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High-Performance Blades Sharing ideas for getting the most out of our steel.

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  #1  
Old 09-30-2006, 10:45 AM
Ed Fowler Ed Fowler is offline
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Casting Aluminium knife handles?

Have you done it? or Does anyone have an links to check it out?
Thanks


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  #2  
Old 09-30-2006, 07:55 PM
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B.Finnigan B.Finnigan is offline
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I have always wanted to try a dip method for cast handles. Just like how you make candles by dipping the wick but dipping the tang instead. Each dip would add a layer of molten metal which would end up looking like a very fat version of the tang. If you quenched it after each dip then you would have very little heat migration into the blade. You could even use the dipping as a tempering for the hardened blade, that is if you could monitor and manage the temps accurately.

One more project to add to my allready lengthy "to do" list.
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  #3  
Old 10-01-2006, 07:04 AM
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Robert Mayo Robert Mayo is offline
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Ed i know nothing about it but you can check out this site, it might help.
Bob
http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/index.html
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  #4  
Old 10-01-2006, 09:44 AM
Ed Fowler Ed Fowler is offline
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Thanks Robert: He has a lot of good ideas, simple and looks like they work!


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  #5  
Old 10-01-2006, 11:14 AM
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hammerdownnow hammerdownnow is offline
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I have been interested in casting some handles also, ala Murphy combat style. Hope this thread turns up some good info. I have melted some pop cans in lead ladle on my charcoal forge. I got a vegetable can full of play sand and stuck a dowel down into it and cast a butt cap. I would like to go further.


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  #6  
Old 10-01-2006, 12:34 PM
smird smird is offline
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I've been casting for while now both sand and investment and have recently started doin ceramic shell casting. I do mostly bronze but if there anything I can help with let me know.

PS don't melt aluminum cans it's not worth it you end up with so much slag.

My Setup

Sample



Brad Stilley
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2006, 08:54 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Smile This is getting me excited!

I got a couple of books on metal work and casting and it looks like it would be easy to go cheap on this, ala "$50 Knife Shop". For investment casting, cans with both ends cut out could be used for the flasks (make sure that they are steel) and it looks like one could cobble the copes and drags for sand casting from some scrap mild steel and JB Weld for a lot less than what is sold commercially. Heck, they can even be made out of wood.

My idea is to make a model out of pewter by the wax loss method and then using the sand casting technique to produce the item out of bronze, aluminum, steel or what ever. I just have to make sure that the way that I make the model or position it in the mold won't pull the sand appart when I remove it before casting the piece. Casting sand is not that expensive and the ponce (the powder that is applied to allow one to pull the cope and drag appart and remove the model without wrecking the sand impression) can be nothing more that baby powder wrapped up in a handkerchef to allow you to dust it out over the sand. I just want to get a book that deals with sand casting in a little more depth than anything that I have.

Doug Lester

Last edited by Doug Lester; 10-04-2006 at 08:57 PM.
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2006, 10:04 PM
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rhrocker rhrocker is offline
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Doug I have such a book called "Green Sand Casting". We've moved 3 times since I last saw it, but I don't throw anything away. I'll sure try and find it. I did a little Aluminum, bronze, and cast iron (HOT!) casting. My brother in law helped me pour the flask in the cast iron pour. Just as we were done pouring, we looked down and noticed that our shoelaces and tennis shoes were on fire and melting. Everyone said we looked rather odd running around in the front yard looking for a hose that was in the back yard :O)
Finally found one. I need to pull all of that equipment out one of these days, it was a lot of fun, but a bit dangerous to say the least.


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  #9  
Old 10-04-2006, 10:44 PM
Ed Fowler Ed Fowler is offline
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Thank you gentlemen, this just keeps getting more interesting! Thanks for the thoughts and please keep them coming.


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  #10  
Old 10-04-2006, 11:30 PM
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B.Finnigan B.Finnigan is offline
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Brad that knife is incredible! Knives like that make me curse being born left brained. I have no artistic talent, my seven year old daughter can allready draw better then I can. That is my biggest impediment in bladesmithing, comming up with artistic designs. All I can do is change or modify something I have allready seen. It seems that if you are artistic that you have allready conquered 90% of bladesmithing.

I have to be at peace with knowing that I can make a blade that cuts and holds an edge aside from being an eyesore.

Great work! Show us more!
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  #11  
Old 10-05-2006, 10:03 PM
smird smird is offline
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Thanks for the compliment. I don't really consider myself artistic. I can't draw worth a bean. But I do have a wife who is really tallented and a huge help in putting down on paper what I have in my head.

Now for my dirty little secret I "carve" a lot of my original models on a cnc machine that I built. I hand carve a lot of stuff but at heart I'm a computer guy so I sit there a lunch with my laptop and "draw" knife designs. I so far hand forge/grind m blade but I did just pickup a Bridgeport Knee mill that I'll convert to CNC and at that point who knows.

Unfortionately I'm just a weekend warrior and will be out of town the next two weekends. But I'll try to at least ram up a sand mold and video/photo it.

Ed,
I've never cast a complete handle. Are we talking about those combat style knives with the brass knuckles built in. Show me a pic and I'll try to set up something specific. The only thing I cant figure are the handle cast separately and the blade epoxied/pinned on. Or do I pack the blade into the sand and poor the metal around it. Then heat-treat.

other good casting site for sandcasting
http://foundry101.com/

Any body in Southern California let's get together for a hands on.

Attached new celtic design machined in butter board ready to make a mold to cast
birds.jpg

Brad
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  #12  
Old 10-05-2006, 10:58 PM
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Saw a post mentioning how much slag you'll get with beer cans. Did some work years ago for a major beer company and got to know a bit about their can making process. The cans are aluminum, with a thin plastic coating on the inside and some ink on the outside. The TOP of the beer can is an alloy of aluminum and magnesium. Recyclers use chlorine to remove the magnesium - NOT something I'd recommend for the home user. Point is that you can cut out the tops and avoid the magnesium problem.


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  #13  
Old 10-05-2006, 11:50 PM
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B.Finnigan B.Finnigan is offline
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I didn't realize the tops were a Al/Mg alloy. I may have to collect some tops for some casting experiements. Ground up that would be a great thermite fuel. It would probably light at a lower temp the 3K.
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  #14  
Old 10-06-2006, 03:12 AM
didtas didtas is offline
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Re Casting.

HI GUYS,

I have done a fair bit of casting at home,bronze ,cast iron and aluminium.a good source for aluminium is the car scrap yard ,Mazda rotory engine blocks melt and cast well.
On the subject of casting books ,there is a book called THE METAL CASTERS BIBLE,AUTHOR C W AMMEN.this is a good book on casting.

I use fine sand mixed with sodium silicate which is then gassed with carbon dioxide {food grade} to harden up the sand.I use this for all metals.


Regards DANIEL DIDTAS.
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  #15  
Old 11-21-2006, 05:32 PM
jdm61 jdm61 is offline
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Hey Ed.......Isn't the Ruana shop kinda close to you? They have been doing that as long as anyone.
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