RicelandMeadows


Heat on a Cold Day
January 29, 2019, 11:54 am
Filed under: January 2019 | Tags: , ,

heattreat1

January 29, 2019

I am trying to get over a winter cold. I felt better, so I decided a day in the shop was in order. I did accomplish a few things, but did not kick my cold…so the sniffles continue.

I have a couple knife projects in the works. I decided to heat treat the blades as I move through the knife making process. I had spent a little time making some door handles. My fire was mostly clean coke and very even. This is the ideal time for jobs like forge welding or heat treating, because of the absence of impurities in the fire.

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After the steel has reached critical temperature, I plunge the hot blade into the quench oil. This hardens the knife, giving it the property to hold an edge and stay sharp.

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This job must not be done by children and should be done in a well ventilated area. Careful consideration to ensure no flammables are nearby. You can see in the photo one of three fire extinguishers in the shop. They are overkill, but give peace of mind. I also have a cover for the quench pan for snuffing out any flame that may pop up.

The knife blades are next annealed to give them some flexibility. All that remains to complete the projects are polishing and handle fitting. These jobs take the longest for me. I can’t even say that I like doing them. I like the finished product, but the countless hours of sanding and buffing I find very tedious.

I am sure things will get better as I learn more. Like any job, the tricks and shortcuts make them go better. In any case, it is a warm job on a cold day. I like the forge and the expression it allows, so I will continue to heat, beat and repeat.