Metalman
Hi - Now I don't want to ruffle anyone's bed of coals but yesterday I went to a metal outlet and they had a bunch of what they called exotic metal for knives and such and it was what I would call 'pricey'...some like 50$ a foot.  I think most knives are made for the art of things.  I realize that some are for real hard use but most are not.  So....one feature is for rust resistance and I understand some just like to make 'good stuff'.  But just something to think about, one can learn just as much using some cheap or free metal and make a good usable knife.  I can honestly say that I don't ever recall really using any of my knives except my pocket knives.  I did skin and cut up an elk and a deer one time.  Just a way to make a cheap knife and make it more or less rust proof is to polish it nice just like normal but etch the blade in a Ferric Chloride solution. And leave most of the 'art' to the handle...and everything can still look nice.  And the blade can be made from a free leaf spring or lawn mower blade and it will still work fine for the few times that it 'MAYBE' used.  
I have in my hand a knife a fellow made from a auto leaf spring and I bought it from him in 1967 and it hasn't rusted one bit.  It has just a plain polished blade.  I would like to show you a picture of it if I could figure out how.  I will try to do this.
Well I had the photos cropped and sized but they didn't come out - oh well this is the best I can do for now.  Although made from leaf spring I bet it will do the job when needed and won't break.  The scales and the top side of the scabbard are made from Water Buffalo horn.


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jmccustomknives
Well, there are many steels from simple and cheap 5160 and 1084 that are well suited for a back yard bladesmith.  These steels do make excellent knives.  Now when you start moving into exotic alloys like cold work tool steels (D-2) and stainless the requirements needed to get these steels to perform become critical.  Alloys like these aren't cheap, but they aren't expensive. 
Now when you add a lot of alloying metals like carbon and chromium to the steel something happens.  The grain structures become enlarged and this weakens the steel.  The most expensive steels out there for knifemakeing (baring Damascus) are the CPM steels.  These take alloys that couldn't exist in a homogeneous state, blast the molten metal through an atomizer and it forms tiny beads of perfect alloy.  They then take these microscopic beads and press them together, kind of like a can welded Damascus.  It's an end around to the grain growth problem.  You can now have alloys with very high chromium, carbon and Vanadium content that is a strong viable steel. 

Now for performance.  I did a video not long ago about testing for cut endurance.  My factory "control" blades scored 5 and 7 cuts.  The test blades, each forged from a different steel scored 40 -45 cuts.  Now that's a huge performance gap that will show up in the woods.  The better steels like D-2 I would expect to score a 65-70 cuts while the CPM steels even higher without giving up strength. 

This is why one should use good steels, study them and learn the heat treat.  And most of all, test them.  The people who buy my blades do so because I am confident in their performance.  I have that confidence because not only do I use them daily but I test them rigorously for the job they were made for.

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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Hank Rearden
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code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
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Metalman


Now for performance.  I did a video not long ago about testing for cut endurance.  

Thanks jmc.  Would you tell me the name of your video and how to find it?  I would like to see what you have to say about 'Cut endurance'.  Right now I can visualize you may be talking about 'edge wear'.  Are you doing some cutting and then measuring the cutting edge for wear with a magna viewer?  I realize that regular butcher knives have a rather soft cutting edge that wear fairly fast just so the edge doesn't chip when hitting a bone.   But then I assume that with newer modern metals this may not be as much a problem - I don't know.  Yes I see where the makers of these CPM steels are very proud of them.

Okay James, found your video...first one on the list.  Looks like maybe a specialized 'use test' if one is in to cutting Manila rope. [smile]  You did say that yours hold up for what they are made for.  Just for the heck of it I'll see how many rope cuts I can get out of this 'Leaf Spring' knife.  This knife will definitely do the job that it was made for. 
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Skarzs the Cave Troll
That stuff was probably 80CrV2 or CruForge V, steels specifically made for knifemaking, and pretty expensive, though the former is more expensive. I don't remember which it was, but a blade smith I know was selling some and said that it was hard to forge by hand, and was better under a press.
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jmccustomknives
Metalman, I would expect the spring material to give around 25-30 cuts on that rope.  There is a relationship to carbon content and edge holding at a specific hardness.  In other words if you tested 4 steels, 5160 (.60 C), L-6 (.7 C), 1084 (.8 C) and 52100 (1.0% C).  To make the math easier, you might get 100 cuts out of the 52100, the 5160 would see 60 cuts and the others would fall in place.  Of course the cuts never work out that way, it depends on the rope.  Always have a good factory knife of known material to use as a control.  With practice you can determine the carbon content of an unknown steel just from this test. 

Edge thickness and profile also play a big role.  A thick edge or heavy convex grind won't perform well even though they may shave.  This test doesn't check for edge brittleness or proper hardness.  There are other test to find that out.  The idea is to get the most out of your steel by grind and heat treat.  The better the steels the more you can expect from them.

Skars, I've got some 80crv2, pricing isn't that bad on the stuff.  I haven't yet got the heat treat down to perfection on it yet though.  I think the stuff takes less tempering heat than I suspected.  Price some CPM steels, just sit down when you do. lol.

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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Metalman
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Hi - I just found this on another forum...if you can't trust your Blacksmith, who can you trust?  I'll bet you guys didn't know this.  [crazy] [crazy] 
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Skarzs the Cave Troll
That's less fact and more superstition. I quenched a very long blade east-west and had no warpage, and also have had warpage when going north-south. I think, and I may be worng, it's more of, if Damascus, the evenness of the steels in it, and a big part of any steel: if the temperature of one side or the other is off.
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Metalman
Well Skarzs, I would put my money on not just 'less fact' but 100 % less fact.

But in passing here is more access to real good info.  Not too long ago the E-Books I saw were going for in the neighborhood of 15 $.  I don't know just how they are doing it but here is a link to more information than one can imagine.  There are saying that they have right now 173 million E-Books - this varies.  No fiction, all technical books.  With more text books and manuals on Metallurgy than anyone can read in a life time and numerous other subjects.  It may take me a fortnight to read one book. http://www.pdfdrive.net/ and all free...and so simple to use.   Someone is putting a lot of effort onto this.

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Metalman
Hi - We see all the time bad bum-dope videos but some may get something from this one that I just think is straight scoop...just 21 minutes.  I know a lot of this is overlooked and people get along just fine by looking at things differently, and I mean really look at things different.  I realize that when people have their own ideas it may be hard to change these and they don't need to change them, that's okay.  It's just 21 minutes.
 
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Skarzs the Cave Troll
Ah, yes, that one. Well, the man is an accomplished knifemaker, so he's not just spouting nonsense. He's more of talking about the technical properties of steels and how their alloys affect their "hardness".
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Metalman
Hi - I have maybe 100 knives, but I use only a few for that which they were intended.  I think that I can skin an animal with the best of them.  Now a days I only have an occasion to skin coyotes.  I would never shot and skin a bear, now-a-days.  This guy's mama kick him out when she had the new-born.  He just walked up to me in the spring and liked me.  He would scratch on our bedroom window early in the morning for me to come out and play with him.  Now his big daddy and all the rest of the big ones of course are too big for me to trust.  Quite often the big ones will push on the windows in the evening wanting in.  Even then they just push gently - so far. It is not uncommon for bears to break into homes, raid the refrigerator, and then go to sleep...they have seen the difference from sleeping out in the woods. 
That is my 'bench rest' behind me forty feet from our back door...'now-a-days' I only shoot paper and coyotes.  In essence I have a pretty big back yard, over 1,87,846 acres, our property borders the San Juan National Forest just behind me 100 yards.  The forest surrounds us.


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Metalman
Hi - Here is one of the coyotes that I was talking about.  They are always hanging around trying to get our cats. They have gotten two of our nice pretty ones in the last few months....but I have a sharp knife for the unlucky ones.  


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Metalman
Hi - Remember when Snoopy had to sleep on his back on his Gable roof. Well I wanted a better 'sleeping roof' for Buddy.  Never did make him a mail box though.

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Metalman
Here is another reason that we don't go for late evening walks.  These two were just about 5 miles north of us.  He said that he was just walking along and happened to turn around and it was just behind him.  And he just happened to have had a 9mm Pistol.



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Metalman
Hi - When I say we live in the mountains you can see that I mean it.  That is our house and garage.  That peak in on the Continental Divide.   Along with an old metal story...it is that the Spaniards had a gold mine on the side of that hill and along came some Indians and chased them away.  One guy made it out alive and got back to Spain.  These hills are full of gold.  But most of it is Telluride Gold but high yield.  My wife and neighbor lady climbed to the top of that hill but I couldn't make it.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=old+gold+mines+in+colorado&qpvt=Old+Gold+Mines+in+Colorado&qpvt=Old+Gold+Mines+in+Colorado&qpvt=Old+Gold+Mines+in+Colorado&FORM=IGRE

I have seen old gold mines listed at 18,000 plus in Colorado.  I understand Roosevelt closed them down at World War II because of unnecessary workmen being used.  But most were never reopened.  That means that all of that gold is still here....because of politics.
 






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jmccustomknives
That is awesome, cold but awesome.  I've had the pleasure of seeing 3 mountain lions in east Texas (2 in one area at different times, 1 on NE Texas standing on the side of the highway).  No body ever believed me when I told them about the 2, except for the other person I was with in the second encounter.  I took a shot at 'em with my trusty pellet gun.  lol.  That was 30 years ago, then a few years ago a 150lb cat was killed not a mile and a half from where we'd seen the 2.  They're still there.  It's not a very rural area at all. 

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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Metalman
HI - Actually our winters are not that cold.  The coldest that I can remember here in the last 21 years is 27 below but snow we always have some.  I was working on Baffin Island in the spring of 55 in the 'spring', like April, and on some days it warmed up to 40 below.  I volunteered to go, just for the experience.  In 55 it was the very beginning of the project.  http://lswilson.dewlineadventures.com/dewline.htm Notice all of the dates of these photos were after things were built.   And then in 59-60 I worked for Magnavox Research Labs and help build the computer that connected all of these site.  At the time it was the biggest computer ever built.  It still may be.

As for snow here, there is a ski resort just to the right of the peak maybe 10 miles where the snow fall per winter may average 400 and some inches.  It is the Wolf Creek Ski Resort.

Sometimes my links don't light up Blue, linkable.  Here is a link to the SAGE SYSTEM that we built.  http://www.computermuseum.li/Testpage/IBM-SAGE-computer.htm  If it doesn't light up it is easier to just look up 'SAGE SYSTEM'.  And it is pain to type in links.  Just look up 'Dew Line'.

It looks like Wolf Creek had 421 inches of snow last winter. http://www.onthesnow.com/colorado/wolf-creek-ski-area/historical-snowfall.html?&y=2015 


I'll try to add a picture of some of the Memory Banks that I helped build.  I don't know just how many were included in the complete computer - could be 50 or 100.  I designed and built a simi-automatic Diode Checker for the ones we built at Magnavox. Capture.PNG 



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jmccustomknives
We might see 27F here once or twice in the dead of winter.  Summers like to hang in the mid to high 90's, so working a forge in that weather takes a tough person.  A different tough than working a forge when it's -20.

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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jmccustomknives
Oh, it snowed here in 'bama a couple of years ago.  2" shut the state down.  [biggrin]

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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Metalman
Hi - Another photo from the local Newspaper.  We never hear of a bear attacking anyone around here, even kids.  There is a water hole nearby that I was told that every morning one can see bears coming for water.  And just a couple of miles the other side of Pagosa Peak there are moose that hang out.  My wife likes to set on the edge of a little pond and talk to the moose. The moose never talk back but just keep right on eating.

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Metalman
Hi - Why are not these two methods more popular and talked about?  To me it sounds like a sensible way to do things like knife blades where most of the blade is just riding along supporting the very edge of the blade that does all of the work.  I have always wanted to try quenching the blade with just the blade edge first followed by slowly lowering the rest of the blade in quenchant.  Why wouldn't this work?  There seems to be all kinds of little tricks that can be done for ease in making a better blade. 
The problem with that last sentence of the 'flame hardening' can be controlled with judicious quenching.
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Metalman
Hi - This is one mean hunk of steel.  Let's see, does steel come in 'MEAN'?   It is a Farrier's Rasp, 16 inches long, made by Heller Bros. CO, Newark, N.J.  Their Web right-up says it is made from 'Special Refined Steel', so I will assume that it is not made from just case hardened steel, right?  This should make a wicked heavy duty knife.  That is a Half Dollar Coin.
On their web-site they have a copy of their 1936 catalog with pictures of their different Blacksmith items that may give ideas for some to make.  When I was kid my dad would have two or three horses and a milk cow that I milked from the time I was 6 or so until I was 15.  I did own a monkey one time.
I didn't copy the link before I wrote this so I will attach it as an 'edit' since I don't know how to 'save' anything with this forum format.  
The 1936 catalog link is -https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzJxodHACRRuY19qQ3l4ZzJtVVk/view 




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jmccustomknives
There are several ways to get a differential hardening.  The most popular is a Japanese style clay backed quench to get a hammon.  If you have a steady hand or use a block to keep the depth right an edge quench can get the same effect.  I have used all these techniques, if I want a hammon I'll use the clay backed technique.  If I want strength I prefer a full quench with a soft back draw.  Basically the back of the blade is softened with a torch to a spring temper.  I prefer this method because the blade is stronger than an edge quench or hammon because the back of those are softer.
The best rasp I've used for knife making was a Heller.  That being said I'd test that one, most of your wood rasp are case hardened.  That looks like a wood rasp.  The pic is the Heller rasp knife, seems like it went to Wyoming I think.
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Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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Metalman
Yes, I would think that there should be all kinds of good ways to heat treat knife blades rather that just plain quenching the whole thing.  Are you saying that my rasp looks like a 'wood rasp'?  I wouldn't think so.

Are those Pop Rivets in your knife handle? 

I know, wrong place for the pic, but this forum to me is the most awkward forum that I have come across.

Were any of you guys there about the second night of TET-68?  Our work-site was just about 20 feet across a dirt road from that explosion?  Those guys could really hit what they wanted to from seven miles away.  I sat in that bunker right beside me the next night with thee front line just 50 yards away.  I was on my first job as a metrologist - a contract employee with the Navy Metrology group assigned to the First Marine Air Wing
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jmccustomknives
I've not seen a ferriers rasp that didn't have a tang.  That being said, I can't say if it is or isn't.  Most of the rasp I've seen made like that were for wood work.  Always good to test them anyway.  I've had rasps from the same company (Nicholson) that did good and others that were case hardened.

As far as these pics, just a few years before my time.  lol.  Is that you on the bike?

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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Metalman
jmccustomknives wrote:
I've not seen a ferriers rasp that didn't have a tang.  That being said, I can't say if it is or isn't.  Most of the rasp I've seen made like that were for wood work.  Always good to test them anyway.  I've had rasps from the same company (Nicholson) that did good and others that were case hardened.

As far as these pics, just a few years before my time.  lol.  Is that you on the bike?



Well that's funny...I have never seen a farriers rasp 'with' a tang and do not ever recall seeing a wood rasp 'without' a tang.  I just cannot imagine working around a horse with tang on a rasp.  There was a Nicholson file making shop in my hometown as I was growing up and I remember watching through the doorway - they wouldn't let me in for safety reasons 

Yes, that is me on the bike.  I got there in the fall of 67 and left in the fall of 68.  I took it there with me and brought it back with me...to the Philippines.  I worked for a total of 21 years in the PI with 6 or so at other places in the Pacific.
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Metalman


Well that's funny...I have never seen a farriers rasp 'with' a tang and do not ever recall seeing a wood rasp 'without' a tang.  I just cannot imagine working around a horse with a tang on a rasp.  There was a Nicholson file making shop in my hometown as I was growing up and I remember watching through the doorway - they wouldn't let me in for safety reasons 

Yes, that is me on the bike.  I got there in the fall of 67 and left in the fall of 68.  I took it there with me and brought it back with me...to the Philippines.  I worked for a total of 21 years in the PI with 6 or so at other places in the Pacific.

Here is a real knife story - this was my first day in this town and I just took this picture of this pretty girl...I didn't know any better.  She had seen me put up my camera and tried to get her face covered.  She was just at the age where she may have been wearing a Berka.  All she could have done was holler for some guy to come out and lob off my head.  The guy would have been well within his rights - he may have even felt obligated too.
 

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Metalman
Metalman wrote:




jmccustomknives

1 day ago
There are several ways to get a differential hardening.  The most popular is a Japanese style clay backed quench to get a hammon.  If you have a steady hand or use a block to keep the depth right an edge quench can get the same effect.  I have used all these techniques, if I want a hammon I'll use the clay backed technique.  If I want strength I prefer a full quench with a soft back draw.  Basically the back of the blade is softened with a torch to a spring temper.  I prefer this method because the blade is stronger than an edge quench or hammon because the back of those are softer.
The best rasp I've used for knife making was a Heller.  That being said I'd test that one, most of your wood rasp are case hardened.  That looks like a wood rasp.  The pic is the Heller rasp knife, seems like it went to Wyoming I think.

Yes, yes, Simple...the most simple that I can imagine.  Regular full quench harden, full temper to that which is desired, 57-60 RCH or whatever, then set the cutting edge of the blade in ice water with maybe a sponge to support the front curved portion of a typical blade then a quick blast to the top of the blade with a lot of heat and soften just the top.  This should give a blade the best of two worlds so-to-speak.  I just found a blade this morning that may have been done that way.
I made some Ferric Chloride this morning and did some blade etching as in photo...with the top blade I etched the first 4 inches for 5 minutes, then the 2 inch end for 25 minutes just to see difference...then the screw driver, Pakistani blade and little cleaver for 25 minutes.  AND notice the different colors on the Pakistani blade.  That blade must have had some 'differential heat treating', and it shows up in the etching - the cutting edge has a different color. Now I left the unetched portions on the top and bottom blade and screw driver just to see the contrast.

Isn't the regular 1080 to 1090 just about the simplest to go with and just do the top part with the 'differential heat treating' and spend the time in making a nice looking handle?

There was a guy here in town that just bought these Pakistani blades and epoxied on a fairly nice looking but cheap handle and would sell them in super market parking lots to people just putting their groceries in their car.  It was amazing how many he would sell....for 15 to 18$ or so.
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jmccustomknives
Etching will not show a soft back draw, well with the exception of some Damascus.  That blade almost looks like a San Mai, but being From Pakistan more than likely the result of shoddy heat treat that got lucky.  One can put the blade in the forge and only leave it long enough for the thin edge to reach critical temp.  I'd think that's what happened. 
As far as what steels will take to a differential heat treat, any blade steel that isn't an air hardening steel will usually take to one.  With the soft back draw I just clamp the edge in the vice.  It acts like a heat sink to keep the edge from over heating.  I don't like using water, one mess up and you could end up cracking the blade.  My favorite steel for the "indestructible" knife using the soft back draw are ones using steel from large round sawmill blades with brazed on teeth.  I made a Bowie that chopped through a 2x4 3 times and still made a clean slice through a piece of rope.  After a few more abusive test I place the first 1 1/2" in my vice and proceeded to try to break the blade.  After having to grab a piece of equipment and pulling with much force all the blade did was flex about 30deg and pull my 65lb vice out of the work bench.  The blade went back strait.

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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