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Carbon Steel Group

This group if dedicated for the knife users/collectors that prefer Carbon Steel to the newer "Super Steels" and Stainless Steels that are used more and more these days-CV, 1095, or any other.

Members: 118
Latest Activity: Jan 17

Discussion Forum

can anyone help id this?

Started by lee Dec 21, 2017. 0 Replies

i picked this up in an aution and cant figure oit what brand etc..…Continue

Show your carbon steel knives.

Started by Ray Ludlam. Last reply by Jan Carter Apr 27, 2017. 16 Replies

I was asked to show my Carbon knives, if I had any.…Continue

Tags: steel, carbon

10-series Carbon Steel (1095, 1075...)

Started by Brad T.. Last reply by Brad T. Nov 6, 2015. 6 Replies

"The Knife Steel FAQ by Joe TalmadgeThe 10-series -- 1095 (and 1084, 1070, 1060, 1050, etc.) Many of the 10-series steels for cutlery, though 1095 is the most popular for knives. When you go in order…Continue

Tags: Carbon, Steel, 1050, 1060, 1084


Started by Craig Henry. Last reply by Jan Carter Apr 23, 2015. 26 Replies

Has anyone used D2....specifically, Queen's D2?How do you like it?Is it as hard to sharpen as some say?Continue

Tags: Heat, Treat, Peter's, Sharpen, Steel

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Comment by Greg Riggs on February 16, 2015 at 23:10

Great Forum! Here's my latest work in progress. 1095 HC Steel, Brass Guard, Copper Pins, with Elk Horn. 13+ inches

Comment by Jan Carter on January 18, 2015 at 21:42

oooweee, that hunter is nice Bob!

Comment by Bob Robinson on January 18, 2015 at 21:03

This is a group of some carbon steel knives that I use although most of them are fairly new but I sure enjoy them. I have several that are much older and used for many years but decided I wanted some newer ones. (Imagine that)

Comment by Jan Carter on December 26, 2014 at 17:59

LOL!  Carl we are pleased all 3 boats are gone and if it floods at the new house on the mountain we are ALL in trouble

The plumber is a great little knife, I want Donnie to learn to make me one

Comment by Carl Rechsteiner on December 24, 2014 at 6:01

Jan, I know you guys are real busy but just wanted to say Merry Christmas!

I finally got around to finishing up a little knife I forged at Trackrock that Donnie thought was interesting. I call it "Plumber's Necker". Forged from a 6" Rigid pipewrench jaw. Grandson convinced me to leave the adjuster nut in place. His reasoning - "Give you something to play with until the Paramedics arrive."

Enjoy.   lumbers%20NK2.jpg Plumbers%20NK4.jpg

ps - bet Donnie is wishing he hadn't sold both his boats now. We've been getting flood warnings all night.

Comment by Carl Rechsteiner on December 5, 2014 at 5:15

Well Merry Christmas!

Donnie's pretty sharp and probably has most of this stored in the back of his head. But, no matter, I'm usually available and once we get him comfortable with his forge he can apply and learn as he goes.......especially at Trackrock. He'll be teaching the little guys all this stuff in no time.

Hope the move goes smoothly and safely.

Comment by Jan Carter on December 4, 2014 at 8:26

Carl on the 22ns!  As soon as I get my printer up and running I am printing this out for Donnie!

Comment by Carl Rechsteiner on December 4, 2014 at 8:17


You probably have all/most of the same tools for testing that I have being a fellow bladesmith. All are very common, our brain's ability to discern differences and similarities are more of a deciding factor. Pretty simple really to figure if a mystery steel -"M" - is in the same ballpark composition and is suitable as a blade steel.

I have taken samples of known common suitable blade steels - ie. 1084, O1, 1095, W2, 52100, 5160, etc. Annealed/normalized and then heattreated one end as I would a blade from that particular steel. These are my "controls" that I use for comparisons. Next study the characteristics and original purpose/use of the ""M" - farm implement, spring, prybar, saw, drill, etc. Each steel composition was designed for specific purposes based on intended use. Not an "exact" thing but a narrowing down factor. Take "M" and forge pieces down to rough knife dimensions, take care to use good bladesmithing practices - no overheating, cold striking, etc. Anneal if possible and definitely normalize as with any forged blade steel. Pay close attention to how "M" responds during forging, different steels react differently under a hammer. Once normalized, heat for a hardening quench using a simple magnet to know when approaching critical temp. Carefully reach quench temp without over heating thinner areas then quench in water. Severe but effective for testing purposes. Break about 3/4" to 1" off the tip and observe the grain pattern also take note of break pattern - straight and even, jagged, partial tearing, etc. With practice one can learn to read the  grain and the break characteristics to help determine if heats and quenchent are correct.

Now to the grinder (use a nice clean 80 to 100 grit belt for this), take "M" and best guess "Control" do a simultaneous spark comparison - hardened end. Spark characteristics are pretty defining for different compositions of steels, however they need to be in the same condition regarding hardness for most accurate comparison. Once the most similar control is determined, then one can experiment with refining the heattreating procedure for "M" with reasonable confidence in results.

No, definitely not an exact science, but compiling all the variables above help determine the best approach to achieve repeatable results. One is much more likely to get the best results from "M" concerning a working serviceable blade.

Here's a example - given a large quantity of commercial brand "X" mower blades (not home use box store mower blades). After doing quite a bit of testing, determined that "X" was most similar to 1084 but had some alloying added - color variation in spark and forged with a bit more resistance. Made test piece of known CruV and redid spark test - identical. Getting somewhere, so forged two test blades from "X", heattreated for CruV, did durability testing, edge testing, bend break testing, etal. I can now sell a blade from "X" with confidence that it will perform very well. I cannot say it is CruV (mfgr will not confirm or deny), but can warrant the blade for life with out worry.

Note: There are a lot of variables to consider of course, but being consistent with the things that can be controlled and paying attention to details as the testing proceeds can be very beneficial to end results. I also do this with large saw blades, leaf springs, etc. Too many different mfgrs and material sources to be certain, so for me testing is a necessity. Besides, I love the mystery challenge.

Thanks Jan, when we gonna be neighbors?

Comment by Jan Carter on December 3, 2014 at 20:45

It's always nice to hear makers discussing different techniques, especially in different countries.  What available in one is not always available in another but both of you recycle quite a bit.  That tells me that the US is not the only country throwing away usable items, thank goodness for folks like you

Comment by Carl Rechsteiner on November 29, 2014 at 5:21

I like to approach it differently as far as testing "unknown" steels for potential blades. I prefer not to waste a lot of time and fuel forging and pre-finishing a blade not knowing if it will produce a serious blade. I also want to know up front what thermal cycling procedure will bring out the best in steel. I see this as the only way to be reasonably sure.

Hardness is only a part of what makes a good blade. One can easily overheat a steel and get coarse grain growth. It will get/test hard sometimes over 60hrc and will also be very brittle/breakable. It will not, however, hold a good cutting edge for long nor will it sustain much flex stress. I want to get the most out of a steel as possible, so I do the testing up front.

Please understand I am not faulting your methodology. We all have our own paths to walk. I was just curious about your approach. I understand forgeable steels pretty well (been making knives for a pinch over 60 years now), but I get curious about "artifacts" that show up in a finished and etched blade.

 I use a bit of bog oak when I can find it. My diver buddy brings me stuff all the time, even the occasional mastodon bone or other fossilized items. Lot of nice unique materials out there for the looking.

Thank you for the explanation.


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