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I Forge Iron

Integral Bolster


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Hi All. Here’s one I just finished up after putzing with it off and on over the last several months. I forged the blade from 5160 in a workshop Butch Sheely taught at SOFA earlier in the year. It’s my first attempt at this style of knife. Lots of firsts in this knife in fact; first time using a lathe which was used to turn the copper spacer and ferrule nut and first time doing a threaded tang. The handle is katalox, which is also a first, but I rather liked it as a handle material. It’s very dense and hard. There’s about 20 things I would’ve liked to have a done a better job on, but all things considered I’m pleased with how it turned out. 



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That's really pretty, Lutz. The little filework detail is very nice, although I'd worry about it getting caught on something and snapping off.

One question: I think this may be an issue with the photo rather than with the knife, but the bottom image seems to show a bit of gentle swelling in the middle of the spine rather than tapering evenly from bolster to tip. Is that just the photo?

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1 minute ago, Steve Sells said:

if it helps, I cant think of any blade I ever made that I am 100% happy with, there is always something I wish was done better or differently, This looks good

I'm reminded of the story of the fellow visiting a metal shop who saw an old workman polishing and polishing a set of bronze church doors. After a while, he asked, "Those doors look amazing. How do you know when they're done?" The old man replied, "They're never done. People just come and take them away."

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15 hours ago, JHCC said:

the bottom image seems to show a bit of gentle swelling in the middle of the spine

JHCC, good eye! That’s one of things I wasn’t happy with, but I decided to stop chasing it. I thought about adding some filework on the spine to hide it, but as this project was just a learning experience I was ready to move on. 

You could be right about the Spanish notch. General consensus seems to be they serve no real purpose and are just decorative. I included because it was a common feature on the Samuel Bell dirks after which this knife is modeled (in my case rather loosely).

Great quote, by the way. A sentiment I’m sure most of us share. 


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