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MSicardCutlery

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From what I understand, the temperature is low enough not to cause to wood to break down, if you take it up much higher it will though, and I don't even think I roasted those at the full 360f, 300f I think, while straightening a blade :)......been fighting with this 270mm in MagnaCut for days....
 

HumbleHomeCook

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From what I understand, the temperature is low enough not to cause to wood to break down, if you take it up much higher it will though, and I don't even think I roasted those at the full 360f, 300f I think, while straightening a blade :)......been fighting with this 270mm in MagnaCut for days....

Warping?
 

MSicardCutlery

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Yeah, post HT. One of the potential fruits of asymmetrical grinds on thin blades....it was dead straight when I started grinding it, buuuuut, it had warped at the tang during HT, which I took care of no problem, but after the blade warped I performed a shimmed temper to correct that, which worked....but the tang returned to it's old set, and so forth and so on with just enough variability to have had me convinced I would finally get them both at some point.
 

HumbleHomeCook

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Yeah, post HT. One of the potential fruits of asymmetrical grinds on thin blades....it was dead straight when I started grinding it, buuuuut, it had warped at the tang during HT, which I took care of no problem, but after the blade warped I performed a shimmed temper to correct that, which worked....but the tang returned to it's old set, and so forth and so on with just enough variability to have had me convinced I would finally get them both at some point.

I've heard folks say that MagnaCut is very sensitive to the HT and prone to warping.
 

MSicardCutlery

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It could be, but it hasn't been my experience. The PM steels are usually pretty stable, so far as I know. And it's an outright pussycat compared to AEB-L, that stuff loves to wander while you're grinding it.
 

MSicardCutlery

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More MagnaCut and M4 just showed up.

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Not a terrible start....2x270mm suji in M4, 1x 125mm paring in MC, and 1 each a 180mm, a 200mm, a 205mm and a 210mm gyutos in MC. I picked up a medium scotchbrite belt with the order too. I'm going to give belt finishes a go. The normal steels like AEB-L and 52100 and such are fine to hand finish, but M4 at 65hrc takes ages, and to a lesser extent MC. I wouldn't mind if time were the only issue, but the handsanding motion and pressure just kills my elbows after a few hours. Tennis elbow really isn't fun.

Those MC blades are already hardened and I'm in the process of tempering them.

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There's still plenty of stock left. Enough M4 for a 250mm suji, or something smaller in the petty range, and enough MC for another 4-5 blades or so. So much for my big plans for damascus, but....maybe later in the summer. I have my heart set on getting some Apex Ultra as soon as it becomes available in North America, and I suspect it will take up a good bit of my time.
 

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For about a year I've been running my grinder off of a 3hp tefc motor, and the thing has never been a stellar piece of gear, but still a big step up from a single hp motor. It seemed to do pretty well at first, but quickly it became apparent that something was buggered. The start capacitor never worked properly, and while hand starting isn't much of a big deal, fanning the belt for thirty seconds became the norm. Then an extended warm up period where it wouldn't turn at full speed, then the recovery periods became longer and longer and longer....so I decided to blow it out. Take one end off, blowgun on the compressor, psst psst, a quick job, the coil looked like it had been way too hot at some point, there was a little bit of plastic melt.

This motor had sat for many years, but was apparently never used, it had been part of an industrial dust collector. I plugged it back in and it started doing the same slow start up that it always has, and just as I'm lamenting having bothered even pulling it off the mounts, there's a poof noise and a puff of smoke. A little digging after everything cooled down revealed that the side mounted start capacitor blew up, and shot a load of hot plastic into the motor casing. So that's that.

For a reasonable price I found a new motor later that day, it should arrive Thursday or Friday, in the meantime I've been doing my round to it jobs, change the oil in the car, tidy the basement, etc....and I've decided to pump out a bunch of handles and get a leg up on things for when I can get back to work on blades. Here they are, drilled and tapered, next comes the faceting, they'll all be burned after as they're all red oak.

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MSicardCutlery

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In preparation for making san-mai with Apex Ultra I decided to make a practice knife. With 7 months having passed since I last made san-mai I thought it would be a good idea to refresh myself on far less valuable steel. Initially I intended to just go with an O1 core and mild steel jacket, but after some consideration I decided to liven things up and place two small strips of 15n20 in between the mild steel and the core making it go-mai.

The initial billet was comprised of 2 pieces of .25x6"x1.75" mild steel, 2 strips of .065"x6"x1.75" 15n20, and a ~.220"x6"x1.75" bar of O1 I had drawn down from drill rod last week.
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Because of the chrome in the alloy, O1 does not like to forge weld even with a copious amount of fluxing, so I welded the seams of the billet to produce an airtight billet that requires no fluxing. Just quick passes over the seams at low temp with an arc welder. Big beads are prettier, but wholly unnecessary and only get ground out later anyways.

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After a few cycles at welding heat just pressing the billet together I dialed back my forge and drew out the bar, then isolated the tang. At this point the bar is roughly .25/~6mm"x2.5"/~60mm. I could thin it down further, but I have two things to keep in mind. The first being that if there's a delamination, it would be good to have extra material along the edge so it can be ground out. The second being that having reduced the thickness of my bar from just under 7/8" to roughly 1/4", my bar of O1 in the middle which will form the cutting edge is now only roughly .075" thick, or just under 2 mm, and I have to account for any side to side deviation that occurred while drawing the bar edgewise.

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A couple passes on the grinder reveal perfect welds and a well centered core

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MSicardCutlery

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A bunch of rough grinding later and the 15n20 layer in showing. It will only continue to get wider and move upwards as I thin the spine presently it's almost 15mm wide.

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The rough ground blade. I'll probably run the primary bevels right through the neck to cut as much weight as I can off of this one. Now for thermal cycling and hardening. There's really just one more critical juncture in this process; the quench. The core being O1 will through harden, but the jacket being largely mild steel will not. This could cause the whole blade to split straight down the core. My antidote will be edge quenching, or only submerging the first inch or in and a half of the edge into the quenchant. Wish me luck!
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MSicardCutlery

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Will there be any etching on this one?
Sort of but not exactly? I've given it the treatment I usually apply to my honyaki. Light etching cycles followed by scrubbing with loose abrasive. It greatly enhances the contrast without giving the blade an etched texture.


That "hamon" isn't really, it's a line formed where the decarb stopped. Not enough grinding on the core stock after forging, so there's something to remember for next time, but it won't impact the cutting ability of the blade at all. The line will rise as the blade is thinned.
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The 15n20 did not disappoint
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M1k3

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Sort of but not exactly? I've given it the treatment I usually apply to my honyaki. Light etching cycles followed by scrubbing with loose abrasive. It greatly enhances the contrast without giving the blade and etched texture.


That "hamon" isn't really, it's a line formed where the decarb stopped. Not enough grinding on the core stock after forging, so there's something to remember for next time, but it won't impact the cutting ability of the blade at all. The line will rise as the blade is thinned.
View attachment 192483

The 15n20 did not disappoint
View attachment 192485
Intentional or not, I really like that look!
 

MSicardCutlery

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So forging Apex Ultra has been a bit of a learning experience for me, but fortunately I seem to have things figured out now. Here's a couple early shots of the latest blade, a custom for one of our members, a 225x53 clad with 15n20, destined to receive block #370

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MSicardCutlery

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This was really hard to get any good pictures of because of the glare, but it's finally done.

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Now on to other things....

Three more billets of 15n20 with an Apex Ultra core ready for forge welding and drawing.
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The first of which is now mostly rough ground and ready for HT. This will be a large sujihiki, I can get a 345mm blade out of this one, but I am contemplating cutting it at 330mm or even 300mm to make it a little easier to sell. I haven't quite decided yet, but for now I'm going to grind it like I plan on keeping the whole thing as is.
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MSicardCutlery

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I've been meaning tp update this for a couple of weeks, but I fell behind with a virus for about a week total so I've been busy trying to catch up.

The finished suji
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A shot of a 270mm gyuto in 15n20 clad apex ultra. This blade showed a band of carbon migration into the cladding during the initial etch, but sadly I think the depth it needs to be etched at to fully reveal it would hinder its cutting ability.
20220926_161414.jpg


A couple of shots of the choil on a knife I have finished very shortly. It's another AU san mai blade, a 240mm, but ground for a left handed user. It also has something of an extreme taper towards the tip, measuring 4mm @ 20mm back from the heel, 3.64mm above the heel, 2.54mm at 13.5cm from the tip (so dead middle), and .54mm 1cm from the tip.
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MSicardCutlery

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I haven't made a wester handled knife in a while. Getting this one finished required a lot of dusting out the cobwebs. The order of operations for a western handle are far more critical and extensive than a wa handle. This is part of what I like about customs, they usually involve some modification, variation, or expansion of the skillsets I typically use so they make for a great change of pace.

240mmx55mm, 52100, left hand grind. Green linen micarta handle and brass pins. It tapers from 4.58mm at the choil, 2.2mm at halfway, and .89mm 1cm from the tip. The final weight is 316G even though I did some pretty extensive skeletonizing on the tang. The POB is in line with the heel exactly.
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