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Is this metal suitable for knife making?

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Mike313, Dec 23, 2018.

  1. Mike313

    Mike313 Nomad

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    Hi all,
    This is a project I've had in mind for a while. I'm not a knife-maker and this will be a one-off project. I want to make a mezzaluna and santoku-shaped knife for use in the kitchen. I also want to make a marking knife for woodwork.
    I thought about finding and using an old saw blade, then I saw (no pun intended) this a few months ago, for £3.99 at Screwfix:

    https://www.screwfix.com/p/toolbox-saw-16/3304v

    I enquired and they told me it is 65MN steel. Would that be suitable for what I want to do?
     
  2. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Those saws are a bit thin.
    In fact, much to thin. The blades will flex like mad, about as much as one of those salmon filetting jobbies you can only use filleting farmed fat soft salmon.

    Do not waste your time.

    ( I know this because that is exacly what I started doing, but having spend hours with a Dremel cutting out the shape I realized it was waaaaay to thin and flexy)
     
  3. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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  4. Stew

    Stew Bushcrafter through and through

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    No, not a good plan.

    Check out groundflatstock.com for decent steel.
     
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  5. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Forager

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    Groundflatstock.com is good, and so are Coventry Grinders.

    65mn will be no good to you.
     
  6. Mike313

    Mike313 Nomad

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    Folks, thank you. I really appreciate the feed-back and the links :)
     
  7. crosslandkelly

    crosslandkelly A somewhat settled

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    I used an old circular saw blade to make an ulu.
    23559636_524591774566483_6322789915621936167_n.jpg
    23561295_524591824566478_6267677693668216053_n.jpg
    23561870_524592151233112_7854013789584794255_n.jpg
     
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  8. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    C-kelly:
    Is it not more efficient/ easier/ quicker to have a flat base To cut the herbs and veg on?

    I have now finished both the mezzalunas / ulus and need to start on the cutting board, but am unsure which one is best.

    Could you please try both base forms and tell the result?

    OP: to be frank, the steel is not so important. In the past all steels were, compared to todays steels, incredibly bad. But they worked well. Most household blades were done from very crude iron with lots of slag inclusions.
    You can use any steel, or even brass or bronze.
    The aboriginal arctic people used stone, bone, antler historically for the cutting blade. And they managed to butcher walrus, whale, caribou, polar bear. Iron came to them quite late, around 2000 years ago when the European people settled in that area.
    But it has to have a certain rigidity.
     
    #8 Janne, Dec 23, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
  9. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Forager

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    Something like O1 or 1095, which are both carbon steels and easily hardened and tempered, are usually recommended for a first time knife-maker. You can also use an old hand-file if you fancy it.

    The problem with using an existing tool to source the steel is that if it's a hardenable steel then it will already have been hardened. This means that before working it you will have to anneal (soften) it and then once it's been shaped and bevelled you have to re-harden it, whereas bar stock will be un-hardened and you'll only need to harden and temper it after the shaping and bevelling has been done.
     
  10. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    He can not use a file, as both a mezzaluna and a Santoku need a higher piece of steel.
     
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  11. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Forager

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    Whoops - so obvious I didn't see it!

    Ummm, okay, let's say that knives can be made from old files, but not ones with deep blade profiles!
     
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  12. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Eastern Canadian First Nations people have been forging very good knives for centuries from "hand-files."
    They knew how bad the trade knives were so used forge tunnels in the earth to great success.

    By 1760, your Hudson's Bay Company was selling barrels of "Mocotaugan" knife blades, made in Sheffield.
    They are one-handed planer blade knives for making and repairing canoes, pack frames and snow shoes.
    They are terrible blades ( I have one of them in use).

    It's a myth of fantasy to imaging that they are wood carving tools.
    Literally, yes but practically in this day and time = a failure.

    Locally in the Pacific Northwest, it's a tradition to make your own wood carving adzes and crooked knives.
    Truck (lorrie) leaf spring metal, old, old rusty hand-file and so on. Magnificent results.
    = = =
    I say: do it. Again and again. I wish you the greatest of successes.
     
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  13. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Truck spring leaves are getting rarer and rarer in Europe as the vast majority of vehicles do not have them.
    Even the Paleo vehicle Landrover gave up leaf springs once they stopped cobbling tigether the Series 3 in 85 or 86
     
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  14. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Wrecked and rotted out utility van leaf springs. Anything from a pre-1960 Volkswagen Beetle to a 5T Ford.
    I know a dude who can hammer a gouge out of a BMW coil spring (Yes, it can be done).
    Leaf springs are the choice for First Nations here in the Pacific Northwest.

    You find spring steel like that in Europe? Hang onto it.
     
  15. crosslandkelly

    crosslandkelly A somewhat settled

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    Janne they work fine on a flat board as well. The dished board is more efficient when using a rolling action to finely chop. and contains the ingredient more effectively.
     
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  16. Damascus

    Damascus Native

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    A visit to the local dump, I came across some old saw blades, proberbly old forestry saws, I have cut up one and made several blades from it. The old saw blades have the temper all the way through, so they can be sharpened unlike modern saws, which only have the edge, once blunt bin them.
     

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