File knife

Discussion in 'Blades' started by oil pan 4, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I found some old files and thought they night make decent knives.
    Should I forge them into shape or just cut and grind them into shape?
    I actually have done black smiting but it was over 20 years ago.

    Grinding then down isn't much of a problem since I could plasma cut out the rough shape and grind to finish with my large and medium size grinders and flap wheel.

    Or forge them into shape but the. That ruins the factory heat treating and temper. I could reheat treat and temper them if I knew the temperatures for high carbon file steel.
    Sgt Nambu and GOG like this.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    For ease of fabbing, anneal them. Heat to cherry red and bury in sand, cool off VERY slowly. Nearly chewable. After doing whatever you want for shaping, reheat to yellow and cool quickly, various sources point to either water, antifreeze, oil or air. Hardness is directly related to how fast you cool the metal (those cooling media are listed from hard to less hard.) You get messing with this metal working business, and your spare time and other outside interests are going to evaporate. BE SURE it's something you want to do, 'cause all your prepping plans are out the window, the dog won't get fed and you might forget to eat now and then.

    If you go the forging route, you are going to pick up some more heat treatment not accounted for above, and could result in de-carburizing which will reduce hardenibility.

    For real advice, our Iron Monkey @Bear might add some accurate advice. He's not been around in a while, but we might be able to find a way to get his attention somehow.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
    Ganado, Brokor and GOG like this.
  3. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I use untreated fiberglass insulation for slow cooling, steel will stay very hot for hours.
    Ganado and GOG like this.
  4. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Steel used in files is hard and if not very well done can be very brittle. In my old age I tend to either get blanks from a smith I trust or a company I trust, or use old crosscut saw steel. Personal biases and I warn you now that you should only get involved with smithing with great care. It is addicting, you end up with the worlds greatest collection of old "useful" steel, piles of coal, clothes with burn holes in them, friends that run for the hills when you start to talk of smithing, etc. And I haven't even got talking yet!! Now if you are going to smith using traditional hand tools, coal or wood fired forge, found metal, add artistic touches, etc, then you are talking witchcraft and having 50 ways to do the same thing and 55 different opinions as which is the best, and a strong and slightly biased community of smiths, you can disappear and never be heard from again. Well I will end this and call my friend for a crisis meeting, before my smithing addiction controls my life again. LOL, I think!!!
    Ganado likes this.
  5. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I am already a weldor so I have plenty of clothes with holes burned in them and my collectionof stainless steel has to be well over 1,000lb by now, mostly pipe and diamond tread.
    I upgraded to some very heavy pants, fire resistant lineman's blue jeans. They are treated with fire retardant and are designed to resist hot metal fragment damage. They are around $80 a pair new so it's best to get them off ebay or CL like it did and pay half that.
    So far these wrangler FR jeans have far out lasted any department store 40 and 50 dollar off the shelf brands.
    Dont, duane and Ganado like this.
  6. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    I have found Pre 1955 Spring Steel ( Car and Truck Leaf Springs) work exceptionally well for a good blade that takes and holds a decent edge! Not as critical in the heat treat, but still a must do! I have even used bits and leavings to make Damascus Steel blades! What a fun process that is! I mainly buy pre made blanks in Damascus, it is too labor intensive and costs a ton in fuel!!!
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