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I Forge Iron

Spalted Maple - 5160 - Hot-bluing


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Right here is about the most bizarre handle material I've ever worked with. It just wasn't like other highly figured material. Throughout the shaping process, the piece litterally changed constantly! How it ended up looking, is not how it started out looking!
It was a lot of fun.
I bought this and another piece like it from Peter Martin, and knife making friend of mine, and I'm glad I did.
The take-down fittings are hot blued, which I did to accentuate the black spalted markings in the Maple.
I selectively hardened the 5160 blade that I forged down from 1 inch stock and gave a REALLY deep etch.
I made a knife similar to this one last year that I called my "Companion" and this is a slight variation on that theme.


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The "finish" on what?
The blade or the handle?
The handle material is stabilized and brought up to 1500 git hand-sand and then buffed with a clean wheel - no compound. Leaves a really nice soft finish.
The blade was etched in Ferric Chloride to reveal differential/selective hardening.
Here's a link to a much better Thumbnail Image:
Individually Handcrafted Knives for the Outdoor Enthusiast

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I like how the 5160 shows a grain like the 'hada' of Japanese tamahagane steel. (That's the woodlike grain) It must be from a combination of the mill rolling and the forging process.

The transition line from your heat treat is so uniform and straight that I thought it was a bevel when I first looked at it.

Very nice work.

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There will be no signs of mill rolling left on my knives. I forge my 5160 blades down from 1 inch square stock. By the time I get it down to blade thickness, all alloys have been completely re-distributed.
My W1 and 52100 blades come down from 1 1/4" round as well.
I'm certain that what we're seeing here is chromium banding in the spine area. The jury is still out on whether or not that is a good thing!
I use a limiting plate in my quench tank for the selective hardening - leaves a pretty distinct transition!
Thanks for your kind words.

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  • 2 years later...

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