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I Forge Iron


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    Naples, Fl

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  1. Trying to identify this anvil I just acquired. Got if from someone who said it had belonged to her great grandfather. Been sitting unused and covered in dust for last 50ish years. She rings like bell when hit with hammer and sings when I wirebrush her. Did a loose handed drop from about 10 inches with 2.5 lb hammer and it bounced back almost the length of the hammers head.
  2. Well a friend of mine gave me an #70 anvil that is about 40 years old. So I made him this knife as a thank you. I am still working from old files as the test furnace I made form a coffee can is too small, but plan on making larger one soon. Did a differential heat treatment on the blade using some of the left over Refractory Cement. Told the guy to beat the hell of the knife and let know how it holds up. Handle is maple with a brown stain. the inlay is a frowny face with an empty fishing hook. Attempted a vine pattern across top of blade.
  3. Hardened it using Peanut oil. Has a similar consistency to motor oil but doesn't stink. Actually makes me hungry because it smells like french fries. ;-) Tempered by putting edge in vice with wet towel, heated spine and waited till glow went away before quenching. I tested edge by getting grabbing a 2x6 piece of PT wood and cutting off slices until about 2 inches into it. Edge held way better than I expected. Got my first two commissions, sort of. Friend gave me a 14" bandsaw in exchange for making him a knife, and a local cabinet maker/remodeler agreed to give me all of his cuttoffs (bamboo, mahogany, maple, cherry, douglas fir, black walnut, etc) for a knife as well. Now have enough handle material to last a couple of years. Also made a coffee can furnace last night from refractory cement/perlite so will be able to try forging as soon as I come up with something to use as an anvil.
  4. Well here is my first full attempt at this. Want to some more of these from files and other spring steel before I try my hand at forging. Rosewood handle, was going to do brass on each end but decided to stick with all wood for a couple more before moving on to more complicated.
  5. Again thanks to everyone that replied with provided tips and inspiration, I was able to anneal the leaf springs. Cut them into manageable sections with angle grinder and then put in the bottom of my burn barrel and loaded it with old lumber, yard trash that needed to be burned anyway. Refilled barrel three times throughout the day before letting it sit overnight. Now can cut into them with hacksaw reasonably well now. Will straighten using a my dads blow torch and his 10 ton hydraulic press and then use bandsaw to cut down into blanks and reduce thickness. I also snagged his old 6 inch vice that has a 1 inch think hammer plate on it to use as an anvil. ;-) In the meantime i have been busy making a knife from an old broken file I had laying around. Annealed it with my jewelers torch (had to buy a new melting tip). Then shaped blank using heavy duty dremel cut off discs. Hardened using torch and peanut oil (motor oil would have stunk) left over from my fryer. Then tempered by putting blade into vice with wet towel and heating up spine with torch. Attempted to do a 20 degree angle on edge by hand. Tested edge by carving slivers off of a piece of PT lumber (third of way through a 2x4) and the edge still cut paper afterwards. Turns out that polishing steel is pretty much the same process as polishing platinum and I used the same standard rouge es for it. (black, yellow and white with a final of red rouge. Polish not great but it was a learning experience and brought memories of hours in front of buffer polishing jewelry. Please point out anything that I need to do differently or did not do quit right. Also experimented with Mokume Gane and had limited success with small pieces of brass, copper, nickel using my jewelers torch, although i did cheat on one and used silver solder ;-), which worked very well. Thanks again to everyone for you feedback and support.
  6. Will be doing the yard sales this weekend to look for materials. Still getting shop organized and setup (everything had been put in storage due to space constraints, but now have room)
  7. Third times the charm on marriage. My son is in the engineering program at his high school and has already started talking about 3D printing handles.
  8. No, but thanks for the idea. Iv'e been out of the jewelry biz for over 10 years so there is a lot for me to remember/relearn. :-) . At this point not really sure which direction I will be going, was thinking of incorporating some enamel work, pave` setting or other gem setting or wood mosaics, not sure. Just getting started. Trying to get this going as cheaply as possible (just got married and have a lot of expenses to deal with right now) and working with my hands is very useful for stress relief. Have to find the rest of my tools (plating machine, casting equipment, etc, etc) unfortunately quit a bit of them are gone for good due to moves over the years and merging two households recently. Got married last Oct, third times a charm.
  9. Thank you to everyone for your responses. Updated profile to show I am in Naples, Florida. I Started by buying blade blanks because I figured if i couldn't make a handle then I prob shouldn't be making knives ;-) also a way to get the no patience 15 year old interested. The primary purpose of the leaf springs is for practice, these knives will either be given away or re-used. I am also approaching this from a slightly different perspective. After 13 years in the Jewelry Industry I want to take my experience there and apply to knife design as a form of functional art. Will be making a brick forge in the backyard over the weekend and use charcoal in it for now. Have an old grill I can tear apart for parts to make a propane forge and attempting to anneal the leaf springs. Bought a 2.5# blacksmith hammer at Lowes, also have access to a hydraulic press and a head surface (think gigantic belt sander with 18 " wide belt for sanding down automotive heads to make them flat) and will root around at my dad's work (old semi, dump truck and loader parts everywhere) to find something that will work as an anvil. Just have to get creative. Just finished my first knife handle (feel free to critique, I know I can see a thousand flaws). It is curly Maple and Mahogany with Linseed oil and beeswax finish. Thanks you, MarkF
  10. New to forum and knife making. First some background: My son and I (15 year old) have embarked on knife making as a hobby. We currently have limited tools. No Forge/furnace or large anvil. I have a 5 lb anvil. I am trained goldsmith/repair and diamond setter but have not worked in jewelry field for over 10 years (still have most tools and jewelers bench). I do have Drill press, 4 inch belt sander, scroll saw, torches etc. with access to Machine Lathe, Mill, Bridgeport etc (Two of brothers have automotive machine shop and I grew up in one) For my sons birthday I bought an assortment of blank blades so we could start by putting handles on. I do however have access to a multitude of different steels especially all the leaf springs i can shake a stick at. I can anneal the leaf springs using an acetylene torch. Problem: Is there a fairly easy way to cut down the thickness of the leaf springs to an appropriate thickness for a knife blank. I thought about using the mill with an end mill but that would probably use up a lot of end mill bits and would get expensive quickly.
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