Friday, July 07, 2006

Forging a blade

Having finally had time to do this, I now present the forging of a small general-use knife

I'm starting off with some flat bar stock, from what I can tell W2, a water-hardening tool steel of fairly simple alloy. Don't let the 'water-hardening' fool you; in a piece like this, or any other thin section, use a light quenching oil, preferably heated to around 100 F. If you quench a thin section in water, it's quite likely to crack.

First, bring the few inches for the blade up to heat

Then hammer it into a point tapered toward one edge. Remember that when you hammer on the edge it not only tapers it, it spreads it wider, so you'll have to make a few strokes on the side to keep the thickness even.

Reason for 'toward one edge' is that when you hammer in the bevels from the back to the edge, the edge side will be stretching- a lot in many cases- so you both taper toward one edge, and then bend it toward the edge side

When you start hammering, you'll be placing the edge section along one edge of the anvil and striking with the hammer face at an angle, starting at the back end of the blade and working forward. You're spreading the steel so it'll be thinner at the edge, and if you don't have it at the edge of the face you'll be banging the hammer and anvil faces up.

Start at the rear, and it'll straighten as you work forward

This is after working one side. The blade is mostly straight and the bevel from back to edge is visible.

Next heat, it'll be worked on the opposite edge of the anvil to shape the other bevel

Here's the piece now. The bevels are formed, the blade is rough-shaped in profile and length. You can do some more hammer work to refine the shape a bit and- very important- make sure the edge is straight and centered; if it's crooked or off-center, NOW is the time to take care of that.

This piece is going to have a full tang, meaning the full length and width of the grip section; in this case it'll be drilled and the wood, stag or whatever will be pinned and glued in place. First I bring it up to heat, then, at the back of the blade, hammer it over the edge of the anvil to form the front of the tang

Then figure out how much stock you'll need to shape the tang and cut it off. If in doubt, cut it too long; you can always trim it. I usually bring it up to heat and cut it on the cutoff hardy, basically a chisel with a tang that fits into the square hardy hole; lay it on the edge and hit a couple of strokes, then use tongs to break it off at that point.

leaving this

Now, to lengthen the tang I heat it and use the peen side of a straight-peen hammer. By striking with this face, you stretch it lengthwise while getting minimal spread in width.

After working down one side, work down the other. You'll have to also work the edges a bit to keep them at the width you want. And watch how much you use the peen; it's possible to wind up with the tang thinner than you want. Plan on it being the fullest thickness where tang meets blade, tapering thinner from there.

At this point you'll need to watch the back to make sure it doesn't wind up with some odd curve or bulge you don't want; the overall straightness; make sure the edge is still centered. It's possible to do virtually all of the shaping on the anvil, leaving just a slight bit of grinding or filing to clean up the profile, then heat-treat it. If you want shiny sides and smooth lines, you'll want to plan on making the blade a little oversize. Then you can grind the profile clean, and it'll be thick enough that you can grind off the hammer/forge marks.

How much grinding to clean up the sides depends almost entirely on how carefully you work. One thing that makes a big difference is to hit the piece with a wire brush when you take it out of the fire, a few strokes on both sides to get rid of scale. You can put a little water on the anvil face and dip the hammer face, then take the piece straight from the fire to the anvil and hammer. It's messy, the first stroke or two can get very loud 'bangs' from trapped water flashing to steam when you strike, but it works very well. And remember, the more even your hammer strokes, the better the finish will be when the forging is done.

When doing the last work on it, keep the heat to a low red, and after the hammering is done and all is as you wish it, put it in the fire and bring it up to a low red heat, over as much of the length and as even as possible, then bring it out and let it cool. This is not annealing; that requires bringing it to heat and cooling it as slowly as possible to make it as soft as possible. This is normalizing, evening out the stresses in the piece. A lot of makers do anneal here, putting the hot blade into a can of pre-heated ash or something that will hold in heat. You make your choice of which to do.

Which leaves you with this:

Forged, normalized and ready to grind or file to profile, to clean up the edge bevels and flatten the tang. When I get a chance to do this I'll post pictures of that.

Flea market report


This is actually from two weeks ago, but with one thing and another I flat forgot to post it.

Lots of stuff to look at, but what I came home with was this:

Old steel tool box with
3/8" Craftsman ratchet
1/2" Craftsman ratchet
bunch of sockets, standard and metric, about 1/3 Craftsman
short and long 3/8" extensions
bunch of combination wrenches, standard and metric
pliers, wire cutters, 2 oz hammer, screwdrivers, a tube of Permatex and a sharpening steel(!)

All for $20. I'd been thinking about getting a cheap inexpensive socket set for around the house stuff, this'll take care of that and a box to keep it in, and the other stuff will always be handy.

Last weekend ran across a guy with several firearms on a table, including an absolutely lovely thing: a J.P. Sauer und Sohn(sp?) double, 16 guage shotgun on the left, 8.something rifle on the right. The shotgun barrel was the most beautiful damascus barrel I've ever seen, and the whole thing was spotless. Beautiful wood, engraved lock plates, marvelous balance, a very fine example of the gunmakers art. Why he brought it out there, I have no idea; the chance of someone having the money to buy it was about zero(he did indeed know what he had), but at least it gave me a chance to look at it.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Oh, and as to trusting to the International Criminal Court

at The Hague?
Sarajevo, 3 July (AKI) - Bosnian Muslim war-time military commander Naser Oric, convicted of crimes committed against Serb civilians during Bosnia's 1992-1995 civil war, returned home over the weekend to a hero’s welcome, while Serbs on Monday voiced outrage at the light sentence handed down to him on Friday by the United Nations' Hague war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Andreja Mladenovic, a spokesman for Serbian prime minister Vojislav Kostunica’s Democratic Party of Serbia, said on Monday that the verdict was “a slap at justice,” and proof that the Hague Tribunal had double standards.

“We have documents showing that 3,260 people were found dead around Srebrenica from 1992-1995, and 50 are still listed as missing,” said Mladenovic. “All the evidence shows that these crimes were committed by the units under Oric’s command”, Mladenovic added.

Double-standard? Gee, you think maybe?

Is there NOTHING that won't be done in England

to 'appease' the enemy?

Found this at Dhimmi Watch:
His dragon-slaying heroics have kept his legend alive through the centuries.

But the Church of England is considering rejecting England's patron saint St George on the grounds that his image is too warlike and may offend Muslims.

Clergy have started a campaign to replace George with St Alban, a Christian martyr in Roman Britain.

This is just bloody pathetic.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, America

Lots of historical notes in lots of places; I'm not going to add to them. I hope to spend the evening after work with some friends, making noises and generally insulting the UN and every nanny-state socialist out there.

Enjoy the day.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The wonders of gun confiscation

At The Volokh Conspiracy, this post links to an article by David Kopel, Paul Gallant and Joanne Eisen titled Human Rights Atrocities: The Consequences of United Nations Gun Confiscation in East Africa. They link to both PDF and HTML versions.

One of the good quotes: Stephen Ikua, a government representative, said that threats were necessary in order to get civilians to peacefully surrender their firearms. He said: "As a government, you should talk from a position of strength. You cannot come in saying you are going to respect human rights."

And be sure to check out the comments at Volokh.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

In which the UN is told(politely) to go to hell

It's duly noted at the Geeks' place.

He also links to this at Alphecca in which the socialist and totalitarian gungrabbers reveal their true intention:
“We believe that no armed group outside of the State should be allowed to bear weapons. We also believe that regulating civilian possession of Small Arms/Light Weapons will enhance our efforts to prevent its misuse. In our view, the issue of ammunition should also be addressed in the context of the Program of Action because in the absence of ammunition, small arms and light weapons pose no danger.”

Hmmmm...... Remember this from the president-designate of the conference:"...the meeting is “not aimed at banning small arms or controlling weapons that are legally manufactured, purchased or traded in conformity with national laws”? And I seem to remember Kofi Annan saying that they were not trying to ban or restrict firearms ownership in the U.S.?

If there was any question before, there isn't now: these people are damned liars and cannot be trusted in any way.

Oh, and let's not forget the complete quote from that bitch Rebecca Peters(found by Kim):
I think American citizens should not be exempt from the rules that apply to the rest of the world. At the moment there are no rules applying to the rest of the world. That’s what we’re working for. American citizens should have guns that are suitable for the legitimate purposes that they can prove. I think that eventually Americans will realize that their obsession with arming themselves in fear, in a paranoid belief that they’re going to be able to stave off the ills of the world through owning guns, through turning every house into an arsenal, eventually Americans will go away from that. I think Americans who hunt—and who prove that they can hunt—should have single-shot rifles suitable for hunting whatever they’re hunting. I mean American citizens should be like any other citizens of the world.
" any other citazens of the world", in case you haven't caught it, means 'unarmed, not allowed to resist, and totally dependant on the gummint for everything.

As the Geek says, Molon Labe, bitch.