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Removing the temper from the bit

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Whiskey_Jim, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. Whiskey_Jim

    Whiskey_Jim

    280
    Feb 21, 2017
    Came across this video and they appear to do finish bringing with a high speed wheel. Lots of sparks. What do you guys think?
    [video=youtube_share;Qr4VTCwEfko]http://youtu.be/Qr4VTCwEfko[/video]
     
  2. Lieblad

    Lieblad

    Jul 24, 2015
    I think it looks like typical 1950s small industry & hazardous place to work. Alot of cheesy dubbed sound effects too.

    There is alot of on-line blade myth repeated by folks without real world metalwork knowlege.
    Nothing wrong with grinding tempered steel. Just dont be an idiot about it & let the workpiece exceed temperature.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  3. Woodcraft

    Woodcraft Gold Member Gold Member

    796
    Nov 7, 2016
    I consider that the "how to properly put in a wedge" video. They new what they were doing. It seems he is staying clear of the edge, that would be important.
     
  4. cityofthesouth

    cityofthesouth

    Jan 29, 2014
    Yeah I think around 9:00 minutes we're seeing the final grind (after heat treat) and he's moving the axe around a lot, mostly grinding behind the edge. Those guys made good axes.
     
  5. jblyttle

    jblyttle Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2014
    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the final product turned out decently well.
     
  6. DarthTaco123

    DarthTaco123

    Mar 28, 2013
    Oh no JB, maine axes are trash. I'll gladly take all of them so you guys don't need to deal with them.
     
  7. Whiskey_Jim

    Whiskey_Jim

    280
    Feb 21, 2017
    This is why I'm asking i guess. Internet lore would have you believe grinding on a head like that will turn it into pot metal.
     
  8. Woodcraft

    Woodcraft Gold Member Gold Member

    796
    Nov 7, 2016
    That one got me, laughing out loud at the computer again.
     
  9. Woodcraft

    Woodcraft Gold Member Gold Member

    796
    Nov 7, 2016
    I'm thinking the general rule of thumb is on the bit, sharpening, or in the hands of a novice that is a nightmare. In the hands of a Mainer on a small river in a tiny Town cram packed with axe factories back when everything was black and white, you are good to go.
     
  10. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    It's entirely true that if you don't know what you're doing you can turn a world class axe into a piece of garbage in a matter of seconds using a dry grinding wheel. However...these guys DO know what they're doing. ;) :D
     
  11. jblyttle

    jblyttle Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2014
    The axes turned out fine. The worker's lungs....not so much. I marvel at this video every time I see it. All day every day next to an oil fired forge and grinding with no ventilator. With a cigarette on the lip. These guys may have been in their 50's, but their lungs must have been 100.
     
  12. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Grinders (the fellows doing grinding, obviously, rather than the machines) were known for having dramatically shortened lifespans, even way, way back.
     
  13. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    It comes down to what color temper you draw on what type of steel. If you draw blue temper you've probably ruined it.

    A couple years ago I was heat treating a ship axe. After quenching in oil from red heat I put it in a 450° oven for an hour. The polished edge turned a brownish color and the steel was still almost glass hard - unfilable. After another hour at 475° the edge turned blue and my heart sunk, thinking I'd ruined it. But it was still too hard to file much to my surprise. Another hour at 500° and it turned purple and was still too hard to file. The 4th hour was at 525° after which it turned a new shade of blue. Again I was worried I'd ruined it but the file told me it was just right.

    I've never seen that early out of sequence blue before or since. I always wondered what type of steel was in the bit of that axe. Maybe some old crucible steel.
     
  14. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    There's a video on an old Sheffield knife maker in which he makes a pocket knife and tempers the blade to blue by drawing the thin blade over a piece of hot steel until he sees the color change.
     
  15. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    Drove it like he meant it and it wouldn't go no more.:thumbup:

    That film didn't show the final edge grinding. I suspect it was not done on the same wheel.
     
  16. Twindog

    Twindog Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    It's difficult to see what's going on at a meaningful detail, but the narrator -- at 9 minutes in -- says Woods puts on the "final edge on the bit" and polishes up to 3 inches past the edge (that's that shower of sparks), so it doesn't look as though he's worried about affecting the temper. The temper was put on at 7:46.

    I've never had any problem with grinding a thin knife edge with a belt sander, so an axe should be able to take a good sharpening from a stone grinder.


    I can't figure out what he's doing when hammering in that wedge. When I stop the film at 9:40 and blow it up, it looks as though there are four separate chunks of wood, with two small wedges on the sides of the haft, one broken. Then he cuts the haft clean of the top of the head. If I tried to hammer in a normal wedge with his technique, I'd break the wedge, but it doesn't look like a normal wedge job.

    He doesn't seem to put anything on the wedge, either.

    It's a cool film, but it doesn't give enough information to know what's really going on.
     
  17. Woodcraft

    Woodcraft Gold Member Gold Member

    796
    Nov 7, 2016
    The wedge is dry. He splits it in a couple spots:). I imagine the wedges were cut from shakes. That is why they are long. Think cedar shingle. Just poplar or whatever they used. He drives it home and lops it off. And at the end of the day that is really all that you need to do to hang an axe. You do not need a metal secondary wedge. You do not need anything on the wedge. The wedge can crack and be split. You do not need to leave it proud. Just drive a properly shaped wedge in hard and cut it off.;). I use blo and leave it proud. I even try to recess the wedge to lock it in. All that said, the guy in the video hung a lot more axes than me. And I would imagine they held up fine. I just have more time to fiddle around than he did.
     
  18. Square_peg

    Square_peg

    Feb 1, 2012
    Don't assume that you can wedge any axe in that fashion. I split the eye of my True Temper broad hatchet while driving a wedge like that.
     
  19. Woodcraft

    Woodcraft Gold Member Gold Member

    796
    Nov 7, 2016
    I was speaking with American felling and boys axes in mind. So good point.
     
  20. 300Six

    300Six

    Aug 29, 2013
    Of course we do have to think that these small town gents were not used to visitors, being under the glare of staged lights and on camera. If you read the credits the tripod-mounted camera (35 mm!) and lighting gear was professional stuff. It wouldn't have been a 'business as usual' day for these lads. The incentive for the subjects to 'spruce it up a little' in depicting an otherwise dull and monotonous routine must have been there. Lighting a pipe off a hot piece of steel, overly vigorous wedging and creating generous volumes of sparks are small ways of accomplishing that.
     

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