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Tips, Tricks, & Useful Finds(FAQs too)

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by ddean, Sep 27, 2003.

  1. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
    I'm adding to / updating my own existing posts on this thread as I get new info.
    Of course others should add appropriate posts as well.

    Common searches with keywords:

    Wood handle / grip -- Rouge cleaning
    post moved to post #4 below ==>



    Knew Khuk Khonnoisseur's Kwick Khoncise Khompendium of Khommon Khwuestions Khunsidered


    . . . L I N K S . . . & . . . R E F E R E N C E S . . . (various)


    knifemaker supply supplies


    Anhydrous lanolin source
    Order thru any pharmacy, but fairly expensive compared to bulk.
    There's an online bulk source mentioned 3rd post of this thread:
    also some tech references re anhydrous lanolin


    An old tips thread:


    Long list of suppliers for all bladesmithing needs
    OLD list, but likely still a good resource.


    Knife-making link list:


    oil for steel
    choji camillia camellia camelia mineral olive iodine drying

    good discussion thread, with several links:




    Many blade topics in
    Search "Junkyard" forging threads archive
    at http://www.keenjunk.com/junkyard.htm
    of KeenJunk website

    Instructions & sketches RE forging
    Wow !

    FAQ's on smithing


    The Gaijin's Guide Video Series
    "The Japanese Sword Restoration Guide"
    recommended by Don Fogg
    Gaijin's Sanding block system used by Don Fogg


    Don Fogg website

    Site Map
    VERY long list - browse or FIND on the page

    The Craft of Bladesmithing


    Hand tool shaping
    Sen scraper files

    Shop Tips - 8 pages

    Bladesmithing tools - making of

    tool supply links

    4 catagories of other links


    arts & crafts from around the world
    organized by country & type of work


    Tagua nut vegetable ivory
    info & order & art galleries


    drying green wood:
    discussion & several info links:


    Blades & blade battle articles & Links - historical & other
    BIO-REGIONAL SURVIVAL CITY & SUBURB SURVIVAL RURAL SURVIVAL Book & Magazine Reviews Clothing & Textiles Co-ops & Communities Communications Defense Environment & Healthy Living Farming & Gardening Financial Survival Firearms & Weaponry Fodder & Brew Fuel Production General Survival Skills Government Heat & Power Home Economics Hunting, Skinning & Tanning Medical & Psychological Survival Military Field Manuals Natural & Manmade Disasters Permanent Shelter/Homes Planning & Preparation Primitive Industry RMSG Wilderness Survival Guide Science & Education Supplies, Suppliers & Kits Survival Book/Video/DVD Store Transportation Water, Wells & Plumbing Contributing Writer's Page Unresearched Links Viewer's Submissions Suggest Topic Area Meg's Editorials

    For a more complete (long!) listing, visit the Table of Contents Page


    gun related info/discussion topics:


    Citrus Solvent / Orange oil
    Good detailed info & good links


    Museum Conservation Reference Manual
    Care of Metals, Wood, Bone, Leather & more


    Pecard Leather Dressing &
    Blade Conservation article from www.swordforum.com


    How to post pictures; (with new forum software somewhat out of date)
    Pendentive's thread:


    Homemade Firearm Cleaners & Lubricants;
    often good for blades too:
    Good MSDS links too.

    Associated thread with more info:
    Which includes highlights from another site's
    thread on various common & uncommon lubricants
    & water displacers. (WD40)

    Firepower FP-10 lubricant / rust preventative

    Lists of
    Online sources of animal parts---
    horn antler bone exotic leather more:
    Exotic handle material:
    with links to other threads


    evaluating unknown 'steel'
    what is it, really?

    Composition of knifemaking steels:


    LOTS of good technical/industrial articles on steel--
    Heat-treating / alloys / welding / stress / more:
    Strengthening mechanisms in alloy steel
    Quench Hardening, Good info on phase conversions during:


    A well-researched article on European pattern-welded blades.
    The bibliography is almost as long as the article;
    which is pretty short.


    Nice & comprehensive overview of buffing & polishing,
    lots of lists & tables; intended for jewelers,
    but useful reference for any metal finishing.


    Bladesmith resource scrounging thread from Bladeforums:

    Jewelers' guide to scrounging
    includes polishing & chemicals
    A short article:


    The materials used in 19th and 20th century plaster--


    Article--from lime and gypsum to Portland cement:



    <:eek:> THEY call me 'Dean' <> [​IMG]
    <:)> JMO-M2C-fWiW-iIRC-YMMV-fYI-TiA-YW-GL ***Caution: Not all ideas originating in this brain are entirely based on empirical data.
    <:D> Noobee <> Tips <> Baha'i Prayers Links --A--T--H--D
  2. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
    Carbide-Blade Scraper at Harbor Frieght for $5,

    I used one edge of one blade to re-bevel a 25" Sirupati,
    and the scraper blade seems as good as new.
    Only thing to watch for is scraper chatter
    (bumping up & down)
    until you get a feel for when to increase or decrease pressure,
    and the angles to use.

    3 double-sided replacement blades $2 (often $1 on sale).

    $4 version, with smaller 3-sided blades:


    I'm not sure what grit I'd call the scratches left by the blade,
    but they are smaller than a sandpaper that removes
    as much metal as quickly.

    The carbide blade in the first one:
    "ITEM 42285-1VGA---Carbide blades are 2-1/2'' long and lasts 50 times longer than conventional steel blades. For Item 39392"

    These are the least expensive carbide blades I've found.

    The blade is held to the handpiece by a small plate & machine screw.

    So it should be easy to fabricate a wood handle
    of any shape & grip style.
    Most basic could be a large diameter dowel with a small slot
    into which the blade would press-fit.
    Or two half dowels squeezed together by a couple of screws,
    or some similar combo.


    Not a bad idea............

    One more project to add to the list.

    As it stands, the scraper is very 'handy'.
    One or two hands, toward you or away, left, right, diagonals & curves.

    I just wish thay had a curved blade for doing fullers.
    My effort trying to grind a curve onto one of these was
    a most miserable failure.

    <> call me
    <> Tips <> Baha'i Prayers Links--A--T--H--D
  3. firkin


    Jan 26, 2002
    The blade scraper is a cool idea. I've read that some swordsmiths, fabricate a hard drawknife-like tool to finish up the blade after forging. Course that's before hardening--But with carbide, I guess it shouldn't matter. Wonder if there are versions that look like drawknives with two handles?

    Did it leave less deep scratches to polish out than coarse stones or sandpaper? Seems like it could be cheaper, too. How wide is the blade?

    The old Murphy's concentrate is great stuff. If one doesn't mind going through some sandpaper, one can just wet sand with it also go get rid of the rouge.
  4. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
    Removing rouge from wood handles,
    -without- raising the grain of the wood!:

    1-Rub on Murphy's Oil Soap Original formula.
    Use it straight with -NO water-.
    Set aside & let it get as dry as it will get.
    This protects the wood from water in the next step.

    2-Get SoftScrub (plain & orange works, -not- the bleach version)
    [or similar calcium carbonate cleaner]
    & rub it all over the handle with your hand.
    Rinse & reapply until you stop getting pink.

    3-rub Softscrub into the grooves, which will still contain rouge.

    4-get a length of -unwaxed- dental floss
    (or other fine strong thread)
    & with the blade secured somehow
    (I stick the blade into a big, OLD phonebook beside the sink)
    wrap the dental floss around your fingers
    (I usually double the floss to get a little thicker thread)
    and 'saw' it around the grooves.
    Rinse & reapply until all the rouge is out of the rings.

    5-Rinse, & dry well.


    <> call me
    <> Tips <> Baha'i Prayers Links--A--T--H--D
  5. firkin


    Jan 26, 2002

    Maybe a piece of aluminum rod, or better soft steel rod? Like the stuff they make laboratory supports from. Cut to length, get somebody to machine a flat and a tapped hole (or make flat in back for nut), then add grips of your choice.

    Should be really quick (not very expensive?) job for a decent machinist.

    2.5 in. sounds long enough for just about any bevel. For more than a couple of khuks, it sounds faster and less expensive.

    For fullers, the only thing I've been able to think of is the waterstones, I think called "slips" for sharpening the inside of gouges and curved chisels. Haven't gotten around to trying them--of course, since they wear fairly fast, they wouldn't be that great for major reshaping.
  6. Bri in Chi

    Bri in Chi

    May 28, 2003
    Somewhere I picked up the perfect file for those small grooves along the top of some blades. It's a double-ended super slim (1/8") rat-tail file curved at both ends into different radii. (I've never used that word before. I hope I spelled it right.) :rolleyes:
    Rouge is such a PITA I stopped using it years ago. After sanding down to 600 a little 4/0 steel wool, then a dab of Simichrome on a rag and it's done - brass, N. S. or any handle material (except wood, of course.) For wood I rub out the last coat of varnish, lacquer, oil finish or whatever with pumice powder and a bit of olive oil or mineral oil on a soft flannel pad. It gives a soft, luster that's not "plasticy." For a higher polish, use powdered rottenstone the same way after the pumice. I got the Pumice and rottenstone at an art supply store, you might find them at a professional grade paint store too. Also Brownells sells a commercial version for gunstock finishing.
  7. firkin


    Jan 26, 2002
    I was thinking of the big wide fullers like on the Gelbu special or Chitlangi--dunno what ddean was thinking. (Hard enough for me to know what I'm thinking).

    Putting a little chromium oxide (the waxy stick kind) on a piece of worn 600 grit paper, and then on a leather pad does an OK job of blending things into the "magic stone" finish.

    After getting a couple of khuks (recently, they seem not so bad) that were really caked-up with rouge mixed with the wax they use on the wood handles, I'd try and avoid using the stuff too. Big PITA.

    I know what pumice is, and where it comes from, what is rottenstone? Chalk or diatomaceous earth??
  8. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
    I think it's limestone.

    Let me check.


    SYLLABICATION: rot·ten·stone
    PRONUNCIATION: rtn-stn
    NOUN: A soft decomposed limestone, used in powder form as a polishing material.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000. "

    =========Edit Correction===============================

    Actually a refinement:
    "ROTTENSTONE is a light, porous, somewhat friable,
    siliceous rock used for polishing steel and other metals.
    It consists almost entirely of silica, with a small percentage of alumina and other impurities,
    and is derived from siliceous limestones
    after the removal of the calcareous matter."

    Which I'm guessing is done by a simple acid washdown
    of the powdered limestone.
  9. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
    If you don't have a local woodcrafting shop or other source for non-native hardwoods,

    Try the local discount & import shops.
    You can pick the wood piece you like best,
    rather than depending on a blind order.

    I found a very heavy wood candle-stand imported from India; for $2.
    Trim the carving away & the remaining wood is 5-1/2" long and 2" diameter.
    Just right to make a handle for most khuks.
    Don't know the wood, but it's very dense & has a great visible grain.
  10. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
    If you want a better chakma that will last a lifetime
    and not disappear down the crack in the sofa?

    order a sharpening steel from Woodcraft or other tool supplier.


    They call it a burnisher,
    for rolling a hook onto the edge of a scraper.

    It's a smooth large rod, much different from a butcher's steel.
    Probably others available cheaper if we looked.


    Butcher's steels have (usually?) ridges running the length.
    And they act somewhat as a file.

    Real, used butchers steels can be found for $1-$9 (or more)
    at flea markets, thrift shops, junk & antique shops,.....
    These are big & heavy.

    Our local $1 stores all carry usable butchers steels in
    the kitchen or tool aisles.
    They have plastic handles, but, hey, it's the hard steel rod you need.
    & you can make a new handle if you like.
  11. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
    Murphy's Oil Soap - original formula

    I've commonly seen it in pint ($3) or quart ($5) bottles.

    Today I found a Jar of the same,
    but thicker. Very thick, like a clear paste.
    $4 for one pound.
    And it is Very close to 16-oz volume.

    1-Tablespoon of the jar contents is the same as
    1/4-Cup of the standard liquid.
    (Based on suggested dilutions on the label.)

    1 Pint = 2 Cups = 8 quarter cups
    Jar = 2 Cups = 30 Tablespoons

    So the jar is much cheaper if you plan to use that much.
    And if you're going to let it dry in place,
    it will do so much faster from the jar.

    They describe use on leather in the same way as saddle soap.
    Wonder if it's basically the same content.
  12. firkin


    Jan 26, 2002
    "Murphy's Oil Soap - original formula

    I've commonly seen it in pint ($3) or quart ($5) bottles.

    Today I found a Jar of the same, but thicker. Very thick, like a clear paste. $4 for one pound. And it is Very close to 16-oz volume.

    1-Tablespoon of the jar contents is the same as 1/4-Cup of the standard liquid. (Based on suggested dilutions on the label.)"


    It really is amazing how much people will pay for tapwater.
  13. AKA Knife Knut

    AKA Knife Knut

    Aug 15, 2002
    'ere ya go:


    I have found it pays off to pay attention to the tools of other hobbies/professions as there are often crossover uses!
    Also, all kinds of sharpening stuff in the free Veritas Woodworking catalog where I found this item.
  14. SeanH


    Oct 3, 2003
    I wonder if this fomula would be good for handle material? You could make a mold of your favorite handle and would have minimal carving and cleanup.

    Quoted from www.make-stuff.com
    "FORMULA 4:

    Dissolve one pound of flake or powdered glue in water by boiling. Shred enough tissue paper into the solution to give body and then stir until a thick batter results. Add one cup of LINSEED OIL into the solution and one cup of POWDERED CHALK. Stir well and then remove this mass from the double boiler and when cool enough, knead with the hands and press into molds. A pair of old gloves, slightly oiled with pure light oil may be used to protect the hands when kneading these materials.

    It takes a few days for this material to thoroughly harden but at the end of that time, it should be as hard as stone and resembles carved wood. It will make excellent art goods such as book ends, tie racks, coat hangers, statues, etc."
  15. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
    Thanks, looks like just what I want.
    & the price is reasonable.

    Boat supply stores are good source for woodfinishing supplies
    & other polishing/finishing supplies.
    Automobile body supplies cover grinding, polishing, waxing, .......
    Lapidary supplies......
    Model building supplies........
    Craft supplies..........
    Tile laying supplies........
    Ceramic/pottery supplies............
  16. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
    I thought of that too.
    I think there's a place for it,
    though mostly I'd prefer real wood.

    A commercial 'rock' material is Durham's Water Putty:
    It is gypsum-based (I think).
    The material is -much- harder than common plaster when set,
    (although there are many specialized varieties of 'plaster')
    I don't know about Water Putty's -strength-,
    as in "how much pressure can a half-inch thick stick take
    before it snaps."
    The material is intended as a filler.
    It is very heat resistant;
    and seems to be the material of choice for making
    model rocket motor nozzles for those people
    who also pack their own propellants.
    OTOH, it is -somewhat- porous once dry, so it could be -soaked-
    with all sorts of liquids to help impart other characteristics.
    Water Putty can be carved with a knife.

    Another gypsum product is Hydrocal & other brands.
    Hydrocal is reported more stonelike than 'water putty'
    & cannot be carved with a knife.

    A good reference site for many brands of gypsum products is:

    The formula you point out -is- more of a -plastic- material.

    Then too, there's always plastic casting resin sold for craft-work;
    similar to fiberglass resin---
    which also does well in molds; At least small ones.

    Epoxy (adhesive) is expensive to try to mold anything very large,
    but if you're making something small.........

    Then there's auto body fillers.

    Other plastics available include hot-melt types
    of variable but unknown strength to me.
    Model scenery 'water', floral/decorative embedding plastic water.

    Plastic 'artificial worms' used for fishing can be melted
    in a double-boiler and used to make flexible 'cushion' type castings.
    This material is available 'raw' for people making their own 'worms'.

    Kid crafts include plastic casting kits to make all sorts of stuff.

    These remind me a lot of hot-melt adhesive; which seems to be
    essentially plastic--and which comes in numerous types
    with greater and lesser flexibility & other characteristics.
    I've seen this used to mold small items.

    & hobby/craft supplies include synthetic clay materials
    of various strengths & characteristics.
    Some dry on exposure to air & some require baking.
  17. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002

    Online sources of animal parts /
    horn antler bone exotic leather more:

    has many knife specialty items at (Norman, Oklahoma from South Africa):

    rayskin sources locate locating:
    "You can get ray skin form Mother of Peral ( www.knifehandles.com ), Co. Universal Agencies ( www.knifesupplies.com ), Bugei ( www.bugei.com ), or Adam Unlimited ( www.adamunlimited.com )"---Ivan Campos

    some above from this thread:



    exotic handle materials

    <:)> THEY call me 'Dean' <> [​IMG]
    <:eek:> Caution: Not all ideas vented from this brain are entirely based on empirical data. JMO-M2C-fWiW-iIRC-YMMV-fYI-TiA-YW-GL
    <:D> Noobee <> Tips <> Baha'i Prayers Links --A--T--H--D
  18. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
    At the $1 stores ("Everything's a Dollar!") you can find:

    New butcher's steels - not finest quality, but Hard & usable.

    Battery powered 'drink mixers' that work great for blending
    or aerating cupfuls of thin liquids: paints, oils, water,.....
    And of course packages of plastic cups in which to do the mixing.
  19. Bill Martino

    Bill Martino

    Mar 5, 1999
    The dust bunnies are not the least bit interested but I thing this is good stuff and thanks.

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