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Author Topic: Real Steel  (Read 4049 times)

Bryan Lee

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Real Steel
« on: May 19, 2007, 11:46:36 AM »

   Ive become a little board of late with all the arguing amongst the knife grinders. I never paid much attention to any of them anyway having grown up around my grandfather who was the kind of man who only bought craftsman tools (When they were the best), forged his own knives from leaf springs (Model T French Vanadium oil hardening steel), carried a High Standard 22 (Still considered the best 22 ever made), and kept a 39 Packard Opera Coupe in the garage with its Straight 8 engine (Makes every Corvette ever made about as desirable as a red headed step child).


  I thought I would just start a new thread and kind of go through some of the knife makers most have never heard of and hot link some pictures and where you can find the stuff they are making.



   I pretty much got the idea when I looked at a knew knife by Raymond Richard which he called his pig sticker and gave me cold chills thinking about being confronted by it. This is no sissy knife with its 13 and 1/4 inch 1084 steel blade with a 18 and 3/4 overall length. He also makes some very fine Tomahawks and matching sets from the pictures Ive seen anyway. He has a first class reputation and quietly (Hes quiet, not the pounding) pounds the steel day in and day out up in Gresham Oregon. His website is http://www.hawknknives.com/ if you want to take a closer look.



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Bryan Lee

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Re: Real Steel
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2007, 11:42:58 PM »

  Jason Taylor hand forges spring steel blades in Martin Tennessee. Recently he offered this knife for sale for $150 including shipping. While I'm a huge proponent of guards on any tactical blade the Japanese Style wraps offer a very good grip and should not be discounted. I would add to the stickiness for field use by spraying the kind of sticky stuff tennis players use like resin powder or just score it with wax to insure better grip. One positive note on the Japanese style is the low profile leaving it to lay flatly against any tactical gear which has some good advantages, namely not jamming into you if you dive for cover. Jason's website is  http://reedinthewind.blademakers.com/


  The knife below is hand forged 9260 spring steel and measures out at just over 12 inches with 7 and 1/2 inches of cutting edge coming to a very fine point.




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Bryan Lee

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Re: Real Steel
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2007, 03:31:19 AM »


   For those who can have the best you can take a look at Don Hanson the 3rd and his Sunfish Forge out of Missouri. There ain't no need reason for me to add anything here about his work as the pictures say it all, I will say Don is quite a gentlemen and all around helpful guy.





Blade: 12 inches 3000 layer Hanson Damascus with active hamon.

Guard: Hanson Damascus.

Handle: Premium Fossil Walrus Ivory with 18K solid gold pin.

Other details: 17-1/2 inches overall length.






Hanson Rotten Ivory Fighter

4 inch blade of Hanson Damascus.
Hanson Mosaic Damascus bolsters.
Premium Fossil Blue Mammoth Ivory scales.
Sole Authorship Folder.

$3200.00 Sold.


Dons work and knives for sale can be seen here http://www.sunfishforge.com
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Mr. Barnett

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Re: Real Steel
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2007, 05:55:21 AM »

Wow,
Excellent work coming out of the states.  I've seen some excellent work in Corsica as well.  Technically, those knifes are fantastic.  One way that shows expertise is the relief of the blade.  The relief is the part between the edge, and the thicker part of the knife.  On these knives, notice that the relief is large, and leads directly to the edge.  This is generally called a hollow grind, and if polised with a finishing stone, then it would also be known as a 'double edge'.  Beautiful work. 
I will get some pics of our local metal workers.  I live in a region where there are over 60 blade makers, all artisans.  I give them the value added service of Cryogenic treatment, and so i've been priviledged with seeing knives that are for special ops guys, and for really rich guys also.  They get the good stuff that's for sure.  So, i put my plug in there for cryo, but still, those are some nice slicers.
Gerald.
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Hock

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Re: Real Steel
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2007, 06:00:14 AM »

service of Cryogenic treatment,

What is this treatment?

Hock

usks1

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Re: Real Steel
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2007, 07:18:24 AM »

service of Cryogenic treatment,

What is this treatment?

Hock

Hock,
Cryo treatment is the tempering process. They dip the blade in liquid nitrogen which causes the molecules to pack tighter and makes the blade stronger and more flexible... Here is a link to some info on it.

http://www.onecryo.com/onecryo/otherapp-knives.htm

Carl had a custom knife made for me as a gift, and it is cryo treated... It is sweeeeeet.... Looks kinda like this one but cooler... Lot's of little custom goodies.
http://store.martinknives.com/auto/detailview.php?id1=342108&id2=1681198&id3=YES&id4=martinknives.com

Here is a link to their site
http://www.martinknives.com/


Look what else I found.... Go get em G!!!
http://www.railway-technology.com/contractors/brakes/barnett/
« Last Edit: June 02, 2007, 07:29:37 AM by usks1 »
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Mr. Barnett

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Re: Real Steel
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2007, 08:57:07 AM »

Hey Guys,
So, now that you asked, well i think i'd better give the guided tour.
The best information can be found at www.gocryo.fr or www.go-cryo.com.  There is a huge amount of technical information regarding the history and science of cryogenic processing on metals and plastics.
The Quick guided tour of Cryogenics is this,  Freezing the parts at -300F causes changes in the chrystalline lattice.  Metal is an amazing material, and it is only stable at around room temperature.  That's great becuase people generally live at or about room temperature. (designed)  So, at very low temperatures, metal is unstable.  That's easy to prove.  Freeze a piece of metal, then bang it against something, and it will crack.  Cryogenic temperatures cause metals to re-align at the molecular level.  Many details are still unexplainable, but the results are fact, Metals are stronger and tougher after cryogenic processing.  The most known chrystalline transitions are well documented.  In Ferrous metals, retained austinite is converted to martinsite.  Martinsite is s much more stable chrystalline structure when tempered properly.
After the freeze process, the molecular changes have happened, and certain materials require a temper to bring the metal back to a stable form.  Blades are known to last hundreds of times longer, and sharpen much faster.  (less material is removed at each re-sharpening).  Blades are also less likely to break from shock.  Even though today, we are able to get the low temperatures becuase of technology, Cold treatments date way back in time.  The curve in most Japanese (traditional) blades comes not from the blade makers hammer, but from heating the front and back of the blade, and then cooling the back of the blade rapidly.  This toughens the metal, and makes it more stable when impacted.  The use of N2 to get the low temperatures has only recently become financially do-able, but as the prices drop, more and more applications will be found that take benifit of the advantages of cryogenic processing.  Knives are COOLER.....HAHAHAHAHH...
My trusty benchmade 943 is treated, and the edge stays sharper, for longer.  In industry any cutting tool will benifit.  We save companies hundreds of thousands of dollars by reducing maintenence intervention, downtime, plus the parts just last longer.
and for you gear-heads out there, Motors develop more torque and HP when treated at rebuild time.
SO, that's the skinny on Cryo.
Gerald
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Mr. Barnett

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Re: Real Steel
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2007, 09:03:45 AM »

Warning:
don't "dip" your kickass blade in a jar of liquid N2!!!!!
it will damage it.
Modern Cryogenic processes use N2 Heat exchanger technology to slowly lower the temperature of the materials to -300F, and N2 NEVER touches the materials being processed. 
Thermal Shock would be like getting smacked upside the head by dean with a stick! for your parts.
and we don't want that now do we????
 ;D
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Bryan Lee

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Re: Real Steel
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2007, 12:45:06 PM »


   Gerald, Thank you for posting on the subject. I'm guessing your in France so maybe there are a few  differences in terminology.  Hollow grinding knives is more associated with the Grinding Method of blade making and truly a fantastic way to create first class knives. When I think of Hollow Grinding I think of knife makers like Bob Dozier of Arkansas, The master of D2 Tool Steel, Mike Lovett out of Texas, and  Bob Loveless of California who most consider the "Daddy of Em All" when it comes to hollow grinding.





Bob Dozier   http://www.dozierknives.com/




http://home.earthlink.net/~michaellovett/c20.jpg

http://home.earthlink.net/~michaellovett/




This knife made by Bob just sold in the thousands of dollars range, He is one of the most sought after knife makers by collectors all over the world, He does not have a website but about everybody is either copying him or commenting about him so there is lots of information out there if your interested.

http://www.greatlakescustomknives.com/Makers/Loveless_Bob/Fighter.htm
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Bryan Lee

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Re: Real Steel
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2007, 01:43:07 PM »


   The first few pictures I posted were Water Hardened Steel which is obvious by the Hamon line which is runs along the blade edge clearly showing where the edge was hardened. This is associated with the Japanese style of sword making but it is the preferred method for many makers who hammer forge their blades and take many hours to stone polish them into deadly works of art.

   The bigger blade without a hamon line was Oil Hardened which is less definable by vision but it was hammer forged, Im not so sure on the methods of finishing. I posted it up here because it was a very affordable high quality hammered out hand made American Blade and I just wanted to show that such things were still available in todays world of soulless computer ground knives.

  The fancy folder was Damascus steel made by Don Hanson himself who sales Damascus if any knife makers are reading this and was later precision flat ground and then hand ground using a belt grinder, I would have to see the knife in person to say exactly what other methods he put into it but it is a fine work of art I would love in my pocket that sold for over 3 thousand dollars and was worth every damm penny of it.

    As far as Cryogenic Tempering I have a old school blacksmith shop so the liquid nitrogen doesn't really suit the ambiance of the place but there are scientific reasons I'm not a huge fan of it. Most of the people who are selling the method are the bigger knife companies looking for gimmicks and the Grinders as I call them who jump onto every new steel and fix there is to make the ultimate sword or titanium folder not realizing that edged weapons meant for using on flesh and bone were perfected hundreds of years ago and while modern methods may be a short cut to producing larger  numbers of high quality products it will never remove the sweat factor as I call it from old school forging of iron nor remove the fingerprints of imperfection that make such objects perfect within themselves, In other words, good enough for them good enough for me.

    I do have one weakness though when it comes to modern high technology and that is Resin Epoxy, I just love the stuff but I tend to use it like hide glue and kind of forward and reverse engineer at the same time old world, new world, and modern primitive types of weapons and tactical gear. I'm sure now that Ive revealed this "The Glue Sniffing Factor" will become a new issue for my fan club.


   Again Gerald, thanks for taking the time to post and Cryo is a interesting newish method if knifemaking. While it is not really for me, it is nice to see something posted on the subject that makes people think. Please do post some pictures of the knives you have and use in your area. I'm a big fan of both French and Italian made knives, mostly just the automatics and pocket folders though because thats all Ive ever had access to. 


 
  Cryogenics: Does it Strengthen Steel?

Article by WarAngel.

"Cryo-Treatment", "Cryo-Freezing" and "Cryogenic Tempering" are terms associated with the cryogenics industry. The concept behind cryogenics is to achieve a variety of qualities in treated metal, such as improved durability, stress relief, reduced wear and extended life through a process of "cold treating".

The process involves reducing the temperature of a metal to sub-zero temperatures to enhance their desired metallurgical properties - usually -300F and below. The treatment is performed to the entire mass of the metal rather than just the surface to make it stronger and uniform.

What features are gained from Cryogenics? According to Cryogenics International, cyrogenics can cause the residual stresses and distortions of firearm barrels that form as a result of the heating and cooling of shooting to be alleviated, thus allowing the barrels to dissipate heat quickly and efficiently. In another example, American Bladesmith Society certified Master Bladesmith Tim Hancock claims that by following up with heat treatment, cryogenics causes knife edges to stay sharp much longer and reduces micro-fracturing and edge-chipping and improving blade strength overall. Even musicians have found their trumpets and trombones sounding better!

Yet despite the praises of cryogenics, the blademaking camp is drawn to opposites. Steel blades derive their strength from heat-treating in order to achieve a hardened form of steel known as martensite. Cryo-treatment is usually, thus, performed in conjunction with the heat-treating and tempering sequence.

In high alloy steels (e.g. stainless steel, O1, D2), the rich alloy content, while providing properties such as improved wear resistance and fine grain, can actually prevent full transformation of austenite (crystalline form of steel when above critical temperature) into hard martensite, leaving the part at less than optimal hardness. Cryo-treatment can help any remaining austenite crystals precipitate to martensite. The conversion from softer autensite into martensite would result in increased hardness of a blade, which, unfortunately, would be brittle without subsequent tempering. While this new level of hardness may be acceptable in knives, problems arise in the increased length of a sword which, by nature, has greater shock-tolerance requirements than a knife. One advertisement for a Japanese-style katana, mentioned the steel used is railroad tracks that have endured the freezing Siberian winters, which some would associate with some degree of "cryo-treatment." However, such claims are just marketing hype- these temperatures are far from the sub-zero thermal levels that qualify as cryogenic treatment, and more importantly, cryo-treatment must be done after heat treating - when steel is heated for forging or hardening, it loses all the characteristics imparted by any previous treatment, hot or cold.

In most low-alloy steels, there is little or no difference achieved by cryo-treatment. This is because low-alloy steels do not retain austenite. Some bladesmiths indicate that if low-alloy steel has received good heat-treating, there will be nothing left for the cryogenic process to work with. Swordmaker Randal Graham had tested blades of various low-alloy steels and have found no significant performance or hardness gain as as result of cryo-treatment, with the only exception of AISI 52100 steel gaining an average of only one point of Rockwell hardness over five test blades which, he concluded, was not significant enough for the extra time and treatment.

There are many positive points in support for cryogenics, in general. However, much more research has to be done to provide a more solid basis for the use of cryogenics in steel blades. Thus far, the added performance of edge-retention, durability and strength can be accomplished by use of different low-alloy steels such as L6 and W2 along with proper annealment and modern heat-treating techniques such as the use of salt baths.

ABS Master Bladesmith, Howard Clark, shares the following:

"I really wish this would just go away, but obviously it is not going to anytime soon. The cryogenic (subjecting it to severe cold, as in LN2 or -290F) treatment of blades is not a new thing, and it is also not a magic thing.

"There are two potential changes that can occur. The first is dimensional stability can be improved. This is what happens to the rifle barrel. By being subjected to severe cold, the barrel now no longer changes dimension as much as it used to when it heats up from repeated firing. Gauge block standards have been cryogenically treated for years for this reason, it reduces the margin of error induced by changes in temperature.

"The second possible thing that can happen is the change to martensite if there was retained austenite in the microstructure of the material. This is applicable to blades, but only if retained austenite is present. If the heat treating is done well, then there is no retained austenite present, i.e. no benefit to the cryogenic treatment. Retained austenite can be a problem with high alloy steels (stainless steels with high carbon are particularly susceptible, but still only if the heat treatment was not optimal in the first place). Low alloy and simple steels (likely what your kukri is made from a 10xx steel) are extremely unlikely to benefit from a cryogenic treatment, as they are unlikely to have any retained austenite to convert to martensite in the first place."

In conclusion, cryogenic experiments on blades are an interesting fad, but in light of what it achieves on a molecular basis, there is really no value in cryogenically treating sword blades and thus should not be viewed as a "magical" or miracle-producing process, because it will not yield such results accordingly.[/color]
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Mr. Barnett

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Re: Real Steel
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2007, 09:15:25 AM »

Hey Bryan, Man, thanks for the great post.
I see that you are a real edge lover like myself.
As of Today, There are numerous people who like or dislike cryogenic processing.  The funny thing is, Cold treatments go way back.  If the blade makers could have had colder temperatures back in the day, they would have, however refrigeration is relatively new.  Knife makers here in the city Thiers France have been using LN2 to freeze the steel for at least 45 years.  Since they have a multi-step production process, They are able to install the metal into a large containter, and flow the N2 over the blades.  This is by far not recommended on finished blades, but on semifinished parts that will be tempered or hardened again, it is highly recommended for the longevity of the edge of the blade.
I've been treating industrial cutting blades, and i can attest to the fact that they last longer, and require much less effort to re-sharpen.  The article below below states that cryo treatment benifits are lost if the metals are re-heated.  I found that statement to be untrue in my experience.  In fact, manufacturers of Extremely high quality, low production number blades are frozen several times throughout the process for different reasons, one being that the metal is more stable.  The article below also mentioned the hardness numbers are 1 point or so different, meaning that there is no benifit.  We, however have witnessed that if you take 6-10 points and measure them before, and after, you will be amazed to note that the uniformity of hardness accross the piece is extremely uniform after cryogenic treatment, and that means a better cutting device, since the edge hardness doesn't vary as much, and sometimes there is a six sigma average of <1%.  Since my business is material surface treatments and cryogenics, i'm a bit biased, but i've experienced with my own blades the improvements.
As for the knives you put up, WOW, they are forking bad ass.  I WILL get those photos tout suite so that you can see some of the really nice blades we've got here.  Bastide is a french company that makes excellent automatics.  easy to find on the net.  By the way, Automatics are not just for cops over here.  They are legal to carry. ha!
Anyways, Thanks a bunch for sharing those fine blades, and I promise to get the pics up within a few days.
Keep Cool,
G.
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Bryan Lee

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Re: Real Steel
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2007, 12:51:16 PM »

Hey Bryan, Man, thanks for the great post.
I see that you are a real edge lover like myself.
As of Today, There are numerous people who like or dislike cryogenic processing.  The funny thing is, Cold treatments go way back.  If the blade makers could have had colder temperatures back in the day, they would have, however refrigeration is relatively new.  Knife makers here in the city Thiers France have been using LN2 to freeze the steel for at least 45 years.  Since they have a multi-step production process, They are able to install the metal into a large containter, and flow the N2 over the blades.  This is by far not recommended on finished blades, but on semifinished parts that will be tempered or hardened again, it is highly recommended for the longevity of the edge of the blade.
I've been treating industrial cutting blades, and i can attest to the fact that they last longer, and require much less effort to re-sharpen.  The article below below states that cryo treatment benifits are lost if the metals are re-heated.  I found that statement to be untrue in my experience.  In fact, manufacturers of Extremely high quality, low production number blades are frozen several times throughout the process for different reasons, one being that the metal is more stable.  The article below also mentioned the hardness numbers are 1 point or so different, meaning that there is no benifit.  We, however have witnessed that if you take 6-10 points and measure them before, and after, you will be amazed to note that the uniformity of hardness accross the piece is extremely uniform after cryogenic treatment, and that means a better cutting device, since the edge hardness doesn't vary as much, and sometimes there is a six sigma average of <1%.  Since my business is material surface treatments and cryogenics, i'm a bit biased, but i've experienced with my own blades the improvements.
As for the knives you put up, WOW, they are forking bad ass.  I WILL get those photos tout suite so that you can see some of the really nice blades we've got here.  Bastide is a french company that makes excellent automatics.  easy to find on the net.  By the way, Automatics are not just for cops over here.  They are legal to carry. ha!
Anyways, Thanks a bunch for sharing those fine blades, and I promise to get the pics up within a few days.
Keep Cool,
G.


  Gerald, Thanks for the information on Cryo, Its a little beyond my scope with me now in Southeast Asia where I'm lucky to get ice in my drink much less have access extensive testing of its effects. I don't think its for me but I did enjoy reading about it and I will be watching in the coming years as more scientific evidence comes out about it. I can attest to strange and beautiful things happening in extreme cold weather, having spent a few winters in the interior of Alaska under the Northern Lights.

   Thanks for the heads up on Bastide. Do you know of any French made Stiletto Automatics or military purpose automatic knives? Thanks again, Bryan
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