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  #1  
Old 05-17-2016, 12:08 AM
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foreveryoung001 foreveryoung001 is offline
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First try at a dog star pattern

This is my second actual commissioned knife. He wanted me to try something I've never done before, so gave the dog star pattern a shot. Not sure I nailed it, but I do really like how it came out. 160 layers of 1080 and 15n20. Maple handles.

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Old 05-17-2016, 08:43 AM
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Hunter10139 Hunter10139 is offline
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Good job man, did you forge the Damascus yourself?


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Old 05-17-2016, 08:48 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Nailed or not, it looks good to me. Did the customer particularly order that style of handle? I ask because it looks strange to me - a bowie style blade with a kitchen knife style handle. I know that was not uncommon 200 years ago but modern handle styles have been more sculpted in the last 50 years or so ....


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Old 05-17-2016, 08:51 AM
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foreveryoung001 foreveryoung001 is offline
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Originally Posted by Hunter10139 View Post
Good job man, did you forge the Damascus yourself?
Yes I did. I got in to knife making for my simple love of pattern welded/damascus blades. Still learning, but making progress, I think.
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Old 05-17-2016, 09:14 AM
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foreveryoung001 foreveryoung001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Rogers View Post
Nailed or not, it looks good to me. Did the customer particularly order that style of handle? I ask because it looks strange to me - a bowie style blade with a kitchen knife style handle. I know that was not uncommon 200 years ago but modern handle styles have been more sculpted in the last 50 years or so ....
No, Ray, that was a major mistake on my part. The tang had quite a bit more meat on it before I turned my back on the forge for one second to long, and I burned the end of it. I was pretty much done forging at that point, but figured I could save it by either going to a hidden tang, or trying to salvage enough to keep the full tang. I decided to try and salvage it, and this is how it came out. Then when I got to shaping the scales, since it didn't match my original design, I was just trying to eyeball something that would be aesthetically pleasing. When I got done, I told my wife the same thing... "I just made this guy a very unique cheese knife!" I was going to swing by the Sunday chat room and get some advice on fixing it, but by then, I was just putting the final touches on everything, and was so angry with myself, I just decided to call it a night.

Took the picture and sent them to the customer, and told him it wasn't exactly like we had discussed, so if he wanted me to do up another one, I would be happy too... He loves it though and actually gave me more than our agreed upon price, so I'm not going to dwell on it... just going to take it as another learning experience. You'd think I would have learned by now, not to take my eyes off the forge when I have metal in it, but nope... Lesson 263, if you put your steel in the forge, that is not the time to walk over to the hose to get a quick drink.

Oh, I was also so flummoxed by my misshapen handle, that I totally forgot to countersink the holes for the pins, so when I peened them over, a couple of them (especially that front one on both sides) came out a little wonky. Gotta learn to let the bad stuff roll off my back, but every day after work, when I had time to work on it, I'd go out to the shop, and just fume about how I kept screwing this one up, and that would stress me out and lead to another screw up.

On the bright side, my wife loved the pattern so much that she asked me to make her one like it, so I'll get another round of practice on the pattern, and the handle... since there's no money involved, it should be a little less stressful... although there are times that my wife is a very demanding task master... Seems like when I'm just making something for fun (friends/family) I don't dread on the mistakes the same way.
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:00 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Under those circumstances I think you did well to get what you have there. If you had been able to get to the Chat Room I probably would have suggested you try a stub tang single pin handle. With that method you could have attached an entire tree for a handle and shaped it into just about anything. I make most all my knives that way because it really allows you to show off a nice piece of wood to it's best advantage, the balance of the knife is usually improved, and if properly implemented this method provides a very strong handle. You can read a description of the method here if interested: http://www.rayrogers.com/stubtang.htm


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Old 05-17-2016, 11:12 AM
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foreveryoung001 foreveryoung001 is offline
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Originally Posted by Ray Rogers View Post
Under those circumstances I think you did well to get what you have there. If you had been able to get to the Chat Room I probably would have suggested you try a stub tang single pin handle. With that method you could have attached an entire tree for a handle and shaped it into just about anything. I make most all my knives that way because it really allows you to show off a nice piece of wood to it's best advantage, the balance of the knife is usually improved, and if properly implemented this method provides a very strong handle. You can read a description of the method here if interested: http://www.rayrogers.com/stubtang.htm
Thanks for the link, Ray. I will be trying that technique on future projects. I have a knife that I've been slowly working on for my daughter. I started it a few months ago, and the tang is just about as your write up describes, so that may be the perfect candidate to try it with for the first time. Its just a wall hanger so she can tell her friends what a cool father she has, so if I do screw something up, no harm, no foul on that one.

I've not used stainless for anything, but I know some of the different types can be quite finicky when it come to HT, with soak times, environment, etc... I do all of my own HT with my coal forge, for now, and all I've mainly used is 1080 and 5160, both pretty forgiving for HT with such a simple set up. Is there a type of stainless for the pins that I should use that would lend itself better to hardening with my set up? I don't believe I would have a local supplier in my town for round stainless in the proper size, so I would have to order them online. I'll have to take a look at the knife supply web sites, so perhaps with what is available, it is a moot question, but figured I'd ask.

Also, I don't recall reading that you peened the ends. Do you just let the epoxy hold them in, or is peening them just a given?

Okay, just reread it and see that you use 419 stainless.

Last edited by foreveryoung001; 05-17-2016 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:33 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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I can see why your customer is excited by the knife. I wouldn't know the "dog star" pattern if it bit me but I love the way it came out. If I wanted to nit pick I'd say that it deserved a better wood than maple; maybe some desert ironwood.

Doug


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Old 05-17-2016, 11:59 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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I use 416 stainless rods in 3/16 diameter, available from most knife supply house. I do not peen them because the method of installing them, if done correctly, makes it very unlikely they will ever move.

Stainless cannot be HTed properly in a coal or propane forge as built by most knife makers. However, 416 does not harden to the extent that a blade quality stainless does so I think you can get the job done well enough with your coal forge. Just heat to a very bright red and let it air cool, no tempering. With a little luck that should be hard enough to take the teeth off a hacksaw blade so you'll need to cut it with a cut off blade of some sort (die grinder, angle grinder, Dremel etc) ...


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Old 05-17-2016, 12:04 PM
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foreveryoung001 foreveryoung001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Rogers View Post
I use 416 stainless rods in 3/16 diameter, available from most knife supply house. I do not peen them because the method of installing them, if done correctly, makes it very unlikely they will ever move.

Stainless cannot be HTed properly in a coal or propane forge as built by most knife makers. However, 416 does not harden to the extent that a blade quality stainless does so I think you can get the job done well enough with your coal forge. Just heat to a very bright red and let it air cool, no tempering. With a little luck that should be hard enough to take the teeth off a hacksaw blade so you'll need to cut it with a cut off blade of some sort (die grinder, angle grinder, Dremel etc) ...
Very good. Thanks again, Ray. I will look at throwing an order together and give your technique a few tries to see if I can start to get a handle on it.... pun intended.
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Old 05-17-2016, 12:09 PM
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foreveryoung001 foreveryoung001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Lester View Post
I can see why your customer is excited by the knife. I wouldn't know the "dog star" pattern if it bit me but I love the way it came out. If I wanted to nit pick I'd say that it deserved a better wood than maple; maybe some desert ironwood.

Doug
I would tend to agree, but this is for a local guy, a couple of towns over from me, and we're all about Northern Michigan up here. He chose the piece of maple himself, cut from a tree on his property, on his son's sawmill... you get the picture. When he said he had the perfect piece of maple for the handle, I thought he might have a cool burl or something, but he ended up giving me a plain old board. It has some cool coloration to it... I only oiled it, so the dark color is natural to the wood, but there really isn't much a cool grain pattern to it. His knife though... his choice.
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