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Thread: 2013 "ore to knife " class

  1. #11
    And so we continue...
    4/12 days in to the class and we are at what would normally be the beginning of the bladesmithing process...
    we have taken ore (magnetite and hematite) and smelted it into 2 bloom one high carbon steel and the other lower. those two blooms were processes into bar stock with the high carbon steel as core material in a san mai (3 layer) billet.
    From this point on my photos get a little more spare as I was concentrating on making sure that we got knives made in the time allotted!
    The bloomery material is lovely to forge and grind almost as if it is rewarding you for all the hard work getting it to that state.
    so we started forging.....
    Bashing out tangs....


    and blades


    There were a few de laminations but the great joy of this material is that it loves to weld to itself.......

    When the forging was done we did one normalisation. My normal practice is to do 3 but I did not want to reduce the herdenability of the material too much .so I stuck with just the one.

    and then the grinding began, its a common misconception that forging is the most important part of being a bladesmith and in this case its certainly true, our blades were a nebulous blob of bloomery iron a couple of days ago.....
    However it is my experience that its the grinding that makes a lump of hammered steel into a blade.

    and so the grinding began...


    It is my practice to grind blades to an even shape that has an edge thickness that will be thin enough to harden but is still thick enough to grind out warps. in this case the blades were ground a little thinner to make sure the bloomery steel would harden in oil.

    so more grinding


    when the blades were an even shape and had an edge thickness of 1.5mm or less they were hardened.
    unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of this... The blades were hardened from 800 DEG C into a commercial fast oil at 100DEG C . All the blades skated a file and a couple through hardened .
    I then tempered the blades at 200DEG C.....

    so far so good...
    Back the grinders to thin blades down before final sharpening.


    All the blades were sharpened on the belt grinder on the slack belt.

    It was quite possible to get this material to shave hairs, I love the crackl ping of a thin blade shaving hairs.

  2. #12
    Knifemaker Member Beau BDeyeForge's Avatar
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    Keep them coming, can't wait to see the blades.

  3. #13
    all in all this was a satisfying and very busy week.....

    Watching the rock turn into bloom , and then the bloom turn into steel bar and then the bar turn into knives .

    .....But all good things must come to an end and this was no exception.
    the last day was spent busy , sharpening blades and burning in and shaping handles.
    The handles were glued on with hot cutlers resin (which I use a lot) .
    The students made very different knives from one another and I hope they went away with a realisation of what they had achieved during the week.
    Defiantly a journey of discovery on many levels.

    Here is the class after 7 days hard work.


    and their blades and finished knives , everybody opted for a knife shape they would use after the class. From rock to .......


    and some close ups of the hada...


    I would like to thank my students for a great class, It was a real pleasure to help you all along with this week. Personally I have emerged from it with a new eye to the material and a fiercer flame kindled as a result.

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