The "Ask Nathan a question" thread

gunslinger387

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We are making 160 swords against orders of, I believe, 119 orders call it 120. I estimate a yield of 140 plus or minus 20. The first half of this production, 80 swords, are machined and beveled and ready for heat treat now. We are about halfway done milling out the second half of the sword blanks and will start beveling them (the second half) tomorrow.

Nathan, what causes the yield to drop so much? Is it human error, HT is off or something in the machining process? To an untrained person like me that number seems high.

I am pretty confident that if there aren’t serious deformities you could easily sell them as "Factory seconds" and mark them accordingly so it wouldn’t tarnish your reputation.
 

Burton Knut

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If I came across some Osage being sold as follows: “1 1/2” thick - 2” thick. 14-18” wide. 8’ long. $6 per board foot” what should I be looking for to make sure it’s legit? As best I can tell that’s a really good price but it’s not a wood I’m familiar with and I don’t want to buy it and find out it’s junk quality.
 

Nathan the Machinist

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If I came across some Osage being sold as follows: “1 1/2” thick - 2” thick. 14-18” wide. 8’ long. $6 per board foot” what should I be looking for to make sure it’s legit? As best I can tell that’s a really good price but it’s not a wood I’m familiar with and I don’t want to buy it and find out it’s junk quality.


I don't know the answer to that. I am not a wood expert. I know that the best Osage that I have had was wood that I processed myself personally from a farm in Oklahoma. The Osage that I have had that warped on me was material supplied by a formite. I'm not sure where he got it but I think it may have been imported from Argentina.
 

JustinFournier

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I don't know the answer to that. I am not a wood expert. I know that the best Osage that I have had was wood that I processed myself personally from a farm in Oklahoma. The Osage that I have had that warped on me was material supplied by a formite. I'm not sure where he got it but I think it may have been imported from Argentina.

Yeah it’s from Argentina. It was dried Over 10 years before it was sent your way. I don’t know how to explain the warping either.

I imagine when a maker uses epoxy and pins to attach the blocks to the tang, the wood is secured in a fashion that prevents whatever internal stress is revealed/created through grinding from moving the wood.

Best I can figure is the process you use, maybe it’s the grain orientation, the order the material is removed, or heat, or maybe a cooling liquid creates or reveals some force in the wood that causes the warping.

I honestly wish I knew because we would both be happier if I did!
 

Burton Knut

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I don't know the answer to that. I am not a wood expert. I know that the best Osage that I have had was wood that I processed myself personally from a farm in Oklahoma. The Osage that I have had that warped on me was material supplied by a formite. I'm not sure where he got it but I think it may have been imported from Argentina.

I appreciate the response. I’ll do more research and buy (or not buy) accordingly.
 

TRfromMT

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If I came across some Osage being sold as follows: “1 1/2” thick - 2” thick. 14-18” wide. 8’ long. $6 per board foot” what should I be looking for to make sure it’s legit? As best I can tell that’s a really good price but it’s not a wood I’m familiar with and I don’t want to buy it and find out it’s junk quality.

Other than being a $#!t ton of material for knife blanks... it sounds like about 16-20 BF. Do you have to buy all of it? What is the moisture content? Are there visible checks/cracks?
 

Burton Knut

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Other than being a $#!t ton of material for knife blanks... it sounds like about 16-20 BF. Do you have to buy all of it? What is the moisture content? Are there visible checks/cracks?

I believe there are multiple boards. Is there a way to check MC without a meter? All I’ve seen is pics at this point I’ll go check in person and see about the cracks or checks. Thank you!
 

TRfromMT

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I believe there are multiple boards. Is there a way to check MC without a meter? All I’ve seen is pics at this point I’ll go check in person and see about the cracks or checks. Thank you!

Ask the seller to tell you m.c. -you need a meter. If you can see it, few checks would be a good sign that it was aged slowly (I assume it is not green, is it?).
 

Nathan the Machinist

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I believe there are multiple boards. Is there a way to check MC without a meter? All I’ve seen is pics at this point I’ll go check in person and see about the cracks or checks. Thank you!

Some woods it is difficult to check the moisture. I measure the weight of a piece of wood on a high precision scale and then keep it in a cool dry place and come back and measure it again. As it loses weight you know it's drying, if it ever stops losing weight or starts to gain weight some days you know it's done drying.
 

JustinFournier

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I believe there are multiple boards. Is there a way to check MC without a meter? All I’ve seen is pics at this point I’ll go check in person and see about the cracks or checks. Thank you!

In firewood I always split a piece and checked the newly exposed wood. Maybe there is an equivalent you can do with making a cut? I dunno if it applies or not. Sorry if this isn’t helpful.
 

Nathan the Machinist

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So Nathan the Machinist Nathan the Machinist ....what can I expect from v4e at 60hrc compared to d3v?
V4E has a number of different heat treats, there are no good heat treats for V4E at 60. That is an inappropriate hardness for that material in a knife application. V4E should be at least 62, we run our comp choppers at 63.5 to 65.5. There is no good reason to run V4E at 60, you should be using a different alloy at that hardness.
 

Nathan the Machinist

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Some manufacturers will run high performance steels soft because they are heat treated as a blank and then ground hard on a Berger grinder and the high hardness steels erode the grinding wheels too fast so they run them softer. Kind of defeats the purpose of the steel.
 
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