Spoon knife

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Spoon knife

Postby paul atkin » Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:39 pm

today i found myself in need of a knife with a shallow curve for finishing cuts i took one of these (3 quid for 5) sabre saw blades
blade.JPG
blade.JPG (135.73 KiB) Viewed 12927 times

and with the use of only a grinder and a hammer and leather strop i made this
crook 1.JPG
crook 1.JPG (186.19 KiB) Viewed 12927 times
crook 2.JPG
crook 2.JPG (187.95 KiB) Viewed 12927 times

found a nice bit of elm burr for the handle. bashed the curve around an old ball pein held in the vice, no need to heat treat as long as you are carefull not to overheat when grinding. it works well and am chuffed for less than a quid and an hours work, i stuck the blade in with liquid nails cos its what i had. you can bend them in a vice and bash around a solid round thing to just about any shape. I will be making more :D
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Re: Spoon knife

Postby robin wood » Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:31 pm

Good effort I always like to see folk making their own tools. I'll be interested to hear how well it holds it's edge. Saw blades when they were carbon were tempered a bit soft so you could file the teeth and nowadays they are often hardpoint with softer backs. Mind you you can do the same with a strip of O1 then harden and temper, it's not a big job.
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Re: Spoon knife

Postby paul atkin » Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:53 pm

Rob i have used this for a couple of hours and would rate it as good as my modied frost or Bens spoon knife as far as edge retention is concerned. the blades are high carbon spring steel remove the teeth and the blade just behind is still very hard, a standard file wont touch it, neither will a file remove the teeth, a high speed bench grinder is needed with lots of water to cool in. A good spoon knife is about £3o-£35 i am trying very hard to find a cheap acsessible way for folks to make there own with minimal expense. The next time i make one i will take some pics and do a tutorial. In fact Rob can i send you the blade i dont need it for a couple of weeks and you could maybe use it and say what you think about it?? the profile is not great but was knocked out for a specific job. do we spend every time we need a tool or do we just make one to do the job? making your own is the way to go :D Small stuff can be forged with a blow torch bigger stuff int forge hopefully this is a way of making spoon carvers with minimal expense and its fun too
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Re: Spoon knife

Postby jrccaim » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:16 am

[quote="paul atkin"]...the blade just behind is still very hard, a standard file wont touch it, neither will a file remove the teeth, ...[quote]

Excellent job. Bravo! A few ideas. True that a file is either useless or very slow. But I take off teeth with a Dremel type motor tool with a grinding wheel. If you don't have a bench grinder it works just as well, if a little slower. It helps if you anneal the blade before you grind it. I do this with a DIY propane torch . Heat to red hot and let cool slowly. If you don't remove the teeth it will crack when you try to temper it. There is a whole world of steel out there just waiting to be turned into useful tools. I find old hacksaw blades useful too. Sabre waw blades seem to have something added to them, possibly Chrome or Vanadium or both, that gives them abuse-resistance. Makes them difficult to sharpen, but on the other hand, once you put an edge on them, it lasts forever.
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Re: Spoon knife

Postby JonnyP » Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:07 pm

Love it..
I have never had much luck with saw blades, turning them into knives.. I have done a few, but even though I am very careful and patient with the grinder, they all soon lose the edge..
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Re: Spoon knife

Postby paul atkin » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:55 am

I made some more this week just because i could. The first one was sent to Rob to try out. these are the blades

http://www.toolstation.com/shop/Power+T ... 581/p17328

will put a pic of the knives up later. Further to my first post you can only bend these blades so far ( yep i snapped one ) on close inspection the cystals are the same all the way through the blade meaning a blade that is hard all the way across. i made a small carver and ground the edge on the back of it, still very hard. Certainly worth trying if you have some time on your hands. PS as Rob will point out there is a bit of flex in these blades the first one was a bit too long but did its job, the new ones are a good bit shorter and work well.
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Re: Spoon knife

Postby paul atkin » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:01 pm

pics, the frost in for scale
spoon knives.JPG
spoon knives.JPG (154.24 KiB) Viewed 12661 times

spoon knives 2.JPG
spoon knives 2.JPG (160.4 KiB) Viewed 12661 times

the third one is about as tight as you can go before breaking point. If needing more of a curve you could anneal and heat treat.
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Re: Spoon knife

Postby jrccaim » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:51 am

Some saw blades -- especially sabre saw blades, which I would call "Sawz-all" blades here, have chrome or vanadium or both added to them, to withstand the abuse that they usually receive. You can literally bend them cold. I watched someone do this, unintentionally of course, and so he straightened the thing out and kept on sawing! Ditto circular saw blades. Working this type of steel is extremely difficult. It does not anneal well, if at all, and it does not temper well either. It is better ground as is and diamond-honed. Curiously the really cheap blades are POCS (plain old carbon steel) and work up rather well. You can follow all the directions in the books and on this forum and get good results. My experience, anyway. A mid-1950s crosscut or rip saw, too worn to restore, is a real find. Lots of good POCS in those babies.
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Re: Spoon knife

Postby Vicky » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:31 pm

I've just been reading this thread again and I wondered…
never done any tool making etc and I don't have a bench grinder but I do have a belt sander which I have found you can clamp upside down onto the table and use to put an ok edge on very badly abused axes. Would I be able to use the belt sander to grind the teeth off the saw blade as I'd quite like to have a go at this ?? (I don't know if this is a silly question or not - never had much chance to do metalwork stuff) I do have a dremel so thats my other option.

Just a bit off topic and not a serious suggestion… I have an old craft book by a lady called Rosalie Brown called Whittling published in 1977 for the 'Chip Club' (she used to do craft books for the Guide Association which also have really good illustrations -someone bought me them when I was a Brownie)

I'm not sure wether Rosalie actually did much carving but she suggests grinding the edge of a bent grapefruit knife [quote] "you can also use an old grapefruit knife, with it's turned up end made really sharp, for spoon carving. The blade's lower part can be bound with string both to give a better hold and also to protect fingers" I'm not sure you'd get a good edge on a grapefruit knife but it shows that getting a cheap spoon knife is not a new problem! - I'm not sure when I last used or even saw a grapefruit knife it's the kind of weird implement that used to lurk in my grandmas knife drawer but never got used.
I wonder if Chris Lubkemann read Rosalie's book before publishing his Whittling book as there are some very similar projects in it (but her drawings are much nicer than his photos!)
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Re: Spoon knife

Postby SeanHellman » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:57 pm

Vicky, a belt sander can be used. I have often used one in he past. Please make sure that you take safety precautions as you do not have any table to hold the blade against. It can at certain angles for the blade to snatch, so it is best to hold the blade in pliers and even better in mole grips that can lock. Be careful at first that you put the teeth gently onto the belt, you do not want to rip the belt on sharp teeth, and it will snatch if it does catch. People use belt sanders, often called linishers all the time in metal work, so there is no problem in principle. For this task a bench grinder will probably be easier and quicker to use. As you know always use eye protection, a face mask is best.
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Re: Spoon knife

Postby Vicky » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:34 pm

Thanks Sean, good point about using pliers or grips as it's a lot easier to hang on to a big axe whilst sharpening it than it is a little blade - I handn't thought about that. :roll:
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Re: Spoon knife

Postby bulldawg_65 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:21 am

Excellent job. Bravo! A few ideas. True that a file is either useless or very slow. But I take off teeth with a Dremel type motor tool with a grinding wheel. If you don't have a bench grinder it works just as well, if a little slower. It helps if you anneal the blade before you grind it. I do this with a DIY propane torch . Heat to red hot and let cool slowly.


Couple of questions,
1) Once you anneal the blade and remove the teeth, could you profile the blade and then bend it to your liking before tempering it again? Once annealed isn't the blade softer and more maleable so easier to make tighter bends?
2) Once you're ready, how do you temper it again?

Also, folks in the building trades tend to go through these blades pretty quickly, would it make a difference if you used an old blade?
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Re: Spoon knife

Postby jrccaim » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:44 am

bulldawg_65 wrote:Couple of questions,
1) Once you anneal the blade and remove the teeth, could you profile the blade and then bend it to your liking before tempering it again? Once annealed isn't the blade softer and more maleable so easier to make tighter bends?
2) Once you're ready, how do you temper it again?

Also, folks in the building trades tend to go through these blades pretty quickly, would it make a difference if you used an old blade?


(1) Oh, yes. I do this all the time (although I have yet to make a spoon knife :) but I've made plenty of other small tools). And absolutely yes, it is much easier to bend to your liking. I prefer hot-bending because it is easier. A propane torch does the job.

(2) Once you have it to shape give it a preliminary grind on your grinder. I use a Dremel for this stuff. Slower than a regular grinder but it does the job. Saves time later. Next step: heat it up red-hot ("boiled carrot red") in the torch. Have ready a container of water. When it gets carrot-red, dunk it in the water (called "quenching"). Move it around a bit. Lots of steam. Good. Now, try to file it. File should skate off it.If it doesn't, heat it up again and quench ntil the file skitters. You have now hardened your knife. At this point the steel is "glass hard". Just like glass, harder than H... but brillle, breaks under impact. We don't want that. So we have to temper. For this, I use a little butane torch but you could use the propane torch dialed down as low as it will go. Or even a kitchen (gas) stove. First, take some emery paper and polish the knife so's you can see colors. Have your container of water, AKA quench tub, really close. Apply heat to the non-cutting edge of the knife. Watch like a hawk.Helps to turn down the lighting. You will see a parade of colors moving towards the edge. )if you have a two-edge knife heat the middle) Violet, reddish... and "straw". This is the traditional term, looks like gold-yellow to me. The moment that color hits the edge, dunk it! Done. And do not worry. If you screw it up it can be done all over again, starting with the words "Next Step" above. For practical purposes you can do over it forever. Try it on a one-edge lnife first. Now you have to hone it, but I think you know how to do that!

I attach a picture of the tempering colors FYI. It is the best picture I have ever found, thanks to http://www.sablade.com.
.
O-1tempercolours.jpg
O-1tempercolours.jpg (10.91 KiB) Viewed 12196 times


The third question: can you use old blades? Sure, that's all I have ever done. Makes no diff. Can also use any spring steel, such as recoil starter springs from old chainsaws or lawnmower engines. Or old hacksaw blades. If you can harden it to file-skitters-off it it will make a tool. Circular saw blades, old car springs (OCS)... on and on.

Afterthoughts on reading previous posts: some sawz-alll blades have stuff like chrome and vanadium added to them, and as I said before, can be bent cold. Above instuctions apply to POCS (Plain Old Carbon Steel). But if you are making a hook knife out of these fancy steels, just bend, grind, and hone cold. Never found a blade yet I couldn't anneal/harden/temper, but your mileage may vary, as the car ads say.The more "premium" the blade is the more likely it is to have all these additives.

After-afterthought: I invented none of this. I got it off Alexander' Weyger's book, The Complete Modern Blacksmith, which is worth every penny and more of your efforts on securing it, say, from Amazon.com.
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Re: Spoon knife

Postby bulldawg_65 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:58 am

Thanks JR. It looks like when I get the garage cleaned out this spring, I am gonna have a go at making some bent knives and maybe a detail/kohlrosing blade as well. :D I'll look into purchasing the book as well.
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Re: Spoon knife

Postby ToneWood » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:49 am

Great thread Paul Atkin - I admire you for just trying something. Great that it worked and worked well by look of it. Great info jrccaim too - blacksmithing in a nutshell!

Was pleasantly surprised to find that book available on Amazon in the UK: The Complete Modern Blacksmith - by Alexander Weygers
Image
The Complete Modern Blacksmith - by Alexander Weygers
Using Amazon's "look inside" -feature, I notice a section on making your own woodcarving gouge from an old file - the gouge looks good.
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