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First and second blades


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New to smithing, actually just fired up my first forge on Sunday and have two knives, ok one and a half knives made. Gotta say, I'm hooked...

First one, rushed through and had 0 idea what I was doing but got a decent blade shape with an absolutely terrible handle, but that's ok. IMG_20170115_204845017.jpg

My second one went a little better. Kind of knew what to expect, got a better hang of how the metal moves, finessed a little more instead of smashing the hammer down like Thor. Little upset I told my buddy it would be for him, I think it turned out really cool! They're both made from an old CV breaker bar and I left the chrome on the second one until after forging. Wire wheeled it off and got this awesome pitted patina look to it. Still gotta get my handle finished up, but the blade itself is all done and I couldn't be happier!IMG_20170118_202854184.jpg

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STOP read before you kill yourself and others.

Many of us went to great lengths to write informative posts, and try to warn of dangers and having a noob ignore us and jump right in posting abusing toxic steel knife shaped objects and bragging how you ruin your lungs while totally ignoring the pinned posts here and in safety is annoying.

 If you had read the pinned posts as suggested you would have known what type of reply you would get by posting this, as well as why I am upset with your foolishness, either you didnt read or you are wasting all our time,

 

 

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In general, you shouldn't be satisfied with terrible work, as you said in the second paragraph

7 hours ago, duckrunner said:

First one, rushed through and had 0 idea what I was doing but got a decent blade shape with an absolutely terrible handle, but that's ok. 

How will you get better? As Steve said, do your homework and keep practicing!

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Boy are you TRYING to illustrate why old timers recommend you NOT try to learn blacksmithing by making blades? Not only are the profiles of those blade-like objects virtually unusable as knives they look like they'd be dangerous to the user.

Then you talk about burning chrome plating off the steel. This is extremely dangerous, hexavalent chrome is a true heavy metal and once it's in your system it will take years to flush out IF it ever does. It tends to poison you every second it's in your system and not only loves to break down your nerve and brain cells it causes cancer. Not can lead to, it CAUSES cancer. 

Put the fire out, the hammer down, and pick up a book, take a class or at LEAST hook up with someone who knows what they're doing. 

A lot of us shudder every time we see someone posting pics and talking about such dangerously poor work but it gives us a chance to warn folk off doing this kind of thing. This is the kind of thing that's hurting people on Youtube.

Don't go away we aren't being mean we just don't want you killing yourself because you're playing in the wrong end of the pool. You are NOT knowledgeable nor skilled enough to be making blades. YET. I see eye hand skills that will develop into an excellent bladesmith IF you don't disable or kill yourself before you develop those skills. 

I love looking at pictures of beautiful blades, please don't chlorinate yourself out of the gene pool before I get so see some of yours.

Frosty The Lucky.

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duckrunner, your enthusiasm is commendable, but you do need to be more careful, for all the reasons listed above. We really do want you to succeed as a smith -- even more, we want you to LIVE. Take a deep breath (of fresh air), get yourself a comfortable chair and a good supply of refreshments of your choosing, and read over as much of IFI as you possibly can. Pay special attention to the pinned posts at the top of each section, particularly those dealing with safety issues. Trust us: you will learn an enormous amount, and whatever projects you undertake thereafter will be a lot better, and you will be a lot safer.

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As you see, IForgeIron pushes SAFETY so you can have time to learn what is safe to work with and what to avoid.

The comment of getting a lunch and a cold drink and reading the site is excellent. We want you to succeed, so tell us what you have done, how it worked out for you, and ask questions, the more specific the question, the better the answer will be. 

To improve your photography, use a plain, generic background. Cardboard or brown wrapping paper works great. The contrast between the background and the blade makes the blade stand out. And a background hides everything that is not related to the blade.  Instantly you get a clean shop, no more clutter on the work table, etc. Just a great photo of your blade.

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Thanks for the comments and concerns guys, great feedback! I do know how terrible it sounds, I do know a decent bit on metallurgy and safety, though. I was a welder, went to school for it and a lot of what was covered was on safety and whatnot. My shop is very well ventilated and respirator was worn. A guy I used to work with made knives from wrenches and would leave the chrome on where the handle was going to be and filled me in. Might not sit well with you guys, but I'm confident I did well enough. Maybe I'm missing something though...

 

The first blade is completely unusable, just gonna sit on the shelf so years from now I can look back at it and see the progress. The second blade is actually quite comfortable in MY hands, may not be to others... We'll see how it ends up after epoxy sets and I finish the handle...

Again, thanks for the comments and concerns. Look forward to learning and growing from here!

Here's an easier to see picture of the profile just after heat treat. It's not as curved as the other picture makes it look.. like I said, comfortable in my hands. We'll see how it ends up when the handle is 100%IMG_20170118_195145880.jpg

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Of course there are mistakes said and made but IMHO quite harsh words.....but duckrunner took it with dignity.

The comments to the mistakes covering the up the good things on his first attempts to forge.

I think this is one of the best first attempts the last months I have seen,....and there are plenty...some of them deserve less compliments than given.

Well, first blade is good for the trash can.

Second blade is very close to ancient  Roman, Chinese or  Bronce age patterns.

And the quite normal plain handle pattern will work out well.

Get the edge thinner, and start to think about what the other fellows said......educate yourself, there is more between Tip and butt that You thought.

 

I am an German cutler/blade smith learned that profession by trade, to say the humble facts.

The first thing as an appretice we learned is to forge a tip and then we were trained to forge blades and blades and blades.

(And we were trained to grind the rest of our education time which lasted 4 1/2 years to the journeyman ship.)

Nothing from normal blacksmithing basics , because we were educated to be bladesmiths not blacksmiths.

But that was the sight out of the company's interest and the statutory education system, because we were of course told about basics but it made only 10% of the whole work.

What I want to say is,  he will not kill himself if he starts with blades.;)....keep on burnig of wrenches he will.

when safety is taken into account, as the fellows emphasized it,  playing is the key and then it will come to the blacksmithing basics by itself.

Because without the blacksmithing basics there is no control and no developing quality nor beauty.

Cheers   Jeremiah

 

 

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5 minutes ago, templehound said:

What I want to say is,  he will not kill himself if he starts with blades.;)....keep on burnig of wrenches he will.

when safety is taken into account, as the fellows emphasized it,  playing is the key and then it will come to the blacksmithing basics by itself.

 

Cheers   Jeremiah

No death from trying to forge knifes at the start, but perhaps you missed the point about his forging chrome plated wrenches, didnt your instructors mention death from heavy metal poisoning

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On January 19, 2017 at 10:23 PM, templehound said:

.;)....keep on burnig of wrenches he will.

Good day Steve,

no I think I didn't missed that as the self quoting shows....but my English sometimes lacks a lot, sorry.

of course my educators told us about the dangers of all aspects and situations they could imagine we ran through.

It is some advance to be told by good masters(or get some self education in alloys and their purposes) that wrenches make a lousy blade, because the alloy is of course designed for wrenches not for knives....good pry bars but bad blades.

Newbies often start wasting their time and money beat on every piece of crap they can find just to "spare" some money or to just to "practice".

Newbies will do that until the end of time, dosen't matter what we say, because their greenhorns:D

No offense Steve, I didn"t want to arouse Your indignation.

Cheers

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Actually raises a good point that I don't think anyone has addressed yet: what kind of steel is used in breaker bars, and can it be hardened?

Update: oh wait, never mind. I was thinking of something else; this has been addressed elsewhere.

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I will throw another spanner in the works. 

i think that what was said may have been well intentioned but was rushed, harsh and unwarranted ... no need to, at least not before some further questions are posed that would dispel most of the concerns. What do we call that? The benefit of the doubt? works most of the time.

But the reason I wanted to comment, is the above post by Templehound. He is a professional bladesmith. Learned the trade formally through 4.5 years of apprendiship in Germany. So let's say he knows how to forge a blade.

But he also candidly declares that he is not a blacksmith. he did not learn to make hooks then scrolls, than window grills and gates to then progress to blades ... not for a minute. He learned to make blades ... that's it.

May be we can remember to let newbies be, that want to start making blades before anything else. i always thought there was nothing wrong with that and that there is no need to make a hook or a scroll before making a blade. i suppose it works also the other way. If I make gates and railings, i don't have to do a master in blades afterwards. 

It is actually a sort of relief ... boy oh boy so I am not second fiddle because I don't care for blades :)

 

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Yes whenever they will undertake a 4.5 year full time formal apprenticeship under trained people who will mentor, critique and teach them they should go directly to blades---is that what you are saying Marc1; or are you saying that futzing around on their own takes the place of 4.5 years of directed training?  Train yourself to be a surgeon without wasting time in Medical School?

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Templehound: for the record I feel your grasp of the English language is better than many people I work with daily here in the USA, and the high quality of your blade work speaks for itself as to the level of skill you have.  The only complaint I have is you still have failed to add your location.

 Marc1: I wont retract my approach to the stupidity of forging plated material.   You seem so have missed the point  of how dangerous it is to be forging plated materials. Another reason its good to have a few classes somewhere from a experienced smith. a SELF TAUGHT person can not teach them self what to avoid until AFTER its too late.  Its good and necessary to be able to figure things out in a shop, but some things are just plain bad to figure out on your own,  Poisoning is one of them. so harsh is needed because a few  are still unaware of this even after many statements. 

This person has been a member long enough to have noticed some of the safety warnings. One habit I have have is yelling when I see a person doing something dangerous to get them to stop.

I do like the looks of the second blade.

 

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Even teaching people doesn't mean they learn. I had a student I was working with one summer at Pennsic and gave him the no plated materials talk and next summer at Pennsic I find he had spent a week in the Hospital with Metal Fume Fever; 19, on his own with no health insurance.  His hospital bills clouding his future pretty much forever.

I would say that most folks here will come down hard on the safety side online; perhaps even harder than they may personally follow; but hopefully they know the details to allow them to be safe.  I know a guy who has done fire gilding! (making a gold amalgam with mercury, applying it  and heating to drive off the mercury)  However he had access to an industrial mercury scavenging fume hood---cost much more than my house!  to do it safely. I give out a blanket *NO* to anyone wanting to do it anyway.

I also gave the farewell toast for Paw Paw Wilson

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Sorry if blunt in the face of serious danger seems harsh. Nothing we can say is as harsh as poisoning yourself for the rest of your life. 

Had I known you knew the dangers of heating plated steel to forging temperatures and took precautions I certainly would've written a different post.

You KNOW the dangers and posted pictures and descriptions of your work and how you did it WITHOUT mentioning the danger or a word about proper  PPE. You're encouraging folk who DO NOT KNOW how dangerous plating can be to do things that can and eventually will do permanent harm. Iforge has more than 50,000 members and a whole lot more reading without joining. I'd bet the experienced blacksmiths and welders reading number maybe 1%.

You KNOW how dangerous the activity and method you encouraged is and evidently don't care enough to warn the innocent our there? That deserves harsh.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Freedom of speech does not give a person the right to yell "fire" in the middle of a crowded movie theater. There are limits to free speech and opinion.

Counseling "advice" that is potentially lethal is far, and beyond that of free speech.

It cannot be countenanced.

Earnest belief dies not trump accepted scientific facts. (they ARE facts, not mere theory).

I personally watched a person die of poisonous fumes. It was desperately ugly. Suffocation is not pretty.

My two cents worth.

SLAG.

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3 hours ago, Frosty said:

Sorry if blunt in the face of serious danger seems harsh. Nothing we can say is as harsh as poisoning yourself for the rest of your life. 

Had I known you knew the dangers of heating plated steel to forging temperatures and took precautions I certainly would've written a different post.

You KNOW the dangers and posted pictures and descriptions of your work and how you did it WITHOUT mentioning the danger or a word about proper  PPE. You're encouraging folk who DO NOT KNOW how dangerous plating can be to do things that can and eventually will do permanent harm. Iforge has more than 50,000 members and a whole lot more reading without joining. I'd bet the experienced blacksmiths and welders reading number maybe 1%.

You KNOW how dangerous the activity and method you encouraged is and evidently don't care enough to warn the innocent our there? That deserves harsh.

Frosty The Lucky.

Nothing wrong with a good butt chewing, I should have known better than to leave out the PPE disclaimer. I spent four years in the Marines so keep on with the xxxx chewings as you see fit, I've got a thick hide on me lol. Hopefully this will be the last time needed, though.

 

Wrong,  here is another chewing, Watch the language, we are serious about th ToS   G rated family friendly topics and language.

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Actually, you are about to get chewed out for language. The moderators are extremely picky about keeping this a family-friendly forum, so you might want to go back and modify your choice of anatomical terms (even if that's just X-ing out the letters).

UPDATE: Oops. Too late.

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