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ferrousnewb77

Knife Making

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Hey guys,

I'm new to this website and I've been blacksmithing for about 7 months now and i have made several knives and other stuff like tomahawks but i was wondering what is the best kind of steel to use on a smithed knife?

Also is there any way to sort of burn a image or symbol into the blade? I've heard from a few people that certain acids can permanently stain steel and if i make a wax stencil and pour it on the steel it will do such. If there is a acid that can do that what is it?

And last is wood or coal better for smithing a knife?

Thanks guys!

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Run through the knifemaking section of the forum ,,start at 101 and work though at your pace,,it is put there to help folks just like yourself,,,

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I would suggest starting with the simple 10xx series steels.  Easy to heat treat at home with limited equipment.  Anything over .84 percent carbon needs to have a soak time to get the carbon into solution so, 1070 1075 1080 or even better 1084.  1095 needs a soak time.  Hard to get a good soak without the right equipment.  You can do your etching with an etching machine available from most knife suppliers for about $250.  It uses an electrolyte to etch the steel with the machine.  Wood isn't a good source of fuel for forging.  Coal is the way to go.  Of course you can also use propane.  Hope it helps.

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Ah, steel.  You'll find as many opinions as there are bladesmiths.  For myself, I like 5160 as it is very forgiving and easy to get (most car/truck springs after mid '70s) and makes an excellent blade.

As far as etching, I use an old computer power source, wax and salt water.  Easy and cheap. 

Do the knifemaking 101 thing and look through all the stickies and such.

Share pics, we like pics.

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The laptop charger etching system is the way to go. I use a bottle of my girlfriends old fingernail polish as a resist, but wax would work too.

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Ok thanks guys I'll post my best knife so far its not polished because I don't have a belt grinder yet but I kinda like the dark steel look anyways but here it is...I added the bend in the knife to give it a original look. I don't know the carbon content of the steel but I did harden and temper it and then sharpen it with a grinder and then a old fashioned whetstone. The handle is made of chestnut.

 

0127131230_zps370f7f60.jpg

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The knifemaking classes in the series show how to hand finish a blade without a belt grinder. The forged blade I did for this tutorial took about 20 minutes to finish all sides.

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Do a search on here for the original etcher post, as its not my idea, but here's how it works.
Take an old laptop charger and cut off the end that goes to the computer.
Strip back the wires then separate the positive and negative. On mine, the negative was wrapped around the positive.
Attach the positive wire (I attached alligator clips) to the blade and the negative to a cotton ball or q-tip dipped in salt water.
To form the design, I coat the area I want to etch in nail polish then scratch the image into the dried polish with an xacto knife.
Then, plug in the charger and apply the salty cotton to the design. It should start to fix and produce an acrid smell. About 30 seconds should do it.
Reversing the wires will produce a darker mark.
Then remove the polish and shine normally

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You could also contact a company that makes punches and have your symbol done onto the punch. Then, you just have to hammer it before hardening and that's it!

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