Ho all! Sorry for not posting last week. I was procrastinating. But I’m back! Here’s what I did for two weeks:
First, I finished bevelling and grinding my knife.
Then, I finished finishing… No, let’s try that again. I finished polishing my knife. I went up to 1200 grit before realizing that I had to paint it anyway (it being 01 carbon steel) or it would rust. *sigh*…
Then, I did diddly-squat for some time. Now, this was not because I was being lazy. It was because I didn’t have the facillities to heat-treat (harden) my knife. Fortunately, my friend and mentor, Alex Dyas, did. As fortune had it, I only had to wait a day or so to visit. There, we fired up the charcoal forge (I may make a post on this) and got to work.
- It’s not that complex. It’s basically a car wheel filled with concrete with a hole in.
- The stand is an old barbecue.
- The blower is an old vacuum cleaner.
We started by just lighting the charcoal. Then we put the knives in. I say “knives” because we had some other experiments in the works here, as well as some chunks of suspension spring from a car. I do not know how Mr. Alex finds all these things. Please do not ask.
Here you see Mr. Alex placing the blades in the forge, then a shot of the blades. We hit these really hard with hammers for the better part of two hours, but it’s really hard to photograph yourself when you’re holding a largish hammer in one hand and a red hot chunk of steel (held with channel-locks) in the other. After this came the climax, though. The heat treating. But first, what is heat treating? Well, you basically heat the steel up to “critical temp”, or about 1500 degrees F, then plunge it into a container of oil or water, rapidly cooling it. This does something to the steel, and it becomes super hard and brittle. To make it less brittle, you bake it at the temperature and for the duration that corresponds to your desired final hardness. But enough about that! Let’s go!
Tah dah! Anyway, I had to leave around this point, so the ever-indulgent Mr. Alex agreed to try and weld it back together. True to his word, he gave it back to me on Wednesday, two days later. Thank you again, Mr. Alex!
Next, I tried to do what I could, and decided to try drilling holes for handle pins. Unfortunately, the steel was too hard, seeing as I had just hardened it. So I tried to temper it with my super high tech knifemaking equipment:
See you then, and God bless!