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Preview of first batch about to be completed

jseymour

Obsessed Member
#42
Well I only grinded a few hours this morning before the cold got to me. I didn't bring my jacket thinking it would warm up later in the day. Well it didn't enough so I fired up the forge to warm up a little.

The next batch of knives will be kitchen knives and bush crafter knives. So I wanted to forge out a prototype of each and start making adjustments and plans for the next batch.

First I started out with some high quality 52100 1" rod bar.



I cut them to the estimated size I needed. After forging a few I will have a better idea of what size I need.



It takes about 15 minutes for my forge to come up to temperature. I go ahead and place my steel in the forge and allow it to ramp up so I get a little something out of the ramp to prevent it from being a total loss for the heat.



Notice the color change as it come up to temp. From a dull red to a bright yellow.



The steel on the left is ready to go. Rule of thumb is it needs to soak 5 minutes for every 1/4 inch of thickness. This is one inch round bar so it needs to soak 20 minutes to allow the center of the metal to come up to temp.



Using the flat dies on my 20 ton hydraulic press I will shape the bar's into flat stock like I am used to and forge a knife as usual.



You can see the pieces flattened and ready for regular forging.



the rest of my camera battery was used to video the hydraulic press shaping the round bar. Unfortunately I am trying to figure out how to download it and show it. So that will be all for today and I should have something better to show you tomorrow.
 

jseymour

Obsessed Member
#45
More grinding today. All the guide bevel's have been ground in and about half the batch has been flat ground. Just need to finish the flat grinds tomorrow and taper the tangs on monday.

 

jseymour

Obsessed Member
#48
Today was a fun day. First I got to spend some time scraping all the dry lubricant off my platen. The orange blaze belts changed their belts to have a lubricant in them and when they get hot from grinding blades the lubricant melts and leaves thick residue on flat platen. Being that I had already glued a piece of tempered glass to the platen it didn't take to long with a gasket scraper and acetone to get it off.



Then it was off to play catch up on a pocket knife blade so it will be heat treated with the same batch of knives and dlc coated as well. This is the 52100 round bar that was forged flat and surface ground. It's the little piece of metal in the forge a few pictures back. I didn't know what I was going to do with it until this little project came along.



This blade is for a pocket knife for a electrician. It has all sorts of neat stuff for an electrician in the handle. Wire strippers and stuff. Normally I wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole but I really wanted to see how the knife was put together and how I could use it in my own designs.

rough profiled and holes drilled.



Ground to 400 grit. Next to the original pocket knife.

 

jseymour

Obsessed Member
#51
The only thing to report is a whole lot of grinding going on. I laid all the blades out on the table as I finished rough grinding the blades. I have 5 more tanto blades to finish up tomorrow. Then it's drilling all the holes and tapering the tangs. All of the batch knives I've decided to make with chain ring bolts just to make it easier having the same size holes in all of them.




the top row of knives are all my forged blades while the bottom ones are all stock removed.



In between grinding breaks I roughed out my next set of batch knife design. The next one will be a bush crafter style knife. This is the rough designs.

 

gundamit

Super Duper Noob
Forum Supporter
#52
Keep up the good work sir. I just read this whole thread an it has been a great experience looking at all the work you are doing. Can't wait for an update an a completed set. I might have to pm yah an see if I can get pricing on a blade:)
 

jseymour

Obsessed Member
#53
Keep up the good work sir. I just read this whole thread an it has been a great experience looking at all the work you are doing. Can't wait for an update an a completed set. I might have to pm yah an see if I can get pricing on a blade:)
Thank you for the kind words. Pricing for this batch will be 350.00 apiece. As of January 1st the same knife will be 550.00 apiece. Their priced to sell to get positive cash flow back in the business and will be available soon.
 

jseymour

Obsessed Member
#54
Today I finished tapering the tangs. Normally I leave them rough but after consulting with the rep on the coatings anything less than a mirror polish can allow the DLC to start flaking off. Not good news for me. So the tangs were tapered to 120 grit before heat treating. I prefer a tapered tang and think it is the best bang for the buck on making a well balanced knife. All in all 42 handles were tapered over the last two days.



This required a lot more grinding over the last two days.



All the holes were drilled and counter sunk so as to not create a stress riser in heat treating.



Then I got the salt pots half filled with salts. Here is what the salts look like before melting.



Unfortunately I had to stop this process early. My metal ladle I had bought for this operation seems to have been stolen along with other equipment awhile back. I did not realize the ladle was gone until I needed it for this operation. So I had to stop and wait till tomorrow when I can buy something else to take it's place and continue to get the salt pots dialed in.

I need the ladle because the salts grow a little as they melt. If I fill it to the top then it melts and will spill out into my kiln ruining my heating elements. So after the batch I first put in about half way up my tube melts. I ladle in more salt until it is at the right height. All while wearing full welding leathers, gloves, and face shield. It will probably take several hours per pot to get it right.
 

Mr. Burns

Guest
#55
That's a lot of tangs to grind in only two days! You've been putting in some work!

What exactly is the salt thing about though?
 

gundamit

Super Duper Noob
Forum Supporter
#56
I believe its to heat treat the blade or "metal" that he has been working with. Now I'm no expert an it all depends on the metal and what it has been through but it allows him to not only control the metal(hardening) but to also give it a barrier from any more atmospheric conditioning.
 

jseymour

Obsessed Member
#57
That's correct. Salt pots have been in the industry since 1920. They are way overkill for knives but give a far superior heat treatment for certain steels. They don't work well for stainless though. Salt pots allow me to control the temperature of the steel to + or minus one degree. A oven can ramp over a set temperature by several hundred degrees before it comes back down.

In the old days they would use molten lead to get close to the same performance. Now that we know about the hazards of lead very few still use that process.
 

jjcapurro

Pilot. Libertarian.
Forum Supporter
#58
This thread keeps getting cooler and cooler!! Can't wait to see what these look like when complete! I can already feel the money in my wallet slowly sneaking toward the door... What are you planning for the grips? Something crazy amazing I'm sure! Unicorn horn ivory? Hah! Keep up the status updates, we all get a kick out of them. ;-)
 

Mr. Burns

Guest
#59
Very interisting. Was that something you picked up at the school or from somewhere else? My teachers never mentioned anything about this meathod.

So the salt pot allows you greater temperature control before quenching? Sounds more precise than a magnet.

Looking forward to seeing how this process works!

Great thread!
 

jseymour

Obsessed Member
#60
Very interisting. Was that something you picked up at the school or from somewhere else? My teachers never mentioned anything about this meathod.

So the salt pot allows you greater temperature control before quenching? Sounds more precise than a magnet.

Looking forward to seeing how this process works!

Great thread!
My basic bladesmithing class was taught by Harvey Dean and Michael Connor of Winters, TX. Neither of them used salt pots but did mention they were available but they didn't know enough about them to tell us anymore.

I learned a little more from Ron Newton when I took his handles and guards class. He had a set and told us one day all the precautions we needed to take in order to use them safely.

Kevin Cashen has been the biggest advocate for the use of salt pots. He is a PHD Metallurgist and a Master Smith. He's forgotten more about heat treating than most of us will ever learn. As a matter of fact the heat treating formula that I will be using for these knives I got from Kevin's website that he put's out there freely for anyone.

But my biggest reason for spending the money to upgrade to salt pots is the performance people are getting out of their blades. Ever heard of man called Frank Richtig? Here he is.



Granted the blade is 1/16" thick so it makes it easier to cut than a thicker blade would. Secondly I have seen this done by other bladesmith's using simple steels and 52100 like in these blades.

For the longest time everyone thought Richtig was using L3 tool steel that they don't make anymore. How else could he do that? Then it was discovered that he was using just plain old 1095 like your Kabar and old hickory kitchen knives to cut through rail road spikes with. So how does a guy using a common steel that everyone else has but get such better performance. Simple, he worked in a factory where he learned to heat treat the steel using salt pots.

A 1095 blade has had the ability to cut through a rail road spike and remain razor sharp since the 1930's. Look at how far we have fallen since then. Due to cheaper alternatives being flooded in from overseas manufactures in the US had to reduce the quality that we have to day to survive. We have been in a race to the bottom for sometime. I plan on going the other direction. I believe my customers deserve it.

Here's an industrial set of salt pots that looks like they are heat treating lawn mower blades. Also if you can get the proper salts you can do a finish on guns like what glock uses.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V__HLbHn708

And a lecture on Salt bath quenching.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6-WEu4T7K4

The Master Smith Kevin Cashen himself

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uPzc31bTD0