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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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  #1  
Old 10-07-2011, 08:40 AM
bveatch bveatch is offline
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Question Pins?

When looking at pins what are the things to watch out for? I have friends in the military so I need durable, functional, and longevity. I would also like it if I had ways to make them interesting when viewed on the knife itself. Ideas?
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:07 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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When trying for "durable, functional, and longevity" pins alone may not be the best choice. Pins are just straight rods so if enough torque or impact is applied to the handle even a glued pin can break loose and start to come out. For this reason, pins are often peined so that they can't slip out easily. But, if a pin can be peined that means its soft and could yield to shear pressure on the handle. So, larger pins are better for your requirements than smaller pins, harder pins better than soft pins. Adding a bolt or two to the handle will hold the scales against the handle, the hard pins will resist shear pressure. There are fancy decorative pins but they are not strong in the military sense and cannot be peined.

Some people use tubing instead of pins. Tubing can be flared and is generally larger diameter than most pins....


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Old 10-07-2011, 09:31 AM
bveatch bveatch is offline
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Awesome! Is there a type of tubing more suited to what I am talking about? Brass, soft. Stainless? ...
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:00 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Tubing would have to be soft enough to be flared and the larger the diameter the stronger it would be. Thick walls would be better than thin as long as it could still be flared. Most tubing is brass or copper but if you can find suitable stainless that could work. You'll just have to see what your local hardware stores have to offer and start experimenting ....


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Old 10-07-2011, 10:24 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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If you want the best mechanical attachment of scales I would go with some form of rivet. Cutlers rivets are good but they limit the thickness of the scale material and you have to watch the sanding of the handles that you do after installing them or you will remove the head. Loveless and Corby bolts give a better range of thickness of scales and the amount of the head that can be ground away. They also use threads for attachment, which can be reinforced with Loc-Tite or JB Weld. Cutlers rivets rely on friction to hold them together.

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Old 10-07-2011, 10:27 AM
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Eli Jensen Eli Jensen is offline
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It is more difficult peening larger diameter pins, but a lot of people dont know you can anneal brass. You can get away with peening larger diameter brass pins, say 3/16" when peened. Interestingly enough, its the same process as hardening steel. Red hot, quench. Give the handle material a slight chamfer before installing the pins, peen them in.
the brass will work harden under peening, otherwise it will re-harden over an hour naturally. I can't imagine 3/16" brass pins will give under sheer pressure.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:32 PM
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I have never heard of brass re-hardening naturally. Please explain.
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:28 PM
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Eli Jensen Eli Jensen is offline
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Well I'm certainly not an expert, but when non-ferrous metals are annealed, "the crystal arrangement contains irregularities called vacancies. These facilitate crystal movement and so contribute to malleability." "Eventually crystals will realighn themselves into an organized lattice" Quoted from Complete Metalsmith Student Edition 2004.

I'm not sure if the second sentence means that eventually a work hardened piece will become less hard or if an annealed piece will become hard. In my jewelry class they told us an annealed piece would reharden on its own over time. I've also found that work hardened brass is a bit stiffer than when I buy it, which itself is not annealed.
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:51 PM
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Thanks. That makes some sense in that jewelry, especially rings, seems to occassionally break for no apparent reason. I do not think brass would reharden after a mere hour though. Going by your quote, it sounds more like the metals would soften, if this natural process contributes to malleability though. Very interesting. Something to think about. Thanks again Cpt-jens.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:52 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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You have the case where retained austinite in steel will spontaniously convert to untempered martensite when exposed to some stress, like the shock of chopping. As far as brass goes, I really haven't read much about it's metallurgy to comment.

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Old 10-07-2011, 08:48 PM
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If you guys have never annealed brass before, seriously try it! I never would have known you could if I hadn't taken that class. After it's annealed, its as soft as solder!
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Old 10-08-2011, 06:56 AM
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I have annealed many pounds of brass, but never knew of it re-hardening before. Not doubting what you say. I think you may be right. I would add that in annealing brass, the heat should be kept to a dull red or the zinc will begin to separate from the solution, and that it isn't really necessary to quench brass, unless you are in a hurry to get it cool. It cools just as soft either way.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:01 PM
bveatch bveatch is offline
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NOW that is some infromation. I love this site because of conversations like this. I appreciate that everyone got involved as they did. I would ask another question, I have been looking through some of my tactical knives and noticed the use of screws. Can any of you give me some insight on the practicality and uses of this method? Also I am wondering how I can produce knives with the pommel making a "Striking Surface"? (I need to obviously learn the anatomy of knives, HA ha)
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:21 PM
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Do you want a hammer/weapon pommel, I assume? Hidden tang threaded for a steel pommel to screw down on is one way.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:14 PM
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Eli Jensen Eli Jensen is offline
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Hmm I have never had a problem with heating brass very bright. I only do it long enough to get bright and then quench. I have had brass burn when kept very hot for a longer period of time, which may have been what you described. I always quench because its easy and I always want to work on it pronto. I am not sure about it rehardening, but plan on doing some quick experiments to find out.

As far as screws go, I dont use them but am preferential to corby's. I don't think I will ever use brass through, because if you have to motivate it, if you know what i mean, the male part is really weak.
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