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Author Topic: Alloy Banding  (Read 20865 times)
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Tim Lively
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« on: November 17, 2007, 08:00:45 AM »

Hello, Im new here. My buddy, Scott Hurst told me I might get some info on my current work here.
Very nice forums yall have here.

Here's a blade I've been working on. It's 1095 steel. This was a total accident and Im not sure if I can repeat the process but I really like it so Im consumed with trying to figure out exactly what I did. I gave it multiple thermal cycles but I was experimenting and didnt think to write everything down. The surface of this blade has only been polished to 320 so far. I know I need to take the grits alot further. Do you think that will refine the lines?




   

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Tim Lively
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2007, 08:25:36 AM »

Kbaknife asked me how I did this when I posted it in the wrong forum so I will try to tell you what I remember about how I got this pattern.

I was trying to figure out hamons. So I coated the blade with Satanite completely, edge and back and put a thick line of the clay above where I though the hamon would show. Looking back I realize I had way too much clay on the blade. I annealed, normalized and quenched it in a 50/50 mix of veggie oil and canola oil.
I sanded the blade to 220 grit and etched it in a mix of lemon juice and white vinegar. I didnt see a hamon so I thought I didnt get one. I now realize I was suppose to go further with the grits but I didnt know that then so I restoned the blade to 220 again and applied a thinner clay coating. This time I left the edge area exposed without clay and the back area thinner too. Then I reheat treated it again the same way.
I stoned it again to 220 and etched it in more of the same lemon/vinegar mix and I could see a very faint hamon. I didnt know that I probably had what I was after at that point and thought it wasnt going to get any bolder and figured I had failed again. It was suggested to me that I needed to go to a finer grit and use a stronger etchant. So I repeated the process and took it to 320 grit and put an even thinner clay coat on it.

Now heres when I think I got the banding. I rent a space in the back of a muffler shop for my forge area and they close at 5:00 and I was running late and wanted to get the heat treatment done before the place closed so I could do the cold work at home. So I didnt anneal and did a quicky normalizing and then brough it up to temp again and then quenched. I took it home stoned it to 320 and etched it in a diluted ferric solution.
When I cleaned the blade to see if I had a hamon and saw what is in the photos above my first reaction was that I messed something up in a big way and thought I had ruined the blade somehow. Then I realized what I had done. Now I want to do it again but it isnt working as well as it did the first time.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2007, 08:39:14 AM by Tim Lively » Logged

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ironcrossforge
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2007, 08:42:50 AM »

how do you normalise?
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Tim Lively
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2007, 08:47:50 AM »

Usually I normalize by bringing the blade up to heat and holding that for a minute and then pull it out and let it cool until I can hold it in my bare hands. But this time I just waited until it cooled to a black heat and put it back in.
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Ed Fowler
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2007, 08:49:56 AM »

Tim: Thanks for posting, you provide an interesting journey into a piece of steel. The only learning I have about etching blades are the ones I do for myself, after lots of forge and thermal cycle work so I can't advise you as to what you have.

I do greatly appreciate what you are doing and your enthusiasm, and encourage you to stick with it. Revealing the grain as you have resulted in a beautiful steel landscape!
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Tim Lively
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2007, 09:08:26 AM »

Thank you Ed.
The strangest thing happened to me after I posted the photos on some forums. A swordsmith, who shall remain nameless contacted me and said I made wootz from classic steel. He said I am infringing on his patents and threatened me with a lawsuit if I tried to sell a knife made from this steel. I have to admit I was pretty intimidated. Nobody has ever threatened me with a lawsuit before. I mean, Im just a knifemaker trying to make a living. After talking to a few friends who have good lawyers I was told the man doesnt have a leg to stand on but it still was a little scarey. I never called it wootz, those were his words. So hopefully it was just an idle threat. I can't just walk away from something like this though, so I guess Im just going to take my chances and see what happens.
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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2007, 09:12:33 AM »

when you normalise do you see the steel heat back up on its own?...

how thick was the bar you forged from?

i work with 52100 from a 1 1/2 bar much smaller than Eds at first i didnt use any forging quenches..and i got a great "pattern" in the steel...
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Tim Lively
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« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2007, 09:20:58 AM »

When you say "heat back up on its own" do you mean, did I witness Allotropic Transformation? If so, yes.
Whenever I said, I bring the steel up to temp, I mean I take the steel up to a temperature where I can see the shadow fluttering in the steel and then I raise the temperature up a couple hundred degF and hold that for a minute or two. The bar I used was from 1/4 inch thick by 2 inch wide stock and was purchased from Admiral Steel.

I should mention, I work very primitively without electricity so my set up is probably different from most smiths. I burn natural charcoal lump in an adobe forge and I do all my heat treating in that forge. I dont know if that has anything to do with it but I thought I should let yall know.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2007, 09:33:59 AM by Tim Lively » Logged

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kbaknife
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2007, 09:33:26 AM »

You are infringing upon NOTHING!!
He's been trying to intimidate people with this for a while.
There's only one way to make wootz and that's in a crucible.
You have made no claims one way or another.
You did mention that you annealed, but didn't say if this was a full anneal or a sub-critical anneal.
Here's some alloy banding I got with my 5160, and to think that I was "infringing" upon A.P.'s "patents" is preposterous.




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Tim Lively
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2007, 09:40:04 AM »

Wow! That's absolutely beautiful kbaknife!

Thanks for the vote of confidence. More and more, Im hearing this guy has done this before to other smiths. He offered me a deal. If I give him a bottle of tequila he would give me a 5 year user agreement. But if I would of signed that deal I would of been agreeing that Im using his techniques. He tried to bait me! He said if I didnt sign the deal I would be going up against "The Dragon". The guy's a nut.

I anneal by taking the blade to critical temperature, or just past allotropic transformation and hold it there for a couple minutes and then stop cranking my blower and let it slow cool in the ashes overnight.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2007, 09:42:04 AM by Tim Lively » Logged

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kbaknife
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« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2007, 09:50:32 AM »

OK.
I do a sub-critical anneal.
I'd think you are to the point of going enough directions on that blade at this point, that it's gonna be difficult to isolate what exactly you've accomplished.
I've got some amazing hamon activity on W1 and 2 with only a really thin layer of satanite on the spinal area, bring up to about 1460-70 for a few minutes and quench in fast oil like Park's #50. (which is a water speed oil without the accompanying stress to the steel).
The martensite "nose" on this type of steel is so fast, that very little clay is need to inhibit hardening and you can get some fantastic hamons.
Don't forget that the more you normalize, you begin to reduce hardenability! So, you may need to raise your austenizing temps to achieve the same results! 
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When the last deer disappears into the morning mist,
When the last elk vanishes from the hills,
When the last buffalo falls on the plains,
I will hunt mice for I am a hunter and I must have my freedom.
Chief Joseph, Nez Perce
Tim Lively
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2007, 10:01:59 AM »

I havent heard of a sub-critical anneal before. How is that performed?

Each time after I hardened the blade I tested the edge by taking a fine toothed file and rake it across to see if if skates across like glass or if it grabs any. In this case, it skated across the edge like glass each time. So I think it fully hardened each time. The blade's edge is extremely hard. I tempered the edge to a light straw color and tried to sharpen it but I could tell it was going to take me forever with hand stones at this temper so I retempered it to a light bronze and it still was too hard so then I took it to a dark bronze with a tinge of magenta and was able to get it hair poppin sharp. I tested the blade by cutting through a 2X4 twice and it still shaved. Then I hacked on some Sonoran Desert Ironwood until my arm wore out and it still shaved. I looked at the edge under an 8X lupe and it didnt roll or chip. It really seems to be a great blade and I intend on finishing it out to 1000 grit and reetching it and finishing it out into a knife.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2007, 10:10:36 AM by Tim Lively » Logged

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Carey Quinn
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2007, 10:10:13 AM »

Wow!  Boy is this neat.  Tim Lively looking for answers about steel.  Wow!

Please don't take offense as there is none intended.  I have your video and have watched it numerous times to get an insight into how you do such beautiful work.  I is just refreshing to know that even very experienced bladesmiths occasionally have questions.  See, there is hope for the rest of us. 

A thought occurred to me while I was reading your explanation of what you were doing.  If this knife was forged in your usual method, there is a good chance that you have been getting similar results previously but have not seen them because of the rougher finish you usually leave on your knives.  Then, of course, it may be the multiple hardening cycles that this piece went through that caused that beautiful grain pattern. 

I sure hope you get it figured out so you can share the answer with the rest of us.

Thanks for helping on my way down this path I wish to walk.

Carey
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Tim Lively
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« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2007, 10:17:34 AM »

Thanks for the kind words. Ive always been a seeker. I like to think of myself as a master student.

It has occured to me too that I may have banding under my old style hammer finish. Ive been looking and praying for new direction and this happy accident has really inspired me to take on new challeges.
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« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2007, 10:29:21 AM »

ALL  steel has grain banding...the thermal cycling as the way i understand it is what develops the deliniation between them to the point that you can see it. and thats also one thing where you get the reduction in the size of the grain.

so when you did your tripple quench each of thoes was a thermal cycle and it caused the grain to grow.

when you did your harding quenches how long did you hold it at critical?

oh yea i forgot to add that is a beautiful looking knife
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