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franklin
01-07-2011, 12:06 PM
can anyone tell me if these are good kilns for 412 dollars that sounds to cheap its called jim bowie knifemakers kiln any feedback would help greatly since this would be my 1st kiln

Jeff Pearce
01-07-2011, 12:11 PM
I have heard good news about them. Tracy sells them in his store. http://www.usaknifemaker.com/little-knife-kiln-by-sugar-creek-manual-temp-controller-p-2620.html

franklin
01-07-2011, 12:15 PM
can you set hold times on them or do you have to manually change temp that and i did not see what temp they will reach thanks for info jeff

Jeff Pearce
01-07-2011, 12:18 PM
http://www.usaknifemaker.com/little-knife-kiln-by-sugar-creek-programmable-temp-controller-p-2623.html this one is programmable . some one that has one will be along soon. I know that I have one on my list to buy. I know that several maker on here use them.

franklin
01-07-2011, 12:26 PM
cool thank you ill be getting hold of tracy pretty soon

Rudy Joly
01-07-2011, 03:23 PM
I got the large kiln last year, It works fine.
I was a whisker away from getting an Evenheat kiln and this thing just about knocked on my door, so I bought it. It has the infinite switch instead of a controller but I'm always nearby anyway.They instruct you on not going above 2000 degrees but it's not a problem on anything I use. I specifically wanted a kiln to get into stainless steels and 1800-1900 degrees didn't make it blow up yet. I think it's a good starter model but sooner or later I'll get a controller set up.

Rudy

murphda2
01-07-2011, 04:15 PM
I picked up the same model with the Orton controller a few days before Christmas. It was a deal too good to pass up (thanks again Rusty). I haven't used it yet, but hope to use it soon if life ever settles down and allows me to get to it.

Steve Randall
01-08-2011, 08:49 AM
I have looked at there kilns and they looked good . Instead I went and built my own.after buying all the stuff I think I would have been better off buying one of theirs. the price is not much different....steve

Ernie Swanson
01-09-2011, 09:01 AM
I too have thought about buying one of these. The look pretty good for the price.

69*camaro
01-11-2011, 08:00 AM
My 2 cents for what it is worth.
I purchased the Big Knife Kiln with the Orton Programmable controller about 5 months ago. I have annealed, treated and tempered L6 and CPM 154 with it. If you can afford it, get the programmable controller. It is easy to use and really handy to have programs in memory.

Before I purchased, I spent a LOT of time researching the Paragon, Evenheat and Sugarcreek models. I spent a great deal of time on the phone with Sue from Sugarcreek and she was very helpfull. In my opinion, the Paragon seemed to be built heavier and Evenheat with higher amperage probably has faster ramp speed. I do like the fold-down front door on the Paragon better. That said, I am a hobby knifemaker, turning out 4 to 5 knives a month and the Sugarcreek fits my needs and pocketbook.

McClellan Made Blades
01-15-2011, 01:48 PM
I spent a great deal of time on the phone with Sue from Sugarcreek and she was very helpfull.

I don't think enough has been said about Sue, she is incredible to work with, and will work with you any way she can. She even helped me get my computer control by breaking the cost up into 2 payments! You just don't see that kind of personal service anymore,(....well, except for Tracy and Lora.) She is so nice and her husband, who's name escapes me right now, is very nice as well, building and selling kilns is their life, they are a very small business, I think they have one, maybe 2, part time people, with them doing the majority of the work themselves. I think Sue's husband's name is Jim, anyway, he is very knowledgeable, and extremely helpful even after hours! I was having trouble understanding the instructions to install my computer control, and he even called me back, after hours, just to make sure I got it installed correctly. I can't say enough good stuff about them, while the design of my kiln (the large knifemaker) does leave a little room for improvement, the only thing that I don't like about mine is the way the door opens, it's more of an inconvenience than a flaw, the door opens "flip up" style, the benefit of this is only in the cost, as it doesn't need to have a locking mechanism to close it shut while in use, I simply put on my welding gloves get my hands orientated to be able to open the door with my right hand and use my tongs with my left hand to grab the tang and pull the blade out and right into the quench, I don't trust the door to stay flipped open, if it were to close with my hand in the door opening area it would be a bad scene. Do not trust the door flipped in the open position even when it's not hot, the fire brick construction would probably damaged if the door slammed shut. There is no doubt that, for the money, it can't be beat! Of course this is my opinion, based on my experience, when I chose this kiln, I chose it based primarily on the costs, the way it is constructed looked like it was very well made. While they have a huge following in the ceramics fields, they weren't as well known for their Knifemaker's Kiln, when I bought mine, I stumbled upon them doing an internet search, there was no way I could afford a Paragon or an EvenHeat, my other alternative was to build my own, which is what I was considering doing until I found them, after figuring the costs of materials, and the limitations my homemade kiln would have had, the choice was easy for me.

Until you talk to Sue, you won't understand how wonderful she is to deal with, she is friendly, easy to talk to, and if you ask will help you get the kiln you want. Ask for specials, if you need to, ask if she'll break the payments up, I wouldn't ask for more than making 2 installments, because they aren't set up to do that, but within reason she will work with you. I've had mine now for a year and a half, I guess (other than the door), the only thing that I would like to see improved in it is the speed that it heats up. Do understand it is slow, I don't know how fast the others get to heat, but this one is slow. That being said, I don't get in a hurry to do a lot of things when I'm working in the shop, so that's being pretty nit-picky. If you are cash strapped this is the kiln for you, with 10XX steels you don't have to have the computer control, I went without one for a year, BUT having it does increase your ability to HT other steels like ATS-34, and the CPM variety steels that require long soak times at high temps. The basic control that comes on it is difficult to keep the temp at a specific number. I can't imagine a 30 minute soak time having to sit there the entire time bumping the temp back and forth, keep in mind they do not warranty the kiln if you take it over 2000 degrees, now I don't know how they can tell if you were to do that, but for safety's sake I haven't taken mine that high, mostly because I use 10XX steels, 1550 is the highest I need, so that's not an issue. But now that I have the computer control, I have the option to use the SS steels that require the higher heat and longer soak times. Plus, I don't have to baby sit it the entire time a knife is in the oven, which allows me to work on other knives when I have one cooking. Hope this helps in anyones decision on which kiln to buy.

Please don't think I'm in any way putting the other kilns down, I'm not saying in anyway that the Paragon or the EvenHeat aren't worth their price. They are built with the specific purpose of HTing knives, while Sugar Creek's original purpose was to make kilns for the ceramic and glass makers. And basically added the knifemakers kiln as another type of kiln they could offer. I think they do a great job at making a knifemakers kiln that is affordable to most makers, that will perform as good as the rest of them, if it weren't for them I probably wouldn't have one yet, for that I'm thankful for them. Rex

franklin
05-01-2011, 04:59 PM
i took all your guys advise and orderd the sugar creek from tracy hope to have it anyday now. thought i would update you all and will give a write up of it when i get it thanks dogs. yes and pics!

Rudy Joly
05-01-2011, 05:55 PM
Wait till you have to unpack it.
I had to use a bread knife on all the foam packing just to get it loose enough to lift out of the box. Pics is good.

Rudy

Gahagan
05-01-2011, 06:17 PM
I ordered one with the controller last week as well and hope it works well for me. I dont have any experiance in hting but it will help me out to have my own.

McClellan Made Blades
05-02-2011, 12:13 AM
I ordered one with the controller last week as well and hope it works well for me. I dont have any experiance in hting but it will help me out to have my own.

Gahagan,
HTing isn't all that difficult, I would recommend sticking with basic high carbon steels, like 1084, 1080, and once you get more comfortable in the process then give 1095 a try. 1095 isn't the same "basic" high carbon steel as 1084. Much more difficult to get great results.

Everyone keep in mind, that while the Sugar Creek Kilns are GREAT! The highest "recommended" temperature is 1999 degrees, for the high end stainless steels, the HT temp for most of them is 1950 degrees for stainless steels like ATS 34 and many of the CPM steels. (The analog temp controller is a knob similar to the one on your kitchen oven without the temps on it, once you cut it on, the temp goes up until you adjust it, then it usually starts going down). What this means to knifemakers is that, if you don't have the computer control, it would be VERY RISKY to HT any of the stainless steels like
ATS 34, CPM 154,etc. Because without the computer controller, you have to "babysit" every knife you HT. I may be sounding like it's impossible to do, IT IS NOT. It is very simple to do, once you've done a few, you get a feel for how long it takes to get to 1000, 1300 and 1500 degrees. Once I got comfortable with mine, I could step away for a few minutes, because I timed the first 10 or so knives I HT'ed. I knew approximatley how long it took for mine to get to all the temps I mentioned above. It is a good practice to do, I'm not mentioning how long mine took, (do know it is SLOW!!!), because they are all a little different, where mine might be slower than yours, and I tell you it takes XX minutes to get to XXXX degrees, and if yours were to get there quicker, it could be a disaster! You should learn how long each temp takes for your individual kilns. It's safer that way.

If you start with 1084, I highly recommend getting your steel from Aldo Bruno (The New Jersey Steel Baron), his recipe for 1084(fg), the (fg) is why I like this steel SO MUCH!! It stands for "Fine Grain", which makes a huge difference with the end product. Plus he has Vanadium added to the steel when it's being smelted. Vanadium adds hardness without making it brittle, it is a wonderful steel and very easy to HT.

HT'ing 1084, I've both heard and read so many different temps, its easy to get confused. So I'll just tell you my entire process, do take into consideration that I may be leaving out some of the little things, that are important. I'll try to keep that to a minimum.

I've made it a habit to clean every blade with alcohol, to remove any oils, grit, grime, etc. After that I cut my oven on, (with the computer control, it is already programmed for 1084, I just go to the 1st program) position the blade in closer to the center of the kiln, without pushing it so far in you can't get it out comfortably (some of the ceramic blade stands (these are available from Wayne Coe) are handy to make sure you have the spine DOWN with the tang end pointed towards the door), the program is set at 1500 degrees, with a designated soak time,(programming this computer isn't by any means simple, it will take some time and there may be a need for a little bit of trial and error to get it right) I like to soak ("soak" means to leave it in the kiln at the desired temp for a set amount of time, this allows the heat to penetrate the entire blade) at the critical temp for maybe 10 minutes depending on the size of the blade I go the entire 10 minutes on thicker or longer blades, if it is smaller I will not let it soak that long, once the soak time is over, it's time to quench.

Quenching a blade at 1500 degrees is extremely dangerous. If you've never done it, I would highly recommend watching someone else do it in person or if you don't have that luxury, a video will do. Now if your comfortable handling that kind of temps, and well equipped for safety, you can do it, without seeing it done.


The first thing you
HAVE TO BUY is a LARGE FIRE EXTINGUISHER!!!
You can say, "I'll be careful", or "I'm not stupid", or any of a thousand different excuses NOT to buy an extinguisher, none of them will put a fire out!!! If you want to know a "real world" accident, give Murph a call, he told me what happened to him, and it all came down to 1 slip. He almost lost his entire shop! Quick thinking and smart decisions saved it, I'll let him explain the details.Now that you have that, I'd suggest a good pair of welding gloves, you cannot pull a knife out of a kiln at 1500 degrees barehanded, just the radiant heat can burn you, a leather apron is advisable, I have one, but I rarely use it unless I'm forging.

OK, so you've got all the safety aspects covered it's time to quench, it's not that difficult if you have prepared and set everything up properly. You have to have a quench tank capable of holding a minimum of 3 gallons, more is better if you plan on HTing several knives at one time, the hotter your quench oil gets the more the viscosity increases. I'm no expert on the metallurgical processes of quench oils, but the way I understand it, if your oil gets too hot it makes it too fast. 1084 requires a fast oil, some folks are successful with brine (which is basically salt water) with 1084, I DO NOT recommend it.

Position your quench tank very close to your kiln, you want to have your blade in the quench in about 2 to 3 seconds, yes that is quick and I would advise that you practice a few dry runs, actually using the blade you intend you to be HTing, practice taking it from the kiln to the tank until you've got it to one fluid motion. Use all the equipment you normally would use in order to get used to the way everything feels and make sure you can manipulate the gloves, tongs etc, the way I do it, once I open the door,(OK here is where I need to give you a stern WARNING!! The door opens from the bottom it is held closed by gravity, when open all the way, it will lean back a little, in this position it can easily fall closed, this will most definitely damage the door if it were to slam shut, I never trust it, I open it pull the blade out and close it never letting go of the door.

I grab the tang at the tip end with a pair of long handle tongs,
Your blade will be in the kiln with the edge up, spine down, you basically have to grab it upside down, or turn it over on the way to the tank, so that you are standing in front of the tank with it blade tip pointing away from you with the edge down and in one motion go from the kiln to the quench tank, once in the tank I agitate it back and forth, that means (and this is important), starting where you put the blade in the tank move the blade tip end to the other end of the tank WITH ZERO side to side motion, then back vigorously, continue using the same motion back and forth for about a slow 30 count. Size does matter, if it's thicker or a longer blade, increase the time in the quench, you will have to estimate the length of time you keep it in there, I like to be able to handle mine once they come out of the quench, usually a slow 30 count works fine. Do your best not to splash the oil out of the tank, if you fill it too full it can happen, make sure your tank is big enough to hold the amount of oil you think is enough, leaving you 3 to 4 inches of room at the top of the oil. Again, the minimum being at least 3 gallons, 5 would be better.

Also, have you chosen your quench oil? I've used Canola oil, McMaster Carr 9 sec. quench oil, and now I'm going to change to the new, Maxim Oils, DT-48 Quench Oil, that is the one that I would recommend, based on some of it that a couple of Knife Dog's tested it, it looks to be very effective in getting consistent results. I say "looks" because I haven't personally used it, but the guys on here that have, got GREAT results, testing their HT'd blades with a Rockwell tester. If you'd like, I can find the posts related to it. It looks like it's going to be a great quench oil and it's moderately priced, I think a 5 gallon pail of it was $62.50, plus shipping. Which is a very good price.

I hope this helps, if you need me to explain anything in more detail, or would like more pointers, or have ANY questions, I'd be happy to help any way I can. It is very exciting when your Hting your 1st blade, and even more once you
KNOW you've done it right. The satisfaction and results are well worth the effort, Good luck and
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! on your purchase, you won't regret having this capability, it gives you total control of your knife making process. Do you know when it will be arriving? Like Rudy Joly said it is a bear to unpack, but if it wasn't for the packing it would be impossible to ship.

Another thing, make sure that you check it top to bottom, inside and out, for any damage, while they do an excellent job packing it up, no matter who they ship it with, there is still the chance of damage.

Enjoy! And lets see some pics when you get it, both before you unpack it, during and after. Rex

One more thing, wire it for 240, wired at 110, it isn't as strong, I couldn't imagine how slow it would be at 110. My electrician recommended going with 220/240 for best performance.
[/FONT]

McClellan Made Blades
05-02-2011, 12:23 AM
I got the large kiln last year, It works fine.
I was a whisker away from getting an Evenheat kiln and this thing just about knocked on my door, so I bought it. It has the infinite switch instead of a controller but I'm always nearby anyway.They instruct you on not going above 2000 degrees but it's not a problem on anything I use. I specifically wanted a kiln to get into stainless steels and 1800-1900 degrees didn't make it blow up yet. I think it's a good starter model but sooner or later I'll get a controller set up.

Rudy

Rudy at those temps you are well below the recommended maximum temp, going over 2000 will do
nothing more than VOID the WARRANTY. It won't blow up, it may melt!<kidding> Sugar Creek added knife kilns to their line of Pottery kilns. I believe since that is their area of expertise they just stuck the same warranty info with the knife makers. With the same fire brick we use on forges, and the stainless steel on the outside for the shell, the worst I can think might happen is that it could melt the elements, which I really don't think will happen. Or it's something else based on their experiences. I might call Sue tomorrow and ask her. We'll find out for sure! Rex

Rudy Joly
05-02-2011, 03:56 PM
Rex,
I was never really worried about the temps from the start. The second time I used the kiln I ran a piece of Ats-34 at 1975 for about 20 minutes just to "see" if I'd made a good purchase. I was fully prepared for the consequences but there were none. I used the kiln quite often since. Apparently nothing melted or broke. I'm not advocating doing reckless things but I push my tools full tilt just so I know what they're capable of.....always have.

Rudy

McClellan Made Blades
05-03-2011, 12:46 AM
[QUOTE=Rudy Joly;160805]Rex,
I was never really worried about the temps from the start. The second time I used the kiln I ran a piece of Ats-34 at 1975 for about 20 minutes just to "see" if I'd made a good purchase. I was fully prepared for the consequences but there were none. I used the kiln quite often since. Apparently nothing melted or broke. I'm not advocating doing reckless things but I push my tools full tilt just so I know what they're capable of.....always have.

Rudy[/QUOTE



Rudy,
That was far from reckless Bud, and I'd say they would more than likely stand up to a lot hotter than that. BUT! I'm just the opposite of you, I do my best to NOT take anything to the limit, I guess it's my way of taking care of things, I baby everything I invest huge amounts money in, from the Toyota 4X4 I used to drive to the Cub Cadet Lawn Mower I have now, my shop equipment gets the same kind of care. At the same time I do find out what the limitations are, just a little at a time.

As far as the kiln goes, 1975 isn't a problem WITH the computer control, without it, the problems arise when you try to maintain the temps, WITHOUT going over 2000. Getting there is no problem, staying there with the analog controller is almost impossible it's a bump it down, bump it back up, bump it back down, kind of game. I eventually went ahead and sprung for the computer, and my heat treating life hasn't been better! If money is tight I highly recommend going that route. With high carbon steel it is not as critical and is preferred! It's when you venture into the high end stainless that the computer control is a necessity.

Also, I like warranties, I usually follow the guidelines so as not to void them, this way if something does break as I do have a knack for picking out the right one or in this case the wrong one!


I thought I would introduce myself, and ask a few questions to see if we can get to know each other better, mine is pretty simple, I'm 45 years old (physically). Mentally? 16!I've been making knives now for 2 years, almost every knife I've made was well over 12" or very close to it. I've made a few of smaller blades, I didn't like many of them, one of them I did like but I didn't nail the HT, so it gets dull PDQ. Other than that, which is easily fixable on the next one, the shape, style and look is pretty sweet! I made it to be a side pocket knife on my Carpenter pants, everything turned out great! I just couldn't believe I missed the HT! I'm a former Marine, married with 1 son and a step-son, spend a how lot of time at the Baseball and Football fields during their respected seasons. The rest of the time I'm cutting grass, building some new gizmo, or just maybe, I might be making a knife! Ok, that's pretty much about me, extremely simple, easy going, a helluvalotoffun! And that I guarantee!!! Looking forward to hearing back from you, Rex
PS It's late I'm tired and I can't keep my eyes open, so there will be some errors in this one, it's bed time at 10 til 2:00 AM! Nighty night!
So how long have you been making knives? And what is you preferred method of making them, is there anything special that you focus on? Any wicked talent at getting certain types of finished? I know I ask a lot of questions, but you seem like a pretty nice fella, thought I might like to get to know you a little better. There are so many things I plan doin

Rudy Joly
05-03-2011, 03:32 PM
Hi Rex,
Don't get me wrong, by full tilt I mean that I push the tool to do what is claimed it will do. I've been in the building field since I was 15 years old and you learn real quick that you get what you pay for. Money comes third or fourth on the list when buying quality tools but they better do as they claim. As to going up to 1975 on the second try with the kiln, I really didn't know what to expect since it was my first kiln purchase and reading the warning not to exceed 2000. Although i will get the controller, I didn't find it all that difficult to keep it on temp.

I'll be 56 on the ninth of May. Mentally I'm still an embryo. Commercial construction supervisor. I've been making sharp things all my life but got serious in 1985-86. Like 99.9 % of us, BIG Bowies were the starting point but that quickly got squashed into more managable knives that people can actually use. What good is a knife if it sits in a drawer or case ? Most things I make now don't exceed 5" blades. I started out on stock removal with a grinder I made by screwing idler wheels and and 8" contact wheel right to my bench. A real Rube Golberg set up but it worked. I started forging within the last ten years and heat treated everything in my forge until I bought the kiln. I pretty much stopped making things that just sit around my shop. I get right on request orders and many have been for stainless, hence the kiln. I now have 3 2x72" grinders, 1 1x42", a mill, welder, 4 drill presses, 2 metal cutting saws and all the other doodads you collect doing this. Lets not get into my carpentry tools...too much to list.

Don't even mention ball games and birthdays......
I have 3 grown (married) duaghters and 8 grand kids, six of whom play everything they can sign up for. Talk about busy scheduals. If you don't show up for something, it's like the inquisition. Sadly, only my 12 year old grand duaghter will get in front of a grinder or forge with me. You'd think the boys would be more interested, they only want finished knives. Hope that answers some of your questions.

Nice meeting you,:biggrin:
Rudy

Wow my work reports are'nt even this long. Now I'm tired.

BossDog
05-03-2011, 05:05 PM
any of the 3 common ovens in our business (Paragon, Evenheat and now Sugar Creek) will handle 2100F. Getting there may take a bit of time but they will all handle it.

Rudy Joly
05-03-2011, 05:47 PM
Thanks Tracy,
That's some good info to know.

Rudy

franklin
05-03-2011, 06:49 PM
thanks rex will post pics before and after, just one thing is it ok not to submerge the whole blade in p-50 or dt-48 or will it start on fire. sent money order last week so pretty soon. the service from tracy and the girls kory and whoever i have missed has been great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks tracy two thumbs up.

McClellan Made Blades
05-04-2011, 09:39 AM
Hi Rex,
Don't get me wrong, by full tilt I mean that I push the tool to do what is claimed it will do. I've been in the building field since I was 15 years old and you learn real quick that you get what you pay for. Money comes third or fourth on the list when buying quality tools but they better do as they claim. As to going up to 1975 on the second try with the kiln, I really didn't know what to expect since it was my first kiln purchase and reading the warning not to exceed 2000. Although i will get the controller, I didn't find it all that difficult to keep it on temp.
I'll be 56 on the ninth of May. Mentally I'm still an embryo. Commercial construction supervisor. I've been making sharp things all my life but got serious in 1985-86. Like 99.9 % of us, BIG Bowies were the starting point but that quickly got squashed into more managable knives that people can actually use. What good is a knife if it sits in a drawer or case ? Most things I make now don't exceed 5" blades. I started out on stock removal with a grinder I made by screwing idler wheels and and 8" contact wheel right to my bench. A real Rube Golberg set up but it worked. I started forging within the last ten years and heat treated everything in my forge until I bought the kiln. I pretty much stopped making things that just sit around my shop. I get right on request orders and many have been for stainless, hence the kiln. I now have 3 2x72" grinders, 1 1x42", a mill, welder, 4 drill presses, 2 metal cutting saws and all the other doodads you collect doing this. Lets not get into my carpentry tools...too much to list.

Don't even mention ball games and birthdays......
I have 3 grown (married) duaghters and 8 grand kids, six of whom play everything they can sign up for. Talk about busy scheduals. If you don't show up for something, it's like the inquisition. Sadly, only my 12 year old grand duaghter will get in front of a grinder or forge with me. You'd think the boys would be more interested, they only want finished knives. Hope that answers some of your questions.

Nice meeting you,:biggrin:
Rudy

Wow my work reports are'nt even this long. Now I'm tired.





Dang Rudy,
A knife maker and WEALTH beyond imagination! You usually don't get both at the same time, but with a family like that you must feel like you hit the Lottery! I don't get Boys either! I've got a son and a step-son, they will be in the shop for a while, learn a lot of stuff, just in time for a different season to start and then it's off to play baseball or football, not that that is a problem! No problem at all, both my boys are athletes, so it's really my pleasure! I am thankful for the time I get to spend with either of them,doing ANYTHING! So I'll continue working with their schedule, it's valuable time that is racing toward PUBERTY!!! I know if I had the same opportunities that they have, learning about knives, banging hot steel, welding, any of it, I would have been all over it! And to be able to spend time with my Dad doing guy stuff, would have been the ultimate! I realize to a degree I've made my son the way he is, don't get me wrong, he is an awesome kid! No doubt about that at all, he just won't realize what was available to him until its long gone. Something we're all guilty of at some point in our lives.

Yeah, I tend to make the big chopper, fighter, Bowie, Zombie killing potatoe pealers! I'm a big guy, with huge hands, small knives are uncomfortable to me if the handle wasn't designed seperately. If you have a 2 1/2 inch blade, for me it would need to have a 5" handle. That's difficult to get into proportions, I know a 2 1/2" blade is a lot too small and a bit silly for my example, but I was just trying to get my point across. A 3" blade with a 5 to 5 1/2" handle would look better. They still come out about 8" long OAL, and that was supposed to be a small one!

You have the benefit of a lot of years experience, while your older and wiser, I'm youger(yet still ancient) and dumber! I've been making for 2 years, BUT have been drawing my designs since the 80's, even in high school I was drawing what I thought would be a nice blade, for a specific purposes, as a teenager.
While in the Marines, I had several blades on me at all times, yea even in that company I was considered a bit strange, yet still anytime anyone needed to cut something they would always come see me, after just moments ago making fun of me for having so many, hippocrits have no bounds! Rudy, it's nice to get to know you, we'll pick up on more things in the future. Be good Buddy, Rex

Rudy Joly
05-04-2011, 02:06 PM
"WEALTH beyond imagination!"

Not quite......
I still get up at 4:30 am and go to work, most times 6 days a week. As far as hitting the lottery, It's the grand kids who get the payday. I'm just the bank. lol.

Rudy

McClellan Made Blades
05-04-2011, 02:43 PM
"WEALTH beyond imagination!"

Not quite......
I still get up at 4:30 am and go to work, most times 6 days a week. As far as hitting the lottery, It's the grand kids who get the payday. I'm just the bank. lol.

Rudy




Not sure if you get that all the way there Rudy, The FAMILY IS the LOTTERY! THE wealth IS the FAMILY! It only matters in how you think about it, going to work everyday is going to happen one way or another, once I retire...if I get there, I will still be working, EVERYDAY, the only difference will be that I will be working on my own terms! As much or as little as I want to, doing the work I want to do. I'm hoping to be making knives for the rest of my natural born days, because I can do that with my family close by and hopefully involved. Being wealthy in family, is just a differnt kind of RICH, because it has value, too. The way I see it, my happiness comes mostly from my family, seeing them do things, being with them and having the chance to teach my kids the things they need to know how to do to begin the transition toward manhood.
Wealth aint' all about money! Wealth is about what has value, more so, it's about what YOU value! I figured out a long time ago I was going to be poor most of my life, came real close to having PLENTY of money, (I won't explain), decided against it. Then I realized that while I was poor, I was still happy, and sometimes exstaticly happy! Like when I get fresh load of steel in from Aldo Bruno, or I see my son get a big hit, (football or baseball, doesn't matter.) Or helping my wife build a bookcase or table, sharing with the pride she takes in here abilities to create a useful piece of furniture. I'll keep going to work as long as I can keep the wealth I have now. You've heard it your entire life, "Money can't buy happiness", I agree, to a point with that, I think what they are saying is that it should depend on what you VALUE, more than anything else. Money is for keeping the lights on, gas in the truck, steel on the grinder! While Money can't buy happiness, never forget that "the lack of Money, can buy a whole lot of sadness!"
See, Bud, it's all about perspective, happiness is a choice. Perspective can be changed, so I just changed mine so I could be happy like I am and not worry about the decorations! Rex

And you know for a fact, that you would not give up that bank job for twice the money!

McClellan Made Blades
05-04-2011, 02:57 PM
thanks rex will post pics before and after, just one thing is it ok not to submerge the whole blade in p-50 or dt-48 or will it start on fire. sent money order last week so pretty soon. the service from tracy and the girls kory and whoever i have missed has been great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks tracy two thumbs up.

Franklin,
The short answer is yes! If you don't submerge a blade all the way, at 1500 degrees, it will flame up. That's not based on actual experience with p-50 or Dt-48, I have'nt used those yet, but every quenchant I have used and did an edge quench on, has flamed up, I could always blow the flame out pretty quickly. Any flame is going to damage the oil no matter how long it burns, of course the longer it burns the more damage there is to the oil. I think the bottom line is if you want to do an edge quench, do it! Use your oil for as long as you keep getting great results, once it starts breaking down, it will need to be changed. How to tell when it starts breaking down? Don't have that answer! As I started off using Canola oil, I may have HT'd 8 blades with it, then went to McMaster Carr, I bought an extra gallon and used it to keep the depth up, or should I say volume. But now I'm going to DT-48, I'm sure the McMaster Carr is probably still good, except for all the clay in it. I really don't know how to tell when quench oil has lasted it's usefullness. Anyone else now that answer? Thanks Rex

Rudy Joly
05-04-2011, 03:15 PM
I'm with ya Rex......
I'm just a sarcastic wise________s.

Rudy

franklin
05-04-2011, 03:34 PM
i should of explained better if the tang does not go all the way in will be going straight down tip first. i have 1 gallon bucket but not real deep. will agitation keep it from flaming up or should i find something deeper to submerg whole thing?

Erin Burke
05-04-2011, 05:05 PM
Wait till you have to unpack it.
I had to use a bread knife on all the foam packing just to get it loose enough to lift out of the box. Pics is good.

Rudy

+1... unpacking was a miserable experience. But all that foam got it to me safe, so I guess that's what matters. Erin

McClellan Made Blades
05-05-2011, 09:36 AM
i should of explained better if the tang does not go all the way in will be going straight down tip first. i have 1 gallon bucket but not real deep. will agitation keep it from flaming up or should i find something deeper to submerg whole thing?

Franklin,
I know there are several makers that quench vertically, I'm not positive about the pro's or cons, I do know some do it that way because it's a spece issue, a vertical quench tank can be made out of pipe, say any where between a 6 to 8" pipe welded to a plate, NOT PVC, PLASTIC, ONLY STEEL! Not saying it can't be done, but just imagine bumping PVC with a 1500 degree blade!? At the least a mess, at the worst, flaming oil pouring out the side! Steel only, to be safe! (make sure it is water tight before you put oil in it), the plate makes a stand, that is pretty secure if you get one that is big enough and the thicker the less likely it will be to get knocked over. If you don't have a deep enough tank, I'd say get one, the scrap yard wil have plenty of pipe that's usable, and probably something that can be used for the base. Leaving the tang out of the quench will make it flame up, now if it will do it everytime? Don't know, I'd bet on it though, tangs are thinner both in width and thickness, so it shouldn't be holding as much heat, so I can see where in some case it may not flame up, BUT, and it's a big one, quenching vertically you just about have to be able to stick it all the way in, if (when) it does flame up, the flames are going to be going straight up toward your hands(and possibly, face). Of course,if you have a nice long pair of tongs you should be able to avoid that, but that chance is there for that to happen. With my tank, I have no idea what it was originally used for, my wife found it at her Mom's house, it was out back covered in grunge. It kinda looks a little like sheet metal, her Dad worked on Boilers, HVAC, kinda stuff, so it could have came from him. It's almost the perfect size, around 22" long, maybe 8" or so wide, and about 10" deep. I didn't give depth enough importance on my first quench tank, BIG mistake, the depth is where ALL of your volume will be, it's where you will have the majority of your oil, having the ability to fill a QT up with around 3 to 5 gallons of oil is hugely important. The volume of oil is what helps the heat be able to transfer away form the steel, if it can't do that, it won't cool as rapidly as desired. So, my answer to your question is, YES! I do believe it will still flame up, I don't know for sure if it will do it everytime, but I'd bet on it. I'd suggest checking the scrap yard, I've seen several metal boxes that would be a great quench tank, for real cheap. Of course there is always building one, which is one of the projects I have in mind, I just look for excuses to weld ANYTHING! Hope this helps, personally I think it would be best to go to a horizontal style tank, I guess that's because that's the only kind I've used, it may be personal preference, or there may be some added benefits to a vertical quench I don't know the answer to that. Thanks, Rex

McClellan Made Blades
05-05-2011, 09:37 AM
I'm with ya Rex......
I'm just a sarcastic wise________s.

Rudy



Oh, so I'm the one NOT with YOU.....familiar feeling, lost as usual!

franklin
05-06-2011, 12:53 PM
well guys got my oven today sorry no peanuts for me, and it took 3 min to unpack. i no your crushed that i missed all that fun lol.

rob45
05-06-2011, 01:42 PM
Not only a Knife Dog, but also a Lucky Dog! Congrats!

D.Douglas
05-06-2011, 01:51 PM
Time to heat some steel!
Doug

Rudy Joly
05-06-2011, 01:57 PM
Congrats Franklin.
You lucked out, they packed mine like they hated me.

Rudy

McClellan Made Blades
05-06-2011, 02:19 PM
Congrats Franklin.
You lucked out, they packed mine like they hated me.

Rudy

I guess, because I bought the large kiln, they filled the inside almost full, as well as the outside of the kiln, on the corners and any where there was extra space. Mine was so secure the UPS monkeys couldn't (and didn't) damaged it! There was even a pile of foam across the top, the folks at Sugar Creek put a piece of cardboard to keep it off the kiln, so it was perfectly packed!

Franklin, you've got a good one, enjoy the process, it will be a little scary at times, but you can do it. Like when you 1st started making knives, HTing steel is about the same, keep it simple! You know you can HT 1084 with a forge, so it's easy using a kiln. The biggest difference is you can be more precise, nailing the exact temps you want to hit, and experiment with a little higher and little lower if you want to try tweeking the process. Once I got the results I was looking for, I set the "recipe" in the computer control and left it. It does make it so much easier. Do you intend on doing any clay coatings, for hamons?

3 Minutes?!! Wow, it took me and my wife like 30 minutes! The only difference I can see is the size, and time, I bought time 2 years ago, so they may be doing things differently now. Enjoy Bud, Rex

franklin
05-06-2011, 02:42 PM
thanks guys its up to 1300 as we speak. rex yes i am planing to do hamons and everything elsei can try. allready do hamons with forge but got a feeling this will be diffrent. i see what you mean about watching the door thats the only thing i would tell them to change looks solid and well made. thanks to tracy and the girls everything went great. iread somewere in a post not to put in blade to the back cuz its hotter is that true in your oven rex? and to anyone else who is looking at one as of so for two thumbs up from this dog.

McClellan Made Blades
05-08-2011, 06:34 PM
thanks guys its up to 1300 as we speak. rex yes i am planing to do hamons and everything elsei can try. allready do hamons with forge but got a feeling this will be diffrent. i see what you mean about watching the door thats the only thing i would tell them to change looks solid and well made. thanks to tracy and the girls everything went great. iread somewere in a post not to put in blade to the back cuz its hotter is that true in your oven rex? and to anyone else who is looking at one as of so for two thumbs up from this dog.


Franklin,
With your's being the small kiln, I'm thinking the temp is going to be pretty accurate, mainly because of where the thermocouple is located, it should be right behind the computer controller, which will put it about the center of the kiln. I bought the Large Knife making Kiln, the larger kilns might have an area that could be hotter and/or cooler. There are a few things to keep in mind, of course you want the blade to get to the target temp, but you also have to be able to get it out of the kiln and into the quench in about 2 to 4 seconds...SAFELY! With the large kiln, I addressed this issue by placing the blade area of the knife in my kiln so that the blade itself is in the area of the thermocouple, that way I'm pretty confident that it is at the target temp. While keeping the tang pointed towards the door, it is fairly easy to grab the tang with my tongs, while pulling it out I turn it over so the edge is facing down, I have my quench tank located beside my kiln so I can do all of this in one fluid motion. And then into the quench keeping the tip pointed toward the other end of the tank I move it back and forth, never going side to side, I agitate it this way pretty fast, without splashing the quench oil out of the tank. I do this for about a slow 30 count, and it's usually cool enough when I get done to handle it bare handed. Don't touch a blade you 'think' is cool enough, make sure it is cool enough before you touch it.

Hamons shouldn't be much different, you'll be able to be more precise on the temp, which will give you the ability to experiment with the right temp that will bring out the hamon that much better and get the right hardness in the blade edge. I do a differential HT on all of my knives, Hamons give a blade a distinct "fingerprint", that can be beautiful, but the differential HT is what I'm after. Since, I mostly make big knives, I wanted the ability to get the differential HT correctly, without having to draw the spine back. It's probably more about preference, I know some guys can do a soft back draw and get a hamon to die for, my experiences were not that good, so I stick to the clay. It helps that I like to polish, if you don't like to polish you'll be in for a rude awakening! I have spent upwards of 40 hours + polishing a blade, so enjoying the process helps a lot!

One of the things I highly recommend for everyone to do, is to do a few cold practice runs, use a blank or any knife shaped piece of steel similar to the size and weight of the knives you make, and act like it's hot. Focusing on getting the blade from the kiln to the quench tank in one smooth motion. Start with the door closed, with ALL of your safety equipment on, just like it would be if it actually were hot. It isn't easy getting a 1500 degree piece of steel from point "A" to point "B" in 2 to 4 seconds, practicing will build confidence, it will get you accustomed to the things you should look out for, it is the best way to find the unknowns before you actually go hot. Learning these things before you have a hot blade in your grip could be the difference between success and failure. Speaking of failure, don't be afraid to fail a time or 2. Fear of failure can be as bad as being lazy, making a mistake is OK as long as you learn from it. And never give up!

HTing is extremely dangerous taking every precaution possible isn't always enough.

I also have shop rules in place, primarily because I have kids. But that really doesn't matter, no matter what your doing in the shop if someone startle's you while you're on the band saw, the grinder or the buffer it can cause you to slip or jump which can cause you to injure yourself and possibly them.

Here are some of my shop rules, this may help you or it may not, I would encourage you to make your own set of rules, most all of the rules were made because of either an incident that happened at my shop or someone else's, I'd prefer to learn from someone else's mishaps than my own, sharing experiences that others can learn from helps each other, hopefully so they don't make the same mistakes and HOPEFULLY so you can avoid injury or worse.

1. No playing, I know that sounds simple, but I've caught myself playing around with my son in the shop, I corrected it as soon as I realized how many sharp points and edges there were around us. That can be knives, saw blades, etc. There are so many ways you can get hurt in a knife shop, steel is heavy and if it isn't stored on a sturdy shelf, or out of the way it could fall and there are many ways it could cause damage and injury.

2. Keep things put away, try to have a place for everything and have everything in it's place. I especially think this is important during HT, stepping on something while holding a hot blade could cause you to trip or stumble at the very least it will break your concentration.

3. I like to let my wife know when I'm HTing, just in case something happens and I'm not in the house at a decent hour or hasn't heard from me in a while, she will come check on me, it also lets her know to announce herself when she comes to the shop, so I don't jump with something dangerous in my hands.

These rules also apply to forging as well.

These are a few of my shop rules, mostly pertaining to HTing, I think it was Don Fogg that said he made it a habit to clean his shop everyday before he got to working on knives. While he's cleaning up he makes plans for the work he's doing for the day, I'm still working on making that a habit, since I've been renovating my shop I've kept that in mind. Setting it up in a manner that I hope will make it easier to keep clean.

I hope this helps, if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask, if I know the answer I will do my best to answer them, if I don't know the answer I'll say so. If I'm basing my answer off someone else's experiences or from what I've read, I'll say so. I know this has ran too long, but when I want to get a point across, I tend to use a lot of words. Rex

franklin
05-14-2011, 01:53 PM
thank you that is a lot of good info im sure it took awhile to wright, thanks for your time it all helps.

McClellan Made Blades
05-14-2011, 06:07 PM
Larry,
It really didn't take that long, I type all the time, and even though I've never had classes, I've still managed to get pretty good at it. The important part is that I got my point(s) across. I really enjoy helping ANYONE that really wants help and doesn't mind WORKING for it. It is a part of being a knife maker and being a part of this forum. Because there was someone, actually there were several guys that stepped up to help me over the last few years, it's my way to honor ALL of those that showed me the things I needed to know when I was learning all of these new things. I'm happy to have had the opportunity to give you a little bit of insight on a subject I happened to have a good bit of experience on, and have studied extensively. The main point I wanted to get across that I think is so often overlooked is safety, more so the preparations needed to handle a situation if the unthinkable did happen. The first step in becoming a great knife maker is living through the 1st 4 or 5 years, you have to get that part right!

Like I've always said, if there is anything I can help anyone with, email me, call me, PM, whatever. If it something I can help anyone with, I will share everything I know, likewise if it's a subject I'm not that good at or don't know anything about, I'm not too proud to admit that either. I consider it a privilege to help others, and believing in Karma, I know my good deeds will make their way back around eventually,
Thanks, Rex

franklin
05-14-2011, 08:00 PM
well rex i agree conpletly ive been at this for awhile,6years cut that down to 2 years between daughter and wife lol plenty of heat treating in a forge but this is way diffrent. times temps opening door exetra, did first blade today 1095 did some testing and seems better then my older blades, and your advise on a few dry runs helped me took the soft brick cut in half then put grooves in it to make a holder to get blades out of oven faster cuz i was fumbling to get of a flat brick fast enough. that was just a couple of things that helped. iwill post some pics soon so you can see. thanks

McClellan Made Blades
05-15-2011, 09:42 AM
Larry, that's AWESOME!!!!!!!!! It makes me so happy that sharing my limited knowledge did make a difference!

I didn't mean that HTing in the kiln vs. the forge would be exactly the same. I was referring to the outcome, yes better results were expected, or there wouldn't be much of a reason to buy a kiln!

Another tip, if I have taken time off, or haven't HT'd anything in a while, I still do the dry runs just to make sure I have the motions smooth and fluid, I get rusty real easy these days!

So glad I could help, even if it was just a little! You just made my day!!!

Now I've got to get busy, this afternoon, I'm going to meet with the guy building my Tire Hammer!!!!!WOOOOHOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm so excited, I may try to talk him out of his personal hammer, I know it won't work, but that won't stop me from trying!
We got a lot done in the shop yesterday, a second work bench finished, I already have a movable bench that my wife built me last year so I may put it in permanent use, for a while, so I can get equipment moved. I also picked up 2 pedestals, well actually they look more like guard rail posts, heavy duty pieces, I'm planning on using 1 for my grinder, the other I'm not sure about, I'm finally starting to see some progress out there, but still so much to do, this afternoon when I get back I'll start running electricity and you won't believe how many plug boxes I've put up! I thought I over did it when I had set the other side up, I still had extension cords running all over the place, I HATE STUFF ON THE FLOOR!!! I've now got a plug box set every 3 feet! on 3 walls! Plus I will be running conduit across the top to have drop down boxes for free standing machines not on the bench. It's gonna be awesome if I ever get it done! Have a great day and lets see some pics!!!! Thanks for letting me know my efforts have helped you,
Thanks Buddy, Rex

AJH_Knives
12-04-2012, 02:04 PM
never mind I found my answer