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allessence
08-01-2017, 06:17 PM
Sorry I haven't been around much..

Been super busy with farrier work and getting all the blacksmithing stuff setup has taken up even more time..

I had a section of buggy tire about 2ft long.. I was out in the trailer and decided it was knife making time..

I welded it into a nice billet and when finished just cooled it off in the water tank.. It hardened solid up.. Oh, looky a new knife..

Anyhow I then folded and welded it a few more times to get a better more cohesive mass as all the voids from holes and rust and such had to be worked out of hit.. It ended up with 32 layers.. At this point I welded in a few sections of bandsaw blade to add contrast to the layers..

I then cut this in half and welded each half onto the side of a leaf spring..

One side came out mint.. The other side was lacking as much detail.. Overall it was a success.. Not bad for my first welded knife in many years..

allessence
08-01-2017, 06:21 PM
clean up and ready for hardening..

Hardened, straightened and cleaned..

25% commercial White vinegar etch..

allessence
08-01-2017, 06:25 PM
And just to make sure I was getting all the contrast I could out of the blade (IE character). I put it into some 34% Hydrochrolic acid.. I left it in for 10minutes..

The HA was to strong.. It ate the wagon part like it was ice cream..

It actually ate so much of the wagon portion I might need to stick it back into the vinegar to get any of the color back.. :(

Matt Shade
08-01-2017, 07:29 PM
Damascus is one thing with knives I have never tried. I like the blade shape, and the pattern is interesting. Looking forward to seeing how you finish it.
Any plans on the handle? How thick is it? Like an old school butcher knife, or is it thicker like a camp knife?

I'm hoping to get back to some hammering when/if the horse show season slows down.

allessence
08-01-2017, 08:08 PM
Damascus is one thing with knives I have never tried. I like the blade shape, and the pattern is interesting. Looking forward to seeing how you finish it.
Any plans on the handle? How thick is it? Like an old school butcher knife, or is it thicker like a camp knife?

I'm hoping to get back to some hammering when/if the horse show season slows down.

Matt, I did it the hard way. I enjoy the difficulty of using old wagon parts and such and usually don't even clean them (remove rust).. Ideally starting with new or very clean material really is the best..

I have a tendency towards older blade shapes.. Just built in almost naturally.. Thanks

It's nearly 3/16" thick at the spine.. It's a combination hunter/camp knife.. I was thinking cherry or walnut for the handle though I still have some Bacote.. it will have a guard and pommel..

I'm going to be filming "How to make a knife in 3hrs" maybe tomorrow if I have time.. I've got 9 or 10 horses to trim tomorrow over the stretch 4hrs and nearly 100miles.. I'll be pretty useless when I get home for at least 2 hrs..

If you want to get in hammer shape, pounding out damascus by hand will get you there quickly.. :)

which did you like better, the vinegar or the HA etch?

Matt Shade
08-01-2017, 10:08 PM
Someday I will try damascus. I have read a lot, and watched a lot of videos on it but haven't committed to it yet. I need to get a better anvil stand built and get a few other things together to make a serious attempt. I have the benefit of never having decided which hand I prefer to swing the hammer with, so I can cheat and switch hands when I get tired :D

I can't decide on the etch. I generally like a lot of contrast, like 15n20 gives where you have some brighter layers. The vinegar etch gives that effect more, but I think the HCL etch gave a little better contrast even though it's dark on dark.

Sounds like you have a full day tomorrow. Day jobs always get in the way! We did 6 days in PA at an AQHA show, Came home for a 3 day summer camp, moved into the county fair with 19 horses (and their attached teenage girls) for 8 days, hauled home on sunday morning, and moved into the state fair with 7 horses on monday morning, then moved out wednesday night at 10pm. I've been trying to catch up on leather orders and work at home ever since. One of these days I'll have time to post a project, for now I'm glad some of you guys are :cool:

weldor2005
08-02-2017, 06:09 AM
Blade looks great.

Most of what I've seen when etching though is a flouric acid and not hydrocloric. But I don't know. I thought both looked good. I agree with Matt in using a nickel content steel for the bright contrast, but you used what you had on a whim, and it worked out.

Thanks for sharing.

Samcord
08-02-2017, 08:17 AM
I keep watching Forged in Fire thinking that I might learn something about knife making, or that I might see someone from SFT as a contestant. The $10,000 prize doesn't seem like enough.

On a side note, I was very sad to hear if the passing of Preston Roberts.

allessence
08-02-2017, 11:08 AM
Someday I will try damascus. I have read a lot, and watched a lot of videos on it but haven't committed to it yet. I need to get a better anvil stand built and get a few other things together to make a serious attempt. I have the benefit of never having decided which hand I prefer to swing the hammer with, so I can cheat and switch hands when I get tired :D

I can't decide on the etch. I generally like a lot of contrast, like 15n20 gives where you have some brighter layers. The vinegar etch gives that effect more, but I think the HCL etch gave a little better contrast even though it's dark on dark.

Sounds like you have a full day tomorrow. Day jobs always get in the way! We did 6 days in PA at an AQHA show, Came home for a 3 day summer camp, moved into the county fair with 19 horses (and their attached teenage girls) for 8 days, hauled home on sunday morning, and moved into the state fair with 7 horses on monday morning, then moved out wednesday night at 10pm. I've been trying to catch up on leather orders and work at home ever since. One of these days I'll have time to post a project, for now I'm glad some of you guys are :cool:

FYI.. Bandsaw blade stock is 15N20.. or I should say the stuff I am using is.. I have commercial blade stock and the highspeed steel stuff is all 15n20..

If you look at the blade you can see where the 15n20 is the brighter contrast and in the stronger acid it is what is left standing tall..

Wow, I just thought you guys had a few horses but it sounds more like a boarding stable/show barn.. That is great if you can make a go of it.. It's a lot of work.. :)

Blade looks great.

Most of what I've seen when etching though is a flouric acid and not hydrocloric. But I don't know. I thought both looked good. I agree with Matt in using a nickel content steel for the bright contrast, but you used what you had on a whim, and it worked out.

Thanks for sharing.

Thanks.. and the blade has 15n20 in it.. 6 pieces actually.. :)

I keep watching Forged in Fire thinking that I might learn something about knife making, or that I might see someone from SFT as a contestant. The $10,000 prize doesn't seem like enough.

On a side note, I was very sad to hear if the passing of Preston Roberts.

Samcord, if you are looking to learn something from FIF.. Give it up.. Popular knife styles can be learned, mistakes can be learned but without a working knowledge of the fundementals there are just way to many gaps for newer smiths to fill in..

Thanks for sharing about Preston.. The show won't be the same without him.. You posting his passing lead me to his knife page.. He did some really nice work.. To bad they didn't cover more of his work on the show..

FYI.. A member here contacted FIF about me.. I'm not sure I am doing the show but tomorrow is my skype interview.. It's a 2 week commitment so we'll just have to see what happens..

Matt Shade
08-02-2017, 05:18 PM
When you said bandsaw steel I was assuming "sawmill bandsaw" which are commonly L6. I didn't think it had any nickel, but I just looked it up and it is pretty close to 15n20 in composition.

Have you ever tried etching in ferric chloride? That seems to be a popular etch for damascus, I wonder if it reacts to the nickel differently?

allessence
08-02-2017, 05:33 PM
When you said bandsaw steel I was assuming "sawmill bandsaw" which are commonly L6. I didn't think it had any nickel, but I just looked it up and it is pretty close to 15n20 in composition.

Have you ever tried etching in ferric chloride? That seems to be a popular etch for damascus, I wonder if it reacts to the nickel differently?

Probably the largest difference with any nickel or finished damascus is the level of polish.. I stopped at 180 grit.. While you can't see it in the pictures it actually reflecs light of the nickle part.. If you enlarge the vinegar pictures you can see it even more clearly..

The nickle blades have a lot of flex cycles while maintaining strength..

I have several different sizes as i can get them from my metal supplier who just throws the bands away once they are used up..

I just talked with an engineer friend who makes bandsaw sharpening equipment for Simmons and he said at some point we can go over and grab some of the scrap which are like 20ft sections that get fed into the machine before the teeth are cut and it just goes to scrap.. Some of it is as wide as 3"X 0.062..

allessence
08-20-2017, 09:46 AM
Sorry it's been awhile, ferric chloride I believe has become more popular because of the ease in getting it and it's been promoted or the information has been networked so much..

A slower acid will show more as to variation in the overall Damascus bundle , because nickle is acid resistant all the other layers can be chewed out in a heart beat.. that's what happened when I went from the 25% vinegar to the 34% hydrochloric.. the hydro ate all the vintage high carbon wagon tire where the vinegar left it just a darker more robust looking pattern... the stronger acid basically washed out the full contrast and left the nickle intact. .

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allessence
08-22-2017, 05:28 PM
Today I made the guard out of some wrought iron and it was both inset (punched for ricasso area) and then punched and drifted, then cleaned up with a cape chisel to get the blade to inset properly..

Tomorrow I will make a scabbard chisel the correct width so I can finish the inlay of the handle.. I plan also on making some copper hardware and a wrought iron butt cap..

I would have prefered a darker wood but the copper should help with color..

digger doug
08-22-2017, 07:34 PM
I just talked with an engineer friend who makes bandsaw sharpening equipment for Simmons and he said at some point we can go over and grab some of the scrap which are like 20ft sections that get fed into the machine before the teeth are cut and it just goes to scrap.. Some of it is as wide as 3"X 0.062..

Ask them when they are going to make some 1 1/2" wide wood blades for the
portable bandsaw mills, but with teeth on both sides.

I have a design in my head to use the double sided blade, but can't find it
that small.

allessence
08-22-2017, 07:43 PM
Ask them when they are going to make some 1 1/2" wide wood blades for the
portable bandsaw mills, but with teeth on both sides.

I have a design in my head to use the double sided blade, but can't find it
that small.

Well that sounds interesting?? Double sided blades sharpened on both sides? Cutting in both directions?

Sadly I won't have say on anything there.. :) I"ll be lucky enough to just get a few pieces of scrap.. ;)

digger doug
08-22-2017, 08:10 PM
Well that sounds interesting?? Double sided blades sharpened on both sides? Cutting in both directions?

Sadly I won't have say on anything there.. :) I"ll be lucky enough to just get a few pieces of scrap.. ;)

Yes, on the big ones like 14" wide and 50' long. They cut on the forward
as well as the return stroke.
Smallest I can find is 6" wide. Just ask them please if one is available
or "in the pipeline".

If I can build a portable bandsaw rig using the above mentioned 1 1/2" wide
blades, it would be a game changer.

allessence
08-22-2017, 09:00 PM
Yes, on the big ones like 14" wide and 50' long. They cut on the forward
as well as the return stroke.
Smallest I can find is 6" wide. Just ask them please if one is available
or "in the pipeline".

If I can build a portable bandsaw rig using the above mentioned 1 1/2" wide
blades, it would be a game changer.

My engineer friend makes the sharpening machines for them so maybe he can find out.. I'll post back when I get an answer..

AJinNZ
08-23-2017, 04:58 AM
I like the steel and the 3rd pic from your last post shows an interesting etc/pattern.

I see what you mean about the iron getting eaten away but I think the effect is pretty cool.
Looking forward to seeing the completed knife.

LW Hiway
08-23-2017, 03:37 PM
Most competent work Jen. Nice form and finishing.

I've always been a fan of using bits of brass and even copper when putting knives together as it jumps out at the eye on the finished product.

Over the years of doing a bit of traveling, I always made a point of visiting any type of museum found to have antique knives etc made with minimum flare. Only those of being a functional over beauty look were of interest to me and they are what I captured in picture.

I prefer the functional look over slick 10 to one, but that may just be me.

allessence
08-23-2017, 05:58 PM
I like the steel and the 3rd pic from your last post shows an interesting etc/pattern.

I see what you mean about the iron getting eaten away but I think the effect is pretty cool.
Looking forward to seeing the completed knife.

Thanks AJ Looking forwards to getting it done also..

Most competent work Jen. Nice form and finishing.

I've always been a fan of using bits of brass and even copper when putting knives together as it jumps out at the eye on the finished product.

Over the years of doing a bit of traveling, I always made a point of visiting any type of museum found to have antique knives etc made with minimum flare. Only those of being a functional over beauty look were of interest to me and they are what I captured in picture.

I prefer the functional look over slick 10 to one, but that may just be me.

Its funny you mention function vs flair. Nearly all the museums like the flair vs function so finding examples of any daily used items is nearly impossible unless it's a rare example or the workmenship is crazy good.. IE flair..

Personally I like to have just enough of a "What" factor.. Or how come..

not sure if you guys noticed but there is something which on each knife is just a little different be it shape, construction, color, bolsters, tips. pins. etc, etc.. Maybe comes from my quirky thinking.. :)

Nothing really sticks out unless you know what you are looking for..

I wasn't able to get out to the trailer to do anything today.. Was one of those non starter days.. Ok, I did package and mail out the other knife..

allessence
08-24-2017, 06:56 PM
Today I was able to get the chisel made out of the outer race of a tapered roller bearing. Timken made in USA 362A from a Dana 60 front.. It's not quite 3/16 wide..

It was then easy to get the handle fitted and shaped.. I still need to make the butt cap or pommel.. Also still kicking the idea of copper caps but not sure as the design of the handle won't really accept the front cap..

AJinNZ
08-26-2017, 06:25 AM
That chisel......I assume you just straightened out that outer race and then hammered into a chisel. How did you temper it?

Never thought to use a bearing race for tools. Must have a go at that. I scored some really big suckers from the scrap when at the factory.........

allessence
08-26-2017, 09:06 AM
That chisel......I assume you just straightened out that outer race and then hammered into a chisel. How did you temper it?

Never thought to use a bearing race for tools. Must have a go at that. I scored some really big suckers from the scrap when at the factory.........



Pretty much.. Cut it, straighten it, forge it down.. 52100 can be a tough steel to forge as the forge temperature is pretty important..

I prefer to harden in water but because of the thinness of chisel it was hardened in Linseed oil..

For this type of chisel the back part is completely flat and has rounded edges..

For tempering.. I heat up a 3/4-1" bar in the forge to orange and once the chisel is polished I lay it on paying attention to keep the colors where I want them.. Also because of the thinness I went to a dark bronze/peacock temper color..

All the pieces of the bearing are good steel. Even the spacers can be made from high carbon steels..

Whitetrash
08-26-2017, 05:48 PM
I've been following your different threads/slash projects pretty closely even though I haven't commented much. You continue to churn out such high quality work :cool: I know I watched the video of you doing the spoon where you used something you had laying around to form the bowl of the spoon. I figure if I tried that I would be picking that bearing race or whatever it was off the ground 25 times or so. The forged in fire deal is way cool. You should kick ass and take names on that show.

allessence
08-26-2017, 07:53 PM
I've been following your different threads/slash projects pretty closely even though I haven't commented much. You continue to churn out such high quality work :cool: I know I watched the video of you doing the spoon where you used something you had laying around to form the bowl of the spoon. I figure if I tried that I would be picking that bearing race or whatever it was off the ground 25 times or so. The forged in fire deal is way cool. You should kick ass and take names on that show.

Thanks, I appreciate the kind comments..

Things are slowly coming back. I had originally thought I could be back up to speed in about a year, but now seeing the reality it's gonna be maybe another year.. Taking off those 13 or so years really put my mind to rest when it comes to moving metal and where things were natural, now i have to think of everything and then after the fact I remember the correct way to do it.. With that being said, I have been experiencing moments of clarity and it offers me more inspiration..

Forged in fire we'll see.. the legal stuff has me in a tizzy, and With my farrier work its increased both in customers and amount of work (more horses per stop)so it's become a 6 days a week business.. It's hard to keep everyone organized and to take off 2 weeks to do the show, would snow ball and make it impossible to get caught up,

and I planned on the blacksmithing work to maybe become a part time gig in the future.. Turned 49 this year and while I am good at trimming and shoeing the recovery time after the fact is longer.. I did 11 horses over 159miles and by the time I got home I was stiffened up and it took about 3hrs to recover to where I felt decent.. Body feels good, just tired..

So, we'll have to see.. Thanks again for the support..

greywynd
08-26-2017, 09:44 PM
I used to trim our horses, and at 30-35 if I did 3-4 in a day I was stiffened up for another day.

My legs, arms, back, and the rest of my body can truly appreciate what sort of physical demands farrier work puts on a person.

Time for a new signature line!!

allessence
08-27-2017, 06:26 AM
I used to trim our horses, and at 30-35 if I did 3-4 in a day I was stiffened up for another day.

My legs, arms, back, and the rest of my body can truly appreciate what sort of physical demands farrier work puts on a person.

Time for a new signature line!!


" Time for a new signature line!!!" ????

Old and stiff!!!

it goes from 0 to 150 in seconds.. I'm always amazed at how much energy or physical stamina it really takes. Surprisingly my body has never felt better and getting back into the blacksmithng has made my shoulders and elbows feel great as well..

We'll see how many more years I have at it.. Been 29 years this year..

allessence
09-01-2017, 07:16 PM
I've been working on this knife slowly.. The pommel was made from a 3/4" wrought iron bar.. I had to originally forge weld back the end as it was tapered..

I then had to upset the end to over 2" to get a boss with enough meat to forge this out.. Nearly 90% of the chisel work was done hot..

if you look at the guard you can see it has a nice pattern in it as it was wrought iron also..

I think I over worked the pommel wrought iron and the pattern is just about washed out.. Probably because it was refined to much and nearly all the slag was worked out of it..

I still have to make the nut and finish it up..

With the pommel the knife is completely balanced right behind the guard..

allessence
09-01-2017, 07:20 PM
Here are some starting out pictures..

allessence
09-10-2017, 06:57 AM
Yesterday I did a demo at one of the local one day Fairs..

I was able to get the nut finished and fitted.. (I'll have to make the nostils deeper so I can get a wrench on it to loosen or tighten the nut..

Overall not to bad.. It's nice and sharp now.. I'll give it one more cleaning and call it finished..

toprecycler
09-10-2017, 02:30 PM
I can't really say I like skulls, but that is an amazing piece. Very nice. I am amazed at the details you put into that knife. Great job Jennifer.


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Whitetrash
09-10-2017, 03:47 PM
I really like Damascus knives :cool: I remember reading about a guy that makes Damascus Chef knives for big $$$ but, I don't remember his name.

allessence
09-10-2017, 04:35 PM
I can't really say I like skulls, but that is an amazing piece. Very nice. I am amazed at the details you put into that knife. Great job Jennifer.


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Thanks Brian.. Little overkill with details but it was fun.. :) I Wanted to have a large enough pommel to balance the knife just behind the guard but also wanted to the knife be a curiosity..

I really like Damascus knives :cool: I remember reading about a guy that makes Damascus Chef knives for big $$$ but, I don't remember his name.

I think I know the guy your talking about and yes he does.. When you are setup for production work the process becomes pretty quick.. A lot of the guys will have their handle blanks processed at factories so the only thing left is to fit it, pin it and then do the final coating of the finish..

I have a direction in mind that I would like to go but we will see how things pan out.. There really is no market in Hardware anymore and while the hourly rate has gone up having a market to sell to becomes a really big attraction.. I mean if there is no market to sell the stuff than eventually it just takes up room..

One thing I did find while looking at others hardware like latches and hinges is there is very little variation even if made states apart.. this to me means they are all copying each other..

That is certainly not me.. But then again the blacksmithing is supposed to be for fun as the farrier work has exploded into a juggernaut.. Would be nice to have at least one day off a week.. :)

LW Hiway
09-18-2017, 06:55 AM
Friday I was involved with a conversation with a local trucker here in Lake Chuck and asked him if he had any old leaf spring sets or broken pieces he might have laying around.

He spoke with a co-worker, they have about 10 trucks and folk that work in the shop, co-worker walked out of the shop and we had more coffee.

Lots of noise around that shop so we were in the office to be able to hear one another.

As I got ready to leave he told me he had placed a few springs in the back of my little truck.

Imagine my surprise when I found two complete sets still together and a load of loose springs in the mix.

I had to walk back inside to tell him thanks for the booty.:D

Poor little S-10 had an ass load of steel while driving out to the farm.

allessence
09-18-2017, 07:30 AM
Friday I was involved with a conversation with a local trucker here in Lake Chuck and asked him if he had any old leaf spring sets or broken pieces he might have laying around.

He spoke with a co-worker, they have about 10 trucks and folk that work in the shop, co-worker walked out of the shop and we had more coffee.

Lots of noise around that shop so we were in the office to be able to hear one another.

As I got ready to leave he told me he had placed a few springs in the back of my little truck.

Imagine my surprise when I found two complete sets still together and a load of loose springs in the mix.

I had to walk back inside to tell him thanks for the booty.:D

Poor little S-10 had an ass load of steel while driving out to the farm.


That is awesome.. Great find.. most those springs are huge compared to pickup truck springs, good thing you have a power hammer.

Last year or the year before I had seen a Mack and the springs must have been 3/4" thick and 4" wide.. with out a power hammer it would just be arm abuse for very little return..

LW Hiway
09-19-2017, 02:59 AM
Jen, a plasma cutter is your friend when making things with these springs, when cut to size and welded over, folding gets much easier.

If I had a 1000 or 500 lb hammer I'm sure things would be much easier. ;)

I'd love to have a more useful digital camera with the dvr attachment for recording, but then I'd have to edit which would be no feat I could as yet make useful.

Just the fact of my tipping/edging shredder blades would be a great help for other Smiths learning the craft, but for now................... the hammer blows only echo around the neighborhood in the dark of night letting neighbors know that "he's up to something again".

I so need to add a separate off shed 20'x20' with a dirt floor mostly to put the forges, hammers etc into. I have to be so careful with exposed wood framing in the shop working steel. I can see an outside wall and the inside wall covered with tin to reduce that hazard with only enough concrete pads for the hammers and other tooling and work table.