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

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  #1  
Old 05-24-2017, 01:08 PM
Stratocaster Stratocaster is offline
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: BC Canada
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Infrared Burner

Ok, crazy question. Brand new noob here and am looking at a very simple heat treating setup before I make an investment. Here's my question, I have a grill with an infrared burner that is advertised as heating up to 1800 degrees. Could this be used as a primitive forge ? I'm not expecting any great results, but I just want to make a couple of 6" lawn mower blade test knives to get a feel for the process.

Thanks, please be gentle!
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:19 PM
mr.HC mr.HC is offline
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the coil may heat up to 1800 but how do you plan on containing that heat in order for your steel to heat to 1800.

Carl
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  #3  
Old 05-24-2017, 02:56 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Mr.HC has a good point, the infrared burners, how big are they? Can they be made to face each other and you'll need some firebrick and refractory cement to secure it all in place. You'll also need a thermocouple to measure the heat and 1800 degrees is a little low for forging as most forging is between 1800 and 2200 or higher.

You could build a simple propane forge instead of using an 1800 degree heat source as you will be waiting for some time for it to heat the blade back up. A propane forge will run about 2400 degrees and with some venturis you could up that even higher. Add compressed air and you'll have a foundry and can melt steel.

Also don't use mower blades for your first try as you do not know what kind of steel they are made of, it may be 1030 or at most 1040 for most blades and 0.4% carbon is ok for throwing weapons like tomahawks or throwing knives, but it doesn't get real hard, RC57 hard tops and then needs to be tempered down so it isn't brittle. Mower blades are low on the list of steels I'd recommend to a newcomer. 1080 or 1084 would be better and it is cheap, very cheap. There is also 1070-75 as well and again cheap.

Try New Jersey Steel Baron, Jantz Supply or Sheffield Knifemaker Supply. If you're on the left coast try Alpha Knife Supply for steels. AKS' 80CrV2 is 1080+, just a little better than straight 1080. Don't use "mystery steels" for your first foray into forging. The possibility of failure is pretty high with some of them and mower blades are at the top of the list for me anyway, having tried them and found they wouldn't harden much. It isn't all mower blades, but you never know.

I will say this, depending upon the configuration of the infrared burner, if you had two you could make a primitive heat treating oven for the simpler steels with a thermo control. Barbecue burner you say?

Ray Rogers is a moderator here and he sells an excellent video on how to make a simple forge for propane simply and inexpensively. Guys say it's like he right there showing you how.
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Old 05-24-2017, 04:32 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Short answer....Nope, longer answer.......building a good forge and a burner is very easy and cheap. From my experience and every one that I have seen try something like that. I don't mean that specifically but similar things, a torch instead of a proper burner a grill turned into a forge, making a forge out of redular bricks...the list goes on and on....100% of the time that person played with it for a while decided it didn't work and went and did it the right way.....skip the wasted time as I said very easy and cheap to make a very effective propane forge
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:50 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Stratocaster please pardon me, I didn't notice you were in Canada. Here is a link for a Canadian knife supplier and 1080 hi-carbon steel. They have just about everything you could want for making a knife. Stay away from W2 and 1095 steels as they are not for a newcomer to this great vocation. I hate 1095 myself.lol

https://www.knifemaker.ca/Tool-and-C...-carbon-steel/


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Last edited by jimmontg; 05-24-2017 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:56 PM
Stratocaster Stratocaster is offline
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Thanks everyone!
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Old 05-26-2017, 07:55 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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You might also want to connect with the Canadian Knifemakers group. They have a subforum further down the KNF's here.


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