Hardened Steel Core To see if the knife has been fully hardened I test it with a file. When the Knife is fully hardened a file should not bit into the steel because the steel core is harder than the file itself. Now that is Hard!!! Here is a video of me trying to drill through a hardened blade. I had got in a hurry and forgot to drill the knife before I heat treated it so I ran into problems trying to drill it. I can take the temper out of the handle by putting the blade in water and heating the handle red hot while the blade is in the water. If you try to do this without the blade in water you will remove the temper out of the blade itself.
Well time is running out and I still have a lot of work to do, so I pulled an all nighter. Heat Treating is done….(deep sigh of relief) all went well. I had a couple of knives I had to heat treat twice because didn’t quite get them hot enough, but that is what happens when you teater on the edge of just hot enough and too hot. I am still working on getting some videos up but will probably be after the first of the year.
This is a highly debated subject, and I would love to say that forging a blade makes a far superior product. The reason people think forged blades are superior is for the fact when you forge a blade you are arranging the grain of the steel to the profile of the blade, (constant like the natural grain of wood compared to say plywood). therefor making a stronger blade. (I think this is true but how measurable that is, is hard to tell) I feel what matters most is the skill level of the blade smith. That being said, forging is the way to go when it comes to strength in things like hooks on a crane that require extreme strength. But the fact of the mater is, I don’t believe it makes a HUGE difference in a knife, a difference yes, but huge no. Forging can save time and material, it is a lot easier for someone to work the hot steel into the shape they desire, compaired to trying to grind away the steel. But the main reason I prefer to forge a blade, it allows the bladesmith to mold the blade into a piece of art, a lot like a potter molding in his hands what he already sees in his head. The way I see it is I could make a machine to grind and form a knife, but then it wouldn’t be CUSTOM would it. It is hard to express how I feel, but to me I wouldn’t be putting all that I had into a blade, with out molding it into that one of a kind, FORGED, piece of art, for You!
Some really nice grain.