Best steel for a pocket knife for a beginner ??

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
Cliff, this thread is good timing. I am using aeb-l for my first slipjoint ever right now as we speak. The blade and spring started their second temper cycle just a few minutes ago. The spring is tempering at 1000f in the Evenheat and the blade is tempering at 350 in the kitchen oven.

It will either work- or be a spectacular failure!
 

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
There's a link to my page in my signature. :D

I must warn you, I tend to babble, but hopefully you find some useful info. Again, IIRC, there's a link to a google doc in the video description of the slipjoint video series, video #1. It's not a Don Robinson caliber pattern, but there's enough there to get started.

That reminds me... Don Robinson used to sell pretty good patterns, and also has a book that includes patterns.
 

bladegrinder

Well-Known Member
I have a mill Cliff but I've never used it for folders, I have a very old small Sanford surface grinder I use for the blades and back bars though, which I think for a really tight - smooth folder the blade and back bar or lock should be surface ground for clearance for the washers and absolute flatness. of course you don't need a surface grinder for you to start making folders.
When I did start to make folders I had blades and back bars profiled and brought them to a couple friends shops for surface grinding, Stan Wilson and Larry Lunn, who have both since moved, so I lucked out there at the time.
I ended up finding the surface grinder on craigs list about ten miles from home.
 

C Craft

Well-Known Member
So I went back and edited the tittle to say, Best steel for a pocket knife for a beginner ?? Cause this is kindergarten for me when it comes to folders. I learn something new every time I look at a tutorial or a WIP on folders!! Or I hope I am learning it!!! :rolleyes:


Cliff, this thread is good timing. I am using aeb-l for my first slipjoint ever right now as we speak. The blade and spring started their second temper cycle just a few minutes ago. The spring is tempering at 1000f in the Evenheat and the blade is tempering at 350 in the kitchen oven.

It will either work- or be a spectacular failure!
Pictures John, this needs pictures!!

That reminds me... Don Robinson used to sell pretty good patterns, and also has a book that includes patterns.
Andrew I had two moments of laughter today. One was the thread from Don. Can't remember off the top of my head who it was but, one of the guys doing the WIP and he had done just what Don, warned against. Don says, well what did you do that for, back on step 1 of that part, I told you not to do that. He reminded me of my Dad. He told you something one time and then you was suppose know how to do it the next time.

The other laugh was a fellar named Andrew and you were explaining about how the rise and fall gauge would show you at this point of the open and closure when you got it right! So you showed those points and then I notice the blade is closing and lapping the spring slightly! So I am waiting for you to show how to correct the problems where the gauge says its off, and you say something about the blade slightly lapping spring,...………………… and then the video cuts off. I am sitting there looking at the screen going, Andrew I sure would have appreciated you showing me how to fix those problem areas as well as identifying them. LOL

You say in another of your videos, there is one of my videos that was mostly out of focus and...……………….. I forgot to show you a couple of things!!

That's OK I still learned from it!!! I have got a lot of reading and some videos to look at before I even attempt one I am beginning to see!!
As I said earlier I do appreciate all the input on this subject!!
 
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C Craft

Well-Known Member
You know the more I think this over. I believe I am going to build a couple of folders from, basic high carbon steel and due a blue/brown process on the steel for a protection!! That way I can get the process down and get a taste for folders. Sure they might be prone to rust but, the steel that is blue/brown will resist a lot of rust and good cleaning and a coat of oil will help the other!!

Then I can progress to the more advanced state of the process. In other words, learn to walk, before I run. I have read so much in the last week or so. I kind of have to gravitate toward one type of folder a branch out from there. Since the idea was really sprung into my head by the friend wanting a lock back, I think I will work there first!!

Guys keep the info coming. I would love to watch someone doing the process in real time!! I once had a karate instructor, (back when I wore a younger mans clothes)! Anyway I was having trouble getting a move. He said, don't sweat it, he said some people learn by instruction, some by sight (or seeing the move made) and some learn by instruction and sight! I think I fall into that later category!! :D
 

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
Andrew I had two moments of laughter today. One was the thread from Don. Can't remember off the top of my head who it was but, one of the guys doing the WIP and he had done just what Don, warned against. Don says, well what did you do that for, back on step 1 of that part, I told you not to do that. He reminded me of my Dad. He told you something one time and then you was suppose know how to do it the next time.
That was probably me. :D I got in on a two blade trapper build with Don Robinson over on the KnifeNetwork forums a few years back, and in all of my excitement to get my first folder done, I ignored some critical info. IIRC, I also forgot to drill my pin holes before heat treating my blades. o_O

The other laugh was a fellar named Andrew and you were explaining about how the rise and fall gauge would show you at this point of the open and closure when you got it right! So you showed those points and then I notice the blade is closing and lapping the spring slightly! So I am waiting for you to show how to correct the problems where the gauge says its off, and you say something about the blade slightly lapping spring,...………………… and then the video cuts off. I am sitting there looking at the screen going, Andrew I sure would have appreciated you showing me how to fix those problem areas as well as identifying them. LOL

You say in another of your videos, there is one of my videos that was mostly out of focus and...……………….. I forgot to show you a couple of things!!

That's OK I still learned from it!!! I have got a lot of reading and some videos to look at before I even attempt one I am beginning to see!!
As I said earlier I do appreciate all the input on this subject!!
I know my vids leave a lot to be desired. ;) I'd like to get 2 or 3 better cameras one of these days and do a much more "produced" slipjoint tutorial, but things just haven't lined up for that yet. I do see several places where I could have explained or shown things better. Maybe next time. :)
 

C Craft

Well-Known Member
Andrew, that was not meant as a downer!! I have done a couple of crude video a few years age about BP hunting. Primitive muzzle loaders unlike the ones today with electronic ignition, and other gadgets that take the true man behind the rifle out of the equation!!

They were only a few minutes long and even thought they were fairly informative. However and here it the kicker, once it is on the net its out there forever. I ran across a pic of one of my first friction folders, a while back. Anyway by following a bunch of hits backwards I ran into a reference to one of the old video's.
It was only like 2 minutes and 59 seconds in length. Through some trial and error I got the old video to play. I had to sit and laugh at myself, cause I would have had to say what a DA!! If I didn't realize that was me. Luckily I never showed the face so I guess I can do like the lawyer says, deny deny, deny!!!

Keep up the good work friend!

I got in trouble early when I was getting into this! Someone had posted a pic on a forum and asked how do you do this. This, was a type of file work I had never seen and I thought it was real cool! The guy said he had asked the guy and he said another man had taught him how to do it and he didn't want him to show others.
So, like usual I spoke my mind an I put a quote on the thread that. "me thinks someone think much to much of themselves"!! I was informed that there is nothing wrong with trade secrets by a maker!! Well then the conversation morphs over into, I am making a living doing this and ………!

So I thought about it a bit and I posted back. I understand you are making a living at this and I truly do get that! However there are things in this ole world that if you, never share that knowledge, it will die with you!! I told him I started doing construction at age 14. Back then I was young and dumb, like most of us are at that age.

I also told the guy did you know that if you can give dimensions of a given house, I can give you back the length of every cut for the roof of that house, even a hip and those rafters length change with every two foot, as well as the optimum pitch. I can tell you how to figure many more things and I never have to physically see or touch the house. The tables to do that are on a old framing square, many of the new ones do not come with those tables on it!!

Back when I was young and dumb my father tried to teach me all of that. Of course I was too smart to be taught and now that my father and folks like him are no longer around, there is few that can do these things from a framing square. However I missed the opportunity to learn the other things you can do with that same framing square.

Therefore if I can help to impart someone with some knowledge in knife making, that they too can pass on later, well...….. I am gonna do that, so I don't take it too my grave. After all it won't do me any good there!! To me its like the old saying. Imitation is the sincerest of flattery!!

So keep up the good work Andrew!! 1528422886271.png
 

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
Believe me, I did not take it as a downer. I am however aware of my limits as a “content creator”. ;)
I can definitely identify with looking back at old vids and thinking “what a DA” hahaha

I still get comments on videos I made years ago, some good, some bad. Personally, I welcome any criticism, constructive or otherwise. At the end of the day, people are getting exactly what they pay for with most YouTube vids. :D
 

Axeman58

Active Member
The main reason I don't want it to rust is this pocket knives are for pockets or small cases that go on your side, IMHO!! Mostly what I would consider a EDC!
I remember a bad experience as a very young kid. Back in the day business use to give out calendars at the end of the year or a pen or something with the logo on so you would remember them the next time you bought something. One vendor gave out a pocket knife that looked like a coin with their logo on one side and phone numbers on the other side. The knife looked like a lady bug with its wings up/ when both blades were open.
I remember I used it to cut up an apple and thought I had cleaned it! However two days later when I went to open it both blades were rusted shut. Even though back then I didn't realize it was a piece of junk. I don't ever want someone to say that about one of my folders!!

OK, so PG 0-1. I am not familiar with the designation and when I do a search . It comes 01 is tool steel. That much I pretty much knew 01 was tool steel. What does the PG , proceeding the 01 stand for!!

AEB-L is supposed to be a good middle of the road steel for folder from what little I do know about it!

How involved are the HT of each of these steels!! Are they both cryo treatment steels??
Well Sir, the PG designation means precision ground (which makes a slip joint makers life a lot easier). As far as AEB-L being a middle of the road steel, I can not agree with that. I readily admit I may be among the few who swear by it.
I always use a shallow cyro with my AEB-L knives because I want to make the best I possibly can. At this point in my life, a liquid nitrogen setup is not something I can swing. So, I go the dry ice/acetone slurry route.
As for the HT on O-1, it has been done for decades with coal, charcoal, torches,etc, the quenched in oil. Your Parks should do a great job of quenching it, if your temperature is right. O-1 has been around for a long, long time. I do not think a cyro is done on it often, if at all. One thing that is true with all steels used in knife making, the better control you have over time and temperature, the closer you can come to getting everything out of the blade the steel has to offer.
Whatever steel you decide to use for your folder, I wish you luck on it.
 

Robert66

Well-Known Member
I have a all steel folding 3 inch single bladed locking pocket knife which I would love to replace the blade on as it is worn away, I have had it for many years and it has served me well, I am attached to it even though it is illegal in the UK.

I am scared of ruining it completely.
 

C Craft

Well-Known Member
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