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I Forge Iron

Knife preforms video explanation

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I was asked by another smith how to forge a knife and about material selection.. 

I came up on some really old books on sword and blade forging and this topic applies equally as well in blacksmithing since many make preforms but never realize it. 

In bladesmithing or sword making the ideal is to forge the blade so there is no edge correction for width or geometry.. IE no hitting on the cutting edge of the blade as the blade is forged. The books did not call it a preform.  they didn't call it anything other than the starting shape.  I named this operation the "preform" and again it's used in nearly all finials in blacksmithing as well.. 

there is a long version : Metal prep (1/4X 1 3/4" was the smiths starting size), preform , blade and a short version of :   preform and blade..   

This is a custom blade and have no measurements other than what I have in my mind for a design. 

Short video: 

Long video: 







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I've been asked to make knives since I picked up a hammer. I haven't really tried much with it though until now although I always thought I might. I had a question about steel and it lead to not only this video, but getting to know Jennifer as a person. She is a wonderful lady y'all 

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1 hour ago, jlpservicesinc said:

You mean finished blade shapes?

Yep, this is just a random page. I was going to make copies of them all at work but the printer is having some issues. The ones that are for knives larger than the page even tell you what percentage to enlarge them to make a life size template.IMG_20200126_120750.thumb.jpg.6204f477544335d984ee02e873372569.jpg


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They look like they just need The bevels ground in and the holes for the scales after cutting the shape on a bandsaw. I'm not a knife person but that looks to be the most straight forward way to finish them. The author forges the bevels though. He even mentions cold forging them. I don't know anything about that so I would steer clear of it personally. 

Doing much hot forging seems like it would change the shape too much. I'm not planning on making any of these any time soon but if you have any advice to share I would be grateful. 


They look like a stock removal project to me. 

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Or you could forge them using the preform format shown in the videos..     Blade smith???      Blade hammering..  Bladesmith:  Blade maker....  

I forge blades..  it's really that simple..   if there is a pattern that interested me.. I'd just forge it out..   Just like in the video..  (just wanted to forge a blade.. had some raw idea and boom, there it is in 5160).. 

Ideally i'd hope others would use the preform format to enhance their own forging ability and is the reason I keep making these videos..  

They are all skill sets that can be applied to help a new smith or even an intermediate smith have a better understanding and maybe a trick or 2 that they did not know about earlier or sooner..   

I have never made a stock removal knife..   Nor have any interest..   First off.. It would take a like of file work.. :)    LOL..   

What ever direction someone takes to do or not do is their own thing..   I don't really care..   All that really matters is if the person is happy with what they are doing and they get the results they are after..  

Happiness is what it's all about..   

If your happy with stock removal..   "Excellent".. 

Or one could watch the video..    apply the information to their own forging,   Watch the video again and apply it again.  Watch the video a 3rd time and apply it again..  I can guarantee that they will now have a skill set they will never forget and it will change how they work at the forge. 

All the videos are setup this way..  They are not about the items made.. They are about learning a skill set they can then apply to something else..  

What ever floats the cherry in the root beer float..  :)

Whats the name of the book by the way.. I could not read it.  


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101 Knife Designs practical knives for daily use. Written by Murray Carter. 

I haven't been able to watch the video yet.

Unfortunately my WiFi connection is too slow until about one o'clock until maybe five o'clock in the morning. I use the city WiFi connection so I have to wait till there's not a lot of traffic or videos won't load or if they do it drives me nuts with constant buffering. I'll be watching it tonight when I wake up. I tried this morning but it wouldn't load. I'm looking forward to it. 

I started  one stock removal knife and didn't have the patience to finish it. I've forged a couple of blade shapes but haven't finished those either. I started by isolating the tang forged a point and tried to forge the bevels while correcting the spine. The second one I did the same thing basically but I curved the blade a bit in the opposite direction so when I forged the bevels the spine would end up straight or close to it. Neither were something I would want to show anyone. I'm anxious to see how you do it. IMG_20200126_135322.thumb.jpg.af9213023053e8c2322800515074a172.jpg



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Just watched the video. I learned a lot and I feel a bit more confident about my next attempt. This is one of the few knife videos I've seen. I wanted to try to work out the order of operations on my own and see if I was even close. I'm pretty happy to say that I did it pretty much in the same order. The end result wasn't anywhere near as good but I'm glad I didn't go about it completely backwards.  When I get my forge up and running again I'll give it another try. I might even post a pic if it doesn't look too horrible.   Thanks



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oh, good..      The results come from years of practice..    I could have someone making a blade like this in a class in about 3 hrs and change..   it's not complex..  

Please do share what you forge..     Over on my personal page here (I started a thread) it shows some of my early work.. I have more photo's I will be posting today. 

I nearly always forge  the tang first now..  I've in the past forged the blade first because it's easier to hold the rod vs tongs but this comes back to bite me..  So, if possible I always do the handle first. 

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For folks with a yen for the older times: "Knives and Scabbards, Museum of London" has 310 medieval-renaissance blades done in SCALED archaeological drawings with cross sections and some with full metallographic work ups.

It's the source for the medieval folder I did several decades ago; scaled up the drawing to full sized on the copier. Glued it to some thin sheetmetal and cut it out so I could hold the workpiece against it when hot.

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