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I Forge Iron

first finished blade


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Heckuva letter opener.  I can think of more than a few people that would like a fine piece of eye candy like that.  

  Edge holding ability is a somewhat overrated stat anyway.  As long as you don't seriously abuse a blade, you'd be surprised how well even mild steel can hold a serviceable edge.  As long as you don't do edge on steel/stone contact or have it floating around in a junk drawer where the blade gets nicked to Sunday and back, you càn cut fruit or harvest from the herb garden for a long time before you have to sharpen it.  Maybe even the occasional steak isn't out of the question.  That being said, if a knife is a daily, hard work, cut through foil packaging, wood chopping, razor for you grandpa's super tensile strength whiskers, you do need good steel for that, or the edge will be gone in the first day, on top of grandpa being very angry with you.

  And worst case scenario, you could always super quench.

Edited by Quarry Dog
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  Edge holding ability is a somewhat overrated stat anyway.

Not to argue, but edge holding is only overrated only for someone who's making knives that aren't intended to be used.  There is nothing more embarrassing than selling a working man a "good" knife and he can't even skin out a deer with it, or make a single slice through a rope. 

For any new knife maker, make a knife for yourself.  Use it, compare it to your "good" knives.  Figure out what's right and wrong.  Keep improving. 


If it's art knives you are making use whatever steel you want (or wrought for that matter).  If you intend to sell a man a real knife, make them out of quality steel, and learn to heat treat them.

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In my best Billy Mays voice:   Are You too cheap to spend $2.50 a pound on real steel but expect your clients to spend good money on one of your knives?
Do you have so little carbon in the scrap metal you plan to use it wont even give up a spark in the spark test? 
Could there be micro fractures from this junk you are using or maybe you just have sore legs from standing too much?  

Well no matter, because now can use super quench!!!!!!

This magical mixture known as Super Quench, fixes everything, like Magic. Made from water, salt and jet dry will harden iron even if you dont have more than 0.30 points of carbon, We dont care,  because now you can forget about Physics. super quench never took a class! and if you act now, Super quench will even cure shingles, and frizzy hair !

We can go on and on about the miracles performed using super quench.  You can even repair old crumbling steel, that was burned from over heating!   You say that you dont know what alloy you used but this client is paying big money for the blade? Well no worries, Super quench will harden anything, even if it wont no one needs to know, its all in what you tell then to think. Get the genuine super quench now, available in 1, 2 and 5 gal buckets. Order now and we will include our super wart remover and window crack repair kit. in only 3 easy payments.. Call now !!

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Super quench will not make a silk purse out of a sow's ear---but you might get a tow sack.   Some folks are more impressed with *shiny* than others.  I see it as you have demonstrated you can handle some of the tasks associated with bladesmithing; now go on and master the rest!  Don't get stuck in the RR spike KLO bin.  Try remaking that blade using auto coil spring; preferably new from a place that does lifts/lowers; the fewer miles on the spring the most likely to avoid fatigue issues or as Steve mentions buy some new steel, (I used to be able to buy 5160 drops from a place in my town that made replacement springs.  Known alloy, no fatigue issues, scrap rate...

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Generally modern ('80 and up) leaf springs are going to be some version of 5160.  Just remember that due to the cycling that springs go through you run the risk of microfractures that can ruin a blade.  A good spring can make many knives and by the time you finish with it you should have the heat treat down.  I have a bunch of springs myself, although I don't really use them prefering new material over the unknown.

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My 11 year old just made his first knife last Saturday.  He worked for about 5 hours into shaping a handle and blade from some 1/2" square stock as an 80th birthday present for his grandfather.  We didn't even try to polish because I only have very coarse grits for the belt grinder.  His grandfather used it to eat his dinner and we were all quite proud of the work he did and how long he kept at the project.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey steve..... where do I send my monies?  I needs teh supaqwench! 


Senstrom. That is some awesome work, even if it is a rail spike. I know, they are cheap, easily found, and if you screw one up you dont feel too bad about it,  I got my start working on them as well. 

from one newb to another, I much prefer forging O1 to 5160, But that is a personal preference, But dont source your 5160 from old leaf springs unless you want to spend 10+ hours on a knife, only to have it crack during your heat treating process and have to start over... TWICE.... ( recent personal experience ) 

But keep it up man, thats an awesome piece you have there, much MUCH better then my first rail spike knife.... 

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