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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 11-10-2016, 10:54 AM
nflknives nflknives is offline
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knife newbie need ? answered on steel

Hi, very new here, have only made 2 knives to practice on out of lawnmower blades which i know arent the best, it was striclty for practice!

I was wondering if the steel at lowes or home depot in the bins, they say hot rolled weldable steel..is this steel to mild for knives? There is nowhere close to me with any of the "good" steel and im not sure im quiet ready to jump in and order good quality steel as just the cheaper 1095 and such is going to cost me over 100 just for a few blanks shipped to me.

Thanks for your time!
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2016, 11:10 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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No, the structural steel that you will find in the bins at hardware stores will not make good blades. They don't contain enough carbon and may contain other things, such as copper, that don't contribute to making a good knife. Ordering steel from a supplier is about the only way to go, however, some suppliers are better than others. Jantz is good for a lot of things but getting blade steel is not one of them. They tend to be a little on the high side. Try places like Alpha Knife Supply, Admiral Steel, or The New Jersey Steel Baron.

You also didn't mention anything about heat treatment with your lawn mower blade knives but your heat treating equipment is also going to dictate what steel you are going to need. High carbon steel, like 1095, is not the best to use with a forge for heat treating. They work much better with a high temperature electric oven. If you are using forge, lower carbon steels like 5160, 1080, 1084, or 80CrV2 are better alloys to work with.

If you intend to send your blades out for heat treating you may want to look at air quenching steels like A2, D2, or one of the stainless steels.

Doug


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Old 11-10-2016, 11:31 AM
nflknives nflknives is offline
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Thanks Doug! Thats what i was afraid of!

Right now for heat treating i am doing it with an electric oven at 400 degrees for 2 cycles. 400 for 1 hour let cool then 400 for another hour.

Any help is greatly appreciated and noted!
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  #4  
Old 11-10-2016, 01:45 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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What you're doing for heat treating right now isn't heat treating at all. It would be a tempering cycle if you had done a heat treating cycle. But, as Doug explained, weld steel and lawn mower blades wouldn't respond well to heat treating anyway.

I don't know why you think good steel will cost you $100 unless maybe you're not in the USA. Fill out your profile so we don't have to guess. If you are in the USA we can point you to steel sources for much less than $100 ...


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Old 11-10-2016, 03:15 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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The big step that you are missing, though there are others, is hardening the blade. This has to be done to bring the steel up to maximum hardness before you adjust that hardness by putting it into an oven around 400?. You need to google up posts on heat treating knives. Right now all you've done is make knife shaped objects that might be usable as letter openers.

Doug


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Old 11-10-2016, 03:51 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Knives need to be heated to 1400+ degrees and depending on the alloy it can go much higher than 1084's 1450-75.
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Old 11-10-2016, 05:46 PM
nflknives nflknives is offline
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yes, I spoke out of line lol..heat treating I have a little forge made of bricks with a propane burner and I heat them until they are non magnetic and hold for 5 minutes then quinche. like I said it's all new to me so I'm learning as I go and learning the language.

I'm in North Florida and the shipping is what kills me on prices of steel. when I've checked nj steel it's 48 bucks to ship 1 4' piece of 1084 which is what I've been told would be a good steel to start with
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Old 11-10-2016, 07:34 PM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Yes, NJSB has gone up on his shipping. There is a place in Florida I got my last steel from, shipping was about the same for me as NJSB, about $30. But because you are in FL the shipping for one piece of steel may be less for you, or, you may be able to go there and pick up a piece if you happen to go down toward Orlando which is where they are I believe.

http://www.sheffieldsupply.com/

I ordered my last steel from them just because they had some 0-1 and NJSB has been out for months now.


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Old 11-10-2016, 07:46 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Although I don't recommend O1 for newbies it is very easy to get. Look in your Yellow Pages (or online) and you should be able to find a machinists supply or a metals supplier that would have it. It can also be ordered - very economically - from MSC or even Jantz or usaknifemakers. Those last two should also have 1095 which might be a little cheaper than the O1. Jantz and other knife supply houses usually sell steel in 12" or 18" lengths if you really don't want to spend any money. Sheffields is a great suggestion and 1084 would be ideal if you can get it.

All that being said, holding for 5 minutes after reaching non-mag if FAR too long - or it would be if you were using actual blade steel. Get to non-mag (and you MUST catch it on the way up, you can't go past it and back down) and then back in the heat for maybe 15 seconds and quench immediately in warm oil (canola would be as good as you can get until you're ready to buy a real quenching oil). Be prepared to test your first few blades very hard and then break them. Until you do that you won't really know if you got the heat treat right or not. If you did get it right on the first blade or two it would be about like winning your state lottery so you have to test and you have to break ....


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Last edited by Ray Rogers; 11-10-2016 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 11-10-2016, 07:53 PM
nflknives nflknives is offline
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thanks for the reply! very good and helpful info for this very newbie!
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Old 11-11-2016, 05:48 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Sheffield has hot rolled 1080 1/8 thick and 3/16 thick by 1.5" wide for an 18" piece the 1/8 is $5.50 and 3/16 is $7.60. It is hot rolled so you will have to grind the scale off. I would suggest an angle grinder to do that and just barely take it off using 60 grit. You never mentioned what you grind your knives with, but an angle grinder saves belts if your grinding off hot roll scale. I have seen scale on hot roll as thick as 0.30 and HRS scale eats up belts if it's thick. Though on much thicker metal than 3/16, but it will usually come about .135 thick instead of .125 for 1/8.

Sheffield is run by an elderly lady and all orders are by phone and she doesn't know what the shipping will be, but she charges you just the shipping and nothing more. Most is USPS, but for some orders she uses UPS and they charge more than the Post Office. She has hot roll O1 which is much much cheaper than the precision ground stuff, same for other steels too like D2 and even CPM S35VN cut from sheet @.154 thick by 1 1/2 by 18 long for $36 if anyone is interested. If you order 72" materials expect higher shipping costs.

Last edited by jimmontg; 11-11-2016 at 06:41 PM. Reason: correction
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2016, 09:52 AM
nflknives nflknives is offline
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i will check it out! thanks!!
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Old 11-15-2016, 06:34 AM
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Go by your local auto suspension shop. Ask what they use to make up their leaf springs. If it is the old standard 5160, ask for a few of their "drops" (cut-off waste). This way you can start with a "known" steel that is relatively easy to backyard heat-treat and will make a decent blade. Most of the time they will give you the drops or just charge you scrap price which is nothing.

What part of FL, there are several excellent makers all over the state that can help you learn good basics and a lot of other stuff as well. Don't be afraid to ask, most makers have nothing to hide in the way of secrets.

ps - if you have a decent skinny water boat and are close to the salt, I have a forging setup that travels well ..... good fishing for lessons kind of deal.


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  #14  
Old 11-15-2016, 02:40 PM
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Hunter10139 Hunter10139 is offline
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check out texasknife.com you can buy shorter steel stock so it isn't quite as much of an investment.


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Old 11-21-2016, 10:18 AM
nflknives nflknives is offline
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i am in Tallahassee and do not know of any places that make leaf springs or anything. We do have a few welding shops I have contacted but most of their stuff is construction steel
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