Brass knife?

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by RABCarver, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. RABCarver

    RABCarver Tracker

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    I've been slowly busting my knuckles/spirit modding my AFSK (no power tools, just files, hacksaw, and sandpaper), and would like to take a break from it and try something fun. I have a couple bricks of brass (1.5" x 5" x 7") that were left over from all of my dad's gear making and modding.
    I've seen a lot of knives made from non-traditional materials and thought they were pretty interesting. I've never seen one made from brass, so I figure, why not make one myself?
    I know brass is a soft metal and wouldn't make a good user knife, this is just going to be for fun and honing my skills.

    Has anyone here made a knife from anything other than steel, or knapped stone?
    If so, let's hear about 'em and see 'em.
     
  2. BushMetal

    BushMetal Banned Member Banned

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    Made a brass paring knife the other day, will post pics later.

    That piece of stock you have is a nice chunk of brass and worth quite a bit fyi. (you may want to cut a small piece off to practice with)

    Stock removal is the way to go, brass is tricky in the fire (at least for me).

    They work fine, are a dream to sharpen, but dull quickly.

    Also have made wooden and copper knives, i really like working with copper.
     
  3. RABCarver

    RABCarver Tracker

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    Stock removal is my only option, I don't have a forge. :-/
    If I do use the knife, it'll be on something soft like meat or fruit, so I don't deform the edge.
    I've seen a few copper knives, they were real beauties. I'd like to see pics of yours, if you've got some.

    I know the brass is worth some dough but, I couldn't sell it, for sentimental reasons of course.
     
  4. BushMetal

    BushMetal Banned Member Banned

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    -You can cut more than fruit and meat, wars have been fought with brass weapons they are tough, just not steel tough.

    -Didn't mean to sell it, meant that you don't want to accidentally ruin a block that large, replacement would be pricey.
    (slice 1/2 inch off and use that for a "blank" to play around with and test how your tools work on the brass.)

    -photos soon, i am about out of room here gotta see what i can squeeze in

    keep us updated
     
  5. Kerri

    Kerri úlfheðnar Hobbyist Bushclass I

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    The artillary used to use brass knives to cut their fuses as a carbon blade may cause it to spark serting it off so it may not be a standard material for a multi use knife it has been done so why not do it again it would be pretty interesting to see
     
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  6. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Banned Member Banned

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    Bronze would obviously be better, but brass will work just fine. After grinding to shape use a hammer to peen your edge and work harden it. This will increase your edge retention. Again, you may want to practice first.
     
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  7. RABCarver

    RABCarver Tracker

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    Thanks for the input and interest all. This will be the first knife I've made from scratch.

    I have some old wood I'll be using for the scales. No idea what kind it is, I'm not good with identification, except when it's still in tree form lol. It's nice looking though.
    I think it might be stablized wood. It's been in the shed for over 20 years and shows so signs of cracking. Very tight grain.
     
  8. RABCarver

    RABCarver Tracker

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    So I've started to cut out a rough pattern, I'll be going for a subtle clip point without a swedge.

    Only hiccup, so far, is that I didn't expect the brass to be this tough. It's harder to cut than the 1095 of my AFSK!
    I'm gonna have some massive forearms and back muscles by the time I'm finished.
    A bench grinder/sander would make this go so much smoother.
     
  9. BighornBob

    BighornBob Scout

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    Bronze and Brass are the same thing are they not? Both copper/tin mix from a metalurgical point of view...
     
  10. BushMetal

    BushMetal Banned Member Banned

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    Are you sure its brass?

    Even work hardened it cuts like butter over here
     
  11. BushMetal

    BushMetal Banned Member Banned

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    No tin in brass, copper and zinc
     
  12. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Banned Member Banned

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    Brass is a combination of copper and zinc. Copper and tin is bronze. :)
     
  13. BighornBob

    BighornBob Scout

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    Hmmm, I guess me and Wikipedia are wrong on that score then... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze

    Oh well... ;)
     
  14. RABCarver

    RABCarver Tracker

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    Yeah, it's brass. I figured out the problem, though.
    The brass is so soft that the shavings are sticking in between the teeth because the pressure is molding them around the sides of the edge. Just need to get a blade with more aggressive teeth, probably.
     
  15. alukban

    alukban Guide

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    corrosion proof knives were made from an alloy of Cu and Be up to the turn of the century - used by sailors

    I always wondered how hard and effective they could be. I recall reading an article in Wooden Boat magazine waaaay back when about them...
     
  16. Jean

    Jean Guide

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    I believe Strider made some cu be knives for folks who only got to make one mistake.
     
  17. sneefy

    sneefy Tracker

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    But Wikipedia is always 100% accurate! :p

    Seriously, sometimes Wikipedia is awesome and accurate, sometimes I think it's written by imaginitive primates.

     
  18. x39

    x39 Hyperborean Supporter

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    I'd be inclined to sell the brass for scrap and use the money to buy some tool steel.
     
  19. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Banned Member Banned

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    If you actually read it you'll find that it actually validates what I said. ;) The only thing that it states is that the metal referred to under the name "commercial bronze" is more properly a brass alloy since it uses zinc as the primary alloying agent rather than tin. However, bronze itself uses tin as the primary alloying agent. Like the phosphor bronze used in knife pivot washers. :)
     
  20. Shnick

    Shnick Bushwhacker Bushclass II

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    Model speed boaters use Brass/Beryllium alloy props to propell their toys over the water at high speeds.
    [video=youtube;ljEaTyauQMU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljEaTyauQMU&amp;feature=related[/video]
    Problem with beryllium is its carcinogenic properties.
    And it's a little radioactive too...
    But you can get a razors edge with 2% Be and 98% brass...
     
  21. Fat Old Man

    Fat Old Man Perpetual Student Supporter

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    How are Henry brass rifle receivers hardened? They claim that they're as tough as steel.
     
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  22. Medicine maker

    Medicine maker Guide

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  23. JasonJ

    JasonJ Guide

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    You're on a roll today with the necro-threads. lol.

    That's a nice brass sword too.
     
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  24. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    I think I'd rather use the brass for pomels and finger guards .
     
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