Thanks, Lou! I actually saw your profile after I joined. I was looking for people in the CT area that's on this forum.
So, you're right. I am using the rebar to figure out hammering and shaping without wasting time and money on good steel. That's exactly why I was looking for spikes so I can figure out movement with thicker stock. HAHA, grinding was mind numbing to say the least. So far the gas forge seems to be working great but i've only used it a couple of times and I don't know exactly what to look for yet. I appreciate you mentioning it.
And, THANKS! I haven't even looked around for places to buy handle materials yet.