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I Forge Iron

First knife - not yet hand sanded


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I am in the process of building my first forge. I have created a first knife from a hand file. I wanted to share with the group. After my first knife, I have found that I am OK with grinding on the belt sander. Not great, but I was committed on developing my skills with this method. I have some touch up to do, I haven’t hand sanded to a finish yet, but I am feeling ok with the blade profile. I did a tang all the way to the end of the handle and I tapped 1/4” holes and secured the handle with screws that I flushed off. The handle was a cool idea, but the lesson I have learned is to fully finish the blade and handle separately and then assemble with as little touching afterwards as possible. Probably sounds obvious, but it is something I discovered for myself during my first project. I thought to myself, I bet the guys that have done a few knives will get a chuckle about my discovery of something that is probably a “101” level concept. But I learned quick! Anyway, by posting my first project here, I know I will get good feedback and maybe some good “ribbing”. I welcome all of it. I had a fun time getting to this point and I will try to clean up some of the eye sores on the handle with some type of material that goes to the finger holes. I may come back to this a few times because I want to make it better and every time I look at it, I know I can do something more. Also, one side looks more polished right now because I ended up calling it a night. I still have a few days of work on this. Hopefully I can make the handle look a bit more refined.








Also, I have not ground the grooves in the spine. Those are sharpie marks. I have some chain saw bits to grind those, but the HF rotary tool gave up the ghost. That is number four HF rotary tool. I am going back to my Dremel that I rebuilt this week

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David: What are the laws regarding brass knuckles where you live? Just owning that thing might be a criminal offense. Alaska is pretty wide open state where weapons are concerned but that knife would get impounded as soon as a cop saw it though you might not go to jail.

Just saying.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Good question Frosty (and thank you for asking this because in the wrong locality it could be an issue). I should have mentioned, in Utah, where I live, there are no issues with owning them. Our statutes even allow carrying them for self defense with a concealed permit. Possession in the car is fine because the car is classified as “private property” here. There are “restricted” person laws for felons, domestic violence, etc where those two previous pints are moot. Also, if you ended up using them in a defensive situation, then the circumstances would define if it was a crime (ie who was the aggressor, etc). This will never be an issue for me since I am licensed to carry concealed weapons am I always carry a firearm. ;) The entire design is not for utility. I personally laugh about the knuckles restrictions because it seems really outdated nowadays, but that is my personal opinion. I know these were an issue at one time, but haven’t seen anything in the past 45 or so years. But that is from my limited window of the world. I should include a disclaimer that the laws on these types of designs should be researched for your own applicable state. I know mine inside and out and follow the changes  during each legislation period. For example, the carrying in the car law just passed legislation the past year.

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OK, please don't take this the wrong way.  This is meant to be constructive criticism, not trash talk or browbeating. That knife is ugly as the devil himself. The design is extremely impractical. That being said, my first blade was just as bad and i was just as proud of it. Keep that as a memento of where you started and a year from now you can look at it and have a good laugh. OK, now for the constructive part of the criticism. Your blade is actually not bad. the profile is graceful and the grind is pretty good for a 1st. The handle is were we hit a speed bump. Assuming you heat treated the blade before handling, welding it to the handle would ruin the temper, and unless you preheated properly, give you a dangerous brittle spot at the base of the blade. Besides all the cracks left in the weld, the knuckles would make it cumbersome to pick up/draw, and my hand hurts just thinking of all those sharp edges pressing into my skin.:( I would REALLY suggest starting with traditional full-tang handles and getting good with those before you try something this... different.

A+ for creativity and initiative, maybe an E for execution.  Do some reading up on this site settle on a good, straightforward design, and give it "take 2". Looking forward to seeing what you can do with #2.

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Tubalcain hit it right on the head. +1 to everything he said. 

I agree that the profile and grind are pretty good, but that handle is... interesting. I understand that it was just a creative idea, but remember, the greatest knife in the world is nearly useless if it has an impractical or poorly executed handle. Definitely recommend you go to simpler designs, the way the blade was going, this could have been a very nice knife. 

I started on scales, so i believe they are easier than through tang knives (definitely easier than a complete hidden tang, e.g. one that does not stick out the rear of the handle, they can be a PITA.) I would recommend starting with scales. Check out websites like Texas Knifemakers Supply or Jantz for a good selection of handle materials, both natural and synthetic. 

Good luck to you. 

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Did that start out life as a axle or drive shaft? Looking at the pommel of the knife reminds me of the end of drive shaft or axle. Good looking bit of work and I know it has a vestige only a mother could love but I like the Mad Max look of it.

**************Starting Rant Mode Now*******************

In Alabama my CCW permit will allow my to have a 500 SW revolver concealed on my person but not a knife! They can't take the chance in Alabama that a CCW holder will have *GASP* a Bowie knife concealed on their person! They my stab someone right next to them. A revolver that Frosty might use to level the playing field with a bear is much safer!

•Bowies and things that are like Bowies are illegal if concealed.
•Bowies are illegal to have in your vehicle.
•A machete might be classified as a Bowie and it would be illegal if you carry it concealed.
•A 11″ butcher knife has be found to be like a Bowie in court so don’t plan on using it in a crime.
•Selling Bowies to people under 18 is illegal.

Except as otherwise provided in this Code, a person who carries concealed about his person a bowie knife or knife or instrument of like kind or description or a pistol or firearm of any other kind or an air gun shall, on conviction, be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00, and may also be imprisoned in the county jail or sentenced to hard labor for the county for not more than six months.

Why Alabama will not add 11" knives to the CCW is beyond me but given the fines and punishments I bet this is a law that has not been updated in a long while.

**************Ending Rant Mode Now*************************************

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Thanks eseeman. The pommel started out as a socket wrench, which my dad had turned into an improvised file handle. He passed in 2013, so I wanted a “piece” of him in my first blade. I welded it to the end. The handle on the tang is two pieces of 1/2” square tube. And the knuckle piece is five pieces of sheet I welded and then ground to shape. It is “post apocalyptic”. I am now working on a hunter for my nephew in law. He picked up a 1” thick plate of A2 (not tool steel) which is 14” x 14”. I will be using it as my anvil strike face. Here is the work for the hunter. It is 1095, the guard is a piece of the same socket wrench I used for the pommel on the first knife. I spent about 6 hours on the detail of the guard and replicated it around the tang. I tapped where the three pins will go as 1/4” 20 thread which will be SS screws (should be secure with threads and epoxy). I will need to HT this one, but it is more traditional with a full tang. I have antlers, scales, liners, and plan to use some SS to make a sandwich handle. I am doing a lot of detail on it and hope it will be a nice piece. I will post more views as it progresses. The grind and blade are about 80%, still working the plunges and tip, but wanted to share a WIP post. Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback. I have caught a smithing bug and can’t stop fiddling around!


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