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15121Re: Zen and the Art of Knifemaking

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  • kurt_kurosawa
    Nov 5, 2006
      I sent a post but I don't know where (your account is set up not to
      receive e-mail), so at the risk of repeating myself and generally
      being totally off-topic:

      - About the smell, it pays to wear a respirator. The particulates in
      the air can be themselves harmful, little sharp shards of steel that
      you don't want moving and grooving in your lungs when you cough.
      Then there's the chemical aspect, e.g. cocobolo is toxic and other
      natural materials may be allergens. And since you're working with
      bone from (presumably) overseas, it would be hard to completely
      discount the possibility of inhaling microorganisms/spores.

      - I see you're using 1095, a very good steel, but if you're getting
      a little "boomerang" in the quench, you might want to give O-1 a
      stab (so to speak). I love O-1, so forgiving and can be
      differentially drawn. For the quench, get a coffee can full of auto
      tranny fluid, heat it to 125 F (by sticking a bar of hot steel and a
      candy thermometer in it).

      - 5160 is cheaper; it's (as the name says) nominally 0.60% carbon
      but it also has 0.2% silicon and 0.7% chromium. A little tougher and
      can be hardened up near the 60s. I'm in the Tidewater Virginia area
      and if you live nearby (you don't want to pay shipping) I have a few
      pounds (maybe something like 30 feet in 3 or 3.5 foot lengths) of
      1/4 x 1" 5160 I can give you free.

      Best, Kurt

      PS my favorite meditational incense is sweet coal smoke, see if the
      library has books by Alexander Weygers, he explains how to make your
      own forge from a coffee can and anvil from a piece of railroad
      track, and gives instruction on beating hot steel.
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