Metal choice: what do you think?

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Apr 11, 2020
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Hi.

I want to make some all-metal knives for working leather. I possess several inadequate leatherwork knives made out of O1 steel. I could anneal these and then shape them to meet my needs. Alternatively, I could buy some 1084 steel bar that is already annealed.

Being a novice, do you recommend that I reuse my O1 knives or that I buy a bar of 1084 steel?

Thanks.

Scott
 

SBuzek

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How are you planning to re heat treat them?
 

Thesian

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Depends on your concern/objective....are you trying to save time or money? Learn a skill, or just want the tools (outcome)? Personally, I think it would be fun to try to anneal and work with what you have. However, stock for 1084 is pretty reasonable and might get you where you are going quickly.
 
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S. Buzek: I will need to make or buy a small forge. In all likelihood, I will probably buy one due to my situation.

Thesian: The tools I need are not manufactured in the form I desire or are mediocre in quality. The solution appears to be to make my own.
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
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If you keep the temperature below 400Ā°F while re-grinding and re-shaping the tools you won't need to re-do the HT. Dipping in water every pass across the grinder or using diamond stones will do the job.
 
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Stacy E. Apelt: My situation doesn't allow for power tools and reshaping is too slow on my Norton Crystolon combination stone. I did pay a local blacksmith to regrind some knives, see my previous thread, but he appears to have overheated them. If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.

Scott
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
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I understand your desire to do it yourself. However, not everything is done better by yourself.
If you plan on getting into knifemaking as a new hobby, then purchase the equipment and start learning the craft. In a while you will be of sufficient skill to re-do the leather tools. If you just want good leather tools, purchase new high-quality ones from a major supplier. It will be far cheaper and faster.

BTW, if you want the current tools reground and re-hardened, finding a local knifemaker near you would be better than taking the tools to a blacksmith.
 
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Thanks Stacy for your good advice. It is appreciated. I have actually been online this morning searching for high quality leatherwork tools.

Scott
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
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Go to the Sheath and leatherwork subforum and ask where to find them in the UK or EU.
 
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Would a coarse diamond plate remove metal from my knives more quickly than the rough side of my Norton Crystolon stone?
 

Blankblank

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Feb 16, 2022
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Depends on the condition of the diamond plate and the coarness of the diamond , and the surface conditioning of the crystalon.

I will say the flatness of the diamond plate will be in your favor. The crystolon will wear, and eventually need flattening. As well as resurfacing even if you dont worry about the flatness (I recommend keeping your stones flat).

Are you using it for sharpening, shaping, or thinning?
 
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