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I Forge Iron

Blacksmiths Knife from old file


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Finished this one up about a week ago, It is forged from an old file, I clay backed it to give the hamon, (that does not show very well in the pics!)

The blade is about 6" long, full flat ground with 1200 hand rubbed finish . All comments / questions welcome!





(mods, I can not get the gallery to upload the pics so ive hotlinked them from photobucket. Pls delete the thread if this is not acceptable!)

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no !, the one I posted before was a minature, this is a full size one! , I'd been meaning to make this big one for a while (need the hammer control practice!) Ill try and get some photos in the hand (its a big knife!)

Heres a picture of the big un normalising on the side of the forge,. (gives a better sense of scale!)


and heres a pic of the minature I based it on,.


I think there might be a couple more of these in me over the next few months, they are light relief from the more technical stuff im working on, and I like the contrast of very 'finished' blades against forged handles. Ive got a couple of ideas for different handle ' styles' ive not seen before ;)

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Im a little ashamed to say I dont know the composition of the clay I used on this one, A local (and massivly skilled) bladesmith who specialises in traditional Japanese work (tamahagne etc) left it for me after a days forging (he taught me the basics of clay, charcoal & water quench, which ive always struggled with blades cracking in the past)

The annoying thing with this piece is its a very striking, but photo shy hamon! Ill try the 'black card' trick next time I get the light tent set up!

This knife is going into a 'KITH' (knife in the hat) competition on British Blades Forum,.

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for the minature I just used pre mixed fire cement (putty like consistency)! (its sold as XL fire cement in the UK, its used for patching domestic fireplaces, available from all good DIY stores! ) worked lovely, just not very traditional :D

edit, linky to product, great for patching gas forge linings after to much flux aswell! ;)


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Fire cement is good, but it does not really matter what type of clay you use, all you are doing is slowing the cooling on the clayed portion of the blade, so as long as it stays put for the first few seconds of quench it has done its job in that respect.

From my very limited understanding of the 'hamon' I think that use of the correct steels (simple, shallow hardening ones 'w' series preferably) and correct thermal cycling, and temperature control are much more important that the composition of the 'jacket' on the back of the blade.

I can see that im going to become a bit addicted to differential hardening of blades this year, whilst you dont get the instant 'bang for your buck' that patternwelding gives I feel that it many ways it shows greater understanding and knowledge of steel.

(and ive got a bit of the 'good' american W2 on its way to me from a bladesmith in london, and a week long sword forging course with Howard Clark this year :D :D )

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