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I Forge Iron

Hello from Central Florida


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Hi guys, I figured I should introduce myself.  I live in the Central Florida area about half way between Orlando and Daytona.  I own a small Landscaping business, but I have wanted to get into knifemaking since I was about 12 years old and have never done it. I am turning 42 next month and I finally decided it was time to follow my dream. I have some downtime in the winter here (yeah, it isn't really much of a winter so I still have some work to do, on and off, I work about every other week in Jan and Feb).


I started collecting some tools a few months ago and I am currently looking for an anvil. I bought a HF ASO before I knew any better and it takes way too long to get anything to move on it!  I recently finished a propane tank forge build and I am moving up to it from the coffee can forge I have been using. I have really not made too much yet, I have just been moving some steel around, playing with rebar and old edger blades. I have been drawing out some of those edger blades and will try my hand at my first knives sometime soon.  I do plan to move on to known steel once I start to get the hang of things, but I have a bunch of old lawnmower blades and edger blades on hand to start with.


I recently bought a Dewalt portaband saw and I am making a table for it, so I can cut some stock.  I also have a couple drill presses (one floor standing and another bench top) and a couple of cheap belt grinders/sanders (1x30 Delta and 1x42 Dayton). I would love to pickup a good belt grinder in the next year or so. I also have a couple 4-1/2" angle grinders, a 7" angle grinder, and 6" and 5" bench grinders. I would like to turn one of the bench grinders into a buffer, possibly.  


I will be looking in my area for some groups to get involved with.


I did recently buy The Complete Bladesmith: Forging Your Way To Perfection by Jim Hrisoulas and am almost done reading that.


Any other suggestions on books would be appreciated. 


I have done a fair amount of welding over the last 10 years and I have a small lincoln mig and an old lincoln buzz box on hand. I also have an old gas cutting torch outfit.


I guess that about sums things up.

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Greetings and Welcome Acientsword,


Glad to see you are following your dream... I might suggest that you forget unknown steel to start..  Plain old structural A36 or 1018 is readily  available and will start you off much better..  Lawn mower blades and rebar are tough to make any thing of value on you first tries..  I wish you well and keep watching IFI and fill your bucket with info..  I think another great book for newbies is A Blacksmith Craft   by George Dixon...  Good luck...


Forge on and be safe



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Welcome aboard, glad to have you.


Until you develop the skills sets you'll do a lot better and learn more quickly using know steels. It's an entirely different skill recognizig and analyzing scrounged steel on the fly. Seriously some results can come from a steel type OR forging techniques and if you don't know which is which you can end up following blind allies to dead ends and not know why.


It's the same as trouble shooting, only change one thing at a time or you never know what did what. A lot of what we do is failure analysis, adapt, adjust, overcome. This is the very aspect of the craft that sings to many our souls, the constant learning curve.


Frosty The Lucky.

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