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I Forge Iron

I Had To...


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Ok, I had no choice but to try. I got a 1x42 belt sander. So of course I HAD to try making my first real knife. It started as an old rusty Nicholson bastard file and a piece of unknown hardwood flooring. I forged it as close to shape as I could, then ground it closer. Normalized it three times. Sanded it to 420 grit. Then heat treated it by heating to nonmagnetic in my gas forge and quenching it in heated Canola Oil (estimated about 160F). File skated on it at this point.Tempered at 450 F in the oven for 2 hours. Then I polished it with block and sandpaper.





I used two part epoxy (not the fast drying stuff, I read these forums ;) ) to attach the handle.

Overall Length: 10 3/4 "

Blade Length: 6 1/8 "

Blade width: 1 3/8" (at widest point)

Blade Thickness: 1/8" (at thickest point)

Edited by LastRonin
Trying to avoid the "Forbidden" bug
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Very nice first knife.  Quite a challenge to heat treat one that thin on your first go around without getting any warps.  I especially like the faceted handle.  You have obviously done some woodworking before to get the complex shape so well rendered.

If you don't mind a bit of constructive criticism from another beginning bladesmith, there are two aesthetic issues that might be worth consideration on your next knife.  The first is the plunge cut (where you transition between the ricasso and the beveled portion of the knife blade.  Making this is arguably one of the more difficult parts of knife grinding (I still struggle with it a bit after my dozen or so knives).  You have a very "soft" transition, and a more pronounced transition is typically the accepted standard.  The other is a more objective point.  For a kitchen "paring" knife I would prefer less of a bulge in the blade above the handle where the blade and handle meet.  I probably would have ground an eighth inch or so off the spine of the overall blade when profiling.

You are off to an impressive start.  Make sure you keep this one so you can judge your progress.  I made a very similar kitchen knife, but with a  full tang, that I gave away, as my 4th knife, and have regretted if since.


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mitchforging: thank you. It was a lot of fun.


latticino: Thank you. I was very worried as I plunged it into the oil. 

I don't mind advice or criticism, as long as the provider doesn't mind if I heed it or not. :D As to the two points you brought up, I hadn't really thought about 'traditional' plunge cuts, this was what I had invisioned, as was the bump at the top. I personally like the look, but understand your points and will definitely keep them in mind if I ever make one for someone else.

Oh, I'm not giving this one away. It is already been put to use, washed and put in my knife drawer.


My first "knife" was a kso made from an old broken box end wrench. The second knife I did anything with involved no forging, I just made new aircraft aluminum scales for a small folder I found that had been run over. The third was a month ago, before I hit the belt sander and my first experience of the horrible "TINK!" of a blade cracking in quench. (I didn't preheat the canola oil, and I believe I had some water at the bottom). So this is my first successfully completed forged knife.

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