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I Forge Iron

First Attempt...at anything


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So, my 12 year old daughter (one of the twins) wanted a hunting knife.  I couldn't find one that I was comfortable with her having so I decided to make her one.  I've rigged up a little charcoal forge out of an old cast iron sink and picked up a nice piece of rr track for an ASO.  I had several horseshoes laying around off of our TN Walkers.  Jayme loves riding and hunting so I made her a horseshoe knife.  Keep in mind that this is my first attempt at anything forging-related so don't expect to see Excalliber!  I'm not entirely done with sanding and finishing, but I thought I'd show ya'll what I have at the moment.  I somewhat heat treated the blade section and it is a little harder than the handle (quarters and heel) so while it does hold an edge somewhat, it won't cut a cord of wood if you drop it.  I stamped her initials on the heel, which will get a good polish.  My initial and the year is stamped on the back of the handle (not shown).  Maybe she'll end up using it as a letter opener as an adult.  Might even pass it on to her kids when I'm old and gray-er.

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Not bad for a first try, and definitely big points for doing something like that for your daughter.

 

A good blade has to have a certain percentage of carbon, which is lacking in horse shoes.  You might get a modicum of edge on it by quenching it in water or brine, but don't expect much.

 

Looks like you have good hammer control and an eye for design.  That bodes will for future projects!

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Thanks very much, VaughnT.  I wasn't really wanting something SUPER sharp...she's 12 after all and I'd feel really bad if she ended up getting sutures because of something I made.  I seriously considered splitting what would be the cutting edge and forge welding in a section of tool steel.  I wasn't quite comfortable with doing something that advanced just yet, so I just forged out the horseshoe instead...basically relying on what little hardening I could do with a basic heat treat and quench.  After a couple of quenches, I put it in the oven at 375 for a few hours.  Like I said, I'm a complete newbie and just took what information I've gleaned from this site and put it to use.  I didn't really want to start out making knives...that wasn't my goal.  My daughter presented me with a challenge, so I did what I could with what little I know at this point.  I'm really wanting to make hooks, rivets, and other stuff that can be used around the house and farm.

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Here's the deal with my handle.  All the Freemasons on the site will know what one side of the equation means.  I am a proud Freemason and Past Master of Pontotoc Lodge #81 Free and Accepted Masons under the Grand Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi, F&AM.  There is a section of each ritual which refers to "three distinct knocks" which alludes to the particular values taught by each of the Blue Lodge degrees.  On the other side of the coin, I have three beautiful daughters.  My twin girls are 12 and our youngest is 7.  Even though they are twins, each child is very distinct.  All three are "country girls" and love to ride horses, hunt, and fish.  They come in from school and do the feeding, watering, and egg gathering before they have a snack without being asked to do so.  Jayme is our rough and tumble girly-girl in pink and pony tail.  Peggy is our "death-metal-goth" child wearing black and mossy oak camo.  Morran (pronounced more-ran) is our cuddly sweetheart that isn't afraid to ride anything with hair or hide.  They're not afraid to help me skin and gut a deer, rabbit, or chicken and they don't mind Dad giving them a hug and kiss in front of their friends.  3 Distinct Knocks...all the way around!

 

Thanks for the comments, fellas.

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