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I Forge Iron

Balanced blades chat April 24,09

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[steve sells] whats up tonight?
[MRobb]There we go
[markb]You da boss
[garey] sewing up sheaths.
[MRobb] I'm just here to listen
[markb] and learn
[steve sells] me too funny aint it? I didnt get any shop work done today too much going on.
[MRobb] 1 Um..............knives?
[markb] Balance point?
[sfDuck] I'm tinkin..........I'm tinkin
[Nate.v] order of operations?
[m_brothers] what are we talking about tonight?
[steve sells] ok starting with balance, what bring that ip?"
[sfDuck] Counter balance
[steve sells] 1if a blade has good balance is feels lightin inthe hand ans it easer to use/control, if the balance is bad, its a blocky shuck of steel
[markb] So is there a formula
[steve sells] no clue I go my feel RICH HALE help !
[sfDuck] What about putting a counter balance on the end
[garey] the shape of the handle and what handle is made of and how it fits YOUR hand makes a lot of the difference in balance
[steve sells] one thing is called Distal Taper, the counter weight is after we do everything else to get it balanced. taper is the slimming of the steel, Distal means away, that translates to thinner at tip than at ghhe guard
[m_brothers] You don't want to have a huge blade and tiny handle or small blade and huge handle.
[steve sells] on a small knife its not to bad, but as a blade gets longer, onto sword, this can add up to over a pound of weight ( or not) moving the center of gravity of the blade
[m_brothers] you know as you're forging. it kind of comes to you like steve said
[steve sells] I had to work at it, lighter blades are faster to respond to the hand than heaver ones but knife size blades its not noticed as much, one reason I advise a potential sword maker to strt smal and do knives first
[MRobb] Does the style of the blade influence this at all?
[steve sells] Yes it does. In the forum a member mentioned a Machette
[m_brothers] Like I just forged a small utility the other day, the blade is a bit beefier, 3/16" thick at the top of the spine, 3" blade, but then 5" handle, with distial taper, this really makes the blade balanced, and I can blanace it at the ricasso its a cross between axe, and large knife in structor and function
[MRobb] Very stout
[m_brothers] it's in rough ground, it'll be 1/8" thick when done, but it's an example.
[steve sells] the ONLY reason I did the 3/16 fo rth eporject knife is the choipping function but its 1/8 only 2 inches from the guard anyway a smooth taper is prefered, as any drastic reduction is noticed as lumps in feel and the reflection in the shine
[m_brothers] for knives, a great counter balance can be a butt-cap
[markb] So balance is a product of feel and experience?
[steve sells] I still use fine point magic marker. to tag teh blade so I have reference points, and yes mark
[markb] there must be a balance point that can be calculated?
[steve sells] I am sure there I, but I don't have it
[sfDuck] Why just feel for it
[steve sells] its probably covered in a thread over at Sword Forum
[m_brothers] by balance point, do you mean perfect balance where the handle starts and the blade ends?
[steve sells] how it feels in the hand is only part of it Also it effect how the blade vibrates when in contact with "Things" a small pocket knife its not noticable, but in a sword, its can shake
[markb] No , where the blade moves in hand without heavy blade or handle
[sfDuck] Where the whole knife will balence on a finger and not sway
[steve sells] to the point of hurting the hand in a poor designed blade, to like cutting air, ins awell desiogned blade Most blades have the center of gravity a short t way in front of the guard... but its more than that
[markb] Thats step one
[steve sells] harmonic nodes, are a complex field of physics. and I don't feel qualified to attempt to explain as I dont know much about all te science behind it. most good blades are made to have the Neutral point of the vibration waves, In the place where the hand grips the handle of the blade, and another one is where the most contact occurs in cutting
[sfDuck] How are your Nodes Steve
[steve sells] mine are fine YOU guys asked, and as I said I dont know a lot so its harder to explain than a subject I am more experienced with
[m_brothers] steve, how thick do leave the edge of the blade in rough grind before H/T, and do you quench vertical, horizontal, and what kind of quench?
[steve sells] I hate to admit my weaknesses, but its the truth I aint the best person to cover harmonic balance, even tho I know what to look for I am sure I miss a lot in trying to explain it.
[Rich Hale]: The eye and the feel tell a buyer all they want to know about a hunting knifes balance..if they do not like that way it looks feels or is finished it is automatically discounted for balance as well
[steve sells] the most common term is to leave the edge the thickness of a DIME then after HT you can get a good edge, as you remove any area that may have lost carbon to migration in the HT
[sfDuck] When you design a hilt for a sword, and you know the type of blade your making
[steve sells] of course its all planned before I fire up the forge :)
[sfDuck] Where do you start to design the hilt
[steve sells] it has to be,, we covered that , and it became the project knife... Hilt for a sword it part of the sword sytle itself a Japanese sword, with a iron gross bar? LOL a roman gladius with the wide spanning claymore bars, with eyes?
[sfDuck] So there is no wiggle room for hilt designs just look the type up and copy it
[steve sells] most are part the the blade style. Ibut there is a lot of variation, that the cliwents call usually
[sfDuck] Bear with me as I try to describe this
[steve sells] but there is a recognisable style if you leave that, it wont be that style any longer, Thats ok if you want to have fun, but doing Historical repro's I try to stay close to style.
[sfDuck] Where the blade goes through the hilt on the blade side
[steve sells] I think that called a Hole [sfDuck] 10:35 pm: I've seen a kind of spear point or slot that almost images the blade
[sfDuck] Then theres the hole How do you make this from one piece of steel
[steve sells] IF you are talking about what I think the guard has a element that extends down the blade a bit
[sfDuck] Yes
[steve sells] the side profile is like a flattened W ?
[markb] separate?
[steve sells] the center peak is not as pronounced. I made the cross for the leaf blade, and I do have a pic, by hammering the wrought iron into a 3 inch block then thinning the outer sides I left it 3 inches in center, only narrowed and drew out the sides
[sfDuck] Geez it would be nice to have a draw button on the chat so you could draw a pic
[steve sells] then Punch and Slit toeh hole/slot for the tang, too bad no pics posted here IN this chat, I left it thick in the center after punching abd drifting to size, the ground away excess
[sfDuck] Thats purty close
[steve sells] k welding on after could work also, I wanted one piece because the pattern when I etch would show weld lines
[sfDuck] The center point that the blade fits into could that be heated the blade set in and then hammered to get the egg act shape and fit
[steve sells] so its a matter of what this client wanted, and I had to figure a way to for it the only problem with this one is Wrought iron for all fittings that does fit tight, it not exactly in place yet, as I will heat and hammer into final set after its all done a hot fit, no solder showing its great when we can get it. we should all aim for quality in our projects. but not all are perfect, Some we have to redo, others we may be able to uswe with adjustments
[sfDuck] It just seems to catch my eye on a lot of knives or swords I've seen
[steve sells] hammering wrought iron into the tip and collar and banding for the wood scabbard is a pain, I had to make forms and sweges that are not needed for cold working bronze start with a larger mass hammer close as you can, grind /cut away the excess part of it is knowing WHEN to remove too soon and we loose the holding points, or may loose mass needed for a forge weld. a guard also effects vibrations, and balance too. as with any good job, it all starts in the planning stage, before we light our fire
[markb] The most important stage, learned the hard way
[MRobb] Go through the whole project from start to finish in your head and work out the kinks.
[steve sells] yup I have a old clip board in the shop pencil for drawings even partials for little ideas so I dont forget them I repeat nothing wrong with hammering to have fun but to have a usable blade takes a but more than just hammering I mentioned earlier I mark off the steel after forging, before I grind, so I have reference points How else can I keep the cutting edge centered or a choil balanced nothing wrong with "cheaters" or Helper marks" wee should use what we can to make our product the best, work smarter, use our best tool, our minds

Edited by mod07
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