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Recycling Ideas For Flat Blade Stock

Discussion in 'Steel, Hardware, & Handle Material' started by kmcghee, Oct 11, 2021.

  1. kmcghee

    kmcghee New Member

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    Hi, metalwork teacher here, I have been permitted for a few years now to make knives in class.

    I was using an old bandsaw blade from a closed down sawmill for all my knives, I don't know what it was, but it was easy to work with and heat treat. I have run out and that source has dried up.

    My budget is pretty low, so buying blade stock is expensive and I see quantities are limited in many places. I am looking for ideas on where I might be able to get flat stock to recycle into blades.

    I have used chainsaw bars before but they make a pretty thick knife and I only have two belt grinders so I can't tie them up for long periods having students grind them thinner. My blade smith unit has always been simple, minimalist to give them a taste of that artform. I don't really have the ability for them to forge them out of bearings and that kind of thing either. and circular saw blades are pretty thin.

    Any suggestions on things out there in this world that come in or around 1/8"-3/16" in flat form I could recycle into knives?
     
  2. Joelsund

    Joelsund Active Member

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    The best option in my opinion would be old files. The older typically the better as there's less likelihood they could be crappy case hardened steel and are usually made from something similar to 1095.
    Car leaf springs are also an option you might be able to get from a scrapyard. You want them to be 5160, and a lot are, although not always. It's never something I've looked into so I'm not sure how likely they are to be 5160.
     
  3. boatbuilder

    boatbuilder New Member

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    I would look for large bandsaw blades from large wood mills. The blades are usually 15n20 and very easy to harden. They are not thick blades but make great paring and small hunting knives. Not lots of grinding either.
     
  4. Griff

    Griff Active Member

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    @kmcghee

    I am not sure if the ‘forge,’ crowd will agree with me, but mystery or recycled steel in my opinion is folly, made more popular by a certain TV show.

    Just a few years ago we had maybe two choices up here in Canada for steel between your local Metal Supermarkets and Rob at knifemaker.ca

    Now we are spoilt for choice. For instance Maritime Knife Supply has

    1084 1/8 x 2” x 4ft is $48 bucks

    1075 3/16 x 1.5” x. 5ft bar is only $44

    I think you’d spend $50 in gas rounding up scrap. Just my 2 cents (no sense lol)

    :beer: Griff
     
    boatbuilder likes this.
  5. kmcghee

    kmcghee New Member

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    Thanks, I am out of files unfortunately. I can get all the leaf springs I want from the local auto place, and hell you should see the 1" and 2" thick springs I can get from the local logging company from their fat trucks. But I want to try and find a cheap source for intro knife making for beginners that require less work and commitment than leaf springs require.
     
  6. kmcghee

    kmcghee New Member

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    this is what I have been using but the mill shut down and the blades are no longer available.
     
  7. kmcghee

    kmcghee New Member

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    I agree with you on all accounts but I don't really have the budget for buying material, its the rock and the hard place I get put in, create an engaging program, but don't spend anything on it.
     
  8. boatbuilder

    boatbuilder New Member

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    Not sure where you live but I’d google to find the next nearest mill. They literally throw tons of these blades away. When I was making Damascus I had a friend that frequented these type mills and brought me hundreds and hundreds of pounds.
    Just need to research new mill source and I’m sure you will get what you need. where are you located?
    Jim
     
  9. boatbuilder

    boatbuilder New Member

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    I agree totally and like to source known steel. I’ve been buying steel from the USA for 20+ years. Admiral and New Jersey Steel Baron have been great places to buy from. Much cheaper as well.
    I do understand that without much of a budget you won’t be buying much great knife steel with known properties. That’s why I recommend large bandsaw blades used at large wood mills. Most of this steal is 15n20 from Uddleholm. I’ve used hundreds of pounds of it. Mostly for Damascus and some for filleting knives, paring knives and small hunters.
    The mills usually give it away (I built and gave knives to the fellows that gave me the steel over the years). Just need to find the mills closest to you
    Jim.
     
  10. kmcghee

    kmcghee New Member

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    The closest mill is about 500 km away, and I know they give their blades to the surrounding schools and I do not like tapping into another schools resource so that's a no go for me sadly.
     
  11. boatbuilder

    boatbuilder New Member

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    Where are you located?
     
  12. boatbuilder

    boatbuilder New Member

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    The mills I got my blades from had 1000's of pounds of blades. These blades were 8"- 9" wide by 30'+ long. They even sheared it into 4' lengths so it was easy to man handle. I don't think schools would be able to use that much steel for kn life making. I really don't think you would be limiting the other schools of the supply they require.
     
  13. Joelsund

    Joelsund Active Member

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    I'm with Griff. Buying actually known material will always be better. Maybe reach out to one of the suppliers and see if they can get you a deal. A 1 foot by 2-inch bar could probably fit 6 little puukko knives or something similar.

    thompsonmetals.ca might be a good one to reach out to since they seem to offer more in the bulk department.

    Also the following:

    Knifemakerdirect.ca

    Maritimeknifesupply.ca

    Knifemaker.ca
     
  14. boatbuilder

    boatbuilder New Member

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    I agree that buying known steel is the best. However this fellow is telling us that there is no budget for buying new knife steel. If we could put our heads together and once we know where he is located and then maybe one of us could possibly source the bandsaw blades or other similar material that he’s looking for. I think it’s great that he’s able to teach young fellows how to build a knife in school.
     

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