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I Forge Iron


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    Vicksburg, MI
  • Interests
    Reading, Blacksmithing, Knifemaking, Mech. Eng. Student

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  1. Hey y’all, Over the weekend, I took a chef knife making class over in Detroit with Niko Nicolaides. He showed us some of his examples and did some demoing then let us go at it. On Saturday, we forged, profiled and heat treated the knives. Because I have experience already doing this, I knew most of what to do but he still had some useful tips and tricks on how to move the metal to specific places. Sunday was spent grinding and finishing the handle. This is the Detroit Smith Shop where the class was hosted. Profiled I learned the most in the handle construction. He did the method of drilling a .5” hole into a block and splitting a dowel to hold the tang. I’ve never done that and while I’ve read about, I didn’t really understand before. Get a drill either the same size as the widest part of the tang or a little bit smaller. Drill down as far as you need to go and if needed, file little slots to fit the tang all the way in. Take a dowel the same size as your hole and split it in two. From there, sand the flats and size the dowels till the tang fits; you can leave a small gap for glue if you want. This method is SO much easier than drill 2 or 3 small holes and tediously needle file. I did that with the lower part of the handle and for the “bolster” piece, I split in half and filed away notches for the tang to fit in. Again bc it’s easier IMO. If you want, you can put hidden pins through the tang to help locate, I just glued them together. Also, make sure that the shoulder of the tang is seated on the handle! Check and double check to make sure. I didn’t so now there’s an ugly gap in a otherwise pretty good knife. Putting it through it’s paces. It’s a little thick but still works like a charm! I’m really glad I took this class, it allows me get a better idea how a kitchen knife should be made without doing trial and error. Taking a class is definitely one of the best things that someone can do to learn.
  2. It helps to live in southwest MI where it rains 6 days in a week during spring time.
  3. I have been working on this knife for a couple of weekends and I found out after all the finish grinding was done that only about .25” up the bevel was hardened. So I said whatever screw it, normalized it twice and then quenched it waited the appropriate amount of time to get past the quench curve nose, clamped it between two boards. And it worked!!! Just a bit of decarb and the smallest of a wiggle in one spot that easily ground out. I’m putting this success down to luck . And I banged out the other one this morning also. And my dad, his friend and I moved his 2200 lb cast iron sailboat keel got the other barn.
  4. Thanks Lew L. Try staring at the big makers stuff for years and reading as much as you can in as many reputable places. Oh and lots and lots of work.
  5. Bottom two are ready for heat treat. The top I got the wrought iron guard fitted up and then ground it to shape. It’s ready for hand sanding and finish work.
  6. I think I’m going to make one of these as warm up for each session.
  7. For 1084 and 80crv2, peanut, canola, mineral, frying, and veggie oil all work fine. Probably can find them at a big store like Costco or maybe Walmart or Meijer. Plus those steels are very forgiving and easy to work with. Probably can get away with the 1095 if that’s all you have available.
  8. Finished up my kitchen tools and a smaller board for my brother.
  9. Finished the last one; walnut, maple, Padauk, and cherry.
  10. Thank you! I finished up those knives and started a new board for my dad for his birthday.
  11. I believe it’s the vinegar in the mustard that reacts with the iron and creates oxides that help prevent extreme rusting. I could be wrong about the vinegar being entirely responsible for the process. It can be dabbed on with a finger or with a cotton ball in a thin layer to create different patterns. Leave it on there for about 30-45 minutes or until the mustard turns dark brown then wash it off.
  12. Thank you, just 80crv2 with a mustard patina applied, no patternwelding.
  13. Finished these up, a 8” chef and a 4” utililty for my self and a paring knife for my dad. The steel is 80crv2 and the woods are wenge and cocobolo. I added a mustard patina for looks and some protection.
  14. Thank you Frosty! Cutting boards are really fun to make and when that first coat of oil is poured on, it’s just wow.
  15. I got a few items made in the past few months. All of them gifts for family. The boards the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ones and I’m very happy how they turned out. For my mom, I made her two cutting boards and a santoku influenced kitchen knife. The end grain board is made out of cherry, Padauk, and Peruvian walnut. The other one is black walnut, Padauk and maple. They both are finished with food grade mineral oil and Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner. The knife is 6.5” with Bubinga scales and is made out of 80crv2 with a mustard patina. For my sister, I made a nice big ~12x18x1 endgrain cutting board out of walnut, maple, Padauk, and Canary wood. It was finished like the others. The knife is 80crv2 with maple, copper and cocobolo with a mustard patina applied. It has a 6” blade and 10.5” overall. It’s light but she says she really likes it that way and the balance is perfect at the heel so I’m cool with it. The block/saya is hard curly maple with a walnut spacer. The left and right ones I’m making for myself so I have something to cook with this summer. And the middle is for my dad so he has an actually decent knife .
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