I'm making my sister a knife out of 1080 carbon steel, to be handled with pink and purple denim twist micarta (made using this method, but rolling and twisting before flattening).
Visit my blog - eagleeyeforge.com to see more of my projects (mainly knives).
Let's burn it!
Step 1: Testing Steel
Step 2: Forging
Step 3: Rough Grinding Part 1
Pic 1 - I don't like the transition of the handle to blade.
pic 2 - cleaned up with bench grinder.
pic 3 - my awesome clamping setup
pic 4 - use the angel grinder with 36 grit flapper to clean handle area
pic 5 - get the blade area as well
pic 6 - get the spine and blade areas
pic 7 - better
pic 8 - bevel still needs work
pic 9 - there ya go!
Now that we've rough ground it witht the angle grinder, we move on to rough grinding step 2.
Step 4: Rough Grinding Part 2
Step 5: Handle Prepping
Then I use the sander, then sandpaper, to flatten one side.
Go ahead and drill the holes in the tang, and then the handle scales (match the holes on the scales up to the holes on the tang.
Then I pin just the scales together lightly, so that I can shape the front some ahead of time.
Step 6: HT
First, I triple normalize. Heating above non magnetic and air cooling, with descending heat each time (my last one was actually just below non magnetic). Then I heat it above non magnetic and quench in preheated oil (peanut I believe).
Then I tempered it in the oven at 375, and then 400. Do some tests for yourself and decide what you like.
pic 1 - knife cooling from a normalizing heat
pic 2-4 - heating
pic 5-6 - preheating oil
pic 7 - the quenched blade (as you can see I edge quenched it, you'll see why).
Step 7: Test Etch
Step 8: Polishing
pics 1-2 - sanding progress
pics 3-4 - knife at 1000 grit
pics 5-6 - mirror polished knife.
Step 9: Etching
To get my hamon to show really well, after it was polished I needed to etch it. I didn't go with ferric like in the test etch, but with hot lemon juice.
Clean the blade with soap and water. Dry it, wipe it down with acetone, wipe down again, wipe down again. DO NOT TOUCH THE BLADE NOW. Whatever you do, you don't want a trace of oil, buffing compound, fingerprints, or anything else in there that will mess up the etch.
Then I heated up lemon juice, and rubbed a cotton ball soaked in along the blade, keeping the blade wet with hot lemon juice. Do this for at least 15 minutes. Spray with windex (diffuses the acid, or else it can continue to eat at the steel and cause flash rust). Wash the blade, and rub off the oxides with a paste polish. For better results, repeat. (do not repolish to mirror, just etch from where you left off at the last etch).
pic 1 - things for etching. Plastic tray, knife, hot lemon juice, and cotton ball in a small clamp for holding it.
pic 2 - after first etch, oxides not removed
pic 3-4 - first etch, oxides removed
pic 5-6 - second etch, oxides removed.
Step 10: Handling
Step 11: Handle Shaping
Step 12: Handle Finishing
So, to make it look quite right I coat it with 6 coats of thin superglue, letting it dry between each coat, then sand it to 600 grit, and buff it to a nice shine. That brings out the true colors, and makes it nice and shiny (last pic).