Jump to content
I Forge Iron

New to forging and knife making


Recommended Posts

Hey what's up everyone brand new to forging and knife making....looking to get into a new hobby and I love building things with my bare hands....I have a brother that makes knives and has introduced me into the world of moving iron. Tonight he showed me the ropes from building a fire in his coal forge to polishing and helped me build my first blade and I am very happy and proud of this piece!!! He did help me with a couple mess ups that I had but it taught me how to fix them and not to let it get me down if I mess up so any advice would be greatly appreciated and I can say I'm very excited to start on my next one there are some rough spots on it but I feel like it adds character to the piece





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good Morning,

Welcome to the Learning Curve that is not Straight and it has no Finish Line.

Start simple is the first step. Buy a container of "Play-Doh" from WalMart for a Dollar. Put it in your Tool-Box, steel works the same as Play-Doh except you can forge with your fingers and hands. Don't laugh!! Play-Doh, Plasticene, Modeling Clay, Cookie Dough, all work the same as Steel.

It is very normal to start with a Shive from a Spike. Letter openers for E-Mail!! Butter Spatula. Trowel for pointing the Chimney, or whatever. Garden Stakes or whatever your mind can think of.

The Journey has a Beginning, BUT there is no END.

Don't take life too serious, we all have the same destination.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, swedefiddle said:

Play-Doh, Plasticene, Modeling Clay, Cookie Dough, all work the same as Steel.

Ummm... no they don't, Neil!!!  I qunech my steel in oil, but when I tried quenching my cookie dough in oil, and it was a disaster!!!!  So, now, I skip quenching cookie dough and just temper it in the oven at 350 for about 18 minutes.  The knives don't work worth a darn, but they are pretty tasty.  LOL  Next project... Damascus cookie dough Bowie...mmmm chocolate chip/sugar cookie Bowie knife.

Seriously though, Neil gave you some good advice.  Keep that first one in a safe place, so you never lose it, and as you progress on your journey, pull it out once in a while and compare it with the new ones you make.  You'll be amazed at the progress you make.

Also, one thing I've found in my own journey, is to not try and tackle to many issues all at once.  The more knives you make, the better you'll get, but you'll also be training your eyes to see mistakes that you don't tend to notice when you first begin knife making.  If you see a bunch of mistake on a knife, the natural tendency is to try and fix all of them on your next knife.  You'll get better results by keeping a journal about your mistakes, and only focusing on changing one or two things with each successive knife.  A lot of things will tend to correct themselves as you gain experience, but if you set a goal of correcting everything, it can just lead to frustration. 

In my limited experience, I've found that good bevel grinds and solid finishing work go a long ways towards getting something I'm really proud of.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Little Manmays,

That's a nice looking spike knife you made there.  Spikes are great for practice, and provide a good platform for developing shapes and design as you have a common, limited, chunk of steel each time you begin.  I stopped making anything out of rr spikes when I finally made something I really liked, but it wouldn't hold an edge.  Think about using some old car spring (52100) or another high carbon steel next time, and ask your brother to teach you how to properly heat treat it.  The root of any knife is its edge, and it's ability to hold it, next is toughness and the ability to hold up under the task it's designed for, and last (but not least) is its ergonomics and lines.  As HoJ said don't sweat the the mistakes. Knife making is a process of recovery!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

just a typo: car springs are often 5160, 52100 is what many ball bearings are made from and is considered an advanced steel to work with.  Car springs make good knives especially for the larger tougher varieties.  We advise not to use ones found broken along the road but try to get new or lightly used ones---places that lower or raise vehicles often have spring packs with pretty much no wear on them.  I used to have a contact with a place that built EMT vehicles and they would give me massive spring packs with 16 miles on them---the distance from the dealership to the re-build facility.  FOR FREE!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...