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son of liberty
09-05-2010, 12:45 PM
OK folks, I have drawn a pattern that I cant stop looking at, I pinned it up on the wall and it just seems to sing to me. The idea is a large bushcraft type knife 5in blade 5in handle, long scandi grind on a thick chunk of steel 3/16 probably. I like the single bevel scandi edge for many reasons a large one being wood craft , I have great edge control when I lay the bevel against the wood and just draw it, perfect ribbons of wood shaved right off. At the same time I want to be able to beat it with a stick through firewood or even across the grain of the wood, so it needs to be able to withstand some abuse, but also be sharp enough to shave or so I would like. With everyday use to include all the above I would like to only have to sharpen it once a day for a few minutes.

I have decided on either 1095 or 01, I am sort of familiar with these after working with old files but that's the extent of my experience. My question is what one is best suited to this use.

murphda2
09-05-2010, 01:21 PM
I'm probably not the best to answer this question as I am fond of both and feel that either steel will perform exceptionally for the given tasks.

1095 will be a bit less expensive if this is a possible deciding factor.

omegaman111
09-05-2010, 03:27 PM
in my honest opinion from what ive learned its all about the heat treatment. If you get it professionally heat treated then im sure that either steel would perform exceptionally and 1095 is cheaper so i would go with that. but yea just make sure you get it heat treated by professionals such as peters heat treat b/c my first knife was 1095 and i heat treated it myself using primitive techniques and the thing cant hold or even get an edge. so yea basically ur good with either one just as long as u get it heat treated but price wise i would go with 1095

LRB
09-05-2010, 03:38 PM
01 will out perform 1095, if heat treated properly, largely due to the chrome,tungsten and vanadium in it. Another plus to 01 is that it will be so soft when you get it, you can carve slivers from it with common knife. It is very easy to file and work without high tech tooling. Here is the cheapest place I know of to get 01
http://amtektool.thomasnet.com/viewitems/precision-ground-flat-stock/o-1-tool-steel-oil-hardening?

son of liberty
09-05-2010, 05:45 PM
I figure ill do one step at a time till I have each step mastered.
I made a few knives last winter in a home made forge using an old file for steel. I also tried to beat a piece of high quality cable in to a billet but that didn't go so well. Anyhow I got it hard or so I figure, I actually dont use the knives but they are around here somewhere. I have handled a few knife kits here and there but always want to go one step farther, so ill go one step farther, one step at a time.

This time I'm thinking ill have GLWJ cut me out a few blanks , I dont know if he dose just a few knives but I'm going to email him for an idea. I figure ill do both 1095 and 01, and ill try 3/16 and 1/8, maybe 4 blanks in each. That way ill have a few blanks to work on my grinding and actually testing maybe a flat grind and the skandi grind, beat the tar out of them and maybe figure out what one best suits my use. Heat treat I think will be sent out this time, ill see what qualifies as a good heat treat and maybe have something to compare any of my heat treats against.

I work as an arborist and have some crazy crazy looking woods as well as basic hardwoods, Its not stabilized but hey its worked for a few hundred years like that. Some real strange stuff, Osage root wad splits, some iron wood, stuff like that.

I cant shake the bug, I have tried, I cant seem to ever talk myself out of doing it.

Leatherface
09-05-2010, 08:34 PM
I would use 1084 if I were gonna rock the HT myself

BUT

if I were going to send it out to someone that can hit it with the proper soak?? I would go with O-1 just for giggles

Leatherface
09-05-2010, 08:40 PM
http://www.admiralsteel.com/shop/

O-1 and 1095

Carlitos
09-05-2010, 09:13 PM
If you can get a nice finish O1 but carbon steel for shaving...

son of liberty
09-05-2010, 10:30 PM
Over the years I have heard allot of different opinions and even some legitimate reasons for there opinions. Seems like all steels have there fan base and followers, even the steels that i have never heard of have a fallowing of people just because its named this or that and is new, top that out by large manufacturer using it and boom you have the best steel ever. I dont want to fall prey to this any more then I already have. In my life I have owned lots of knives, but never and quality hand made knives. Due to past experiences with cheap knives i have developed a hatred for stainless (I know its Ignorant) , the one knife my father had that wasn't a stainless knife was a KaBar. We spent hours throwing that thing in to an old redwood stump in our yard, some times a bad hit with the force we were throwing that thing would bend that blade ......he would vice it up and straiten it up....good as new. So after that experience I had a love for carbon steel, you know the old idea that now stainless is bad and carbon good. This ideal was only reinforced by the few carbon blades I did get, an old hickory 14in butcher, a very very old hunting KaBar, and my hatred for stainless again reinforced by every cheap flavor of the moth china knife.

So fast forward to now, I have researched as much as i care to and said, if I ever_______ I'm using this. Now the time approaches and I I'm a bit more hesitant to get this or that. I figure I need to learn 3 steels tops, that will allow me to actually learn the steel and not just push out a knife but be good at it after a while. So my requirements became different, I guess more based in reality.

1095, its cheap, I can forge it, I have splendid memories of using it, simple.

01, someone once described a very good chisel I had as being 01. I abused that thing, and it would always get sharp again and cut like a cold wind through cotton. I saw an article one time where a famous knife maker was being asked about pattern welded steel , he said it doesn't make the knife cut any better its just aesthetic, if he wanted to make the best cutting tool it would be 01 with a good heat treat. While the comment was more about pattern welded steel and its quality, his comment about 01 stuck with me .

So if i decided to use both 01 and 10xx, I'm now stuck with 2 steels that are rust prone. Ill say it, I have never given quality Stainless steel a fair shake, I have bashed the stuff, carried an old Case pocket knife to avoid the stuff, and never use a quality stainless blade so its never had the opportunity to redeem itself. Well I think my 3rd steel would be best as some sort of stainless, it would round me out some and make possible some of the mirror like finishes I have seen you guys put out. I guess what type would be better chosen at the point I'm actually going to use it, but you get the idea.

Of course I'm sure as I understand steel more and the qualities of a good knife my opinion will change more and be drastically different then my current thinking trend.


Don't know why i posted all this, I guess looking at all the knives on here has made me think about dads old Kabar and great knife memories, anyhow thanks for reading my ramblings.

dennie
09-06-2010, 03:26 AM
Style and intended use will always play a part in steel selection. For your Stainless selection, I would recommend 440C. Not 440A or B. 440C is one of the oldest knife alloys, but is still hard to beat once you get past the trend names. It grinds well, finishes well, will take and hold decent edge, very economical for an alloy, takes a lot of abuse, still sets the standard for corrossion resitenance, and can be heat treated with very basic methods, forge or torch and a toaster oven.
dennie

Doug Lester
09-06-2010, 10:55 AM
You're right about people being partisan about certain steels for good, bad, or indifferent reasons. Mainly they find a couple of steels that work for them and stick with them or they find a steel that they have had problems with and avoid them. Some people love 1095 for it's simplicity but others have had problems with it when it comes to heat treating. I learned from Aldo Bruno when I talked to him at the Mad Dwarf hammer-in that the designator 1095 doesn't tell the whole story; one also has to look at the magnagese content, which can vary melt to melt. He has a batch of 1095 with enough manganese that it is deep hardening even though 1095 is classified as a shallow hardening steel. Reading threads on this board and others, some makers claim that O1 is easy to forge while others claim that it is red short. Some claim that it is very forgiving to heat treat while and others claim that it is very demanding.

As far as stainless goes, there are applications that where it is a champ, like where corrosion is a problem. It is more brittle than the more simple carbon steels but unless you are going to try to use it as a pry bar or to unstick a stuck window (don't ask) that is probably not a issue. It is more demanding to forge but it can be done once you learn the proper heat to forge it at and you accept that it is not going to move as quickly under the hammer as a simpler steel. Stainless steels are air quenching and some can be demaning when it comes to heat treating.

As far as working with an arboritst to get your wood, just be aware that you are going to have to dry the wood before you can use it and that can take a few years. The information that I got from a wood seller is that the general rule of thumb is one year for each inch of thickness plus one year. Get yourself a moisture meter to test the wood with. It also help to coat the ends of the boards with paint or wax to prevent checking. Just cut the wood to a usable size and stack it so that there is plenty of around the pieces and it won't be in the way, then wait. You could also speed the process up by building a drying box. I understand that they are not that difficult to make.

Doug Lester

LRB
09-06-2010, 03:36 PM
Style and intended use will always play a part in steel selection. For your Stainless selection, I would recommend 440C. Not 440A or B. 440C is one of the oldest knife alloys, but is still hard to beat once you get past the trend names. It grinds well, finishes well, will take and hold decent edge, very economical for an alloy, takes a lot of abuse, still sets the standard for corrossion resitenance, and can be heat treated with very basic methods, forge or torch and a toaster oven.
dennie

DUDE, tell me you're joking. 440-C with a torch or forge? I don't think so.

Doug Lester
09-06-2010, 09:43 PM
I checked "The Master Bladesmith" by Jim Hrisoulas and from what he lists about 440C it looks like it could be heat treated with a forge if it is capable of near welding temperatures and the tempering range is well within the capabilities of a kitchen or toaster oven. Now this is not saying that a specialized heat treating oven might be better or that it would be better to at least have a pyrometer in the forge but unless we are missing something it should be possible. Of course the forge would also have to be adjustable enough to anneal the steel also. This should be obtainable with a blown forge with a needle valve control on the gas flow.

Doug Lester

dennie
09-07-2010, 05:20 AM
Well, it wasn’t meant to be a joke. The thread wasn’t started as a “how to” for an optimum high performance blade with state of the art equipment by someone who is a master at metallurgy. As I read it, the object was to get an above average blade with fairly simple methods and if there were any alloy options. As Doug stated, any forge capable of welding temperature is beyond what is needed to harden 440C. I said before, and will do so again, this will not be the optimum that the steel is capable of, but will meet or exceed many homebrew hardening jobs on other steels. I’m also talking for a stock removal blade, not forged. My forge is hooked to my 500 gallon propane tank, so pressure or time isn’t a problem. My blower never sees more than half the output it’s capable of. I can crank it to where most people aren’t comfortable standing next to it, including me. I also run it rich when hardening. I have less that $100.00 in it and doesn’t come close to the professional quality most on here are used to, but it’s down and dirty, and meets the topic of the thread. When professionally tested, the blades will go 56-57 Rockwell C. Unprofessionally tested, a quality file won't touch them. I do 3 cycles @ nonmagnetic (+1950) and a short soak. I will also adimt that I haven't compared a single heat to the triple. It may be a waste of time. You can air quench, but I prefer oil. I am experimenting with quench plates now. The edge will pass the brass rod test. With the torch, I differentially harden, quench with oil and still temper to make the edge more workable. In the raw grind, there is a temper line visible, but I haven’t been able to bring it out on a finished blade. The temper doesn’t require the 1000+ degrees of other alloys and is well within the range of most toaster ovens. There’s not an alloy I’ve found that is easier to work with that will give the same results. I’ve never had an edge crack in reasonable use, or in some cases hard use, (spitting the pelvic bone) doing what a knife is designed to do. I will lead the parade that this knife will not compete with a properly done 52100 blade, but there is a small percentage of the 52100 blades done properly, and they still exceed the users expectations and needs, and the 440C blade won’t rust if it sees a picture of water. Many of my knives see heavy use during deer season, then put in the sheath with blood on them, and not seen again until next season. If you decide to give it a try, I would appreciate hearing your results. I stand only to gain from your experience.

James Terrio
09-07-2010, 07:43 AM
I figure I need to learn 3 steels tops, that will allow me to actually learn the steel and not just push out a knife but be good at it after a while.

That's an excellent idea.

Leatherface
09-09-2010, 04:31 AM
DUDE, tell me you're joking. 440-C with a torch or forge? I don't think so.

dude no he isnt...it can in fact be done, but not optimally and really wastes what the steel can do

you can get it hot enough in a forge or torch

BUT
you cant soak it at all...or at least not easily

here be the word on 440C heat treat

http://www.admiralsteel.com/reference/sstltech.html

PERSONALLY, I would simply ask a maker in my area or on here to do the HT for me

Cash is king baby and offering some $$$ or trade will get you hooked up...

440c is one of the forgotten super steels and truly deserves better IMHO

LRB
09-09-2010, 05:17 AM
Quote "dude no he isnt...it can in fact be done, but not optimally and really wastes what the steel can do"

Exactly! So what's the point? Would you want a 440-C blade that was HT'd with a torch?

James Terrio
09-09-2010, 03:05 PM
Would you want a 440-C blade that was HT'd with a torch?

Not me. I'm sure it CAN be done with varying results, but that doesn't mean it SHOULD be done. There's a lot of better options.


PERSONALLY, I would simply ask a maker in my area or on here to do the HT for me

Cash is king baby and offering some $$$ or trade will get you hooked up...

440c is one of the forgotten super steels and truly deserves better IMHO

I agree. If you can't find a maker or machine shop in your town to do it, ask around here, or send it off to Peters' Heat Treat (they have their own subforum here (http://knifedogs.com/forumdisplay.php?56-Peter-s-Heat-Treat-Inc.).) I will personally vouch for the quality of work they do, and I bet many other makers here would too.

The peace of mind of having a pro do it will be worth every cent.

Just my opinion, of course :)

To the OP: sorry we got a little off-track. Back to the point, I like O1 a little better than 1095, but both are very good steels.

son of liberty
09-09-2010, 07:16 PM
This ain't my first rodeo I have been around firearms training forums for some time, so dont worry about it.

Im going to send the knives out to as it looks now, peters heat treat. I just need to get a few made up and send a bunch in rather then one or two, maybe it will help keep the cost down some..

I have made knives in the past and am currently forging out a few projects but I am ready to make the best finished product I can and sorry to say the heat treat is still out of my league but one day.

440C dose seem like the best option in stainless for my use, but I'm a good ways from starting to work with that stuff. I only mentioned stainless because I figure to have a well rounded selection of blade materials some sort of stainless should be looked at, it dose what carbon steel cant and at times that is what is needed.

For now ill stick with 0-1 and 1095, heck guys I'm fileing the grind in still , so there is plenty of time to learn.

dennie
09-10-2010, 05:38 AM
The best things about this forum is not only the eagerness to learn but also the willingness to share knowledge and experience. For me, I’m here to learn, so I would appreciate if you would share the results of the testing you’ve done to arrive at your conclusions. At what point in your testing did 440C treated in a similar fashion to what I posted, fail so miserably that it was apparent that it was wasting time and steel. Things like the blades wouldn’t sharpen, or they wouldn’t hold an edge, or they were brittle, or just what stood out to give you the impression your tests were a waste of time? As for wasting the steel, everyone on here has wasted more steel with a grinder than would be wasted with a few test blades. You know the internet is so full of “experts” that have never actually done what they are talking about that I really put great value in learning from some someone that has actual knowledge.
When the thread was started, the question wasn’t for options for the optimum heat treat, but for steels that could be heat treated easily and still give an above average blade. In my first post, I was very clear that what I described was not going to get the absolute best out of 440C that was capable, but that it was a method that could be done with equipment that most on here had and would still make a blade that preformed better that most user’s expect out of a knife. The examples of heat treatment for the carbon steels were not for the optimum performance for those steels either, but were accepted as making good usable knives, which was exactly the same thing I said in my post about treating 440C. One test that would be interesting would be to make a knife out of 1095 and heat treat it as excepted. Make the same knife out of 440C and heat-treat it as I described. Put them both in a sheath and leave them lay outside for 2 years without touching them. At the end of 2 years, tell me which knife is more capable of performing it’s designed task. I would imagine the first comment would be that no one would treat a knife like that, but it happens everyday. Anyone one that has made knives for very long, has had a customer show up at their shop with a carbon steel knife that had they had put up with the intention cleaning it and oiling it properly and forgot, and wanted to know if you could do anything to save it. As for what is listed on Admiral Steels website for heat treating, I will point out that they don’t even make a recommendation for heat treating 52100, so is it not to be used for making a knife? I would be really interested in hearing Ed Fowler’s comments when you tell him he’s doing it all wrong because it’s not what http://www.admiralsteel.com/reference/sstltech.html recommends. I’m in no way comparing myself to the level of skill or in anywhere near the class of Mr. Fowler, but the information wasn’t out there for 52100 when he started either.
As for being off the point, in post #9, son of liberty stated
“So if i decided to use both 01 and 10xx, I'm now stuck with 2 steels that are rust prone. Ill say it, I have never given quality Stainless steel a fair shake, I have bashed the stuff, carried an old Case pocket knife to avoid the stuff, and never use a quality stainless blade so its never had the opportunity to redeem itself. Well I think my 3rd steel would be best as some sort of stainless, it would round me out some and make possible some of the mirror like finishes I have seen you guys put out. I guess what type would be better chosen at the point I'm actually going to use it, but you get the idea.”

dennie

JDW
09-12-2010, 07:15 AM
Son Of Liberty, your choices of O1, 1095 sound good, I think either one will serve very well for your intended use, and if you want a mirrior finish, it can be done with either steel. As far as a stainless steel to work with, 440C is a great steel at a low cost for stainless, just be sure to heat treat it properly for the best it has to offer. That is why all stainless steels have a bad rep, poor HT. I have never used Peters heat treating, but I trust they will serve you well.
Dale