It’s getting there

Got all the pieces but it is in the “hurry up and wait” stage as I apply the finish and let it cure (lots of coats of oil/varnish). Then, finish lapping the sides and sole, open the mouth and do something with the cross pin (either leave it as a press fit or put screws at the ends).

I tried something new for tempering the blade: flux. Very hot steel and oxygen are a bad mix as the oxygen “robs” carbon from the steel and can leave the surfaces (like the cutting edge) weaker. This is why, sometimes, you need to sharpen a few times before the edge starts to hold up like it should. And, maybe, why the corners tend to crumble no matter many times you sharpen. The best cure is to use an inert gas filled furnace and quench so the steel never sees any oxygen. Way out of my price range however and I’m too cheap to send the blade(s) to a real heat treater. There is also a stainless steel “tool wrap” you can use (again, expensive). So I tried using brass brazing flux to cover the blade. As far as I can tell, it worked great – it didn’t interfere with the quench and the steel was clean (as in bright and shiny, no oxidization).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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