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Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Dan Gray, Feb 4, 2007.

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  1. Dan Gray

    Dan Gray

    Jun 25, 2001
    Updated with The Counts current links. Thanks Dan for your original.

    The Count's Standard Reply to New Knifemakers V35

    The answer to a student is different than to a retired machinist
    With members worldwide, you may have a local supplier, hammerin or neighbour.
    Join our community;fill out your profile with location (Country, State, City), age, education, employment and hobbies so we get a sense of where and who you are.

    The basics in the simplest terms
    Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives-Printable PDF

    Web Tutorials
    Detailed instructions http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=694673

    Things I Advise New Makers Against-Printable PDF http://www.mediafire.com/?8og1ix21j9dcz4n

    Handle Tutorial - Nick Wheeler-PDF http://www.mediafire.com/?02ra4do6xyzayeq


    Bob Egnath how to http://www.engnath.com/manframe.htm

    A list of books and videos http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9435307&postcount=43

    BladeForums - E-books or Google books http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=603203

    Books I like:
    David Boye-Step by Step Knifemaking
    Tim McCreight-Custom Knifemaking: 10 Projects from a Master Craftsman
    Clear, well organized, available and inexpensive.

    Forging Books:
    Lorelei Sims-The Backyard Blacksmith - A modern book with colour photos - forging - no knifemaking.

    Jim Hrisoulas
    The Complete Bladesmith: Forging Your Way to Perfection
    The Pattern-Welded Blade: Artistry in Iron
    The Master Bladesmith: Advanced Studies in Steel

    Machine Shop Basics -Books:
    Elementary Machine Shop Practice-Printable PDF Http://www.archive.org/download/elementarymachin00palmrich/elementarymachin00palmrich.pdf

    The Complete Practical Machinist-Printable -1885-PDF http://ia700309.us.archive.org/6/items/completepractic00rosegoog/completepractic00rosegoog.pdf
    Right Click and save

    The $50 knife Shop-not recommended
    Great title, but NOT gospel.
    Forging is NOT necessary; file and grind (stock removal)

    Forget the "Goop Quench" It's Bullsh*t
    Back when they used whale oil, it was still liquid oil
    Use a commercial quench oil & match oil speed to steel type;
    Grocery store canola oil works for some steels like 1084

    Junkyard steel requires skill and experience to identify and heat treat
    Forget Lawnmower blades and railroad spikes, start with a new known steel
    Good heat treating needs accurate temperature control and full quench
    Proper steel like 1084FG from Aldo is inexpensive and quench in Canola

    Cable damascus is an advanced project has no place in a beginner’s book

    The grinders are the best thing about this book, but 2x72” belt grinders plans are now free on the web


    Don't be this guy

    Heat Treating Basics Video-downloadable
    Right click and save this. Watch it once a day for 10 days http://www.archive.org/download/gov.ntis.ava08799vnb1/ava08799vnb1_512kb.mp4

    Right click and save this. Watch it once a day for 10 days http://www.howtomakeaknife.net/FreeStuff/SafetyVideo.wmv

    Many knifemaking videos are available, some better than others

    The best beginner videos I have seen:
    “Steve Johnson-Making a Sub-Hilt Fighter”

    "Ed Caffrey - Basic Bladesmithing-Full DVD-ISO"

    “Custom Knife Sheaths -Chuck Burrows - Wild Rose”
    Paul Long has 2 videos, his sheath work & videos are fantastic and recommended, but more advanced-with inlays, tooling and machine stitching

    Green Pete's Free Video
    Making a Mora bushcraft knife, stock removal, hand tools, neo tribal / unplugged heat treat
    Use a piece of known 1084 steel, not a file. This as an example of doing it by hand with few tools
    "Green Pete" posted it free
    Be sure to look at the other titles I mentioned too - spend some time searching knifemaking torrents

    Greenpete Knifemaking Basics-on TPB

    How to download that video

    Videos for rent,read the reviews, Some good, some bad, expect to wait months and there have been no new videos in years.

    Knife Design:
    Think thin, simple and fixed
    Forget swords, saw-teeth, guthooks, crazy grinds and folders for your first knife

    Look at hundreds of photos
    Lloyd Harding drawings, Loveless book & Bob Engnath Patterns

    Bob Engnath Patterns PDF http://www.mediafire.com/?qgx7yebn77n77qx

    Start with a drawing and post it, we love photos
    French curves, graph paper and erasers are vital tools


    Then a cardboard cutout template & with handles, pins and such
    Use playdough to shape a comfortable handle, good handles are not flat

    How to post a photo

    Draw Filing Demonstration
    YouTube video -Draw Filing-for a flat finish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dec78RQsokw

    Nick Wheeler- Hand sanding 101 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I4x4QLpfnk

    The “welding steel” at Home Depot / Lowes is useless for knives
    Forget about lawnmower blades ,files, railroad spikes and other unknown junkyard steels
    For the work involved, it is very cheap to buy and use a known good steel
    You will spend more money on sandpaper or soda pop than you will for steel

    If you send out for heat treating, you can use
    Oil quenched O1, 1095, 1084
    Or air quenched A2, CM154, ATS34, CPM154, 440C, Elmax plus many others.

    For heat treating yourself with minimal equipment, find Eutectoid steel and quench in Canola oil.
    1084FG sold by Aldo Bruno is formulated for Knifemaking, Cheap & made for DIY heat-treat.
    Phone # 862-203-8160
    His telephone service is better than his website.

    Suppliers List

    Heat Treating

    You can send blades out for heat treating at $10 or $15 per blade for perfect results

    Air Hardening Stainless Steel Only
    Buck Pau Bos -Be sure to check the Shipping and Price tabs

    Oil Hardening Carbon Steels and Air Hardening Stainless Steel
    http://www.knifemaker.ca/ (Canadian)


    1095 is a bad choice for a beginner with limited equipment to HT themselves
    1095 is "Hypereutectioid" and needs precise temperature control and proper fast quench oil Like Parks 50 or Houghton K
    Kevin Cashen - 1095 - hypereutectoid steel

    If you are sending one or 2 knives out for heat treatment, use 154-CM or CPM-154 CPM-s35vn Elmax, and ship it out to TKS -Texas Knifemaker Supply
    It's the cheapest way to do 1 or 2 due to minimum charges

    Quenchants for Oil hardening steel
    Forget the Goop Quench and Motor oil, especially used oil

    Use commercial quench oil & match oil speed to the steel type
    Explanation and classification oil speeds

    Grocery store canola oil works well enough for your first knife-if you use the right steel like 1084

    Brine and water are cheap for "water hardening" steels W1 and 1095, but use fast oils Parks 50 & Houghton Houghto Quench K
    If you use water or brine, expect a broken blade

    Hot steel beats plastic, Don't quench in a plastic pail

    Glue – Epoxy
    Use new slow setting 30 min high strength epoxy to attach handles and seal out moisture
    Slow epoxy is stronger and gives you time to work
    prep, measure, mix are key in glueing.
    Surface Prep is vital, drill tang holes/ grind a hollow, roughen the surfaces with abrasive or blasting is best
    Ensure the surface is clean including fingerprints, wear vinyl or nitrile gloves
    Use Acetone or Blasting
    Don't over-clamp a “glue starved joint” is weak - adhesive is squeezed out

    West Systems G Flex http://www.westsystem.com/ss/g-flex-epoxy/
    Find it locally http://www.westsystem.com/ss/where-to-buy/
    Brownell's Acraglas
    JB Weld-leaves a grey line

    Grinder / Tools

    Hand Tools
    You can do it by hand with files and abrasive like the Green Pete video.
    Use 1084 instead of a file, spheroid annealed steel is butter soft

    Stacy - 10 Tools

    Filing jigs

    A professional three or four wheel 2x72 is worth it
    In my opinion, variable speed and a small wheel attachment are essential on a good grinder.
    Tracking problems are usually solved with belt tension. It needs to be way tighter than you first think.

    Entry Level Grinders
    Sears Craftsman 2x42 belt grinder
    Low Speed Modification Craftsman 2x42 belt grinder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qfYT_m2Tw0

    Commercial Production 2 x 72” Belt Grinder Reviews

    DIY 2 x 72” Belt Grinders

    KMG Clone Free Plans

    NWG No Weld Grinder $25 plans

    EERF Grinder (EERF =“Free” backwards)

    What Belts to buy?
    Every maker has a different preference, new belts come out all the time, search for recent threads.
    Ceramic, trizact and structured belts are expensive and have long life. Aluminium oxide are cheap and wear quickly
    Some belts have rigid backing, J-flex have soft backing and can blend curves.
    Blaze and Cubitron are popular

    VFD Variable Speed made simple

    Step pulleys are not as cheap as you may think
    Maska steel pulleys are good, plus shaft, bearings, belt

    It all adds up to 1/2 the price of a sealed class NEMA 4 VFD like a KB Electronics KBAC-27D

    I like direct drive with no belts, a VFD and 3 phase motor for about $200 over the price of the step pulleys with fine instant control.

    NEMA 1 VFD’s will keep your fingers out, but the metallic dust intrusion will smoke it.

    3 phase 220v 1.5 HP motor, TEFC, frame 56 or 56C,
    RPM is up to you some use 1700 RPM at double speed.
    Make sure it has a footed base for the KMG and NWG, or a C flange face mount for Bader, Bee, Wilton and GIB styles.
    I get them on ebay, even with paying $100 for shipping to Canada I save $ on used motors

    The 1.5 HP combination is the most common
    It allows you to plug into any 110vac, 15 amp outlet.
    A 2 HP motor requires a 220vac input.

    Use the Distributor Locator to find a local source, online sources may be cheaper.

    There are cheaper units, but the only VFD I have found that runs a 1.5 HP motor on a 110v 15 amp input is the KBAC-27D

    It is NEMA 4, sealed from metal dust

    Good community and company support, manuals, hook-up diagrams, photos and settings.
    If you buy a bargain vfd, you're stuck with a chinglish manual and ridiculous programming.

    Travis W reports running a 2 HP on a 110v circuit, but I haven’t tried it.

    Hookup is simple

    Safety Equipment
    Protect your -Eyes, Ears, Fingers, and Lungs – remove jewellery and use safety gear.

    Chronic lung disease and cancer really suck the joy out of life.

    If you can't breathe, nothing else matters.

    Wearing a mask and glasses on the top of your head doesn't Count.

    The minimum I would consider are silicone half masks with a P100 Filter
    The silicone masks are softer and fit better
    3M 7500

    and North 7700

    Use a VOC & P100 combo cartridge for acetone and glue fumes.
    Prefilters can snap over the main filter for longer life.
    There are 3 sizes of face piece, get fitted in person

    Shave, also test the fit every time.

    For beards
    3M PAPR
    3m Breathe Easy
    Trend Airshield Pro
    Air Cap II


    This searches BF well.

    Get rich making knives ?

    Visit a shop in person

    V35 July 23, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2014
  2. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
  3. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
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