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  3. Personally i start with 1/4 flat bar and forge to shape this is only because it is the thinnest barstock sold by my employer on the grades of toolsteel i work in. ( that i putchase at a discount) forging dose allow us to make our parent bar out of almost anything. Some toolsteel only comes in rounds from my supplier so i will forge to a size i need from round. i caint offer any ruel or math on the subject other than start size should probably be around 110-120% of your desired finished size ( forged ) by volume. This should give plenty allowence for grinding. Du
  4. Yep. Those eyes are definitely focused on something!
  5. ausfire

    scrap owl

    Well, an extensive scrap pile is certainly handy - makes for lots of choices. I have a good imagination and lots of scrap but there are times I wish I were a better welder.
  6. ausfire

    What did you do in the shop today?

    @ Jennifer. Thanks for the info on cleaning stainless. Appreciate your comments.
  7. Hello all. I have read through every word of all the knife making classes, searched the forum using the actual search function, and gone through every page & thread in the knifemaking topic only to come up empty handed. The only discussions I found regarding steal type and choice do not involve SIZE of the initial bar in relationship to the end product, only using weight - which doesn’t make sense to me until after the project is finished. The question I am trying to answer is one I’m hoping their might be a rule of thumb for, or some other derivative means in order to “know” what size steal to start with. Before I go on, yes...I absolutely realize that design and desired size will help determine what size (and/or size & shape) to use...just to be clear. Also, I don’t want projects to be done only on abrasives...I want to actually forge a blade out of larger steal, I’m just not sure how to pick the right SIZE stock. For the purposes of this conversation, I’d like to offer two specific scenarios, as having read this forum long enough I know that very little insight can be offered without details. For both scenarios, let’s say the steal is 108X, and each blade will have approximately the same function, diverging really only in size, and simple imperfections in design reproduction. Scenario A] The finished product will be a clip point Bowie w/ full tang, likely 3/16 thick at its thickest, with a blade between 4-6” long x 2-2.75” wide (or thereabouts). All proportions of the clip point design are “normal,” with no major prounounced recurve. Guard will be assembled of secondary metal. Scenario B] Basically the same knife in the earlier scenario but with the following dimensions: thickness will be a full 1/4” - 5/16”, blade length will be between 8-10”. These are just examples that I’m hoping to get a better idea how to “know” what i need without running volumetric calculations to determine need, and learning how to recall that knowledge and apply it to different sizes and designs. Another issue I’m curious about when thinking about what steal to start with, is there a consensus among bladesmiths about initial thickness ratio to finished result thickness, as it pertains to what the initial steal thickness is? And by that I mean, if I want a blade that is 3/16” thick upon completion, do some folks recommend buying a 3/16” bar and forging only the edge, tip, point, ricasso, choil, tang, etc, then just heating to temp, and quenching? To me this doesn’t “feel” like fully forging a blade, but that’s an opinion NOT for this thread. I hope this long-winded missive is clear and concise as to what I’m asking & hoping to learn, and again, please know that I do recognize the numerous variables...just asking if there is a “bladesmith trick” to knowing size. Thank you, Mike
  8. dickb


    Here's another way of doing a very similar job, but technically it is not an inlay. First cut the design into the work, then heat the work to a dull red and apply some flux (borax, borax acid combination, or any forge welding flux) and then place some small scraps of copper or brass over the carved design, reheat and reflux and bring the whole thing up to heat. You will see the brass or copper liquefy and flow filling the carving. When it cools you can file or grind it flat until the brass or copper that was proud of (above) the carved image is removed. Whatever flowed into the carved image will be brazed to the underlying steel. Brass melts at around 1700 degrees and copper melts at around 1900 degrees F. Both well within the temperature for forging steel . I have used brass from rifle cartridges and it works and looks very nice. It's pretty easy and should work every time, but It would be a good idea to practice on a few pieces of scrap
  9. Lou L

    It followed me home

    In that case my shop is loaded with antiques. I should get an estate sales guy in there!
  10. MotoMike

    first hammer -welding slag hammer

    I agree. once I got to drawing it out, I thought I could just cut it off and make it shorter, but in the end decided to leave it.
  11. Fatfudd

    A new anvil

    MC I'm afraid they were made by Arm and Hammer a Competitor to Trenton. To be clear Arm and Hammer anvils were made by Columbus anvil and forging Co. and Trenton anvils were made by Columbus Forge and Iron Co.
  12. LukeDM

    first hammer -welding slag hammer

    Looks like a good first hammer! I know you'll be proud every time you use it. The beak of it looks a little long compared to most other welding hammers, but I can see where it would come in handy for some welds.
  13. SFC Snuffy

    Wood Dog or Log Dog Specs

    Doesn't everything? Beat FIF, that is.
  14. Daswulf

    "Charcoal," she retorted

    Awesome. Nice looking charcoal. Now I'm wanting to make one like that. The "burn barrel with blower then snuffing out" I use is no where efficient like that.
  15. Daswulf

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Just want to say, lots of nice work I'm seeing here, even if I'm a bit busy to comment individually.
  16. marcusb

    Debarking Log

    Ash tree being prepped for sawing into lumber for the workshop build.
  17. MotoMike

    first hammer -welding slag hammer

    Thanks MC. It does feel good. now I need to do some welding to put it to use. I used my new dog head hammer to get it started and found that I quite like the dog head. Found too that I think I prefer simple slab handles to the more rounded ovals. seems I can index the hammer better.
  18. MC Hammer


    I love it when the posting says "Rare blacksmith anvil a few hundred years old.........." and you see a beat-up version of one of the cheaper brands of anvils. Then you see the listing price of $400 with a comment stating "I've seen ones like this selling for $600" as if that makes you feel better. I'm just glad I found this forum before looking for an anvil to purchase. It helped me avoid overpaying and buying a piece of junk.
  19. Ohio

    "Charcoal," she retorted

    So, there was charcoal. A lot of charcoal. And the barrel was still warm when I opened it yesterday afternoon. Guess the insulation worked. I have loaded Burnie up for a second burn tomorrow and try to get some time to try the charcoal in the forge sometime this week. Maybe. I have to harvest the lavender for distilling, so I will be very busy but very calm.
  20. Jeremy - yeah a garage floor will suck the heat right out of an object and concrete is very soft when compared even to mild steel. See if you can make it to a scrap yard and find a steel block a couple of inches thick until you can obtain an anvil. We have a whole thread about improvised anvils:
  21. billyO

    Coffee and Steel

    I realize I'm late to the game on this thread, but folks who do pattern welded blades have been using instant coffee to stain the carbon steel after etching for years, especially with kitchen knives. It is NOT a durable finish, however and will rub off in time if care isn't taken. The nice thing is that you can just soak the knife again when you want a greater contrast. It's my understanding, however that the cheaper the coffee the better. I suppose this is possible, but the suggested tempering method for a 1080 steel for a kitchen knife is 400-450deg for two 2 hour tempering cycles. And after putting all that work into forging, grinding and heat-treating a blade, why would you want to risk a faulty tempering?
  22. MC Hammer

    Newbie from the old dominion

    Nice anvil Dece and am glad you are getting the tools to have a good start. It took me over a year to find a decent anvil, post vise, tongs and hammers. I'm still working on making all the punches and chisels I need right now. I hope you are able to fix the forge and look forward to seeing you post pictures of the good stuff you are making.
  23. MC Hammer

    first hammer -welding slag hammer

    Looks very nice. Doesn't it feel good to make your own tools? I know I get a lot of satisfaction out of it.
  24. jlpservicesinc

    forge design

    I would also look at what stack you want to use.. This is help with layout as to back spacing..
  25. MC Hammer

    A new anvil

    I believe the arm and hammers were made by Trenton. Let us know what the results of the ball bearing rebound test are. The rebound test lets us know how hard the face is.
  26. billyO

    Second Damascus project

    Looks great. Don't limit yourself too much. You can also do a twist pattern, and there are many variations on the ladder pattern. I've ground x's, checkered patterns, ladder grooves that only go up half the width of the blade, and you can combine the patterns. In fact, you may have just inspired me to do a widely spaced ladder pattern with raindrop holes drilled between the grooves....hmmmm...
  27. jlpservicesinc

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Thanks, The portable shop is amazing.. That is a camp fire trivet which is collapsible and is designed so it will hold/support different sized pans/pots.. I had it narrowed for that pan as a show and tell when someone asked about it.. It was made in response to someone whom was saying a Trivet wouldn't be possible without a welder or forge weld or extensive equipment.. . There is a thread on here somewhere.. Forge, anvil, hammer, vise and tongs is all that was used.. Nice job on all the handles.. JHCC.. A straight cut hardie is very handy for many, many cuts.. Now that you have one you will wonder what you did before it..
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