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I Forge Iron

Is this a problem ?....


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Hi there from West Australia !!

I would like to know if, using the same steel for a Bowie Knife blade and the extended guard, could you forge weld
the guard on the blade instead of soldering it ?

I'm a newbie to this, so please excuse the rather hackneyed terminology I've used above.

Thank you in advance,


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Not without serious distortion in relatively thin plates of steel. You would spend a lot of time getting the guard and blade straight and square again after the weld 'took'.

Forge welding works best when the pieces to be joined are in the same plane, not 90 degrees apart. And there is considerable metal movement after the initial weld takes, while hammering to consolidate the weld.

Why else do you suppose no one has done this for the last, oh, 3000 years? That, and historically high carbon steel was so valuable it was only used for the actual blade of a knife or sword, and only for the cutting edge or face of common iron tools.

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Maybe it's just me, but after I forge weld I always have to do a lot of clean-up to get the steel looking good. It would be difficult to finish both the blade and the guard if the guard were permanently attached to the blade. I also don't see the practical advantage of having blade and guard a single piece.

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Bongo, Since youi are new to this maybe this will all make more sense to you if you do a simple forging exercise in the shop. Take a piece of steel about the same thickness you think a blade shoud be and use the same stee to fashion a guard, forge weld them to each other and see how it all works and
if it is a method you may wish to use again for blades.

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If you use this technique you will have an integral knife. This method can work but as advised above it could add alot more complexity to the project than you desire. I have seen tutorial where this exact technique is used to create ingegral damascus knives however the guard does not typically loook like a typical bowie style guard. Google ingegral knives and see if it similar to the end result you desire. Also this technique will involve alot of clean up which will probably be mostly with files, stones and sandpaper, instead of a machine, due to the angles and joints that will be created.

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Thanks a lot for your replies guys, I realize what I'm letting myself in for !!
This is going to be an interesting journey :).

Having said this, if there is anyone in W.A. who lives within public transport distance of Coolbellup 6163, who feels like giving a partially disabled newbie
a few (alright, a lot of) pointers, I'm ready, willing and able.

Best Wishes,


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