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

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  #16  
Old 12-20-2015, 08:45 AM
David Eye David Eye is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed of all trade View Post
I would not feel bad, I just assume it is a question that not everyone would know the answer to. I have been listening in and am now wondering if I want to build or buy. Thanks for the thread. Ed
Ed,
Thanks for the comment, I appreciate that. Maybe stating my personal reasons for making my own kiln will help.

Am I capable of building my own kiln?.......YES
Do I REALLY want to build my own kiln?.......NO
Do I really have the time?......NOT TONS, but I'll squeeze it in!

I am building my own kiln for the following various reasons:
1) I'm NOT a rich man and have other hobbies that take money too. Maybe a person that has just one or two hobbies could afford apprx. $1300 on just the kiln.
2) I don't like getting "ripped off". I think the price of new kilns is ridiculous. Maybe a somewhat "rich" person or true business that makes quite a few knives or very expensive knives could warrant spending that kind of money on a tiny kiln, but not me. If I ever decide to sell any of my knives it would take quite some time to pay back the kiln investment. I'm basically making my own knives for enjoyment. I NEED to spend as little money as possible on this knife making...just my personal situation.
3) I will get a certain amount of satisfaction when I build my own kiln. Do I really need that satisfaction at this point in my 60 year life?......NO. I have designed, made and/or modified many, many different things in my life. I would have preferred to purchase a reasonably priced used kiln but I can't find one and I'm getting impatient.....part of aging.
4) I'm looking forward to making some of my own knives that I have already designed. I must admit though, I already have way too many interests and hobbies. Knife making on a very small scale is just something I have always wanted to do, especially before I get too old or sickly and won't be able to.

Other people may have additional or completely different reasons for making their own small kiln. Possible lack of ability, skill or knowledge and experience might stop some people and that's perfectly understandable. I was blessed with talents that allow me to build a kiln and make knives. I recognize where my talents lie and where they don't and use what God given talents I do have. What I don't know I search and learn which can sometimes make me change my mind about something.

In regards to making my own kiln, I just needed some specific info and I thought this forum was a good place for that. Some things I figured out myself, some by searching here and elsewhere, I got great help from Sam (catskinner) with excellent suggestions as to where else to get info along with some of his own. I will also be asking some questions to suppliers of components.
None of this is rocket science but not everyone has the same talents and skills. I would hope and think that anyone attempting to make their own knife blades and complete knives would more than likely be able to make a kiln or at least most of a kiln IMO! (elect. can be tricky)

I still need some suggestions as to a PID controller. I have the element question figured out now.
Thanks for reading this rather long post.....sorry, I do get wordy.
David
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  #17  
Old 12-20-2015, 11:20 AM
Cat skinner Cat skinner is offline
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Thanks David
You stated the exact reasons I built my kiln ( except for the age part I'm 33).
It seems anymore most people would rather buy something than build it, maybe that's why none replied . I'm a carpenter , pilot and have why to many hobbies to spend all my money in one place, so therefore I built mine.

Hopefully you get the info you are looking for about the pid controllers and good luck building your kiln.
Also when you get it finished post some pictures on here I would like to see them
Sam
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  #18  
Old 12-20-2015, 01:19 PM
David Eye David Eye is offline
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Sam,
I will post a couple pictures when I'm done. I'm not real good at PC manipulation and will do my best.
I am NOT planning on taking a whole bunch of photos and doing a tutorial. It's not that I wouldn't possibly be willing but it would take way too much time and I'm not good at posting in photos and such!
Since dcknives has a nice tutorial already done on a kiln I won't do it again, especially since I am planning on making my kiln very similar to his. I WILL post my mods and changes though.
If anyone has any questions on my kiln when I get that far, just ask away. I will help in any way I can.
I am planning on starting on it shortly after Christmas.

As an added comment: I do think there are some people on this forum that have built their own kiln and could offer some help. Maybe they haven't visited this sub forum lately or have other reasons....who knows, oh well.

Thanks again,
David
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  #19  
Old 12-20-2015, 02:46 PM
Ed of all trade Ed of all trade is offline
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Thanks again David and Sam, still thinking. Ed
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  #20  
Old 12-20-2015, 03:48 PM
Cat skinner Cat skinner is offline
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David
One or two is all I'm talking about. I just want to see what you come up with and to see that you come up with something that works FOR YOU.
Also I'll be interested to see what you end up doing about a pid controller.

Ed
If you can make a functional knife you can build a HT oven. The only other thing is if you just don't have time, then it might be better to buy. I had the time but not the money.
Sam
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  #21  
Old 12-20-2015, 05:45 PM
Ed of all trade Ed of all trade is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat skinner View Post

Ed
If you can make a functional knife you can build a HT oven. The only other thing is if you just don't have time, then it might be better to buy. I had the time but not the money.
Sam
My problem is I am in the middle of a grinder in a box build and am doing two additions to the shop. I am getting tired of projects and am ready to play. BUT first I have to put the metal on the roof, and build walls and wire it and and and. Ed
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  #22  
Old 12-20-2015, 05:53 PM
Cat skinner Cat skinner is offline
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I can under stand that. I guess it just comes down to time or money; toss them both in the air and whichever one comes down first catch the other and run with it. Good luck with your projects.
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  #23  
Old 12-21-2015, 07:07 AM
Ed of all trade Ed of all trade is offline
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Thanks and you yours. Ed
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  #24  
Old 12-22-2015, 08:13 PM
David Eye David Eye is offline
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UPDATE ON NEEDED COMPONENTS:

1) I just received all the firebricks I'll need from my nephew.

2) I also received a nice used LOVE brand Self Tune Plus PID controller (1998 vintage 1600 series model #16153 ) which has manual and auto sets and a ramp & soak feature, fuzzy logic and two alarm outputs. It is a very nice unit and is 1/16 DIN in size. I really lucked out and I am very happy and fortunate. This will save me approx. $85 bucks since I was planning on getting the better unit from Auber Controls. This LOVE controller was about $265 dollars new and hopefully still works. Unfortunately I looked at the instructions online (downloaded) and I will DEFINITELY need help programming this thing. If my nephew can't help enough, my son the engineer will...... as long as he has time!

3) I also received from my nephew some Kaowool blanket material for around the outside of bricks and some various high temp square and round rope material to use on my door bricks to help seal it better.

4) He also sent me some other misc. stuff including some hardness testing files.

Receiving this stuff from my nephew will greatly help me cost wise and really help get this project off to a good start. Of course, I will still have to purchase everything else such as angle iron, misc. hdw., wire, heating element, Type K TC, controls mounting box, switches, SSR and heat sink, connectors, etc. The cost of these items isn't too terrible and I should end up with a very nice knife blade kiln. It should reach temp. very quickly using the right size element for chamber size and also because it will be well insulated using 3" thick fire bricks and possibly a Kaowool wrap over the outside of them under the sheet metal.

My good fortune doesn't help you guys out any and I'm sorry for that, but I do plan on informing you guys about my build as I go along which hopefully will help you out.
I'm not sure exactly when I will be starting this project, but hopefully soon. I am in the process of setting up shop in my pole shed which will also take time and some money!

Have a nice Christmas and I wish you the best.
I will keep you informed on my kiln build and try to help out as much as I can.
DAVID
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  #25  
Old 12-22-2015, 10:53 PM
Cat skinner Cat skinner is offline
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Sounds like your coming along nicely. The controller sounds like a good deal, better than what I got.

Merry Christmas and happy building
Sam
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  #26  
Old 12-23-2015, 05:57 AM
Ed of all trade Ed of all trade is offline
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Check Craigslist for a free bed frame. They have them here from time to time. Ed
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  #27  
Old 01-15-2016, 04:33 PM
Cat skinner Cat skinner is offline
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David
After using my kiln a few times I have come up with a couple of things I would have done different. Number one is bring the element as far out to the front as you can, I didn't and it stays cold ( well relatively) at the door. I've got an idea to fix mine but haven't found the things i need yet. The other which I think your doing is put the thermocouple closer to the middle of the kiln.
Sam
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  #28  
Old 01-15-2016, 07:09 PM
David Eye David Eye is offline
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Sam,
Thanks for the info and the "heads up".
I will definitely bring the elements as far forward as I can and I was planning on inserting the TC in from the side that my box with the controls will be mounted on. I will try to keep the TC as centered as possible and down low enough, but not too low as to interfere with my knife placement.
I believe that Paragon (and maybe other brands) install the TC as I've described.

I am also sealing my door with some high temp "rope" that I got from my nephew.
Did you seal your door? Is it possible that you are losing some heat out the door if you did not seal it?
Are you maybe losing some heat through the small cracks between bricks in your door?
Did you "glue" your bricks together or are you counting on the outside sheet metal to help enough to keep the heat contained?
I am tentatively planning on putting some kaowool blanket type material over the outside of all my bricks and not cementing any more bricks together than I have to. This way I can easily replace bricks in the future.....the top of my kiln will be removable.
I could make notch type cuts in my bricks and fit them that way in certain areas but it would be a little more complicated IMO. I feel the kaowool idea should suffice.
I haven't gotten very far yet (no time and too cold) so time will tell what I end up doing with my bricks.
DAVID
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  #29  
Old 01-18-2016, 01:16 AM
Cat skinner Cat skinner is offline
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David
Yes the door is sealed but maybe not tightly enough I can see an orange glow around the top half. I need to add more weight to my handle system so as to put more pressure on it. I used 5/8 diameter fiberglass stove door seal on my door, I can't see any glow on the bottom half of the door and with a little pressure on the handle it goes away on the top also. I glued my bricks although the top is removable so just a tight fit there and the bricks on the door are not glued but fit tight.
Sam
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  #30  
Old 01-18-2016, 02:11 PM
David Eye David Eye is offline
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Sam, Sounds like you have it figured out. I'll bet if you seal up your door better like you say, things will be better. I wish you well and hope all goes well. If you think of it, when you make the improvements and have cycled the kiln again please let me know the outcome.
Thanks,
DAVID
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