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newbe question


stressless

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what steps do you take after you formed steel to shape.

What materials did you use?

Why were certain ones necessary?

I am making my first knife on the propane forge I just finished and want a checklist from forging to finished. I am making a quench tank from a old alum O2 bottle for quenching and haven't decided on what oil to use. I have a pizza oven but need to know when or how to temper. I do know I shouldn't quench until after grinding and shaping and drilling.

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Perhaps there isn't a "list" of steps that meets your expectations. Don't be surprised if it's right there in front of you but you don't recognize it. Happens to me, it's part of the learning curve to put your expectations aside and just take in what's there. After a while you'll learn what is and isn't important to the process.

Frosty The Lucky.

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The simple answer:  rough forge, normalize three times, rough grind to remove scale (some start a rough bevel in the step), harden, temper immediately, grind, hand sand, handle, sharpen, fantasize you are Crocodile Dundee or Rambo while brandishing your new knife.

 

Real answer:

The procedure changes depending upon a number of variables:  blade size, steel type, heat treatment equipment available, tongs available, your skills, etc...

For example, it’s obvious that you have to rough forge a knife first (unless you are doing stock removal) but do you forge out th tang first or do it last?  That decision alone could be determined by so many things.  Do you even have tongs that can hold the tang tightly while you forge the blade?  What type of tang is it?  Are you making a complex hidden tang with an integral bolster?  Personally, I’d do that end first because it would be the highest point of likely failure for me and I’d hate to waste the time hammering out the blade only to scrap it messing up later on during the hard part.

The best thing you can do is watch what others do and, most importantly, try it a bunch of times on your own to figure out what works best for you.  Just go into it knowing that you are going to make mistakes and have failures every time.  You will learn from each one and then, on the next knife, you will get farther along in the process before you find another way to make a mistake.

Make a drawing, use mild steel, and spend a long couple of sessions tough forg8ng the same knife over and over.  Document the steps you take each time.  Before you know it you will be able to report back here exactly what process works best and start a thread discussing the topic.

most important, have fun and don’t get anvil rage when you mess up!

Lou

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A guy has to know enough about what he's reading to catch those kinds of details. Even if it says mild steel can't be heat treated in the stickies. If you don't know what mild steel is when you read it it's an air shot, won't register.  

Frosty The Lucky.

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Steve sellsmild is practice mat not for anything else except maybe strength training. I have 20 feet of W1 drill stock for when everything is worked out. I ment actally any steel & actdentally put mild. had not slep for 2 days when I posted that srry.

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No need to be sorry, we all make that kind of mistake. Just don't take it wrong when you get corrected, even if it wasn't what you meant to say. You aren't the only one reading these posts, we want to avoid giving a beginner in Istanbul bad info when we're just yakking. Right? It's one of the reasons I try to get folks to use the same terms even though they differ by region. 

Different alloys and C contents want different chill rates so in our situations that means different thicknesses. Bear in mind when you read the heat treatment specs for an alloy the specs are standardized to a 1" cube, NOT a knife blade. You need to experiment and suit your techniques to the material you have. Read up on test coupons and shot testing steel for heat treatment as per use.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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 Frosty totally agree. W1 is a medium or high? carbon steel if I remember correctly. but what I am wondering is no matter what steel you use what should be the thickness for quenching & Tempering to prevent cracks and hopefully prevent warping. keeping in mind that stock removable is a lot harder after hardening.as your experience has shown you.

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Evidently I didn't cover that as well as I thought. Different alloys and C contents DO INDEED effect how thin you can get away with heat treating without going to extraordinary methods. There is NO one right thickness anymore than there is a "perfect" this side of heaven.

The thinner it is the trickier.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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I have updated that information. and re-read the read this even though your link didn't show I found the post on a different thread. the metal I have is W1 drill rod

Though I got the 1' dia ones.

By the way I should mention that I do plan to go from hammer practice work on mild steel to railroad spikes to W1 that is in the post above.

Edited by Mod42
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That should be okay but when you get around to quenching high carbon blade steels you need to plunge it into the oil NOT go slowly. Get it in fast,  being different temperatures in different places is what warps stuff. 

If you watch Forged in Fire the guys who slowly lower their blades in the quench are usually the ones who warp them.

I just reread your question and I must say 1/4' (FOOT:o) thick on the spine and 1/8' (FOOT:o) thick on the edge is excessive!

Typos make such good straight lines. Thanks for the giggle.:)

Frosty The Lucky.

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lol 

lol I always get ' & " backwards. in my head because ' is smaller than ". Smaller = inches in my head but it isn't in this case.:huh: eventually I'll remember it..-_-

I will be normalizing the metal @ 1300°F than again at 1100°F and lastly at 800°F-850°F to refine the grain.

Than I will be using canola oil for quenching. with the oil @ 120°F 

file check for hardness and immediately tempering.

I will be tempering for 1/hr two times @ 400°F
If above doesn't work than 2/hr @ 425°F

 

That sound right?

 

Just so anyone that reads this knows. to get the ° symbol you hold the ALT key and on number pad type 0176 than release the alt key

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7 hours ago, stressless said:

I will be normalizing the metal @ 1300°F than again at 1100°F and lastly at 800°F-850°F to refine the grain.

I have no clue where you found those numbers, but those temps are too cold for any steel.   I already told you how to do it in the HT sticky that you said you read.

Since you choose again to ignore it, your on your own now

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What do the books you have say?  I hope you don't think a few web pages written by "who knows?"  are a replacement for hundreds of pages in a book written by someone with a good reputation in the field.  I see you are in the USA did you try ILL'ing any good bladesmithing books at your local public library? (BTW a couple of Authors of the suggested books participate here; so if you don't understand you can ask the author!

As for practicing on mild---WHY?  It doesn't work at the same temperatures or react under the hammer the same way;  so you are really "practicing baking pies using mud".

I have a new student down here and while I was at the scrapyard Saturday I picked up a pickup coil spring for him to practice his knifemaking with.  Cut it along the diameter and have  around 14 pieces of the same blade worthy steel to "practice on" and that includes working at the proper temperatures, heat treating, breaking a bunch of it to see how the various processes affect THAT alloy.  Ran 20 cents a pound; so a couple of bucks at most.

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