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  1. I recently traded some bottle openers for a large bag of horseshoes and 10 Bellota farrier rasps. Separately I got a large assortment of old files that I plan on making strikers, small knives, basically anything I think people will buy or trade for. From reading this forum, I see the general recommendation is to start with steel of known quality vs. going with unknown material. That said, money is tight, I've paid for all my smithing tools and earned extra income by working with what I can get. I live close to a railyard and the workers there are more than happy to trade me beer & openers for steel they have lying around (and I saved all the emails arranging the initial trade in case it ever comes up). My big sellers have been gardening tools, spike & wrench bottle openers and the sometimes despised spike knife, which I quench in ice water and don't temper. So far no complaints on the ability to hold an edge or being too brittle. My questions are: - I've seen mixed comments regarding the quality of steel in the Bellota rasps which I plan on experimenting with first. Suggested method of heat treating and your experience with them? - Other ideas on what to make that's fun & profitable besides knives with rasps or files? I saw a post on making rasp spurs, another on a rasp alligator and snakes. What have been your best sellers? Pictures please if you have them. - If making a knife out of a rasp or file, do you anneal and grind the teeth or ridges first before forging? Do you bevel the edge? - Ever since I saw these kitchen knives I've been dying to forge one for myself, for gifts and to sell. I know many people who love to cook and would pay a reasonable price for a unique knife such as this. The rasps I have are Bellota Raptors, 14" long by 2 1/4" wide. How would you cut the file to maximize the number of knives you could get out of it? I think I'd start with a cardboard template and lay it out on the file with the handle or tail running straight behind the blade. Thanks!
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