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Ed Caffrey's Workshop Talk to Ed Caffrey ... The Montana Bladesmith! Tips, tricks and more from an ABS Mastersmith.

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  #1  
Old 04-28-2003, 10:58 AM
Justin Justin is offline
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help with making a tough blade

i made a knife out of 1095 i cut and ground for hours and then i heat treated it in my barbque cause im in and apartment and i used lazzari messqute charcoal and got it to an even non-magnetic then i quenched it imediatly in used motor oil (30 weight) then i cleaned it as best i could and tempered it in my oven for 1 hour at 500 and after i cleaned it and put an edge on it i thought it was strong and holding and edge and it does compared to the wood and such but i cant get it to shave my arm and it seems like it just loses its edge so soon i know i did things all unkosher but how can i make a strong blade for survival uses that is considered tough or tougher than most of the junk that say they work but dont i wanna be able to throw it around a little and chop wood with it(i have a gut hook on it and two different blade grinds on it one for the axe part and one for a draw knife) but still be able to skin a deer or shave with it oh i used 1/4 thick bar of 1095 thanks for your help (im new)

Last edited by Justin; 04-28-2003 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 04-29-2003, 10:03 PM
Mike Sader Mike Sader is offline
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Tempering 1095

Justin,I haven't used much 1095 yet but it should temper at about the same temp. as 1084 according to Admiral Steels specs. That is 425 deg for 1 hr. I have some 1095 and am going to make some blades from it and will use these specs myself. Good Luck, Mike
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Old 04-30-2003, 12:13 PM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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too much temper???

For 1095, I personally think that 500F is too high a temper. The blade should be really tough as it is, but edge holding is going to suffer greatly because of the high tempering temp. Provided the edge isn't too thin, you should be able to re-harden and re-temper it to the above listed temp. Try tempering it for at least two hours, for a total of three tempers. It's not always necessary to do this with 1095, but it can't hurt either!


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Old 05-01-2003, 06:44 PM
Jason Cutter Jason Cutter is offline
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1095/1084

Ed know it best. I found with a bit of experimentation of O-1, L-6, 1095, 1084, that 375-385F in a household oven will allow my blades to pass all the nice edge holding and brass-rod flex testing tests that make a nice serviceable knife. Its true you can temper a bit softer (ie.- a bit tougher) at higher temperatures but unless you're making a machete, 1095 is already pretty tough stuff.

Someone else mentioned 425F as a tempering range. Thats about as high a temp as I would go. At 500F you're losing too much edge holding / hardness to get a serviceable knife, for the purposes you've mentioned - shaving, skinning but also throwing around a bit. IMHO a knife that you want to throw around needs to be tempered so soft that it wouldn't do the first 2 things really well. Its all about compromise.

Ed's suggestion to do multiple tempering cycles is a good thing. I've been experimenting and find that it does work, but my experiments have been with the 350-390F range only. The grain structure is finer, the knife I reckon gets a tiny bit harder and edge holding is increased a little bit, but the main difference is in the quality of the cut - I can't put my finger on it, but I like it. Might have to do with the refined grain size. I'm now working on cryogenic treatments for the carbon steels but my initial impressions are that that works too.

Hope that makes sense. Jason.


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Old 05-02-2003, 03:41 PM
Justin Justin is offline
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thanks

thanks jason ive got one more question though can i just heat-quench-treat or do i have to anneal & normalize also the blade is 1/4 inch thick and full tang its based on the knife that Tops makes.
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Old 05-02-2003, 04:08 PM
Jason Cutter Jason Cutter is offline
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Smile Hmmm...

Ideally, I wouldn't re-heat treat a blade I'd done too soft (temperatures being too high is not as good for the steel as temperatures being on the low side.) But it can be done and lots of guys do it. You can simply go for a hardening quench as is. That will work, but in my experience, theres a greater probability of warpage and I'm told that the grain structure may be not as fine. I've always been advised that the better way to go is to at least normalise or anneal the hardened blade once in the forge before attempting the rehardening.

In the early days (just 1 year ago) playing with my forge and making knives from files, I mucked up lots of steel. I made certain I didn't HT a blade more than 2x (if it was wrong) as I could end up with an inferior blade. But it could be well worth the experimentation. It sounds like you worked hard on that blade. I'd give it another go and if it doesn't work ... make another one ... ?

I'm no expert in this business. I've been listening closely and taking notes, so I'm just parroting what others have taught me.

Cheers. Jason.


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Old 05-16-2003, 07:10 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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I've had to "re-run" a few blades in other steels (O-1, 5160, L-6, etc.) cause I got distracted at some point along the way and something didn't take. Was succesful with all but one on the second go. As Ed said, as long as the edge geometry is not to thin it should go through OK.
Since your not happy with it now what have you got to loose? Make it a learning experience.
You may be trying to get to many diversified uses out of one blade. I wouldn't consider throwing, digging, or stabbing rocks with my skinning knife or my razor. (They last longer and work better if you don't). Carry two knives, I've never been convinced that "one size fits all" and "never needs oiling" type locgic applies to real working stuff.
Really, walk up to any knifemaker/user and see if he has just one cutting device in his immediate use zone. Not likely.
I applaude you resourcefullness to make a blade and think if you redo the HT process per Ed's advice you'll be much happier with the results.
Good luck,
CRex


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