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Old 08-31-2011, 06:29   #46
DJ Urbanovsky
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x SF med: That's because I ironed them. Extra starch. Thanks buddy! Glad you like 'em.

Gary: You are welcome here ANYTIME, bro! Had a blast. Excellent meeting the family. Thrilled that you're happy with your new cutter. Oh and thanks for the brews! You can imagine my surprise when I opened the fridge and there were 12 Shiners in there. Scrumdillyicious! Give me a holler when you're settled.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:09   #47
Bill Harsey
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DJ, How was the Vegas trip?
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:46   #48
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It was awesome, thanks for asking! But the drive back home turned me into a robot, if robots fart death. Alamo is going to have to burn their truck. Next time I'm flying, although I will really miss the drive through UT and CO. That scenery will about knock your eyeballs out.

Got to re-meet Mark from Spartan. Didn't get to talk to him long, he was very popular.

You going to be around later this week? When I'm more functional, I'd like to pick your brain about some stuff.

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DJ, How was the Vegas trip?
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:22   #49
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Second sub-group I just finished of the "small" stuff from this batch. Banging out Kydex now on these, and then on to the finishing of the rest of the smalls.
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File Type: jpg AKwip08oct2011.jpg (66.5 KB, 172 views)
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:07   #50
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D.j., That's a nice looking group of blades.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:15   #51
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Thanks, Bill! I think that must mean that I'm on the right track.

Here are some closeup pics of a few from that tray that I'm particularly fond of, as well as the most current iterations of the sporks.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg AKfb2.jpg (184.7 KB, 93 views)
File Type: jpg AKfb1.jpg (177.8 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg AKfb3.jpg (169.7 KB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg AKfb4.jpg (148.8 KB, 85 views)
File Type: jpg AKsporksfullsize17oct2011.jpg (91.3 KB, 99 views)
File Type: jpg AKsporkstubby17oct2011.jpg (90.9 KB, 87 views)

Last edited by DJ Urbanovsky; 10-21-2011 at 12:24.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:53   #52
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Thanks, Bill! I think that must mean that I'm on the right track.

Here are some closeup pics of a few from that tray that I'm particularly fond of, as well as the most current iterations of the sporks.
Awesome work!
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:34   #53
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Thanks, buddy. Glad you like.

Here's some more eye candy. Last of the smalls from this current batch. I'll post some pics of some of my favorites close up once I'm done with the sheaths.
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File Type: jpg AKbench31oct2011a.jpg (55.9 KB, 95 views)
File Type: jpg AKbench31oct2011b.jpg (53.4 KB, 106 views)
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Old 11-01-2011, 18:03   #54
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Your knives are really fabulous.
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Old 11-01-2011, 22:49   #55
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DJ,

I really enjoy looking at your knives.

I noticed on your website that your fixed blade knives are 1095 steel and are differentially heat treated.

What are the benefits of 1095? (I ask because it seems others are using some sort of stainless. I could be wrong about what's the popular steel for custom makers. Please correct me if I am.)

Have you found the differential heat treatment adds to the strength/toughness of the knife? That would seem like one of the real positives of a custom knife over a mass-produced blade.

Finally, do the folders have a patina, or is that the lighting making them look darker? Either way, they are gorgeous.

http://americankami.com/SHTFmain.jpg

http://americankami.com/shffmain.JPG
Thanks for posting here.

(Tried to embed the photos. Looks like it didn't work.)
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:37   #56
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Glad y'all like them. Thanks so much.

Leozinho: Here are my thoughts on 1095, which should address all of your questions. This is a little verbose, so please bear with me.

When I was first starting out, I wanted a steel that I could easily heat treat myself. I felt that was an important skill to learn to do properly as a maker, and I also didn't want to give up control of that aspect of the process. With the technology I had at my disposal at the time, this limited my selection to oil hardening steels such as 01, 5160, and my personal favorite, 1095. I stuck with 1095 for a number of reasons:

1) It's a proven steel. Been around for a loooong time. Lots of notable makers who have been at this much longer than I have used it, and are still using it.
2) It's a simple steel. Not a lot of alloying elements, which appeals to me aesthetically.
3) It's a living steel, i.e., it readily develops a patina with use. Patinas are cool.
4) Visible temper lines/hamon. VERY cool.
5) With proper heat treat, it produces knives that are very tough, with good edge retention, which are still easy for users to sharpen in the field.
6) If you match the hardness to the tool, you can build pretty much anything out of it. I've done swords, hammers, axes, folders, big knives, small knives, you name it, all out of 1095.
7) Because it's so versatile, I don't have to stock 15 different steels. This makes life a whole lot easier. If it's in the shop and it's not marked, I know it's 1095.
8) I just plain love the stuff!

I would say absolutely, a differential heat treat helps make a tougher knife (insofar as oil and water hardening steels are concerned). Knives are a balance of hardness vs toughness, where hardness = brittleness, and toughness = ductility and lack of edge retention. With a differential heat treat, you get a nice hard edge, and a softer, tougher springier spine. Normally I'll just do an edge quench to achieve this, but I have selectively torch hardened blades, and also used clay coating. Wrangling a hot piece of steel and oxy/acetylene torch at the same time is always an adventure. And then of course, you temper it after hardening. After that, some guys will torch draw the spine of the knife. Some guys just stick with the tempering cycles. I've done both, and not noticed an appreciable difference between the two insofar as toughness or performance is concerned. So I just stick with my tempering cycles.

On those two folders: The first knife is blued. The second knife was taken to final finish, heat treated, and then hit with a wire wheel. I called that a Gunmetal finish. Now I just heat treat and finish everything as normal and then blue as needed. I can get pretty much the same effect as the Gunmetal with just a regular Oxpho blue.

The negatives of 1095? You can't safely get it as hard as some stainless steels and not suffer from chipping or breakage. Also not very stain resistant. This isn't so much of a problem with modern oils and rust inhibitors. And as one of my friends is fond of saying, the samurai did just fine with their swords, and they lived on an island in the Pacific. And if rust is really going to be a big concern for a customer, there are all kinds of wonderful coatings out there as well.

I'd be happy to post up pics of a few of my personal knives that I've used hard (and which I'm not ashamed of), if you'd like to see how 1095 holds up over time.

None of this is to bag on any of the stainless steels out there. In fact, I'm in the process of getting an in-house midtech/production project up and running, and those knives are going to be stainless. CPM S35VN, to be precise. They'll also be V-ground vs my customs, which are only available left or right hand chisel ground. This way I've got something for everybody - whether you like stainless, or not, or chisel grinds or not, or you're willing to wait or you want/need something right now, I got you.

Last edited by DJ Urbanovsky; 11-02-2011 at 01:43.
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Old 11-07-2011, 16:10   #57
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DJ,

Thank you for the detailed reponse. I appreciate it.

I'd like to see pics of those used knives.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:28   #58
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DJ,

Thank you for the detailed reponse. I appreciate it.

I'd like to see pics of those used knives.
My pleasure, and will get those posted up for you, buddy.

In the meantime here are some Ti goodies to enjoy, and also the beginnings of my mid-tech project, 206 blades there, which I'm very excited about.
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File Type: jpg AKtigoodies13jan2012.jpg (87.0 KB, 107 views)
File Type: jpg AKcpms35vnCOLUBRISmidtech16jan2012.jpg (77.8 KB, 108 views)
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Old 02-20-2012, 14:20   #59
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Leozinho: Pics of used blades, as promised. Sorry for the delay. Big chopper, kitchen knife, and the prototype for the Colubris. Big chopper is used for firewood gathering and brush clearing. Kitchen knife has been thrown in the sink and left there, and has cut just about anything you can imagine a kitchen/utility knife would. The Colubris is my primary EDC knife since September, lives IWB appendix when I'm not in shop, and is the first knife I reach for when I need to cut something. Aside from all the scuffs, patina, Kydex rub, and the occasional sharpening, they're all good to go.

Speaking of the Colubris, here's a pic of what the actual mid-tech prototypes are looking like, finish profiled and handles machined. Settled on the large logo handles. Those seem to have just the right level of grip. Blades should be on their way to being ground and heat treated by tomorrow. If they come out as well as they have so far, these are going to be awesome. Really excited about these.

And finally, a pic of one of the big bruisers I finished up a couple of weeks ago. Pretty fond of this one. Blued over satin finish. The revised handles are a vast improvement over the originals. To give you and idea of the size, those things that it's sitting on are two of my Kydex presses, which are each 12" wide. 'Tis a bigun.

Hope y'all enjoy these.
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File Type: jpg AKusedblades.jpg (68.5 KB, 105 views)
File Type: jpg AKcolubris17feb2012.jpg (63.5 KB, 96 views)
File Type: jpg AKtacopisV2.jpg (44.2 KB, 89 views)
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Old 02-21-2012, 18:37   #60
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DJ-
In pic one "the Big un" looks like a modified bladesport design... does it conform to the class rules for bladesports, because it looks like it could be a winner in competition. IOW, Noice!!!
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