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Old 10-13-2009, 06:06 PM
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Default Kitchen Knife Build

Ok, I have to finish this one cause its a wedding present, so hopefully it goes better than my last attempt at a thread like this .
I've got a handful of pics so far and will try to take more as I go. They're all off my phone, maybe I'll try and borrow a camera so I can get better pictures of the finished knife.

Pic 1 is of the blade roughed out with a hacksaw. Yep, still doing it by hand.

Pic 2 is the profile cleaned up some on the grinder. 99% of that was done on the Coote 2x72" grinder. I do use a 4x36 belt sander to clean up the curves some because it has a 2 inch wheel and I don't have a small wheel set up for the belt grinder.

Pic 3, drilling holes for pins. 1/8", generally use brazing rod for pin stock. Its cheap and soft enough to peen well. Its not a perfect match if you're doing brass bolsters though

Pic 4 profiled blade. Ready for filework and grinding the bevels now.
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:32 PM
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Pic 6 Filework. The pic sucks, I apologize. You can get a rough idea of what I'm doing. This one is getting a vine pattern down the back of the blade, with the date of their wedding mixed in. I'll put my usual makers mark on the bottom edge of the handle. This was all done with a dremel with a fine cutting wheel and a set of nicholson needle files. I'll have to come up with a better picture before I try and explain it any farther than that.

Pic 7 Heat Treat
Here she is soaking at temperature. If you want to know what "temperature" is, its about that color orange hot I have a fairly precise method for heat treating in the forge that was developed through trial and error and lots of testing and breaking blades. I can give the basic procedure but each of us has to put the time in and do their own testing to come up with an exact procedure for their equipment and steel of choice.
This blade is 440C stainless. Its an air hardening alloy that also does well in an oil quench, and unlike most stainless steels, it tempers at low enough temps to be done in the kitchen oven.
I have a peice of 2 inch pipe inside the forge with a couple rods of rebar loose inside of it. The blade slides in the end of the pipe between the rebar so it will sit up on edge where you can easily grab it with tongs. Being inside the pipe makes it heat much more evenly and cuts down on scale.
The basic procedure is to heat it to temp and hold it there for five minutes, then remove it from the forge and let it air cool for 10 minutes. This is to normalize the blade and relieve stresses to prevent warping in the quench. Then it goes back into the fire and once it reaches temperature again, it gets another 5 minutes. This time it comes out and is quenched point first into used motor oil. I heat the oil until it is just getting uncomforable to stick a finger in before the quench. I know this is far from scientific but I've never felt the need to buy a thermometer just for this purpose, as long as the oil is warm and fluid you should be fine.
It should come out of the oil cool enough to hold in your bare hand. From there, I grind away the heat treat scale and test the edge with a file. I have 1 file that I use for this and only this. Its a basic nicholson file, but having it dedicated to this purpose removes one more variable. It should skate like your're trying to file a peice of glass. If so, your good to temper.
Tempering is done in 2 cycles. 1 hour in the kitchen oven at 400 degrees, take it out overnight and do the same thing the next day. You should get a nice straw color oxidation on the steel.
I've found that I get very good results using this method on 440C. If I were heat treating a different steel I would do things differently.

Pic 8
Here is the blade with the heat treat scale removed and the bevels ground to 120 grit. I should note that I ground it to about 80% before heat treat, just didn't get a picture. After heat treat I do the final grinding and then polishing. The blade is about .040" thick at the edge right now, these are non knife folks so I'm not going to make a paper thin slicer. I'm sure it will be down around .030 when I'm done finishing and after its sharpened it will shave the print off a newspaper or the hair off your chin quite easily I just don't want to go to nothing at the edge and have it chip the first time they cut something up on a ceramic plate or metal pan.

Next I will take it to about 400 grit on the grinder and then see about fitting a handle. Pics to follow.
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:41 PM
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I don't know a lot about tempering metal but the knife does look well shaped.
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:48 PM
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Can you take a couple pictures of your forge please? I'm in the planning stages of building one. I've been perusing that link Bob Warner posted in the colorblind thread and I'm leaning toward a freon tank mini forge. Partially because I don't see the need for anything larger at this point and partially because I already have a tank on hand.
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:42 PM
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Very neat and tidy work you do there. Well done.

I think I missed how you put the digits on the back of the blade. If so, I'll remove this.

Quote:
This was all done with a dremel with a fine cutting wheel and a set of nicholson needle files.
aha! I figured I had missed that part. lol
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:27 AM
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Thanks guys

Been stuck working late the last week or so but I'm about halfway through hand polishing the blade. Will try and get another set of pictures posted soon.

Whitetrash
I can definitely get more pics of the forge, it is home built and has been through a few stages of adjustments and modifications, fairly happy with it now. Anything in particular you're interested in?
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:17 PM
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Great work on the knife, Matt! I can't believe you can cut heavy steel so accurately by hand with a hacksaw!

Your pictures would be O.K. if you would do two things:
1. Get more light on the knife. Any kind of light. Flashlight, fluorescent, flaming torch. Get it bright and you camera will close it's lens down and give you a much sharper picture.

2. Get a good two hand grip on the camera phone and hold it really steady. Rest your arms if you can. Take a breath, let it half out and press the shutter slowly. Just like your shooting instructor told you in the army!
I can't wait to see how the knife turns out!

DrBob
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:47 PM
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Nice job..what kind of anvil is that> ? I think I know but I will let you tell me...
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:52 PM
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Dr. Bob, I'll see what I can do


Mike, its a harbor freight Its 110lb cast steel imported from Russia. They only carried them for a short time, all they have is cast iron junk now as far as I know. I spent a couple hours working on it with a flap wheel and long strips of sandpaper to get a decent finish on the horn and make it useable. Eventually i'll find a nice anvil, but for the time being this one is pretty dang good for 80 cents a pound versus 4 bucks a pound for a used one!
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:27 PM
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That is what I thought..ive got two and bought the last one for sixty dollars on a closeout. Darn good anvil for the money.I have several vintage anvils and have never taken the time to work my horn but its on the list. Too bad they stopped carrying them.

Ditto your comments about what they have now....a piece of rr track would be better
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