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Thread: Knife advice needed

  1. #1
    Senior Member gcckoka's Avatar
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    Default Knife advice needed

    I am planning to forge a knife for the first time in my diy forge.
    I got D2 steel not knowing how pain in the a it is to heat treat it , so now I want to order another piece of steel from Finland , which one of THESE steel would you recommend ?

    X50CrMoV15
    80 CrV2
    C 75
    Silver Steel 115CrV3
    90MnCrV8
    N690
    RWL-34
    Elmax
    UHB20C (1095)
    AEB-L
    15N20
    Swedish Stainless
    D2 (K110)
    Nitrobe 77
    Vanax SuperClean
    VG10 SanMai

    I have a scraper order to make as well so I don't have time to order others from USA.
    I'm thinking about 80 CrV2, what do you think ?

    Thanks
    Nick
    Last edited by gcckoka; 04-16-2018 at 08:15 AM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Antonyraison's Avatar
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    I recommend none of those to forge.
    Try forge 5160 or what we call rebar. This makes good forged knives and can easily be heated treated yourself and is oil quenched....
    Most of the steel you listed there are good steals but Mostly used for stock removal.
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Anthony. I do not know the properties of any of the steels you list and can make no recommendations.

    Most of my forging has been using "found steel". For some of it, like files and chisels, I know the content.

    I have learned which companies use or used steels that are easy to work in the forge and easy to heat treat with home equipment.

    I am not sure if those same brands are available where you are.

    Crash deals with new steel and found steel more than anyone here and he may be around soon to give his input.

    There are also blade making forums just like this forum where you can ask hundreds of people that do not know what they are doing for their advice too! (that is a joke, I hope it does not get lost in the translation)

  4. #4
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    15n20 and the 1095 will be good to forge.
    so the definition of a criminal is someone who breaks the law and you want me to believe that somehow more laws make less criminals?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Antonyraison's Avatar
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    1095 is also ok to forge..
    But most of us here when we starting out with Forging are using 5160/rebar.

    I think its the carbon Content in the steal,
    Some or even most of the steals you have listed are "stainless" Which is going to be a real right nightmare to even attempt, the metal is far far far too hard to hand forge.
    For example n690 is a good stainless steel, but even when it has not been heat treated I burnt through about 4 tungsten drill bits just to put holes for pins..(stock removal method)
    Also you will want something that is either water or oil quenched, and easy to heat treat yourself..
    Tool steels are ok for this also..
    You might get away with something like D2 or o1, o2 tool steel..
    1055 carbo
    1075 carbon
    1095 carbon
    5160 is also a carbon steal.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Last edited by Antonyraison; 04-17-2018 at 07:33 AM.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Graf's Avatar
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    I prefer carbon or spring steel blades when I buy them, a friend of mine makes a lot of knives from leaf springs he gets from auto salvage yards. He claims inexpensive and fairly easy to work with.
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    1095, 1080, 15n20 or 5160 are good choices. You are able to harden them all with a good oil quench. Keep in mind that you will need to temper, or draw them after they are hardened to take some of the brittleness out of them.
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    Senior Member Antonyraison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graf View Post
    I prefer carbon or spring steel blades when I buy them, a friend of mine makes a lot of knives from leaf springs he gets from auto salvage yards. He claims inexpensive and fairly easy to work with.
    I believe most leaf springs are 5160 if I am not mistaken..
    OLD Files also Make really nice knives.. (not knew ones)
    Most of them are a very good carbon steel
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    Senior Member gcckoka's Avatar
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    Here's some info about the steel I ordered , does this tell you anything Crash?

    ThyssenKrupp 80CrV2 Carbon spring steel

    Sturdy spring steel that is widely used in Finnish knife industry.

    Close equivalent: Aisi L2 / 1084+

    W.1.2235

    C

    Cr V Mn
    0.85 0.6 0.15 0.35


    Heat treatment: Hardening temperature 840-880C (1545 - 1615F), holding time 5-10 min. Quenching in oil.

    Tempering 2 hours

    150 celcius..........63hrc

    200 celcius .........60hrc

    250 celcius..........57hrc
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    If t is near 1084 then we have something to compare it too.

    1080 is what Stanley Tool Company makes their chisels from.

    1095 is what Old Hickory butcher knives, Old Forge Butcher knives, military K-bar and most of the Ontario carbon steel knives as well as the Mora Carbon steel knives.

    Your 1080 will fall neatly in between those items if you treat it properly.

    Make sure you heat it evenly, quench in the media recommended, and stress relieve to the proper temperature for the correct time. If you are using you home oven for the stress relief test the temperature since home oven dials are often inaccurate.

    And if this is your first try at forging make sure you watch the heating of the blade closely. You can lose a piece of steel in seconds if you overheat it.

    Same thing for hammering when the metal is not hot enough, it causes stress cracks. Keep it orange to red and form the blade in as few heats as possible. Every time you heat the blade you lose a little carbon.

    Sorry, I got into teacher mode and started rambling. Comes from working in the museum forge and talking to visitors as I worked.

  11. #11
    Senior Member gcckoka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    If t is near 1084 then we have something to compare it too.

    1080 is what Stanley Tool Company makes their chisels from.

    1095 is what Old Hickory butcher knives, Old Forge Butcher knives, military K-bar and most of the Ontario carbon steel knives as well as the Mora Carbon steel knives.

    Your 1080 will fall neatly in between those items if you treat it properly.

    Make sure you heat it evenly, quench in the media recommended, and stress relieve to the proper temperature for the correct time. If you are using you home oven for the stress relief test the temperature since home oven dials are often inaccurate.

    And if this is your first try at forging make sure you watch the heating of the blade closely. You can lose a piece of steel in seconds if you overheat it.

    Same thing for hammering when the metal is not hot enough, it causes stress cracks. Keep it orange to red and form the blade in as few heats as possible. Every time you heat the blade you lose a little carbon.

    Sorry, I got into teacher mode and started rambling. Comes from working in the museum forge and talking to visitors as I worked.
    Thanks for your nice information sir ! At first I have an order to make of a small single bevel scraper with an awl in front that will go with a custom ferro rod, I will grind the steel and then heat treat it.
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  12. #12
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcckoka View Post
    Here's some info about the steel I ordered , does this tell you anything Crash?

    ThyssenKrupp 80CrV2 Carbon spring steel

    Sturdy spring steel that is widely used in Finnish knife industry.

    Close equivalent: Aisi L2 / 1084+

    W.1.2235

    C

    Cr V Mn
    0.85 0.6 0.15 0.35


    Heat treatment: Hardening temperature 840-880C (1545 - 1615F), holding time 5-10 min. Quenching in oil.

    Tempering 2 hours

    150 celcius..........63hrc

    200 celcius .........60hrc

    250 celcius..........57hrc
    You should be good with those numbers.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    One thing I might add is that when they say "quench in oil" they are not speaking about a shallow pan with a quart of oil, they are referring to a bucket of oil large enough to pull the heat out of the bade.

    I used to keep a 20 liter metal pail of used motor oil beside the forge for this use. It does not have to be new oil. Old oil drained from the crankcase during oil changes will work. It can even have a little transmission fluid mixed in, don't worry about purity.

    When the blade is heated to temp grab it at the tang with the tongs and plunge it into the oil point first, wait a couple of seconds and then move the blade in a figure 8 motion. You may get some flaming and such, do not let that shock you or stop your work. The flames will go out when the metal cools.

    Leave the blade in the oil until it is well cooled. Let the oil draw the heat from the blade at its own rate. After a minute or two it will be right, just keep moving it slowly in that figure 8.

    At this point your blade is as brittle as glass. If you drop it the blade will shatter. If it gets a sharp rap against the workbench it may shatter. Treat it delicately.

    Do ot try to remove any warps or bends at this time. You will break the blade. Wait until after stress relief.

    Before you move to the stress relief in your home oven polish a small bit of the tang area so you can see the color change at the end of the process. The color usually shifts to a nice blue mingled with reds. Do not open the oven door until the time recommended is past. Each time you open the oven door you lose heat and the process is disrupted. You are not baking a cake, it will not "burn".

    Set the oven, close the door, go away and come back at the end of the recommended time.

  14. #14
    Senior Member gcckoka's Avatar
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    I just heat treated it , put a pipe on my mini grill , put holes in the pipe , sand around it , attached a small "tube" of tin foil , put my mothers hair drier half of which I melted and put coals on top , when I took it out it was all orange, then I put it in motor oil tip first then blade and then submerged the whole thing, now I will heat treat it
    My question is how much HRC will be best for a single bevel ferro rod scraper and awl?
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  15. #15
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    You are not going to get an "exact" level of hardness using a home oven. Too many variables and exact hardness is not critical within the range you have specified for the job you are doing.

    If it is a simple ferro rod scraper it will probably work right now!

    What will be more critical will be the edge of the bevel and how it is presented to the ferro rod.

    As long as it has a good sharp corner it will work, just like a piece of broken glass, the spine of a cheap knife, the spine of a good knife, a hunk of broken hacksaw blade, or a flake of chert will work.

    Even if you were making a knife there would be more factors than hardness to consider, like ease of sharpening, brittleness, edge holding ability, grind pattern, size and use of the blade, and the most important, personal preference.

  16. #16
    Senior Member gcckoka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    You are not going to get an "exact" level of hardness using a home oven. Too many variables and exact hardness is not critical within the range you have specified for the job you are doing.

    If it is a simple ferro rod scraper it will probably work right now!

    What will be more critical will be the edge of the bevel and how it is presented to the ferro rod.

    As long as it has a good sharp corner it will work, just like a piece of broken glass, the spine of a cheap knife, the spine of a good knife, a hunk of broken hacksaw blade, or a flake of chert will work.

    Even if you were making a knife there would be more factors than hardness to consider, like ease of sharpening, brittleness, edge holding ability, grind pattern, size and use of the blade, and the most important, personal preference.
    Yes but I still have to temper it yes ?
    It's not only a scraper but an awl also
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  17. #17
    Senior Member gcckoka's Avatar
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    so today I made my first knife , 80crv2 steel (1084+) I normalized it 2 times when it reached non magnetic wanted third but then neighbors started yelling because of the smoke from my balcony And heat treated the third time , dumped in motor oil ,it passes the file test now to tempering , but there is one scary part , after normalizing it it bend a little , about 1mm off , how can I fix this??
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  18. #18
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    There is a high percentage that you will either have to live with a slight bend, or break it if you try straightening it. There are a few options that may (I emphasize may) work. You can fire up the forge and give it another go (that would be my first choice), or you can clamp the blade to a piece of steel and temper again. Put a metal shim near the tip, and obviously your clamps need to be able to take the heat (450 F ?). The third option is to take a torch to it....without changing the temper and put an ice cube on the opposite side of the bend. None of these are ideal, but for a forged blade, starting over with the heating/quenching would probably be your best bet.
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    1mm is not a bend, it is individual craftsmanship showing! You can work 1mm off on the sharpening stone.

    Wait until you do one that comes out of the oil looking like an airplane propeller. Or stick it into the oil and hear that sickening PING!

    Now I do have a friend here in Kentucky that makes world class knives. One of those guys that gets $2K-$5K per blade. He is really old school, and he will only temper his blades in an oil bath that is facing north/south. He claims a thinly forged blade will follow the polar magnetism and if you put the blade in east/west it will always take a slight bend toward the north pole.

    It might sound crazy, but he is making the big bucks and not me.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member gcckoka's Avatar
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    I have a piece of D2 steel and I clamped it with a visegrip I will temper it now.
    Another option would be tapering the tang and that way I could fix the bend maybe ?
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