metaldrms

Newbie Needs Help

Recommended Posts

 Ok, this is my first post I became a member because I am new to smithing and need some tips. I'm 14 and I just bought a 3"x 60" belt sander with a grinding wheel and made a diy jig for grinding bevels on knives. I also just forged my first knife out of spring steel and did a hollow grind for the bevel because it was kind of thick. Well, the platform on my sander to put the jig on does not go down to the wheel for doing hollow grinds. I attached some pictures. Does anybody have any tips on how to do hollow grinds freehand. Because I ended up with waves in my bevel and looks kind of bad. (If the sander pictures are confusing the arm tilts back for the wheel to be exposed.) Also if you have any tips on charcoal forges please feel free and riveting tongs.

 

Thanks :)

20181002_145015.jpg

20181002_145053.jpg

20181002_145144.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate your attention to detail. It belies your age.  In my opinion, that is a really nice first try for a free hand grind on a wheel.  It’s  a skill many don’t even bother trying to learn.  You can touch that line up with a hand file to get it straight OR just try a few light passes on the wheel again.  Keep your hands in a comfortable but sturdy position on the knife, keep your elbows locked in by your side to limit arm movement, and keep your feet shoulder width apart and square to the grinder.  Apply the knife gently to the belt so you can feel the bevel “fit” into place and then use your legs to slowly shift your body ever so slightly to make the blade move across the belt.  I found that, when I used my arms, it always went crooked on me.  So let your whole body be “locked” onto the knife and shift slowly side ways.  Also, make sure you aren’t using too aggressive of a grit.  It is nearly impossible to get a straight line with 36 grit.  80 is tough.  If you already heat treated then watch the temperature of the blade.  Dunk it in water each pass.  If not, then be sure not to grind the knife edge too thin before heat treat.  

The only way to get those lines straight is to do it a bunch of times.  Each knife you make will get better and better so just enjoy the process.

Lou 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As mentioned above, practice is the key. 

Also, this question may be more appropriate in the Bladesmithing section of this forum.

 

If possible, join your local blacksmithing organization, although it's probably the NWBA and those events can be tough to get to for a 14 y/o.

Most importantly, have fun and don't get discouraged.  If you keep at it, you'll be way ahead of me before you get to get to 1/2 my age.

 

as always

peace and love

billyO

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That grind line isn't terrible, you could easily clean it up with hand sanding, just use your belt grinder to grind yourself a sanding block the same radius as your contact wheel and go at it, you'll tidy everything up in no time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Thanks for the help guys. I will definitely keep practicing and hopefully improving. One more question I have is what grit do I get the knife before I heat treat? (I haven't heat treated and waiting to get some higher grit belts for sander.) Also do you guys recommend a solid fuel forge or a gas forge because at the moment I have a pretty nice portable coal forge and it heated the knife in the picture to white in 1 minute or less. 

 

Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually grind to about 200 grit before heat treating.  It doesn't do much good to go too fine because the finish will be affected by heat treating and normally you still have to remove a little more metal after heat treating anyway.

Personally I recommend gas forges for knife making since you can set the temperature you want and not have to worry about burning your steel if you get distracted for a few seconds at the wrong time.  There's nothing wrong with a solid fuel forge and many people do great work with them. You just have more variables to control and less room for error.   If you did actually heat your steel to white hot you may have gotten it too hot and weakened the steel you were using.  What was your starting stock?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

link removed

Check out my thread on another forum for how to build a simple gas forge. The first forge was an experiment but read through it and it shows better forges I have built using the same burner type.

Off site promotional removed also this is not even related to the topic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Use what you have. Heat treating in a pipe with once closed end and some crushed charcoal in it to scavenge O2 can help.  Stick it in the hot spot of the forge for more even heating of the blade and less chance of burning it up or decarburizing it.

Failure mode for leaf springs is generally multiple micro cracks forming from abuse or fatigue and one propagating to destruction so don't be surprised if other cracks show up in your blade as you finish it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Thomas, I don't really understand what you are saying about the charcoal and 02, my dad and I got so sheet metal and brazed a make-do box with some mineral oil. Hope it will work. Is there any oils that are better for treating spring steel?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it were me, I'd make an attachment to mount on the sander that put a tool rest right in front of the lower wheel, then I could steady the blade while doing the hollow grind bevels. Another thing I did was make several blade shapes out of mild (read "cheap") steel and practiced with those.

 I just found freehand hollow grinds without a tool rest were too difficult for me to get as clean a grind as I wanted.

Thomas is talking about the heating for hardening process, not the quenching part. You heat it inside a pipe that is sitting in your forge fire to get a more uniform, controlled heating of your blade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I just realized that. I was thinking that 02 was a steel not oxygen. Guess I gotta slow down. That is a very good idea, does it keep the blade from getting scale? Thanks again for everyone's help I have learned so much in two days that I didn't know about blacksmithing/bladesmithing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, metaldrms said:

does it keep the blade from getting scale

That's what the crushed charcoal is supposed to help with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, metaldrms said:

I was thinking that 02 was a steel not oxygen.

Yes, O1 is the steel, O2 is oxygen, and O is ozone.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, thanks that is really good to know. Thanks for the advice. Also thank you Lou L for the grinding technique you told me about I retried it just now and am really impressed with the results of the grind line. I do think I got the edge a little too thin so I hope it doesn't warp or get cracks.

20181003_122056.jpg

20181003_122107.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can always grind a little off what will be the cutting edge to get back to thicker steel either before or after the quench.  Barring a catastrophic failure we just make smaller knives when we make mistakes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not bad for a first blade. Free hand grinding takes practice, usually lots but it looks like you have a knack for it. The bladesmith's adage about making smaller blades instead of mistakes reminds me of Bob Ross from Joy of Painting. "We don't make mistakes we have happy accidents."

You'd be amazed how often knife guys trim edges to get the desired thickness, it's a pretty normal technique.

The warmer steel is the faster it oxidizes when you heat it to orange heat, say 1,600 f. it forms scale as soon as it's exposed to air. What you REALLY want to avoid is forming scale in the fire, that can be avoided by proper fire management. When you take it out to quench move FAST because it starts losing mass to scale instantly.

Make sense?

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Metaldrms, you would benefit greatly by making a plunge line jig. Look them up, very simple to make.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Frosty that makes a lot of sense when I was forging this knife there were some pretty large sheets of scale coming off I was a little worried about that. Frosty, is mineral oil ok to quench spring steel in? or should I buy some actual quenching oil?

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Warm Vegetable would probably be a better choice.  Did you read the heat treating stickies?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I didn't but I will for sure. I will definitely do the Vegetable oil. 

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now