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Knife Questions


Gundog48

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I'm attempting to forge a replica of Aragorn's knife from Lord of the Rings. This is my second ever knife, and I'm expecting to make many attempts before I get it right! Even so, I love the shape of the blade, so the ones that don't turn out quite right should still look OK. I finished forging the rough shape today and I'm rather happy with it, but there are a few problems down the line I am anticipating some trouble with. Here are my questions:

  • The bevels- it starts of with a nice curve, I have a bench grinder and belt grinder. My plan is to use the curved shape of the grinding wheel by barely touching the wheel at the very start of the bevel, then applying more pressure as I move down which should give it a nice steady curve until the size becomes almost constant. I'll probably have to smooth it out by hand with some sandpaper or a good file, but can you think of a better way of doing it?
  • The engravings. The way I see it there are two ways of doing it, print off a stencil and stick it over the finished blade, then try to trace it with a dremmel- I'm anticipating mistakes here! The other would be to acid etch, although I'm not very sure about how that is done. What would you do in this situation?

Thanks for your help!

I've attatched a picture of the knife for reference.

post-24777-0-34861500-1339273953_thumb.j

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I'm not really up to a stage where photos would be of use, once I have the rough grinding done and sorted out the profile, I'll post some pictures. Right now you can't really see what you've got to work with!

Jake

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Heres a working plan,,get about twenty feet of mild steel in the size yoiu are using for the blade. Cut it to blade shape and start grindin. Make a large stack of them and if you are not where you want to be get another bar of steel and start over. maybe with al ittle different way of doing it. SAme thing with the etching,,practice many of the ways that have been written about in this site and see wot works for you. You are not on a short trip this will take some time and effort. Of course if you sought some personal help it might take a lot less time. and for sure a couple of books would help. Wayne Goddards fifty dollar knife shop and Jim Hrousilas complete bladesmith are great ones. Then of course you will need to learn about heat treat for wotever high carbon steel you select after youi get the methods worked out on mild. Have fun!

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Thanks Rich! I've read Jim Hrousilas's book cover to cover multiple times, I'm pretty well clued up on it from a theoretical standpoint, but in practice it is a lot different! I've managed to heat treat a knife before and the whole thing went quite well, although this is a lot more complicated! I've forged this out of a rasp which has a good carbon content. Once I've done the rough grinding I'll practice the bevels and etching on scrap pieces before attempting to work on the final piece, although I still don't expect it to look good first time!

That's a really good idea about practising knives on mild steel! I'll see what I can find and start knocking loads of them out until I get it right. I want to forge a sword within a year or so purely because I don't think you learn by sitting back and avoiding it, but by trying, failing and trying again. Making it out of mild steel would make my life a lot easier in terms of finding steel. At the minute for knives I've been forge welding half inch lengths of ring gear together and flattening and drawing out which takes so much time and effort, especially without a striker. My weak 16 year old self isn't up to much 1-handed sledgehamer work! I've been measuring up and acquiring materials for a 25lb tyre hammer to help out with that, because hand hammer work just isn't going to do the job if I plan on drawing out billets all the time.

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gun dog the Knife you speak of is Not etched ot is engraved hand done and a work of art the steel as well what you have to ask your sefl is to what degree are you willing to push your self to achave to achive to match this blade . etching will look good but not what you really want if you are really a True LOTR Fan or a Buff and if you are forging a blade and going throuhg the trouble to do so why etch it and not engrave it it is a simple hold true to the blade and make it or Not . Sorry for being Harsh But Not really many want a blade but many do Not want to put the time in to Make it as it should be I hope you want to make a blade as it should be .... in that case I will help you in any way I can As I know and have Many LOTR Blades original working blades .

Sam

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Here are two places that I got information on Etching from for a project I am working on:

1) http://www.field-knives.com/tutorials/21-logo-etch-tutorial.html
2) http://www.instructables.com/id/Etching-Knife-Blades/
3) http://sbgswordforum.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=swordcustom&action=print&thread=7742
4) http://www.britishblades.com/forums/showthread.php?41757-Simple-blade-etching
5) http://www.primitivearcher.com/smf/index.php?topic=24281.0

Best of luck with your knife, I am looking forward to seeing it!

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Nice to speak of someone that shares an interest! I am always hesitant to post about LotR or similar blades as a relative newcomer as the general reaction is usually 'oh here we go again, another nerdy kid wants to make a sword with no effort'! To me, there is nothing more satisfying than having produced something yourself that you can look at and be proud of. Everything I make, be it on the forge or elsewhere, any imperfection, visible or not, will annoy me to a point that I hate what I have produced and I can't be proud of it. Attention to detail is very important to me, even if it means trying and failing many times. Either get it right, or throw it away and start again. I'm not very familiar with engraving techniques, I believe it's done with a chisel in a lot of cases, I imagine it would require a lot of skill, especially to replicate a design like this. If this is the case I'll probably bring it inside and practice when I have nothing to do.

I can see why you would be harsh, clearly producing replicas like this would have taken you many years of experience to produce, and for someone to come along looking for an easy way of doing it is going to be annoying. I'm really dedicated to this and want to become skilled at it, no matter how many years it will take.

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GunDog,

Many a good knife builder and replica builder has to start some where and with pratice a good blade will come. On this site alone there is a vast amount of sword makers that have posted videos of their work and how to do them, there is also engraving techniques and chisel work done also. Scrap metal (of the same forging) is best used for your pratice work, as it is the same hardness as the orginal blade the work will be done on. Remember the blade you wish to make is a TV Prop not a working version, The one you are wanting to make is a working version and will be much harder and more time consuming to make. They (the TV folks) use special effects to show off their blades for just a few min. Folks will want to handle yours. The cheap baldes are wall hangers not designed for use .

I look forward to seeing some of your work and progress Heart and Drive are a good start to a good Metal worker

Blessing

Sam

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It will be hard to make a smooth hollow ground bevel with a stone grinder---even dressing it every pass! "Step by Step Knifemaking" has a jig in it intended to help doing it that way that you may want to look at. (But even then it's mainly designed for straight hollow grinds (I can think of modifications that would allow it to be used for curves...)

I would suggest getting the appropriate contact wheel for your belt grinder, it's a 2x72" one designed for steel and not wood right? and learn how to grind a smooth path with it. WATCH THAT YOU DON'T GRIND YOUR HANDS!!!!!!!!!

A lot of movie stuff is etched with ferric chloride as to them it's a *prop* not a venerated item. (remember that scene in the first Conan movie where it shows then carefully chiseling the ornate sword guard? It was lost wax cast in reality...)

Also remember that if you are a real LoTR fan the movie stuff is just another person's "take" on what was written in the books and not carved in stone (or steel!) Your vision has just as much "truth" in it as their's---as long as it doesn't contradict anything specified in the books...

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Here are two places that I got information on Etching from for a project I am working on:

1) http://www.field-knives.com/tutorials/21-logo-etch-tutorial.html
2) http://www.instructables.com/id/Etching-Knife-Blades/
3) http://sbgswordforum.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=swordcustom&action=print&thread=7742
4) http://www.britishblades.com/forums/showthread.php?41757-Simple-blade-etching
5) http://www.primitivearcher.com/smf/index.php?topic=24281.0

Best of luck with your knife, I am looking forward to seeing it!


Kwisatz, those are some really good links. Thanks for posting them. I don't have a touchmark so thought that maybe I'd Dremel my initials on the blades I recently posted. Obviously that wouldn't look very impressive. Some of these links make it so simple to follow, even I could do it.

And Gundog, I am a big fan of the Harry Potter series, not that you should care. The point is that I didn't like the movies as much as the books. I find it impossible to faithfully recreate a book on film. Internal dialogue doesn't come across very well, etc. They didn't match my vision of the characters or places or anything else in the novels.

To paraphrase Thomas : be faithful to your visual interpretation of The LOTR.

Robert
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