been looking for blade blanks/apropriate steel to shape for blades.been wanting to make a knife from scratch for a while did your damascus come as a blade blank or did you do all the shaping yourself?what seller on ebay?any info would help.
My biggest concern with damascus steel is getting the proper temper on it. How did you heat treat the blade after grinding it down?
It came 1-1/4" x 16-1/2" by .157 thick. I did all the shaping myself. http://stores.ebay.com/Alabama-Damascus-Steel?_trksid=p4340.l2563 that is the website for their ebay store. they have blade blanks too. price for the one i got which was redneck skin patter was $60 after tax and shipping. If you look at their buy it now prices they are almost all in the $100 plus range. I did an auction and got it for a lot cheaper.
The heat treating wasn't 100% accurate but the instructions the company sent with the steel worked great. Heat it til its dark cherry red and once it becomes non magnetic you've reached the right temp. Tried it once and it wasn't hard enough so I redid it and it worked great. I'm colorblind so the color screws with me. Then temper it in the oven at 350 degrees for one hour, let cool on its own in the over and repeat for a double temper.
think ill do a few out of old sawblades and leafsprings before i commit to damascus though.
also I have seen people use old files for blades. Haven't tried this one myself but I plan on it just to satisfy my curiousity. I made my first one, which is the same as the tanto tip version of this one out of A-2 tool steel due to the price was a lot cheaper. Heat treating was also a bit higher in temp range but it worked out nicely too.
Farrier files that i want to make a knife out of,will a torch take the temper out so i can work the steel?
but the way I've been told to do it is to heat it until a magnet will not stick to it and then burry it in dry sand and let it cool down on its own. Been told it can take 2 or 3 times to do it if the sand has moisture in it or if you don't get it hot enough.
no sand here yet,just snow,lmao,thanks
I'll have to try and figure out what they use in those files... My wife is a ferrier. LOL! But temp is dependant on the type of steel. But trevers idea should work to soften it. You could even let air cool to soften. the trick will be putting a good temper back into it when done.
or vermiculite (garden center) and try annealing it like I mentioned. If another file will cut it it worked. If it cuts but not very well do it again. Once you figure that out then try heating it to a light cherry red and quenching in oil. after it cools slap it on the table, not on the corner, actually flat against a table or ground and if it doesn't shatter or crack then its not too hard. try and cut it with the file again and if it will cut it it is too soft, keep working up by color til it finally breaks or cracks and you know what is too far, or take it to that same temp and then temper it at 350 to 400 degrees for an hour. that is what i do if I don't know the exact metal content of whatever I am trying to heat treat. better to do that to a test piece then scrap something you put time and effort into.
if a magnet will stick to the metal its critical heating point, which is what you typically heat treat the blade at, is the temp when it becomes non magnetic. so just play around with a magnet to figure that temp out. then when tempering it start at 350 degrees in the oven for an hour, if it still seems too hard and feels like it will brake, or you do break it then go to 400 or 450 for an hour on the next one. with old files its hard to say what they are made out of as many manufactures used different contents of metal in them. best way is just to use trial and error. I am a machinist and I heat treat different metals on a weekly basis, next time I am doing it I might just have to play with an old file and see what I can figure out and pass on.
I'll be first to admit that I'm no expert on this. Like I said, I made a few... 3 or 4. My experience has alway been to take it to a plum like color then let it air cool to soften, for hardening, I usually take to bright yellow (1800?) then quench in brine. I then reheat to 700 for 30 minutes and let air cool from there. but I don't work near the volume that you do. Prob just been lucky. :)
i will do that this weekend,i have a couple dozen files so using one as a test piece is no problem,thanks TF and ronin.time for Top Shot
the color part doesn't mean much to me like I said I'm color blind. And the majority of the steel I've been heat treating was Oil hardening tool steel. I don't have a clue about files. The damascus was quenched in 10 weight hydraulic oil, the first one i made was Air hardening and I let it quench on its own. The color was Orangish to me but who knows what that was. The rest of the stuff I know the temp to take it to and I use an infrared thermometer or the magnet trick. The magnet has always worked for me and never once failed me.
to the knife making and I want to help anyone who might benifit from what I have done. I also want to learn more so I will be trying ronin's ways too. Might work better than what I am doing.
I have heard of the magnet test also. I am still trying to learn the pro's and con's of Oil quenching VS. Brine. I think I will prob start using a IR thermometer also. I have one I use for automotive work, will check it's range and see if it will work.
from what i have seen the only reason to ever use Oil is if you are afraid of cooling the part down too quickly and possibly warping or breaking it. The Brine should get you are harder heat treatment too but more likely to warp or crack the piece unless the brine is warmed up to around 100 plus degrees prior to quenching the metal in it. guess it mainly depends on how hard you need the piece of material and how well you trust the temp you took the metal to before quenching.