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I Forge Iron

tobacco knife (hatchet)

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I'm thinking about making a tobacco knife out of 1045. It doesn't need to hold a shaving edge. Due to the type of work it's going to be doing it needs to be tough enough to take repeated hits against the soil but have just enough of an edge to not make you have to take more than one swing at the stalk to cut through it. It's a primitive tool but since I haven't made an edged tool from start to finish except for a hot cut chisel I would like to have other opinions on the type of steel. Here is a picture of the type of tool If you aren't familiar with them. The cone is for the stake and I'm not making those thanks for the help.

Pnut (Mike)

Theway I plan on making it is just cut the shape and grind the edge sharp. Will 1045 benefit from heat treating or would it be a waste of time?  


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 In my experience, tobaco knives need to be a good bit more spring than hard if that makes sense. I haven't seen a field yet that did not have rocks of some form and size. When you cut thru the stalk, you will strick the ground a lot of times. You don't want it to bent or break. The cutting action is more from the velocity and thinness of the blade. When we sharpened them it only took a few swipes of a file to be good to go. 

 No recommendation on steel is being made.

 And think of the spike as just a nail and a sheet metal funnel.

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I don't think I'd go higher than 60 pts. of carbon.

I'd be looking at an old shovel blade, they're harder than folk think and tough as all gitout. However when you see videos of shovels being forged it seems they're being made from scrapped RR rail which runs in the 1085 range and rail tends to be brittle. You cut it by scoring and dropping it soooo. Maybe not.

Frosty The Lucky. 

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  • 3 years later...

Wow, great. I am part Cuban, I enjoy pipe smoking maybe once a week and the occasional cigar. I tried growing 5 different varieties of tobacco about 3 months ago but with the rains, it was a disaster. I just resowed them only a few hours ago. Praying to the tobacco Gods this works!

I may not need a tool like this for such a small amount but then again, of course I do!

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