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I Forge Iron

I'm back to build number 3 and then some.


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It has been a very long year but I never lost the itch. I keep learning, reading and watching, every day.

I have just been given a very large supply of raw materials in trade for you awsome knife. These may not be ideal but free and abundant always help.

Here's my idea. Cut the largest piece out of the bigger blades. These can be forged down to blades.... small pieces I can learn to weld buy putting a sliver of this between a folded spring steel.

My hopes, are buy the time I get through the bigger blades and do a few cores welded with this. I should be ready to do some Damascus.

Now it is a reach to see the handles but these are the left over blanks from hard wood skate boards. The corners blanks I can cut out can average 4"x5" and 3"x4" 7/8th thick and are a blend of Oak, Maple, European Beach, Mahogany and Purple Heart Wood.

This should be a good start but please any suggestions would be appreciated. Any ideas on something cool, just let me know.

Here we go again...I'm so ready













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One picture you posted shows "HSS" on the steel. There may be other types in your lot there because looking at the site, they listed this for their knife materials: 

 Knives include M-2 High Speed Steel, AKM Tool Steel, Karbo Krome™ D-2, Opti™ and the Bak-Pak™ Carbide Knife System.


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Time to hit the shop...then you can determine if they will make a blade or not.....Forge then into pieces the rough thickness of the blades you wish to make..If they forge without crumbling you are off to a good start...then cut a small piece from the forging and heat to non magnetic and see if it hardens in air..if not heat again and try warm oil...if not heat again and try water...if not you then will kinow that that steel hardened in this manner will not work as a blade in your shop...A thing to keep in mind..as Ivan said above..they can all be a mix of materials...each may act different when trying to forge or harden...so each piece you for will have to have a test sample of that same piece of steel.

I expect to the right cabinet shop they may have enough value for you to purchase some known knife steel and get into the shop and make some knives.

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Wow if Dad were alive he'd want the whole lot of knives.   Had all the machines to run those in at various times.  Might be well worth selling them off to a woodworker somewhere nearby and the cash could buy a known alloy or maybe even make enough to make a good dent in an anvil.

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I'm still very much a rookie but I think if there good enough for high speed crown molding blades, I should be able to get something nice from them. They were hardend to some degree, several have been blued from running to fast and won't hold an edge unless they get sent back to be sharpened and retempered. I guess we will see. Wish me luck

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I do some work on junkyard metal, primarily spring steel, which more often than not is 5160.  It makes nice punches and usually turns out a decent blade as well.


These odd scraps you've found will require a lot of work to shape into useful pieces, and may or may not be something that can be hardened or tempered.  Better to build your skills with stuff that you know will behave.


Fuel and time are limited.

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There are a few things you need to think about before you dive into this. Finding a stash of great tool steel can be inspirational for sure. However there's a LOT more than just heating and beating to make a good blade, heck even a non-failure blank. As Rich says you don't know what you have, HSS can mean many things, it's a working trait, not an analysis.


Using these knives as trading stock and buying known steel is a very desirable thing. If someone dropped that pile of steel on Rich or Steve, there's little doubt they could evaluate and use what's usable. Unfortunately you don't have either the knowledge or skills. I'm not saying that to put you down, not at all.  Nobody is born knowing the craft, NOBODY. We all had to learn what we've accumulated and most of us will be learning the day we die.


For one example of why I believe you need some more knowledge. You say one knife is blue because it was run too fast and needs to be sharpened and retempered. Both are incorrect, the knife is blue because it was run dull, not too fast. Up to a point faster is better the edge spends less time dragging on wood so generates and absorbs much less heat.


That knife has lost it's hardness by being tempered blue through friction. Hardening and tempering are opposite processes literally. Tempering is the controlled softening to increase toughness and reduce brittleness.


That may sound like nit picking but the devil is in the details. If you don't know what something is called how can you ask good questions or understand the answers? Seriously there is a language of bladesmithing and without speaking it you can't communicate well enough to have much of a future.


Lastly, messing with those knives is a gamble and the odds are against randomly making a good blade. Doing so is setting yourself up for failure, a really bad way to learn a craft of any kind. Buying a known steel and following the instructions for making a blade from that alloy is setting yourself up for success. No guarantees mind you, nothing always works but if it fails folk will be able to tell you what went wrong and why. With an unknown, nobody is going to be able to help you correct the problem. NOBODY.


Don't sweat it however you decide to go, we've all done things we can look back on as dumb mistakes, every darned one of us who isn't a . . . silly story teller. It's part of the learning curve, anyone who isn't making mistakes isn't doing anything.


Great score on the wood, it has me salivating!


Frosty The Lucky.

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Thank you everybody for the input!!! It is very much appreciated,thank you for the knowledge I am very open to learning and always willing to accept constructive criticism.

I've spent a bit of time with the old gentlemen that gave me these blades and we have been able to identify several as M2 HSS and have pulled these ones out specifically. After a bit of internet search I have found this info on M2 steel. Sound like this steel may be a lot more work then worth. I had hoped to be able to cut blanks out of the larger pieces and forge them out into small blades but seams this steel is not a good choice for this.

I was so inspired and for sure I had something good...well that's life. Just seems a shame ask this steel. Well the wood is still good I'll just have to buy some steel stock so I at least get to start making some knives.

Thank again always appreciated.

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