what are you making?

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Re: what are you making?

Post by ygmir » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:09 am

M F Bonz wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:14 am
Canoe wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:09 am
Various "Twists" of high/low carbon steel can produce some dramatic looks, and some great edges, but does anyone know of anyone getting close to true 'Damascus' steel?
The closest I've seen are some knives coming out of NW India.
I agree. People tend to use the word “”Damascus””as a general description of a style of metal work.
I don’t know the answer to your question. l did pose the question to my son.

I would guess that you would need to know the metallurgy used at the time to reproduce a period correct Damascus blade. Today we have and use modern steel. Although we do look for old tool steel to use.

Edit>> from my son.

Anything made today is “Pattern welded” real Damascus came from Damascus and was made from crucible steel like a katana or samauri sword.
Wootz steel sorry
that is my understanding, too. Glad your son confirms it. Still beautiful in it's own right!
I have a lot of "old tool steel". Old stone working tools, chisels, drills and the like, from my grandfathers stuff, probably well over 100 years old. Is the steel worth using for certain things? I'd not want to eventually scrap it, if it'd be something someone would look for in a special circumstance.
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Re: what are you making?

Post by M F Bonz » Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:06 pm

This is where the advice of a certain cat would come in handy. I would say never scrap old steel especially if it’s forged steel.
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Re: what are you making?

Post by Canoe » Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:28 pm

M F Bonz wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:14 am
Edit>> from my son.
Anything made today is “Pattern welded” real Damascus came from Damascus and was made from crucible steel like a katana or samauri sword.
Wootz steel sorry
Something lost in the translation I believe. Katana, etc., were laminated & folded high/low carbon which often results in interesting hamon, but it's not Damascus. Some of the modern high/low carbon steel twists look similar to one of the visual features in Damascus. Going crazy on the number of twists can get an amazing blade, with many of the cutting properties of Damascus, but not the same metallurgy.
The pig-iron that Damascus was made from was transported to Europe back in the day. But in working it they heated it up too high and destroyed the complex metallurgy it had (resulting in precipitating the carbon out or some such), so they couldn't get anywhere near the same results.
(Another oddity, is the very hard bronze from in and around Greece.)

Don't scrap steel that's from before atomic weapons testing. It's sought after for various instrumentation as it is uncontaminated.
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Re: what are you making?

Post by M F Bonz » Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:42 pm

The Correction “”Wootz steel sorry”” came after. I posted.

He’s not trying to duplicate old blades he’s just making new stuff. Damascus just rolls off the tongue better when you’re talking about edged weapons.
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Re: what are you making?

Post by M F Bonz » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:11 pm

Today you can buy 12 Inch billets in all kinds of patterns. I even saw one listed as “”Titanium Damascus billet”” ....Titanium? Damascus? ...””Timascus””
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Re: what are you making?

Post by Canoe » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:11 pm

M F Bonz wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:42 pm
... Damascus just rolls off the tongue better when you’re talking about edged weapons.
Damascus is what the market calls it, so that's the label to use.

There've been so many steel formulas developed in the past few decades that there's little if any technical need for "Damascus". But for beauty, it's hard to beat. Although some of it I've no appreciation for. I even used a metal polish on my 'Damascus' kitchen knives, losing the acid staining but gaining in smoothness. But that's also what I've gone to exclusively for sharpening, after trying it on a chisel for a lark. Does a better job than .5 u honing compound. Crazy fast too. AUTOSOL metal paste on a maple block for sharpening and on wood strips like paint stirring sticks for honing. I end up honing my knives one or twice a month, and sharpen them every three years if they need it or not. The bottom of my plane blades are very close to mirrors (i.e., very flat), as are the meeting bevels. Precision of one plane meeting another.

Various people are still trying to come up with a way to make real Damascus steel.
4.669
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That's one word I regret googling during breakfast.
.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
, but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

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Re: what are you making?

Post by ygmir » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:13 am

M F Bonz wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:06 pm
This is where the advice of a certain cat would come in handy. I would say never scrap old steel especially if it’s forged steel.
"whiskey drinkin rafter cat"...
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Re: what are you making?

Post by ygmir » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:16 am

Canoe wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:11 pm
M F Bonz wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:42 pm
... Damascus just rolls off the tongue better when you’re talking about edged weapons.
Damascus is what the market calls it, so that's the label to use.

There've been so many steel formulas developed in the past few decades that there's little if any technical need for "Damascus". But for beauty, it's hard to beat. Although some of it I've no appreciation for. I even used a metal polish on my 'Damascus' kitchen knives, losing the acid staining but gaining in smoothness. But that's also what I've gone to exclusively for sharpening, after trying it on a chisel for a lark. Does a better job than .5 u honing compound. Crazy fast too. AUTOSOL metal paste on a maple block for sharpening and on wood strips like paint stirring sticks for honing. I end up honing my knives one or twice a month, and sharpen them every three years if they need it or not. The bottom of my plane blades are very close to mirrors (i.e., very flat), as are the meeting bevels. Precision of one plane meeting another.

Various people are still trying to come up with a way to make real Damascus steel.
sharpening is a skill I have in small amounts. I'd like to know it better. None of my stone working tools require the precision, but as I do more wood working (I have a Woodmizer sawmill, and make custom stuff at times), I see the advantages.
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Re: what are you making?

Post by M F Bonz » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:00 am

I like the polished look with my knives also.
I’m going to give you a trick I learned from a Mexican knife maker. I stopped using cloth buffing wheels. I Will never buy one again. I use cardboard cut from a box. If the box has colored printing on it that’s even better. I Still use rouge with the wheel. But I can get a better faster polish with a cardboard wheel than I can get with a cloth wheel. Just stack three or four cutouts together and mount them to the buffer.

Warning you do get a lot of cardboard dust with this technique ...It Can be messy in a shop setting. I use my buffer outside where the dust is not a problem.
sharpening ....I struggle with that one.
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Re: what are you making?

Post by Canoe » Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:34 pm

ygmir wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:16 am
Canoe wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:11 pm
... Does a better job than .5 u honing compound. Crazy fast too. AUTOSOL metal paste on a maple block for sharpening and on wood strips like paint stirring sticks for honing. I end up honing my knives one or twice a month, and sharpen them every three years if they need it or not. The bottom of my plane blades are very close to mirrors (i.e., very flat), as are the meeting bevels. Precision of one plane meeting another. ...
sharpening is a skill I have in small amounts. I'd like to know it better. None of my stone working tools require the precision, but as I do more wood working (I have a Woodmizer sawmill, and make custom stuff at times), I see the advantages.
Getting sharp is pretty straight forward. It's the intersection of one plane meeting another. The flatter they are, the sharper their intersection is. Choosing the angle to meet is another thing to know. Different angles for different tools/purposes.

For a plane:
- make the bottom flat (like Japanese chisels, some are hollowed so you're only working the edges & blade section),
- then mirror for super flat,
- then make the blade bottom flat, then mirror flat,
- then make your bevel mirror/flat,
- then your secondary bevel is a much smaller area on the bevel, again super mirror/flat.

Rehone the secondary bevel (and occasionally also the blade bottom) and you're super sharp again. One minute tops. IF you're using AUTOSOL Metal Polish on a nice flat block of hardwood.
- As you get the blade better, you make the block flatter, and then in turn get better results.
- Don't use too much AUTOSOL, or the blade will float up on it and the corners of the blade will dip down instead of the blade staying flat on the wood block.

AUTOSOL is super fast to polish. Try some of that instead of your honing compound. If you polish too far, you can always dull it down some with cotton.

I've gone to hand tools over machine tools for so many tasks. Better control, no noise, less mess, no dust to breath in. Sometimes longer, sometimes faster. Wood: planed surface over a sanded surface. Faster, much nicer looking too.

Example: Plywood table tops with an added oak edge. Guy was sanding the edges down to match the top, taking 20 to 30 minutes per table, noisy dusty. Using a hand-scraper in a holder, two minutes per table, plus a two minute resharpening. Cleanup: shavings instead of sanding dust.
4.669
.
That's one word I regret googling during breakfast.
.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
, but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

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Re: what are you making?

Post by ygmir » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:58 am

@Mozy: that cardboard idea sounds a good one. I've often noted, folks from different places, and especially places with not as much access to money and "tech", come up with brilliant, simple and effective methods and materials that do just as good a job.

@Canoe: wow, just reading your process, I have "no foogin clue" about sharpening. I gots some learnin to do!!
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Re: what are you making?

Post by ^Rhino! » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:55 pm

Canoe, I'll have to echo your preferences for hand sharpening and the use of hand tools with wood. No matter what, I've found that when woodworking, patience and gentle experimentation is the key to the best results. It also does wonders for your blood pressure. I recently sanded the finish off a butcher block table in the aim of refinishing the table. I went through coarse, medium, and fine grit sandpapers, gently rubbing my fingers over the areas I was completing so I could discern if any imperfections were left. When the sanding was completed totally to my satisfaction, I gave it a coat of 'natural' Minwax stain .I finally gave the table 8 coats of polyurethane clearcoat. Satisfied, I let it dry overnight and went in to check my blood pressure (required 2x daily by my doctor).My BP read 111/56. At age 60! Thus, I recommend woodwork to build concentration as well as treating hypertension.

Regarding steel: I just saw an ad for a 5 1/2" blade Damascus folding knife for $79 less shipping and handling. The crenellated mottling characteristic of Damascus steel was there, but I'll bet dollars to navy beans that Damascus steel isn't as sharp as the steel used for the Japanese Katana, the dai-katana, the wakizashi, tanto, or ninja-to. The Japanese blades are a marvel of strength and flexibility. the steel used for these blades was folded up to twenty times, yielding over a million laminations. Furthermore, the laminated steel was sandwiched in between two outer strips of strong unfolded steel for support. Thus you had strength supporting flexibility. These were sharpened by experts. The same degree of sharpness was not achieved in the West until the 1970s, when Gillette started to use ion implantation on razor blades.

What you see in most kitchen knives and pocket knives is a 440-grade steel. I have a pocketknife made by Al Mar of the Philippines (he now lives and makes cutlery in the US) that is 660-grade steel. I hone it on three different stones (grades) of Arkansas novaculite (a Type of metamorphosed chert, fascinating on its own for other reasons),which I prefer to carborundum for sharpening utility.
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Re: what are you making?

Post by ^Rhino! » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:55 pm

Canoe, I'll have to echo your preferences for hand sharpening and the use of hand tools with wood. No matter what, I've found that when woodworking, patience and gentle experimentation is the key to the best results. It also does wonders for your blood pressure. I recently sanded the finish off a butcher block table in the aim of refinishing the table. I went through coarse, medium, and fine grit sandpapers, gently rubbing my fingers over the areas I was completing so I could discern if any imperfections were left. When the sanding was completed totally to my satisfaction, I gave it a coat of 'natural' Minwax stain .I finally gave the table 8 coats of polyurethane clearcoat. Satisfied, I let it dry overnight and went in to check my blood pressure (required 2x daily by my doctor).My BP read 111/56. At age 60! Thus, I recommend woodwork to build concentration as well as treating hypertension.

Regarding steel: I just saw an ad for a 5 1/2" blade Damascus folding knife for $79 less shipping and handling. The crenellated mottling characteristic of Damascus steel was there, but I'll bet dollars to navy beans that Damascus steel isn't as sharp as the steel used for the Japanese Katana, the dai-katana, the wakizashi, tanto, or ninja-to. The Japanese blades are a marvel of strength and flexibility. the steel used for these blades was folded up to twenty times, yielding over a million laminations. Furthermore, the laminated steel was sandwiched in between two outer strips of strong unfolded steel for support. Thus you had strength supporting flexibility. These were sharpened by experts. The same degree of sharpness was not achieved in the West until the 1970s, when Gillette started to use ion implantation on razor blades.

What you see in most kitchen knives and pocket knives is a 440-grade steel. I have a pocketknife made by Al Mar of the Philippines (he now lives and makes cutlery in the US) that is 660-grade steel. I hone it on three different stones (grades) of Arkansas novaculite (a Type of metamorphosed chert, fascinating on its own for other reasons),which I prefer to carborundum for sharpening utility.
Rue Morgue - '08, '09
Black Rock Beacon - '2010, 2012-2016
(lux, veritas, lardum)
Bacon is forever. Veni, vidi, pertudi. (We came, we saw, we DRILLED.) - BRC Div. of Geology 2009-2015
I'm here until the serendipitous synchronicity is ubiquitous.

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Re: what are you making?

Post by Canoe » Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:10 am

^Rhino! wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:55 pm
... I recently sanded the finish off a butcher block table in the aim of refinishing the table. I went through coarse, medium, and fine grit sandpapers, ... gave it a coat of 'natural' Minwax stain. ....
You're ripe to move up a level or two in a couple of areas.
  • You've got the right idea for sanding: move up through multiple grades. Look at is as you're trying to make mountains that have the same height/depth peaks & valleys. As you go up a grade, you're redoing that job, but now at a lower height - you're taking the top of the peaks off, hopefully leaving the bottom of the valleys near where they were. Three grades is likely not enough. You're likely removing more wood than necessary, taking more time and using more sandpaper than necessary, than using more grades. (And you may be starting too coarse.) I have a junk violin top (belly) that I sanded (this is wrong! - it was an experiment on a junk instrument...) that was sanded so fine (through the grades to 6,000) the raw wood shone and looked varnished. Oddly, it also repels water a surprising amount (only sanded, not hammered to collapse the surface cells into a resistant layer).
  • Once you're done your sanding, you have the consequences left by the sandpaper media doing it's tearing job. A surface of raw torn fibres, with bits of fibres torn off and stray fragments of sanding media also resting on and in the structure of the wood. After blowing anything loose off (watch out for water or oil from your air source) and then wiping more aggressively with a soft clean dry cloth, take a clean dry cloth (not the one you just used) and dampen it (not wet!) with clean water (your choice on that definition). Wipe the wood surface with the damp cloth. Your goal is to dampen the torn wood fibres that are still attached to the surface without wetting the wood (this will also have some leftover loose fibres stick to the cloth, hence removed). The damp fibres will try to resume their prior position, so most will dry sticking up above the surface. Once thoroughly dry, take the next grade of sandpaper (i.e., go to 600 if your finest was 400), and very lightly sand around 30 degrees off the grain: goal is to sand off the fibres that are sticking up - without lowering the tops of the peaks (you're sanding cross grain...) - then wipe and blow them off, and another light pass with a barely damp cloth to try and pickup any leftover debris. It's quick and easy to do, and yields a significantly smoother result, with significantly fewer bits of debris to cloud your finish (and won't have wood fibres stick up if you use water-based treatments/finish - you removed them).
    If you sand a surface as per your normal, then do the above to half of the surface, you'll get to compare the two. When I sand, I sand to 400 or 600. For somethings (ebony and other hardwoods), even finer.
  • Use a tack cloth to remove loose debris.
  • Next level, is to stop sanding/tearing your wood surface, and move to cutting/shearing the surface with planes or scrapers. If you like using tailed apprentices (power tools) for sanding, then once you're down to fine grits, you can finish the surface with a scraper or plane. (Warning: once you see how fast and easy that is, you'll find you're skipping various power tools.) You'll see a finer, smoother and more precise surface, without the variance of the torn wood fibre "peaks". You can see down into the variance in the upper surface structures. Transparent finishes thrive!
  • Then you can get away from things like Min-wax. There are dyes and pigments you can use. Some difficult, some easy. For the finish, there's drying oils. They typically have a solvent that dries, but the oil itself has to cure (some polymerization and oxidation; i.e., linseed oil into polymers of linoxyn), and that will take time. Drying oils allow the wood grain & structure to explode into visual detail that you wont believe until you see it for the first time.
    Various popular products mislead you by saying, say Tung Oil, but it's actually Tung Oil as a token ingredient into a generic varnish. My favourite for some years is Tung Oil.
    You have three places for adding colour: into the wood (dyes), pigments rubbed into or in the varnish you put into the upper wood structure, and the top layers of varnish/finish which can have colour for a glaze. One technique (not commonly used since the 30's) even puts coloured plaster rubbed into the wood pores, typically contrasting with the wood, and different from any colour put into the finish that goes on top. You can go crazy with, say green in the plaster, with a blue finish over top. A variation is to first fume a high-tannin wood (or make it high-tannin by treating with black tea) with ammonia, to darken or even make it black. Then fill the pores with coloured plaster, etc..
^Rhino! wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:55 pm
... but I'll bet dollars to navy beans that Damascus steel isn't as sharp as the steel used for the Japanese Katana, the dai-katana, the wakizashi, tanto, or ninja-to. ... the steel used for these blades was folded up to twenty times, yielding over a million laminations. ...
I suspect you'd be wrong there. Many true Damascus examples (there's a wide variety) show evidence of more folds and finer mixtures along the edge than seen in the Japanese edges.
And there are modern "Damascus" folded blades that have gone as high as 128 folds (labour intensive - $$$), and that was from before I stopped closely following the latest in faux Damascus over two decades ago. The cutting tests back in the 1980's for those included things like cutting through a 2x4 and how many cuts of a rope could be made (how long 'sharp' lasts), with some astounding results.
^Rhino! wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:55 pm
... I have a pocketknife made by Al Mar of the Philippines (he now lives and makes cutlery in the US) that is 660-grade steel. ...
Check out some of the modern steels used in knives now. My nephew has various that get used and somewhat abused, and after a month with being used very day they show signs they would benefit from a honing. Modern steels make it a whole new world out there.
^Rhino! wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:55 pm
... I hone it on three different stones ...
A friend was letting me use his carefully chosen $6,000 collection of stones (I helped in their selection, so I was allowed to use them). I stopped using them after discovering the AUTOSOL, as it gives sharper results, and unbelievably faster. Under $20 a tube and needing a flat (one surface planed) wood block like maple (no exotics like Purple Heart), it happens to be astoundingly cheaper.
4.669
.
That's one word I regret googling during breakfast.
.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
, but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

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Re: what are you making?

Post by ygmir » Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:50 am

Canoe wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:10 am
..........so much great and interesting info......
you are singing me a Sirens song to lead me down the rabbit hole of sharpening skills...I have very rudimentary knowledge and the more you say, the more I am tempted. Cease, you wicked temptress!
This is fascinating, and I just don't have the time, yet, to concentrate on it.
I have several old hand planes and such, from my grandfather (100 or more years old), that I now am so tempted to take off the display shelf and try to resurrect. Even a box of NOS replacement blades (somewhere around here).
ugh,
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Re: what are you making?

Post by Canoe » Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:51 am

ygmir wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:50 am
... I have several old hand planes and such, from my grandfather (100 or more years old) ...
I assume metal (but a lot of older ones are wood). If they're not warped from getting dropped, an appropriate sized block of wood with a light coating of AUTOSOL can quickly true the base. If it's warped, google how to fix that. And you can true the base to the sides too, so those are at a 90 degree angle to the base, if you're going to use them for shooting or such. The AUTOSOL is also great for cleaning any metal parts that are not painted; use a clean cotton rag.

For a sharpening block, I used a 4"x4" piece of maple sold for turning. One long side was made flat by a plane setup for demo/trial at a local store (and its opposite side flat too, so the block can sit on a flat surface without rocking). That was great for making my planes' blades mirror flat. So I did the same for my plane bases. Then with a plane tuned up, base mirror flat & blade mirror flat, I re-trued the block surface to be even flatter. Then more flattening made the blades even more mirror like. (The above took an evening, but I also polished and sharpened my kitchen knives that evening.) From then on, honing is ~30 seconds to hone the base, and ~30 seconds to hone the secondary bevel. You'll spend more time removing and re-installing the blade in the plane. Done so fast it takes the fun out of sharpening, but you get to use a sharp blade all of the time.

With the plane bases mirror, that's too smooth. It can 'stick' to flat wood. So the bottom was finely 'scratched'/textured so air can escape. The result was a very awesome sheen. But I can't remember what I used to get that fine texture. I think it was by running the plane base over raw very hard maple.
(Then I tore scratches in the bottom of my best plane by planing Purple Heart... Back to the AUTOSOLed sharpening block to smooth them down a bit.)

p.s. NOTE: when flattening your plane blades, DO NOT flatten the top surface that doesn't need to be flat/mirror, as it is not a surface that will intersect a flat surface to make an edge. If you "mirror" that top surface, the blade is extremely slippery and difficult to handle. It also means that the top surface to the sides of the blade approaches sharp (one surface/plane flat), making moving the blade flat on the sharpening block somewhat painful. 1000 grit sandpaper can roughen up that top surface to correct that quickly.
4.669
.
That's one word I regret googling during breakfast.
.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
, but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

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Re: what are you making?

Post by ygmir » Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:30 am

sits down, head spinning...
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