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hi I'm starting out in blacksmithing, my friend and I are making knifes for a project in school. I have a good sized stick of rebar, id like to know what forging techniques that my friend and I could use.

thank you,

forge of serendipity

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Well, to be honest, I wouldn't recommend forging knives or working with rebar. Making knives out of rebar is out of the question.

Get yourself some 1/2" round, 3/8" round and 3/8" square, and practice, practice, practice. Use mild steel and make things with long enough lengths to not need tongs. Eventually, you will be able to learn some basic hammer control and metallurgy, and try your hand at knives. Just a suggestion, but I really think you will really enjoy yourself a lot more making good basic projects than messing up on advanced projects.

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Forge the rebar inta a couple s hooks or a couple wall hooks to hang tools on. Take some time and read this site. You will find a wealth of information by a bunch of experienced people. Knife making is what gets most people into this addiction, myself included, but i enjoy making other random stuff more than knives. 

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You may be able to make the rebar into the shape of a knife, but it is unlikely that steel can be heat treated. The result would be too soft to hold an edge, and a knife without a sharp edge is kind of useless - except perhaps as a butter knife.
You need steel that can be hardened.

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thank you all for answering my question, but, here's another... what quenching methods would be best for rebar steel?

thank you

-forge of serenity

re read what you were told, you are not paying attention when you were told you cant

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There is a collection of knife making classes on IFI that has all the info you need. The most important thing is to find some good steel to make a knife from and then read all the classes. After you do that and before you light the fire go back and reread the classes since you probably missed something the first time around. Then you can start the forging process. Have the classes pulled up on your phone or tablet and close by (but obviously not right next to the fire or anvil) so you can refer back as needed. 

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Step 1: Gather together all your rebar.

Step 2: Take your rebar to a scrap yard and sell it.

Step 3: Take the money from selling your rebar and buy some proper knifemaking steel.

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sorry about that, accidentally pressed something else. but thank you Michael, I appreciate the reply.

thank you

-forge of serendipity

thank you JHCC, I will take your answer into consideration.

-forge of serendipity

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1 minute ago, forge of serendepity said:

sorry about that, accidentally pressed something else. but thank you Michael, I appreciate the reply.

thank you

-forge of serendipity

FoS, you can go back and edit your posts for an hour after you first click "Submit Reply". 

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I believe it's only the mods who can close a discussion; part of the "charm"(?) of IFI is the way that discussions can go on and on, often on totally irrelevant tangents and interminable chains of bad puns. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Now, with that said, I'd encourage you to head over to the "Introduce Yourself" page and create an entry to tell us who you are. Just make sure to READ THIS FIRST.

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To quench harden a steel if *FIRST* has to be an alloy that will harden appropriately when quenched. Rebar is not an alloy that will harden correctly for blades. So no matter how you heat it or what you quench it in it won't make a good blade. NEVER.  So if you have already spent hours forging a blade from rebar; well consider it a learning experience to RESEARCH FIRST!

Now auto leaf springs and coil springs are generally made from an alloy that will harden appropriately when quenched.

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One thing I don't see mentioned above is that, in the USA at least, taking a knife to school is probably a BAD idea. Different school districts have different rules; have you asked your teacher(s) whether or not this will be an acceptable school project? If they give the OK, go right on ahead, but they may prefer you to make a coat hook or bottle opener instead of bringing a sharp object to school. Besides, coat hooks and bottle openers are standard beginner projects - much easier to forge than a knife.

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5 hours ago, forge of serendepity said:

thanks

 

JHCC, how do I close a discussion?

Stop posting or reading new posts, you MIGHT get one of the mods to close it if you ask but we'll continue without you if we have to start another thread.

Nobody's picking on you, you are NOT the first person who wants to learn blacksmithing by forging blades or just wants to skip learning blacksmithing and go directly to bladesmithing. To each his own.

I always recommend a person learn blacksmithing to a level of proficiency before adding high carbon alloys, with it's more sensitive heat management qualities, heat treatment, grinding and finishing to the learning curve. Learning stock removal knife making doesn't add confusion to learning blacksmithing and don't worry, you don't have to achieve a journeymans level. Just decent proficiency in the main basics is fine.

Just don't leave Iforge, I want to see pics of your blades as you get better at making them. I LOVE drooling on my keyboard looking at some of the blades pictured here. The more the better even if I have to get a plastic cover for my comp.

Frosty The Lucky.

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we try to keep the new members pointed in the right direction.  It is hard to teach over the internet as it is,  add in the fact  a noob does not have the skills or vocabulary to understand much of what is posted does not help.

We all like pictures, show us what you have going and we may be able to help, but if you have just started, we expect everything will look like a mangled S hook much of the time.

Frosty tends to drool on his Keyboard a lot more after the birch tree incident but he is semi harmless otherwise.

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thanks steve sells, but ive changed my mind about that topic. another thing, i forged a knife today, my first thing that i have forged!

i still need to grind though. im going to do it with my friend sunday, since were doing this together.

 

On 3/16/2017 at 4:09 PM, Frosty said:

Stop posting or reading new posts, you MIGHT get one of the mods to close it if you ask but we'll continue without you if we have to start another thread.

Nobody's picking on you, you are NOT the first person who wants to learn blacksmithing by forging blades or just wants to skip learning blacksmithing and go directly to bladesmithing. To each his own.

I always recommend a person learn blacksmithing to a level of proficiency before adding high carbon alloys, with it's more sensitive heat management qualities, heat treatment, grinding and finishing to the learning curve. Learning stock removal knife making doesn't add confusion to learning blacksmithing and don't worry, you don't have to achieve a journeymans level. Just decent proficiency in the main basics is fine.

Just don't leave Iforge, I want to see pics of your blades as you get better at making them. I LOVE drooling on my keyboard looking at some of the blades pictured here. The more the better even if I have to get a plastic cover for my comp.

Frosty The Lucky.

ive read up on blacksmithing for a couple months now, and ive just started around 8:00 am today. thanks though.

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33 minutes ago, forge of serendepity said:

 

ive read up on blacksmithing for a couple months now, and ive just started around 8:00 am today. thanks though.

We can all relax then. :rolleyes:

Frosty The Lucky.

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On ‎3‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 1:15 PM, Andrew Martin said:

One thing I don't see mentioned above is that, in the USA at least, taking a knife to school is probably a BAD idea. Different school districts have different rules; have you asked your teacher(s) whether or not this will be an acceptable school project? If they give the OK, go right on ahead, but they may prefer you to make a coat hook or bottle opener instead of bringing a sharp object to school. Besides, coat hooks and bottle openers are standard beginner projects - much easier to forge than a knife.

heck, even a picture of a knife, or a plastic knife isn't aloud and will get you sent to ISS. 

                                                                                                                 Littleblacksmith

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It's already been pointed out to you that rebar is not a good choice for a knife for several reasons.  One of the reasons is that it tends to move a little unpredictably under the hammer compared to known steels.  We all had to start somewhere, but I suggest that your two days of working that rebar would have been much better spent trying to set up some face/forge time with a person or group who already knows how to do what you want to learn to do.  It's not that we don't understand rebar or what you want to do.  Most of us are telling you it's a bad choice specifically because we've already been there and done that.

You don't know the carbon content of the steel. It can vary from piece to piece or even within the same bar.  Even if you happen to find a good length with carbon content high enough to harden you'd have to use trial and error to determine the proper heat treatment - and that would require breaking some of the pieces you forge.

I hope you stick with it, but I also hope you'll take advice from those who have already been down the road you're starting on.  You don't have to repeat every mistake we've made in order to learn from them.

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Let's take a look at this knife. We've got good news and bad news.

Bad news first, and I'm not going to sugar-coat this: that's a pretty awful knife. Bad choice of steel, poor design, not particularly well executed. I'm sorry, but someone had to say it.

Now for the good news (and there's actually a lot of good news): 

First, Hey! You made a knife! Good for you!

Second, it's better than my first knife (which I made back in middle school, from a piece of soft steel that I filed into shape and which broke while I was trying to fit a handle). Everyone's got to start somewhere.

Third, you have (we hope) learned something from doing this. Whether it's what steel to avoid next time (really, ditch the rebar) or what to do to improve your hammer control or even that you need to do some other smithing projects to build up your skills before you attempt another knife, if you're paying attention, you're learning. Never stop learning.

Fourth, with any luck, you now have a bit more respect for the experienced voices on IFI. I know how hard it can be to let go of an idea that you've gotten in your head about what you think you want to do, and Frosty, ThomasPowers, and Steve Sells can all vouch for how uncoachable I was when I started here. The people here want you to succeed; learn to let them help.

Finally, you now have a physical reminder of where you started. Tuck it away in a drawer somewhere, and go make some more stuff. When you've got a few dozen knives under your belt, go dig it out again and see how far you've come. 

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I just got into smithing and read this thread. I can't believe the support and encouragement you all offered this person. It makes me glad that I have shorten this as my new hobby/ addiction. LOVE IT!!!!

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9 hours ago, Leonard Staggs said:

I just got into smithing and read this thread. I can't believe the support and encouragement you all offered this person. It makes me glad that I have shorten this as my new hobby/ addiction. LOVE IT!!!!

Welcome!

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