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I Forge Iron


Shamus Blargostadt

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So I'm trying to make this kitchen knife and I've already made several mistakes. One thing that I'm getting concerned about though is this bit of scale right in the middle. I keep grinding and grinding on the belt grinder and it just doesn't seem to be going away and I'm afraid that the blade is going to be getting too thin.

My thickness is getting uneven too. It's anywhere from one quarter to 1/8" thick in places (one spot looks 1/16th.)

I started with 1095 steel and tried to cut out the basic shape of the blade. Then I tried to forge it to shape. I'm wondering if I should've gone easier on the hammer in that middle part to avoid making the indentations. Or is this normal and I should just keep grinding away until The scale is gone?

I'm using a 2x42 belt grinder. I was then going to finish up the edges with the angle grinder.



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Experience; learning to make smooth beveled sides takes practice.  You might just soak it in vinegar to remove the scale and leave the surface as "rustic"  Don't make it too thin!

Every student I've had with at least 1  Y chromosome has demanded to make a blade before their hammer control was  sufficient.  I've often given in and let them forge a blade and then let them spend hours trying to file it smooth and generally finding that it's then too thin to work as a blade.  *Then* they are willing to listen to my teaching on how to hammer a smooth surface.

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It looks like something I used to do: 

The anvil I used had a nasty face on it at the time (I was renting time at another forge in the UK, using their back-up equipment), so I had to forge bevels "cack-handed", as it was described by another smith, to forge the bevels on my blades. Ultimately I found it led to blades that were beveled flat on one side and concave on another. I think that may be what's happening to you. My solution was to walk around my anvil finding the best position to forge bevels with nearly identical hammer blows on a clean anvil face no matter which side of the blade. At first it meant walking to the other side of the anvil, but I noticed the difference right away.

What's the other side of the blade look like?

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Thanks Thomas, that vinegar trick took most of the scale right off. I think I might be able to sand it now. Anxious to get at it.

My anvil is pretty beat up but I'm betting my inexperience is more to blame than that. The other side of the blade is similar but not as bad as this side.  I'm thinking I probably pounded scale into the stock, like Frosty said. I will definitely be more careful brushing after this.

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not to worry, my 1st attempt at knife making was realllllllllllllly eye opening about keeping the face of my anvil cleaner. I even left some grind marks, I guess I was blinded by the glaring embedded scale impressions, who knows, my story, might stick to it or not.


Learning can be painful and pleasurable at the same time.




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