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I Forge Iron

Integral bolster forged from a crowbar

Geoff Keyes

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A couple of weeks ago I got into a rant about RR spike knives (which I really don't like) and I mentioned that if you wanted an interesting challenge, forge a knife out of a hex crowbar and use the hex stock size as the bolster.  Someone asked to see one, so here goes.


A crowbar I've been working from because it had a broken end.  Yes I could have reforged the end, but I have lots of crowbars,




This is the tool I use to set the bolster.




About 3 heats in, it's important to keep things as centered as possible, so I work from each side.




From here I went to the powerhammer, I could do this by hand, but why should I?


post-46125-0-57718200-1391640771_thumb.j  post-46125-0-24736700-1391640785_thumb.j  post-46125-0-44152900-1391640809_thumb.j


I could do this step with the fullering tool, but again, I did it on the hammer.


post-46125-0-33733400-1391640901_thumb.j  post-46125-0-80994600-1391640916_thumb.j  post-46125-0-77699900-1391640932_thumb.j  post-46125-0-58718200-1391640951_thumb.j  post-46125-0-67323300-1391640971_thumb.j  post-46125-0-00117000-1391641038_thumb.j  post-46125-0-96229600-1391641046_thumb.j


You can see that I need to straighten things up a bit.  You could do much of this with a mill, but this was all forged.  I left the end long to have something to grab onto and sometimes I will leave it so I can upset the butt end.  I clamp it in my post vice and heat the end with a O/A torch.  This gives you a nice square inside transition, but means that you probably have to square cut the inside of the middle bolster as well.





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i always do a break test, heat to red,  quench in water, smash with big hammer. if it dents, no good, shatters, its good enough for me to play with. i`ve found some crowbars that were mild steel, that sparked like carbon, but would not harden no matter what i did.  and one wrought, which was cool, and saving it for something.

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