Try this.

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Ankerson, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. Art S.

    Art S.

    Jul 1, 2001
    Fed, the more metallurgy I learn the more questions I have, but it all gives me greater appreciation for what the kamis can do without any sophisticated equipment.
    Firkin, if you can get up to the Oregon Knife show April 12,13 Ed Fowler will be there with copies of his book and I'm sure he'd be happy to autograph a copy for you.
    I think any of the forumites here would enjoy talking with Ed. He's one of the really good guys -- sort of like Uncle Bill with a cowboy hat.
  2. firkin


    Jan 26, 2002
    Art, your discussion with Fed makes things considerably more clear to me. Thanks for your time.

    Am I correct in thinking that a grain boundary is where differently oriented crystal lattices of the same material meet, since the steel is not a single large crystal? Can you comment on the hardness of wootz? For instance Roselli in Finland has produced a couple of steels related to wootz that are said to be 65 and 62-63 RC. Is this hardness possible without martensite?

    Sadly, right now it looks dicey for me to make it to the show, but maybe things will change. I had hoped to see you and your work this year.
  3. Art S.

    Art S.

    Jul 1, 2001
    Firkin, your description of the grain boundary agrees with my mental picture of the lattice structure, but I really know very little of the lattice structure. I think you'd be better served to talk to a real metallurgist when you're interested in that level of knowledge. If you can make it to Eugene, stop at Crucible Steel's table and talk to Ed Seversen or Dick Barber. They're both very good metallurgists.
  4. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    Art, I've learned from listening to you, Ed Fowler, firkin, Fed, and Jose Reyes.

    But I have to wonder about you're inviting me to pound metal in your shop if I ever came by. With what I've gleaned from this thread...

    ..I guess what I'm trying to say is, 'geeze; how can anyone make a knife?" There's too much to know. And I thought guns were complicated.

  5. Federico


    Sep 5, 2000
    Munk its the difference between knowing why versus just knowing how. Many more primitive smiths, like the kamis, dont know why the knives they make are so good, they just know if they do certain things presto a good knife. We here in the West have the pesky habit of trying to figure out why these thing turn out the way they do. For some reason we're not happy with just because;)

    Anyways thanks so much Art for such detailed responses. Youve definitely given this curious monkey some brain relief:D
  6. munk


    Mar 22, 2002
    Federico, you know not only metal, but I see from your last post in the "Boycott France' thread you know politics. I didn't know that about shared Kurdish populations between Turkey and Iraq. Methinks you're being too humble.

  7. Federico


    Sep 5, 2000
    Munk humble schmumble, its just a case of too much time on my hands, and a half-way decent memory (I guess Ive got a few brain cells left from my wilder days). My dad when he was alive often would tell me ok you know this, so hows it gonna help you get a job. :( I need to get back to school.
  8. Yvsa


    May 18, 1999
    And such is one of the big differences between the ndn and the non-ndn thinking.:)

    I once inquired of Ed Fowler what one of his Pronghorns would run. The cost didn't set me back, but the wait did. Had I of ordered it when I asked I would be nigh or at 70 years before I would've received it.
    The seven year wait was what did me in. I would still love to own one, but now my finances are going to have to be devoted to other things.
    I would hate to be seventy years and just be able to look at a knife that's totally meant to be used.
    It just wouldn't be fair to the young ones coming up.
    I just wish that I had ordered one 14 years ago so I could've gotten some use out of it, but then I think perhaps the knives Ed made fourteen years ago, although really good, wouldn't compare with the knives Ed makes today.

    This has been a most excellent thread, but it started to get beyond my ken with the last few posts although it did give me much to think about and that's something I do really well these days.:)
  9. Art S.

    Art S.

    Jul 1, 2001
    My big worry now is that Ed will come back on the forum and tell everyone that I'm full of B.S.
    Yvsa, Ed's knives are great,and he deserves all the success he's had with them. That said, I have to tell you that I think of a well-made YCS with the same level of respect because it's designed to be a no-nonsense performer and then made beautiful to boot.
  10. firkin


    Jan 26, 2002
    Art S. and Ed F., I just want to say that I really appreciate you guys spending the time to give us the benefit of a piece of your hard won emperical knowledge.

    Thanks again, and it just gives me and I suspect others a greater respect for those who can get the most out of a piece of steel.

    And for Yvsa, Munk and others, trying to figure out why sometimes helps to keep the good things alive, kinda like the invention of writing things down. Of course, it can get out of control like most things people do, but what else is new? :)
  11. Rusty

    Rusty Moderator Moderator

    Mar 8, 1999
    After I finish modifying my new 18" WW2 handle fit so it sings operatically, I'll get with it on my next project and if I don't ruin it I'll have Uncle take a picture of lamilar structure you won't believe. Leastways none of you but the NDN. Wish I had the old grinder I used to use to even flat surfaces up to the thousandths.

    Thank You much, Mr. Ed Fowler, and the rest of all of you. An awesome learning experience to have you to discuss this.

    (Note to self: get snorkel tube for next time you get yourself in over your head.)
  12. Ankerson

    Ankerson Knife and Computer Geek Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002
    Man what did I do?:eek:

    I started a monster...:D

    Very good thread with alot of great info.:cool:
  13. Jose Reyes

    Jose Reyes

    Nov 14, 2001
    Hey all,

    My take on the differences in the two pictures I posted are that what you're seeing in the first picture, Ed's blade, are transition lines seperating the different structures in the steel, while the patterns that are visible above the hardened edge in the second picture, Bill's blade, are the result of "alloy banding".

    The picture of Ed's knife was taken by a professional so you can see much more detail than in Bill's blade. I've personally examined both of these blades closely, as well as several others that Ed has made, and there's a distinct difference in the look and feel of the banding in Bill's blade and what you see in Ed's blade. I've have not seen this type of banding on any of his blades. I'm not sure why this banding appears on Bill's blade, but when you mentioned the term alloy banding it immediately brought it to mind, and your description seems to describe it adequately.

  14. firkin


    Jan 26, 2002
    The Key Role of Impurities in Ancient Damascus Steel Blades"

    Authors are J.D. Verhoeven, A.H. Pendray, and W.E. Dauksch, -- first two have already been mentioned in this thread. It's a little more comprhensive than the title indicates and though pretty technical in parts, probably anyone interested will be able to get something out of it. It shows why Art says wootz and 52100 are apples and oranges.


    I'd get a little more out of it if someone could explain what "hot-short" means as used in the next to last paragraph.
  15. Ripper


    Jul 2, 2000
    "Hot-short" means it has reduced resistance to impact (tendency to crack) at forging temperatures. Here is another link that relates to the one you posted above.
  16. firkin


    Jan 26, 2002
    Thanks ripper, that's an excellent site.
  17. Ankerson

    Ankerson Knife and Computer Geek Gold Member

    Nov 2, 2002
    Interesting webpage with good info.:D
  18. firkin


    Jan 26, 2002
    If anyone is REALLY interested in wootz, I see that Brisa is selling it...

    Professor J.D. Verhoeven has rediscovered the lost art ofmaking the ancient wootz and Dr Juha Perttula has developed a reliable method for reproducing this steel. The wootz is now available. The slabs are forged and pre-ground. The microstructure, which is pearlite and carbides, tolerates a remarkable amount of working heat. Thus the blade can be easily ground. Hardening is not recommended.....

    730 Wootz steel bar 3-4x20x100 mm 60,50 €
    731 Wootz steel bar 3-4x30x150 mm 87,40 €

    Ain't cheap, and the billets aren't large, so I guess those that don't want to try forging the stuff would need to find out about welding/brazing an extension onto a stub tang.

    Yikes, a whole 'nuther can of worms--soldering and welding wootz! Never ends, does it?:rolleyes:

    EDIT: also a couple of additional intersting links on wootz there. And this:


    The earliest large forging is the famous iron
    pillar at New Delhi dated by inscription to
    the Gupta period of the 3rd c. AD at a height
    of over 7 m and weight of about 6 tons. The
    pillar is believed to have been made by
    forging together a series of disc-shaped iron
    blooms. Apart from the dimensions another
    remarkable aspect of the iron pillar is the
    absence of corrosion which has been linked
    to the composition, the high purity of the
    wrought iron and the phosphorus content and
    the distribution of slag.

  19. Yvsa


    May 18, 1999
    Thanks Art. :) :eek:
  20. Ed Fowler

    Ed Fowler

    Jul 21, 2001
    Hello Gentlemen: Thanks for the many kind thoughts. My computer cratered Friday and I just got her back that is why I haven't visited here.
    I will call Rex Walter tonight and ask him to share some thoughts, he is the metalurgist who has provided all the laboratory work and many insights as to methods and why.
    We just came up with another variable that may or may not be productive. Most of the experiments that let to the paldes we currently make led nowhere, sometimes the nowhere came back later to mean something.
    The most important aspect of what we learned, is that any bladesmith has at his immediate disposal all that is necessary to develop high performance blades. The knife is a very simple tool to evaluate, cut, strength, though are simply evaluated. Apply the experimental mentod, think and try, keep notes and with a little luck progress happens.
    The development of a high performance knife is art, the laboratory can explain the science. Bladesmiths who rely too heavily on the science can get lost in theory that is why our team, Doc, Rex, Bill and I enjoy our voyage.

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