For the manner in which men live is so different from the way in which they ought to live, that he who leaves the common course for that which he ought to follow will find that it leads him to ruin rather than safety.

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Keeping The Momentum

I gotta say, I feel reinvigorated after my vacation. Back to normal, or as normal as I get...a guy who's broken this many bones can only feel normal to a point. It's been a good week.'s my evening as it stands:

Last night was a light work night. I worked on a tooling arm for my grinder and ground out this little guy. A piece of scrap kept staring at me, and I knew it wanted to become a knife. I need a small utility knife around the shop anyway, so I came up with this. I think it's sorta cool. It's ready for heat treat at this point.

I was going to heat treat these in the morning. Since I'm not the kind of person who has a social life to speak of, I got them ready for heat treat and fired up the kiln. Two Hunters and two Large Outdoors.

These ones will get cooked in the morning, along with another small outdoor knife that's not pictured.

Progress! It's been about a year since I made my first knife. My latest is a stark contrast to that first blade.

Four blades coming out of the kiln. I changed my heat treat "recipe". My first knife was actually treated WAY too hot. It's hard, and functional...but the temps were off. I read *somewhere* to run at 1950 degrees. I brought that down to 1850 after reading another source. Further research told me that was still too hot. I went to the Crucible web site, as I believe A2 is originally their alloy. They had a different recipe again. I brought my process more in line with what they recommend. Right now I'm heating to 1350, holding 5 minutes, ramping to 1750 and holding for 15. We'll see how this goes. That latest Hunter was done with this cycle and came out perfect.

While waiting on the kiln, I made a new grinding gauge. Until now, to do a .125" gauge I was shimming my .063" gauge. Here's the in-process inspection for the new gauge.

A newly finished gauge! .125" on one side and .100" on the other. Giving myself more options.
One thing that just occurred to me as I wrote this is that I now have a small catalog of blades that are totally and uniquely "mine". I think that's pretty cool. I have certain likes and preferences that are starting to come through. Those little similarities from one blade to the next that link them together. My kitchen knives are starting to gel as a family, and my more outdoorsy knives are doing the same. I'm settling in on shapes and designs that I truly like and enjoy making. I have a few more ideas that I want to explore within these families...we shall see where this goes!

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