it and i've come up with a few ideas as to why that happened. I put the knife in the oven diagonally because that was the only way it would fit, the middle of the knife turned blue right where that knife rested, above the heating element, on the rack.The blue is interrupted by a bronze strip exactly where the knife rested above the heating element. The reason i'm wondering what happened is because i thought at 400 degrees the whole knife would take on a straw color not any other color let alone a rainbow of most of the oxidation colors. Can anyone help me understand what happened? Should i continue with another tempering cycle, or should i start over and re-harden the blade and try again?
  11. Hey guys, I'm a newbie, but Theo Rock Nazz is NOT. Check out this video I did of him when he was heat-treating a blade I've seen him craft for months. It's at night in his own forge in the snow, it's kind of badass but not as much as he. Watch him and the energy he puts into his art, listen to the commentary he gives:
  12. Here is the start(midway)building of a Heat Treating / Burnout Oven(for lost wax casting wax burnouts) I'm building. 14" x 14" x 17-1/2" tall inside. This will have 4 heating elements. Grooves made with a standard wood router and a template. The temp will be controlled by a PID digital controller w/ ramping step option. More pictures to come.
  13. Having a problem with the working end of my tools not seeming hard enough. When I push a file accross the end, it wants to bite more than skip, and when put into hot work use, they don't seem to hold their edge for too long. A few more details; I let the tool soak in my forge at an orange, non magnetic temp before plunging into a water quench and use a map gas torch on the non business end to run the colors before quenching again. I have been told that placing the tool in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour afterwards helps, but I didn't think it was necessary. Is this a question of letting the color band run up too far or not enough, or am I missing something?
  14. I'm trying to harden and temper a tomahawk made from a ball peen hammer head. I have no idea when or from what the head was made from. I assume tool steel, definetely carbon steel. It was heavily rusted when I rescued it. I don't have an original picture but I have a couple after the first session. I annealed it and want to get it back to at least it's original hardness. I'm not sure what temp or how long to oven temper it. I'm considering a coal forge tempering and quench. Do you quench when you bring a piece out of the oven when tempering? I've been reading a little on this but I have not found a lot on oven tempering. Thanks in advance for any advice. This is the first piece I'm really trying to get the hardness and toughness right. The guy I'm making the hawk for says it's for display but I think it might get used, especially by his three boys. Here are some in process pics. I thought I would add some pics but for some reason I cannot upload them. I tried both loaders but no luck. Thanks, BTKS
  15. In the months that i've been actively smithing, ive come acros a rumor that i would like to resolve. A few people that i know have told me that when you burn coke hot enough, it will add carbon content to a piece of steel. Is there any truth to this? or is it just a rumor?
  16. Hello all, This is my first real post, and it starts with a problem. Today I snapped a knife blade in half. A friend asked for a filet knife so I forged one as thin as I could get it. I am using a propane/firebrick forge. The steel was car leaf spring steel. I forged the blade. Normalized it twice. Heated it to bright orange, quenched it in motor oil once. Out of the motor oil the blade warped a small amount. I then polished the blade up some, and put it in a toaster oven at 400F for an hour. Once it was finished, I put it back into the oven for 425F for another hour. I began polishing again and sharpening the blade but still tried to figure out what to do with the warped blade. I took a small micro butane torch and heated the blade near the warp to a dark brown/ blue thinking it would add flexibility. I squeezed the blade in a vise but the warp remained. So, I grabbed the blade with two hands and attempted to bend it a little bit and the whole blade snapped in two. I will attempt to upload a photo, but this is my first attempt at photo uploading. I have crafted 10 or 11 blades before this but none this thin. Any help on troubleshooting my work procedures would be greatly appreciated.