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High-Performance Blades Sharing ideas for getting the most out of our steel.

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Old 01-14-2014, 01:28 AM
Ed Tipton Ed Tipton is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 352
An Alternative to grinding

I have spent many hours at the grinder, and I still feel inadequate at grinding. Between grinding and hand sharpening, I am able to get to a razor sharp edge, but my grind lines are not up to my expectations....and this has led me to this question.
I am certain that someone out there has attempted to "hollow forge" as opposed to "hollow grind" a blade. I've been toying with this idea for awhile now...and I am going to attempt doing it. The old "Nothing ventured-Nothing Gained" approach.
I know that there will be many opinions on doing this ...some in favor of, and some against ... and so I will conduct my own investigation rather than try and sort through all the varying opinions, but if someone has tried to "hollow forge" a blade, I would be interested in hearing from them.
It is my intent to try and forge in the "plunge cut" as well as the hollow forging of the length of the blade.
On the surface, I can forsee some problems in doing this, but I don't see anything insurmountable. In the end, it may prove to be more difficult than grinding...but I want to give it a go and see for myself if this is a viable alternative.
My idea is to try doing this using various "set" hammers and chisels since experience has taught me that my hammer control is not that precise. I may also resort to using the treadle hammer since what I am envisioning is not that far removed from repousee work.
Mark Aspery's nickname when he was an apprentice was "lightening" because he never struck in the same place twice.
I understand.

Last edited by Ed Tipton; 01-14-2014 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:24 AM
Imakethings Imakethings is offline
Steel Addict
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Boone, NC USA
Posts: 293
Ed, you want a guillotine fuller with top and bottom swaging dies that match. You're going to have to take care when you're making the dies to get them to where they need to be. Even then it's going to be problematic to get it all correct and right so you have a finished blade.

There are other options I can think of as well, but they require other larger industrial equipment that you may not have (rolling mills, high pressure stamping machines, things like that).
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:45 AM
Ed Tipton Ed Tipton is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 352
Imakethings...I do have a guillotine tool, but I would have to fab up the dies to do this. At this point, I'm really thinking more in terms of a spring least initially. The spring fuller would be much easier to fabricate than the dies would, and it should give me a good indication of the feasibility of doing this. The guillotine tool would be a better choice I think, and if the idea proves to be feasible, then I would spend the time and effort to make the dies for it at a later time.
I guess at this point, this could be called a feasibility study.
I am certain this can be done, but I'm not certain that it is do-able using my tools and with my level of expertise.
Thank you for your reply.
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:54 AM
stezann stezann is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sardinia (ITALY)
Posts: 6
what about improving your grinding ability?
I sucked at that, but i much improved since then.
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:26 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Now live in Las Cruces NM.
Posts: 1,192
A bit late.

I know it is a hassle to grind a clean blade. I learned how to do a hollow grind and do it often even though I'm not a big fan of it. Go ahead and do your flat grind as best you can. I hate to tell you this, but finish by hand with sandpaper taped to boards. Grind it as close as you want and finish by hand. Use fine micron/grit belts and go as close as you dare then finish by hand. Google micron to grit conversion.

I recently discovered diamond compounds and they are working out great with my limited equipment.
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Old 03-07-2016, 09:27 AM
Andrew Garrett's Avatar
Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nampa, Idaho
Posts: 3,579
I've always believed that a forger must know how to grind, because in the end and to some extent, every knife is stock-removal.

I'd love to see you prove me wrong.

Andy Garrett
Charter Member - Kansas Custom Knifemaker's Association

"Drawing your knife from its sheath and using it in the presence of others should be an event complete with oos, ahhs, and questions."
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