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The Newbies Arena New to Knife Making? Here's all the help you need ...

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  #1  
Old 04-16-2017, 08:21 PM
Gabriel G Gabriel G is offline
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Steel Ordering

The obvious hitch to ordering steel I now know is the Shipping. I haven't found any local options and currently I'm squeezing every penny. What would my best option be on a $50 total order of say .250 x 1.5 in a 10XX.

Tired of scrounging and guessing. Last heat treat had me quenching 4 (2oil, 2 water) times to only get a edge quenched blade.
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  #2  
Old 04-16-2017, 08:51 PM
argel55 argel55 is offline
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Www.njsteelbaron.com

862-203-816
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  #3  
Old 04-17-2017, 08:23 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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I agree I only get my steel from NJ steel barron for a few reasons.....One reason is I have been told say 1084 (what would be best for you) from one manufacture to another the make up could be SLIGHTLY different but could change the heat treat a bit so I would say pick a supplier and stay with them if you can.....I got 440c from usa knife maker once and it didn't harden as much as the stuff from nj steel with the same exact heat treat only time I didn't order from nj steel.....but njsteel is great they are quick shipping is quick for me as I am right next door in NY but they are good people and willing to work with you for what you need
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  #4  
Old 04-17-2017, 08:46 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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You're obviously new to this so for that reason as much as anything else I would say .250 thickness in your blade stock is far too much. Very few knives are made that thick and for good reason - they don't cut well. And there is no need for steel that thick to make the blade 'stronger' if that's what you're thinking, a proper heat treatment will do that. Get .125 or .187 stock depending on the knife you want to make.

Even if you really do intend to make large knives from .250 stock I would suggest that you don't do it yet. What you need to be doing right now is going through the entire process of making a knife start to finish as quickly and cheaply as you can. The fastest and most economical way to do that is to make small knives, say 4" blades. Those are the most common knives so if they work out you won't have any trouble finding people who want them and if they don't you won't be out much. Repetition is your friend here.

And don't get carried away trying to make them fancy right now. No mirror polished blades, no fancy handle materials. I promise you that if you polish that first blade and try to make a 'showy' knife that a year from now you'll look at it and see a pig wearing lipstick.

Make one knife at a time, start to finish. Concentrate on fit and finish and perfecting your heat treatment. Test these knives hard to learn how to improve them and then break the first few of them to see the grain in the steel. See if you can find an old worn out Nicholson file and break it - that's what you want your broken blade to look like....


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  #5  
Old 04-17-2017, 09:01 AM
Gabriel G Gabriel G is offline
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Thank you sir.
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:54 AM
Gabriel G Gabriel G is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Rogers View Post
You're obviously new to this so for that reason as much as anything else I would say .250 thickness in your blade stock is far too much. Very few knives are made that thick and for good reason - they don't cut well. And there is no need for steel that thick to make the blade 'stronger' if that's what you're thinking, a proper heat treatment will do that. Get .125 or .187 stock depending on the knife you want to make.
Is this still true since i forge my blanks and have to grind out hammer marks. Some of the material is drawn into the blade and some is ground away. I lose a fair amount to the forge and the file???
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  #7  
Old 04-17-2017, 10:28 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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No, if you're forging then you would likely want the thicker steel. However, once you really master forging you can use thinner steel without so many problems. But, the rest still applies, i.e., thinner finished thickness and small knives with simple finishes and materials until the details are mastered....

PS

Or, if your budget is really tight skip the forging and do stock removal. Thinner cheaper steel and a lot less propane...


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Old 04-17-2017, 10:44 AM
Gabriel G Gabriel G is offline
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Agreed that simple is better. This isn't my first art form so I understand the pig in lipstick concept. Old professor told us never to fall in love with the piece. Im only a few months into this and can see miss piggy in the corner.
Also im using coal and runs me about a $1 per hr
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  #9  
Old 04-17-2017, 02:50 PM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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NJSB... don't know what's going on. He's out of alot. No 1095, 1084, 5160 in knife thickness/widths as well as 0-1 (been out of that since last Summer apparently) Very limited in what's available.

Here is another option and their shipping is cheaper than NJSB:
http://www.sheffieldsupply.com/
There is only a downloadable PDF catalog and you have to call them to order but their shipping is a bit more reasonable and they are easy & pleasant to work with. They will send you a hard copy catalog.


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Old 04-18-2017, 06:36 AM
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Gab - focus on heat and hammer control if you intend to stay with forging your blades. Large scaling flakes and dings are all due to these factors. Right now you're working too hard with too many variables in the mix. If you cannot control your heats in your forge you will not be able to heattreat the steel regardless of which one you use with any consistent quality results. Also work on your hammer control, in using thicker steel you are making yourself hit harder to reduce = poor control in a beginner, thus the dings. Go to lighter hammers with well formed faces and learn to hit flatter where needed. These skills come with time/practice, but will make all the diff in your final results.
Wish you lived closer, be glad to coach you a little. It's fun backyard science when it all comes together.

Ever get any feed back from the NC Guild?


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  #11  
Old 04-18-2017, 07:01 AM
Gabriel G Gabriel G is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crex View Post
Gab - focus on heat and hammer control if you intend to stay with forging your blades. Large scaling flakes and dings are all due to these factors. Right now you're working too hard with too many variables in the mix. If you cannot control your heats in your forge you will not be able to heattreat the steel regardless of which one you use with any consistent quality results. Also work on your hammer control, in using thicker steel you are making yourself hit harder to reduce = poor control in a beginner, thus the dings. Go to lighter hammers with well formed faces and learn to hit flatter where needed. These skills come with time/practice, but will make all the diff in your final results.
Wish you lived closer, be glad to coach you a little. It's fun backyard science when it all comes together.

Ever get any feed back from the NC Guild?
Temp control right now is mystery. Forge works well and is efficient but needs a few mods like a better more variable air supply than a hair dryer....also needs a couple grooves cut out to allow for longer stock to pass through.

Hammer control is a matter of time and patience. Striking while hot, consistent even blows moving the piece around and not the hammer. Sound right?

On heat treatment I have much to learn. My last blade made it through with no burns to the steel but was difficult to get to critical throughout the edge
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:39 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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I would tend to agree with ray at least right now bypass the forging and do stock removal. If you want to forge in the future that is more than fine but after you forge a knife you still need to bring it to the grinder and you still need to put a proper handle on it.....learning these skills you will make mistakes and put it this way forging is a lot of work do you want to do all that work and then mess up the handle or the blade on the grinder? learn these skills and learn them good so you don't waste all that forging work....
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:50 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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What Dtec said. And, I'll throw in a plug for propane forges. Some guys do use coal but most use propane. Much easier to control the heat and much simpler, just light it and in a few minutes you're ready to work. Using a coal forge is a considerably complex skill set all on its own and just adds to the burden for a newbie ...


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Old 04-18-2017, 10:15 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Yeh I missed that point.....when I first started I made a lil coal forge then after I came here and built a propane forge it SOOOO much better.........and ray since you didn't plug yourself I will do it. Ray has a great video wich tell you exactly what you need and how to build a propane forge and burners
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Old 04-19-2017, 06:24 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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While there is nothing wrong with coal/charcoal forging, definitely has it's place with larger items and speciality items as well as being more "romantic" (in a primitive sense), it does have it's drawbacks in the learning curve and time consumption sense (as stated above). I started forging this way, but had an excellent teacher in my Dad - he made and repaired mining tools for the gold hunters in the Dahlonega Gold Rush in NGa when he was still a youngster. Still, I was more about making knives than playing with fire and gravitated to propane forges after I learned how to make them off Ron Reil's site way back when. Propane was so natural for me, as Ray said light her up and be forging in 5-10 mins with no continual fire maintenance. If built right, you can really regulate temps in your forge and if you are good with colors can heattreat most forgeable steels with good to excellent results.

Please don't get me or anyone else here wrong, no one is wanting to dissuade you from forging and making knives. It's just that without some good hands on coaching, you have chosen the more difficult path to success. By all means have fun with it - needs to be enjoyed and not a burden.

There is a lot of true physics, science and geometry that goes into making a good knife that will truly perform the way it should. Lots to learn which makes the journey all that much more fun for most of us.
Bit concerned with your very last statement about getting the heat even through out the edge. For most forgable blade steels that heat needs to be even throughout the entire body of the blade for correct consistent thermal cycling to create a good blade (physics/science part of the game).
Also, you are very confined with the size forge you are working from to even consider doing larger blades. You would be better served with a larger format there and as you are finding out, air source control is a must for decent temp control. As I mentioned before the large scale issue means you are getting too hot in places and over oxidizing the steel (burning it). Tough balance to acquire in your small brakedrum forge.
Stick with smaller blades and get the heat balance and hammer work under control.
Just not a lot of ways to convey this hear on the forums, but be careful what you watch on U-tube, lot of real misinformation out there. Also, even if the information is good there is a lot of personal interpretation of what you see/hear that is subjective to what you already know or believe which may or may not be what is actually presented.
You cannot beat hands-on experience with a professional, so seek one out if at all possible. If he/she charges a fee it will be money well spent. If he/she will do it for free, even better.


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