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jessf

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My trip to China rekindled the interest in forging. I'd like to improve on forging from blanks that look less and less like finished profiles. My goal is to only profile the finished edge on the grinder.

I picked up some 1084 in both 1/4x2" and 3/16x1.5". I'm going to cut the same blank from each piece of steel and see how big of a knife it will make.


what you might call the cutting edge on his 3/16x1.5" blank is 4" long.


it's about 3 degrees celsius here but after swinging the hammer for a bit you warm up just fine.


burners get a bit frosty after prolonged use.


After an hour of forging, one MAP tank ran out, so I took that as a sign to stop for now. When I started all this pseudo forging with the first nakiri I had only one MAP torch and brought the second one in half way through. The tanks are never equally full and as one runs out I replace it and wait for the other to run out. I've ordered a proper 2 burner propane forge and it should be here in a few weeks. By then the temperature outside will be nicer and I'll have a much better setup. The edge is now 7' long. When the new forge comes I'll continue stretching it out and getting a bit more height. It might be a slicer it might be another gyuto.
 

Lawman

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Is that part of a hitch you are using for an anvil?
good idea.
 

jessf

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It's 30lbs of tool steel i picked up at the local metal supermarket. I drilled the hard hole in a previous thread.
 

Matus

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Very cool Jess. I am looking forward towards the next steps
 

jessf

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Thought I'd work on the handle for a bit. Bought a piece of soapstone for the bolster. The rest of the handle will be African blackwood. The handle is just roughed out for now, I'll refine it once the blade is finished.


 

Lawman

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is the soapstone heavy?
I have never worked with it before.
 

jessf

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It's got some weight. The bolster weighs about as much as the wood.
 

jessf

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It looks more like jade in person and the more i look at it and the blade i can't reconsile the contrast. I may keep this handle for another bread sword with more of a japanese flare. I'm leaning towards another grey elm handle and bees wax. I need to finish the blade before know for sure.
 

Matus

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That is going to be one heavy handle, but I love how it looks.
 

jessf

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I'll weigh it before it gets paired to a blade and post the results. Might not be any heavier than an integral bolster type knife.
 

jessf

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It absorbs oil like wood. 8 years ago i bought a 50lbs soapstone piece with a live edge/crust. Carved it for a wedding and everyone signed it instead of a guestbook. I used automotive clear coat to keep the signatures from leaching out if it got wet. In general if the stone will come in contact with water i prefer to just oil it like wood.
 

milkbaby

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Everything looks good so far... Whether or not you use that handle on this particular knife, it looks really nice... :doublethumbsup:
 

jessf

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Let the fun begin.







Ive never had the purchase of a tool get me this excited.
 

Lawman

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that's a good looking forge
did you get that in Canada?
 

Kippington

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Those series of pictures somehow had me thinking you lit the forge on your living-room carpet, with a cork board burning inside! :biggrin:

Looking forward to seeing what you can make with it!
 

jessf

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started off by finishing the first blade. Letting it anneal then I'll go back out there and work on the second blank. Forge is supper hot and it's apparent I need some tongs.

 

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Cool, glad to see you stepping uo the game!
 

jessf

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1/4" piece is started.


first one is done and tempering in the oven. chose to do a differential hardening. we'll see if I can bring out the hamon.


 

jessf

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Well there was a crack! I noticed it once it came out of the oven. Shame as I really liked this one. I suspect the forge was too hot for heat treating. Took seconds to get the blade non-magnetic where as the old forge took up to 5 minutes. Also the edge was thinner than I normally do. A lot of variables to consider. I was going to keep it with the crack and just use it for as long as possible, but then I went and smacked it with a hammer to try and take out a small bend, broke it. I will still try and bring out the hamon in the pieces that remain, always good practice. At least I got the grey elm handle done, lol.

 

Kippington

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That sucks man, I know the feeling. :(
I assume the knife initially cracked at the cutting edge in a small arc, then cracked straight up after smacking it good with the hammer.
The crack straight up is really good news, it took the shortest and most natural path meaning your normalizing and grain size is of good quality.

It looks to me like the edge thickness/thinness had a lot to do with the initial crack. You quenched it in water right? The thin steel along the edge cools so much faster than the rest of the mass above it, it turns to hard martensite before the rest changes, and so it cracks when the spine decides to pull up.

You might have to keep the edge a little thicker or perhaps change your quenching style.

A while ago I drew a heat-map for all the cracks I used to get while quenching in water. The red areas are put under the most bending stress during the drop in temperature and as a result the cracks tend to move in curves. Even if it doesn't help, I think it's interesting to look at:



I've come a long way since then but it took something like 15 scrapped blades before it stopped happening. Better luck with your next one! :D
 

Matus

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That is a pity indeed - that was going to be one cool knife. Wish you better luck with the next one.
 

jessf

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Thanks guys. And thanks kippington for the diagram. I did qunech in brine, yes. Flew too close to the sun. My edge was almost half as thick, at its thickest, as i normally do so i bet that's a huge factor. Also didnt help being -8 outside when i did it. I was rushing the whole process. They say we're getting a huge dump of snow so i won't be back at this until another week if im lucky. In the mean time ill pick up tongs and maybe make a few more elm handles.
 
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