Author Topic: Blacksmith Question!  (Read 3592 times)

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lzenglish

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Blacksmith Question!
« on: June 04, 2011, 05:11:37 AM »
I know we have several well qualified blacksmiths on our site, so let me ask you all this: I have an old F.Dick, made in Germany, cut steel knife sharpener, probably 100 years old. It is a very large piece.(21 inches long), but it has been used up, and is now almost completley smooth, and dull. My question is this: What type of steel were these made from? In other words, is the tool steel an exotic high quality blend, as I think it might be? Next, can any of you tell me if it is worth being resharpened, or would it be better to repurpose it? And if so, any ideas as to what would be best to make out of it? As always, any thoughts or Ideas much appreciated, blacksmith's, or any other members.

Thanks,

Wayne

Offline keykeeper

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Re: Blacksmith Question!
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2011, 07:22:34 AM »
As for re-sharpening it, I don't think that is possible. Knife steels are made to realign the edge only of knives. Typically the have long rows of ridges all running the same way. They do not actually "sharpen" a knife. Primary edges are honed by use of a stone or other apparatus such as a slow moving wheel. Once the edge is established, the steel was used to "bring back the edge" after use for a while. At least that is what I have read and gleaned over the last few years.

I'm sure the steel of this is a higher carbon steel, so it could be made into other tools if you wish. I would think a scraper or chisel would be a good candidate for it to be re-purposed into. If it is meaty enough, it could be flattened and made into a knife blade possibly.
-Aaron C.

My vintage tool Want list:
Wards Master Quality 1/2" drive sockets (Need size 5/8), long extension, & speeder handle.
-Vlchek WB* series double box wrenches.
-Hinsdale double-box end round shank wrenches.

Offline rusty

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Re: Blacksmith Question!
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2011, 09:47:27 AM »

The 'secret' of early german (tool) steel was that it had tungsten in it.
Also known is 'high speed tool steel'.

If that thing is quench hardened tungsten-chrome steel, good luck sharpening it ; P

In any case, I believe sharpening steels are made by knurling while the metal is soft, then hardening it. I don't know how you would 'resharpen' it...

To resharpen it, you would have to anneal it, which you can't, if it's high speed tool steel, the annealing temperature is above red heat...(Well, I suppose you could if you don't mind melting it ; P )

I'm surprised it is worn out, but I suppose someone has been using it on stainless steel knives, stainless is considerably harder than regular steel....
Just a weathered light rust/WD40 mix patina.

Offline Aunt Phil

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Re: Blacksmith Question!
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2011, 09:57:12 AM »
Old tool, old way of reconditioning.

Back when every meatcutter had one at his block they were "resharpened" occasionally using a complex chemical etch process.

Grab a soda bottle or even a coffee mug you ain't fond of and pour about an inch of cider vinegar in the bottom.  Place the vinegar on the floor and stick the end of the steel into the vinegar.  Use some butcher string to tie the handle to the overhead cleaver & saw rack so it don't fall over.  You can probably tie it with ant string, and even use something other than an official saw rack too.

Let it sit over the weekend while the shop is closed.  Monday morning wash the rust off your sharp steel with boiling water so it drys without rusting.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance!

lzenglish

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Re: Blacksmith Question!
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2011, 11:17:05 AM »
Thanks for all the tips and comments. When it comes to these things, I'm dumber than a box of rocks, but not afraid to learn. While doing my "Papaw Required History Research" on it, I found a site in Austraila where a guy resharpens these, "or so he says". He will not resharpen yours, but only sell you one of his that is done by him. So, if he has a way of doing it, I guess it is possible. I don't really know if it is all used up, now that you mention it Rusty. I thought you were supposed to be able to feel the ridges, and this one feels smooth, so I just assumed. So, I will try Aunt Phil's cider method, and if it does not work, I will go with keykeeper's tip, and possibly make a long punch, drift, bolt hole aligner,etc. out of it.

Thanks,

Wayne
« Last Edit: June 04, 2011, 11:25:00 AM by lzenglish »

Offline keykeeper

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Re: Blacksmith Question!
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2011, 03:52:05 PM »
Wayne,

Here's an informative page about steels- http://www.cobrandit.com/kitchenarts/2007/06/how_to_use_a_sharpening_steel.html

Here's another that talks about "sharpening" a steel - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/509390

-aaron
-Aaron C.

My vintage tool Want list:
Wards Master Quality 1/2" drive sockets (Need size 5/8), long extension, & speeder handle.
-Vlchek WB* series double box wrenches.
-Hinsdale double-box end round shank wrenches.

lzenglish

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Re: Blacksmith Question!
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2011, 04:45:39 PM »
Wayne,

Here's an informative page about steels- http://www.cobrandit.com/kitchenarts/2007/06/how_to_use_a_sharpening_steel.html

Here's another that talks about "sharpening" a steel - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/509390

-aaron


Thanks for the 2 great links aaron! Both are very informative.

Wayne

Offline scottg

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Re: Blacksmith Question!
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2011, 09:15:22 PM »

 What a beautiful steel!!
  Have you tried it? Steels don't cut much if any metal, they just set your burr back up straight.

  I am not sure they do it, but Boggs does the best job on files I have even seen.  I have used them several times over years on all kinds of files and rasps, and they come back unbelievable! Better than new!
  Of course I am very careful to only send them good candidates.  Files that are merely dull and not damaged.
 
 But anyway, the first two are free! So even if they can't improve your steel, at least it won't cost you. If you have a favorite file send that too. You'll be blown away how well it cuts when you get it back. 
     
  http://boggstool.com/
 
 If the steel blade can't be saved, I'd get another steel blade and reuse that handle! 
 Its way too cool to let go.
  yours Scott

Offline Bus

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Re: Blacksmith Question!
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2011, 09:29:21 PM »
Are you sure it's "completely used up"? The finer cuts of steels seem smooth. I guess you could tell by looking right at the base of the steel were it wouldn't normally be used.

Offline Papaw

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Re: Blacksmith Question!
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2011, 09:42:10 PM »
I guess you have tried to hone a blade and it didn't do the job, right?
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