For Ray Richards + straightening cow horn for handle material

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Ray,are you quenching in oil or brine? Also, when I mixed up the satinite, I made sort of a milk shake thickness and began to paint it on and build it up on the blade. However of course it's wet, so, having the forge hot, I just ran the blade in and out a few times till I could see it drying out and removed the blade quickly; not even hand hot really. The satinite began to sort of bubble up and I had to re-do a few areas. Is that how you go about it? I believe you said you actually leave the area below the hammon line fee of satinite and you heat up and quench the whole blade yes?

On cow horn.... somewhere I heard you could straighten out cow horn (sliced of course into halfs or thirds lengthwise) by heating it up in the oven and sandwiching it between two steel plates. True?? Clamping down a little at a time till they're flat then left in the plates to cool??

regards, mitch
 
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Until Ray gets here.....Cow horn is very flexible when heated. I have used it to make sheaths like Kydex. The normal process is to put in almost boiling water until flexible and press it into whatever shape you want. The one problem is that it retains some memory and may curl when it dries. If you need it to remain flat without any stress holders (pins, screws, etc) heat it in oil. That seems to destroy the memory. Vegetable oil or Crisco work well for that.
 
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If we heat it up in oil, won't it leach oil after ther fact? How hot should I have the oil? Wouldn't it fail to glue up on a tang? Or are we just to pin it? What if it's boiled in water along with some vinegar? I know chicken bones soaked in vinegar become really flexable.

questions, questions....

regards, mitch
 
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You may even discover a new snack food.....like pork skins....

Like my first weatherproof sheath. Bruce Evans had a tutorial on making and treating them. He said put in the mix until the bubbles stopped or something like that.

Well.....I mixed up the mink oil and beeswax, Etc and heated it. When it smoked as Bruce described, I threw the sheath in and watched the bubbles. When I pulled it out, it was deep fat fried and looked like a pork rind :barf:

Bruce later changed his wording for the mentally challenged!

There isn't much that can be done to straighten antler. It's an entirely different material. It's closer to bone. Cow horn is more like hair.
 
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Wouldn't it fail to glue up on a tang?
Not really Mitch. It's like using oily wood like Rosewood. Just wipe it off with Acetone prior to glueing.
 
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just ym two cents here. try "rutland furnace cement" its some really nice stuff its the consistency of JB weld. goes on smooth and you can use it is soon as it goes on. just stick it in the forge and it puffs up and dries on without running. you can cake it on pretty thick too. if you cn find the link to the ashokan seminar pictures that gary graley posted you can see pictures of katanas and wakizashis that were coated this way, and you'll also see a few pictures of the coated blades prior to HT. good luck
 
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There isn't much that can be done to straighten antler. It's an entirely different material.
Well all depends....(the pictures are no longer available but you should be able to figure out how from the text.
Picture 1, page 1, shows the straightening tool which is a vise with 2x6 redwood jaw liners.
They are held in place by duct taping deck screws that have been screwed into the 2x6s to the vise jaws. This allows you to move the jaws in and out and not have the 2x6s fall off. The screws and tape are not structural, the pressure applied to the antler holds the wood in place as the straightening process occurs.

Picture 2, page 1, shows antler tine lightly clamped in vise for a trial fit. This is very important because of the time element involved in the straightening process. Make sure that when the tine is placed in the clamp and lightly tightened it doesnt just flop over, if it does you will have to put the tine back into the hot water and start over when you actually do the straightening. Do a few trial runs so that it is automatic and smooth, insert tine with one hand while at the same time you tighten the vise. Once you feel confident that you can put the tine between the boards and tighten the jaws without the tine flopping over or falling out leave the vise jaws set at the proper spacing to rapidly accept the tine and go put the tine in a pot of boiling water. Use a big pot, 6 quarts or so is what I use, that way the water doesnt cool off while I am transporting the pot with the tine in it to the vise. For a piece of anler the size shown let it boil for about 20 minutes then take the pot with the tine in it along with the water to the vise. Retrieve the tine from the boiling water with a pair of tongs, wear gloves which will allow you to grab the tine and put it between the boards just like you practiced. Immediately run the vise fully closed, you should feel very little resistance from the tine as it straightens. 10-15 seconds from the water till it is fully straightened no more or they will break.

Also did you know that antler can be hafted with no glue at all....... :rolleyes: :confused: :rolleyes:
http://p222.ezboard.com/fprimalfiresfrm11.showMessage?topicID=31.topic

As for that hot oil/wax leather mix - BLEEECH! there are much better ways!
 
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Chuck: I tried to read that tribal fire thread and got lost. Could you explain it in english???? :confused: :confused:
 
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No kidding. I could not get past the bad language form to be able to keep reading it.

From the jist I got he is using the natural soft center for glue. Boiling it till the center softens and hafting the handles on using the core for the adhesive.

I would think cleaning all that out and forcing some kind of two part epoxy in the gap woudl work as well or better, but that is just me...

Doc
 
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Chuck is much better than I but I'll try. Cut your tang so it is the size of the core and not too long for the antler.

Boil the antler 30 minutes to 2 hours until the core becomes glueish( is that a word)

Jam the tang in.

let it cool and seal with pewter, pitch, etc.
 
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Wouldn't epoxy of some kind be a stronger hold than the natural core?

leave me thinking that the core would break down and the tang would loosen...

Doc
 
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My opinion is that a thin epoxy would....OTOH, knives with natural glue are still with us.
 
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I'm back and I see I was requested. Thanks for ansering the questions. My brother passed away Sunday and I just got home from his funeral service. Did have some time this morning to work on a knife but then the power went out. Its been a strange couple weeks.

Mitch, I quench use Texaco Quenctec B type oil. Its a very fast quench. I'm wanting to experiment with a brine but just haven't gotten around to it yet.
 
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Wouldn't epoxy of some kind be a stronger hold than the natural core?
Not necessarily...
OK epoxy has been around for something like 40+ years - "natural" glues have been around well... thousands of years (for instance the Iceman's aka Otzi, axe and arrowheads were all set with pitch). I've handled many knives from the 18th/19th century hafted with either pitch or the "boil it" method as well as swords/knives from as far back as circa 900 AD that were hafted with a pitch/wax mixture.
Some studies show that epoxy has a life of less than 20 years, can be affected by various solvents, heat, etc so in that sense is not necessarily better than pitch (actually rosin) based "cutler's resins".
Easier? - a matter of perception really...

For me it is not only a matter of preferring the old methods BUT it is also a matter of marketing - there is a select clientele, not huge, who will pay a craftsman to work using not only the materials, but also the methods of the "period", whether that period is 18th, 19th, 17th century or whatever. Of course as always there are those who WANT this but are unwilling to pay for it.

Is one "better" than the other - well IMO that's like asking if a knife forged in a coal forge is better than one forged in a propane forge - depends just as much on what the maker's skills are rather than the method alone.

HOW to do the "boil it" method? Jeez guys you mean you don't speak Abo (Aboman is one of the foremost authorities on all things "primitive"). Pretty much as described by Doc and Peter - drill/file a starter hole for the tang - make it at least as long but smaller in width than the tang - tapering your tang both in width and thickness helps (for those thinking that anything less than a full tang tang is "weak" - well I refer you to the tang of a Japanse Katana, which receives much more "shock" than just about any knife). BTW this works best with a core that is at least porous- although I've never used it on Sambar for instance which usually has virtually no core - I have used it with real solid deer and it bloody took forever if it all. The whole idea is by heating that porous core you change it chemically, not just soften it - basically it becomes something similar to "hide" glue which has been made from horns and hoofs as well as hides for thousands of years.

Do I use modern glues such as epoxy - you bet - when I'm being lazy (nothing negative intended) or when it MAY work faster/better than the historical materials that I prefer.
 
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I'd like to throw in my $0.02 on the so called primitive glue. One of the most secure handles I have made is on a large camp knife that I used Walnut scales on. It is held in place with two pins and cutlers resin and a swede spacer.

It does not even act like it wants to loosen up and the swelling and contracting of the Walnut is no problem at all. I didn't invent the system. I got it from Max the Knife and I am sure Max got it from some research he did. The old timers knew what they were doing. Just because it's new, doesn't mean it's better.
 
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Peter - thanks for your $.02 (is that curent currency or..... ;)
Throughout history "modern" and often less effective methods/products have "replaced" those that in fact worked as well and often better - but as always they must be done right and learning how to use those methods/products is often more than a person is willing to take the time to learn - BTW this is not a "modern phenomenon" questioning the establishment is historically correct ;) :D ;)
 
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