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First Knife

Discussion in 'Working the Steel' started by tyweaver, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. tyweaver

    tyweaver New Member

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    Hey just thought I'd share my progress on my first knife. It is 1084. This is my first time really doing any type of metal work.. Or just working with my hands in general haha. I have already learned lots for my next knife and can see things I've done wrong.. One being the general lack of symmetry. Also, the front hole for the pin seems to be too far forward so I think I'll be reevaluating that tomorrow and drilling a new one. I was getting a little too excited to get it ready for heat treatment.

    Feedback welcome, but go easy on me ;). Sorry for the image links, next time I'll upload picture properly.. Just in a rush to post this before bed.

    http://imgur.com/a/Hi0Wa
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2017
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  2. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    The from my hole looks fine on the phone screen.

    Once you get a couple under your belt the lines between the bevel and flat portion of the blade will be more distinctive. Sometimes a old fashion file and go slow will crisp up the lines.
     
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  3. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Looks good so far. Overall the shape is appealing and the pin holes look okay. A couple of suggestions.

    Bring the primary bevel down to a uniform thickness of about 0.05" (dime thickness). The thickness at the plunge line is close already. Continue that thickness to the tip. Go slow making lots of light passes and manage the pressure and speed to make a nice line: checking symmetry as you go. You're trying to develop muscle memory and lots of passes is good. We tend to spend more time at the plunge line, so less pressure/time there and more as you move toward the tip.

    Maybe drill some additional holes in the tang to reduce the weight there. This will give better balance in the finished knife. How many will be up to how it feels in the hand. Of course keep the holes away from the edges and where the scale fronts will be.

    I'd say you are doing great for your first knife! Looking forward to seeing how it comes together.

    Dan
     
  4. tyweaver

    tyweaver New Member

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    Hmm thanks for that, I definitely see what you mean by needing to bring down the overall bevel. Right on the bevel almost looks curved down to the plunge line rather than a straight edge. And alright I'll drill a few more holes in the tang as well.

    Thanks for the feedback, it's greatly appreciated!
     
  5. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    I'll echo what Dan said. That is a really good first knife. If you were planning to add a bolster, you might want to move the front pin hole back. Otherwise, it's fine where it is.

    That curved look to the bevel is just about learning to apply even pressure as you grind or file. That comes with time.
     
  6. Chris Roy

    Chris Roy Active Member

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    Looking good man. Like Dan said i'd bring the bevel to a uniform thickness before heat treat.
     
  7. tyweaver

    tyweaver New Member

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    Thanks guys, I really appreciate the feedback. I started with hand tools and got about 50% of the bezel done when I realized I would enjoy the process alot more if I had some half decent tools. I purchased a grizzly 1"x30" and a few different grits. It has sped up the process immensely. I realize it's not exactly the ideal tool, but I figured it would get me started.
     
  8. tyweaver

    tyweaver New Member

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    Update! Did a bit more grinding tonight, looks a bit better. Not real sure how much more I should take off. I also drilled a couple more holes in the tang, going to drill more but I need a new drill bit hah.

    http://imgur.com/apVDF9
     
  9. Grizz Axxemann

    Grizz Axxemann Active Member

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    It still looks like there is a slight bulge near the tip in the bottom pic... but it looks good!


    Don't take my commentary as gospel, I still have yet to make sparks fly. It's one of the joys of being an apartment dweller.
     
  10. LeclairKnives

    LeclairKnives Active Member

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    Looking good! If it were me I would make a pass or two along the spine to make the point more pointy, but that's just my opinion.
     
  11. tyweaver

    tyweaver New Member

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    Okay! One concern I have is making the blade too thin near the tip before heat treatment. I heard it's better to leave it a tad beefier in case you need to correct any warping issues. I obviously have no idea if that's a valid concern or not, or if it's still a little too beefy.. Id appreciate some input there :)
     
  12. LeclairKnives

    LeclairKnives Active Member

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    The cutting edge should be left about the thickness of a dime and that should help to avoid warping
     
  13. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    I've had a few blades warp and my conclusion is thicker and evener at quench time is better. Generally, 50 thousandth (thickness of a dime) is going to give enough mass to prevent the cutting edge from looking like a piece of bacon after quenching. Stresses in the steel can manifest as curving and warping.

    Some ways to reduce these stresses are:
    • Grind evenly. One pass on one side, one pass on the opposite side.
    • Don't add any additional stress. Keep the steel cool when grinding. Dip in water etc. Don't let it get too hot or "blue" it. Don't pound on the steel to straighten it. If you need to, some gentle taps with a hammer should suffice.
    • Normalize a few times before quench. That is taking the steel to critical temperature and letting it "air cool" to black. This get the steel "ready" for the rapid cooling of the quench.
    • Conduct two or three normalizing cycles, then heat to critical temperature one last time before quench.
    Cross your fingers, toes (and eyes). If you don't hear any snaps, crackles or pops, you're probably good.

    You're going to have to temper the blade in the oven to slightly reduce the hardness. Have it (toaster oven) preheated at temperature and move quickly to get the blade into the first tempering cycle. The temperature will be determined by the hardness/toughness you want in the steel. Higher tempering temperature make the steel tougher and more "springy." Lower temps keeps the steel harder and more brittle. Remember, the steel is under incredible internal stress after quench and tempering relieves some of this stress.

    After the heat treatment you still need to finish the grind. The primary grind goes from the 50 thou, down to 15 or 20 thou. You need to be aware that any heat generated in grinding now can kill the temper, that is taking your hardness out. The thinner the steel gets the easier it is to kill the temper. Luckily, water is very good at reducing the heat build up in steel. Back on the grinder with a 120 grit and dunk the blade every pass or two. Use your bare hands and keep your thumb on the back of the blade. When you cannot keep your thumb on the blade as your grinding, it's getting too hot. Dunk. The tip of the knife has little mass and cannot carry the heat away. Go very gently there and dunk right away.

    Oh, By the way... You have a grinder, you can sharpen your drill bits. IMHO that's a fundamental skill that every knifemaker/machinist/mechanic/carpenter should know. Google it and be impressed how easy it is. Once you get it down you'll use the same bits until they are stubby.

    Good luck!

    Dan
     
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  14. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    Not the best picture but it should give you some comfort in how thin the tip can be and not warp with AISI 1084. Other steels that are fussier with their heat treatment you may want to go a little thicker.
    If this was a steel prone to cracking then this grind would be a good example of what a bunch of stress risers are that could lead to failure.

    This knife was 99% done when I tossed it in the furnace and no warping occurred in the blade but I also make sure that grinding on either side is identical as possible.

    One important aspect is to keep the volume of steel on either side of center the same since a symmetrical shape is unlikely to warp as much if at all. Personally if I have any concern at all I go over the grinds with a single cut file and make sure all the surfaces are flat, concave grinds would be similar in that you want the bevel essentially flat in the lengthwise direction.

    and I really need to take another picture after the bluing was finished.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. tyweaver

    tyweaver New Member

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    Alright I'll take a few more passes along the spine and near the tip. Thanks for all that information Dan, and beautiful knife John! This knife is definitely lacking symmetry, I'll definitely be paying alot closer attention to that with my next knife
     
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  16. bobbybirds

    bobbybirds Best New Maker

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    Nice stuff man! The more experienced gents around here are very generous with their info and experience which is why this is such a great forum to hang out in. For newbs like us they are a godsend! Great work on your first knife!
     
  17. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    The experience and skill set here is impressive every time a awesome knife gets posted I look at my 4 months experience and think I have a long way to go and get ideas for the next knife or things to improve on.
     

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