A mixture of sucess and failure

Hello all,
Despite what I said yesterday, I did decide to attack that bar of 1095
again this evening. It *was* easier to form with the anvil properly
mounted, which I'm sure is no surprise to anyone.
So, I made a knife, and it turned out pretty well, though I spent
quite a lot more time grinding than forging to get a pleasing final
shape and finish before quenching. I even reshaped the bar at the
backside of the blade to 3/4" square and gave it a twist for a handle
(no mean feat with a cresent wrench and a bench vise).
The quenching went fine, and I tempered it in the oven for 30 minutes,
making sure that it was at a "straw" color before setting the timer.
After removing it, I took a look down the blade and noticed the
tiniest of warps near the end, so (extremely foolishly) I clamped it
in the vise and tried to bend it straight. You can imagine exactly
what happened, I'm sure.
So I reground the backside and very gingerly reshaped the blade,
taking care not to heat it too much and wreck the temper. While it is
still a reasonably sized blade, it does look a little funny compared
with the length of the handle.
So here is my dilemma... Not only is the blade a little on the short
side, but it is about twice as thick on the spine as any other knife I
own. Which makes it a PITA to sharpen, especially considering that is
too hard to file the initial bevel. I do have a pretty good working
edge on it now, but I am wondering if I have any chance of reheating
and reforging the blade to lengthen it and thin it out. Or is it the
case that once I have hardened and tempered it, it is better to leave
it as it is? I'm pretty happy with the handle and the way it fits my
hand (even with it's various bumps and warts), and I'd like to be
equally pleased with the blade that is coming off it.
If it's a done deal after getting this far, it's not a big loss- it
will make a decent carving knife as is. But I'm sure this will happen
again at some point in the future, and it's aways good to know what I
can and can't do to recover from the mistake!
On the bright side, snapping the tip off gave me an interesting look
at the way the steel changed from the edge to the spine (I quenched
about one half of the width of the blade very quickly, then allowed
the spine to cool a little bit before finishing the plunge.)

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Happens to everyone sometime.
You should be able reforge it just as you made it in the first place. You might want to take the draw a little softer. Try maybe a dark straw or a little past.
The difference between a beginning and an experienced smith is the experienced smith has learned how to fix, or hide, his mistakes -- and when to just chuck the damn thing and start over.
I think we all have a fairly large I-won't-try-it-that-way-again pile.
Reply to
John Husvar
That's good news! Any need to anneal or normalize it first, or can I just heat and reforge?
Same thing in all the trades. I must know a hundred different ways to make a bungled bit of woodwork look like I did it that way on purpose- so I figure that's the thing to learn with this as well.
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I'd say just chuck it in the forge and go to it. It'll soften just as it did when you started. Annealing and normalizing are usually done before grinding and before heat treat respectively. You'd just be starting with a different shape.
Yep. The skill transfers, just into the different material.
I used to kid the weldors that they were basically carpenters who liked to play with fire. Same skills applied; cutting, smoothing, fitting, joining, finishing, just with different tools.
BTW: Watch out if you're going anywhere near Olympus. I hear Zeus is pretty ticked about that thing with you, humans, and fire. Keeps muttering something about rocks, chains, and vultures.
Reply to
John Husvar
Well, that's the whole point of making friends with Haephestus, right? Here's to hoping he forgets to weld one or two of the links in that adamantine chain.
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