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I Forge Iron

W-2 and Mesquite Fighter

Justin Carnecchia

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Long for my taste but well made. It has a pleasing profile and the furniture appears well fitted. How's the balance?

Do you like working with W2? I'm not a knife guy but I do occasionally make a blade for whatever. I usually use 5160 or 1080-1085 salvaged from RR rail. A good friend of mine quenches 5160 in water but I've had some darned brittle results when I experimented, as in small shards in the bucket, brittle. Rail really prefers oil. Really nice steel.

Anyway, I've never forged W series steel and am interested in how it behaves under the hammer as a byte to add to my mental tool kit.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks guys, your comments are appreciated :D .

JMC- I don't think that water creates a more defined hamon, when I quenched in oil the definition was fine. What I found was that oil, at least canola, wasn't fast enough. The hamons I made didn't have any real activity. Water has helped with that a lot, but on the down side I crack a fair number of blades. I know a lot of smiths are getting real nice results with the Parks 50.
Manganese content can have a big effect too. 1095 can vary greatly in its content, some will work great, some not so great.

Frosty- I use the W-2 mainly because I do hamons. Aside from that though, it is capable of a very fine grain and makes a tough knife that hold a great edge. Honestly I think with the thicknesses we deal with in knives most all steels are better quenched in oil. I have pretty good luck with water, but will likely give Parks 50 a try when I can afford it.
W-2 forges much like 1095 and 1084. Other than scrap those are the only other steels I have used, so I can't say much about comparison.

Tim- The blade was clayed with Satanite and quenched in water.

Thanks again for all your kind words, -Justin

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  • 1 month later...

Yes you can produce a hamon without clay. In a low hardening steel if the spine is thick it won't want to harden anyway. Playing around with the time, temp, blade geometry, carbon/alloy content, etc you can get some control over it.
What the clay does is give us some control on where the hamon appears and what form it takes.
If you are intersted look up Nick Wheeler, he does some really nice work and a lot of his recent hamons have been without using clay. He's been doing some really cool stuff. -Justin

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