MT4Runner

Two Diy Sgianan Dubh

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These are two of the blades I plasma cut from an old diamond concrete cutting blade a few months ago and didn't get around to them until a few weeks ago.

Didn't get any pics of forging. Instead of going 100% stock removal, I forged a taper into one side of each blade. My original profiles were more curfed, so I also forged any of the curvature out of each blank.

Epoxied cherry scales onto both.

The sanded blade and bright, unstained cherry was a bit boring, so I decided to try two different "antiquing" techniques I've read about. The blades were "mustard patina'ed", and the cherry is "ebonized".

The bright blades:

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To Ebonize wood with high natural tannin content (redwood, cedar, oak, cherry, walnut), you dissolve steel in vinegar. Since I'd already been sanding my blades to get the grind marks out, I already had a lot of fine steel in my sandpaper, so I just put a dash of vinegar on a small plate and washed the steel filings off the paper. :laughing:

PC280295.jpg

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Apply the steel/vinegar solution to the sanded cherry handles.

PC280296.jpg

It gets darker

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And as it dries out, you add more and it gets darker

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And darker

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I wasn't sure if I'd use these for food prep, so I oiled them with olive oil...and it made them even darker!

PC280305.jpg

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Mustard patina is easy.

Put mustard on dry blade

PC280297.jpg

The thin spots are where it rusts fastest

PC280298.jpg

Wait and it gets deeper

PC280300.jpg

Fresh water rinse takes a lot of grimy rust off and leaves a nice layer of oxidation.

PC280308.jpg

This is supposed to prevent bad pitting.

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looks like it just fell of a hundred-year-old fishing boat up off the cape!

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Nice.

I've used the vinigar and steel wool on leather and like the effect but can't stand the smell. Looks really nice on the wood.

Jim

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Drac, I didn't realize the vinegar/steel was also useful on leather. I'll have to try that on the sheaths.

The upper one is mine, the lower one is my little brother's birthday present. He's currently living in Baltimore, and I didn't want to send him something that looked too "weapon-like". Better if he can say it's a kitchen knife.

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Good job, fun too!

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  • I always take a high carbon steel blade and stick it in a raw potato for about a week.
  • The starch in the tater etchs the blade black, and it will only rust in the lite spots.

Good Job. I think I have an old file I can rework . Gonna give it a try.

I like the looks of the handle. I like them dark. Swweeett!!!

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Good job, fun too!

Thanks Mark. I'm having a blast.

I've always been into both wood and metalwork, and this is one of the first times I've ever combined the two.

I made sheaths yesterday, but my leatherwork lags behind the other two. :lol:

  • I always take a high carbon steel blade and stick it in a raw potato for about a week.
  • The starch in the tater etchs the blade black, and it will only rust in the lite spots.

Good Job. I think I have an old file I can rework . Gonna give it a try.

I like the looks of the handle. I like them dark. Swweeett!!!

Other than an old Western hunting knife I inherited from my grandpa, I've never owned any carbon steel blades--let alone new ones. When reading up on the mustard patina, I saw several references to the potato trick. It is a lot of fun to learn new things by doing!

If you have the means (even a wood stove with good coals), getting the blade red hot will allow you to forge it to shape. Forging is a lot faster than filing or grinding (stock removal). Do not hammer on a high carbon steel blade after it loses its red hot color. If you let it cool slowly to room temperature, it will remain soft and you can work it with ordinary files.

Do you have a good idea of re-tempering and quenching that file after you have it shaped?

~400-420ºF will give you an extremely hard (Rc ~62-63), but still brittle blade.

~500ºF will give you about Rc 58-60 and a good mix of toughness and hardness.

~600ºF gets you around Rc55, and good for axes and chisels.

  • Bright cherry red hot should get it to ~1600º+F. Quench in salt brine (add soap as a surfactant to keep bubbles off the piece during qwench) or in peanut or used motor oil. Fresh water will make your blade too brittle.
  • Anneal in your oven. This "draws" the temper so it isn't too brittle.
  • Given good high carbon steel,

Sandpaper on the flat of a table to smooth the blade. Keep it cool after annealing so you don't mess up the temper/anneal.

I started with 80 grit to remove the deep grinder marks. 150 to smooth and flatten, and 200-300 to get it to a nice matte finish before the mustard. Each pass should remove the marks from the previous pass before you move up in fineness.

If you wanted a true bright polish, you need to go 600-800 and then jeweler's rouge on a strop.

Edited by MT4Runner

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These blades need sheaths! My brother likely won't be wearing his in his socks, and I may wear mine on a belt with my p@Nt$, or in my hose, so I made a pair of hybrid sheaths. First, I make a pattern. Trace each blade. Sketch ~1/8" outside this profile for the stitching, and another 1/8" outside that for the edge of the leather: PC290313.jpg Roll the knife on its edge and trace the outside of the handle. This gives me enough leather for the top piece of the sheath: PC290314.jpgPC290315.jpg Sketch in the slot the belt passes through, plus 1/8" for stitching, and 1/8" to the edge of the leather. This is the pattern. For simplicity's sake, I'll leave it a big triangle and cut it down later. PC290317.jpgPC290318.jpg Cut the leather: PC290319.jpgPC290320.jpg

Soak it: PC290321.jpg

Edited by MT4Runner

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Lay the lower wet leather on a towel. PC290322.jpg Cover with plastic wrap: PC290323.jpg Knives in place: PC290324.jpg More plastic wrap to protect the knife from the wet leather. Like I'm worried about the antiquing! :lol:PC290325.jpg Top pieces, roughly pressed into shape: PC290326.jpg I want the back piece to be nearly flat against my leg. I want the top piece to hold the bolster area of the knife securely--this is where all the shaping happens. I cover the leather with soft, open-celled foam, then a piece of plywood, then clamp the whole thing to the countertop and leave it for the day.PC290327.jpg

A lot of the moisture in the leather soaks into the foam and into the towel. Remove the foam and towel a day later and let the leather air dry.

Edited by MT4Runner

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Finally, time to stitch. After the leather is dry, I tooled in my "MT4Runner" logo. PC300737.jpg Drilled 1/16" holes with a cordless drill and stitched with waxed nylon thread with a tapestry needle. The stitching is more even on top than on the bottom--I didn't hold my drill perfectly straight, so some of the back holes wandered. PC300736.jpgPC300734.jpgPC300733.jpg Cut the belt loops to shape: PC300738.jpg Cut them out and then re-wet the leather at the stitching. I used the bottom of a pub glass to press the stitching down into the leather so it lays flatter. Also burnished all the edges PC300739.jpg Finished with leather dye: PC310743.jpgPC310742.jpgPC310740.jpg

Edited by MT4Runner

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