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I've forged several knives and all have turned out quite well but im trying for the first time a stock removal blade. What the best way to create the racaso with this method? any and all imput would be greatly appreciated and help speed things up.

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The ricasso is the flat area behind the guard or bolster the separates it from the grind of the blade. When forging a knife most will hammer the edge thinner from this point where the grind line starts and this is used as a guide to start the grind. Most stock removal guys will use a template of the grind line they want and draw on the steel with permanent marker to use as a guideline to start the grind. I don't hammer my edges thin as I have not ever seen the "compacting" steel theory make any difference to a blade. What makes a knife a knife is the steel used, your normalizing and annealing cycle and your heat treat. So decide where you want your riccaso to start and start your grind from there on both sides of the blade. This is what I do.

Hope this helps.

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I've always started my forged knives with creating the racaso by hammering a pc of sq stock into where i thought it should be then being careful not to hammer beyond that point. I never wanted to do stock removal before but my old lady brought me home a 100 yr old plus 2 man saw and i figured it would be better to make it serve a purpose again then be hung up as an orimant. it acted like spring steel before I tourched it out then was as hard as a file afterward. i anneled it in soot after then hardened it in used oil (after i profiled it) but it was still very soft and flexible after. may its a air hardenable or water quench steel. anyone have any idea when air hardenable steels where created? ( ps i left the steel in to xxxx long in my coal forge while talking to my old lady and burnt my blank in half... :( i need to pay more attention)

sorry if my post have any flaw but i do all my interneting via smartphone

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just screw up another knife blank! wasent anneled completely and went to tap on it to straighten it and it cracked! i let it cool down to much before I started tapping on it i guess. any suggestions on keeping it straight after i pull it ou of the fire? seriously i never have these problems with a forged knife

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Did you do a true anneal? Something that thin will need a helper bar to do a traditional anneal.

As you get thinner the quenchant of the blade shifts up the scale so oil hardening steels will often quench in air, water hardening steel in oil, etc. Remember that the manuals are based on 1" cross sections!

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no i didnt but im going to tonight Thomas! since you mentioned its a thinner blade and it ups for a knife blank cut out of a 2 man saw that im sure is close to 100 yrs old ( judging by its hardware and style) what quench should i try first for hardening and what temp in the ol' toaster oven? any idea what type of steel am I workin with? only thing i know is the saw blade before i plasma cut out the blank is very hard and very flexible. All my other knive have been made from coil springs coal forged out and gave me very little headaches

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i did try to normalize Loneforge, but I think Thomas nailed it with the thiness. probably affects the method of normalization to. Been a sheet metal worker for 15 yrs, welding for 9 yrs and blacksmithing for 4 yrs and ive only been trying my hand @ blades for several month now ( im way to use to mild steel, ss and alum from my trades) tool steel is pretty new to me

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"When in doubt, start with warm oil" is my motto and then I may experiment up or down depending on my results and for unknown steel you *HAVE* to experiment to see what works best!

Old steels are often quite shallow hardening and you have an extremely limited time to get them out of the forge and into the quench.

Try not to do your experimenting with your finished blade, a piece of scrap steel makes for far fewer tears!

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Some of the older steels prefer a brine mixture. Test with a water quench, if it cracks then go brine or warm oil - NEVER quench in cold oil and I prefer a warm brine to a water quench. Cold quenching cracks or warps 9 out of 10 blades.

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I use all known new steels now but in the past I have used aboiut everything I coiuld find to make a blade. I have never had to use brine to harden any of them..luck of the draw i suppose. My preference is to first try air quench,,if that does not make a file skate i go to warm oil. if that does not harden I will try water. Again just my way but i quit there, if not hard in water I use the steel for another purpose. I do not try this on an unknown steel blade, but like Thomas mentioned above, on a piece cut from the steel just for HT testing. When the test piece is hard i temper, i will try slowly incresded temps until I find one thatg makes the steel how I like it. If i get it too soft I normalize and harden again. Wot ever method I use I will keep a record of and use it for the remainder of thagt piece of steel. As I have changed my expectations of wot i want for steel lI do not use mystery steels any longer. All of the time I put into that early work proved to me thata I can select a steel from a few on my favorite list and purchase new. Prices are affordable as the research has been done. i know wot I will get using HT methods for that steel each and every time. Making blades to sell changed that for me. You are branded and labeled by the worst knife you let out of your shop.

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There is much to be said for buying known good steel---but sometimes "old stuff" can shine.

I'm working on a bowie for my Son in Law's Single Action Shooting kit. I'm forging the blade from a piece of steel that dates to the same period they are recreating. The bragging rights overshadow the "known good steel" in this case.

I've been saving up a chunk of HC from 1828 till I find a fur trade era recreater that wants to sell a kidney for a blade of steel documented to 1828.

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Thomas both of the items you mentioned seem to qualify quite nicely as "known steel" and perfectly fit for the tasks intended. Not surabout ths size of your family or if there is room for more.....Keep in mind that in spite of my advanced years i am adoptable......!!!

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I've been saving up a chunk of HC from 1828 till I find a fur trade era recreater that wants to sell a kidney for a blade of steel documented to 1828.



I know how that feels - wrought iron is very scarce here and I have just been given a piece from an old Foortrecker wagon wheel - stunning grain in it - the knife that deserves it hasn't come to mind yet.
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had 2 pcs of wrought from an old pc of railing that got desposed of in the scrap bin at my shop. 3/4" x 3/4" x 24" each is what i scavenged, I saved them for the "perfect" art pc but one day my fellow metal worker/roomate collected up all our scrap steel and took it into the recyclers and accidentaly took my 2 beautiful and old pcs of wrought with him. I went to the scrap yard but couldnt find them... that is my tale of woe....

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followed Rich's instruction and so far the whole heat treatment has gone great, sitting in the toaster oven as I type this via android. does anybody know where to buy fine grit 1 x 30 belts from off the internet? home depot only goes to 120 grit so i do all my finishing by hand after that. thanks everybody for yer help!

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Google Klingspor's. They may have the belts you are looking for.

Rich and Thomas: I've read several of your posts today that are very insightful and was contemplating asking if either of you needed a new sidekick for comic relief or something. :lol: I think I could learn a lot just looking over your shoulders.

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