Leaf Spring Tracker

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Wolfcri, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. Wolfcri

    Wolfcri Jim Supporter Bushclass I

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    I started making a tracker out of a leaf spring about 15 years ago, maybe more, but stopped because I didn't have the necessary tools or knowledge at the time. I had used a grinder to get the rough shape (which I am changing now anyway). The leaf spring sat in a closet until I found it recently and decided to finish it.

    I started by annealing it in a charcoal grill. Yesterday I went after it with some files. This is my progress so far.


    thumbnail_IMG_5043.jpg thumbnail_IMG_5044.jpg
     
  2. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Looks like a good start
     
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  3. Traditionalist

    Traditionalist Guide

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    That's coming along nicely. What's going on with the port side of the blade.............the crescent shaped grind?
     
  4. Mtnfolk Mike

    Mtnfolk Mike Bushmaster

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    i like it..
     
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  5. lodge camper

    lodge camper Supporter Supporter

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    cool you got back to it after so long. you should get real crazy and build forge to make more.
     
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  6. Wolfcri

    Wolfcri Jim Supporter Bushclass I

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    The leaf had that feature when I bought it. I think it may have been where the leaf pack mounted to the axle or something. I am going to leave it there though because I think it adds character. Also, the leaf is about 0.250" thick from the handle up to that curve shaped ridge. Then the thickness goes up to about 0.275" which adds some heft to the chopping portion of the blade.

    I took a closer picture of the weird feature and of the shaping I did today.


    thumbnail_IMG_5047.jpg thumbnail_IMG_5046.jpg
     
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  7. tobiism

    tobiism Guide

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    Loving it so far!
     
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  8. ClutteredShop

    ClutteredShop Guide

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    Some leaf springs I've worked with had a step-like "feature" that was a wear-mark from where the next-shorter leaf in the bundle rubbed as the leaves flexed.
     
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  9. Traditionalist

    Traditionalist Guide

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    Thanks for the answers Wolfcri. I think you're well on your way to a great Tracker.

    If I didn't have so many irons in the fire already, I'd love to tackle a project like this. Looking forward to watching the project unfold. :)
     
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  10. boisdarc

    boisdarc Scout

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    Great project. I sometimes see that same mark on some of the made in either Thailand or maybe made in Australia machetes. I really can't remember. And it doesn't appear to have any negative traits from the mark. During H.T./temper, sometimes irregularities can bite you on the but,as in help induce cracks.
     
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  11. womper

    womper Scout

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    Awesomeness! Well done!
     
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  12. Wolfcri

    Wolfcri Jim Supporter Bushclass I

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    I am hoping I don't run into that. Based on the location of the irregularity... Well, I would end up with a pretty short knife.
     
  13. Wolfcri

    Wolfcri Jim Supporter Bushclass I

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    I got the shaping done today. Now I just need to cook it again.



    IMG_5051.JPG IMG_5053.JPG IMG_5054.JPG IMG_5055.JPG
     
  14. chiefcrunchy

    chiefcrunchy Scout

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    Very nice, I like the look you've gotten so far, and the idea of saving $300 is appealing. I just found some old broken leaf springs in a shed at work. Clearly they can't be used as springs anymore. So I think I found another project for the fall.
     
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  15. Traditionalist

    Traditionalist Guide

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    That's coming along very nicely Wolfcri. You're rekindling my urge to try my hand at knife making. Maybe this winter.......
     
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  16. Wolfcri

    Wolfcri Jim Supporter Bushclass I

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    The knife came back from heat treat today (5160 profile hardening with oil quench and cryo -300f treat). The blade ended up testing out to 57-58RC.

    IMG_5204.JPG

    I got started on the handle, which will be a mule tape wrap with epoxy, and then spent some time working on the edge(s). Everything is convex. The 1/4 round and the large curved section of the blade both shave and push cut newsprint already. Two sections of the straight blade do too but I have a low spot in the center that still has to be sharpened out. That area is sharp but noticeably less than the rest. I had planned on getting the straight blade started on my water stones but didn't realize they were all too wide. Here's a pic of the progress so far with a couple of it's first curls.


    image1.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  17. ArmyMacE

    ArmyMacE Husband, Father, Skills Practitioner

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    Very nicely done! Makes me want to get back in the barn and start working on mine. Not going to though at 103 F today.
     
  18. Ratchety

    Ratchety Scout

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    Awesome results so far. The mule tape surprised me, because I was wondering if you were going to add another hole for scale attachment. Did you intend for the Mule tape to have a dual role, for emergency cordage? Looks great either way.
     
  19. chris67

    chris67 Guide

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    looks really good so far
     
  20. Wolfcri

    Wolfcri Jim Supporter Bushclass I

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    I am sure yet. I wanted to do something original that involved a wrap with epoxy and I already had the mule tape so I thought I would do a test wrap. It came out well so I am thinking this may be it. My other option was bank line. I could see using that without epoxy because the tar might hold everything in place well. In that case I could use it as emergency cordage.

    The mule tape has 4 folds along the handle on either side under the spiral wrap to give more thickness to the grip. I have big hands so this was important for me. The contour came out surprisingly comfortable. The only option I want to explore before I epoxy the grip is perhaps an over-wrap with bank line and no epoxy. That would provide a LOT of bank line and the 6+ feet of mule tape all as emergency cordage.

    The worst part will be... if I like the bank line over mule tape option the best, I will want to take the whole thing off and re-wrap it with some goodies inside. Sail needle, needle & thread, 1/8" ferro rod, some mono & hooks...
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  21. Ratchety

    Ratchety Scout

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    Yeah, I can imagine that the mule tape would be very comfy, and original it is for sure.
    I look forward to your sheath build next... in case you don't already have enough things to do! LOL
     
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  22. tobiism

    tobiism Guide

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    oh man, great job!!! Looks like an excellent user!!! You really nailed the quarter round and I know how hard those are to grind in!!!
     
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  23. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Wow, that turned out great!
     
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  24. Wolfcri

    Wolfcri Jim Supporter Bushclass I

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    Recognize that little strop? It came in handy!
     
  25. Subdood

    Subdood Ex-bubblehead Bushclass I

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    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  26. Wolfcri

    Wolfcri Jim Supporter Bushclass I

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    I ended up wrapping the handle with bank line over the mule tape and I love the texture. I stained the mule tape with rust from some steel wool and finished the sharpening. Then I took it out for a little test drive. It was a complete downpour, on and off, for the better part of an hour. Me and the tracker both got soaked and that's when I realized how well the bank line worked for grip. This is my first tracker and so far I am very impressed with the capabilities. Getting a one stick fire started in the rain was easier than usual because of the tracker's ability to shave off ultra thin curls on the pull stroke. Dry tinder was otherwise not available. More pics in the tracker action pics thread.


    IMG_5236.JPG

    IMG_5243.JPG
     

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  27. Ratchety

    Ratchety Scout

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    That turned out really well. Looks like your efforts really payed off, and now you can reap the rewards. That is a really cool blade, congratulations Wolfcri.
     
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  28. GreenFrog

    GreenFrog In the Forest Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass III

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    bumping some excellent threads to keep the forum focused on bushcraft
     
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  29. AlexD

    AlexD Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks for bumping, I missed this thread the first time around and it is a great read.

    Alex
     
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  30. pellegrino

    pellegrino Much to learn... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Nice work, Wolfcri! That turned out excellently.
     
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  31. Caleb Cox

    Caleb Cox Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    I had missed it too. Well done! She’s a beaut and a user!
     
  32. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter

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    Nice!
     
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