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I Forge Iron

Someone say Patch Knives?

Steve Sells

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I posted in another section of the forum about the fire that destroyed the shop at the Historic Fort Waynes Old Fort.  The thread includes links to photos of the fire, and the rebuild including the first lighting of the new forge

We now have the shop rebuilt, thanks to the people from Colonial Wiliamsburg, who sent us the plans for their shop to use by our crews with the rebuild.

I brought all the metal things recovered from the fire back to my shop, and I managed to salvage many of the hand tools, and I am in the process of re-heat treating the large hewing axes.  The large cross cutsaw blades got a bit hot in the fire, and when fire dept hit them with the water from the fire hoses, they turned into large 3D pretzles and were ruined from ever being used as saws again.

I am turning the salvaged cross cut saws into patch knives, for a fund raiser to meet the deductable of the insurance policy. I am not selling any myself, this is for the fort, they will deal with that in the spring time.

First I had to flatten them out to see what I had to work with.  Second I started cutting them down to a manageble size.  Third I  formed sections into blades, I managed to get 96 knives from them, ranging from 2.5 inch to 4 inches long by about 1 inch wide, with 3 to 4 inch long tangs.

Here is the result of the first batch of heat treating, I have 42 of the larger ones hardened and tempered at 350F here.  More photos to come as I get more work done.  I had to stop, because the 2.5 gal volume of my quench tanks oil got too warm to process more. 

P.S.  Please dont tell my wife, she is still wondering where her cookie sheet dissapeared too.  I suggested the dish washer ate it, like the dryer does with our socks. ;)


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A very worthy project - and obviously a labor of love from you.


I haven't seen a huge number of patch knives but the few I've made for my personal use have a single bevel and not much point.  The flat side cuts closely against the muzzle of the gun; I make them for a right handed person (since I yam wun...).


Your pattern could be dual bevel and multipurpose - both for patch cutting and small utilitarian tasks around camp.

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