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I Forge Iron

Etching, and Edges <chat May 22-09>

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[brucegodlesky] Any ideas on etch tanks besides pvc?
[garey] how big a item you etching?
[markb] Fish pond rubber Ed??
[brucegodlesky] 2" wide
[JJ] are you heating your etch tank (that makes a big difference in tank material.
[brucegodlesky] I spent the day making cable flippers and forks and they wouldn't fit in my 2" pvc tanks
[brucegodlesky] when I heart it, I use an infrared light
[JJ] i have pvc tanks and i have stainless tanks.
[brucegodlesky] FeCl doesn't bother the SS? JJ
[JJ] not in the time we need to etch Bruce, then clean out the tank, neutralize it, and clear wash. that way i can heat the etchant to 160f for a darker etch.
[brucegodlesky] : I could go that route. Tonight I laid a garbage bag in a chicken feeder
[garey] i just use a PVC pipe stood vertical
[steve sells] main thing is to be sure that the etch tanks will not react to the etchant
[JJ] me too garey, vertical...i have 2" and 4"
[garey] and either put the acid back in the origonal bottle or make sure the vessel you use can be closed up air tight in the shop. fumes from the acid will rust things in the shop close to it. dont ask me how i found this out
[JJ] my stainless tank is about 3" x 6" and started out 4' tall...i cut the bottom off for etching hot.
[brucegodlesky] reckon I'll just have to put out the cash for larger pvc

[JJ] any chance we can continue to discuss sharpening honing part of tonight? what angle on the sharpening cut do you guys use? and do you vary it by use/thickness, etc?
[Finnr] depends on the knife and thickness, intended use etc JJ
[rock-n-time] would you like to see my frist step?
[JJ] : sure rock
[garey] i just eye ball the angle JJ. somewhere around 28 degrees for a small blade + -
[rock-n-time] Step one - Blacksmith Photo Gallery
[Finnr] First forged blade Rock?
[rock-n-time] YES!!!!
[markb] Steel type?
[Finnr] Looking pretty good Rock
[rock-n-time] disk from plow
[markb] looks good
[markb] what plans for handle
[rock-n-time] Black Walnut
[JJ] reason i asks about angles...the knives i see where guys are hand sharpening seem to have a lower angle than those sharpening on a grinder...and when i put an angle measure on the ones i can locate, it confirms that.
[steve sells] so many people just grab a stone and start rocking the blade edge, never thinking about the angle OR grit that was already used
[JJ] Steve, these hand sharpened knives i'm talking about are among the sharpest i've ever seen. i can literally shave my beard with little drag.
[garey] i sometimes sharpen on the slack belt part of the grinder and finish up with a good stone or diamond hone
[Finnr] Most often I finish off with a black Arkansas stone the a strop
[JJ] i was taught belt sharpening...opnly recently began to try and learn and take lessons on hand sharpening. it's way faster than i thought it would be.
[brucegodlesky] once you get the hang of keeping a consistent angle it's pretty easy
[Finnr] then. the strop
[JJ] after a brown arkansas stone i have (about 800 grit), i got to a walnut block with green rouge, then one with white rouge (when the green begins to rool a burr). that finishes it off (white i mean).
[brucegodlesky] yep, then the strop
[Finnr] Never had belts to sharpen on whenI was a kid so I learned stones
[JJ] this may not be correct, but i was taught to push the blade (ahdn sharpening) and Pull the blade (stropping).
[Finnr] If you can lay hands on one a white Arkansas stone is super
[JJ] what grit Art?
[brucegodlesky] I have a Norton tri-stone that makes it real easy
[Finnr] Not sure off hand it cuts fast and super smooth
[Finnr] I only know of one supplier. A hand tool specialist catalog. That handles new ones
[JJ] i was under the impression the lighter color of stone (arkansas) the greater the grit size?
[Finnr] I managed to get a very old one from a shoe factory that closed White is real fine, My black is a combo stone, white and black
[JJ] once you guys roll a burr on the edge, and are ready for the next lighter grit, how do you get rid or or prepare the roll for the lighter grit?
[Finnr] I use the white for all my planes and they are SHARP
[garey] i have a piece of leather belting 2" x 18" with red rouge in it. i put neatsfoot oil on it when it gets dry and stiff and then rub the rouge in to it. it strops an edge to a fine shaving cyt
[JJ] one end fixed, one end hand held like the barber shop garey or something else?
[Finnr] I glue my leather to a piece of 2 inch wide wood and turn a handle on the end
[garey] : yes. i have a piece of parachord looped in one end i hook to the wall and hold the other end JJ.
[Finnr] Just because I can!
[markb] like a slake belt garey
[JJ] art, i use leather like you do...mostly because i tend to roll the edge when i try it free in air.
[[Finnr] Yep. I learned to do it that way from Dad and just always have
[garey] when i slack belt grind the edge till it gets a burr i then go to a medium stone or a 200# diamond hone to take the edge bur off.
[Finnr] Comes off with the next grit usually
[steve sells] I just change belts :( I grind edge up, then leather strap at end, then the diamond rouge on glass plate
[Finnr] Ask a dozen fellas and you will get thirteen methods that all work
[garey] i keep going to finer grit stones or the diamond hones depending on the steel in the blade
[JJ] here's what i was taught...and strange as it seems, it works....take the blade and cut/pull along the 90 degree edge of a wood block. then go to the next lighter grip. in hand work, and with a 10 power loop to observe, making that cut pass will cut the number of passes in half to get rid of the burr.
[garey] last step i strop on the red rouge on the leather strop
[rock-n-time] What about useing a copper disk and dia.
[steve sells] : wood will take off the burr, What is Red Garey ? I have brown ( emery) gray and white (diamond powder)
[Finnr] I know a couple old farmers who have hands socallused they strop blades on the palm of their hand
[Finnr] Red, I use that Jewelers rouge
[garey] between brown and white i think.
[rock-n-time] red ruby eh?
[Finnr] : Anyone who has had to keep up military brass probably does
[JJ] Red is commonly called jewelers rouge.
[garey]military brass = Brasso from the PX.
[JJ] i found a kit for $12 that has about 6 different colors of bar rouge in it...like...black, brown, blue, green, red, pink, white.
[jeremy k] I use the black, white and blue for polishing my stainless to a mirror finish
[garey] have some green that is course. a cutting rouge on a sissel wheel buff
[rock-n-time] red rouge is made of fat/iron oxide
[Finnr] : I finish buffing with a white abrasive , made for stainless but sure puts a shine on carbon steel
[rthibeau] I use the belt sander for most everything.....a used 120 grit belt
[JJ] Art, Rich taught me to use white to finish up on stainless.
[rock-n-time] Art like white diamond
[garey] high speed buffing dulls the edge. hand stropping will true up the edge and make it wicked sharp.
[Finnr] I got it years back. Huge bar of 'L Homedeu rouge. Just said it was stainless polish
[JJ] that's why i use those wood blocks with rouge garey
[markb] What does a butchers steel do?
[garey] trues up ( straitens ) the edge
[steve sells] knocks of burrs
[Finnr] Yep, I steel every few cuts when I am cooking
[garey] makes the edge straight
[JJ] ruins an edge if you let me hold the steel hone and the knife
[markb] Like a burnish
[garey] JJ i draw the edge to me on a stone like i was trying to slice a layer off the stone
[JJ] to sharpen or hone garey?
[Finnr] JJ I can steel a blade so fast the thing is a blurr. Many years as a pro cook
[garey] to sharpen i go the other way when stropping
[JJ] that's what my instructor told me as the correct way he sharpens...then he had me pull away from the edge to hone.
[Finnr] Exactly JJ make like you are taking a VERY thin slice off the stone
[JJ] Art, i seem to roll by wrist during the move, instead of holding steady.
[Finnr] Straight up and down snap JJ Alter your angle a bit when you draw file to skim over the dips until you work them out
[garey] guy at the power plant had a Lansky sharpening kit. kind that clamps the guied to the blade. he never did get that knife sharp. i finally got it away from him and sharpened it with my stones.
[markb] Yeah put a big gouge in on the draw file then correct pretty soon there won't be anything left
[steve sells] my first draw file, I had a gouge so I gave it a 3/8 inch arch there for cleaning up tong reins :)
[JJ] i'd like to thank you gents for sharing different points on sharpening tongith....i 've made and sold over a thousand blades, but i never stop learning and trying new things.
[Finnr] A person can't possibly learn all there is to know in only one life time!
[steve sells] too bad we have a few that think they already have, it makes it hard to grow in their craft.

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