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I dont seem to take a tour every year, shame on me.  This year while I was able to, Donnie was not.  He spent a lot of his time on the front porch greeting and chatting and taking care of Casey Dog.

While on the tour, I wrote as fast as I could and thought i would take you all with me (as best I can)

The first stop on the tour is set up. Although you dont get to go down on the floor where Ms. Betty is setting up bolsters and the first pieces of the frame,you do get to see the operation from the top floor looking down.  One of the portions I like is that they have a set up for every station you can not get to live.  So for the first stop we see our tour guide and his crew and the set up for the making of a Great Eastern Cutlery knife.

As you can see from the parts, stop one has 4 presses.  The first one is the Brass Press and then the Tommy Press sets the bolsters, then a trim press removes the excess material and the mark press marks the spot for pinning.  The bolsters are 752 nickle silver heated with oxy acetylene.  The pin is actually a part of the bolster, not welded on.  GEC manufactures their own parts for this 

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Just wondering if we have any interest in completing the tour?

I have seen the tour 3 times and I learned something different ever time. Would be interesting to hear your version Jan!

Yes Mam, we enjoy your pictures and comments. Thank you for all your trouble.

Yes Ma-am.

Jan Carter said:

Just wondering if we have any interest in completing the tour?

The next step (Fab room) we see the pinch on press where dimples are place both sides are deburred and nail marks are added.  An interesting part of this is that the long pull created by GEC is actually a trademark item.  It is done on a form press and pressed into the blade.

When Pat places a blade order it is usually 200-300 pieces.  This is to insure we get enough for the run.  The springs are then waterjetted using what is called garnet sand.  They are not pressed because this process is quicker with no flaring of the parts.  When you see this picture on the left you will see a shower curtain behind those machines.  Below that curtain in a trough where the water collects for recycling.  

The blades then go to the heat treat, cooled with cryogenics the blade is a rockwell hardness of between 57&59 and the springs test out between 45&47.

When a new pattern comes out every blade gets a rockwell test.

Then the blades present to the tang area.  When this is done, only the tang area is heated to accept the die.

Tomorrow we will go to the grinders :)

Nice to know about the nail pulls. I'm impressed with them. Other companies seem to have them just for looks, and not for actual use.

Thanks for posting this, Jan.

"The pin is actually a part of the bolster, not welded on."

 

The pivot pin?! If so,  I'd like to have more information about this/ more detail about the construction process. 

Craig,

That is actually all I know about that part of the process.  I did reach out to Pat..he is much more experienced than I am about the process and even the tour for that matter.  I will see if we can get you an answer on that in a timely manner

JJ,

Me too, I knew they were different.  I have girl hands. wrists and nails so alot of nail "marks" just dont work for me and I end up having to grasp the blade to open.  I did know I had much better success opening long pulls from GEC and was a little surprised because they do have a good strong backspring.  Now I know why they work better for me.:)

Dale,

its my pleasure. 

Now we go to the grinding.  Billy H. and Bob Linquist grind our blades  1 blade, one side at a time. After the blades are ground they then get the point protector removed. Next, they are double headed. (The machine with two wheels that come together) The main purpose of this is to thin the point of the blade and it also helps to remove grind lines in the blade which improves the satin and polished finishes, respectively. Following this is...if the blades are northfields they are machine swedged right on the big grinders. Tidioutes are hand swedged in the fab room on a belt. If you ever get an opportunity to see this happen, it is amazing.  Each one is done individually and those two gentleman have a great eye for making certain that each one is straight.  As you can see this group of blades still have the tip protectors on them

The swedge on a Northfield is done on a belt in the Fab room.  Tidioute is not done on a belt, they are done by hand.

Tomorrow we can visit the Assembly room and Ms. Connie

Jan Carter said:

Craig,

That is actually all I know about that part of the process.  I did reach out to Pat..he is much more experienced than I am about the process and even the tour for that matter.  I will see if we can get you an answer on that in a timely manner

 

Thanks Jan, I really appreciate it! I'm a nuts 'n' bolts kinda guy.

I'll have more on this tomrrow guys...sorry for the delay

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