Jump to content
I Forge Iron

blade forging


T.J.watts

Recommended Posts

i am very new to forging and im having nothing but problems with shaping the edge on my blades. i start out with the stock, shape the profile and try to shape the edge by hammering near the edge of the anvil with the blade lifted at a slight angle. am i doing this right and just not being patient enough or should i try a different method.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you been through the bladesmithing 101 section.  Also a lot can be said about the shape of your hammers face.  Mine are resurfaced to be rectagular.  That pushes the material mainly in 4 directions as opposed to a round hammer that pushes in all directions.  Get some mild steel and practice on it as it is easier to work and it won't hurt your feelings to ruin it.  Back to the 101, read through it!  Happy forging!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bladesmithing is considered to be one of the highest level sections of blacksmithing.  It really really helps to learn hammer control, temperature control and how to move steel by forging *before* you deal with needing to do all of that very well indeed!

 

Or to rephrase your question:  "I'n new to driving a car and I'm having trouble winning Formula 1 Races---what am I needing?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, get a length of mild steel, or suitable scrap, and make a pile of knife shaped objects,AKA letter openers......Don't waste your good material making scrap. Slow down, and concentrate on what the material does with each hammer blow. Learn about tapering, and counter bending the blade so that it comes out as the desired shape, and not all curved the wrong way. It is gonna take quite a bit of hammering to get it down pat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, don't leave it in the fire too long.  Good, problem solved :lol: .  Ya gotta pay attention.  I find that my students often leave the piece way longer than I would.  That is a matter of seat time, you've got to develop a feel for it.

 

Getting even bevels is also a matter of practice.  If you want to move a lot of material the piece needs to be hot.  Get as many (controlled) hammer blows in as you can before you lose the highest heat.  You are not moving much metal once you get past a bright red.  Use the low end of the heats to straighten the piece, though if you are correcting big curves you will want more heat.

 

I like to hammer the bevels out at the edge of the anvil, with the edge nearly unsupported.  Another trick is to work down the edge and create a narrow bevel at a high heat all along the edge.  The bevel should be about 1/4" wide. Once you've established that, then you can used that flat to register the angle to bring your bevel higher up the flat.

 

I think forging is better than grinding, but there are limits and you need to find out where they are.  And, if after you knock the scale off and the edge looks too fat, light the fire back up and forge it down some more.

 

Geoff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

May I make my regular suggestion?  Tough I'm going to do it anyway!

 

Get a coil spring from a pickup and slice it down opposing sides to get a dozen or so ( pieces.  This way you can practice on the same steel over and over again *and* work out the best heat treat for it as well.  And if you have "beginner's luck"  it's a decent steel to make knives from.  If possible get a spring that hasn't done a million cycles---places that do lifts (or lowering) often have springs with very little use on them---helps to avoid problems with fatigue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you read the part about metal fatigue?  How are you going to decide if a crack in your piece is due to wrong process that you need to correct or with the piece you started with?

 

Or do you really want to make it harder to learn, more time consuming to learn and more expensive to learn?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ill have to look in to that to see if i can find better springs. in all honesty i have no clue how to tell the difference all i know about forging is everything that ive been reading. i know there is a big difference in knowing the literature and being able to practice it.

so i guess im saying trial and error lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Young hammer, just a heads up. Rich and Steve are excellent knife makers, they are the authors of the knife making class sticky, Thommas is a good smith, particularly in the relm of "old school" (read that as 500 years or more) Big Gun and Dan are exelent smiths as well. JMC and Geoff do excellent knife work as well.
If these men are taking the time to give you advice, I'd listen up. None if them have steered me wrong.
Second, I'd suggest joining the south fork craftsmen, our state blacksmith (and other artisan) association .
You might even find a member or two close by to help and to car (truck?) pool to meetings with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cracks are cracks, there is no fixing them unless you can find a way to weld across them.  Sometimes you can forge weld a delamination, but a crack in an old spring?  Probably not.  I don't know what you are thinking about heating "removing the heat treating".  When you heat up hardened steel it reverts to a non hardened state.  I'm talking about  carbon steels, not some high alloy nightmare.   You can grind away a crack, you can weld across a crack, that is pretty much it. 

 

Having said that, I have made knives out of used springs and had pretty good luck with them.  But partly that means being willing to throw away a piece that fails in some way.  I don't work in scrap now, my work is too important to me and my customers.  Found steel has an appeal, but brand new steel is pretty cheap.  A $500 knife is made from about $2 worth of steel, the rest is value added.

 

I've been reading in the sticky's.  There is lots of good info to be mined there, it depends on how you learn.  A couple of hours in another smiths shop is worth whatever it costs you.   I have never come away from another smiths space without learning something, you just need an open mind.

 

Charles, thanks for the kind words.  I have a buddy in your part of the world, Dawnavan Crawford.  Have you ever run across him?  He's a big guy, with a beard :D. 

 

Geoff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i didnt mean the heat treat fixing the crack what i ment was will removing the heat treat relief the stress in the steel before it cracks.

i have been looking in to joining saltfork i just havent done it yet. if anything i post seems like arguing believe me its not. i want to gain a better understanding of the craft so i can better understand the solutions to the problems i run in to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...