Before all of the metal working experts dump on me. Let it be known I make no claim to be any kind of metal working expert. I’m just an old fat guy that has been around the block a time or two.
The information I present is based on what I was taught as a young man by my great grandpa, grandpa, dad and a few old “real’ blacksmiths.
I was taught how to determine the temperature of a piece of steel by it’s color. How much carbon was in steel by the size and color of the sparks made when touched with a grinding wheel. I learned how to anneal, temper and normalize carbon steel based on it’s color and a lot of hard learned experience.
For all of the metal working experts, if you have useful information on hot working steel without using a $5,000 dollar thermostat controlled heat treating oven, lathe, mill or gas forge. Please feel free to post your comment(s) for all to read and learn from your knowledge of metal working.
As promised I have posted a few pictures of my #1 grandson’s almost finished knife.
Hehehe … this is not really his first attempt. First time around #1 grandson failed to ask or read up on what must be done to hot work a file. He did not know or understand why a file must be annealed first. Grin… After hammering on his file for a while he allowed it to get to cold while hammering it into his desired shape it snapped in half much like hitting a pane of glass with a hammer. Grin.. Second time around he did ask for and got all the help I can give.
This knife started out life as a 14 inch Chinese made file. It was annealed(made soft), shaped by hand using a homemade coal forge and a homemade anvil.
Grin … and a few low cost Chinese made hammers. I don’t mind using a grinder to reshape a $7.00 hammer into a special shape to be used on a one time project.
There is not a $900.00 forge, $200 dollar custom made blacksmith hammer nor do we have a $1,000 dollar anvil in our collection of tools. (Poor boys have poor ways).
I invested $25.00 in two 6 inch polishing / buffing wheels and an assortment of polishing / buffing compounds. The polishing wheels were mounted on an old unused 6 inch bench grinder and that seems to work well.
As you can see there is still a great deal of polishing needed but, everything considered it’s looking pretty good.
I’ll need to ask but I think #1 grandson went down to the mesquite tree patch and cut a limb that he ran through a table saw to cut his wood knife handles.
Before tempering while the steel was still soft he drilled 2 holes for the knife handle brass rivets. The handles were drilled to receive rivets, glued using a good general purpose epoxy glue and rivets installed.
I’ll bet his next attempt will be a better looking knife. As with most things in life, experence is a great teacher.
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Why is common sense so uncommon?
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