Yes, I did it again… My own style of restoration for this incredibly cool butcher cleaver!
I found this beauty in a near by flea market, as always, and luckily I got it for super cheap as the seller was very happy to let it go being so heavy and inconvenient to carry around at flea markets.
Needless to say this project is pretty unconventional, but I guess most of you know I have a thing for odd looking cast handles by now!
Anyway, it’s always challenging to pull off a cast handle with lost foam and these scales were no exception at all! It’s also the reason why I haven’t posted on my regular day last week, making all over before casting takes a real long time. As you can see from the video the cast failed three times, one of these the tang shifted up and out of the foam pattern due to the weight of the blade, the other two fails were similar with uncomplete cast, one time just after the sprue and the other in the middle of the handle. The fourth time i decided to add another foam channel to the handle to act as a vent (but I also filled it with molten aluminum just in case) and it worked out very well.
I had a chance to remove a partially formed cast handle at 6:40 after one of the fails and I can assure it holds incredibly well. I think there is no way (other than a metal cutting band saw) to get the final scales off the handle.
This is a showpiece. This project is just for fun, I am aware it’s not a practical approach to handle making. I just want to entratain and hopefully inspire others to get hands dirty and make something even just for the fun of it!
I just started to list some of the stuff I use for my projects in this amazon storefront:
It’s affiliate marketing, so if you order something from here you’ll help the channel for free! Thank you!
Index of operation and materials:
0:42 Cut old pins with angle grinder. These are pinned over so no other way than cutting.
1:11 Electrolysis bath : water and sodium carbonate solution, parts connected to negative side and steel sacrificial anodes to positive sice of a DC power supply (car battery charger). 2-3 hrs at 10amp.
2:00 Scribe tang center line.
2:03 Drill more and larger holes for the aluminum to grab.
2:31 High density foam (used for home insulation).
2:39 Hot wire foam cutter machine.
3:10 Glue foam scales with hot glue.
3:40 Regular white plaster mixed with water and brushed on foam to help with cast quality.
4:16 Fine sand for the lost foam mold (I’m using burned out petrobond sand but any fine and dry sand would work).
4:39 Molten aluminum.
4:52 Adding sodium carbonate as degassing agent and "lite salt" (a mix of potasium cloride and sodium cloride) as flux.
8:22 Cut sprue with metal cutting bandsaw.
9:04 A lot of rasp work… A lot! Aluminum is so abrasion resistant.
9:40 Handle shape is pretty sharp to accentuate the contrast between old blade and new handle.
10:18 Hand sanding from 80 to 1200 grit.
10:42 Polish with fine polishing compound on cotton wheel.
10:57 Cold blue on the tang to get even more contrast between steel and aluminum.
11:24 Re-grind bevels and sharpen on 2x72 belt grinder.
11:50 Edge strop on leather with fine polishing compound.
Thanks a lot for watching, I hope you liked the video!
Suggestions and comments are always welcome.
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