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Thread: Zackerty's 440C Steel Investment Casting Project

  1. #41
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Stuart Ackerman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanH
    So is the pattern caused by an internal crystalline structure or surface abnormalities?
    The internal crystalline structure...
    The acid exposes the structure, and if I sell these with a 600 grit satin finish, the clearness of the crystals would not be obvious....unless you held the blade at the correct angle to a bright light, and then the structure would appear again
    I normally finish all my knives with 600 grit finishes and finer, but most folk want to see the crystaline effect...
    Remember that the finer and smoother the surface, the better the steel will resist corrosion...less place for the naughty rust to grip on to...

  2. #42
    Spyderco Forum Registered User SeanH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zackerty
    The internal crystalline structure...
    The acid exposes the structure, and if I sell these with a 600 grit satin finish, the clearness of the crystals would not be obvious....unless you held the blade at the correct angle to a bright light, and then the structure would appear again
    I normally finish all my knives with 600 grit finishes and finer, but most folk want to see the crystaline effect...
    Remember that the finer and smoother the surface, the better the steel will resist corrosion...less place for the naughty rust to grip on to...
    I never realized the crystalline structure would be so large. At that size wouldn't it create fracture zones? O course I wouldn't flex one of those beauties [Gollum voice] no, my Precious, we would take care of it wouldn't we Precious? [/Gollum voice] I'm just curious.

    Also, is the Bushy spoken for? What kind of handle would you put on it? Exposed tang in the end? With the crystalline structure, would you baton it, or is it mainly a show piece?
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  3. #43
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Stuart Ackerman's Avatar
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    I will not sell any till I am happy with the testing...
    I am testing batoning, and throwing at the moment, ( some folk will INSIST on throwing knives, and I want to know if it can take it )
    I will break a couple in a vice, to see the grain structure...BTW the hardness is 57 RC hardness, exactly what I wanted...I love my HT guy...
    Micarta handles, red linen, green canvas, and black linen Micarta...
    No exposed tangs...and none of my knives are intended to be show pieces
    Use it, or lose it...
    BTW, I have broken 1000 cuts on assorted hemp and Spectra rope from 12mm to 30mm, 30 12mm cable ties, safety belts, as well as chopping up half inch branches, sharpened with a medium DMT diamond grit, and yet to sharpen
    The bare handle has tired me somewhat, but some folk have ordered bare handles for scuba diving. I am convinced that fishing nets of 30mm diameter polyprop will be no probelm...

  4. #44
    Spyderco Forum Registered User SeanH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zackerty
    BTW, I have broken 1000 cuts on assorted hemp and Spectra rope from 12mm to 30mm, 30 12mm cable ties, safety belts, as well as chopping up half inch branches, sharpened with a medium DMT diamond grit, and yet to sharpen
    Do I read this right?You initialy sharpend the test blade with a DMT, then id the 1000 asorted cuts and haven't resharpened yet? What condition was the edge in?

    How was it after batoning?

    Sean
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  5. #45
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Stuart Ackerman's Avatar
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    I sharpened the edge with a 120 grit, then 220 grit belt, then a medium DMT diamond, 4 strokes either side...The edge would slice paper in straight lines, but certainly not shave my arms or the paper...

    I have in the last hour or so, touched up the edge with 3 strokes on a medium grey ceramic rod to see if the fibre cutting is improved, and I feel that the med diamond is the best for rope, belts etc
    Wood batoning does not seem to matter, as you are just forcing the edge through the material, anyway...I will do pics tomorrow.

    However, the medium ceramic is best for wood shavings etc, when making figure four traps, feathersticks, walking sticks, tent pegs, etc. Veggie cutting prefers the med ceramic as well...finer cuts, but reduced edge holding...

    I have a factory steel 440C knife that I made as a test comparison, and it prefers med or fine ceramic for the same tasks, but it does not cut anywhere near the ability of the cast steel, being finer grained.
    My preference for bush and wilderness work, even after this limited testing... I would grab a cast steel blade first...

    I have done pics of the rope cutting etc with the normal 440C and the cast 440C, and I will photobucket them in a while...

  6. #46
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Stuart Ackerman's Avatar
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    New 12mm hemp rope, oil and dirt soaked 12mm hemp rope, 18mm hemp rope, 8 tonne Spectra rope...

    The normal 440C steel blade did about one eighteenth the cutting of the cast 440C. It would slice paper roughly, but not shave hair off my legs. ( My arms are bare...)
    The 3mm normal steel was sharpened on the med grey ceramic Fold-a Vee...
    The 5mm cast steel, on the DMT med Diamond...
    Both blades would shave print off a telephone book page, without piercing the paper...the normal steel a bit cleaner...
    The cast steel cut the ropes faster, and with less effort, and lasted much longer...and will still slice shavings off a piece of oak plank, whereas the normal steel will start to slice, and then choke up.
    The shavings below are a small proportion of the three shopping bags full of various rope shavings...
    Last edited by Stuart Ackerman; 12-16-2006 at 12:42 AM.

  7. #47
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Stuart Ackerman's Avatar
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    Based on the paratrooper discussion here in Spyderco forums, I wondered how my Warncliffe profile test blade would perform on 27 shrouds/lines, BUT using Spectra, each line having about 10 times the content of 550 Paracord...
    I roughly strung up 27 lines onto a grid, hung the grid from a nail hammered into the workshop roof, and pulled downwards on the knotted end of the lines, simulating a parachute..
    Why 27?
    Because that was all I could fit onto the grid, and have them evenly spaced...




    Result?
    I sliced from left to right, and each line parted cleanly...
    I will repeat the test with a Hawkbill profile, when I have one finished, to see how much better the knife will cut...
    The Hawk will gather the lines better, for one...

  8. #48
    Spyderco Forum Registered User jaislandboy's Avatar
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    Very cool Zackerty! can't wait to see how the hawkbill fares vs. hemp!
    brian
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  9. #49
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Stuart Ackerman's Avatar
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    Just an update whilst assembling...
    The blades after 10 minutes in Aqua Regia ( hydrocloric acid 75%, and nitric acid 25 % ), the FUMES etched my 316 stainless table!!
    Then a buff with Dialux Blue, and a 5 minutes hand rub with Autosol..




  10. #50
    Spyderco Forum Registered User SeanH's Avatar
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    Lovely.

    Have you had a chance to break one yet? What did the internal structure look like? Can you share pictures?



    BTW, PM sent.
    >>The Spyderco Forum Cookbook ... and its thread<<

    Think about what you believe, but don't believe everything you think.

    "We feel that to "charge as much as the market will bear" is "to bite the hand that feeds you"."
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  11. #51
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Stuart Ackerman's Avatar
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    Update with a BAD picture
    Black linen micarta, natural linen micarta, bird's eye maple, olivegreen canvas micarta, black G10...

  12. #52
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Civilian's Avatar
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    Alll I can say is sweeeeeeeeeeeeet!!!
    Amazing work there.
    MAT TER
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  13. #53
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Stuart Ackerman's Avatar
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    Update...
    Take some steel, and melt it...give it some teeth...:O

    Then a couple of pieces of pink GPO, glue with Bondmaster F246 and hidden pins...and then give it some geometric profiles...


    Then give it gills to breathe...:O


    Carcharodon Floyd...:]



    I might do matched gills for the other side, after a test or two...

    Few hours later..................
    I got home, and serrated one of the non-heat treated hawksbills, to see how it looked...I will add one more tooth at the ricasso...
    The points need to be sharp, and meet acutely, and then an edge is ground to get the sharpness...this one is taper tanged, to reduce weight.

    I will do the other non HTed hawk, taper the tang as well, and then HT with the next batch of cast knives...
    Comparison below...
    Last edited by Stuart Ackerman; 12-26-2013 at 09:02 PM.

  14. #54
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Th232's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Looking very nice there!
    Will

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  15. #55
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    Good effort

    When I got tired of making kitchen cutlery I started using David Boyes 440 C dendritic. They were one of the best cutting steel with a toothy edge that will bite a tomato skin for a long time. The slow cooling causes the dendritic grain structure and it grows much like a frost on a window. This crystalline growth is parallel to the cooling surfaces and is excellent orientation for a cast blade. I found that after several sharpening that the edge retention improved dramatically. I would say that moving the edge back .010-.015 was in the range of where the performance increased.

    The way this material is cooled and the resulting grain structure is in industry considered a flaw, because it will cause a directional weakness to the steel. The Boye dendritic is not good for prying. His blades were thinner. These knives are to valuable to throw. Make some 4140 or 4340 blades for your friends to throw. Use these knives to cut and they will do a great job. Good job zackerty...Take Care...Ed

    P.S. Ferric chloride works great for and etchant, and is not as toxic.
    Last edited by Ed Schempp; 02-26-2007 at 06:36 PM.

  16. #56
    Senior Member CopilotATS-55's Avatar
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    Zac this is an awesome project, id buy one, if i had money

  17. #57
    Spyderco Forum Registered User rcbalt2's Avatar
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    Wow very cool update.
    There ain't no rules around here. We're trying to accomplish something.
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  18. #58
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Stuart Ackerman's Avatar
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    I will bump this to get more info out there about the casting side of things...

    Spyderco's process will follow the idea of investment casting, and my testing of the Spyderco Serrata shows me similar performance...

    Only difference really, is I etch my blades and Spyderco does not...

  19. #59
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Blerv's Avatar
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    Extremely interesting. Thank you!
    Blake

  20. #60
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    I read through this thread after you posted your picture thread of the Serrata and it got me really excited about the aggressiveness of cast 440C! I am patiently (lol not really ) waiting for the Serrata to hit the shelves so I can snag one and try it out!

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