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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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  #1  
Old 11-09-2003, 05:23 PM
Khyber Khyber is offline
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Another New Knifemaker, setting up shop.

Hello CKD Community.
Having recently finished building my shop (just a 10x20 work room with a 10x20 carport/work area next to it), I decided it is time to look into a hobby I have always wanted to try, knifemaking. I've been fervently reading on the subject, and have started to make some equipment acquisitions.

My grandfather passed away earlier this year, and he had an enormous shop filled with scrap iron, junk pieces, welding material, etc.. and I have found several large pieces of RR track that may be suitable for anvils, as well as some other large iron pieces. A band saw and drill press are also there. I have more searching to do there, for sure. I also have some good
electric motors for making grinders.

For stock material, I found a stack of lawnmower blades, lots of re-bar, some coil springs, and some leaf springs. (For later use, when I learn to forge, there are a LOT of chainsaw chains).

Are any of the above materials useful as stock, and if so, what would be the best belt grit to purchase for my soon to be constructed grinder, as I intend to try the stock removal methods first.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Charles Watson
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2003, 07:01 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Welcome to the CKD, Charles!

As with many newbie questions, things are not always as simple as they appear. No one can tell you with any certainty whether or not any of those materials will be good for knives. I can say that it isn't likely that any of it will be any good for stock removal. The lawnmower blades might, but they might not too.

The bottom line on that question is that all of those materials are probably some kind of carbon steel. Carbon steel is cheap to buy, for the most part. If you want to do stock removal and make carbon steel blades, buy some carbon steel from a knife supply house or a steel supplier. That way, you know what you have and that tells you how to heat treat it and also guarantees that you have at least a fair chance of making a good knife instead of wasting your time.

When you star forging, some of that material might come in handy. But, straightening out a coil spring or using chainsaw chains in forging can take a lot of time and propane, not to mention the skill required. Unless you have a specific reason to use those materials, you may still find that buying your steel is more practical.

There are ways to determine what scrap will make blades and what won't. Basically, you heat a piece to non-magnetic and quench it, then see if it got hard enough. There have been many discussions on recovering scrap for making knives and testing for suitability. Use the blue Search button at the top of the page to look for some of these older threads.....


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  #3  
Old 11-09-2003, 07:27 PM
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McAhron McAhron is offline
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HOWWWWWWWWWWDY!NICE TO MEET YOU.YOUR SHOP SOUNDS AWSOME ALREADY.GOOD LUCK TO YOU
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  #4  
Old 11-09-2003, 08:10 PM
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Mace Mace is offline
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Welcome,
In my opinon you have some good stuff there. You can make blades out of most of that, ya just have to do some work to figure it out. Re-Bar is not good for any thing but sticking in wet cement, so don't wast your time with that. It sounds like you might have your hands on a nice treasure trove of your grandfathers things, my advice is to get what you can and hold onto it for a while. If you think knife making is for you, you will have all kinds of nice stuff to choose from out of what you have.
I've kicked myself in the A** a few times because I passed something up or I tossed something out and then found out I needed it down the road. Sorry to hear about your Grandfather, I'm sure he would want his tools to go to good use.
Good luck!
Mace


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Old 11-11-2003, 08:04 PM
Khyber Khyber is offline
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Thanks for the quick responses. Shop construction continued today, as I was off of work for Veteran's day. Thanks to all you Veterans out there!

As it turns out, I have a contact in the oil field industry with access to scrap steel. I just have to get him a wish list. So, I turn to you guys.. for my first knives, using stock removal (because I don't have a forge yet, even though I think there's one at grandpa's old shop), what steels should I try to get my hands onr my first set of knives. And, what grit grinder belts should I get, as well.

Thanks
Charles.
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Old 11-11-2003, 08:20 PM
Khyber Khyber is offline
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If my source doesn't pan out, I am thinking of going with 1084 steel for my first knife and grinding out a 4 inch drop point blade. Any real objections/problems with that idea? I know that I'm going to most likely screw it up pretty good, I'm under no delusions.. So if I aim for a 4 inch knife, i can always make it 3" if i have to.

So where do you guys get your 1084 steel, and what griding belts do I need.

Charles.
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Old 11-11-2003, 11:54 PM
Tod Tod is offline
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Quote:
So where do you guys get your 1084 steel, and what griding belts do I need.
One steel to consider is 0-1. You can get ground blanks from most steel supply houses and many industrial tool suppliers. It's easy to heat treat and makes a wicked sharp knife.

If you are lucky enough to live in a moderately sized town that has a steel supplier, you can probably find 10xx series steel locally.

Here in Portland, I go to Pacific Machinery and Tool. I've been bying 3/16" x 12 foot 1095 bars for under $30. 1095 makes a very fine knife. Ground 0-1 is more expensive, and it pays to shop around.


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Old 11-17-2003, 08:48 PM
Khyber Khyber is offline
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Hello again, CKD Community

I have done some more digging in my Grandfather's shop..
I knew he used to have an old forge, because i played with it as a kid. (My great - grandfather was a blacksmith) So here are some pictures of it, laying on its side. I dont know what kind it is, or how old, or even if great-grandpa used it.





I also found an OLD anvil with the horn and the tail broken off of it. It weighs 138 pounds.. has no hardie hole, and is rusted, however, I have a friend who can mill the top and one side flat for me. What do you guys think..



Any advice on these items will be greatly appreciated. My efforts to complete and outfit my new shop will continue. I'll post pics of them later.

Thanks for your time.
Charles
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  #9  
Old 11-18-2003, 08:46 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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I'm no expert on forges but that looks like an old coal forge to me. The vast majority of knife makers who use forges these days use a propane forge. Propane forges are not too hard to build and they are much easier to use than a coal forge. I mention this because the process of using a coal forge is far different and requires a considerable skill and building and maintaining the fire - skills which are largely unknown to guys with propane forges. And, from what I've read, getting the right kind of coal for the forge can be a problem in many places. So, what I'm saying is, unless you have a specific interest in learning to forge 'old style', then maybe you should just use that forge as a deoration in your shop or front yard. Otherwise, post those pictures on Ed Caffrey's forum and see what those guys have to say.

The anvil could still be fine. It offers at least as good a working surface as a piece of railroad track like some guys use. You might do a search for threads that discuss re-surfacing anvils. I know it has been discussed before .......


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  #10  
Old 12-26-2003, 04:37 AM
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Dragon cutlery Dragon cutlery is offline
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belts i use 120 to ruff grind a blade but some ppl use 36 grit to start and get at lest a 48inch you can get them every were 72s you may have to order but have more veriety


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  #11  
Old 12-26-2003, 09:23 AM
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Bob Warner Bob Warner is offline
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Welcome to the knifemaking world.

Your forge is for coal, no doubt about it. When done right, coal will get hotter than propane. A coal forge is what has been used for many, many years. You can use that forge if the clinker breaker still works. Check it out and see if the wheel turns and make sure it is not broken. Also see if you have access to coal.

As for your scrap, don't use it, but keep it. Buy new steel
(I buy from Admiral) and use that, then later after you know more about this, use your scraps. The rebar will not do you much good unless it is really large stuff, if it is, talk to Raynond Richard about that.

The anvil should be great. A lot better than railroad track. Take a wire brush and clean it up. See how bad the top is. If it is still pretty good you can clean it up yourself. If it is bad, get it surfaced but remove as little as possible. DO NOT polish the surface to a mirror finish, your steel will slide around to easily. Smooth out any of the broken areas pointy parts.

I think most people here would recommend a 60 grit belt for profiling your blades then progress to higher grit numbers from there.


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  #12  
Old 12-30-2003, 11:38 PM
Jason Cutter Jason Cutter is offline
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I'm sure you can have abrasive belts made for you by a commercial abrasives supplier. You might have to look for an agent that supplies, eg.- 3M, Klingspor, Norton etc. etc... If you are going to order a fair few, they turn out cheaper anyway.

I find that I make use of 36 or 40 for rapid hogging and shaping, 80grit for refining the grinds. 180 grit for a "final" grind finish before hand rubbing or hand finishing. I love the 3M scothbrite belts for very gentle contouring, de-burring and creating that deadly even satin finish after 180grit. If I could only use 2 grits I'd use 60 and 150grit, and hand finish everything else.

You sound like a keen scavenger, like myself. But I have learnt from experience - I agree with the other sentiments - buy the steel - its cheaper - less heartache and wondering - "Is that going to turn out ?" The only steel I'd trust is the files - Wiltshire and Nicholson brands and only the 12inch and under, sizes. Thats it. I've had too many headaches with other materials.

Good luck. Jason.


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