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A new short sword question


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Hello forum members! I have just taken an interest in blade smithing and was wanting to ask a question about a project i have in mind. I am thinking about making a sword like this (albeit shorter) and was wondering if an old file would do the trick. Help? Suggestions? Both are appreciated!Weapon%20Scimitar%20Orcs%20United%20Cutl

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I believe every Heller file I have seen or used was a farriers rasp,,but they may have made alot of kinds. Farriers rasps have one side with real aggressive teeth, if you leave those teeth or any trace of them and make a blade,,'specially a sord, it may have stress risers from those teeth and fail at any of those points. If you do remove those the teeth from both sides and make sure there is no trace,,,the steel will be quite thin.
Not sure wot you have in the way of tools or skills. But sords are not a starting point in bladesmithing. If you spend the months it may take to fashion a blade and then have it fail in heat treat or testing it is a real depressing event. With short blades like knives you may lose less than a days work. As you keep track in a log book of how it failed it will be like gold later when a longer blade needs higher level of skills to be a success.
If you wish to know more we have covered starting points for knives in the knife section.......

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If you can get them cheap, files are a good starting point when you try your first few blades. But if you really want to make a knife, use steel that is known to you. Otherwise the heat treat is a longish trial and error or a guess.


Don't get me wrong, old files are lots of fun and I've made a few small knives with them. But when I really want to make a knife, I don't start with an unknown steel.


On edit: what you want to make is more of a short sword. There are better steel choices for a prybar/knife than a file!

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That design pretty much cries out for 5160---generally sourced as automotive leaf spring. If at all possible go to a place that does lifting---or dropping and buy "almost new" pull offs rather than using a piece found broken on the side of the road and then wonder where all the fatigue/abuse cracks in it came from...

Files are a good blade steel but are a lot harder to work and NOT good for blades that see a lot of impact and side forces.

You do realize that starting out making blades is generally *slower* to get to a good blade than starting out learning to smith and then move onto making blades and then then moving onto making large blades---It's like learning to Ski---if you immediately go to the expert slopes you spend a lot of time sitting around waiting to heal while the folks who started out on the bunny slopes are moving on to the intermediate and then the expert ones. It's a lot *faster* to make your beginner's mistakes on something that has a "one Saturday Morning" turn around time than something that takes weeks to make/remake.

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I must agree thomas, while I started by jumping in and making blades, I ruin tons of them. I broke several during the hardening and tempering process, I hardened and intentionally broke any i was unwilling to pass on to others. but then again. I enjoy the forging process much more than I do the the finishing and handle making. So for me the long learning curve has been fun. For most people, I would definately recommend as you said, learn to move metal first, and then use those skills to make knives.


I learn better by doing than any other method, and with no one in my town that I know of to help, I am self taught through tons(tons of charcoal, and scrap steel) of trial and error. With blacksmithing I am more of the philosophy "its the journey not the destination".


ForgeAZ, these guys are a wealth of information and a great resource, take your time and learn from them. good luck and enjoy the process.

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