Shalev Zohar

Upsetting width to thickness limits

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Hey, me again!

 

Not much progress with the sword, as to be expected. I'm still setting up the new place, I will hopefully make a killer forge in a week, and then some tools to pile up.

This is the problem: I want to make a sword with a base thickness of 5-7mm, base width of 2.5-3 centimeters and length of at least one meter, and a lot of extra material to grind because I don't trust myself enough with making clean forging work in there. I've got a 5mm thick 6cm wide 70cm long piece of spring steel. to get both higher thickness, length and take advantage of the axcess width I want to upset as much of it as I can. 

My question is: What is the width to thickness ratio at which the leaf will no longer upset but just mushroom or crumble?

 or more simple to me: the maximum width at which you can still upset a 5mm thick bar?

I'm no expert in this and I don't want to fight metal for too many hours, so this needs to be a reasonable width as well, I will square the bar beforehand with a disc, but I'll also cut the final working bar out then and for that I need the width. I changed my mind and the bar will not be sword shaped as in the picture but just rectangle.

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I'd also welcome some general upsetting tips

And a quick question: How'd you recommend for me to show the advancements in the sword project here?

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Show your advancements by continuing to post, with photos.

Leaf springs have usually had many cycles of flexing during their life time. Some of the spring have developed microfractures in the metal. Is it worth a small amount of money saved to guess at the metal composition, and guess at the soundness of the metal, and guess at the heat treating of a old leaf spring? The time in making your sword is the larger expense. Do you want to invest your time only to get to the end and hear the metal go pink break during or after your finished?

The cost of new known metal is reasonable now days. Pick up the phone, order the size you need, and it will be shipped to your door along with exact chemical composition, and heat treating instructions. No surprises.

As to how far CAN metal be upset? How much time and equipment do you have? 

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"In industrial practice the maximum aspect ratio that can be easily worked on edge or upset is 3:1. This phenomena is independent of hammer or press size"

Doing a web search on: max upsetting ratio iforgeiron.com I found the above and multiple posts discussing it.

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4 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

"In industrial practice the maximum aspect ratio that can be easily worked on edge or upset is 3:1. This phenomena is independent of hammer or press size"

Doing a web search on: max upsetting ratio iforgeiron.com I found the above and multiple posts discussing it.

Thank you, and sorry for asking something that has already been answered. I tried doing many searches like this but it seems like searching inside the site was a bad idea and outside probably didn't use the correct keywords. I tried doing your search but had to modify it to make it work.

This is unfortunate for me because I'll have to find workarounds, but I do have some.

now that the topic is not as relevant is it commonplace to take it down?

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6 hours ago, Glenn said:

Show your advancements by continuing to post, with photos.

Leaf springs 

 

The cost of new known metal is reasonable now days.

 

As to how far CAN metal be upset? How much time and equipment do you have? 

That'll mean multiple topics for such a long project, isn't there a way to keep it to one place?

 

My spring was kept as a replacement one, but I don't know how much use it saw before that. Can you detect the microfractures after polishing?

I have enough spare to make a test piece for the heat treating. I have the time and spare metal to risk a break, but I'll check into new steel, if it's not too much cost for both the metal and shipping I'll consider it.

My options are: Make a tool for upsetting and procceed as planned/ try working with what I have and maybe still make it/ use a longer piece of leaf I have/ fold and make pattern welded steel, using hand hammers (eek)/ buy new steel.

As for the upsetting I'll repeat a little: I only have hand hammers, some heavy. I've got lots of time, not too much skill, and I can weld a dedicated tool to keep it straight.

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3 hours ago, Shalev Zohar said:

Can you detect the microfractures after polishing?

If the microfracture is entirely within the blade, there’s no way to see it from the outside without specialized equipment. In such a case, the only way you’ll know it’s there is when it breaks. 

In other words, you won’t know if you’ve made a blade or a bomb. 

Are you willing to accept the moral, legal, and financial consequences for what happens when a sword blade shatters? Are you willing to live with knowing that you’ve caused injury or death that could have been avoided by purchasing a new piece of steel?

Save yourself the headache. Buy a piece of  new 5160 that’s thick enough that you don’t have to worry about upsetting it edgewise. 

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I'm using google Chrome on Kubuntu Plasma and just ran the search on those terms I mentioned from the  splash page.

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On 3/25/2018 at 3:26 AM, Shalev Zohar said:

That'll mean multiple topics for such a long project, isn't there a way to keep it to one place?

 

My spring was kept as a replacement one, but I don't know how much use it saw before that. Can you detect the microfractures after polishing?

I have enough spare to make a test piece for the heat treating. I have the time and spare metal to risk a break, but I'll check into new steel, if it's not too much cost for both the metal and shipping I'll consider it.

My options are: Make a tool for upsetting and procceed as planned/ try working with what I have and maybe still make it/ use a longer piece of leaf I have/ fold and make pattern welded steel, using hand hammers (eek)/ buy new steel.

As for the upsetting I'll repeat a little: I only have hand hammers, some heavy. I've got lots of time, not too much skill, and I can weld a dedicated tool to keep it straight.

Dude, you know so little that it is ridiculous to attempt a sword.

Firstly try a simple upsett in mild steel.  When you realize how extremely difficult it is you will throw away your scrap leaf springs right away and buy stock the correct thickness.

NEVER USE USED LEAF SPRING FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN WEAR PLATES

Don't care how much time you have,  not enough time in the world to die young from stubbornness.

The main give away is your concept that the hard part is keeping it straight. That is the easy part. Straightening is a skill you clearly don't have yet it is the most basic of skills. 

What you are proposing is possible but barely so.

When our boss (Glen) says buy new, just buy new or don't do the project.

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Last weekend I watched a beginner ignore my recommendations and attempt to forge an 18" long froe out of an old truck spring.  He spent 6 hrs in a gas forge working on upsetting it to get it down to the width he wanted and still hadn't started on making real bevels (admittedly he lost about 2 hrs of work when he foolishly quenched his first billet in water to cool it and then didn't immediately start over.  Found out about high carbon steel cracking pretty quickly after that).

5160 is tough stuff to move by hand without a stricker, especially in 1/4"+ thickness, and as a beginner he wasn't working very efficiently.  You likely won't be either.  Finally mig welded on a handle so he didn't keep losing the billet in his flat tongs, but that is still much easier than trying to forge out a sword with a non-fishmouthed tip,  a tapered tang, good even bevels on both sides and a correct distal taper overall.  

Not to mention that the forging part of swordmaking is arguably the easiest part.  The grinding, filing and heat treatment are equally challenging, and a lot less fun.  However those are the operations that make the difference between a usable sword and a wall hanger.  

I have no idea why you think you need your sword to be more than 1/4" thick (do you have any idea what the final weight will be?  A single hand sword shouldn't weigh more than 3#, so do the math and figure the average thickness needed).

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3 hours ago, Latticino said:

Last weekend I watched a beginner ignore my recommendations and attempt to forge an 18" long froe out of an old truck spring. 

We have a 15 yr old in the club who makes meetings occasionally and has been using open forge time to beat on a piece of spring steel. Been doing it for about a year now to no avail. The worst part of spending all that time is he isn't doing any basics so he isn't learning a thing. Last summer we had a forge in, camp out, at the Matanuska River camp ground with 3 stations. He couldn't draw a square taper, let alone head a nail or turn a scroll, couldn't make a tent peg. The only thing he's taught himself in the last year or so is to flail away on a piece of old leaf spring. At meetings he does the same thing with a power hammer. It's not MY idea of makin bacon.

It's sad to see so much time and talent wasted on a fool's project. But so goes the teen years. Remember knowing so much more than those old farts? I do, I'd REALLY be embarrassed if there weren't fresh generations doing the same thing today.

We held our March meeting last Saturday and I couldn't stand it any longer and had to tell a new guy to take off the glove on his hammer hand, then spent an hour or so couching him. I have no idea what he wanted to make other than a . . . Wait for it . . . knife of some sort. He was forging on a CV shaft with no idea what it's made of, let alone how he was going to get a 1" Dia. round shaft a good 6" long worked down. He was just beating on it and had it sort of squared off.

I got him to realize how more accurate and stronger he was without the glove. Then learned how much more the steel spoke to him without the one on his tong hand. He learned about cooling the reins off on his own. :ph34r: Nice kid, listened and tried to apply what I told him. I don't know if he'll just buy some 3/8" sq. or 1/2" rd. mild though. I think I'll just bring some to the next meeting.

Have at it Shalev, it's your time, your fire, your arm. Why should you be any different that we were when we were know it all teenagers? Well . . . I was going to build a hydrofoil submarine but I grew up in a machine shop and had an anvil and fire since I was maybe 9. No, not a London pattern it was just a heavy piece of bar Dad left over fro building a spinning lathe and my fire was wood with a hair drier for air. It was the hydrofoil submarine that was THE project that was going to make my name,Yes siree!  My sister still has the notebooks and drawings, the folks never threw away anything.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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On 3/25/2018 at 1:29 PM, JHCC said:

If the microfracture is entirely within the blade, there’s no way to see it from the outside without specialized equipment. In such a case, the only way you’ll know it’s there is when it breaks. 

In other words, you won’t know if you’ve made a blade or a bomb. 

Are you willing to accept the moral, legal, and financial consequences for what happens when a sword blade shatters? Are you willing to live with knowing that you’ve caused injury or death that could have been avoided by purchasing a new piece of steel?

Save yourself the headache. Buy a piece of  new 5160 that’s thick enough that you don’t have to worry about upsetting it edgewise. 

I'm not at my home right now but when I come back I'll be sure to search for some new metal first thing. If I find a good buy I'll take that, but shipping is always a problem and no price will be better than none. I stood on the leaf and curved it a few nice degrees, it was perfectly springy and shown no issues. even if I'll choose to work with the leaf, I'll test quench a piece first so the sword won't be too brittle, search for cracks, hit some things when it's not sharp and I'm fully protected and do a controlled bend test to see if it brakes. If it doesn't fail it shouldn't fail later, unless I put it under circumstances that would break normal swords. I'm not going to abuse the thing and obviously not going to do it while people are anywhere near. It's a sword, I'll handle it with caution. There's always the option of trying to pattern weld as well, where even normal cracks should do no harm (please do tell me if I'm wrong), that'll delay the project until I'm familiar with pattern welding.

Keep in mind, I'll probably end up with new metal, the spring poses lots if issues, and if I pick it I'll put it under less use to keep it safe.

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On 25.3.2018 at 10:48 PM, ThomasPowers said:

I'm using google Chrome on Kubuntu Plasma and just ran the search on those terms I mentioned from the  splash page.

I don't know this system, I believe you and next time I will search more. It's weird but Google works in mysterious ways.

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And generally people assume that everyone is running Windows; it was even worse back in the internet exploder days! (KUBUNTU is a flavour of Linux; Plasma is the release of it---time to  move to a more recent version but my slow network access took 14 straight hours last time I up-revved to download the release.)

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On 26.3.2018 at 5:36 PM, arftist said:

Firstly try a simple upsett in mild steel.  When you realize how extremely difficult it is you will throw away your scrap leaf springs right away and buy stock the correct thickness.

Just did in some 2.5/1 ratio while making tongs, it shroomed a little and not much trouble beyond that except for the usual taking lots of time. You're correct, upsetting 8/1 ratio (what I hoped for) would be impossible; With a dedicated tool maybe, but still a worthless struggle. 5mm is still enough for the sword, yet I am looking for alternatives

On 26.3.2018 at 5:36 PM, arftist said:

NEVER USE USED LEAF SPRING FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN WEAR PLATES

WHY?

On 26.3.2018 at 5:36 PM, arftist said:

Don't care how much time you have,  not enough time in the world to die young from stubbornness.

You are equating using a leaf spring that survived a flex test to make a sword that'll be responsibly handled, to killing myself. I've searched on other sites and it seems like many people did it and almost nobody ran into problems except the need to properly anneal it so it won't bend back.

On 26.3.2018 at 5:36 PM, arftist said:

The main give away is your concept that the hard part is keeping it straight. That is the easy part. Straightening is a skill you clearly don't have yet it is the most basic of skills.

I didn't say that. At some point the metal would rather bend or shroom instead of upset and then the material will hardly upset no matter how many times I try. I fixed many bends, it's one of the easy things in forging. A few days ago I even let my cousin who never forged before do some straightening and he did just fine. It's not the bending that is the problem, it's the bending instead of upsetting.

On 26.3.2018 at 5:36 PM, arftist said:

When our boss (Glen) says buy new, just buy new or don't do the project.

I came here for advice, not orders.

On 26.3.2018 at 5:36 PM, arftist said:

Dude, you know so little that it is ridiculous to attempt a sword.

Watch me.

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On 26.3.2018 at 6:58 PM, Latticino said:

Last weekend I watched a beginner ignore my recommendations and attempt to forge an 18" long froe out of an old truck spring.  He spent 6 hrs in a gas forge working on upsetting it to get it down to the width he wanted and still hadn't started on making real bevels (admittedly he lost about 2 hrs of work when he foolishly quenched his first billet in water to cool it and then didn't immediately start over.  Found out about high carbon steel cracking pretty quickly after that).

5160 is tough stuff to move by hand without a stricker, especially in 1/4"+ thickness, and as a beginner he wasn't working very efficiently.  You likely won't be either.  Finally mig welded on a handle so he didn't keep losing the billet in his flat tongs, but that is still much easier than trying to forge out a sword with a non-fishmouthed tip,  a tapered tang, good even bevels on both sides and a correct distal taper overall.  

Not to mention that the forging part of swordmaking is arguably the easiest part.  The grinding, filing and heat treatment are equally challenging, and a lot less fun.  However those are the operations that make the difference between a usable sword and a wall hanger.  

I have no idea why you think you need your sword to be more than 1/4" thick (do you have any idea what the final weight will be?  A single hand sword shouldn't weigh more than 3#, so do the math and figure the average thickness needed).

I dropped the need to upset, no way it'll work. 5mm is thick enough and I have a longer piece I can use. I wanted 7mm in the base because it's normal in both swords and rapiers, I wanted extra material for the grinding and I wanted extra rigidity to both keep it from bending or breaking, in the quench or in use. Of course I'll do a distal taper.

Trust me with not quenching the thing in water, although can't say I didn't tortured knives like that in the past...

Why is fishmouth easier? I've never heard such thing.

I'll forge the distal taper, tang and tip, maybe the fuller too, but I'll probably grind the bevels. I'm more trusty with my skills in grinding and it's harder to make critical mistakes fast that way.

It'll have a good distal taper, be short, and have a less complicated hilt; It won't weigh more than 3 pounds even with the thick base. Worst case scenario: It's too heavy and I grind a bit more.

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7 hours ago, Shalev Zohar said:

Why is fishmouth easier? I've never heard such thing

Fishmouth is not easier, it is harder to forge a wide crossection into a cleanly tapered tip without having the end fishmouth.  You don't want a fishmouth as it will lead to cold shunts in the critical tip of the sword.

I look forward to seeing your final product put through a performance test. 

7 hours ago, Shalev Zohar said:

I'm more trusty with my skills in grinding

In my experience it is easier to make critical errors quickly in grinding than forging, and much harder to repair those errors. If you feel you have the grinding figured out (and trust me, it is not easy to grind good symmetrical double bevels on a long blade with a distal taper), then your next stumbling block will be heat treatment.  5160 is pretty forgiving, but you still have to get the whole blade heated evenly to transformation temperature, and not run it above for too long for fear of grain growth.  An even quench, without warping can be a challenge as well.  Then, how do you plan on tempering such a long blade at a stable 450 deg. F? 

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Funny as I grow older and less prone to use the heavy hammers to excess; I tend to work the other way.  I get a piece of scrap that is already closer to what I want the final piece to be and work that.  I made a froe for my twin grandkids for Christmas, (they are ready to learn how to build fires but NOT ready to use a hatchet to make kindling) So I found a nice section of leafspring with eye that was already close in size to what I wanted and then forged the bevel on it and adjusted the eye to tape and angle like I wanted it to. Normalized, it uses a hand sledge handle and it's in my grandkids hands.

Remember: Free stock isn't Free if it takes time, fuel and effort to forge it into the starting stock you need for the project you want to do!  (Like I tell folks who want a sword: mowing laws will get you a sword much faster and cheaper than learning to smith!)

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Why do we keep expecting youngsters to be smarter than we were Thomas? One of the real revelations in my life was when I realized. You can't TEACH anybody anything, all you can do is offer the information, it's up to THEM to learn.

Heck I was told that for years before I finally learned the truth in the saying. A self proving truth eh?

Frosty The Lucky.

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But young-me didn't have curmudgeon-me poking him with a sharp stick!

Getting ready to teach another bunch of college students into to smithing---the 'set the hook' class. Seems like I have to un-teach them more and more since FiF came along...

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True but you have to be in sharp stick range. Unlearnin the newbie is always a task on the list. Just wait till the new FIF series premiers, "Knife or Death."  

Can't wait to have beginners wanting to run around the shop chopping and stabbing stuff. I'll have to make sure I have plenty of sticks handy everywhere.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I think I'll wait for the season "Old Age and Treachery"...

I do like teaching wearing my "Hold the cold end and hit the hot end---get it right next time!" Tshirt I bought from Glenn  (From a saying of Jim Green of Columbus OH).

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On 26.3.2018 at 10:48 PM, Frosty said:

We have a 15 yr old in the club who makes meetings occasionally and has been using open forge time to beat on a piece of spring steel. Been doing it for about a year now to no avail. The worst part of spending all that time is he isn't doing any basics so he isn't learning a thing. Last summer we had a forge in, camp out, at the Matanuska River camp ground with 3 stations. He couldn't draw a square taper, let alone head a nail or turn a scroll, couldn't make a tent peg. The only thing he's taught himself in the last year or so is to flail away on a piece of old leaf spring. At meetings he does the same thing with a power hammer. It's not MY idea of makin bacon.

It's sad to see so much time and talent wasted on a fool's project. But so goes the teen years. Remember knowing so much more than those old farts? I do, I'd REALLY be embarrassed if there weren't fresh generations doing the same thing today.

We held our March meeting last Saturday and I couldn't stand it any longer and had to tell a new guy to take off the glove on his hammer hand, then spent an hour or so couching him. I have no idea what he wanted to make other than a . . . Wait for it . . . knife of some sort. He was forging on a CV shaft with no idea what it's made of, let alone how he was going to get a 1" Dia. round shaft a good 6" long worked down. He was just beating on it and had it sort of squared off.

I got him to realize how more accurate and stronger he was without the glove. Then learned how much more the steel spoke to him without the one on his tong hand. He learned about cooling the reins off on his own. :ph34r: Nice kid, listened and tried to apply what I told him. I don't know if he'll just buy some 3/8" sq. or 1/2" rd. mild though. I think I'll just bring some to the next meeting.

Have at it Shalev, it's your time, your fire, your arm. Why should you be any different that we were when we were know it all teenagers? Well . . . I was going to build a hydrofoil submarine but I grew up in a machine shop and had an anvil and fire since I was maybe 9. No, not a London pattern it was just a heavy piece of bar Dad left over fro building a spinning lathe and my fire was wood with a hair drier for air. It was the hydrofoil submarine that was THE project that was going to make my name,Yes siree!  My sister still has the notebooks and drawings, the folks never threw away anything.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

I'm no master, all forging projects I do are first times. I mess up a lot and take much longer due to lack of experience. I cracked knives in water quenching and burnt them in the forge, I dropped hot metal, made my fair share of rebar things that shouldn't be rebar and got burnt and cut.
I'm no noob either. I've put in the years and experiments. I used what I have and forged a wide array of tools and weapons. I love forging and I love learning. I'll never make the same thing twice. It's a tough project but I came here to learn, I've already got much needed advice and changed my plans majorly.

I've been forging a long time before thinking of a sword, I'm in no way fully prepared to it but I think my chances are okay.

This is not a whim project, I do a lot of preperations, just made a better forge and my first tongs, planning on making a dagger as was recommended here to practice bevels. The sword will take a lot of time until created. It might fail, and if I succeed it won't be perfect, and I'll be slower than a dead turtle on land. But I don't want a sword, I want to make a sword. If I fail, so what?

 

Bottom line: please don't discourage my project. I may not be fully qualified but it's something I want to try before I lose the opportunity. There's no harm in me failing- not to me nor to you.

All I need is advice; If you threw me into a blacksmith's shop this moment with only what I know, I wouldn't be able to make it from beginning to the end of this project. I'm open to anything, the more I know the bigger the chances I succeed.

43 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

I think I'll wait for the season "Old Age and Treachery"...

I do like teaching wearing my "Hold the cold end and hit the hot end---get it right next time!" Tshirt I bought from Glenn  (From a saying of Jim Green of Columbus OH).

I just did two identical pieces for tongs, one I flipped to work on the back, then laid it on the ground. A bit ashamed to admit but I forgot I flipped the thing, and came to pick it up with the wrong side. Glad I wore a glove, my hand is okay, the glove has a hole. To my defense I wasn't injured in blacksmithing a whole year, quite a feat for me.

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12 minutes ago, Shalev Zohar said:

Bottom line: please don't discourage my project.

Please don't misunderstand people here either.  We want you to succeed - and keep your fingers, toes, eyes, etc.  What has been said here is not to discourage you from reaching your goal(s), but rather to encourage you to take the correct and safe steps to get there.  We love seeing the pictures of successes or even failures in smithing.  We just don't like hearing that someone was injured or worse when it could have been prevented.

Your passion for this project is obvious and is to be commended.  It sounds like you are doing research and preparations and are willing to take your time to do it right.  I hope so.  I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of the finished project even if it's a year from now.

18 minutes ago, Shalev Zohar said:

But I don't want a sword, I want to make a sword. If I fail, so what?

I agree.  If you just wanted a sword then TP is right that it's much easier and cheaper to work and buy one.  However, I do not believe that could ever be as satisfying as making it yourself.  If you fail to make a sword that's one thing, but if you make one and it fails catastrophically in use that's a different story entirely.  That's what we don't want to see happen for you or others around you.

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Design: learn what makes a good sword vs what makes a bad sword or even just a sharpened hunk of metal. (Hint: weight, harmonics, cop, non-slick grips...) Don't assume anything being sold mass produced commercially is a good model...

Materials:  don't need to be fancy or expensive---5160 was used for car leaf springs by many manufacturers for many years and makes a good sword. (Strongly suggest you do *NOT* use a fatigued leafspring as starter stock; buy new straight stock from a spring repair/replace place!)

Time: never rush, never work past your focus, there is so much time invested in making a sword that you really don't want to mess it up and have to trash so much "sunk" time.

Heat treat: swords have special needs; don't skimp when it comes to heat treating one properly. A poorly heat treated blade can kill a friendship in a very literal way.

Jim Hrisoulas' books discuss Sword making as well as bladesmithing.  I would suggest becoming familiar with them.

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