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I Forge Iron

Just starting and guess what-I need advise


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I lucked out and found a cast iron forge with a champion blower. After a lot of wire brushing and cleaning-finally got it so I think clinker breaker moves
properly and though a little hard to turn the blower moves a lot of air.
I would like to learn how to make knives. First question-can you recommend
video or book good to start with. What kind of steel do you use? What could I use for an anvil since I used what little money I had to buy the forge.
Thank you for your help.

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I use a piece of I-beam that I found in my garage when I moved in. Rings like all get out but gets the job done. Just about anything heavy, solid, flat, and preferably metal will pass for a first anvil. From what I've heard Japanese sword makers still use a block of steel sitting on the ground as their anvil, viking smiths used a big flat rock. There are several very good books on how to start making knives I've read the $50 Knife Shop there is one that many of the other folks here recommend, but for the life of me I can't remember the name of it. As to steel I use anything that was made of tool or spring steel. Lawn mower blades, plow tines, leaf-springs, coil springs, and if you have energy to burn solid axle shafts(usually better to save those for hammers later on.)

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Jim Hrisoulas currently has several books available. He also frequents the IForgeIron chat so you can ask him questions if you wish.

The Master Bladesmith: Advanced Studies in Steel
The Complete Bladesmith: Forging Your Way to Perfection
The Pattern-welded Blade: Artistry in Iron

Don't forget the IForgeIron Friday Night LIVE Knife Chat. We had 33 in attendance the last time. All questions are welcome.

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I am waiting for "The complete bladesmith", but can also recommend "Step by step blademaking" by David Boye, which although doesnt have any info on forging, does have some great chapters on metallurgy, heat treatment, grinding and finishing blades.

Also check the blueprints section of this website, which I am suprised Glenn hasnt mentioned. :)

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I use railroad spikes for good knife steel leaf springs from older rigs works too, axles are good also. you will find you can get a lot of good iron for free if you jst look around go to a trucking companies shop and ask you can always get good scrap from them.

Have fun....

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