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Basic Order Of Steps?

Discussion in 'Working the Steel' started by Junezz, Sep 30, 2018.

  1. Junezz

    Junezz New Member

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    Hello guys!
    Ill be asking lots of questions/help it will be winter time again!

    Ive been reading/making/trying stuff....

    But can someone give the basic steps for working the steel?

    I know I'm not too specific, so i guess ill start with this question...
    Thx in advance!
     
  2. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    We can help with that. But first, it depends on a couple of things:
    Are you forging a blade or doing stock removal?
    Are you starting with purchased knife steel or recycling something else (files, leaf springs, etc.)
     
  3. Junezz

    Junezz New Member

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    I'm doing both. . The forging part still practicing.... So more stock removal....

    For buying the steel no... Maybe in a month or so i will....

    I've been recycling stuff more than buying.....
     
  4. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    With recycled steel, the first step is always test to find out what you're working with and whether it will make a blade or just a knife-shaped piece of metal. With so many alloys in use now, even old reliable pieces can let you down.

    Once you know what you've got, get a piece you want to work with and anneal it. That's especially important for stock removal, but I'd do it before forging too, just so you start with something that's in it's most relaxed, workable state. After that, you can start doing what you need to do.

    For stock removal, you'll want to make sure the steel is flat and straight before putting it to the grinder or files. I like to work from a pattern, so I'd cut out a blank first. Other's like to shape the knife on the go. I also like to get all the holes drilled as soon as the blank is cut out.

    When it comes to bevels, I prefer to do all the grinding/filing pre-heat treat, except for the final edge. Others like to work with hard steel. You'll have to decide what works best for you. Either way, before you heat-treat, I would run the blade through a normalizing cycle to reduce all the stress you've introduced and make sure the blade is still straight and true. I also like to sand the whole thing to at least 800 before heat treating, then take it up to 1500 after.
     
  5. Junezz

    Junezz New Member

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    Wow! Thx for taking the time to rite all that Mythtaken!

    I've kinda learned anealing before working on it on your site.... I was drilling and working on the metal all before it went in the forge.....
    So you can imagine how many drillbits i burnt! Lol
    Hey thats gow we learn!!!
    So i did annealed a couple of peices i had for my next batch of knives and wow does it make a difference! Ill keep you posted on all that!

    But still got questions..... So i guess ill go along as i advance with that new batch of knives.....

    1-when i anneal for stock removal in the forge, do i go cherry red? I used wood ash in a bucket.... And the normalizing cycle is what? The 400 degrees in oven for an hour or so?

    2- for the testing of recycle steel do you have any suggestions? I kinda do it with my grinder and the sparks..... But not totally accurate....

    Thx a lot in advance!
    Cheers!
     
  6. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    For annealing, you want to take the steel up to it's critical temperature. Not easy, when you don't really know what you're working with, but for most carbon steel, a nice bright cherry red should be good. then you want to retain that heat as long as possible. Wood ash or kitty litter should do the trick.

    Normalizing is easier. Just take it up to critical temperature and set it aside to cool down on its own.

    The spark test works as well as anything with unknown steel. You can also heat treat a small piece and test it with a file to see if it hardens. You can also grind some quick bevels into it to find out if it takes and holds an edge.
     
  7. Junezz

    Junezz New Member

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    Ok so basically annealing 1srt time
    2nd time easy let cool on its own


    And after ive done letsay my final bevel...? (i leave just a bit so o can sharpen by hand...
    The 400 c for a bit in the oven does it help?

    And a side question.... Somwthing i did not find details on.... My forge.... Does it need to be open on both ends?

    Thx again!
     
  8. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    Yes, you want to leave a bit on the edge when you grind the bevels. How much depends on the thickness of the steel and the type of grind you're doing, but generally, you want to leave somewhere around a 1/16 inch (1.5mm) for the final edge that you'll add after heat treating.

    400C is about 750F, which isn't hot enough to change the state of carbon steel. Critical temp in a basic carbons steel like 1084 is around 1450F. That's when the martensitic conversion happens. You will want to use a couple of tempering cycles of about 400F (200C) after hardening to temper the blade.

    Yes, leave the forge open at both ends. That way you can heat material that's longer. Some forges have a hinged door, with or without a smaller porthole, for this. You can achieve the same effect using a stack of firebricks to cover over the end when you don't need it open. I like the firebricks, because it allows for all sorts of configurations.
     
  9. Junezz

    Junezz New Member

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    Thx gives me good directions....

    My forge is kinda of a work in progress... Homade tough with an old stainless pot.... Was thinking of cutting a hole at the other end.... But works great for cleaver size knives ill post a picture could use an opinion on it.... [​IMG]
    And i twaeked it since e that picture...
    http://imgur.com/a/gRmEAfB
    http://imgur.com/a/m6EeZ2J
     
  10. ToddR

    ToddR Putterer, Tinkerer, Waster of Time Staff Member

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    Myth, does the magnet trick (heat until a magnet won't stick) a reliable test when you may not know what kind of steel your using? I typically do that with 1084, 1095 and old reliable, 01. Also, I started off doing all my grinding pre heat treat. It was tough at first (as is normal) to get both sides symmetrical. There were lots of oops spots where you held it in place two long etc. A buddy recommended doing more grinding post heat treat. It is slower to do but I find as a new maker, it is more forgiving. I was able to "fine tune" things easier as the process was slower. I still do the bulk pre-heat treat (belts aren't cheap right?) but I leave a good chunk for after. As Myth said, it's really a preference thing. Also, I don't remember where but somebody told me to grind the bevel to thickness of a dime once so that it won't warp on HT. That seems to work great for me.
     
  11. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    If you're working with carbon steel, it should. As you introduce more alloys, it may not. For example, O1. A magnet works fine for showing critical temperature, but the extra stuff in O1 wants to soak longer at that temperature to get the best results.
     
  12. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    a video that may help
     

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