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I Forge Iron

my first attempt at a Hamon.


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What did the spark test say about the carbon content?

while i was cutting the bar in half with a grinder and cutoff wheel, i noticed bright sparks that branched off further from the wheel. which leads me to believe that the steel had good carbon content. However, being new to blade smithing, i know there are is still a lot i need to learn about the art. most of the blades i am producing are meant to familiarize my self with the processes.
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Sounds like you did check it out some *before* using it. Always better than spending the time and effort and then posting a plaintive "How do I harden this lovely mild steel knife I forged?" post. (Of which we have seen a more than gracious plenty of over time...)

My opinion is that if one is not using a knife grade alloy they are NOT "familiarizing themselves with the processes" as high carbon steels get forged within a limited temperature range compared to low carbon steels, forge differently---harder under the hammer even hot and need more care with conduction quenching, etc. If you need more experience in *basic* forging you should not be doing knives! You can practice hammer control, drawing stuff out, etc on any of the myriad projects that will result in you having a slew of Christmas Presents ready to give. As i tell my students "Everything you do to make an S hook is directly applicable to making knives" (and it's a lot harder to mess one up!)

Forging mild steel blades is sort of like learning to ride a bicycle in order to familiarize yourself with driving a car IMVMNSHO

As the common automobile spring---leaf or coil is *generally* a decent alloy for blades and they can be sourced *free* pretty much everywhere, I strongly suggest people do *not* practice on mild steel or A36. For one thing you need to practice heat treating and having a lot of the same alloy around lets you dial in your process for that too!

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