Knife Talk Online Forums
  Home membership Help Search Calendar Members Classifieds Treasury Store Links Gallery Media Center Login Register  
Custom Search
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Send this topic  |  Print  
Author Topic: The science of metals and practice of making knives  (Read 1685 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Ed Fowler
Administrator
Trade Count: (1)
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3442



View Profile WWW
« on: February 07, 2007, 09:12:32 PM »

The following discussion I indend to direct specificially to the high endurance performance knife. The kind of knife I hope those who read want to know about.

The science of metals has many highly educated  specialists who work in research, steel mills and industry known as metalurgists. Their degrees of formal education vary, some have an associate or bachelors degree, some a masters degree others a PHD. These folks have studied the science of metals in general and some have become very specialized. The degree they start off with when they leave the University is only a beginning. Some forge new frontiers, others spend their careers regurgitating what they learned in school. Some have information that can benefit lady knife and volunteer their advice, others naturally could care less unless asked a specific question to which they will provide a textbook answer that may or may not be of benefit to the knife maker.

The way I see it, the knife maker, like the medial doctor practices in a very specialized aspect of the steel industry. Some of the textbook information is of value but it is up to the knife maker to seek information that is specific to the kind of knife he wants to make. The
knife maker who seeks the kind of knife he wants to make must test every aspect of his knives on performance. He will not have immediate access to the highly technical tools of the laboratory or the knowledge to put the information gained by these instruments to practical use.

These thoughts will continue, this is just a start, give me some time and maybe my thoughts will make sense.    

Logged

Ed Fowler High Performance Knives
http://edfowler.com/
PhilL
Administrator
Trade Count: (0)
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1067



View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2007, 06:32:19 AM »

Ed, your thoughts make sense to me right now. Now I'm not a knife maker or a technical person for that matter, but I do appreciate that you are both. Book knowledge is great, but if it can't be applied to specific use or purpose, than what good is it? That's why having the technical research and analysis that Rex offers you to back up the results of your testing helps all of the pieces come together.
Logged

You can have anything You want in Life, as long as you?re willing to pay the Price.
So, figure out what price there is to pay, and Pay It.


Ed Fowler
Administrator
Trade Count: (1)
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3442



View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2007, 07:21:18 AM »

I have a good Medical Doctor, he has kept me going for almost 30 years, I consider him a friend. The reason we get along so well and the reason I am still here is that he takes the time to communicate well with me. He puts the medical concepts into plain english that I can understand, when I understand I can do my part and all is well.
Thanks to his ability to communicate I have confidence in him.

When I started making knives seriously I beieved that I needed to learn the science of metals. I purchased some books and started to learn the language of the science I believed would guide me to success. I read, memorized the big words and studied but my knives did not improve. Finally I realized the science I was studying was all about an industry that was primairly concerned with big stuff; cam shafts, bridges, gears and much more, I looked in the index of the text books I had purchased and the word knife was not mentioned once.

The most fortunate event in my knife making practice came when Rex Walter was given a Blade Magazine by a friend, he read about my work with 52100 steel. Later Rex was doing an inventory of their storage yard and noted a large quantity of 52100 steel, all from the same lot. Rex talked to his boss and asked if he could contact me about using the steel, his boss gave his approval and Rex called me. Rex told me he had some 52100 steel in the storage yard at the steel mill where he worked and asked me if I would like to give it a try. I was reluctant at the time, but Rex kept calling me, finally sent me some steel to work with and after a few more calls we were working together.

Rex and I talked for hundreds of hours over the phone and wrote many letters to each other. I sent many sample blades to Rex, he put them under the microscope and did other tests in the Labortaory where he worked. The quality of the knives we were making improved, slowly but surely. One summer Rex came to my shop to see how I was working the steel. The first few days were highly informative, I learned that even though we were both openly attempting to share information, some events had been misunderstood.

For example while finishing up the final forging of a blade I routinely heat the blade to above critical temp and quench it in oil long before the final normalizing and annealing operations. I had told Rex about my forging operation in detail many times over the phone, but had failed to communicate exactly what I was doing.

Rex stated he wanted to watch me forge a blade, I started forging, Rex watched, when it came time to quench the blade Rex asked "When did you start quenching at this point?" I told him that that had been part of my forging method for some time. He asked why I had not told him, I replied that I had told him. Our communication had not been complete, not on purpose, just a lack of understanding.

After Rex's visit our knives improved dramatically. It was all about communication between dedicated partners in the quest for the high endurance performance knife. Rex is the specialist, the scientist and my coach. I am not interested in big words so Rex does not push them on me. Rex describes various structhres by the nature of their performance in lady knife, I seek to understand how they develop, Rex coaches me and our goals become reality.

If I as a maker cannot explain what I am doing in simple words that any maker who comes to my shop to learn can understand, I have not taught the practice of making knives. Many great knives of history were deveoloped centuries before the textboook knowlege we now have available was developed.

How were those knives developed, simple men made knives, tested them by using them as they were designed to be used and slowly but surely they learned the practice of making knives.

Logged

Ed Fowler High Performance Knives
http://edfowler.com/
Robertv6
Member
Trade Count: (0)
Sr. Member
***
Posts: 121


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2007, 06:15:06 PM »

Well, im sure ill be practicing for years to come, however, i got a suprise in the mail.  I got a package from Rex today of some 52100 steel.  Its a little big for my arm.  Im thinking of cutting it with a band saw, lenghtwise in half.  I think that will be a little more managable for me to forge.  I dont know how many knives ill get out of it, but several i think.  Im darn curious about this steel, and for the heck of it, i may make a big chopper, repeat everything i did previously, and see if i have the warping problem i did with the 5160.  First, im going to slap the last ed and rex dvd in and try to soak up some more of that before i go hammering on it.

The fun begins!!
Logged
Ed Fowler
Administrator
Trade Count: (1)
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3442



View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2007, 07:14:44 PM »

Congradulations Robert: I have to warn you, Rex's steel can be a real charmer, she will return all the affection you give her and more.

Search around in your area, just maybe someone has a power hammer you can work on.

When I purchased my Beaudry it was a big investment, getting it set up and running bigger yet. Still I don't believe it owes me a penny. And should the day come when I sell it I should get my money back.

What size is the steel?
Logged

Ed Fowler High Performance Knives
http://edfowler.com/
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Send this topic  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!