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Cake_14N
05-12-2011, 08:33
I asked Mr. Harsey if I could begin a post here to solicit feedback during the creation of my first knife. With his permission, I will begin.

Some of the basics:

1. Knife will be made from a piece of 1/8 x 1 x 9 inch CPM 154 stainless steel. Lesson learned allready, this steel eats hacksaw blades. Two blades dulled just making a cut across the piece of steel.

2. This knife will be made using hand tools only, no bench grinder or other powered grinding tools. I know this sounds foolish, but I was taught that before you can appreciate using modern technology you need to learn the basic mechanics behind the tool. I know I will regret this decision as I have started using a file to remove excess metal from the bar to shape my blade and it is going to take a very long time.

3. Blade shape is a simple, slightly pointed blade, 3 13/16 long with a 5 3/16 full tang. I started with a 9 inch long, 1 inch wide, 1/8 inch thick piece of steel. I actually measured the blade in one of the pictures in a magazine and worked out the ratio of blade length to handle and used that conversion factor to scale my knife to the piece of steel I had to use. I guess us Intelligence types make things difficult using math in public.

Stuff I still need to figure out/acquire:

1. I need to come up with a way to heat treat. I have a book by Mr. Wayne Goddard that shows how to make a gas forge using firebricks. I just need to get across ABQ and stop into the ceramics store and buy what I need to make the forge. Then I need to figure out temps and times.

2. I purchased a few pieces of wood to make the handle, but I think I ordered the wrong thickness. The wood pieces I bought are very thick, off the top of my nugget, I believe they are 5/8 inch thick and polished on both sides. This will take some filing to get them to the size I need for a comfortable grip.

3. I need to acquire the sandpapers necessary to finish the blade. I do have a dremmel, so I will most likely use that for the final polishing, but I still need to hand sand before that.


Enough for now. Thanks for the opportunity to share this project.

I will update this posting soon and add pictures.



Cake

Dusty
05-12-2011, 08:39
When you start numbering them, I'll buy No. 1 for a hundo.

BRAVO-SMASH
05-12-2011, 08:58
Looking forward to the progress... But geez that's A LOT of work. Have fun I guess :lifter

Cake_14N
05-12-2011, 09:31
Dusty,

Sir,
With the QP next to your name, it would be an honor to have you in possession of a tool I made. I will definately let you know when I feel I have made something worthy.

BRAVO-SMASH,

Yes, it will be a lot of work, but nothing worthwhile is ever gained without the blood, sweat, and tears of the person behind the creation. It should be a fun ride.

Cake

Bill Harsey
05-12-2011, 10:36
Cake,
Thanks for posting this thread as we discussed.

Can you post pics of steps? That would help.

If I can advise on one thing and this is for others to read too, you are probably not going to heat treat CPM 154 to it's full potential with any type of home built furnace/forge/oven on the first try.
The times and temps are too critical and nobody knows what any oven does without first dialing it in (calibration).
You don't know your hot and cool spots or if your thermocouple is right.
Also with any gas oven it may be tough to control and hold temps over the periods of time that is needed with your steel.

A small 1% error in temp reading can cause problems, a 5% error can cause big problems in heat treating air hardening steels like CPM 154.
You will have a lot of hard work at stake by the time you heat treat.

If one used a common high quality oil hardening steel for your set up, this might go better because there are good ways of judging temps without a thermocouple with a steel that gives us a little more latitude in heat treat.

CPM 154 is an exceptional steel, here is the chart: http://www.crucible.com/PDFs/%5CDataSheets2010%5CDatasheet%20CPM%20154%20CMv120 10.pdf

Ambush Master
05-12-2011, 20:44
Bill,

After reading your Link, I'd wager that the "Salt Water Quench" serves a Dual Purpose!! It not only quenches, but serves as a Passivation Process to enhance the "Stainless Qualities"!!

Just peeking in,

Take Care!!

Martin

x SF med
05-12-2011, 20:54
Cake-
Good luck. I hope you're using "the $50 Knife Shop" as a guide. I'm still in research and reading mode on making a knife... I will make one, hopefully with some more guidance from Bill. I'm not starting with CPM154 though... I'll go with a straight tool steel not a powder.

Peregrino
05-12-2011, 20:56
Impressive link Bill. Made my head hurt - even with two fingers of WR on board. Good luck Cake_14N. You're going to have an awful lot of effort invested by the time you're ready for the heat treat. Personally, I'd send it off and let a professional do it.

Cake_14N
05-13-2011, 10:03
I will be sending the blades off for heat treat. I will probably wait until I have more than 5 or 6 blades and send them off in one batch.

I am using Mr. Goddards book to an extent, but reading a lot on Knifedogs.com and other places.

I promise to have pictures posted on Monday.

I believe starting out with CPM154 was a HUGE mistake. This is a very tough steel to work by hand. But on the other hand, I will really appreciate the knife when it is done.

Worked for about 90 minutes last night and burned through yet another hacksaw blade cutting excess metal from the tip of the knife.

Started filing the basic shape of the blade, and found this to be surprisingly soothing. I guess the sound of file on steel resonates somewhere in the primitave portions of my soul.

Cake_14N
05-14-2011, 10:25
Ok,

Did some more shaping last night and came to the conclusion that I need to back away from CPM154 for a bit and move to an easier metal for the first knife. I spent about 45 minutes starting to file the bevel into the blade and barely removed any material at all. This is going to be a labor of love.

Like I said, I have ordered some 1095 steel so I will shift gears when that material arrives. This will also give me a chance to actually take more pictures. I need to get into the habit of taking a pic at each step of the way.

Update with pictures on Monday.

Cake

Bill Harsey
05-14-2011, 10:30
Ok,

Did some more shaping last night and came to the conclusion that I need to back away from CPM154 for a bit and move to an easier metal for the first knife. I spent about 45 minutes starting to file the bevel into the blade and barely removed any material at all. This is going to be a labor of love.

Like I said, I have ordered some 1095 steel so I will shift gears when that material arrives. This will also give me a chance to actually take more pictures. I need to get into the habit of taking a pic at each step of the way.

Update with pictures on Monday.

Cake

Have you tried draw filing with a large sharp (new) file?

Cake_14N
05-14-2011, 10:59
Yes Sir.

I just read about using a scrap chunk of soft wood like pine to clean out the grooves on the file. Going to try that to keep working.

All in all I am having a lot of fun working on this.


Going to use Peters Heat Treat Inc to do the heat treating once I get this and another blade ready for treatment.

GoF
05-14-2011, 11:30
I would also suggest rubbing some chalk into the file to help keep metal shavings out of the teeth. You'll also need a file card (cleaning brush) to get those shavings out once they get stuck in the file. Brush out the file every few strokes or those shavings will put deep scratches in the steel that'll be hard to get out later. I believe the term is "galling."

Cake_14N
05-16-2011, 16:40
Here are the pictures that remain. I guess I did something wrong transferring from camera to computer, pictures just vanished.

These are all that remain.

I have started sanding. Using 80 grit coarse paper to try to smooth out the deep scratches left by the file. I know I have a lot of work to do.

Just beginning the hours of work sanding.

I know this knife is not pretty, yet, but I made it all by hand and I am learning tons with every mistake I make.

Dusty
05-16-2011, 16:52
Here are the pictures that remain. I guess I did something wrong transferring from camera to computer, pictures just vanished.

These are all that remain.

I have started sanding. Using 80 grit coarse paper to try to smooth out the deep scratches left by the file. I know I have a lot of work to do.

Just beginning the hours of work sanding.

I know this knife is not pretty, yet, but I made it all by hand and I am learning tons with every mistake I make.

Lookin' good. :cool:

Barbarian
05-16-2011, 21:05
Wow. You've been hard at it, huh? Looks good. I'm excited to see how it turns out.

Bill Harsey
05-19-2011, 07:41
Cake,
Something to consider prior to heat treat, What's your edge thickness?

Good job with hand tools for first go around.

Cake_14N
05-19-2011, 07:57
Mr. Harsey,

I need to get a caliper. Edge is probably pretty thick.

I noticed that the edge appeared to "roll over onto itself" for lack of a better description. It looked like a thin strip of metal on the edge, that was very flimsy, would gather while I was filing the shape of the blade. I do have a couple of different types of files, one more aggressive than the other. I assume I need to swap over to the less aggressive file and refine the shape of the blade.

I am planning to make the blade jig from Mr. Goddards book to help me shape the profile of the blade.

I will try to take a picture of the edge of the blade and get it posted..

Bill Harsey
05-19-2011, 08:02
Cake,
We don't want the edge too thin prior to heat treat but in your case once it's heat treated it might take more time to file thinner. :D

Even a relatively inexpensive Dial Caliper will get a good edge thickness measurement.

Be aware that any ok micrometer has carbide tipped surfaces on the anvil and spindle. This will always scratch a blade where measured, even if just a little bit.


Edited to add:
Dial Calipers don't work very well (ever again) after they free fall to the concrete. This is not theory.

Edited again to add:
With the CPM steels any edge thickness under about .025 (thousands of an inch) is in the risk zone.
What we are risking is warp or bend in the edge that cannot be corrected.

All heat treating here is by me with the exception of the Spartan blades I grind.
The Spartans are sent out to a pretty state of the art heat treat facility that has great control over the process with very good results.

I just measured a couple CPM S-30 VN blades recently heat treated here.
Edge thickness was down at .017 (thousandths of an inch) and they came out straight, luckily. This is risky shop practice.

The "N" in this alloy stands for Niobium.

Cake_14N
05-23-2011, 10:01
Time to sand and sand and sand before I send out for heat treatment.

It is amazing what you notice when you start to sand. I did not realize just how many little gouges in the blade surface were there from the file.

I have spent about 2 or 3 hours sanding and still can see I need more work.

As for blade thickness...I need a much better caliper. Going to check out what is available at some of the knifemaking supply houses. The small one I got at Home Depot just is not goog enough to measure the edge of a blade.

Dusty
05-23-2011, 10:48
Time to sand and sand and sand before I send out for heat treatment.

It is amazing what you notice when you start to sand. I did not realize just how many little gouges in the blade surface were there from the file.

I have spent about 2 or 3 hours sanding and still can see I need more work.

As for blade thickness...I need a much better caliper. Going to check out what is available at some of the knifemaking supply houses. The small one I got at Home Depot just is not goog enough to measure the edge of a blade.

Send pics, Bro...

Bill Harsey
05-23-2011, 21:31
Cake,
For about any tool need you may have, http://www1.mscdirect.com/cgi/nnsrhm

Same goes for anyone else doing stuff with hand tools, machine tools etc.
I've been doing business with them for many years. You can also order the catalog, your delivery person will bring it in on a hand truck.

If they don't have it, you probably don't need it.

Cake_14N
05-26-2011, 15:45
I have tomorrow off so I will be able to devote some time to working on the blade. I will post pictures of the progress and let you guys know how the sanding is progressing.

I have become much more aware of tiny scratches in the surface of the blade from the file as it take a very long time to sand them away.

Cake

Cake_14N
05-27-2011, 15:00
Here is where I stand after about 2.5 hours of sanding. I did switch to 120 grit...



Blade is not perfect. I can see that it is not shaped symmetrically and it is most likely a bit thick. But practice makes perfect and I need a lot more practice!!!

Looking at the closeup, I can see that I need to sand in a straight line...

Bill Harsey
05-27-2011, 20:58
Cake,
Looking good!

Don't work so hard, perfection has little to do with making a good knife at this point. Get it heat treated and see what it does.

SpikedBuck
05-28-2011, 14:06
Bill,

Are you working on anything new? I think I have one of your folders...had it with me now for the past year in the sand box...works great. Gets handled alot by folks :cool: "Blackfoot"...is that one of yours...got the Lone Wolf Knives logo??

Dan

Kit Carson
05-28-2011, 21:42
Sorry I missed this one up to this point..

One suggestion for checking edge thickness is a piece of sheet metal or thin steel with a band saw or hack saw cut into the edge about 1/4". Depending on the saw blade thickness, it should be .025 - .030. When the edge fits in the slot, it's a good thickness to stop at before heat treating.

Tell you what, Cake....when you get ready for knife #2, drop me a line and I'll send you the materials...steel, handle material, handle bolts, and the drill bit needed for them.

Just let me know. Of course, by the time you finish this one, you may not want to try another....:)

CRUSADERSTEEL
05-30-2011, 02:46
Cake,

For first knife, man that looks good. For first knife AND youre doing it all by hand.... it looks awesome! Cant wait to see it complete. Keep up the good work and send me some of your patience!

Cake_14N
06-03-2011, 12:33
Thanks to all who continue to send words of encouragement. It sure helps when I am sitting out on the back porch sanding and sanding.

I am just about ready to send the blade off for heat treat. Like Mr. Harsey said, perfection is not necessary. Just a little more sanding and I will send her off.

Cake_14N
06-14-2011, 10:16
OK,

That CPM154 blade is ready to send off for heat treat. It should go out the door this week.

I have been working on another blade or two from a different metal ( 1095), one I can heat myself.

I made the firebrick oven from Mr. Goddards book and was able to heat a blade until it was glowing red and not attracted to a magnet. I did a simple water quench so I hope it works. I put it in the toaster oven at 450 degrees for an hour last night and will do that at least 2 more times before I start finishing and adding the handle material.

I will do my best to get pictures posted.

I have determined that I need to work a bit more on the symmetry of my blades. One side is just a bit off from the other in terms of depth of filing and removal of metal. Not off too much, but I can tell the difference.

Barbarian
07-15-2011, 15:05
I will do my best to get pictures posted.

Any pics yet???:p

Streck-Fu
02-15-2012, 17:44
I enjoyed reading this thread. I certainly appreciate the effort to try to fabricate a knife by hand. Did this develop farther?

Barbarian
02-16-2012, 07:40
Cake, I hear this knife didn't turn out exactly as you planned. I hope you haven't quit. I worked on several in the beginning that didn't quite make it to knifehood. My avatar pic is one such. I'm told that's fairly common.

You should:

A. Post pics of how this knife turned out.

B. Keep making knives.;)

P.S. Any grinder is better than none, BUT!! You should spend the money and get a good one if you plan to make knives.

Cake_14N
02-21-2012, 10:25
Still working on the knife. Knives actually.

I need to get 2 more roughed out to send off for heat treating. A bit expensive to just send one or two blades. I plan to send 4.

I will do my best to get updated pictures posted.

Cake

Cake_14N
05-02-2012, 08:44
2 blades back from HT. Look pretty good. I need to do more work on cleaning the blade up, some very fine scratches still visible after polishing.
Handles cut to a very rough shape, I plan on attaching them tonight. I promise some pictures.

I need to get the handle shaped, sanded, polished and oiled then final polish and buff of the blade, then sharpen on the EdgePro.

Dusty
05-02-2012, 08:51
You should correspond with Barbarian, IMO. He made me a stellar knife at a fairly reasonable price, and might save you some trial and error. :cool:

Barbarian
05-02-2012, 08:53
I need to get the handle shaped, sanded, polished and oiled then final polish and buff of the blade, then sharpen on the EdgePro.

Be careful on the buffing wheel. They tend to grab and throw things, if you haven't discovered that, yet.

Cake_14N
05-02-2012, 14:42
I do not have a buffing wheel. I use my dremmel, low speed, and a mix of different polishing compounds.

I really wish I could carve out more time in my day to work on this. I started it a long time ago and I need to get it finished.

Cake_14N
05-04-2012, 08:46
First off, thanks for your patience. Been busy standing up a new course and lots to do there.

Second, this has been a lot of fun, and I have learned a lot. It is not perfect. the grind has flaws and I am not anywhere near being done yet.

Things I still need to do is shape the handle. I just epoxied the wood to the steel and need to file/sand it down about 50% or so. I tried cutting the wood i half, but I suck and could not get it anywhere near evenly cut. I decided to use the full width of the scale I bought and just file down to what will be the final handle.

Barbarian
05-04-2012, 09:08
Second, this has been a lot of fun, and I have learned a lot. It is not perfect. the grind has flaws and I am not anywhere near being done yet.

Things I still need to do is shape the handle. I just epoxied the wood to the steel and need to file/sand it down about 50% or so. I tried cutting the wood i half, but I suck and could not get it anywhere near evenly cut. I decided to use the full width of the scale I bought and just file down to what will be the final handle.

Perfection requires experience. More experience than I currently have. No hand-made knife will be "perfect," with reguards symmetry, etc. until you've been making knives for a long, long time.

Grind lines also improve with experience, and from what I can see in the pics, yours look very good for a 1st knife. You'll learn more, and get better with each knife you make.

Until you get a high-end precision bandsaw and a lot of hands-on time with it, it'll be more practical to just grind/file away excess handle material as you said.

Looking good. Keep it up!:lifter

Edited to Add:
I'm not an expert, and I hope this post doesn't come across sounding like advice from someone who thinks themself to be one. This advice was given to me from masters of the craft, who were kind enough to share it with me. I'm just passing it on, hoping it will help.

Cake_14N
05-04-2012, 10:18
Barbarian,

Please do not ever hesitate to give me feedback. I worked with the fighter-jet community for over 15 years and developed very tough skin. Anything you say will be taken as positive critique and as insight to make me better.

My personal belief is that if somebody will take the time to give me feedback I will take the time to listen, learn, and put into practice the advice I have been given. When people stop providing feedback, they stop caring. Usually because their feedback is not being listened to.

The best thing about people who make knives is their willingness to share tips, tricks, and information rather than keep everything secret.

Thanks for taking the time to look at my first attempt at a knife and tell me how I can get better.


Cake