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Knife construction discussions, part 1: Forged vs. stock removal - Page 2
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Thread: Knife construction discussions, part 1: Forged vs. stock removal

  1. #11
    Yep, but the mythology is missing and a guy with a hammer looks better in pictures than a guy sitting comfortably in front of 2x72 grinder.

    That said, I am buying 52100 this Saturday. Mario if you need some let me know and I 'll pick some for you at NJ Steel Baron hammer-in.

    M


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by UglyJoe View Post
    Very interesting. So in your opinion, it's the heat treat where the knifemaker really shines as far as quality of his steel? I find this particularly interesting with respect to the ABS Mastersmith testing. I've heard of some very good knifemakers failing these tests - particularly the one bending the knife to 90 degrees without it breaking - and have always assumed that it was the quality of the forging process, as well as the heat treat, that set those blades that passed the test vs. those that didn't apart. Of course, I'm going on complete ignorance on this, as I don't know what the rules are regarding what kind of steel and forging methods are allowed for ABS submission. Does anyone know this?

    I've always thought that it was the forging that really mattered here because heat treating is (as far as I know) a more exact science, with most of the common steels having very specific instructions from the manufacturer on how to best heat treat the steel. I assumed that if heat treating was the main factor in the steel quality, there would be a lot more ABS mastersmiths, although I'm completely ignorant of any politics/expense that goes into getting ABS certification, and wither or not many makers simply skip it because of them.
    The only reason forging would be a factor with the ABS knives is if they screwed it up and left it with a large grain size. It's all about the heat treating with the ABS test because you have to have a soft spine to pass the bend test with a hard edge for the cutting test. The scientific studies on heat treatment go out the window when most guys are using a torch for all or part of this heat treating process. Many of them use the torch either to temper the spine without softening the edge after heat treating the rest of the blade or to heat the edge to austenitizing temperature without heating the spine at all (leaving it at the annealed or normalized hardness). Also, you must remember that after the forging there are several heat treating steps required before final heat treatment to repair everything done in the forging. This includes normalizing and annealing. I would argue these heat treating steps are as important if not more important than the actual forging procedure. Of course the best case scenario is to do all of the steps properly.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Larrin View Post
    The only reason forging would be a factor with the ABS knives is if they screwed it up and left it with a large grain size. It's all about the heat treating with the ABS test because you have to have a soft spine to pass the bend test with a hard edge for the cutting test. The scientific studies on heat treatment go out the window when most guys are using a torch for all or part of this heat treating process. Many of them use the torch either to temper the spine without softening the edge after heat treating the rest of the blade or to heat the edge to austenitizing temperature without heating the spine at all (leaving it at the annealed or normalized hardness). Also, you must remember that after the forging there are several heat treating steps required before final heat treatment to repair everything done in the forging. This includes normalizing and annealing. I would argue these heat treating steps are as important if not more important than the actual forging procedure. Of course the best case scenario is to do all of the steps properly.
    Interesting. In a lot of ways it sounds like most of the knives that pass the ABS test aren't knives you would want to use for anything besides passing the ABS tests anyway.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by UglyJoe View Post
    Interesting. In a lot of ways it sounds like most of the knives that pass the ABS test aren't knives you would want to use for anything besides passing the ABS tests anyway.
    Short of using it as a meat cleaver, I don't see a use for a knife that cuts nails with its heel. The tip should be OK to use.

    If I recall it correctly, Devin was refused ABS membership because he has done the requirements for the test on a knife from stainless steel, which ABS bylaws say can't be done. I guess, paradigm doesn't shift often with ABS.

    M


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by UglyJoe View Post
    Interesting. In a lot of ways it sounds like most of the knives that pass the ABS test aren't knives you would want to use for anything besides passing the ABS tests anyway.
    That's certainly true.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Marko Tsourkan View Post

    That said, I am buying 52100 this Saturday. Mario if you need some let me know and I 'll pick some for you at NJ Steel Baron hammer-in.

    M

    Say Hi to Aldo from me.

  7. #17
    Delbert Ealy's Avatar
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    One thing that is seldom pointed out is that every bar of steel out there has already been forged. It is inherent in the steel manufacturing process. You buy a bar of 1/8" stock, well that bar started out as a part of a melt that was several tons(for a small one it could be much larger) the steel is rolled and formed into the final recatgular bar shape. Forging is just a way to move the metal around to give you a desired shape different from the starting point. It was used by many smiths to conserve steel.
    As Larrin pointed out a person can do much more damage to a piece of steel by forging, than by stock removal.
    Economically speaking it does require more of an initial investment to forge blades, given that you need a forge, anvil, hammer ect in addition to all the tools you need for stock removal. There are very rare circumstances that a forged part may perform marginally better than a stock removal part, but knives are not one of those.
    I should point out that I am a damascus maker and i do forge all the steel I use and sell, however I do not forge all the blades I make. It all depends on the design of the knife I am making. There are some instances where forging makes sense, and is quicker, and there are some where it is easiest to stock remove.
    There are many good people on both sides of this debate and it has been going on for as long as I have been making knives.
    It is interesting that the ABS test has come into this conversation. The real purpose of the test is to test the knifemakers ability to heat treat their blade in an exacting manner, to test their skill at heat treating, not to heat treat a blade for use in the real world. Some people believe that the ABS test blade is the ultimate blade, unfortunately there is no blade that does all tasks perfectly. If there were, then there would only be one knife that each of us would buy and I would have to go back to flipping burgers.

    Laminated metals specialist, Kitchen knife and gadget maker
    www.ealyknives.com
    www.mokume-jewelry.net
    "Build a man a fire and he will be warm for a day, set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life"

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Larrin View Post
    The only reason forging would be a factor with the ABS knives is if they screwed it up and left it with a large grain size. It's all about the heat treating with the ABS test because you have to have a soft spine to pass the bend test with a hard edge for the cutting test. The scientific studies on heat treatment go out the window when most guys are using a torch for all or part of this heat treating process. Many of them use the torch either to temper the spine without softening the edge after heat treating the rest of the blade or to heat the edge to austenitizing temperature without heating the spine at all (leaving it at the annealed or normalized hardness). Also, you must remember that after the forging there are several heat treating steps required before final heat treatment to repair everything done in the forging. This includes normalizing and annealing. I would argue these heat treating steps are as important if not more important than the actual forging procedure. Of course the best case scenario is to do all of the steps properly.
    Absolutely correct, I have passed my J.S. performance test and will be submitting my presentation knives at the Blade show this year. I have a lot of love and respect for the ABS but at the same time I am very good friends with a lot of stock removal knifemakers.

    there is no one best way to make a knife,
    I forge because it's fun. I would get too bored just cutting out a shape and grinding. the hammering is the best part.

    but I also had to learn that all of the heat cycles I was putting the steel through greatly increased my chances of screwing it up.

    any knife is only as good as it's heat treat.

    Quote Originally Posted by UglyJoe View Post
    Interesting. In a lot of ways it sounds like most of the knives that pass the ABS test aren't knives you would want to use for anything besides passing the ABS tests anyway.
    I sure wouldn't, I've never made another knife like I used for my test and I don't plan too

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Delbert Ealy View Post
    The real purpose of the test is to test the knifemakers ability to heat treat their blade in an exacting manner, to test their skill at heat treating, not to heat treat a blade for use in the real world.
    This is EXACTLY the way I've heard it from several MS over the years.

  10. #20
    Well, this topic was less interesting than I hoped it would be. And here I was thinking that a forged knife was far superior to a stock removal knife. Hopefully someone else who thought the way I did feels differently now. Still, there is something romantic about a forged knife... just not enough more romantic that I can see myself shelling out extra $$$ for a forged vs. stock removal blade. Cool beans.

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