Simple question on the difference in .070 vs .065 AEB-L

wall e

Well-Known Member
I'm planning on making some boning and possibly fillet knives and there is two options for AEB-L that I have found, .065 an .070. So I am trying to seek the wisdom of those who have used these before me. I'm having do the shoe strand budget maker thing. Is about a $20.00 difference in price.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
I have been making fillet knives and boning knives with .070 AEB-L I see no reason at all that .065 wouldn't work just fine. There likely won't be any difference between the two since you'll be grinding it thinner than that, anyway. The fillet knives I have been making start with .070 stock but they are .065 at the front of the handle / ricasso and taper down to roughly .020 at the tip.

My suggestion (i.e. if you want to learn from my mistakes) is to be prepared to straighten the blanks several times. Everything I do from cutting / profiling to drilling the holes causes the stock to warp slightly. Now I check for straightness at each stage and correct it. You can bend and straighten stock this thin by hand, but it's hard to control where you bend it. The best solution I've come up with is to use a piece of scrap leather on my granite plate. Then I tap the stock with a wooden mallet. (tap.. tap... not smack) The leather affords just enough "give" to let the blank bend exactly where I hit it.

I sent mine to Peters Heat Treat. I sent them as straight as I could humanly make them and they came back just like I sent them. I did stretch wrap them to a flat board and pack the box with as much padding as I could stuff in there.
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
Blades that thin are a real bugger to grind pre-HT. So much better to profile, drill holes, HT, then bevel and finish a thin blade. So much easier to grind post HT.

I agree, no difference in final knife when made from .065" or .070" stock.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
For sure, Ken. No way in the world I'd grind it pre HT. I can't imagine how it would ever stay straight. Interestingly, AEB-L is kinda gummy in the annealed state. It grinds much better hard anyway.

Even hard, you MUST keep the super thin stuff cold when grinding post heat treat. I find it pulls (bows) to the warm side, and by warm I mean just slightly warm and in no way uncomfortable to hold. Dip early, dip often, rotate left/right every few passes to keep the blade temperature even on both sides so the blade won't pull. I've never had this issue with .110 which I use a lot of. But the .070 stuff definitely pulls to the warm side.
 

wall e

Well-Known Member
Ok, thanks John I am a nervous norvis about ruining a ht blade/blade so I often have a sloppy mess on the work rest but, the belt is clean. Lol

Ken I am inclined to stick with post ht grinding of AEB-L. Is an if it works don't change it.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
I used to be nervous, too. In reality, it's harder to hurt anything on a hard blade. I find that grinds are more predictable. A little slip won't take off nearly as much material.
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
Yep, got to keep it cool. I make a pass on one side, dunk in water, then make pass on other side. NEVER more than 2 passes on same side. Using a sharp belt, grind, dunk, grind other side, dunk, swap sides again. With that I've never had any problem with warping while grinding.

I first started with .093" or more and wouldn't even consider grinding post HT for fear of messing up HT. Now, I'm fairly comfortable with grinding post HT. Only time I got into trouble was with S30V steel and had a dull belt thinking it was the S30V that was the problem while it was a dull belt.

Later
 

rybobales

Member
I much prefer to grind AEB-L post heat treat. I agree with John, way too gummy. But with .065 and .070 we are talking about a very small margin of difference and i doubt you'd even be able to tell side by side. That is .005" or - 1/128"

I was very nervous my first Post HT grind too! But its all about dunking every pass like Ken said. Also either .065 or .070 will flex a ton. So you might want to grind with some sort of backer to keep it from warping or grinding uneven.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
yep. and be prepared to straighten it several times before you heat treat it. It is VERY easy to straighten while soft. But you can just plain forget it once it's hard.

I just ground one today from .070 It was a blank I made some time ago. It had a pronounced warp right where the handle meets the blade. The warp was probably 2mm off the plate at the tip (basically the thickness of the blade). It took a bunch of gyrations going from the grinder to the surface plate to see if I was on the right track as I attempted to grind a straight line out of a curved object. It worked. Some off the tip, some off the heel, some off the tip, some off the heel... mark center again... repeat.

If I'd have paid just a little bit of attention to keeping it flat before heat treat I could have saved all that trouble.

I don't know about you, but lately it seems half the steel I buy has taken a warp and doesn't want to let go of it. No surprise- If I'm not mistaken AEB-L is rolled into a coil. I probabably got the stuff off the innermost wrap. I've become pretty darn good at straightening steel lately. And the frustrating part of it is that the stuff has memory. Straighten it today and tomorrow it's crept back some. After several straightenings it seems to hold.
 
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wall e

Well-Known Member
I have been fortunate so far, (knocking on work bench) there was the one warp cause the gorilla drilled the hole aggresively with a hand drill and a vice.
Is gonna be a lil bot before I buy more steel, mommas washer died sunday and we used the extra we had to replace it today. So I wait and work the ones sitting in their bins to be completed.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
Oh, the gorilla visits your place, too? The gorilla broke two of my blades a while back trying to straighten them in a vice using the 3-piont method. AEB-L said "ha! That's cute.... PLINK!"

Gorilla also forgets that the drill PRESS pushes down really hard when you hang your 240lb butt off the handle. Hey, why's my blank bent at at the pin hole?
 

wall e

Well-Known Member
Oh, the gorilla visits your place, too?

Gorilla also forgets that the drill PRESS pushes down really hard when you hang your 240lb butt off the handle. Hey, why's my blank bent at at the pin hole?

Hahahahaaaa oh yeah he does.
He has over torqued a vise and broke a planer blade blank,bolts and screws around the house as well.
New drill press is making the gorilla be a trained monkey and be more gentle with things.
Lol
 
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