Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Temper Temper

I've just learned that it is hard to take pictures of hamons (or temper lines). When they do show up on my knives they are usually pretty hard to see, but this one jumped out at me when I was still down at 120 grit. The blade is made of an old file, so is probably W1 or W2, which are supposed to make pretty nice hamons. It seems to be true in this case at least.

The pictures are a little out of focus, but at least the lines are visible. They did fade for a while at around 800 grit, and then disappeared when I ran the fine polish buffing wheel on the blade. The lines didn't show up again with 1000, 1500 grit or flitz polish, but I remembered reading something about dipping in acid to bring it out. I tried it, and surprisingly out it popped.

I like the lines, they add some interest to an otherwise simple blade. I guess I'll have to try harder to get them to pop out.

Just thought I'd like to share.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On the Bench update

It's been a few months since I've had an on the bench update. I think that pretty much all of the ones from last time have moved on to some form of completion. Of the new pieces, some obviously need a lot of work, and some are pretty close.

From the top: New machete - although the old one didn't end up quenching or tempering properly, there was enough interest that I'm trying again. This time with 1080 carbon steel. Not quite as cool as using a old leaf spring, but at least a known material.

Future Bowie - This will be my first bowie, a slightly more advanced version is in the picture below, currently a 6 3/4" blade of CPM 154 stainless steel. It'll be a pretty big knife.

4" Dagger (on the left) - have I mentioned that daggers are a pain? This one is made of CPM S35VN stainless. It is coming along better than expected. I anticipate a slightly more elaborate version of the larger of the two daggers below. (It is the same dagger as in the next picture down).

Light Hunter, backup knife (also see top knife in pic below) - this is also CPM S35VN stainless, which turns out to be pretty good to work with, but still not as easy as high carbon. I understand the desire for stainless stuff though. Anyway, I think that this will be a very pretty piece in the end.

Small Paring knife - This one has been around for a little while, but now it is quenched and tempered. File steel - probably W1 or W2.

Small Utility knife - I decided to turn this little scrap of O1 into a blade also, I think it will make a pretty nice chip carving knife or for art projects or something.

Oyster Knives 1 and 2 - Making slow progress on these, it took a while to draw out the extra steel, but they are getting close, and the handles are making progress too, even if you don't get to see those yet :) One is obviously more polished than the other. They have both been quenched and tempered.

Mushroom knife? CM154 (not CPM) NRJJ suggested this idea, and it is making slow progress, its been quenched and tempered, but needs some grinder work before moving on to next stage.

And finally, the leaf spring fighter - version 3 of the LOR machete, and the last try before I give up on this leaf spring. I left it a little thicker this time, but only time will tell.

I actually made a little more progress after taking the top pic, so here are the backup hunter, 4" dagger, and Bowie as of July 12.

The blackthorn knife inspired by NRJJ and Sgian Dubh scottish knives has made a little progress, Water buffalo horn and nickel silver for the bolster, and the future handle material of blackthorn.

And I'm just putting the last coats of finish on the upper dagger (O1 steel), and working on a neck sheath for the smaller (file steel dagger).

There is certainly more in the shop than those, and I still need to make a lot more sheaths for some of the older knives, and knife blocks, and maybe a presentation box or three. But you get the idea.

Take care all!