Keeping core steel straight
I just forged a go mai billet into a knife. The start of this project my first concern was keeping the core steel in the center of the billet. I took my time drawing out the billet, started with a 7/8”x1 1/4”x 3 3/4” billet and drew it into a 10” chefs knife. I probably should have posted this before I started but here we are.
The knife is is forged and I did my heat cycles to set up my steel for the hardening heat. My plan at the moment is to clean the edge up and etch it to see where my core steel is. Then I was thinking I’d grind a 45* angle ending at the center of the core steel. It won’t be straight but I was thinking it would go back in the forge and I’d tweak the edge and bevels to get the core straight enough to be the only steel at the edge. Does this sound like a good plan at the point I’m at in forging? What do you do when setting up for a knife like this? I only have hand hammers.
Are you performing your reduction by hand, by power hammer or press?
Or some combination thereof?
Solely by hand. It does have me looking pretty hard at presses though.
"I would hate to have to try it all by hand."
I couldn't agree more! If I had to do it all by hand hammering..... I wouldn't.
I can see your point. I told myself I’d not do this size of billet again by hand. The amount of heats it has taken is concerning all on its own.
I found a delam in the worst possible spot and decided to make it part of the tang. Drew the knife out a little more. It’s currently annealing. I’ll clean the sides up and the edge and see what I have. It is really interesting to see how the layers have moved. I definitely hit it more on one side than the other despite my best efforts to keep it all even. At the very worst I have another plan for the knife if this is a total fail.
A little update.
I’ve got the bevels and flats pretty close to where I want them. The core is at the edge but my outermost jacket may or may not be there. The test etch shows the 1084 core and the 15n20 jacket but my outer core, cable damascus isn’t showing even in the places I know it is. I’m thinking the nickel content may be very similar to my 15n20. My test etching before forge welding the billet showed a slight contrast. My test etch as ground was taken to a rough 120 belt finish and dunked for less than a minute just to see if I needed to make any adjustments to my grind for the last few thousandths before I start hand sanding. Edge thickness in the pic is .02”, spine is at .1”. Target for edge is almost zero. Spin will end up at ~.09”.
Pic of the test etch: