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How To Forge a Dagger (run and gun sorta).. video 3 on knife making part 1


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This video shows the steps of forging a boot dagger..

it's basic steps in a run and gun forging session.. Sorta...

Run and gun forging is when you forge as you go along and not really use a preform (preform videos)

here: Long version https://youtu.be/2GPFMQuMTBk

short version: https://youtu.be/s7CAzGyZWQE

Sadly I really thought I could pull off a run and gun on a dagger and frankly, I struggled to stay away from a preform. So this video uses a semi preform as I could not with any good conscience make a sloppy dagger.

A single-sided blade would be much better for this "Run and Gun blade forging" session but I wanted to forge a dagger and this design came to mind.. One of the problems with this kind of undertaking is the fact I am having to forge the stock to a usable size for the blade design vs starting off with a suitable size.

Anyhow, comments and questions welcomed.. If you don't like the video.. Please say so in the comments and let me know why.. I keep working on getting the videos to be more in line with what people like as a balance with what content I would like to show..



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You are welcome..   Thanks.. :) I am hoping so..   

I often wonder why I bother with the videos..  My original goal was just try to correct some of the false information being sold as reality. :)

 The old format was extremely time consuming with the titles. (which I love).. Now I can edit a video in about 1/2 the time.. 

for how ever long the video is.. it takes about 3X the length for each stream..  So if there are 3 video streams and it took me 1 hr to film..  3X3+9, 9X3=27hrs..     Before it would run into 40-60hrs per video. 

The Dagger video took 2 full days and 2 complete re edits and 2 complete processing to the movie..  IN total for this one video it is about 40hrs of time.. It takes about 2-3hrs just for it to upload..  It takes about 1.5hrs to process into a video/film.. 

youtube used to be much faster uploading but now it can take 3 or 4 hrs..  Then the problem is I or someone else has to watch it and then post back notes on what I missed. 

I missed 2 dead spots in sound but decided since the video all ready had comments to leave it up.. 

On my end I reedited the video and fixed the sound..Rendered an edited copy and saved it to archive.   

Now I have to do part 2.. Which has not gone anywhere.. LOL. 

Thanks Les.. You bet..  

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I was speaking with CGL and we got onto the topic of daggers and how I kept wanting to make a preform in the video  LOL.. 

Yes, yes, I did..   Daggers are super sexy if done right..   A dagger not done right.. Well isn't a dagger..    

A preform would have cut down the forging time to nearly half what this took..   If you guys noticed I was having to correct both thickness and width each time I realigned the blade shape and cutting edge.. 

This forging to width on a dagger is the utmost importance..  

Yet, the blade edge has to be thin enough to mimic the blade overall...  Really cool.. 

Other really interesting thing on daggers for me is this.. A well forged dagger will have nearly a parallel  center section until it gets to the 3/4 or 7/8 of the blade length and then will taper to the tip..  A dagger gets all it's strength in the tip from the material in this center section..    some really neat daggers especially with stock removal will have a taper from choil to tip but will maintain nearly all the thickness proportionally..  Super bling.. 

The spine of the blade at the tip is still 0.072

Anyhoo..  I love daggers and love to forge them..  :) 









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No I am not..  Just the ones I think or blingy..  Blingy is all in the eyes of the beholder..  This shape is what I considered  to be a dagger though daggers can vary greatly..  

You do agree this is a dagger? yes..  LOL. 

You have some in mind you'd like to share..  there are those with false edges.  clips, etc, etc, etc.    

Oh, I also failed to mention this little baby can also be used as a spear point.. :) 

I did the google thing.. for your enjoyment.. 

Dagger Law and Legal Definition. Dagger is a double edged blade, usually used as a defense weapon in close combat. It is primarily meant for stabbing or thrusting. A dagger comes with or without a hand guard and usually has a tang running along the centerline of the blade into the handle.



  1. 1.
    a short knife with a pointed and edged blade, used as a weapon.


This Kyokestu shoge while in the olden days came with both a single edge or dual edge.. This particular model is only single edged..  and has a false edge.. 

Of course the blade length is like 8" so no carrying it on my belt when at the police station.  But it is still considered double edged or AKA a dagger.. 



20 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

Are you defining all daggers to be double edged?

I get it now.. you were picking apart my statement about what I consider a dagger.. Oh, so tricky..  LOL..  Thats funny..  :) 


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36 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

Are you defining all daggers to be double edged?

Thomas this would be a perfect learning opportunity for many as your knowledge base is astounding on the information retained. 

Share what you know..   Of course reference books and photos would be awesome. 

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Actually as the definitions can get so loose; I wanted to know how you were defining it. (I had a boot knife very similar to what you were forging...)

Case law gets weird definitions at times; when I researched knife law for my local SCA group back in the late 1970's in Arkansas I found that the concealed deadly weapon statute would include my physics textbook being carried in my backpack. (Something to the effect of had been used or could be used to inflict grievous bodily harm---so a #2 pencil in a pencil case would meet it too.)

I have seen some knifemakers that considered daggers to only include double edged blades over a certain length which confuses things when you start looking at Scottish dirks and sgian dhus both of which are traditionally single edged. Others only concentrate on it having double edges and don't pay attention to length.  Others focus on it being used as a stabbing blade. Others that it should be a straight blade.   Hmmm I wonder where some of the 3 or more bladed knives, (Like the Geneva Convention banned), fit in.

Some of the range of knives that have been called daggers:

The Keris is often considered a dagger in it's shorter form.

The "Kidney dagger" had various types of blades associated with it; but generally is considered a stabbing weapon.

The Cinqueda is sometimes considered a "long dagger" with one of the weirdest designs in my opinion---but great for etched and damascened ornamentation!

The Jambiya has a curved blade but is still referred to as a dagger.

The bichuwa also doesn't match the straight blade definition.

Ear dagger

Main Gauche "parrying dagger"


Some folks would define the Bowie knife as a type of dagger, others would reserve that term only for the Arkansas Toothpick.

I'll look things up in Stone's Glossary (A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration, and Use of Arms and Armour in All Countries and in All Times. Author: George C. Stone)  and see where he weighed in. 

I guess in someways it's like "anvil" in that a large number of designs can use that term even if some are more familiar to most people than others.

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It's funny you mentioned this..  I had seen a tanto with a single edge that was called a Dagger in one of the old Japanese knife books I used to have.. 

For myself I have a very loose definition for most knife blades..  There are attributes that are applied in many different ways.. So often it can be looked at as a general blade shape. 

I had seen a switch blade that was doubled edge.. It was neat but I could not see the practicality in it. 

What defines a dagger for you?  Do you look at the overall blade shape? Country of origin?  Time frame? 


Wiki has a great article on Daggers. 


This article is about the weapon. For other uses, see Dagger (disambiguation).
The Fairbairn–Sykes fighting knife, a modern-day dagger

A dagger is a knife with a very sharp point and usually two sharp edges, typically designed or capable of being used as a thrusting or stabbing weapon.[1][2] Daggers have been used throughout human history for close combat confrontations,[3] and many cultures have used adorned daggers in ritual and ceremonial contexts. The distinctive shape and historic usage of the dagger have made it iconic and symbolic. A dagger in the modern sense is a weapon designed for close-proximity combat or self-defense; due to its use in historic weapon assemblages, it has associations with assassination and murders. Double-edged knives, however, play different sorts of roles in different social contexts. In some cultures, they are neither a weapon nor a tool, but a potent symbol of manhood; in others they are ritual objects used in body modifications such as circumcision.[4]

A wide variety of thrusting knives have been described as daggers, including knives that feature only a single cutting edge, such as the European rondel dagger or the Persian pesh-kabz, or, in some instances, no cutting edge at all, such as the stiletto of the Renaissance. However, in the last hundred years or so, in most contexts, a dagger has certain definable characteristics, including a short blade with a sharply tapered point, a central spine or fuller, and usually two cutting edges sharpened the full length of the blade, or nearly so.[5][6][7][8][9][10] Most daggers also feature a full crossguard to keep the hand from riding forwards onto the sharpened blade edges.[6][11][12]

Daggers are primarily weapons, so knife legislation in many places restricts their manufacture, sale, possession, transport, or use.

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To me the controlling factor is probably that it is designed as a weapon.  I also generally consider large blades to be daggers over smaller blades which perhaps correlates with the "weapon" classification (So the scottish dirk is a dagger but the skean dhu to me is a knife...)

However I freely admit that I do not have stringent requirements! (But often wonder at some designs folks call daggers---of course the Fairbairn-Sykes DEFINITELY is a dagger!)

(Remember during the tanto "craze" when the Knives (Year) had a blade described as a "Viking Tanto"?????!?!?!?!?!?!)

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it is funny but there is a bling factor ( sexy like a crazy sports car) for a dagger name to work for me.. it's all about the lines..  Overall I am not a fan of a dagger that is double edged for really anything more than looking at..  In close combat unless someone is highly skilled they are more likely to cut themselves vs the other person..  Sloppy knife work.. ouch.. 

this little beauty if a boot knife with the ability in a pinch to be hafted and is the reason for the integral guard.  In that regards I just wanted to forge one as the image was stuck in my mind and they are fun to forge.  I'll more than likely finish and just sell it.  I really have no use for it.. 

Puma knifes used to make a swelled tip knife that I modeled a chopper after 2 years ago I think..  Reason why I bring it up is I had made a German spring knife 30 years ago and the tip shape was to obtuse for a dagger but very much dagger like in use..  Very thin 0.030 about 2 " wide. cord wrapped handle.  Was neat but I would not consider it a dagger. 

would you consider a stiletto a dagger? 

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I wrote down what Stone said in the 1930's when his Glossary was published, and left it on my desk at home.  Basically he said that it was never tied to any knife design except that it had to be a sheath knife and was never applied to a clasp knife.

The 1905 Sears & Roebuck catalog had a listing on page 321 for a "Ladies Dagger" that had a 4" double edged blade and a MOP handle, they also referred to it as a dirk later in the ad.

Stiletto, the sheath knife yes, the "switchblade" no.

"Is this a dagger I see before me?"   I wonder what they used in the original production as in the "setting" it would probably have been a scottish single edged blade...

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Elizabethan theater productions weren't done "period-correct": actors wore then-contemporary garb appropriate to their character's social status (sometimes even their own clothes). Same applies to weapons: characters in a production of "Macbeth" would have carried standard Elizabethan sword and dagger rather than claidheamh-mòr and dirk.

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I have been watching and learning alot from your videos, I am glad there are some of you that take the time to show how it is done properly in a video. I find it complements the books I have read. It is nice to see not only written but also in action. Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience.


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Nice job on the boot knife, dagger, which ever you call it.   I’ve never been much of a knife guy but I do like boot knives.  I don’t like carrying a knife on my hip and often keep my work knife on my boot.   Look forward to seeing it finished 

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Thomas,  It is amazing just how flexible those blades can be.. the one I made was also out of bandsaw blade and it fit into a fashion belt..   I tried different styles as I grew up at the end of the cold war.   She must have loved the blade.. That is really neat. 

Jasent,  Thanks..  You did a great job on the blacksmiths twist handle.. :)  

A really nice boot knife is like showing up and having a winning card.. :)    Its going to be awhile before it's finished..  I hate handle work..  I love forging.. 

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My Dad was a wood worked he love to work with woods.. he was talented in metal work to. But he hated metal work.. 

I don't mind handles from the stand point of doing them.. It just seems so slow in the process vs forging.. 

I do love to make Saya and Japanese type handles and such as it uses chisels and other preciscion work..  

For me I like making things as perfect as I can..  OCD, ADHD what ever but I love it when the chisel takes off a full curl of wood 30" long. 

I just don't like to take the time on knife handles..  Character defect maybe..   I can see the beauty in a really nicely finished handle for sure.. 

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17 hours ago, jlpservicesinc said:

what kind of horn?  did you do a square shoulder at the tang?

The handle is old deer antler and to be honest, I can't remember the tang other than it is riveted, set in epoxy with the medallion set in epoxy. The steel is an old haybine cutter blade that a friend of mine gave me a box full of them, when he replaced all of his. It hardened well and tempered like 5160.

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