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I Forge Iron

(Pic hvy) Sold my first knife! And it wasn't even for sale.


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I've never sold a knife, I wanted my skill set to be much better before I felt comfortable selling something. All that I have made so far have been gifts really. This is my 8th knife.

I tried my hand at BSB/PS combo and it worked pretty well. Since the steel is somewhat unknown, hardened, but not nearly as hard as other knives I have made, and had some inclusions from twisting, I figured I would just keep this knife for myself... Maybe a letter opener. 

So I finished it up, no measuring to get guard and handle perfectly centered, all just eyeballed and thrown together. Someone saw it and I guess fell in love with it. They asked what I wanted for it, I said its not going to hold an edge very well, it has some inclusions, the guard is not centered, i think its 1/4" longer on one side... basically I pointed out the imperfections as I saw it, thinking he wouldn't want it. 

He said to me that all the knives you see are technically perfect, no flaws, and might as well have come from a CNC assembly line. 

He offered me $250, I said its too much, said id be more comfortable with $75... he said no, and $150 final offer...i thought that was too much But he insisted. So I sold it.

anyways less chatter, more splatter: 39 layers BSB/PS. 10-12 full twists. Etched in FeCl3 then darkened in instant coffee. Guard is the last piece cut off a bad weld on a W2-52100 billet. Handle is blue dyed stabilized mesquite from the back yard. And a 1/8" peened brass pin. 
















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5 minutes ago, Tubalcain2 said:

As opposed to the people who like what they don't like?  :P

I have kn own people like that but more common are the people who don't like what they like.

I like the pattern, I like low count high contrast. I sure with you weren't pointing it at your dog like that! :angry:

Frosty The Lucky. 

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I'm sorry but that is just like saying the roughness of your car body make it look like a lamborghini. Pattern welded blades like that would have been owned by the top 1% of medieval society so of course they should look rough?????

Have you done much in depth research on medieval physical culture or are you going by Hollywood and fantasy books?  I have a friend doing replicas of the Sutton Hoo find, he's using computer guided laser engraving as the only cost effective way of duplicating the exquisite details of medieval work.

Or are you assuming that things would have looked like they had 1000 years of aging on them when they were brand new in medieval times? I've run into this with some historical reenactors.  They want me to duplicate a museum piece not realizing how different it would have looked brand new as it should when they carry it at an event set back then.

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@DuEulear isn’t saying it makes it look medieval, @ThomasPowers, but midevil. “Midevil” means “kinda medieval-like, as perceived by people who trust art directors more than they trust historians”.

That said, it is a lovely bit of pattern-welding. I’d personally like to see a bit more of a diamond cross-section to the blade, à la Bill Moran. 

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The handle was shaped on the fly, since there was no real plan I just thought, "huh.. a pommel type ball in the wood would feel good in the hand" so sand the back end to make the ball, then it looked uneven, so I thought it would look better if I mimicked the same taper/grove near the front end. 


All this was on a piece of stabilized mesquite, 1"X 1" X 7". It was a test piece when I was first trying out cactus juice and alumilite dye. 


Finished to 600 grit then lightly oiled with linseed oil. Its actually very smooth even though the texture of the grain makes it look rough. 


Thanks for the comments. @ThomasPowers.. I think I will use A LOT more BSB/PS in the future for guards, pommels, trinkets like bottle openers etc... its free materials. Yes it takes more time to prep and time has value, but for me its a hobby not a business, and I enjoy even the grunt-prep work. 

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It stores better in short pieces standing up in coffee cans and I find cutting the BSB & PS to length a nice job for when I want to work in the shop but don't have time to fire up a forge.  I didn't have anything against the knife just it being call medieval in look for it's "rustic" character.  One other thing to think about is that much of the early stuff gets intricately carved wood and bone work.  I figure lots of people sitting around the fire for several months in the winter with not much to do was the basis for that!

Also a tip: when cutting BSB always cut from the back towards the teeth and let the last bit of hardened section break off rather than get cut---much easier on your snips!

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Thanks for the comments everyone, I'm slowly getting the hang of this whole process. Lots more than just pounding on hot steel, though that is the best part to me...  I hope to continually improve and expand my knowledge in all this craziness I have gotten myself into!


I just got a line on about 200-300' (free) of old steel cable that came from the copper mine a few hours away from me. Not sure what application, I'm leaning on crane cable. 1 1/4 " I think.  So lots of reading and research lies ahead of me, but nothing compares to giving it the ole' try!

To me there is something about turning old stuff, what might be just considered junk, into something awesome that I just love!

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