Soft versus Hard Steel

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Bruce McLeish

Well-Known Member
Knife making is pretty difficult and time consuming........and it isn't very profitable.

If only there was a way to make it EVEN MORE difficult and MORE time consuming ........ but LESS profitable.........and throw in an inherent risk of catastrophic failure.........that would be fantastic!:rolleyes:
Geez , and here I thought that I was starting a kinda tough hobby!
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
1) Sell the scrap as scrap metal: lowest return


Nailed it.

It is one thing to have a desire to make something new from something new following an idea that is fresh. When our main motivation is reducing waste, we are almost forced to make compromises to a good design process.

I have literally thousands of pieces of small polycarbonate rectangular pieces that are leftover from a military job I do...been saving them for about 8 yrs...cause some day I will find a purpose for them...lol. Sound familiar? Lol.

however...if you choose to go another route:

you have a very specific skill set...you only need one knifemaker willing to forge for you. I would say that a guy who has a forge...with a scientific mind who is retired would be your guy. Then you can go offline...work together and re-present in a few months.....until then the rest of us will most likely get tired of investing thought into something that challenges our empirical wisdom. Already an amount of humor is headed that direction...

You are tenacious...that is all you need to forge ahead...(pun intended). Some help from guys/guy that understand heat 'N' hammers in the real world with your steel is where you are already at. Further attempts to extrapolate knowledge will most likely yield diminishing returns here.

I made a commitment to myself to help out anyone making knives on this forum(due to the amount of help I have received here)...whether new makers asking basic questions or more experienced guys wanting to try different process than what they are using. Sometimes I'm a help and sometimes i'm white noise...lol.

While I wish you the best, I have nothing to offer you here...except what I shared above.

Time to start making something...find a guy and get to it....nothing is ever proved in debate...only in experimentation.
 

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
Although I could be wrong, my perception is that there is no reliable source of metal shrapnel produced from an explosive detonation with pieces big enough to make knives from.

Totally agree.......and its a cryin' shame too. About 5 times a week, I get calls from my professional knifemaker buddies asking me "Hey, do you know of a reliable source for exploded pipe shrapnel that I can make knives from?......because I have thousands of dollars I need to burn up and I have weeks and weeks of downtime. And the more burned, cracked and mangled, the better."

True story-happens all the time.
 

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
Obviously, I'm SUPER skeptical and I find this concept ridiculous, to put it as politely as I can.

But I do enjoy a spirited debate at times, so sarcasm aside.........a couple serious questions:

Lets say that I can see a scenario where people you know, business partners or those in your field may think its cool to have knives made from your ,shall we say, byproducts. Why knives? Why not a rose blossom or paperweight or something decorative? Knives are fundamentally performance driven tools and this is so counter-intuitive to quality knives. Letter openers, perhaps.

Secondly, if one insists on knives, how does this scenario help turn scraps into, if not profit, at least supplemental cost recovery? Who's going to manufacture these products? You? A knifemaker? Certainly anyone commissioned to do this would need to be compensated for their time. Knowing what I do about the Knife making process, I can't see an end game that doesn't put you further in the hole.

Then you mentioned (I think) gifts? Giving these products away further puts you in the hole.

Seems like a broom, dustpan and a hefty bag is a far more financially sound investment plan.
 

EnviroDaren

Active Member
Hi Ted - thank you for the intelligently written response.

That's funny about the polycarbonate. I have so many buckets of shrapnel it's nuts. And I have this big crate of 4-foot 3" diameter 1" wall thickness graphite tubes. I have no idea what I'll do with them, but I can't bear throw them out. Part of me was thinking to pump some cap sensitive emulsion into them and see if detonating the explosive converts the graphite into diamond.

Yes - I agree that my next step is to have a few knives or whatever produced. I have a better understanding now of the attitudes toward what a knife is versus a decorative knife and risk/reputation of working with new materials etc... this has been very informative.

My plan is to convert the smaller pieces into jewellery and possibly Splodamascus after some tests. The larger blockier shrapnel will be crafted into into trophies, paperweights and other items. The long knife or sword-like pieces will be converted into a combination of proper knives/swords (pending X-Ray certification) and decorative versions of knives/swords intended for display only.

My hope is that the uniqueness and beauty of what my shrapnel can be converted into will drive the appeal of recipients - for my potential customers as promotional gifts. Selling my shrapnel products would be managed along with an appropriate promotional strategy that I would drive through my own efforts.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
if Anyone wants some blown up stinky old gas pipe, you pay the shipping and I’ll blow some up for you and send it your way

Thanks, but I’m shifting hobbies. I’m going to start making industrial diamond dust. But rather than use engineered pipe with known pressure ratings for containment, I’m going to scour trash bins and junkyards for anything that looks like a pressure vessel. Because knowing the characteristics of your materials and being able to calculate your internal pressure prior to containment vessel rupture is for closed-minded chumps.
 

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
Thanks, but I’m shifting hobbies. I’m going to start making industrial diamond dust. But rather than use engineered pipe with known pressure ratings for containment, I’m going to scour trash bins and junkyards for anything that looks like a pressure vessel. Because knowing the characteristics of your materials and being able to calculate your internal pressure prior to containment vessel rupture is for closed-minded chumps.

Can I have your explosion scraps? I'm doing a super secret squirrel project for NASA. I need quality high precision stuff and your explosion scraps would be perfect.

I've been looking for a good reliable source since my last source from a small cabin in Montana seems to have fallen off the map.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
Can I have your explosion scraps? I'm doing a super secret squirrel project for NASA. I need quality high precision stuff and your explosion scraps would be perfect.

I've been looking for a good reliable source since my last source from a small cabin in Montana seems to have fallen off the map.

Sure thing. Might want to wash your hands after handling the scraps, unless you just like your chicken wings to taste like PETN and Thermite.

You may want the steel I made from the secondary process. Some are tiny but I’ll save the good stuff for you (the canister damascus I made from soup cans and Chevette fenders).
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
I'm gonna start taking notes the masterminds are a work and I don't want to miss anything

Justin, since you’re helping John with the NASA project let me caution you. Those NASA knobs are always going on about traceability of components and blah blah blah. Make sure you print out the Paypal receipt for my metal scrap along with a picture of me handing it to you. That ought to be good enough.
 
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