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I Forge Iron

results of first 3 classes

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Forward from Mike-Hr

I wanted to tell Rich & Steve thanks for the energy you're putting into the knife class. The last couple nights I've been working on making my own blade. For a pattern I used a kitchen knife, made by John at Gearhart ironwerks, that he gave us last year. My wife and I both love it, and having 2 similar tools in the kitchen would perhaps improve our ability to play in the same sandbox fairly..

I started with a chunk of 3/8 x 2-1/2 leafspring laying in the resource pile. I used the PHammer and a chunk of 1-1/4 inch square as a top tool to replicate half face blows to lay in the tang. After that, I knocked the width of the leafspring down to size. Next I used fullering dies and knocked the whole piece down to 3/16 thick. I then went to the anvil and forged in the blade bevel. I liked your tip about keeping the tongs on the blade spine to keep bad hammer blows at bay. When I was happy with the bevel, I normalized a couple times and went to the grinder.

The piece came out at 1/8 thick after it was all ground flat. I normalized 2x more, let cool, and bandsawed out the profile. I also drilled rivet holes before it was heat treated. I hardened in used french fry oil, and tempered in the kitchen oven at 425F for a couple hours.

I spent a lot of time with the finish grinding, and could have spent more, I guess. There were a few scratches I put in with the 40g belt that the 120g was having trouble getting to. I think the platen on the grinder is starting to wear un even from general fabrication work. I have a 400g belt and spent a long time with it, but like you said in the BP about knife finishing, the blade came out blotchy, so I went over the whole thing again with 200g by hand. I ground the edge by using the slack on top of the grinder, and slowly going left to right, and then the other side. I can tell it will take a lot more practice to get good at this..

I made scales from tiger wood, reclaimed from a deck remodel, a friend gave me. I used copper wire for rivets, I think I'll use brazing rod next time. Copper don't like to upset for a rivet head very good.

Anyways, I'm pretty happy with the whole thing. I've got plenty of room to get better over time, but have a very usable piece for the effort.

thanks again,




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The goal of this entire exercise has been and will continue to be simple:
Provide information that will be of value for anyone that wishes to read,,or better yet those that will take that information to the shop and produce something. No matter wot they make we hope that it is with methods that may have moved them along in their work. it does not have to be finely crafted.

We hope that this will cause folks to step into more advanced work than they are used to even if that means making a first knfe. If they have no experience at the anvil or may not even have an anvil we try to show ways of working with wot you have. At the beginning we stated that to get the most from this series shop time, (homework) would help a lot.

We have only had a few send us updates with pics of wot they have made. And we offer to give our comments in pvt or in here.

Mike is a skilled blacksmith and makes his living in his own shop. Moving metal is a daily thing for him. Knives are new to him. He descreibes the steel he used and how he sized it for this blade and how it came to completion.

A wonderfull piece that will serve him well for a long time. I expect that lthis may have companion pieces added.
Thanks so much for sharing Mike This makes me want to get into the shop and make more knives......And I will!

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