W.Hayes "KATANA" video, questions

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by DaQo'tah Forge, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. DaQo'tah Forge

    DaQo'tah Forge Banned by Moderators Banned

    Aug 26, 2002
    I got a sword making video for Christmass.

    The name of the video is: KATANA and it is made by Wally Hayes.

    I plan to use this video as a guide to make a Katana, just like I used Ed Fowler's video to make a Fowler-type knife.

    However I have a ton of questions about some parts of this video that i didn't understand.

    The first thing is the steel the is used in the video. The guy in the video says the name of the steel kinda fast, but it sounds like he said it was 1052 steel.

    is there a 1052 steel?

    Also the video says I can get the steel for my blade from Admiral Steel, however when I clicked on their website : http://www.admiralsteel.com/catalog.html
    I was unable to find 1052 steel????????

    anyone know where I can find some?
  2. mete


    Jun 10, 2003
    According to my info the 1052 designation was changed to [many year ago] to1552. .50%C and 1.35 %Mn. If you heard the number correctly.
  3. Ripper


    Jul 2, 2000
    On his site. the steel used for the Katana-Tac is spec'd as 1050.
  4. Lynn


    Oct 31, 1998
    DaQo'tah, glad to see you back posting. I enjoyed your questions.
    When I took a class in J. C. Campbell with Don Fogg we used 1045 for the katana. He said that he used that steel because it was the most likely to take the curve during the quench. I still like 5160 because of the toughness.
  5. Bruce Bump

    Bruce Bump

    Dec 2, 1999
    I have seen that video a couple times, I believe he said 1050 steel.
  6. DaQo'tah Forge

    DaQo'tah Forge Banned by Moderators Banned

    Aug 26, 2002
    Bruce Bump....ok, The guy in the video must be from Canada or something because he says a few words in a way thats very different than the way we speak here in North Dakota...LOL
    He says the number of the steel while looking down so it's hard to hear clearly,,,actually I listened to the video this morning and I almost hear him say something that sure sounds like "1052 0 steel"...I hear some type of "O" between the "1050" and the word "steel" .....(could be the word "tool"?)

    Lynn...I have not posted for a while because this week is the first week I have had being laied-off from work due to the cold. I now will be posting my "interesting" questions for you , so get ready for seeing my name pop up a lot around here!

    as for the 5160 or 1050 steel question,,you see, I got some stuff that might be 5160, and a bird in the hand....
    However on a topic I read that some guys who make longer Katanas from 5160 find the quench will curve the blade the WRONG WAY!....
    Thats why I need to know if a hand-forged 5160 blade, that will be clay-coated and quenched in tap water is worth the trouble?

    Ripper....Why didnt I think of just going to his website???!!!!
    Thanks, that answers that question....However Im still looking for an address to a place to order some...

    mete....as in normal, most of your answer is way way over my head...LOL...however you have helped me re-direct my search so this new information should help, thanks!
  7. mete


    Jun 10, 2003
    First you have to learn to speak canadian .It wasn't an 'O' it was an 'A', they stick an 'A' at the end of a sentence . LOL A 1050 and 1052[1552] have about the same carbon but the manganese is different. .75% Mn for the 1050 and 1.35% Mn for the 1552. This has a significant effect on hardenability.
  8. DaQo'tah Forge

    DaQo'tah Forge Banned by Moderators Banned

    Aug 26, 2002

    so lets say I use my free 5160 steel that I got off a set of truck springs.....

    AND.....I clay-coat the blade for the quench....

    AND ...I quench in water,,,NOT warm oil like I have before...

    I have heard on other topics that many smiths that try to use 5160 for a Katana will end up with a blade curve going the wrong way!!!!

    I understand that many situations are different, and that perhaps you cant tell me for sure,,,But Mete, is 5160 known to do this?....is it worth the risk?...is it worth the time?

    I have to forge the spring to shape whereas in the Katana video, Mr Hays only used stock removel...Im not sure of the stress thats going to build up...also I can fix a blade bend thats only side to side, but I can't fix a blade that comes out of the quench bent foward,,,,
  9. Lynn


    Oct 31, 1998
    Sorry DaQo'tah, I haven't been brave enough to try 5160 OCS (old Chevy springs) in water. Used ATF works fine.
  10. Ripper


    Jul 2, 2000
    Admiral Steel has it. It's in the Spring, Strip, & Alloy Steels Catalog .
  11. mete


    Jun 10, 2003
    Over on swordforum we had an interesting discussion of curves on katanas.I quickly said I wouldn't try to predict all the variables of structure [martensite etc] nor all the stresses involved , nor of the curve you would get. Example s were given of experienced smiths unexpectedly at times getting a reverse curve and not knowing why. It's part of the fun of being a smith !! ......There is no reason why you couldn't use clay and quench in oil. When you are using a steel , deal with that steel , nothing else. Looking for hamon means you have to have martensite on the edge and pearlite on the spine. Using a higher hardenability steel like 5160 you have to find a quenchant that will give you the desired result. I would guess it would be a fairly heavy oil.
  12. DaQo'tah Forge

    DaQo'tah Forge Banned by Moderators Banned

    Aug 26, 2002
    Ok,,,I have made up my mind as to what im going to do...

    From the advice I have received, I have decided to not make my first katana out of 5160,,,,even if I had some for free....I just think that because I want to do a water quench, and I want to end up with a good Hamon line, and I dont want the blade to bend the wrong way,,,that the 5160 is too much risk.

    In the morning I will place an order for some 1050 steel with Admiral Steel...

    (Oh by the way,,,I have went over the Katana video again now that I know the guys says "1050" and not "1052,0"...and I understand now what I heard and why. Wally Hays must be from Canada or something, because he talks funny,,,and he says "1050 tool steel"...but what it sounds like to me is , "1052 O steel".....

    the way he says "50 tool steel" sure sounded like "52 O steel".....
  13. DaQo'tah Forge

    DaQo'tah Forge Banned by Moderators Banned

    Aug 26, 2002
    More questions about the video...

    The way he attached the big handle guard is unclear to me...

    He gets the finished big guard into position on the tang,,,,but he notes that it seems to move around and is not very tight,,so he nicks the tang a bit to squeeze on the guard,,,,but then?.....then what?

    Then he goes onto the handle?

    Whats to stop the guard from getting bumped around and moveing around again?...the little nicks would not hold it for long,,,,,I dont see how the thin sections of handle scales could hold it from moveing,,,and I know the silk wrap would not help.....

    So what holds the guard (Tsuba) in place for the next few years?
  14. Terry_Dodson


    Jul 10, 2002
    if i am not mistaken they take something like a nail set and actually put the dimple into the tsuba where it meets the tang on the handle side so they arent seen to make them fit. If it moves inward and outward toward the tip of the blade then they put in one or more "seppa" washers in front of the tsuba to make it fit tighter.
  15. NickWheeler


    Dec 3, 1999
    Don't people from North Dakota talk funny??? ;)

    Wally is a Mastersmith from Canada.

    The reason many smiths doing Japanese style blades use 1045 or 1050, is they feel it most closely matches the steel that Japanese smiths created for their swords. As far as readily available steel goes anyway.

    1050 has enough carbon you can get it hard enough to cut well with a good edge, but is much more forgiving going into a water quench.

    Water will give you an upward curve, oil will make the point drop down.

    Trying to do a clay-hardened sword in a water quench, without ever doing clay hardening or water quenching on smaller stuff is going to leave you OVERWHELMINGLY frustrated. One of those "crawl before you sprint" sort of things. But then again, everybody gets lucky now and again.

    I'm not trying to dissuade you, that wouldn't be cool. Just trying to bring to light the severe difficulty involved. It would absolutely BREAK your heart to spend hours and hours on a blade and then break it in a water quench.

    Wally makes it look easy, but he's done it MANY MANY times before. I got to meet Mr. and Mrs. Kapp, authors of The Craft of the Japanese Sword, last year at the ABS Reno show. They told me most good Japanese swordsmiths have a failure rate of about 30-50%. Meaning that either the sword just plain breaks in quench or the hamon they get is not what they want.

    I would REALLY recommend you start off with something shorter, like a tanto. Make it out of something like 1075 and oil quench it. You'll be able to get an attractive hamon with much better success rate.

    Ask me why I know how bad it hurts to break bladeS (yes, many, many of them) in this process.

    Just something to think about :)

    just to add...I am not claiming to be any authority on Japanese swords. My study of them has been to better my abilities with the Japanese heat-treating methods on western style knives. But clay hardening and water quenching is something I have spent most of the last 3 years of my shop time on (as a full time bladesmith).

  16. wally hayes

    wally hayes

    Jul 31, 2000
    Your right Nick. It is no fun blowing up blades in the water and I have blowen up a bunch.
    I picked 1050 for the video as it is very forgiving and puts the curve in the blade with out having to forge.. Forging is the way to go but that takes another video and adds a lot more variables.
    The nail punch on the back of the tsuba takes out the wiggle if you don't do a perfect fit on yout first hole in a tsuba. It should slide up tight againt the shoulders of the blade. With the handle on ,and the turks head all resin coated the tsuba is not moving.
    Cheers, Happy new years, eh!
    Wally Hayes :)
  17. mete


    Jun 10, 2003
    30-50% failure rate ! They're not perfect after all !!....Nick, please clarify something .You say oil quench [with clay] 1050 will give a reverse curve, but oil quench 1075 will give proper curve ?? It has also been said oil quench with 5160 will give a reverse curve. As I mentioned to DaQotah ,I had assumed that to get the proper martensite / pearlite hamon the higher hardenability steels would need a slower quench .??
  18. peter ryt

    peter ryt

    Dec 4, 2004
    Njarf!? :confused:
    How many master smiths do we have on this forum?
  19. NickWheeler


    Dec 3, 1999
    Hey, how about that, you asked, and got feed-back from the Master himself! Cool stuff!

    Sorry Mete, I probably made that confusing.

    I have heard of some guys getting a curve opposite of what they expected, but I've never seen it myself.

    As a general rule, a simple steel (10XX, W1/W2) will curve down with a clay-coated oil quench, and up with a clay-coated water quench. This isn't a "be-all, end-all" but it's pretty darn consistent.

    An amazing thing you'll see in long water quenched blades (BIG bowies or swords) is that the blade will curve down on the first interupted quench, and then pull up after the second. I've seen this in my shop many times, and Wally shows it very clearly in his video.

    You can often get away with an oil quench with no turning down. But it certainly can. I've done test blades, where I would re-clay the blade after the first hardening, and do it again. I did this with two blades 6 times, just to see what would happen. The point dropped 1.5" on a 7.5" blade!!! (both of them) That will completely change the look of a knife.

    You can forge or press the upward curve in and then oil quench. It's not traditional or going to be exactly the same, but it will work.

  20. NickWheeler


    Dec 3, 1999
    I forgot to mention, I own Wally's video set, and HIGHLY recommend it!

    It will be very eye opening and educational for you.

    No offense DaQuota, but I feel everything in the video is very clear. Wally explains what's going on without getting so overly technical as to overwhelm the viewer, and there are many close-ups to really show what he's doing. I have zero problems understanding him, and I'm not Canadian nor related to anyone Canadian ;)

    I believe the video is worth the cost just to see him clay-coat and harden the blade.

    BUT...uh..um...Wally---- Let's see one with you forging too :D

    I completely understand, it would require a whole new video set.


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