I just wanted to thank everyone here who has offered advice.
I've got a blade in the oven tempering. Each succesive one has gotten
better and this last one came out of the quench hard enough to scratch
glass. :) Soon I should have a knife that will let me see if Alvin
knows what he's talking about with the full hard blades or if he's just
blowing smoke. I think I'm going to like it. It is a drop point made
from 1095 with a 5" handle and about 4.5" blade. It looks like it will
be July before I get to where I can get some pictures to post.
When cleaning the scale off after quenching, the knife bit me so it has
already tasted blood.
I also have been practicing my forge welding and have got the 4 of the
last 5 to take. My practice steel has been some old rebar.
Rebar? I think it starts at about -60 and goes up from there. Some of
the big stuff (>1") sure looks like at least -80 in the grinder test. I
know that if you make tent stakes out of it you need to re-normalize or
the head shatters.
Hehe... seems like everyone who's used it for something other than concrete
work has been disappointed at least once.
I think of it as the "mystery meat" of the metalworking world.
Bill H. [my "reply to" address is real]
If it is sucker rod, it used to be ~1050 or better for strength in
tension. Those pumps down a few hundred to 10,000+ feet take a lot of
pull and the rod has to be strong enough to support the pump load, its
own weight, and the weight of the oil in the delivery pipe. Tough stuff
Now they use some high-strength alloys and sometimes even glass fiber
rods. See: http://www.norrisrods.com/products_sucker_rods_specs.asp
Even the wells with gas pressure sometimes need brine, etc. pumped back
out of them, though it is easier with the gas pressure helping. The well
where I work is regularly pumped even though we get gas from it.
Got some used old-type rod from Target Oil Field Service in Canton, OH
after trying a piece i got from my father, when he worked for an oil
field service in Norman, OK. It sparked HC for sure and made some
pretty nice using knives.
I set the oven at 400 F, but I think that puts the upper temperature at
about 420 F. My oven thermomenter reads just short of half way between
400 and 450. I left it there for about a half hour. (Haven't got the
handle on yet if someone with more experience thinks it needs more that
is still possible.
The handle slabs are about half done. I need to get some epoxy (any
recommendations?) Maybe by Monday or Tuesday it'll be done.
I have a film camera and have taken a few pics along the way. No
digital camera or scanner. If I take a trip to Dallas before July, a
buddy there has a digital camera. In July my brother and I are
plannind a trip to see the folks. They have a digital camera and
Then I guess it's mine.
The sparks spread out more than 1095 and travel farther. Does that
I know if I get the rebar to hot it crumbles in the fire. So there is
a narrow temp range where the stuff will weld without the steel falling
apart. I've picked up some A36 for some other stuff and will play the
any extra in the fire. I also have a piece of aluminium I want to play
in the fire with.
The blade has a warp of about 1/32". I can probably live with that
since if I try to take it out, I'd probably make things worse or
destroy the blade.
~425F for half an hour is plenty long, I guess.
The steel reacts quicker to tempering at that temperature and above.
It's usually an hour at ~350F for maximum hardness and strength, but
the failure will be a brittle one. Got that? ;) The machine test
shows it's stronger at 350F but when it fails it breaks. :)
I need to scan a better graph but this one's pretty interesting
comparing O1 (Mn based) to A2 (Cr based) and shows what I'm talking
I want to get some Cr-based O7... it'll show A2 how it's done. ;)
For a sealer I use poly-urethane, but know, that it's still just a
foam like that triple-expanding-insulating-stuff-in-a-can, just much
less expanding. I really like it for slab handles with peened pins
etc like a butcher knife, the wet wood isn't next to the iron that
way and I can already see the advantages of it in just a couple
"2 ton" epoxy. :) Any of the faster-stuff is a friggin nightmare! :/
The fast stuff starts stiffing up as I'm finishing up mixing it. :/
(power hacksaw blade)
That one failed after 22 years and was glued together with 5 minute
epoxy as a test piece, figured it would only last 2 years. ;)
I didn't rough up the metal or anything just glued the sucker
together. I figure animal fats softened the epoxy. The knife
was only used for skinning and butchering several times a month
on average. Not sure that better epoxy and roughing it up inside
is going to be any better. :/
The fit is much better this time tho. :)
It sure as heck does. :)
Fewer carbon bursts that stop the streak, so they would naturally be
farther apart when they do burst. I read & saw where the left-over
bursts looked like little hollow-balls with a big hole in one side.
The streaks that don't burst just burn up and are mostly little
round balls of iron oxide.
Not many around anymore, but looking down the blades of several
Old Hickorys you'll see the warping that others (including me)
never noticed until I started heat treating. Some are pretty bad
Warped 1/32"? ...that baby's one straight knife blade! :)
Alvin in AZ
Then i'll try 350 for an hour on the next one. No, not the next one;
that one is startes and is sort of a cross between a cleaver and
machete. That is like a cleaver with the handle at the top and around
5" of cutting edge with over all blade shape reminescent of a short
machete. Since it will likely get used rough, i'll take it softer.
I was in town to see "the Guide" and stopped at a store. Nothing
labled "2 ton" there. My choices were something formulated for
fiberglass, 5 minute, quick set and 30 minute. I got the 30 minute and
it is setting up now. I'm afraid the mating surfaces between slabs and
tang aren't great.
I think i understand.
Somehow I managed to not get the blade perfect to the slabs (imagine
that). So the point of the knife is aroung 3/32" out of true with the
The next one will be better.
ONce the epoxy is set, a little final shaping of the handles, a good
sharpening job and i get to cut.
Sounds good to me. :)
DevCon calls their's "2 ton", 30-Minute sounds the same, it's
actually a little stonger etc than the faster stuff and I guess
DevCon wants you to know that? ;)
Work time is most important to me tho.
Sometimes it just doesn't go together right and you have to start
over. With fast epoxy you might not be able to save the handle
Just had one go bad a few weeks ago, but was using poly-urethane...
had all the time in the world and the special wood (cat claw acacia
from a friend of the bride's yard) was saved and put back on the
same blade later.
"All the time in the world" to also wear than stinkin poly-urethane
glue off my fingers too tho. ;) A week later, at the wedding, I was
still wearing some of that glue. :)
I was using annealed and straightened barbed-wire for pins.
The wood was too soft, the hande was too thick and the straightened
barbed-wire buckles too easy. All 3 together. Switched to 16 penny
finishing nails (.122") and re-drilled everything and it went back
together like a charm the next day. :)
The wood was stiffend up a little by the old glue too. :)
The Bride's butcher knife is out of line about 1/8".
Compared to some of the Old hickory's I seen that's pretty dangged
In certain ways, for sure, but Murphy has a way of sneaking in and
showing up when you figured you had that simple problem fixed once
and for all. :/
"Ooops, I know better than that. How'd I go and let that happen?"
Also a little "creative handle slab shaping" can straighten the
sucker up. ;)
Please don't ever forget that this stuff is -hand made- and not
expected (or supposed?) to be perfect.
Sloppy-ass work is one thing but this ain't what you're doing,
compared to Picasso it's beautiful, I'm sure. :)
As far as fit, wood-workers talk about "glue starved joints" being
weak, not sure what that means in any sort of quanity tho. :/
Alvin in AZ
Well, I'm am satisified enough to call it done. Had a heck of a time
getting the edge bevels set up where I think I want them. My files
tended to polish the edge instead of shaping. So I got the dremel and
a bucket of water.
The particulars- in shape it most resembles an "Outback restraunt"
steak knife. Overall length - 9", handle length - 5", cutting edge -
3.75", spine thickness - just over 1/8". handle x-section - somewhere
between not-quite-square and oval 7/8" x 3/4" (I like an "oversize"
handle, easier to grip), Handle material - maple sealed with
cyanoacrylate glue (super glue), brass pins (still need to work on
doing those), blade material - 1095. Full tang.
I was able to bring it back to about 1/16". It looks fairly straight
to a casual look. Considering what I'm working with, it's durned near
perfect. My current tool set for this is - anvil, forge and hammers;
files that need to play phoenix (go into the fire to be reborn as
something else); a dremel.
And oh yes, my workbench is usually my lap. (praying i don't slip with
Murphy?? Wasn't he that optimist that came up with some law?? :)
I'm still at the phase of the learning curve where I'm getting better
with each one.
You simply must understand, my hold on reality is tenuous at best and
the world inside my head is perfect. Every now and then the real
universe intrudes onto my world and messes with my mind.
I can accept some problems but still strive for perfection.
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