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DavidF

Hunter - WIP

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I have successfully HT my first blade. It is 1095, stock removal only, no forging since I just finished my forge and I have been working on this during the forge build. I have made this hunter for my niece’s husband. He is a an avid hunter and he also picked up a big hunk of 1” thick A2 for me to beat on. This is the blade after HT. I used my new forge to bring above non magnetic, gave it an extra but for the additional 100 deg needed and dunked in canola oil. The first go seemed to still have a little bite from the file, so I dunked it a second time and the file wouldn’t bite. So I placed in a 400 deg over for two hours and allowed to cool to handling temperature. I had read about saline dunks to get the 1095 down quick enough to harden, but I didn’t want to crack the blade and it is my first (and second) quench. Tomorrow night and over the weekend I will clean up and sharpen the blade, then put the guard and pommel along with the handle and liners on. I have kept things pretty simple, although I did a lot of pre carving on the guard, pommel, and handles. I should be able to post completed pics by the end of the weekend. Here are two pics after the hardening and tempering. As alway, any and all feedback is welcome. This is my first “real” blade, so I am sure there will be constructive comments. This includes any feedback on the process I shared, as well as design. The front and back holes are 1/4” tapped to 20 thread for the pommel and guard. The three center holes are to secure the handles which are Purple Heart wood. The liner will be black. The blade will be cleaned of all color and scale. The guard and pommel are SS and the bolts will also be SS. The handle pins are brass. I was going to use SS for those, but as I got closer to complete, I found the brass pins would work better when I complete the handle. The large hole in the back was put in to offset the weight of the pommel which is pretty big. Hopefully it will look good that way.

 

One piece of feedback I would be interested in hearing, is if I should make the handle a little smaller. Initially I have planned to keep it the same height as the top of the blade. It will be a full tang. But looking at the pics, would it look and feel better to take an 1/8” or 1/4” of the top and bottom of the handle? This is one area I would love to hear opinions before I secure everything in the next couple of days.

 

Thanks all!

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Looking good so far. I like the serrations on the spine. It would look really neat with a false edge running down the rest of the spine right after them. 

As far as the size of the handle goes, thats totally up to you. Does it fit well in your hands? And, more importantly, will it fit well in his hands?

I hope you normalized at least once in between quenching the blade twice. 

 

 

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Did you warm the canola oil before the first quench?  Warm oil makes a faster quench than cold oil due to having lower viscosity.

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Here's a thought on the handle. When using the serrated side will you hit your knuckles on what you are cutting? 

Other than that I think it looks good.

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Thomas, the oil was around up deg for the first quench. I am sure you hit the nail in the head

Thanks Genesaika. I love that perspective

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Anytime in the winter my oil is around Upper Peninsula (MI) temps; I head towards the woodstove!      

I had wondered if you had preheated your quench oil for your second quench with your blade's first quench. 

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Will, ummm... I wish I would have normalized again. In hindsight, I definitely should have thought it through and did that step. Thanks for mentioning it. As a newbie, it helps to hear things that should have been standard practice. I will normalize before repeated quenches in the future. I ended up gluing and securing everything tonight. Maybe I can do an edge treatment, or just test and see how it holds up. I have dropped the blade and it didn’t crack. So it may be OK without more HT. When I quenched, I placed th edge in before cooling the rest. The intent was to leave a softer spine. And since it is 1095, I immediately went to the temper. Maybe I will file test the spine tomorrow to see if the edge quench did what I attempted and go from there. I will also post pics once it is cleaned up.

Thomas, that is exactly what happened. Second quench was heated and that most likely was the change. Again, newbie mistakes will prevent repeated mistakes. Thanks for sharing your expertise. I bet my next knife will have all new errors! But I am learning and enjoying myself.

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Few if any of us will live long enough to make all the necessary learning errors ourselves; that's why we try to help new folks jump start past some of them so they can get on to the new and unusual errors...

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Not intentionally. But based on the quick search I just completed, I would say the serrations could make it fall under that definition. The knife will be used as a hunting knife. It will be used to clean and skin game. I always follow the double tap rule fo zombies,  so no knife would be required ;)

Update: I read the legislation and without  the word of violence on the blade or handle, it would not fall under the definition. Only meets two of the three criteria. So you would have to carve “undead slayer” on it after delivery if you want to break the law

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Cleaning game: is the guard and handled sealed so no unwanted foreign matter can seep under them?  I've done a few that could even be boiled...

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Will be. I have a couple of finishing touches and one is to seal the back part of the guard. But it will only be used “once” to clean a moose. The guy that I am giving it to uses the replaceable blade system for the work. He wants it as a show piece by his trophys. So I told him it needs to be utilized at least once and then he can hang it. He assure me it would “see blood”. So I will be finishing that work tomorrow (most likely) and the final detailing, polish, oiling, etc. I also have requests for some blades for charitable events already. I like that I am getting demand just by sharing on my social media pages. Once this one is complete and I can take some good pics, I will get them posted. My next few projects will be kitchen knives for the wife and me. It will get me some more practice. And I really want to do an art project for my wife to hang on the wall. Blades are a lot of fun, but I am excited to do some different things by tapping into my artistic passion

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Nice! I've had a few requests too, recently. This sure put some stress on my shoulders :lol:. Two things I heavily considered: 

- Is the knife overall shape and geometry adequate for the job? Search for average blade length, thickness and geometry of a given knife type. Ex: Santoku kitchen knife. 5-7" long, 2" wide, .110" at spine and 0.00-0.10" at secondary bevel. 

- Am I confident enough in my heat treatment to put my reputation on the line?

 

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