an old Nicholson file is becoming a knife.

MotoMike

New Member
high Vern, I ground them almost smooth leaving the pattern visible as a tell. I think some evidence of it's origin will remain
 

Shawn

New Member
thanks Shawn. have to look up those files to see how to heat treat.

M
You probably won't find the exact alloy because of "trade secrets", but I did find this for you in a web search.


"I just contacted Apex who owns Nicholson. I'll let you know if they respond."

"I sent an email to APEX customer service, and received a phone call from their materials guy, Russ. He couldn't tell me the exact alloy that they use due to company policy,but he gave me some info about what they do use.

1. Machinists files have used the same alloy for over 50 years, Russ has been there 47 IIRC. Rasps, and other lesser files are a lower carbon alloy as a really high carbon isn't needed to work with hooves/wood. No matter where the files are made, they all meet the same specs.

2. Some machinists files are either case, or pack hardened, to add even more carbon.

3. He said treating them like W1 for heat treating would be a good choice.

4. They have had to deal with counterfeit files from Asia. Some copied their logo very well, but it hasn't been a problem for a few years now.

So, those are the deets straight from the factory. Russ was quite nice about the whole question and answer session I gave him, and I understand trade secrets, so I an grateful for the info he afforded us."
 

Bruno

Administrator
Staff member
Their files are close to W1 from what I have been told. I have HTed some nicholson files like that and indeed it works pretty well.
Great job on the knife. It is good to see he is liking it so much!
Keep posting ! :)

One thing you may want to consider: he seems to keep his shoulder pulled up high when striking. Probably because the anvil is a bit high for him. If you lay a piece of thick board in front of the anvil, you can raise him a couple of inches relative to the anvil.
 

DrDalton

New Member
In one of his books Wayne Goddard did an analysis on the black diamond files.

IIRC they were similar enough W1 (as mentioned above).

I’ll try and find the book and post a picture when I get home.
 

MotoMike

New Member
Their files are close to W1 from what I have been told. I have HTed some nicholson files like that and indeed it works pretty well.
Great job on the knife. It is good to see he is liking it so much!
Keep posting ! :)

One thing you may want to consider: he seems to keep his shoulder pulled up high when striking. Probably because the anvil is a bit high for him. If you lay a piece of thick board in front of the anvil, you can raise him a couple of inches relative to the anvil.
Thanks Bruno. yes he has a rr anvil at the proper height, but I can't seem to get him to use it.
 

Mike Blue

Member
Old files, Black Diamond, Nicholson, but OLD files are probably safely assumed to be W-1 or 1095. New files have a reputation for being cheaper steel and case hardened. You can spark test easily enough. The case hardening will spark like high carbon steel and then lose the nice white feathery stuff as you get into the parent material. Or you can heat and anneal, then re-heat and quench. It will bend but not snap like a good hard piece.
 

MotoMike

New Member
Peter
Thanks very much. time with my grandsons is prescious. He is 10 and it is clear that his other interests are pulling him away from his grandpa whom at one time he wanted to spend all his time with. I've another 10 year old who doesn't get here as often and a 3 year old who is interested in all that I do. time marches
on. Here is the 3 year old, Landon, assisting with some burner maintenance. Note his sip cup in the background.


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forge177.jpg
 

MotoMike

New Member
Mike, thanks for that info. this was definitely an old black diamond Nicholson. got it from a lady who knew I was dallying with smithing and she watched forged in fire thought I could use them. her late father was a Ferrier so along with this Nicholson, I got a bunch of farriers rasps. I had recalled that the old black diamonds were good stuff.
 

Mike Blue

Member
If I can get a piece to harden correctly (good enough) then I'll use most anything in my shop. Selling a piece to someone else and I like to use known materials.
 

MotoMike

New Member
Today Zander and I worked on putting the profile on his knife which he wants to use as a skinner when he and his dad are lucky in the hunt. His dad has a Buck sheath knife that he is modeling the profile from. We roughed out the bevels and will go for heat treat the next time we have a few hours together.




forge240.jpg
forge239.jpg
forge238.jpg
 

Shawn

New Member
Thanks Shawn. He did work most of the profile himself. pretty good for a 10 year old I think.
I think he's doing a damn fine job. As long as you can keep his attention when he hits his teens, you may have a budding bladesmith on your hands. ;)
 
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