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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 12-21-2013, 01:47 PM
Hempish Hempish is offline
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Question Ideal thickness?

First off happy holidays everyone. Second I got a unexpected Christmas bonus and was looking to buy some more 1095 steel. I was curious as to what a good thickness is for hunting/ bird & trout knife would be. I have some 3/16 and am finding its a bear to get what I want out of it with the basic equipment I have around the shop. I am looking at 1/8" or thinner. Anyways wanted everyone's opinion and look forward to hear your suggestions.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:50 PM
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NorCal Nate NorCal Nate is offline
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3/32
~Nate
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:07 PM
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My first question would be "why 1095"? If you have only basic equipment then you probably don't have Parks 50 quenching oil or equivalent and that's pretty much required to get 1095 to work correctly. You should probably be looking for 1084 if you don't have a fast pro oil like Parks. You won't find 1084 in 3/32" but you can get it in 1/8" and forge it down or grind it down without much trouble. If you do have a fast oil then 1095 would be good because you can get it in almost any thickness and size you could want....


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Old 12-21-2013, 02:43 PM
Hempish Hempish is offline
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Would most likely be sending blades out for heat treat as I don't have a forge set up yet. I do have a fair amount of boiler brick I picked up from a friend and planning on getting some refractory cement one of these days. As far as 1095 they just seem to have all the different thicknesses I would be after.
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:06 PM
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OK, if you are planning to send the blade out then that could be an even bigger reason not to use 1095. Not many places will heat treat carbon steels and fewer would I trust to get 1095 done right.

If you want to send your blades out the you should try 440C stainless. It is available in any size you need and in very small quantities. You can send it to Texas Knifemakers for heat treating (they charge $5/blade). Until you get your forge going this could be the cheapest and most reliable way to make your blades and get them processed ...


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Old 12-21-2013, 04:41 PM
Hempish Hempish is offline
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Looking at Texas knife supply looks like I will be ordering some 440 in 1/8". Any tips to working with stainless? Also is 3/32 to thin for a durable hunting knife?
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:51 PM
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440C works much like carbon steel before it goes through HT. Afterwards, it might be a bit harder to grind on but it will come back from HT pretty clean, not covered in scale like a lot of carbon blades done in a forge. So, grind to about 220, leave the edge a little teeny bit thicker than you want it to be, then continue grinding and finishing after HT.

3/32" is probably a bit thinner than most people would choose for a hunting knife but about right for a bird knife or small skinner.

440C takes a very good mirror polish but such polishing is a waste of time and materials for a knife that will be used in the field IMO. I know: you didn't say you planned a mirror polish but I bet it would cross your mind before you finish this knife .....


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Old 12-21-2013, 09:21 PM
Hempish Hempish is offline
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Thank you Ray for the info and I can't wait to get in to it. Looking forward to working with some stainless.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:11 AM
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Ray is right. I've found that 4" , 1/8" is excellent all purpose .For small game 3.5" ,3/32" .Aldo's 1084 is a good choice.
1095 ? while knives have been made of 1095 for many years I think a W2 is a better choice .Also available from Aldo.
440C brings you into a different world , and proper HT equipment is one thing you need.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:41 PM
Hempish Hempish is offline
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One last question on this thread and I will let it go to rest in the thread boneyard. Would it be wise to place an order for the stainless I'm going to get and also include a piece of d2 and o1? Only know d2 is use in tool making and o1 is along those lines as wells from what I've gathered so far. Any input is very much appreciated.
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:07 AM
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Skip the D2 forever, much better steels available that are less trouble. O1 is best in an electric furnace. If you don't have a furnace (and I know you don't have one now) then stick with 1084 in your forge or 440C if you send out. O1 costs more than 1084 and the results aren't much different if you put it in a forge....


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