WIP Blade for my second atempt at the ABS journeymens test.
I have made this 8 times in the last year as i dont want to take the test a third time I failed the rope cut due to not understanding edge geometry as well as i should. it's still in its as forged just forged and I measured it today and see it's too long, I need to refine the tang(it's still at least 1/4th inch thick) and take the tip down, refine the taper, and straighten it more. once i have the blade finished I will contact a master smith again to set up the test.
PS: why did I take the time to add a tip? well because in my head/theory, the curve of a tip should help with cutting the rope as the curve of a tip will help continue cutting through it more than just a straight termination as you finish your cut.
Best of luck on your upcoming performance test! From your post above, it sounds like the rope cut may have gave you trouble in the past. Quick question for ya….
Are your practice blades performing well when you run them through the tests at home in preparation for the test?
When ready to schedule the test with a Mastersmith, Several folks recommended building two blades at the same time, and as close to identical as possible. Test one to ensure it performs as desired and test the other for real. Just something to consider if you haven’t already. It helped to ease the nerves a little bit.
Sounds like you’ve been having fun with the 8 practice/research blades in preparation over the last year. Look forward to hearing an update.
Thank you. Its going to be a couple of days as I injured a muscle or tendon in my hammer arm's shoulder and keep aggravating it. The reason I made it eight times is...I forgot how to do proper heat treatment as I was sick most of 2022 with a variety of respiratory issues...and chasing perfection. I also did not realize the bevel was part of the edges geometry for whatever reason...it just never occurred to me...and I have taken a (Non abs there to far away) 2-day class on knifemaking.
I’m not sure what steel you’ve chosen to use, heat treatment recipe, etc. but don’t be afraid to test a “skinnier than originally planned” blade a few times at home if you haven’t already done so. After a lot if testing with 80CrV2, it was eye opening as to how well a thin edge will perform and keep smiling at you throughout the cutting and chopping tests.
Thank you. i like 1075 and did a lot of experimentation with it to dial it in. I am not afraid of the bend test or chopping test as I know I can make a blade to pass those portions. after I failed the rope cut, Master Smith I took it with gave me a small lesson on edge geometry, and I asked to do a bend test on the blade it passed that.(he even told me what the ABS tends to look for in the bend and gave me some 1-inch rope to practice cutting with...i used that up and need to get more.) I managed to do a little bit of work on this, but I am healing from a repetitive motion injury to my hammer arm(i saw a doctor about it), and I need to let it heal before I do more work on it. I am hoping to get the forging done next week. I have a cold shut I need to try to get out with a small hammer or just grind out.
The Jambia-style blade shown is not the most aesthetically pretty blade. I have made the right edge geometry to cut a rope and survive a chop. I intentionally left the finish rough, it was just a test blade for learning to get that I shape as an Integrated piece. i made a more statically pleasing one but screwed up the grind and have not made another one yet.
Is the knife at the bottom of the photo the shape you plan to use for the test?
“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”
No it's the 'unfinished' one of these. i am a little worried because i had a delam in one of the 1075 bars i ordered that there was no way I could have put where I found it and then another of the bars I ordered cracked this is my last piece of NJSB 1075.
the second pic i shared the rough one that will be my test blade and a a prototype blade I made it from a leaf spring to see if i could forge that shape by hand, and was not satisfied with it but put a handle on it for practice.
Steel 1075, 220 machine polish, grayed the tang to take out the temper because I would rather a tang bend like iron than break like glass. Now it is time to true up the lines with files and my Dremel and do some hand polishing using my diamond stones. It's not quite as good of a final polish as sandpaper, but it lasts longer. The chatter is due to the fact I need to fix the top wheel of my cheap grinder again. 😭
Note: the weld bead is there because It had what might have been a crack at the tang, so I put a small line of weld on both sides. This is the 20+ time I have made a knife for the test, and it survived a 2x4 already, so I am just going with it as I am OK with a crack there as it will not open up... I find another crack, and you guys will find a whole new rough forged knife.
Thanks for sharing your performance test journey and best of luck. It sounds like you're putting a lot of time into preparation.
In regard to the cracking/repairs mentioned above, something to consider/discuss prior to testing is Section III, D, 1&2 in the rules.
This section talks about damage or flaws prior to the performance test that could be concerning to the MS. It's MS discretion, but a knife could be rejected for testing if the MS deems any aspect of the construction unsafe.
It's always hard to tell from pictures, and I'm certainly not an MS, but it's something worth having a discussion with him about.
I've just barely started on a JS presentation set so take this for what it's worth from a fellow apprentice.
Is the weld bead back by the third pin hole? The blade looks good Kevin. Another question, did you draw the spine of the blade also along with the tang?
BRION TOMBERLIN: thank you yes, the weld was at the third pin-hole at the butt of the knife. I clayed the blade, so there is no point to draw back the spine as its pearlite. Here is a shot of the blade right after the quench and temper.
Matt K Kirby: it should be fine as it's at a good place to get a possible crack and it was only on one side of the hole. i ran the knife through a 2x4 already (and wish i wore my impact gloves). given i etch between polish(it helps bring out a hamon) and i will be able to notice if there is another crack on the business end and if there is it will go into the known steel scrap bin. however, this is not fully hardened blade i did a clay quench on it as seen in the picture and i actually always clay to the first hole every and draw back the handle on every knife i make regardless of size so it should be fine. well i need to get to start polishing the blade again i had a lazy morning.
Kevin, just some thoughts. I can see the hardening line in the picture. It looks a bit high for the bend test. If your blade was to crack it would probably go higher than the 1/3rd width of blade specified. I would go ahead and draw the spine in a water bath and bring that line down some. Just to be on the safe side.
BRION TOMBERLIN: (1/2) The line is deceptive in the first picture. With my oil Parks 50 I dont agitate or heat the oil outside of winter with a clayed as it just cools the blade too fast, so I get nucleation expansion of the hamon. However, The smith I took my first test with was kind enough to show me an example of just how thick a knife should be for a rope cut.