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ForgeNub

First big blade.

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First large blade, successfully hardened (file tested) tempered in the oven to a dark straw. Approx. 13 inch blade. Went for a Kukri but had trouble widening the stock, made from spring steel. Lemme know what you think! All it needs now is a handle!

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Allow me, if you will, to offer you some friendly advice. Learn how to move steel before you move on to these big blades. If you had trouble widening the stock, then that is an obvious sign that you need practice, and your end product is suffering because of it. Work with some mild steel for a while and figure things out. It's far cheaper and easier to move. It's been said here a million times *for a reason!* I'm not trying to knock your blade, it's a halfway decent start. 

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And I'll agree that learning to work the metal before needing to use that skill will help a lot but I will suggest learning to work spring steel if you want to work spring steel.  You should be able to find spring steel scrap at cheap or even free rates and it will train you better than learning on mild and then having to relearn on spring---things like not forging past the workpiece glowing, (working too cold) and watching out that you don't overheat the piece, working too hot.  Not much a problem with mild steel but a big issue with knife grade steels.

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The cross peen is your friend as far as making your blades wider.  You can gain a lot of width, relatively speaking, using it to draw the metal "down" rather than lengthwise, but it will reduce the thickness, of course.  Not a problem for a slicing knife, like a chef's knife, but can be a major issue for a chopper like a kukri.  You likely need to start off with a larger piece of leaf spring stock.  I would recommend at least 1/4" thickness and 2-3" width stock material.  I think many traditional kukris are forged from truck leaf springs (and traditionally most of them have stick tangs). 

Note that is a lot of work to forge 5160 at these dimensions.  No insult intended, but from what I'm seeing here you need more practice with smaller blades before attempting something this large.

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make sure you are not using a "modern crosspeen" with a sharp edged peen.  My favorite straight peen looks like someone welded a piece of 1" round stock on the end to make the peen---but it was forged to that shape.  Another broad peen would be the horn of an anvil.

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I ground down the peen on my cross hammer so much less sharp, in regards to cost of steel, all my metal is free, I work at an auto shop and get to take home all the scrap springs we can get. Basically only steel I have to buy is the mild stock. So I've been making stuff that I like the look of and learning in the process I appreciate the tips of course! Working on a dagger from the same steel as the Kukri and widening process is going a lot easier! Thank you all for your responses and the pointers it's definitely been helping me advance and feel less lost

That's all the springs and u bolts I've gotten in like the last couple weeks at no cost, that being the reason I'm not working much mild steel

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Careful trying to widen a blade too much. Unless you've upset the material where you want the blade wider (or are starting with a wider billet and drawing it down where it will be more narrow), then your wide part will be thinner than the rest of the blade and you'll have to do a lot of grinding on the narrow sections to get uniform thickness. In a kukhri style blade, you would want the opposite if you're straying from uniform thickness or distal taper. You'll want that belly thicker, if anything, since that is designed to be the point of impact of a chopper.

When I want a blade with a forward belly I'll either start with wide stock and draw it out toward the tang, being very conscientious of keeping the thickness uniform, or upset where the belly will be. Then forge to shape and bevel. Your bevels will make it smile, so straighten as often as possible or you'll get a boomerang.

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Naw, it's not a Kukri alright it should do for a bill hook though. Better luck next time. ;)

The problems you describe are basic blacksmithing and why I recommend a person learn blacksmithing before tackling bladesmithing. If your only aim is bladesmithing then learn with blade steels otherwise learn on things other than blades till you've developed proficiency at the anvil. 

It's always going to be harder climbing more than one learning curve. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Always love your responses Frosty, straight and to the point, and always a little bit of humor, at least the part about being an ok bill hook. Definitely a lot for me to keep learning and practicing. So far of all the stuff I've tried out, I've enjoyed fashioning blades and watching the metal go from round to ugly to uglier to a KSO. I don't know if I'll only be focusing on blades but it sure is the most fun for me!

 

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1 hour ago, Frosty said:

It's always going to be harder climbing more than one learning curve. 

Wiser words have never been spoken.

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The Billhook part wasn't that much a joke, I'd give it a try you may have stumbled onto your signature blade. 

As a hobbyist I've always thought it'd be nice to stumble onto something I liked making and sold well enough to help pay the way. Put it in the black was pure fantasy of course, I didn't want to work THAT hard. When you make a blade that doesn't turn out like you wanted, see what it's good for. Just because you had something else in mind doesn't mean the miss isn't a bull's eye on a different target.

Ah heck Will. I appreciate the thought but there are a lot of wiser people post here every day and I'm not the only one saying that little thing. I've been hearing that since I can remember. "One thing at a time Butch," Dad said so often I got sick of hearing it. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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May not have been a joke but it made me laugh Frosty! I've swung it around gotta a crappy old desk and chopped into it about an inch deep with little force and didn't make any wrinkles or chips, I like the way it's shaped and it's light but I haven't got a handle yet so don't know how that's gonna go, on a side note my days efforts today made a nine inch dagger really thin but seems strong and very springy.

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Good most folks confuse large knives with crowbars.  I tell them to go look at kitchen knives used for extreme cutting  and even the *heavy* chopping knives tend to be half the weight of many big knives folks make...

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