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Author Topic: some interesting information  (Read 1965 times)
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jared williams
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« on: April 09, 2016, 05:31:55 PM »

     My buddy Nate got his hands on some old well drilling rod from a ranch that his friends own. they used it back in the 70's i think to drill a water well on there ranch. they gave him some of it to play around with to make knives with. After some test knives and trial and error he came up with a good heat treat and forging practice with the steel and ended up making knives out out of it that passed all the HEPK tests for a knife. Just recently we finally sent a sample off to Rex to see what the steel is. Turns out the steel is 1045V with a make up as follows..44 carbon .76 manganese .024 sulfur .025 vanadium. This really surprised both Nate and I because quite honestly i didn't think .44 carbon was enough to make a good cutting knife with. When testing the blade If i remember correctly it did 350 cuts, 6 edge flexes and we stopped the 180 deg. bends after 21 because we were tired of bending it. And i remember that it pulled 60lbs. of torque until the 10th bend then dropped down to around 30lbs. for the rest. Rex said they added the Vanadium to make it hard cheap. He found the steel pretty poor quality and dirty.Those are close to his exact words. I imagine the vanadium helped the edge holding quite a bit as well.
     The low temp forging, post forge quenches ,flash normalizes and all the other things we as HEPK smiths do while forging and heat treating do make a difference! To take a blade of crap 1045v and turn it into, not just a functional knife but a High Endurance Performance Knife that i would depend on is pretty awesome.
     For me this opens up a whole new world of experimenting and playing with some other steels just to see what can be accomplished....although i dearly love 52100 and won't be leaving that steel behind anytime to soon, now its time to get back to my 52100 sword just to see what can be done with 29 inches of 52100!
     

   
   

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ChrisAnders
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2016, 12:05:09 PM »

Any idea of the details on the heat treatment of the 1045V?  Any elaboration on "make it hard cheap" or what "poor quality and dirty" meant?
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Ed Fowler
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2016, 08:40:23 AM »

The high sulfur content is indicative of low quality steel the vanadium was added to make it hard cheap.

I have heard others mention using our methods on different steels, but was not sure they followed what we do. With Jared teaching him I know Nate followed our methods right down the line, from the first hammer blow to the final polish. I have seen the fished blades and they look good.

While I only worked on high quality steel once I found out what high quality steel was, I had no idea that you could realize what I consider high endurance performance blades with lower quality steels.

I am proud of Jared and Nate for working with this steel, it if obvious they did a good job as proven by the performance qualities that are obvious by their testing. When we take our time and put a little extra effort into the development of our blades it may very well be worth it. But we will never know if we don't test.
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John Silveira
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2016, 09:01:07 AM »

good report !

interesting - some years ago i bought a blade blank from an E-Bay supplier - he claimed the blank was made from a truck axle : a bit of research would leave me to believe the axle is 1045 or there abouts .

though i didn't do much testing with the blade and just finished it out - it turns out it does hold an edge pretty well. 

anyway -
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Nathan Summers
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2016, 07:11:33 PM »

It sure surprised me to find out the exact chemistry in this steel, thanks a TON Ed for taking the time to have that looked into for Jared and I!!! The bar that this knife was forged from was close to 2'' in diameter, and I forged it with consummate attention to HEPK protocol. The engraving on the tang reads: Well Rod 5-22-14, 350 cuts, 20-180 degree bends, and 5 edge flexes. I have another test blade made out of this steel ready to go in Jared's garage, I think we will put it to the test this weekend. Knowing now that this is a inferior steel, I wont do much more with it in the way of knives, but I did learn enough to make me want to find out what proper forging and heat treating can do to bring out the best in ANY steel. I can't wait to get back to the forge!!!

I'm out of time for the evening, I will upload some photos tomorrow once I have them re sized
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Ed Fowler
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2016, 08:29:06 AM »

Nate: What you are doing works, and through your testing you have proven it works and will probably out perform most of the blades out there. I would not be against using it, you know it well and just maybe there is more it can teach us.

I sincerely thank you for your work and sharing what you have learned. What this means to me is that our methods are a very significant attribute of our knives and can provide great knives out of steel that may not be the highest quality.

You and Jared have done the knife community a great favor!

When you look back through history of the knife in the US, Hough McConnel was the top knife maker in San Francisco, Michael Price challenged him to a cutting competition. The met in public, Price chopped a coin in half and there was no damage to the edge. McConnels' edge was damaged and Michael Price became the prominent maker in California. He obviously tested his knives and knew what they could do.

Bill Scagel, Bill Moran are two more who tested knives and knew what a dependable knife needed to be. They could work with steel that was pretty poor quality to what we have today but through their knowledge and testing made it work. The demand for their knives speaks for itself.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 11:59:48 AM by Ed Fowler » Logged

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Joe Calton
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2016, 02:14:04 PM »

Congrats to you both!!!!!!

for me, this is where it is at as a maker. there is a huge difference in performance when you go from a factory making knives for the masses, or a maker using the flavor of the month, sending it off for a basic heat treat and then making knives out of it. and a performance minded smith, using either one steel or a small selection of steels, and learning everything they can about it.

you have proven something that I have thought about quite a few times. if a smith were to get a good amount of a steel, enough to work up a good heat treat for it, and enough to test it out to their satisfaction. and then using what they learned in the testing to set the geometry around that heat treat. then the quality of that steel may not be so important. the whole package will take into account the steel, heat treat, geometry, and design and make a good knife for what the maker intended.

the really exciting thing is that no matter if you continue to work with that steel, or select a different one, you use the same way that you came to find out what processes worked with it, to develop your process with that new steel.

it is also a good way to show what I tell a lot of my customers that ask for steels that I don't work. I tell them its not just the steel, but the relationship that the smith has with that steel that matters.
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ChrisAnders
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2016, 10:07:20 AM »

The high sulfur content is indicative of low quality steel the vanadium was added to make it hard cheap.

I have heard others mention using our methods on different steels, but was not sure they followed what we do. With Jared teaching him I know Nate followed our methods right down the line, from the first hammer blow to the final polish. I have seen the fished blades and they look good.

While I only worked on high quality steel once I found out what high quality steel was, I had no idea that you could realize what I consider high endurance performance blades with lower quality steels.

I am proud of Jared and Nate for working with this steel, it if obvious they did a good job as proven by the performance qualities that are obvious by their testing. When we take our time and put a little extra effort into the development of our blades it may very well be worth it. But we will never know if we don't test.

That's a fairly typical amount of sulfur in modern steels.  How does adding that small amount of vanadium make the steel harder?  Even with as little as 0.45% carbon, the increased hardness when quenched and tempered will far overshadow any effect that little vanadium will have.  Was it a particularly high number of tramp/trace elements that made it "dirty," or maybe too many oxide or other inclusions when viewed under magnification?
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Ed Fowler
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2016, 09:01:08 AM »

Rex did not shoot any photomicrographs, I just asked for a Chemistry and what he thought of the steel. The outfit where Rex works has stayed in business for a long time while other mills have closed down. There are a lot of events in the steel industry that you will not read about in the texts, the lab Rex works in does work for other mills and he continues to gain a working knowledge that never ceases to amaze me.

His mill has survived because they make a quality product. When he said the sulfur content was high that is enough for me.

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