Mittwoch, 14. Februar 2018

On the bench these days...

It has been quite a while since I last posted some projects, for a good reason. With all the human scum tango going on again I simply could not find the creativity and energy anymore to get anything done. I seldom if ever even get to the forge, and if, I don´t seem to be able to do anything worth mentioning. It has been a while since I finished the forging on the bushcraft blade, and it lay unnoticed for quite some time.

So I am glad that only recently I mustered some resolve to get something done. Since my forge time is very limited, I resolved to get myself a weekend project blade, just for motivation and for testing. It is a Roselli, the UHC version of one of my favourite whittling knives, the carpenter. It is said to be Wootz and Roselli claims it coming in an extreme hardness of 66-67 HRC. Now I know how 67 HRC shall feel: At this hardness a blade scrapes glass. I know, because file steel blades do have this hardness after a non-tempering quench, before the temper in an oven. Now do not get me wrong: The carpenter UHC is a very, very fine knife. It is sharp, and has a decent hardness. But fact is, it quite certainly has not a hardness of 67HRC as is. I would estimate it to a 61-62 max. This is well hard enough for me. Most of my knives have a hardness of 58-60HRC and this works best for a backwoods knife. I would say Roselli tricks you a bit by naming the hardness before the tempering process. As I said, it is a very, very fine knife, but this policy sucks a bit. The truth would be well enough. I also got myself a complete knife for horsing around with, and with this knife, just when whittling the ditch on a spoon, the first 2 mm of the tip broke off (no levering). Now you get a complete knife for 120 €, and this is an absolute bargain price for a Wootz blade, and I daresay it really is Wootz, for it shows the characteristical dendritic pattern, together with a simple, but well-made and effective leather sheath. But why the hell does soemone who makes decent knives spend time and energy to make up something that just cannot be achieved technically? Anyway, I already fitted a handle of reindeer antler, which will see some zoomorphic ornament carving as well as some adornments.

The other work in progress is a bushcraft blade I forged myself (120x4mm, convex bevel to zero, handle is 115mm long ), out of a piece of some mystery stainless steel, presumeably 440C or Niolox, a steel comparable to 440C but with a high content of Niobium, making for a finer grain. I am a bit proud that I achieved a complete annealing with an open forge and a fridge, as well as a selective temper. Some first testing shows a good flexibility and a hardness of about 58-61HRC. The holes in the tang are hot - punched through. I daresay it will get either the birchwood burr scales on the picture or some elk, reindeer or sambar stag antler scales... I will keep you posted. ;-)    

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