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I Forge Iron

My tools are very limited


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Hello people ,well as my title says I have very limited tools , meaning I don't really have power tools and all that sort of thing but I wanna make a knife. I know I sound weird talking about how I have nothing but I wanna make something,  but the design is somewhat simple, like a kiridashi knife.

Um for the steel , I have what appears to be a lawnmower blade ? But smaller.

How would I go about trying to make this without power tools and stuff , I have files and just tools that I need to put more effort into but I don't mind.

Also , the bevel , would I be able to get it somewhat "Razor sharp"? This way ? 

If anyone thinks I can , please list out things I would need that would replace power tools , 

Thank y'all in advance.

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1 hour ago, MrHernandez said:

Um for the steel , I have what appears to be a lawnmower blade ? But smaller.

probably an edger blade.

check if it is first hardenable before go through all that trouble. Heat up above critical, quench, if it hardens, well, you have hardenable steel.  

You said you have files, and "just tools that I need to put more effort into" like what? that would help us be able to help you easier, if we know what you have. Do you have clamps, or a vice to hold it in place while you cut and file it? do you have a hack saw to cut out the rough shape? now if you have a forge ( all we mean is a pit in the ground with an air source and a bag of charcoal, you will need this at least to heat treat it), and something to use as an anvil (sledge hammer head, piece of railroad track, block of steel, etc) and a chisel, you can cut out the shape with a chisel, or forge the profile, now to forge it you would need something to hold it with=Chanel locks/vice grips, something to hit it with=smooth face flea market hammer, and your PPE.. Blades have been made for hundreds of years with out power tools, ain't no reason why it cant be done now, its just lots of people think it cant be. 

I have never made that style of blade, nor am I knifemaker, but for a while I was in your shoes, you just slowly build up your toy tool collection.



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https://youtu.be/TZU_Sl8oTew  (colonial style)

https://youtu.be/ZsQ_2Kwe4uk (neck knife)

This was a blade with no electric tools.. All hand done.. 

While I am using blacksmithing tools the basics of what I am doing are the same no matter what heat source used,  or what anvil or anvil like object is used.. 

Each tool just speeds the process up, but years back using the most basic tools will help to learn and be a better forger as you learn to do more with less.. 



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Well A.G.Russell was able to get a folded and flattened aluminum beer can razor sharp---he shaved hair with it as proof. So you can probably get a blade made from that razor sharp. HOWEVER it's how long the blade will hold an edge in use that really counts!

You may want to search for the old "NeoTribal Bladesmiths" forums that were devoted to forging and finishing blades using NO power equipment.

But I must tell you that this sounds like some saying "I want to win a Formula One Race; but I can't drive and don't have a car---what can I do to win?"

If you know how to forge than the basic shaping is easily withing your capabilities even using a (smooth faced) claw hammer and a piece of RR rail. IF you know how to forge the alloy of steel you have---too hot and it can burn; too cold and it can crack.  The what you probably want to do is to use Draw Filing to shape the blade after forging and annealing.  After draw filing you can do heat treating---if you are using unknown scrap be sure to make several sample pieces to figure out what heat treating will work best for it and don't forget: after hardening proceed immediately to drawing temper on it!  After that is done you can use silicon carbide paper to finish it. and then hilt it.

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