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Heat Treating and Metallurgy Discussion of heat treatment and metallurgy in knife making.

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Old 10-30-2018, 08:44 AM
bikercat bikercat is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 5
carbon content

Hello all, this isn't a question about knife making. I'm interested in making a fire starting striker. when I was on line, found different types of metal.. 1084,5160, and 1095. which one would have the highest carbon content? Thanks
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Old 10-30-2018, 11:36 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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The highest carbon content of the steels that you have mentioned is 1095.


If you're not making mistakes then you're not trying hard enough
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Old 10-30-2018, 04:30 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Now live in Las Cruces NM.
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Would small files work for a fire striker? I'm not entirely sure what you mean by fire striker, is that like a flint steel or the steel you strike the flint with?

I use old files for small projects and save even the small 4 to 6 inch ones. The thin ones make excellent leather cutting knives. I just bevel one side and have a left and right pair. I only tempered them for 2 hours at 375 and they really hold an edge, they're Nicholson files by the way.
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Old 10-31-2018, 09:49 AM
bikercat bikercat is offline
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Hello, thanks for the replies. I'm interested in making some strikers to use on flint for fire starting.
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Old 10-31-2018, 04:11 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Now live in Las Cruces NM.
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Well bikercat, old files would work just great for that. I sometimes give a round flint steel I buy from USA Knifemaker with my knives. Like right now I'm making a pair of hunting knives for a man who wants to give them to his son for Christmas and the handles are made from his son's first Mule Deer's antlers. A 4" drop point skinner and a slim 3 1/2" bird and trout knife.
I cut off one of the antler's points for a handle for the flint steel. I just finished the sheaths for the knives and am now making a small belt sheath for the striker and added a small diamond hone for sharpening in the field. Now the man wants me to make a matching belt to go along with the sheaths, ok you're paying for it. lol

Here's a link to a video on how to make a striker flint from an old Nicholson file. By the way, the file doesn't have to be a Nicholson just a decent old worn out file. You can use a new file and have a double duty survival tool if you want.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:33 AM
damon damon is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NE Tennessee
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im not sure why you need "the highest carbon content" when all the ones you mentioned are more than usable for what you want when heat treated.

however if its just carbon numbers you are interested in then there are other steels with more than .95 carbon.
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Old 11-01-2018, 09:27 AM
WBE WBE is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 483
1095. Heat to red-orange, quench in 100/120 brine. NOT water. Water often causes cracks. Use as is, or temper at 300. File steel works good also, as long as it is not one that just case-hardened. 1095 makes an excellent fire striker. I had a customer set his T shirt on fire while playing with his.

Last edited by WBE; 11-01-2018 at 09:33 AM.
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1084, 1095, 5160, a, bevel, blade, blades, buy, carbon, file, files, fire, grind, kiridashi, knife, knife making, knives, leather, made, make, making, metal, question, sharp, small

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