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The Newbies Arena New to Knife Making? Here's all the help you need ...

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  #1  
Old 12-02-2016, 09:55 PM
Golfer Golfer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 5
New, working with D2

I have no qualifications as a knifemaker but would like to finish a couple blades. I'm a woodworker and have many tools that might work but my sander is a Delta unit with a 12" plate and 6" by 24 belt. I have a bench grinder and drill press as well.
Anyway, I have been practicing some simple file work on soft steel bars and thought to do it on a blade. I ordered a D2 prefinished blade which will R about 60-61 and I realize that is much harder than what I am using. Will I be able to file that blade?
I also have a foredom hand grinder if you think that would work.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be warmly received.
Thanks and best wishes.
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2016, 10:51 PM
damon damon is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NE Tennessee
Posts: 359
sorry but youre likely out of luck. file work is something you do before heat treating.
as for using the flexshaft...... that's a good way to slip and screw up quickly. when you get around to making your own blade, a chainsaw file, and a 3 square with one side sanded down smooth will get you where you need.

as a first though id suggest something easier to work with than D2.
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2016, 02:26 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Mountains of Western NC.
Posts: 847
I have made more knives out of D2 and O1 than any other metal. D2 is an extremely hard metal after heat treat, but RC 61 isn't the best target hardness, 59-60 is where you want to be. Since it is a pre-made knife you do not have control over its hardness, but I would guess that you will get between 59-60. You can buy some diamond swiss files if you want to file a pattern and like Damon said I would not use a dremel as the possibility of it jumping on you is a real problem. I know because I've tried it. You have to clamp stops onto the blade so you can't jump and it becomes more trouble than it's worth.

Good luck with your attempt at making a good knife. D2 is a great steel to use for knives and will hold an edge like you won't believe and I would suggest you buy a diamond sharpener as it takes a long time to sharpen at 59-60 on regular stones.

Last edited by jimmontg; 12-03-2016 at 03:13 AM.
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  #4  
Old 12-03-2016, 10:42 AM
Golfer Golfer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 5
That's great help fellas. I think this one will get a nice grip and I will forgo the file work.
Your thoughts with the Foredom were just as I thought. I had been doing my practice work with just files and for once did something right.
Thanks and best wishes.
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2016, 11:22 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: putnam county NY ....about 45 mins north of new york city
Posts: 1,200
cant speak to the d2 as I have never used it but file work cant be done after hardening on pretty much any steel, your best bet get some 1084 and make a small propane forge (wich is much easier than it seems) and make your own blade from that 1084 steel (since its the easiest to heat treat) then you can make the knife ANY way you want and not have to me restricted by what the knife already is.
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2016, 09:59 PM
Grayshadow95's Avatar
Grayshadow95 Grayshadow95 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 63
I am also primarily a woodworker, so I understand where you are coming from. Many of my first knives were done using purchased finished blades that I installed the handles. Most of my woodworking tools worked fine for that. However, I did purchase a set of diamond files and a couple diamond sharpening stones. They made life much easier!
But I wanted to get into making my own blades. I purchased a used 1" x 30" belt sander at an estate sale, and some good metal grinding belts from Grainger. Then from the advise of good people here, I purchased some D2 from the New Jersey Steel Barron. Very good unhardened metal. It can be worked easily (?) with regular files and the belt sander. However, it must be normalized first, then heat treated when shaping is complete. Some very helpful people here provided those processes. I use a small electric kiln capable of reaching 2000 degrees for these procedures (also purchased at an estate sale.) It works great for anything shorter than 18 inches. I have less than $500 invested, and have been able to produce some what I think are respectable knives. I have some photos in the gallery under Grayshadow95 Knives. Currently working on three more with D2 steel.
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  #7  
Old 01-04-2017, 09:39 AM
Golfer Golfer is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 5
Thanks again for more information. That is most helpful, Just happened to check back and saw more answers.
Most helpful. Best to you all for the new year.
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  #8  
Old 01-04-2017, 11:58 AM
samuraistuart samuraistuart is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: San Antonio Texas
Posts: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grayshadow95 View Post
I am also primarily a woodworker, so I understand where you are coming from. Many of my first knives were done using purchased finished blades that I installed the handles. Most of my woodworking tools worked fine for that. However, I did purchase a set of diamond files and a couple diamond sharpening stones. They made life much easier!
But I wanted to get into making my own blades. I purchased a used 1" x 30" belt sander at an estate sale, and some good metal grinding belts from Grainger. Then from the advise of good people here, I purchased some D2 from the New Jersey Steel Barron. Very good unhardened metal. It can be worked easily (?) with regular files and the belt sander. However, it must be normalized first, then heat treated when shaping is complete. Some very helpful people here provided those processes. I use a small electric kiln capable of reaching 2000 degrees for these procedures (also purchased at an estate sale.) It works great for anything shorter than 18 inches. I have less than $500 invested, and have been able to produce some what I think are respectable knives. I have some photos in the gallery under Grayshadow95 Knives. Currently working on three more with D2 steel.
You don't normalize D2. You can't normalize D2. You end up with a martensitic blade after an air cool. D2 is one of those steels where you don't have much play room, as opposed to 52100 and others. A2 is another example of a steel that you just have to deal with what the chemistry gives you. D2 comes annealed, most always from a supply house like NJSB, and is simply austenitized, quenched, sub zero/or cryo, temper.

No normalizing or thermal cycling is done with D2, as again, you end up with a martensitic blade, because it will harden in air. If you did try a "normalizing" procedure with D2, you would have to anneal it again before you harden it, as it is not ideal to harden from a martensitic structure.

When you look up D2 in the Tool Steel handbooks, it even says "Do not normalize".
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2017, 06:29 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Mountains of Western NC.
Posts: 847
Sam-Stuart is correct.

I did the HT for a machine shop and normalizing was not part of the "book" for D2, equalizing was on the way up to the austenitizing temp of 1850. I made many blades out of it when I worked there and always just took it up to 1400 and then to top temp. Maybe you may have normalizing mixed up with equalizing?
I still have several blades left over from those days as many things after being laid off kept me from making knives. My D2 knives are some of the best I ever made from start to finish myself. Unfortunately I do not have the HT oven anymore. For air cooled steels I have to send them out. It does take some of the fun out of my hands.
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