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Thread: Knife blanks

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    Default Knife blanks

    I've done some woodworking over the years and my junk pile at the ranch has more than a few circular saw and radial arm saw blades in it. I would like to cut some knife blanks out of them after being inspired by Mr. crashdive123's work. I can weld and cut with a cutting torch but my skill level is comparable to a drunken dirt dobber. I can cut fairly straight though. I also have a small 5" band saw. Is there an inexpensive saw blade that ail cut 10" radial arm saw blades? or will it be more cost effective for me to use the torch? I was hoping to use the saw and perhaps take some small advantage of heat treating already present in the saw blades. Otherwise heat treating will be on a level more primitive than the cutout.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Alan

    Below is a knife I made from a broken file 40 years ago. It's got a lot of miles on it and the mesquite handle is thoroughly impregnated with hog lard. I have skinned at least 100 hogs (domestic) with this knife. It holds an edge well. The pins are copper windmill rod pins. I had a small piece of stainless that I drill a slot in to make the hilt. Welding the stainless hilt to the file was exciting and a lot of grinding and file work went in to making it look as presentable as it is. I heated it to cherry red with a rosebud tip and quenched it is motor oil. I had no idea at all what I was doing, still don't.

    I make no pretenses or apologies for it. It is a working knife and was all I had for a skinner at the time.
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    Last edited by Alan R McDaniel Jr; 07-13-2017 at 04:43 PM.


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    Take the temp out and then use a jig saw with a metal cutting blade

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan R McDaniel Jr View Post
    I've done some woodworking over the years and my junk pile at the ranch has more than a few circular saw and radial arm saw blades in it. I would like to cut some knife blanks out of them after being inspired by Mr. crashdive123's work. I can weld and cut with a cutting torch but my skill level is comparable to a drunken dirt dobber. I can cut fairly straight though. I also have a small 5" band saw. Is there an inexpensive saw blade that ail cut 10" radial arm saw blades? or will it be more cost effective for me to use the torch? I was hoping to use the saw and perhaps take some small advantage of heat treating already present in the saw blades. Otherwise heat treating will be on a level more primitive than the cutout.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Alan

    Below is a knife I made from a broken file 40 years ago. It's got a lot of miles on it and the mesquite handle is thoroughly impregnated with hog lard. I have skinned at least 100 hogs (domestic) with this knife. It holds an edge well. The pins are copper windmill rod pins. I had a small piece of stainless that I drill a slot in to make the hilt. Welding the stainless hilt to the file was exciting and a lot of grinding and file work went in to making it look as presentable as it is. I heated it to cherry red with a rosebud tip and quenched it is motor oil. I had no idea at all what I was doing, still don't.

    I make no pretenses or apologies for it. It is a working knife and was all I had for a skinner at the time.
    I like it...

    LOL...should see some of my early work....But Hey,... they all were and are used....
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I honestly don't know what steel the 10" blades are made from. If they are carbide tipped, the steel may be fairly mild. If your don't plan on heat treating, I'd use the saw and then run a file across it to check its hardness. If the file bites, it is really too mild to hold an edge.
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    I'll give it a try. Most of them are carbide tipped. The one I put my hands on today is carbide tipped. I'll see if the metal cutting jig saw blade will cut it. I've got other obligations though until next Tuesday. The metal cutting blades I found online were in the $70 - $100 range. I can buy a very nice damascus blank for $100.

    So, if the steel is too soft to hold an edge, will heat treating it (tempering) cause it to do so if I get lucky and get it right? I made another knife a while back and only heated to red the half inch of the blade that was the edge. It would hold an edge but I never did really like the knife. The blade was too long. I have a few other blades that I've made form files but never hafted them.

    The picture of my knife appears to show some rust. Actually there is no rust on it.

    I also have a piece of stainless stock 4' long and 2" wide and 1/4" thick that I've been saving to make blanks out of as well. How would you suggest I approach that task? I haven't tried to cut or check it with a file.



    Alan

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    You may be able to harden it some. Without a forge, you can use a torch and heat it till it glows. Test it with a magnet. If the magnet sticks, keep heating it. When the magnet no longer sticks quench it quickly in oil (best warmed up a little, but not that critical for this). After it cools you can check it with a file again. If the file sort of skates across the edge it is fairly hard. Next step would be to temper it. 450 degrees for two hours, letting it cool slowly should work.
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    Can I do the stainless the same way?

    Alan

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    Probably not. The method I described is only for steels that are liquid quenched. Do you know what type of stainless it is?
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    No, but I'll try to find out.

    Alan

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    Well, I tried the metal cutting jigsaw blade on the 10" radial arm saw blade. It didn't touch it. Took all the teeth off the jig saw blade in three strokes. So, I broke out the 4" grinder and cut the blade blanks out with it. In the process I discovered a new fire making technique. Simply point the spray of sparks at your shirt and grind. Then you can flop onto a bed of tinder and blow on the embers. Luckily I didn't need a fire so I just put the one on my shirt out and continued.

    The first picture shows the blanks of a push tang, a full tang and an Ulu. The second picture is after scratching at them with various grinders, sanders and files for an hour or so. I need to spend more time on my layout prior to cutting. I've got to go back over them tomorrow and straighten up the splines and the contours before subjecting them to hardening. After the grinding cutting operation the steel was workable with a file and bench grinder. On the push tang blank I don't think I left enough tang but it'll have to do for this one. I need to take that big old thing off of the bottom of the full tang blank as well. The Ulu is slightly off one side from the other. Don't know how I'm going to straighten that up just yet. I may not. I have used an Ulu before but it was a small one and I'm thinking this one will be easier to use for skinning deer/hogs and filleting rough fish. We'll see I may just put it in the kitchen box to chop onions.

    Obviously the blades are very thin and flat so they are not, even with tweaking, going to have a classic look to them, which is just as well since my work usually appears more rustic (polite way of saying "Crude") than classic.

    Alan
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    I haven't tried to find out what kind of stainless I have yet but the metal cutting blade on the jigsaw won't even scratch it.

    Alan

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    I think they're coming along great.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan R McDaniel Jr View Post
    Well, I tried the metal cutting jigsaw blade on the 10" radial arm saw blade. It didn't touch it. Took all the teeth off the jig saw blade in three strokes. So, I broke out the 4" grinder and cut the blade blanks out with it. In the process I discovered a new fire making technique. Simply point the spray of sparks at your shirt and grind. Then you can flop onto a bed of tinder and blow on the embers. Luckily I didn't need a fire so I just put the one on my shirt out and continued.

    Alan
    Now you know why I have FD on speed dial.....
    Thought about this while sharpening up some machetes....Moved flammable stuff out of the way...

    Bad experience with a "penny stove" burning "Heet"......can't see it, so when you add fuel while burning....take the fuzz off chamie shirt sleeve.

    Cutting down a ferro rod with hacksaw over a wastebasket under the vice.....close enough to dump and stomp out of driveway....

    First flint and steel on charcloth ember than flame, on my work desk.....good thing the sprinklers didn't go off.....
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    Always amazing that folks can not get a fire started on purpose when most of us can burn a workshop down with no effort at all!
    Come to the dark side, we have pudding.

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    I once had a stove with a four foot flame praying the fuel burned up before the garage did. There are some fuels that work too good.

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    Any of you guys ever see a canvas tent burn down after the tent stove got too hot?

    It lights up like a camera flash bulb, makes a "whooosh" sound and then the screaming starts.

    People running around trying to put their burning long johns out, slapping their beards, dancing barefoot in the snow.

    It's quite a show. You'll never forget it once you have seen it.

    Wow! We really hijacked this thread!
    Come to the dark side, we have pudding.

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    At our age we go for visuals and cheap laughs. It's all we have left.

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    Years ago I had an old Snapper riding mower. Some of the frame had broken on the front of the mower so I turned it up on end, put on the welding hood and got to dobbing it back together. It was in the middle of the summer in South Texas and was really hot. I noticed during the welding exercise that the weather had turned REALLY HOT. I lifted the hood and found flames engulfing the mower. I grabbed the water hose and put it out. It started fine and ran for another bunch of years.

    I had a 1984 Chevy truck burn every scrap of anything that wasn't metal or glass on a hilltop one afternoon because of a leaking fuel pump.

    I've never really had a problem with getting a fire going. Putting them out has been an issue at times.

    Canvas tents? No, but when I was a kid one of the boys in the neighborhood took a candle in his nylon tent one night. It was very bad. He lived and led a reasonably full life after that but melted nylon does leave a mark. A very large and permanent mark.

    Alan

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    I've almost burned down my county three times.

    1. When my house was being built, I did cleanup to save $$. I hadn't learned about the weather patterns here yet, so I didn't know that winds will just start up out of nowhere (usually just breezes - but those can still cause a lot of trouble). I was burning scrap in a burn barrel, when all of a sudden the wind kicked up. Just a few of embers here and there caught in the short weeds where the lawn was going to be, so I went around stomping them out. But the wind kept re-igniting the flames. I didn't have running water close (yeah, I know, stupid), and the flames started spreading. Eventually, after a lot of running around and, well, panic, I started smothering them with pieces of cut-off OSB that I hadn't burned yet. That worked, luckily, because there was uncut weeds a short distance away, and if the flames had made it there it would've been bad. It's amazing how little fuel is needed to allow a flame to spread. I learned something that day.

    2. Apparently, I didn't learn enough, because, a couple of years later, I burned a small cardboard box on my gravel driveway. Wind kicked up all of a sudden (deja vu), and I was running for my hose to put out the fire. It spread quickly, but I was able to get it out because it wasn't hot dry weather (I wouldn't have been burning if it was), and I had a couple of long hoses. I learned something ELSE that day: have a long hose with nozzle and the water on at the ready when burning. I also hose down everything all around first, even though I don't burn in dry weather.

    3. Well, even with all the precautions I now take, on another occasion the wind kicked up with some strong gusts (much stronger than usual) and blew a small burning piece JUST out of reach of my hose and spray nozzle. I called 911 immediately because of the wind. 3 volunteer FDs showed up (but NOT the one that is one mile from my house) and made short work of it. It didn't spread that quickly, in spite of the wind, because the grass was wet, and it had rained in the last few days. Unfortunately, two trucks got stuck in my field. They did good firefighting work, but it was the Keystone Cops when they got stuck. I thought country folk knew that once your tire spins, you're stuck, and you need to get someone to pull you out. These guys buried the big truck to the frame, THEN tried to use their winch. They had to call a semi-tow truck. Luckily, the tow truck driver wasn't a redneck (at least not a dumb-azz redneck), so he pulled them out without getting stuck himself.

    Fool me once, shame on you, fool me 947 times, I guess I'm a dumb-azz redneck myself.
    Last edited by JohnLeePettimore; 07-19-2017 at 09:26 AM.

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    Yeah, that 947 times, been there. You won't get me 948 times though. Here, hold my beer.

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