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LibrariaNPC

First Ring Knife

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I've been silent on the forums lately (sorry!), but I've been trying to finish up a few projects and still have time for smithing. Real life tends to get in the way, but there are more projects coming up soon!

 

This particular knife was made from a block of 1084 measuring 6x 1x0.18. Ring was made with the aid of a spike I found at a local farmer's market as I didn't have a large enough chisel. Tempered at 400~ish degrees (kitchen oven with a really worn dial, so may have been as high as 425). Soaked in vinegar and then hand sanded to 500 grit for the handle, while the blade was brought to 800 grit.

The blade was sharpened on a diamond block up to 600 grit, touched up with 800 grit sandpaper, and can slice into paper with ease.

This was made as a birthday gift to my mother, who's immediate reaction upon seeing my blades last November was "where's mine." Well, now she has one. *laughs*

 

Any input would be appreciated! I have a few WIP shots, but nothing too spectacular if anyone wants to see more.

RingBlade.jpg

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Never rely on the dial anyway.  get an oven thermometer and place it in the same location as your blade.

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Hardening was done by heating to critical and dunking the whole thing into canola oil. As I have no clue what my mother will do with it, I figured hardening the whole thing was best.

 

I lack the tools/space to really make handles. Everything I have has to fit back into my apartment when I'm done, so I'm on battery powered hand tools that can fit into a small box. I am thinking of doing another ring knife and trying out either leather or paracord as the handle, as I've been meaning to learn some knotwork at some point.

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I had a student that worked out of his dorm room; he had a stack of scrap steel under his bed as I recall.

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I have all of my steel, scrap and otherwise stacked against a wall behind a door. I just can't leave ANYTHING outside due to things walking off around here (no one in my neighborhood leaves a grill unlocked outside, for example). It makes it a challenge when I want to do any type of handle at the moment.

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Yup I spent 15 years in the inner city Columbus OH and had to carry all my equipment from the basement to the back yard to work for many of those years; climbing up a rickety basement stairs with a 91 pound anvil was not one of my favorite things about smithing in the city. 

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Yup I spent 15 years in the inner city Columbus OH and had to carry all my equipment from the basement to the back yard to work for many of those years; climbing up a rickety basement stairs with a 91 pound anvil was not one of my favorite things about smithing in the city. 

Sorry to hijack this thread, but How long ago were you in Columbus Mr. Powers?  You didn't happen to volunteer as a blacksmith at the little pioneer village they have there did you?  There was a guy there in the early 80's that was awfully kind to me when I was a kid.  That started a spark for blacksmithing that smoldered for 30 years until I could get to trying it on my own.

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I was there from July of 1989 to January of 2004; I knew Paul Ailing who was the smith at Ohio Village at the Historical Society for 10 of those years quite well.  Was he the one?

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I love where this thread has gone :)

The hand and power tools you already have will most likely do the trick. Drill, files, sandpaper, pins/roundstock, epoxy and boom you're good to go. 

HOWEVER there are many all-metal handle types to explore too if you don't feel like adding other materials. For instance, there have been several recent evolutions on the "viking"/"blacksmith" style all-metal knife by other IFI members that bring the blade's practicality and ease of use to new levels (and looks absolutely beautiful while doing so).

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Sadly my drill doesn't work as well as I'd like (battery powered, doesn't really have much oomph), but it's gotten the job done a few times. 

 

I've also been exploring some of the non-metal handles. I made one of those "blacksmith" knives earlier this summer, but it was more of a chopping knife for being out in the bush. The shape wasn't the greatest, but it was fun to play with. A friend of mine requested I perfect it a bit and start making more, so I'll be playing around with that in the near future.

One other design I saw from a smith at one of the classes I took: a ring knife with a twisted handle. I expected it to be uncomfortable, but it worked surprisingly well. I might give it a chance when I'm not in a rush to finish a project (like I was with this; I had a week from the day I started until the day it had to arrive with work in the way as well).

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I've drilled 9/16" holes in 1/2" thick steel by hand using a cole drill---no batteries, no electricity....

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Cole drills look amazing, but my table is a bit too high and unstable for it. I built a small square table that is the perfect height for my gas forge and hand sanding, but is too high for my vice (learning that one the hard way recently). I've also learned it's a bit too unstable for a hand-turned grinding stone, so it may be a bit too flimsy for a cole drill.

 

I'll keep my eyes out for one at the local markets and consider building another table that I can leave outside (just afraid it will deteriorate or walk off).

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Cole drills do not need to be mounted on a table.  I've used mine up in the air on a ladder or held in my post vise; never mounted on a workbench.

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What kind of battery powered drill do you have? I justmade 3 knives using my Bostitch, just because I didn't feel like walking down to the other shop for the drill press. It's not hard to drill through, just make sure you have sharp bits and do your drilling before hardening your blade.

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Cole drills do not need to be mounted on a table.  I've used mine up in the air on a ladder or held in my post vise; never mounted on a workbench.

It looked like it was mounted to a table in the images I saw, thus my confusion. My current vice is mounted to the table that holds my forge (no post vices for me yet), so I'm not sure how well that will pan out for me.

Still, looks like a fun idea I will need to look into when I am a bit more settled.

What kind of battery powered drill do you have? I justmade 3 knives using my Bostitch, just because I didn't feel like walking down to the other shop for the drill press. It's not hard to drill through, just make sure you have sharp bits and do your drilling before hardening your blade.

I have the cheapy drill from Harbor Freight. I dropped a lot of cash into a good battery powered angle grinder (rigid) and I spent a lot of money on my failed forge attempts that I had to cut costs somewhere. A new drill isn't in the cards for a while, as finances are currently balancing between paying off that last class I took and the need to acquire some metal to continue practicing and (hopefully) recoup some of the losses.

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