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I Forge Iron

my first knife blank


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i built myself a temporary forge while i'm waiting on a more permanent one to be finished, and i started doing some work on it... today i attempted to shape a knife. i just hammered out a piece of scrap rebar i had laying around... hopefully some prettier things are soon to come!


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Ok, I'm no expert, I've only been doing this for a little while, but I advise you to take it slow. I know that when I first started making blades, I didn't have any hammer control, resulting in crescent-shaped hammer-marks on my blades that were too deep to grind out. Go carefully, make sure you don't beat the metal in anger because it's not changing shape fast enough. After that, I had to learn to keep my work straight. It's difficult at first, you have to constantly check so that the blade doesn't bend. Also keep in mind that you want the smoothest surface possible. You have a great shape on that blade, I'd advise you to try and polish it up a bit. I made some truly awful blades out of RR spikes at first, but when I polished them I learned an incredible amount about that process, so that when I did start to work on a real blade, I didn't marr it as badly. My nearly-finished belt knife (which I named "Lune", for whatever reason) isn't perfectly straight, and the blade has imperfections that were too deep to remove. But I learned so much from making it that I don't think I'll ever get rid of it.

I'd also advise you to be careful not to let scale build up on your anvil or your blade. You can remove it from the piece easily with a wirebrush. I've also heard that keeping your hammer and anvil wet while you work prevents it from building up badly. It looks like you had some scale built up on your anvil and it got driven into the finished piece. Be extra careful not to let that happen.

Sorry for being so long-winded, this is just some things I've picked up and wanted to pass on. If I'm wrong in any way, please correct me.
Just my 32cents worth


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Looks good, you never learn anything sitting on your hands. I advise jumping right in and keep it up. Though most rebar isn't terribly great for blades.

Are you going to finish it up and put an edge on it? I'd like to see how it turns out! Post pics.

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Also I've never heard of anyone keeping their anvil or hammer wet while forging.. Seems like it would promote rust, and just turn to steam when the hot metal hit it.. And wouldn't it also cool the steel you were working faster?

Just my thoughts.

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thanks for the advice chris... yeah i def. had some scale problems. i don't have a wire brush yet (going buy some supplies today), and i'm using a chunk of railroad rail for my anvil, which happens to be a little dented where my grandfather used it, so there was a lot of scale that was built up on it. i dunno if i'll polish it or not, cuz i know that rebar is too low carbon to really make a great knife. this was just an attempt to get a shape without grinding, and good practice with learning how the metal behaves when heated. thanks for the kind words!

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"Well as far as i know wetting the hammer and anvil dose help reduce scale or remove scale from the metal surface."
- Dean O Riordan
on this thread:

I've also gotten that same advice from several other people. I know that in steel producing/recycling plants, they hose off the steel ingots to remove the scale and prevent it from forming. When I first heard about it, I thought it didn't make since too, but I've heard it so many times now, I'm beginning to think that it's true.

Here's a bladesmith on youtube doing it:

If you watch closely, you can see him dip his hammer into water before beginning to strike.

Again, if anyone has anything contrary to this, please correct me.
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