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Username Post: New to this...couple questions        (Topic#922001)
04-18-12 11:02.06 - Post#2462861    

I have lurked for a while and finally decided to try to learn to forge a blade after my 16 year old daughter asked if I would help her make her own knife. She and I took a trip to Gatlinburg last week where she was able to pound out her first knife (hoseshoe metal) at the blacksmith shop beside Smokey Mountain Knifeworks.

When we got home, a friend and I made a anvil from 1/2" thick, 8" Ibeam, capped the ends with 1/2"steel and welded a piece of 2.5" round stock. weighs about 100lbs and I am trying to find a piece of hardened steel to weld to the top. Hopefully it will work and only cost time as the materials was already there.

We made two forges. The first is a truck brake drum with 2" collar, air holes drilled into a circular saw blade, black pipe, and a hair dryer attached to a shop vac hose.

The second forge is 1/4" by 5" shop steel made into a 5x19x5 box with an air chamber welded on the bottom, with flage...air holes drilled into the bottom of the box....will attach to existing black pipe air system.

Both forges get extremely hot and we are using coal we found along the rail road tracks, we both rough chucks and biscuit coal. I have a 1.5 and 2 lb hammer and have just bought 4 sets of antique tongs from ebay.

I'm sorry for the long post..just wanted to give you an idea where I am at.

Please critique my equipment...just built from youtube videos and self ideas....hope it will work as I dont want to put too much money into it until I know my daughter will continue to have interest..although I am now very interested.

Can anyone knowledgable give me a starter steel type to buy...not too expensive as I know I will screw up a lot. I have a good number of rr spikes to beat on but I have read they are not good material for blades. I also have old approx 1" steel cable. and some steel cutting band saw blades..the kind used to cut I beams.

I am have been reading on here for hours...tons of info! I am trying to find an info source as beginning forging techniques, hardening, shapening....basically blade making for dummies section.

I will try to post a couple pics of what i have got so far.
Any help, ideas, critiques are very welcome.




Master Member KnifeNut!
04-25-12 03:48.53 - Post#2464963    

    In response to RONB

May I recommend a book by Wayne Goddard called “$50 Knife Shop”. This book gives a great overview on basic knife forging, and common steels to use. All with just basic tools mind you. A true DIY knife forging manual. Everything you will need to know on getting a functional knife up and running from scratch. Written in a very easy to understand format, in comparison to most knife forging literature.

Good luck in your endeavors.
CONFIDENCE: Is that feeling you have before you fully understand the situation.

Master Member KnifeNut!
04-27-12 02:06.39 - Post#2465627    

    In response to RONB

Good recommendation on the book. As for steel, if you can find old US made files very cheap, they are mostly forge worthy. I picked up a bag full for a dollar at a old tool section of an antique store. They can be found for 25 cents at garage sales etc.

After you use a few and get ready to step up, I use 1070, 1095 and 5160 steels that I buy from jantz or other online supply house.

Once you get good enough so that you are confident that you can make a knife, you really want to use known steel so all your work isn't lost in an iffy heat treatment!

It is a fun hobby! As far as your equipment, looks like you have a good start. I would add a couple of belt grinders, a heat treat tank and an oven for tempering although you can temper in the forge if you have good fire control, a good eye and patience.

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