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Where To Start?


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Hello everyone! I just recently got into forging a couple of months ago, but don't know where to start. Obviously, since I'm posting this inside the Knives section, I would like to work with making knives. I was actually inspired to do forging by Murray Carter at Carter Cutlery. Anyways, I would like to know where a forging newbie could start with knife creations. Any help at all would be appreciated.

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welcome to IFI. First off, where in Las Vegas are you? Not too many guys smithing this way, but there are a couple of us. Even though I am out in Da Boonies I do get into the big city most weekends.

What I would suggest is listing some more details as to what type of knives that you are interested in. Fixed, folders,pattern welded, primitive, tactical, etc............

What kind of forge do you have? Gas, or solid fuel? I run coal myself. What other equipment do you have so far? What type of steel do you plan on using? New, or salvaged like springs? Some steels work very differently than others.

JPH is a fantastic bladesmith who lives in Henderson. He has a few books out that you can look into reading. IFI is also a great resource, just start with some the knife forums, and searches for more specific questions that you may have.

Let me know if you would like to get together sometime when I am in town.

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If you have an interest in knives at any level there is a knife, antiques, firearms and collectibles show at the Riviera during the January 14,15 and 16th. There will be makers of all sorts of knives, hunters folders, tacticle and about everything else. Handmades with makers there, new factory made and some old collectibles. There will be vendors that sell knife making equipment and supplies. Books on making,,etc.
Any of the makers and vendors will be more than glad to share a little information to help you get started. Just give them a little space if they get the opportunity to sell a few while you are there.
K and G knife making suppliers will have several tables and make sure you get a catalog from them ,,it contains a lot of information on how knives are assembled and information on heat treating, soldering and attaching handles.

I am usually in the back row so stop and visit if you get a chance. This is not spam. Just a way for folks new to making knives to see wat others have done and perhaps take home some ideas abouit the craft.

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Start by getting used to your equipment and how it works. I suggest working mild steel for a bit doing ornamental or camping stuff. (making a pair of tongs to hold coil spring would be a good task!)

Meanwhile collect a couple of automobile coil springs. Take one in good condition and get it cut down two opposing sides leaving you a dozen of so short curved lengths of spring steel. These are your learning pieces---all the same in length, shape and composition. Start forging the *same* blade out of them seeing how you improve with practice. Meanwhile you can also start learning how to heat treat them and have a number of similar blades to try out different quenchants, Q temps, tempering temps, etc. TEST These to destruction! (carefully---use PPE as shattering steel makes a lousy Christmas Present if you have to spend time in the ER!)

If you are not happy with how things are still turning out, get another spring and repeat. If you are, get another spring and make a different type of blade from it.

When your forging and heat treat get good remember us!

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