Today's thought

Router bits don't last forever, so don't try to keep them forever.
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DJ Delorie wrote:

Especially broken ones. Why is that still rolling around in my drawer? Nicer (unbroken) ones may be worth sharpening, however.
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I was thinking more of dull ones that have been sharpened too many times, and burn rather than cut through the wood.
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There's a head from a Callaway golf driver on my bookshelf, with the shattered remains of a fancy graphite shaft attached loosely to it. A lesson that loaning certain items to sons comes at a potential cost.
A bent/broken router bit might have a teaching moment attached, no?
Patriarch
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I was trying to get people to realize that router bits are not so much "tools" as they are "consumables" - they have a finite life span, then you replace them. Like sandpaper, you don't keep them forever. So my plan is to go through my inventory and make a list of the bits that are used enough that they should be replaced with new ones, and replace them next time I go to the tool store.
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OK. But my sharpening guy can sharpen the ones that are worth doing. These days, most of mine are suffering from being ignored.
Patriarch
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I always kind of wondered:
Would a blacksmith be able to utilise any of the steel in the router bits? I mean, it seems like it's pretty high grade stuff, and I know some blacksmiths use chainsaw blades to make knives.
Anyone know?
-Nathan
Andy wrote:

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??? Maybe I need a little more coffee... but I'm having a *real* hard time imagining how you could turn a chainsaw blade into a knife. Do you mean chainsaw *bars* ?
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Sorry to seem like I posted and ran. I had a busy weekend and didn't get much time in front of a computer.
To turn a chainsaw blade into a knife, you do it the way you'd make any knife out of raw stock: Heat the hell out of it then beat it into submission.
Here's a link to a photo of someone's work in turning a chainsaw blade into a knife: http://www.juliusmojzis.com/damaskove_noze/damask8.html
A simple Google search will turn up more (such as http://www.artistblacksmith.com/courses.htm look for "pattern welding"). It's really an interesting topic. Basically the different metals in the blade (just like on a normal carbide tipped blade) cause different patterns to emerge in the metal when it's folded over and over, and eventually you can forge it into a shape, grind it clean, then give it a bit of an acid wash, and you've got a "damascus" blade.
Blacksmithing is a hobby I want to pick up, eventually, so I study it sort of how I study Woodworking. I have as much respect for the artists working in metal as I do those in wood.
-Nathan
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I gotta say, on some of those knives I am not sure that the handle would be the end that you would want to hold on to. ;~)
Cool site.
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I was thinking the same thing. This stuff is obviously "knife art".
I am curious to the actual number of hours it takes to convert a big mass of chain saw chain into one of these "knives". It can't be that different than what was done in the old days to make a knife in terms of fire and hammer blows.
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Lee Michaels wrote:

Oh, don't be misled... they're bona fide functional blades. There's a huge cottage industry of people making specialised "pattern welded" (aka "damascus") blades for folks. It's art, yes, but it is as much a true knife as it is a piece of art. If I'd just linked some random pattern welded blade photos, it would be harder to believe. :-)
Time wise, I don't know for sure. I imagine the benefit of using a chainsaw blade over something else is that they're fairly cheap, easy to obtain, and everything's already together.
The funny thing is that metal working (especially bladesmithing) is very similar to woodworking in that people seriously underestimate the value of a finished piece.
-Nathan
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Some of them are "functional" knives, some of them are strictly art with multiple sharp edges. The blade on some would be the safer end to hold on to and those are not functional. Eithery way they all are pretty cool knives.

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You almost had me going there for a minute. :)
--
When the game is over, the pawn and the king are returned to the same box.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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