Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Scotland
    Age
    37
    Posts
    800
    Rep Power
    8

    Leaf Springs into blades

    I had heard that leaf springs were good steel to make blades out of and today I managed to get a hold of some.

    Now my question is how do I work the steel? Do I need to anneal it grind my pattern out, harden it then temper?

    Any advice would be welcome.

    Oh the springs are from a 10 year old Toyota Hilux, don't know if this makes any difference?
    Glory is the reward of valor

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Birmingham
    Age
    35
    Posts
    6,996
    Rep Power
    17

    Re: Leaf Springs into blades

    Yes leaf springs should generally make pretty decent knife steel. If you're going the stock removal route then you'll almost certainly need to anneal first, springs won't be very very hard but it will be much easier to work them annealed.

    One thing to watch is that used springs can sometimes contain micro cracks, particularly around stress raisers like holes and corners.

  3. #3
    Maker
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Buckinghamshire
    Posts
    5,234
    Rep Power
    21

    Re: Leaf Springs into blades

    Leaf spring make great knives. Anneal them best you can but they are pretty thick and will need lots of ginding. Its best to forge them if you can. I would not use springs that were cracked or damaged, I used ones from a van parts supplier. Any micro cracks would show them selves in forging I think.
    Beautiful things don't ask for attention.
    http://farquharforge.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Suffolk
    Age
    23
    Posts
    574
    Rep Power
    8

    Re: Leaf Springs into blades

    I think *most* leaf springs make good blades, I'd try hardening a bit of it before making a knife.
    Alex
    With all the advancements in modern tailoring, there is simply no need to wear braces

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Scotland
    Age
    37
    Posts
    800
    Rep Power
    8

    Re: Leaf Springs into blades

    Plan is to anneal them and hammer the thicker ends out a bit. Cut out my knife patterns and grind them until all they need is a final polish/sharpen. Heat back up to critical temperature, quench in water. Then heat in an oven at 220 degrees for 30mins then quench in motor oil.

    That sound reasonable?
    Glory is the reward of valor

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    USA
    Age
    62
    Posts
    364
    Rep Power
    7

    Re: Leaf Springs into blades

    I made my very first knife from a leaf spring about a week ago. I don't have a forge yet, so I just ground it hard, then hoped it would hold an edge afterward. I kept dipping it in a bucket of water while I was grinding it to keep it from getting too hot. I did all this partly because of my craving to make a knife, and partly because it was a gift for a friend who overcame enormous odds to graduate from med school. Just one little tip of the hat to my buddy -- he was enrolled in St. George in Grenada, and along about his 2nd year Grenada got hit by a hurricane which destroyed a sizable chunk of St. George. The school transferred med students into other schools, and my friend had to transfer to someplace in NY City temporarily, then to another school to finish his education. He lost substantial credits along the way, and consequently it took him about three extra years or so just to finish his M.D. I was SO proud of him. I had just been reading these forums excitedly, so I grabbed a chunk of leaf spring and started grinding away to see if I could make a graduation present for him. During the process, I discovered that among my inheritance from my father was a sizable array of tools good for knife-making, including three good vises, a power sander, three different power grinders, a sander / polisher, and I could not believe my luck. There's also a large cache of American walnut that looks good for making scales.

    Well, I jumped in feet first and went by luck, inspiration, and the seat of my pants. After a week or so I had something that would pass for a knife. I made every conceivable mistake a beginner could make. For starters, I did not grind the tang flat, and so I had huge gaps between the tang and scales. I considered molding micarta around the tang for a close fit, but I liked the walnut so well I finally took the easy way and used (shudder) wood filler. Wonder of wonders, the grain of the knife happened to be arranged in such a way that the filler appeared to be just one more layer of woodgrain.

    The next huge mistake a made was starting the edge way too far back. That left me too little space to clean up the plunge line (I think I'm using the terms correctly here!), and no ricasso. I tried to clean it up as best I could using 60 grit sandpaper wrapped around a nail, then a dremel. Compared to the work you masters do here it looked like flaming h---, but it took so much work, that at the end I felt like it symbolized the hard & rugged work my friend did keeping his nose to the grindstone in school til he was finished. I cut & stitched a sheath from some leather I had on hand. Then I build a little wooden box for it, making many more mistakes and learning in the process.

    All in all, I had more fun than I've had since I was young enough to chase girls. The upside is that unlike chasing girls, once everything was over and done with, I had something to show for it that didn't keep me awake at night.







    Last edited by Polite_Yank; 10-06-08 at 03:27 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    USA
    Age
    62
    Posts
    364
    Rep Power
    7

    Re: Leaf Springs into blades

    Incidentally, the guy at knives.com says leaf spring is 5160.

    http://www.knives.com/steel.html

  8. #8
    VIP Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    16,063
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    37

    Re: Leaf Springs into blades

    Toyota springs are SUP3, 6, or 9...almost like 5160..

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Alabama
    Age
    46
    Posts
    1,227
    Rep Power
    14

    Re: Leaf Springs into blades

    I shy away from used springs these days, micro-cracks are a baaaaaad thing to find in a finished knife. Not all springs are 5160. It's always a good idea to quench a piece and see if it will break when using unknown steel, but I haven't found a spring that would not harden in oil yet. Maybe not as hard as w2 or 1095, but hard.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Suffolk/Cambs border
    Age
    57
    Posts
    966
    Rep Power
    8

    Re: Leaf Springs into blades

    I was given a late '60's landrover leaf spring and I managed to make 4 good blades from it. It represents a lot of work though just to get the steel into shape. I cut it in half with an angle grinder, annealed and straightened each half. I then cut each half lengthways to end up with 4 knive sized bites. I then cleaned back to clean metal with the grinder. Then I started on the first blade. There is a lot of material to remove because they are thick.

    Be warned though. Both Colin (KC) and Ian (Longstrider) were caught out with a piece of spring that wouldn't harden. It was as soft as a piece of plasticene. So check befor you spend hours crafting a blade.

    David
    Careful with that axe Eugene.

  11. #11
    Maker
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Buckinghamshire
    Posts
    5,234
    Rep Power
    21

    Re: Leaf Springs into blades

    With any unknown steel, test it. Chop a wee bit off get it red and quench it if its thin try to snap it. If you have a whole leaf spring you will have lots of steel to play with and makes lots of knives with. I have used srpings lots for over 5 years now and have yet to find a micro fracture or the like nor have any snapped in service.

    here is a spring knife I made a while back
    http://www.britishblades.com/forums/...ad.php?t=36237
    Last edited by Lord Farquhar; 10-06-08 at 11:23 PM.
    Beautiful things don't ask for attention.
    http://farquharforge.com

 

 

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •