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Tools, Heat Treat, And Material Help

Discussion in 'Grinders' started by Joshua Pitre, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. Joshua Pitre

    Joshua Pitre New Member

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    I am rather new to making knives and would like to eventually work my way up to swords, I would like some advice on a few different items in regards to tools, heating and materials.

    1) After combing through the internet I believe I have decided upon a grinder to purchase, I have decided spend the cash first, (and once). I am look in at a BEE Grinder 2 x 72 but I am wondering what the difference/advantage/disadvantage would be between:

    A) The 1 hp and the 2 hp,

    B) The single speed vs the variable speed,

    C) A 8” contact wheel vs a 10 “ contact wheel,

    D) A smooth contact wheel vs a serrated wheel.

    Obviously the price goes up depending upon which accessories are added and I am trying not to break the bank. Below is a link to a supplier I have located with the descriptions.


    2) I am considering a heat treating oven as opposed to a propane forge due to the accurate temperature control capabilities for annealing, heat treating and tempering. I have found one that may be sufficient in regards to size for a sword and may be used for a knife simultaneously (I believe, although it may waste a lot of energy for knives alone). It is an Evenheat KF 49.5 Oven Setpro Control 10"W x 6.5"H x 49.5"D 240v. What I am wondering is:

    A) Am I nuts or should I be looking into a propane forge for one third or less of the price

    B) Could this do the job for both a knife and a sword

    C) Would I be better off getting a custom one built where it opens like a coffin from the top (as I have read nothing but good reviews about these coffin custom builds)

    D) Does anyone have any experience with this type of oven and what is your opinion on the Setpro temperature controller

    Here is a link to the oven I am considering with its description.


    3) I am having trouble locating a band saw that can cut metal under $1000.00, but the Proxxon MICRO Bandsaw MBS/E may be suitable for a decent shop, any thoughts or opinions?


    4) My final question is in regards to the handle material known a Pakkawood/Dymondwood, I have worked with this material in the past and now knowing that the factory has gone the way of the dinosaur, I have found a replacement that may be suitable, so this is also a passing on of information to those whom may not know of it, but I would like to know if anybody has used it and would recommend it. Webb Wood.


    Thanks for any assistance you are willing to give.

  2. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    More horsepower is better and VFD is awesome (just got one) lets you haul butt on steel and slow it down for working on wood. From what little I have read about the contact wheels 10" is most useful and apparently you need a hard wheel for grinding up to 400 grit then the soft wheel for 400 to 2000 grit. posted a few links around here in the last month for a few different suppliers of wheels.

    Serrated runs much cooler and will extend belt life, there is also a mixed wheel with serrated center and hard edge meant for forming tight corners or something to that affect.

    Heat treating furnace is by far the easiest and by the time you get to swords you should be able to perform the heat treating in a forge or fire unless you intend on using stainless steel for swords. I run an evenheat with the digital controller and I am very happy you can also look into Paragon kilns which are also popular.

    Portable bandsaw will cut all the steels and composites used for knife making, if variable speed all the better and typically $350 new and far cheaper used

    Have only used Dymonwood the link you posted and a few others are also available out of Japan but I never saved the links. the wood is not bad and once oiled looks okay.
  3. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Legend Member

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    Hi Josh,

    John pretty much covered it. You will not go wrong with a 2 hp variable speed BEE with a 10" wheel. Like John said the serrated contact wheel will run cooler for serious hoggin'.

    The heat treatment solution you need depends on the steel you plan to use. A propane forge may be adequate for heat treating simple carbon steel like 1084. For more complex alloys, stainless and such, you really need near perfect temperature control. That Evenheat you referenced is a serious piece of equipment, but for a 38" stainless sword, that type of thing is the ticket.

    IMHO I love my Porta-Band band saw. It's bench mounted and suits all my knifemaking needs. Really, one of the most useful thing I own (other than my car that gets me to and from work). LOL

    Depending on your style, you can improvise a lot of tools. I am more of a DIY guy, but others would rather focus on the craft than the tool making aspects. That's cool. All I ask is you give it some thought. I always say, "If you can make a knife, you can make a grinder."


    PeterP and John Noon like this.
  4. Joshua Pitre

    Joshua Pitre New Member

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    John, thanks for the information, the ten inch wheel does seem to be the way to go, I will check into the Paragon kilns as another option
  5. Joshua Pitre

    Joshua Pitre New Member

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    Thanks Dan, yes I am looking at working with more complex metals such as 440c stainless and others as well so I wi definitely go with a kiln, as John also mentioned I will look into the portable band saws
  6. MorganVanderlee

    MorganVanderlee New Member

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    I hope you bite the bullet and go with the BEE, I'm on the fence with it and would love to hear a review and see a video of if it action. There's a ton of KMG videos but hardly any BEE.

    My two cents on forge vs kiln is both.

    Build the forge out of anything you can find and some 3000F rated bricks and a couple Venturi burners. Gonna be more than enough to heat up blade stock, or get fancy with it and add 3 or 4 burners that you can isolate from one another and the world is your oyster.

    Buy the kiln, build the forge and nothings gonna hold you back.
    Don Streeter likes this.

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