Daniel Fairly's Q&A thread

Discussion in 'Daniel Fairly Knives' started by flatblackcapo, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo Part time maker, very very part time Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 25, 2012
    Daniel, I hope it is O.K with you that I started this thread. You have always been so helpful to me and many other beginner knife makers.
    I will start the thread off with a question about grinding Ti.
    What advise would you give someone that has never worked with Ti concerning the differences between grinding steel like 1084 or O1 and Ti?

    Edit: I wanted to say,this thread was not my idea. It was Farchyld's idea and should be given credit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  2. Lycosa

    Lycosa

    Aug 24, 2007
    Infraction!!! ^
    :D
     
  3. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    Good stuff!

    Grinding Titanium - you don't want to see any sparks!

    Grind slow, I use the slowest setting on my three speed KMG.

    Standard Ceramic and Zirconium works best (Cubitron, Blaze) Triazct "Gator" Belts are nice for finishing.

    You can usually go from 40 or 80 grit to 120 (all ceramic belts) then straight to your final finish.

    Titanium grinds slowly but is relatively easy to finish. Use a somewhat light tough with finishing belts. A scotchbrite belt running medium to fast or buffer will give you an orange peel finish.

    The heat in Ti likes to stay in one spot... a hot spot can sneak up on you so be careful. I have melted my thumb to a blade before!

    You need no heat treat with 6al4v Titanium but be careful not to burn a spot while grinding, I feel it degrades the material.

    Remember to grind slow, the sparks are bad in many ways... they don't go out until they are burnt away and like to catch steel dust on fire. It is not a big deal but keep it in mind. Ti dust will eat right through a dust collector hose if you are letting it spark. The gasses released are also bad but not really an issue, wear a respirator, keep the sparks down and the airflow good.

    I use a chop saw or hacksaw to cut Titanium... a band saw works too and has to be set up for Titanium. You can run a band saw at full tilt to friction cut or get the correct blade and cut at a slower speed.


    Ti VS Steel - Ti can be a bit tricky and likes to "smear" around.... use sharp belts and bits. It is closer to grinding hardened steel than soft stuff and is much harder to get a crisp bevel line with. It is tough stuff to profile. Easy to finish. I like to stay to a lower grit finish with Titanium as it wears better that way.

    I hope this helps, keep the questions rolling!
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
  4. sloth357

    sloth357 Platinum m0f0 Platinum Member

    Jan 5, 2011
    How do you heat treat O1 at home, THE CHEAP WAY... and how do you get a high hardness with O1.. and how do you test hardness w/o buying SOMETHING ELSE.. :D Thanks in advance bro' :)
     
  5. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    For that you need to locate a kiln and some 28 second quenching oil from s local yard sale or the like. :D

    O1 needs a 20 minute soak (I go 30) at a steady 1500 to really work, this time/temp is needed for the alloys to really convert over to a hardened state. (simplified explanation) I say 28 second oil (slow oil) because a fast quench like canola can put too much stress on O1.

    There are fast quenching, slow quenching and air hardening steels, each has to be treated differently. Some are in between... Some like M4 are super tricky and need a somewhat fast nose to the quench but a very slow cool past 900. Water quenching steels like 1095, W2, etc canm be hardened with a brine solution (risky) or a fast engineered quench oil like Parks 50.

    You can harden O1 with a torch but it will not be at it's best. Some will disagree but this has been my experience.

    You don't need a kiln, just good temperature control. A forge works great too.

    Some say O1 is a good beginner steel, they are referring to the fact that it forges nicely and grain growth is relatively easy to control when forging.

    I think I sent you some O1 a ways back, I might owe you one... :D


    1084 steel can be heat treated with a one brick forge (you need a firebrick and a propane/mapp gas torch) You can heat treat the O1 with the forge too and it will still perform better than most commercial knives in a lesser steel.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  6. Rival1314

    Rival1314 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 17, 2012
    When putting a carbidized edge on a titanium knife....at what point do you carbidize? Once the edge is carbidized, how do you go about ensuring a great edge? do you sharpen the untreated edge and just lightly polish off the burr on the other side?

    I just started working with Ti and got recently got myself a carbidizer...you do some amazing work:)
     
  7. fast14riot

    fast14riot

    Oct 27, 2010
    Where exactly do you get your awesomness from and how do you decide how much to put in each knife?

    I have had several failures trying to cram as much awesomeness into a knife as I could and am struggling to find that balance of high awesomeness and pure function.


    -X :D
     
  8. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    Hey thanks and cool you got a carbidizer!

    I like to carbidize before sharpening so the application does not damage a thin edge. You can apply after but I have better luck that way.

    Yes just sharpen the opposite side and deburr. Try to bring up a small burr as they are easy to raise but tougher to remove. Strop a bit alternating sides; after that pass the edge lightly through the end grain of some wood or on the edge of a plastic bucket then strop a bit more, that usually does the trick.

    I like a very toothy edge, 120 grit is great for sharpening.

    I like to apply the carbide on a flat plane approaching the edge as opposed to on a microbevel. (non ground side or on a zero bevel side)

    The clamp that came with mine can mar or scratch a knife, I attach a piece of wire to the clamp and just set the knife on the exposed wire.

    Wear eye protection! They put off very bright light... I wear 100% UV sunglasses but something more may be needed. Time to look that up here...

    Good luck and I hope this helps! :D Sorry for the delayed response but I have a cold...


    I try! :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  9. Rival1314

    Rival1314 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 17, 2012
    thanks dan! Keep up the great work, and hope you feel better soon:)
     
  10. Lycosa

    Lycosa

    Aug 24, 2007
    Daniel- What can I do to darken 154CM?
     
  11. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    Any time! Thanks and have fun!

    There are a few ways...

    Is it a finished knife with scales or a blank?

    Your best bet will be a good cleaning followed by a soak in

    white vinegar
    ferric chloride solution - you can buy it at Radio Shack
    acid - a mild acid will do the trick

    I don't have any experience etching stainless steel... yet! Some stainless steels need acid to really etch but I bet 154 will work with something mild. You can achieve a nearly pure black with vinegar on some steels, I bet it will just darken 154.

    Don't do it with scales on! You can try vinegar with a really clean knife/scales on but you could likely be setting it up to rust later. (under the scales if not 100% sealed)

    You have to neutralize after you are done, baking soda or a good rinse and windex usually does the trick. I like to scrub them with soap and a soft toothbrush after etch for the best finish. Oil immediately even with stainless....


    Good luck! I'm here if you need help along the way.
     
  12. Lycosa

    Lycosa

    Aug 24, 2007
    Thank you Daniel.
    I'll give it a try this weekend.
    rolf
     
  13. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo Part time maker, very very part time Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 25, 2012
    Hey Daniel, How do you heat treat your 1084? What % of panther piss should I use in the quench ? Thanks in advance! I know it is a pain in the a$$ to type it all out , I truly appreciate it!
     
  14. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    :D Glad to help!

    1084 is probably the easiest steel to get the most out of with a simple heat treat. Don't let that fool you because the performance is impressive!


    Hardening - heat to 1500F and hold until evenly heated, quench in fast oil


    Notes
    I use McMaster-Carr 11 second oil but Canola oil is also ideal for 1084. Parks 50 and just about any other will do the trick including olive and vegetable oils.

    I like to soak my steel at temp for a few minutes to ensure it is evenly heated, don't soak too long or overheat though.

    I heat my kiln up, let it cycle and put the blade right in at temp for 1084.

    Go right into the temper oven... 400 F should give you 60-61 RC... 450F-57-58... that is in general and depends on a lot so always test them. Start with temps on the low side as you can always go up after a quick edge test.

    1500F is a little past magnetic, a shade of red up visually

    You can use a light coating of clay slip to keep them cleaner (less decarb) I don't but it doesn't hurt. Furnace cement diluted with water...


    If you want you can normalize at 1600F, just heat to temp and air cool until black. For a further step quench at 1450 to refine grain. I feel that neither is important with 1084 and simply harden it.... normalizing is more important if you forge and may have compromised the steel.. grain reduction not necessary because of the Vanadium content in 1084 which helps insure ensure very fine grain.


    In my opinion Kevin Cashen has the best information on heat treating 1084 steel.. Here's a link ----> 1084 HT


    I hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
  15. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo Part time maker, very very part time Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 25, 2012
    You da man ! Thanks a lot . I will book mark Kevin Cashen's page. One more question and I will leave ya alone :D In your opinion at what point am I wasting my time finish sanding a blade before heat treat?In other words what grit do you take your blades before heat treat. As I am typing this I remembered that you do most or all of your grinding after heat treat.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
  16. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    That can go a few different ways depending on how you are making the knife and what steel you are using.

    If you are using steel with mill scale on it you might want to grind it all off... it all depends but remember that part of the steel will not hold an edge.

    After heat treat you will need to start at 80-120 grit to remove the decarb on oil hardening steels... or any steel that is heated in a non-inert environment.

    Air hardening steels will be packaged in stainless steel wrap first so they do not decarb. (from the high heat needed to austenitize)

    Any deep scratch, unchamfered hole, sharp corner or crack can cause a stress riser which may crack when quenched.

    Always round everything after removing all burrs... no need to round much, just enough to knock off a perfectly square edge.

    I'd say generally you want a nice 220 grit finish on everything... you might as well go to 400 grit and thin with an air hardening steel or as low as a quck finish with a rough scotchbrite belt if you are going for mostly post finishing grinding.

    As you mentioned I grind 95% of my knives post heat treat, my pre heat treat finishing all depends on the condition of the steel I am starting with and what I am going for. With a forge finish on 5160 I have to be very careful not to damage the original as made finish... with precision ground tool steel I may have to take the flats up a bit.

    ----> Warp - I'd say no matter what during heat treat you will get a warp in your steel, it may be incredibly tiny or relatively large.. you will have to grind it out ad you will likely start at a low grit to save time... this is a major factor in finishing! I'd rather "prep" the steel for heat treat (smooth feeling and absolutely no stress risers) than get it completely ready.

    ----> Edge thickness - has to vary depending on decarb, how stable the steel is (usually slower quenchin steels are more stable) how perfect the edge thickness is... (can go very thin if very even) geometry and more

    So keep everything even, never leave a scratch you can hang a fingernail in, chamfer all holes, leave room for grinding away warpage and decarb
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  17. D-R0CK

    D-R0CK

    166
    Sep 22, 2012
    Hi Daniel! I've been lurking around your page a bit, I really loved your chisel grind bali with the glow-spacers! What do you do to design your folding knives? I mean, how do you determine the geometry of the liner/frame etc so that everything fits? I've heard a lot of people use paper/cardboard cutouts, but I think you've mentioned CAD? Thanks for being awesome!
     
  18. ToothyEdge

    ToothyEdge

    21
    May 17, 2013
    "As you mentioned I grind 95% of my knives post heat treat"

    Newbie question here...

    If you grind after heat treating, won't the grinding get the blade hot enough to ruin the heat treatment? [thanks.]
     
  19. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    I like CAD for design as it takes no materials and I can move everything around to fit. It took me months, a few designs, a few folders made and maybe 100 design changes before I decided on my final design. There are a few tricks to it that the Bob Terzoula book "The Tactical Folding Knife" covers.

    My design is built around my hardware as it is massive, that was my biggest challenge... fiting everything in and getting my lock exactly where I wanted it. (which is key to lock strength)

    On the Balisong I just winged it after looking after a bunch of basic designs. After I started I realized that there is not a lot of room in a Bali design as far as clearance for the handles to move and had to play with that to make it work... also didn't plan well for a latch and it didn't have one! Prototyping is key! It really turned out well but some planning would have made it faster.

    I print everything out on paper and make cardboard/paper templates to hold and examine. Making a few is key too... designs will usually change after a prototype is made.

    Not at all! :D I'd say 90-98% of folding knife blades are ground post heat treat. Almost all commercially ground blades (fixed or folders) are ground after hardening also.

    The temperatures associated with post heat treat grinding are very low compared to tempering temps. To keep the things cool I hold the knives by hand and dip in water after nearly every pass. Once the blade is on the thinner side all grinding is done slowly and with new sharp belts.

    Like any part of knife making lots of care must be taken, you can always burn an edge if you are not paying attention or using the wrong setup. I'd never finish grind a knife on a typical grinder as they run way too fast to finish grind.

    130F feels hot in the hand... usually 350F at least is needed to effect a blade.

    Care must be taken while sharpening too, sharp belts, slow grinder and cool with water every pass.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  20. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo Part time maker, very very part time Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 25, 2012
    Thanks Daniel for taking time to help out!
     

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