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File work on D2

Discussion in 'Hammer & Tongs' started by golfer1, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. golfer1


    Nov 24, 2016
    New woodworker wanting to try steel. I recently ordered a finished blade in D2 and have been practicing simple fine filework [vine type] on mild steel. I know heat this heat treated D2 blade will R at 60-61 which surely is much harder than my practice steel. My question is: do you think I will be able to really do file work on that harder steel?
    I also have a Foredom hand grinder I could use.
    Any thoughts you could share would be most helpful.
    Thanks, and best wishes.
  2. mete

    mete Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Diamond files would work but not much else.
  3. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    No you can't do file work on hardened D-2 in any practical way. Diamond files would wear out quickly. Polishing would be very difficult.

    File work is done on the unhardened steel and polished, then sanded and buffed again after HT.
  4. golfer1


    Nov 24, 2016
    Thank you very much, that was what I expected.
  5. Alan Davis Knives

    Alan Davis Knives Knife Maker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 28, 2010
    I have done file work on hardened steel many times using a Foredom tool, thin cut off wheels, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 sanding drums and carbide burrs. Not quite as much detail as before heat treat, but descent results. Just practice on scrap pieces of steel first as control is not as good as files and takes some practice.

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