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Old 04-08-2010, 04:29 AM   #31
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Hmm, I missed your earlier post, Francisco, but I've heard that Buck is having QC issues with the Vantage. Apparently the pivot is less than centered, and can cause the blade to scrape against the liner.

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Old 04-08-2010, 11:40 AM   #32
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Hmm, I missed your earlier post, Francisco, but I've heard that Buck is having QC issues with the Vantage. Apparently the pivot is less than centered, and can cause the blade to scrape against the liner.
Yes, that seemed to be an issue with some of the Vantage knives. If you're buying your knives from a brick and mortar store, check them out thoroughly. If you're getting them from an on-line dealer make sure to tell them to check them out for you, most places won't mind doing it.

The great thing about Buck is that if you do get a Vantage with blade centering issues, they'll fix it. Send it in and you'll get a new one plus a discount voucher.

Anybody can have QC issues from time to time (especially a company that puts out thousands of knives a month), the important thing is that Buck stands behind their product.

It sort of sucks for me, though. I haven't ordered any Vantages because if I had to return them shipping would cost more than the knife (ask JD, the poor bloke paid like $100 to get a package down here!) and the risk of a postal worker stealing it is huge (I use Fedex for my monthly wholesale orders).
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:35 PM   #33
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My question is this: What is the best way to harden Damascus steel? The blank I am looking at is not that expensive but I don't want to ruin it. What say you sir?
It really depends on the steels used to make the damascus blade. Damascus isn't a steel, it's two steels welded into a pattern (some people prefer to refer to it as "pattern welded blade" instead of Damascus).

Heat treatment will depend on the kind of steels used. There are loads of possible combinations, from very simple (just two basic carbon steels with different carbon contents, like say 1095 and 1045) to rather complex tool steels and stainless steels (sometimes with added nickel to improve contrast).

There isn't a single recipe that works on all pattern welded blades. Do you know what steels your working with? It might be worth getting a pro to do the heat treatment for you. Delbert Ealy (www.ealyknives.com) only charges $5 per blade.

I'm not a knife maker, and I don't claim to be an expert on the very technical metalurgic stuff. However, if you tell me the steels you're working with, I'll ask a couple of bladesmiths for advice on heat treating your blade.

Edit: I forgot to add, did you check that the blank doesn't come hardened? I know it's sort of a stupid question, but there are quite a few blades sold for DYI kits and such that come finished.
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:51 PM   #34
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It is a mixture of 15N25 or 15N20 and 1095 layers. The description says that it is fully hardenable so I don't think it is finished.

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Old 04-08-2010, 04:14 PM   #35
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Cool, that's a really nice combination. 15N20 has a lot of nickel in it so it'll contrast nicely with 1095.

Both steels have good carbon content, which will make the knife a good cutter if the blade geometry is done right (I hate damascus that's only nice to look at but doesn't hold an edge!).

Ok. Here's a basic heat treatment recipe given to me by Mariano Gugliotta (third generation blade smith and all-around cool guy, Bienvenido/a a nuestra página Web).

All temperatures are in º Celsius. I loathe Farenheit.

-Heat the blade up to 850º
-Submerge in warm motor oil (60º)
-Do two tempering cycles, one at 250º and another at 300º. The cycles can last between 30 to 60 minutes depending on how thick the blade is and how hard you want to get it. Maybe try something in between, like 40 or 45 minutes?

This is a simple method, but I've seen it used to achieve great results. Just be careful and try heat the whole blade evenly, it's easy to get the tip too hot or cool it too quickly. Some blade shapes are tricky (the ones with several different thicknesses). You might want to practice on a cheaper piece of 1095, it won't be the same as the damascus blade, but it'll help you get comfortable with the method.

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Old 04-08-2010, 05:06 PM   #36
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Awesome. Thanks for the great info. How about handles? Where is a good place to get handle material?

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Old 04-08-2010, 07:29 PM   #37
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Try www.texasknife.com (I recommend calling to check stock) or woodstabilizer.com (a great small company I discovered through a knife forum).

There are several other places that are good as well, and you can get handle materials from non-knife related sources as well. I get really nice wood from a guy that sells stuff for luthiers, he doesn't mind selling small quantities and has some beautiful exotic wood.

I don't know what sort of handle you're planning to make, but I'd certainly consider using some nice mosaic pins. They aren't pricey and look awesome on almost anything.

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Old 04-08-2010, 09:28 PM   #38
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Thanks for the links. What is a mosaic pin? What would you recommend for a Damascus blade. The blade is 6 1/2" and the handle is 4".

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Old 04-08-2010, 10:06 PM   #39
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Oh, mosaic pins are the coolest thing ever! They are quite simple. It's a hollow bronze tube into which you put thin nickle silver, brass or copper rods and create a pattern. They look really nice.

Some patterns are simple, some are more complex. I like the way they look, it's a very simple idea that's much more attractive than regular pins. Knife making supply stores sell them in 12" long rods usually (that's a lot of pins!).







As for handle material suggestions, I'd go with some kind of stabilized burl that looks good to you. The figure on the wood complements the pattern on the blade.

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Old 04-08-2010, 10:15 PM   #40
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I can't stand up for a while after seeing that knife. *boioioioiooiiing*
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