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Steel

Chisels, Drawknives & Froes

For our chisel and drawknife blades we use 9260 spring steel. This steel consists of 2% of silicon, 1 % of Manganese and it has it has 0.6% of Carbon in it. Silicon is for durability and helps the tool hold its sharp edge for longer. Manganese increases tensile strength and carbon allows the tool to take a keen edge. After careful hardening, tempering and annealing  it reaches the excellent hardness of Rockwell 59-60 (HRC). 

Axes & Adzes 

We laminate all our axe and adze blades. For the cutting edge we use Bohler K460 high carbon (0.95% of carbon) alloyed tool steel. K460 is an oil hardening tool steel for use in applications requiring a good combination of hardness, toughness, and wear resistance. The additional nickel contained in this grade produces an alloy with greater toughness than the standard oil hardening types. For the axe head we use low carbon steel consisting 0.05 – 0.15% of carbon. After annealing and tempering axes in oil and water the blade reaches the hardness of Rockwell 58-59 (HRC).

Kitchen knives

For our kitchen knives we use Swedish powder metalurgy Elmax steel and cutlery grade Japanese Steel VG-10 (V金10号). All of our knives reach overall hardness of Rockwell 61-62 (HRC) and are being cryo tempered.

Wildlife knives

For our wildlife knives Swedish powder metalurgy Super Clean Elmax steel, German Silver Steel (Bohler K510), Japanese Super Steel ZDP-189 (containg 3% of Carbon, hardended to HRC67) and our own forged 256 Layer Damascus steel made of 1095 and 15N20 high carbon steels.

 

 

Wood

For the handles of all our woodworking tools and knives we use locally harvested and kiln dried (to 7% of moisture) elm. 

Seeking the strongest wood for tool handles our ancestors found elm tree to be the best choice hundreds of years ago. Elm was valued for its interlocking grain and consequent resistance to splitting. Elm found significant use in wagon wheel hubs, chair seats and coffins. Elm bends well and distorts easily making it quite pliant. Elms are especially strong in tension compared to compression. The long, straight, trunks were favoured as a source of timber for keels in ship construction. 

Elm is also prized by bowyers. Many of the ancient bows found in Europe are made of elm. During the Middle Ages elm was used to make longbows if yew was unavailable.

Gerald of Wales, speaking of the bows used by the Welsh men of Gwent, says:

"They are made neither of horn, ash nor yew, but of elm; ugly unfinished-looking weapons, but astonishingly stiff, large and strong, and equally capable of use for long or short shooting."

Gerald of Wales (c. 1146 – c. 1223)

Elm wood is resistant to decay when permanently wet, and hollowed trunks were widely used as water pipes during the medieval period in Europe. Elm was used for piers in the construction of the original London Bridge.

Now elm is the material most used in Northern Europe for the handles of woodworking tools and axes.

For our knife handles we use highest quality Arctic curly birch from far north of Lapland. It is thermo-treated and is dark brown. We use also Turkish walnut burl stocks to make the handles. So does we use elk antler, camel bone and silver, brass and titanium in our wildlife knife handles.

 

Leather

For all of our blade sheaths we use local high quality cow hide. For toning the leather we use professional horse saddle tan oil dye, and Carnauba palm leaf wax as the finishing on the leather. For water resistance and polishing we traditionally cover our sheaths with warm beeswax. For joinery we use antique brass single cap rivets, and for hand stitching, natural 4 cord linen thread. The leather is 3.6-3.8 mm thick, so it provides for long term use, as the blades are razor sharp.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ordering is opened for wildlife knives, timber framing tools, longbows, kitchen tools, drawknives & froes, leather belts.

FIND OUT MORE

From January 2017 John Neeman Tools has become a guild of northern master craftsmen - NORTHMEN

It is the revival of a medieval tradition.
It is our dedication to craftsmanship.

Revive the guild!

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