#1
Greetings, Knife Dogs!

I have patented an explosive process that makes an amazing polishing agent consisting of diamond-enhanced ceramic powders. To do this I pack a steel pipe with my explosive, detonate this inside of a large vessel, and extract the powder that is produced.

The detonation obliterates the pipe and many of the pieces of shrapnel look like really cool starting points for making swords and knives. Check out this variety of shrapnel pieces we made: http://instagr.am/p/BsV0Y7-hACy/
And watch how fast you can use the detonation powder to put a mirror finish on an old tarnished knife: http://instagr.am/p/BjKzxaFgwUN/
I have accumulated many buckets of pipe shrapnel and want to do something good with it rather than sell it as scrap steel. My initial goal here is to ship a few complimentary pieces to a few knife and sword makers to determine whether this type of steel is suitable for use.

Message me with your request, questions or feedback.

Thanks - Daren
 
#3
the steel is completely unsuitable for a knife or sword.
If your goal is to sell polishing compound, you've made your pitch.
Thanks for the feedback! Can you please share your reasoning on why you think the steel is not suitable? Is it the type of steel, its thickness or perhaps your perception of what its properties might be because of process it has gone through?

My target with polishing compounds is big industrial abrasives companies, however, I am interested in expanding into other areas. I've determined that the powder works fine on its own, but it's very dusty. What formats do knife makers prefer for their polishing agents? One variety we make is diamond-enhanced spinel powder. The type in the video is a softer diamond + magnesium oxide composite. We can customize the properties of the powder by controlling the conditions of detonation and the formulation that we shoot.
 
#6
This is funny. Sir if you would take a little feedback from a typical working class american with a very developed BS filter. If you wish to sell something to a group of people and you are looking for a lead-in then read the forum rules, follow them and obtain the proper membership. Then just pitch your product straight away. By coming in under the guise of making tools out of steel from an explosion you not only show us you have zero knowledge about making blades but you take your credibility meter into the negative before you get to make your pitch on a product that just may be great and is made by a really interesting process. This is not a negative post I truly wish you well and hope your product is the best out there but for this audience, a straight pitch is going to be better. Good luck in your business.
 
#7
Steel for cutting implements must have high carbon content so that it can be hardened.

Pipes are made from a totally different steel. Best of luck in your endeavors, but this is the wrong place for your product.
There is no product per se. I am just looking for something productive to do with cool looking pieces of steel that look like wannabe knives and swords. I have loads of shrapnel. I am willing to give some away to people who are serious about trying to work with it, but if it's the wrong type of steel, oh well.

That's good input about higher carbon content though - thanks. One of my technical objectives is to optimize the diamond yield in the powders I produce, which is a function typically of pipe wall thickness because a thick pipe results in a faster detonation velocity. Pressure increases exponentially with velocity and pressure = diamond.

I can deliberately use higher carbon steel, which would offer the explosive confinement needed to increase diamond yield and this would produce shrapnel presumably with a potential use in knife/sword-making. I will arrange my next shots to be done with harder steel - what type do you recommend?

Also, I've attached a picture of an armed pipe hanging in the shrapnel containment system within a larger containment vessel. Sorry that it's a little blurry. This is a 3" pipe. Considering that pipes have some curvature, what are your thoughts on the pipe diameter? Would larger be better? DSCF4046.JPG
 
#8
This is funny. Sir if you would take a little feedback from a typical working class american with a very developed BS filter. If you wish to sell something to a group of people and you are looking for a lead-in then read the forum rules, follow them and obtain the proper membership. Then just pitch your product straight away. By coming in under the guise of making tools out of steel from an explosion you not only show us you have zero knowledge about making blades but you take your credibility meter into the negative before you get to make your pitch on a product that just may be great and is made by a really interesting process. This is not a negative post I truly wish you well and hope your product is the best out there but for this audience, a straight pitch is going to be better. Good luck in your business.
I respect that you perceive I have an alternative agenda, however, I assure you that I am merely exploring ways to find potential uses for my waste pipe shrapnel. I'm offering to give some away to see if it can be used for knife making and it was recommended to me that I should try engaging with your group because I have zero knowledge of making tools out of steel. I am coming to you like how one would approach respected experts and mentors - I'm just trying to learn.

There is a big order of polishing powder that a European company may purchase soon and I am preparing for this. I have to be ready and can't fulfill that order in Canada because the blast chamber I rent is too small to do large volumes. However, I've worked out a strategy with a company with the right facilities in Ohio. If I begin producing tons of powder, I'll also be producing tons of shrapnel, and I want to be able to make the most use of it as cost effectively as possible. Breaking even with my pipe costs would be ideal and if changing the type of steel achieves that, then that's what I must do..

If someone in your group could be so kind as to share thoughts on the preferred types of steel and maybe comment on the diameter/thickness of pipe that might best suit knife-making requirements, I can make the best of both worlds. I can optimize my powder and produce a unique type of stock that your industry can use and potentially innovate with. But in the meantime I have a lot of shrapnel and I am searching for people to attempt working with it to assess its suitability.

Thanks for your feedback.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#9
EnviroDaren, here’s the thing-

Your process looks fun. But no serious knife or sword maker is looking for this. Here’s why:

1. No serious maker is using mystery steel for a project. I realize that it would seem they do based on TV shows where makers are asked to do just that. While it adds a degree of risk which is great for a challenge on a TV show, risk is avoided at all costs in real life where the end result is king.

2. By blowing it up into shrapnel you have put tons of stresses into the steel. Even using a known steel type (5160, etc) this steel would have to be re-annealed and normalized to get rid of the stresses.

So, after reading your last comment, it seems to me that you are looking for folks who may be interested in making artful creations from very interesting pieces of metal. That is a fun idea and I wish you luck. I would suggest you offer this to general blacksmiths and metal working forums. Unfortunately on a knifemakers’ forum, you are kindly barking up the wrong tree.

Best of luck to you. It looks fun and I hope you find a niche for your process.
 
#10
EnviroDaren, here’s the thing-

Your process looks fun. But no serious knife or sword maker is looking for this. Here’s why:

1. No serious maker is using mystery steel for a project. I realize that it would seem they do based on TV shows where makers are asked to do just that. While it adds a degree of risk which is great for a challenge on a TV show, risk is avoided at all costs in real life where the end result is king.

2. By blowing it up into shrapnel you have put tons of stresses into the steel. Even using a known steel type (5160, etc) this steel would have to be re-annealed and normalized to get rid of the stresses.

So, after reading your last comment, it seems to me that you are looking for folks who may be interested in making artful creations from very interesting pieces of metal. That is a fun idea and I wish you luck. I would suggest you offer this to general blacksmiths and metal working forums. Unfortunately on a knifemakers’ forum, you are kindly barking up the wrong tree.

Best of luck to you. It looks fun and I hope you find a niche for your process.
Thanks for this feedback, and that's what I'm looking for. Some real industry truth about what makes a maker make.

Can you please answer these questions? thanks:

1. What is the perceived risk of working with post-detonation steel if I use the correct type? Is it dangerous?

2. What downside might be observed in the final product if the steel was worked with without re-annealing it?

3. Is re-annealing the post-detonated steel too difficult of a step to take? Isn't that what you do anyway when working with typical stock?

4. What perceived effect might you observe in the harder steel that you use if it is cooled to a very low temperature (110 degrees below zero)?
*The pipe is very cold before detonation occurs

Thanks for the recommendation to reach out to metalworking forums. I'll look into that.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
#11
Thanks for this feedback, and that's what I'm looking for. Some real industry truth about what makes a maker make.

Can you please answer these questions? thanks:

1. What is the perceived risk of working with post-detonation steel if I use the correct type? Is it dangerous?

2. What downside might be observed in the final product if the steel was worked with without re-annealing it?

3. Is re-annealing the post-detonated steel too difficult of a step to take? Isn't that what you do anyway when working with typical stock?

4. What perceived effect might you observe in the harder steel that you use if it is cooled to a very low temperature (110 degrees below zero)?
*The pipe is very cold before detonation occurs

Thanks for the recommendation to reach out to metalworking forums. I'll look into that.

1. That depends upon which compounds / chemicals the steel was exposed to. This is a HAZMAT question. Best to talk to a chemical engineer or explosives expert.

2. The steel will most likely warp or crack, if it’s even the right type to be hardened in the first place. The heat from the explosion may be sufficient to damage the steel structure such that the carbon is lost and it is no longer able to be hardened.

3. It is doable, but not worth the effort honestly.

4. That is complete dependent upon the type of steel. Some steels benefit from cryogenic treatment and others don’t. This is why knowing the exact makeup of the steel is important because how you heat treat it is crucial to the end result.

These are good questions, and I hope that what you take from this is that in all cases these things make the steel inappropriate for knife making, but again, possibly metal artists elsewhere would be interested.
 
#12
Thanks for the helpful reply. Here are my comments on your last reply:

1. I am a chemical engineer who is an explosives expert (check out my patent). If the only concern of working with unknown stock is toxicity from exposure to chemicals, then I assure you there is no concern about my shrapnel. When you initially suggested that no serious maker would take the risk to work with a mystery piece of steel, I assumed the risk was posed through something undesirable that might happen from working with it. So there's absolutely no risk then.

2. My detonation temperature is cool compared with traditional explosive detonations and the pipe starts in a cryogenic state. The pieces of pipe emerge from the detonation at room temperature, so there is no evident superheating that happens but the pipe is certainly torn apart under high pressure. I'm not sure what that means on workability of the metal, however, the concern is noted and it seems like the only way to find out is to try.

3. I can potentially build an annealing step into treating the shrapnel before it becomes available for use as knife-making stock. If the cost to do this is balanced with the cost of the steel and price to sell the steel to knife makers, then re-annealing is worth the effort. I've seen some big annealing rooms that treat large pressure vessels after the welding is complete. I could easily place a pallet of shrapnel in one of those rooms and do this.

4. Thanks - however, on the note of the preferred steel, what type do you recommend? And what are your thoughts on thickness?

I agree that metal artists are good potential users of this stock. However, I am still optimistic about conducting research in the knife making communities to find folks who are interested in working with something unique that may potentially create something new.

I really appreciate your feedback - thanks.
 
#14
Hummm...packing pipe with an explosive material and detonating it. I wonder what the BATFE might think of your process.

Doug
Yeah, I know what you mean. The process is all patented and legit though, and I’ve received a patent in the US as well as 26 other countries. The explosive is a combination of dry ice and other ingredients which detonate to produce ultra fine diamond fused into ceramic particles.
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
#15
I would like to see a video of your process.
I remain convinced the shrapnel would not be effective as a cutting edge regardless of the type steel used however it could be folded into some decorative damascus and used for bolsters or san mail type damascus.
 
#16
I would like to see a video of your process.
I remain convinced the shrapnel would not be effective as a cutting edge regardless of the type steel used however it could be folded into some decorative damascus and used for bolsters or san mail type damascus.
There are videos on my website, under CDP Abrasives, that show stuff relating to the process.

I've met many people with decades of explosives research experience who told me dry ice is too cold to react with anything and the whole notion to mix it with powdered metal to make an explosive was crazy. Here's a Youtube video where magnesium chips are ignited by a blowtorch and encapsulated in dry ice. It's a pretty ferocious reaction.

The thing about new technology is, to those who are steeped in what they know as experts, there is no frame of reference to accurately determine whether something new will or won't work. It's new and they don't technically know. They have to try, and in trying something new, new obstacles emerge, which trigger yet more ideas and expands who they are. Like you said - folding the steel into something else. That's what I'm talking about. Entertain the possibility to do something new or unexpected because you're troubleshooting a new challenge.

I'd love to see what a person with your experience could do with one of my existing pieces of steel with the intention to make the most of the opportunity. For all you know the peculiar combination of my system going from very cold to very hot plus high pressure + mach-6 shrapnel impact against the curved containment wall affects the properties of pipe steel in a way where working with it is not at all like you imagined, whether with softer or harder steel. When I rent the explosives lab the tech assigned to me frequently comments on how my system generates unexpected results in the appearance of the shrapnel I generate relative to what they are accustomed to seeing.

The worst case scenario in working with my existing shrapnel might be the creation of a cool looking decorative and highly unique knife with a blade that isn't suitable for extensive cutting, yet still looks awesome anyway because the maker followed the shape of the steel rather than enforced a preconceived vision upon it. I think that's still a good outcome.

Knife polish was mentioned a while back. I would like to learn more about your process for establishing surface finish. My powders have a very high friability (crumbliness) yet the particles are hard enough to perform coarse grinding and, as it breaks down into the primary particles, the powder becomes finer and finer and eventually leaves a mirror finish. All in one step.

Would a dry powder be an acceptable format or do knife makers prefer the abrasive to be in a liquid suspension or a cream? I have used plain powder or I sometimes add a little olive oil or hand sanitizer to assist with dispersing the abrasive. It works very fast, and it is totally non-toxic. One of my goals is to develop a custom product for your industry with the capability to polish blades in one step (after any grinding is complete). I have access to an emulsion chemist who can help formulate liquid or cream products or we can provide just the powder and give the maker more creative freedom.

Oh, and can you please share the types of steel that you use and preferred thickness or possible ranges of thicknesses? Any feedback on this is much appreciated - Thanks.
 

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
#18
For me personally, I wouldn't be interested at all.

Short and simple: its WAY too much work to put into materials that may or may not (probably not is more likely) make a good knife.

More in depth explanation: knife making is already hard enough and plenty time consuming. Any knifemaker who has any self-worth places utmost importance on quality materials and high performance cutting tools.

To add unknown steel with unknown internal conditions/structures/stresses/fractures to something already difficult and time consuming is pure insanity.

It *MIGHT* be a different story if your scrap fragments were of HUGE historical value, i.e. statue of liberty, U.S. historical landmarks, world heritage sites, famous battle weapons/vehicles etc...........but they're not. They're pieces of scrap pipe.

Not worth any knifemaker's time. As others have mentioned, maybe seek out metal arts/sculpture groups or art/ornamental blacksmiths.

Good bladesmiths like as many steady knowns and as few unknown variables as possible.
 
#19
Thanks, John, for taking the time to share your thoughts with me on this matter. I really appreciate learning about the culture and psychology of your group.

My takeaway from your comments is that your preference and perception of other knifemakers is to operate within the domain that is known, understood and familiar. Is there something else, such as lack of equipment that the artistic metal workers have but knifemakers don't?

Regardless, I will respectfully and faithfully hold out for the few oddballs among you who may reach out because they are daring enough to step outside of their comfort zone and try something new. For all I know there is a rogue group of artistic metal workers among you. The funny thing is, my perception of knifemakers is that you are all artistic and creative. Have you SEEN the amazing stuff that you guys make? Some of the knives are truly breathtaking.

I may not not have a piece of the Statue of Liberty, however, I am the inventor who has patented an entirely new field of explosives that consumes carbon dioxide during detonation and to some people, that's an important development that impacts many fields of science. There's a market for anything when it's packaged the right way.

I'm either going to sell tons of shrapnel as scrap steel or hire the right group to turn it into something that makes money for everyone. I will most certainly reach out to the other groups you've mentioned and I appreciate the suggestion.

Thanks - Daren
 
#20
Well the problem is the stresses you exert on them... it breaks the steel in macroscopic ways that you can see, and microscopic fractures where you can't see, because it stretches and stretches till it breaks - but it stretched everywhere and microfractured everywhere... As an example there are people who use recycled coil or blade springs for their knives, they do this for a variety of reasons (nostalgia), but often they get a piece of steel with micro fractures in it, even during forging these do not necessarily get "healed" properly and the blade breaks - often in the customer's hand... which is mostly the end of their recycled steel endeavours....and honestly if you use tool steel that is essentially harder than the structural or mild steel you are probably using, firstly it will resist stretching for a bit and then make scrapnel faster... so your pressure and time delta will change, maybe susbtantially, maybe not at all... even unhardened you may have harder steel if using tool steel, and i suspect you would have a hard time obtaining tool steel pipes anywhere... they are harder to weld and harder to shape etc. if you are hell bent on trying this take something like 1075 or 1080 make a pipe and see what you get... get a chemical analysis of the surface and core steel and have a piece of the steel cross-sectioned and metallurgically checked... But i have to say takers will likely be very few... knifemakers are a stingy lot when it comes to steel...

The other thing, the shrapnell you show appears oxidized so there is some contaminants (maybe not hazardous) that will interfere with the forge welding step, and typically would need to be cleaned or at the very least add impurities to the steel, which decrease strength and which will require lots of forging and dispersal to make something which the performance orientated will shy away from... the arty ones - are few and far between - and will have to cut those irregular pieces into lots of smaller regular pieces... to make somewhat good steel out of poor steel, much like the japanese used to do... but the makers who do that sort of thing can be counted on their one hand... and they are all so steeped in traditions, they make their own steel from iron sand or iron ore in any case... So they might be able to use it, but why would they...

Maybe the neo tribal guys would be willing to do something post apocalyptic themed with it...

On your abrasives... make a stick of buffing compound and hand it to a factory like spyderco or a maker...
 
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