Steel

Froglube saved my butt. Or at least my knife.

I have mentioned my fondness for Froglube CLP in the past. I haven’t bothered to do a controlled test of the stuff for TTAK, because it has been documented so thoroughly here. I just have anecdotal evidence myself, and this latest case is about as strong of an endorsement I can give.

A couple of weeks back I left my Caleb White Penance on my waders which were in turn left in the back of my truck after use (under a toneau cover) until a few days ago. When I discovered that I had neglected to remove them I had a brief moment of panic when I noticed the Penance clipped to the belt. There was rust on the screws of the sheath, and a little on the handle. I cringed as I drew it from the sheath.

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Seeing the rust on painted screws gave me a moment of panic

 This situation was a potential disaster as the Penance’s blade is 1095 carbon steel. As Will Woods has described in detail, the South can be hard on steel. Especially if you put it up wet. I had treated the blade with Froglube paste the week prior, but I had wiped the blade before cutting a tomato at lunch.

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uh-oh

Turns out I needn’t have worried. I had taken the extra step of heating the blade so the CLP was drawn into the blade as it cooled. The Froglube was in the pores of the steel, even after the surface is wiped.

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Turns out the blade itself wasn’t too bad.

There was a bit of minor surface corrosion, and I really do mean minor. The worst was actually the spot I had seen on the handle, which makes sense as I hadn’t applied much CLP for the simple reason that I didn’t want to make the grip slippery.

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Tormek honing paste can make an excellent low-abrasive polish

I was able to clean all signs of corrosion from the blade, and all but the most minor of blemishes to the exposed steel tang. I did this with a piece of aluminum foil and Tormek honing paste. This paste is impregnated with fine grit and is meant to be used on the leather honing wheel of a Tormek Sharpening System. It works great as a low-abrasive steel cleaner as well.

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Good as new. I need to rebuild the patina though

Of course I removed the patina I had been cultivating, but the blade’s beautiful hamon line remained vivid. It’ll come back with use.

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A stronger abrasive would remove the staining but also runs the risk of scratching the handle. I am cool with the miniscule marks for now.

I cannot speak highly enough of Froglube. It has my highest (and completely uncompensated) endorsement. The stuff does an outstanding job of protecting my tools, from knives to my tablesaw.

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For best Froglub results, warm the steel first.


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Warm, then wipe on the paste. It should liquefy and soak into the pores of the steel.

It also does a great job cleaning and protecting firearms by the way.

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Sweet knife.. Review coming soon.

I am working on the full review of the Penance this week, looking like I will be publishing it on Cyber Monday.

Stay tuned.

Discussion

4 responses to ‘Froglube saved my butt. Or at least my knife.

    • A hamon line is created in the blade when the steel has been differentially heat treated. The edge of the blade is harder than the spine and the hamon shows where the softer part of the steel meets the harder part of the steel. The reason why there is a line is that there are two phases of the same steel butting up against each other. The harder part of the steel has been turned to martensite (a harder phase) when the steel is quenched faster on the edge than the spine and the spine is left as austenite (a softer phase). I could be leaving out some detail, so someone please correct me if you see something I missed.

      The reason for doing a differential heat treat is that the harder part of the steel is more brittle, but keeps a better edge, that brittle edge is supported (i.e. shock absorbed) by the softer steel in the spine. So you get a strong tang on the knife that can absorb impacts (makes it tough) and your knife’s edge lasts longer.

      • Only detail you missed was that it is made by coating the spine with something, traditionally clay, that will insulate the covered portion of the blade and keep it at a cooler temperature during heat treat.

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