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W2 Steel Group In The Works!

Discussion in 'Daniel Fairly Knives' started by Daniel Fairly Knives, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    Here they are profiled, bevels ground and clay covered prior to heat treat.

    [​IMG]
     
    CrufflerJJ likes this.
  2. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    Here is the lower one, my Nakago model all finished up. I finished it first ahead of the group to see what the hamon would look like and will be working on the rest of these this week. I ordered some special abrasives just for polishing hamons and plan on doing a ton of hand sanding! This one was taken to 3000 grit during multiple etch and polish cycles. It took me a day and a half just to polish and etch the hamon to get it to the dark look I like! I think I can speed up my polish/etch time a bit and can not wait to see what these look like after a few cycles!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    That looks fantastic. I much prefer a beautiful hamon over damascus any day. I do like some damascus (the random versions) but some get crazy. A hamon usually is more subtle but I really prefer it.

    Do you have any control over the process so that the light is next to the edge and the dark is next to the spine? Or would that need a different type of steel?
     
  4. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    Thanks! I love the effect.

    The polishing and etching method has a lot to do with the final look and yes I think the tones can be reversed.

    What I do is hand rub to a very clean 2000 grit. I make sure there are zero scratches at all. After that it is time to etch... I used dilute ferric chloride solution, vinegar, lemon and lime juice with the lime giving a considerably darker look this time. After an etch you remove the oxides produced (black crud) and this also has a lot to do with the look. I am using baking soda and a natural (clay based?) lapidary polish called M5. At first there will be very little contrast so I repeat this cycle over and over... maybe 15 times for this knife. The hardened metal will start to burnish more, the martensite between hard and soft starts to really show white or clouds.

    If I used flitz or the likes to remove the oxides it will have a much different result.. much lighter steel tone with a bit more white between the layers. I always do both to see what looks best with the particular activity I have. I cycled this one with flitz about 10 times and decided I like the darker look of this one much better.

    Getting a good photo of a cloudy hamon can also be nearly impossible! This dark one was easier but there is a lot more activity in person... you can see exactly where the clay was applied, a white band of transition then to the hardened edge.


    Along with polish/etch heat control is everything! I'm literally only hardening the exact part of the steel that I want to. I like the lower Japanese style hamon and often do several heat treats to get the right look... especially if the entire edge is not hardened. I can seriously fiddle with this entire process for days... and have on a few knives.

    In Japan stones are used which chemically react with the steel so polishing is done a bit differently with no etch steps. I think reverse tones can be achieved this way. If you check out the Japanese sites for sword polishing it can get pretty interesting... loads of money can be spent too! http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/finger-stones-and-naguras/

    I have also used only waterstones to get a hamon... produces a very white look and really changes the tone of the metal. This finish is very time consuming and costly. I have tried it a few times...

    I am trying some silicon carbide powder on these, I got 1200 and 2000 grit... should have some nice results!
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  5. adamlau

    adamlau Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 13, 2002
    Awesome, time consuming diff treat going in with these :) . Like TRfromMT, I also prefer the understated look of a hamon vs damascus in general.
     
  6. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    Thanks! I'm working on more of them today and can't wait to see what they look like.

    I forgot to add that any steel that can get a decent hamon is going to be a water quenching (very fast oil works too) steel that shallow hardens. Manganese content plays a lot into this along with carbon content, alloying, etc.

    These were clay coated then quenched in either warm water or fast oil for 2 seconds then straight to water. Water quenching steels have to go from quench temp to almost hand cool in around 5 seconds so there is a bit to it. I'm currently using 2 ovens, 3 quench oils, a water quench tank and also plates for air hardening steels.

    Water will give the steel an upward curve (Sori) like you se in a traditional katana. Fast oil gives a lesser downward curve. I was really excited to see some Sori in the two Kwaikens!
     
  7. flatblackcapo

    flatblackcapo Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    D, that Nakago is wicked awesome!! I can't wait to see the rest of them.
    That JNS site hurt my brain with all the cool shiz that I would like to try out.
     
  8. Farchyld

    Farchyld

    Sep 10, 2011
    These are outstanding, D!
     
  9. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    Thanks! So many cool things to try, right! I need to find my old links... I ordered silk from Japan and found out they have a different color system than ours! Fun stuff and I need to finish more forged W2 knives.


    Thanks Bobby, you rock!
     

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