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Bjorn makes sharp things. My beginners log book


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9 hours ago, Latticino said:

...a little heavy made out of your proposed stock:rolleyes:).

 

Haha! :D Yes I must admit I was a bit confused by the abundance of kites, but a parang seems to be a different thing again. I got the spelling from a guy at work, and he is from Bhutan (other spellings include pa-tang and patag. It doesn't seem to be a very well known style of knife, so that probably skews the google a little.

It's the big (non-kukri) knife on this site

And thanks! Quenched without cracking, so I'm stoked! That was quite nerve-racking though. The scream from the brine as i quenched was quite surreal.

And yes I had some dilemmas with the tang construction. I've only recently started to forge the whole tang out from the starting stock as opposed to cutting it out, and I seem to be having some trouble forging it into position. This one won't be through-tang construction though, so that should simplify things a little. I've done some sketching, so hopefully I'll have something useful to show for at the end of the day.

Now I'll have to see if I managed to get a decent hamon!

7 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

EDC is not a style of knife; it is a knife you have for Every Day Carry and so can vary wildly in shape; though in general they tend to be fairly small and light.  If a keris is your Every Day Carry then a keris is an EDC---for you!

Aah, see that makes sense. I've seen som many knives referenced as nothing but EDC, and looking back the only thing they had in common was they could be put in a pocket. But ofcourse a big chopper or a dagger could be an EDC if that's what you carry around on a day to day basis.

Out of curiosity, do you think my construction falls within the parameters of a certain style? Or is it just a "knife"?

 

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Probably has a specific term; but I've "grown out" of most of the ever narrowing nomenclature discussions; so it looks to be a sheath knife  but not a bowie or tanto, more like a drop point,...

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17 hours ago, Bonnskij said:

And yes I had some dilemmas with the tang construction. I've only recently started to forge the whole tang out from the starting stock as opposed to cutting it out, and I seem to be having some trouble forging it into position

There are a number of different tricks to getting a more centered tang during forging.  The easiest, in my experience, is to use a guillotine tool with butcher dies that have a radiused edge top and bottom.  Forged down to just over the desired width of the tang allows you to isolate the material for the tang and forge it out in the desired position.  If you don't have a guillotine (smithing magician) you can use a spring fuller to get a similar effect.  Finally you can use very precise hammer blows to isolate the tang material selectively using the edge of the anvil and correctly lining up your hammer face..  Personally I prefer to just offset it on the bottom with half faced blows and taper the top edge down the way Kevin Cashen does in his hunter forgings: http://www.cashenblades.com/forging.html, then grind it down to the required width from the top afterwards. 

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Another trick for positioning shoulders is to use a kiss block.

Oh and PATANG! is the sound a large blade makes when you drop it on a hard surface. The hokey puck got it's name in a similar manner, that's the sound you hear when one hits you in the head. If you remember when you come to that is.

Frosty The Lucky.

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On 3/6/2020 at 1:58 AM, ThomasPowers said:

Probably has a specific term; but I've "grown out" of most of the ever narrowing nomenclature discussions; so it looks to be a sheath knife  but not a bowie or tanto, more like a drop point,...

Makes sense. Just an everyday working knife. It is what you use it for i guess.

On 3/6/2020 at 2:36 AM, Latticino said:

There are a number of different tricks to getting a more centered tang during forging. 

I wish I had a guillotine tool. Alas i try to get by with precise hammer blows (or just hammer blows to be precise) Forging out the bevel on the patang and I ended up with the tang higher than i'd like, and I've been working on another blade this morning where my tang is now riding waaay high and in my effort to correct it it went even higher, and the wrong angle, and banana shaped. Really not a great morning.

On 3/7/2020 at 5:13 AM, Frosty said:

Another trick for positioning shoulders is to use a kiss block.

Oh and PATANG! is the sound a large blade makes when you drop it on a hard surface. The hokey puck got it's name in a similar manner, that's the sound you hear when one hits you in the head. If you remember when you come to that is.

Frosty The Lucky.

Never heard of a kiss block before. I think I need to do some more research.

Also similar to the sound i made when instinctively grabbing for a falling hot fire brick during this mornings forging session. Also puck in the head? Rings a bell.

 

And here's my blade with out of control tang. Maybe I can draw the tang thinner downwards and grind away on the top? I'm really not sure. On a positive note I'm really happy with the forged out bevels.

IMG_20200311_092623_7.thumb.jpg.ae317ff5ba86139ecee8d0809c739233.jpg

And tempering in the kitchen oven seems to work fairly well with a bit of extra temperature control. It runs about 20-30 degrees celsius hotter than advertised when it's set to 200 degrees. On the plus side, my tempering oven also makes pizza. (It is cleaner now than in that photo bytheway. I think I turned some rogue chips into charcoal).

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Also I've been working on giving the pizza blade a hamon the last couple of days. It sure is an art in itself, and I wasn't expecting it to be quite as tricky. I'm getting happy with how it looks now though. Faint as it may be. Had to harden it twice, but still no cracking!

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You can correct the tang on that blade easily enough. Have a friend who can hold for you?  Heat the blade and lay the under side on the horn in a place the horn is close to the finished radius you wish for the bottom. Set the top radius with a round rod. If you're operating solo you need to hold the tongs between your legs and the rod across the tang. Wear an apron or something to catch the blade if it slips, forces will want to shoot it right at you're . . . :o

How much blacksmithing have you done? I'm not seeing the hammer control nor skills I'd expect from someone forging that challenging a profile. Were I a bladesmith and wanting to make that blade I'd do a few practice sessions and develop a sequence that didn't paint me in a corner.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I have my other half that is sometimes a willing volunteer for forging assistance. That sounds like a good way to do it. I don't have a horn though, much less an anvil. I have a sledgehammer head in a log. The other option seems risky and would probably ring even more bells than the hockey puck :P

I've done very little blacksmithing (Even less than my limited bladesmithing). I made a gardening tool for my mum, a set of rebar tongs (that now only serves the purpose of being heated and in turn heating canola oil before a quench) and a sorta kindof a drift. Other than that I have just been trying to make knives (and that one spear). I know my hammer control and skills leave a lot to be desired, but I am working on it, and once i get around to getting some mild steel I would like to try making some hooks and leaves, and perhaps in honour of the previous comment, nutcrackers (really though, i saw a video by Thorbjörn  Åhman that was quite inspiring).

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You could probably short cut 6 months of trial and error by taking a weekend blacksmithing or bladesmithing class.  Barring that I'd suggest you get a copy of Simm's Backyard Blacksmith and work your way slowly through that.  You can do a lot with a sledge head in a log, but it needs to have the face correctly dressed to leave you with effective radii. 

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It seems I don't have the option of shortcuts around here I'm afraid. There might be a tafe blacksmithing course at the end of the year or something. A book sounds like my best option.

Didn't realise dressing the sledgehammer head would be a concern. How would I go about doing that?

 

 

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Seeing as you're jumping past learning to blacksmith and going directly to bladesmithing you're not doing too badly. I highly recommend you become proficient with basic blacksmithing processes before moving on to working high carbon steel. Basic smithing is enough of a learning curve, trying to climb two learning curves at the same time makes both harder and slower.

A sledge head in a log makes a fine anvil, check out some of the 3rd world bladesmiths in action. Many are doing high end work on sledge hammer heads with animal dung fires. 

Post a pic of your anvil and hammer we'll give you some advice on dressing both. 

If you MUST forge a knife how about something with an easier profile? You've picked a doozy to break in on.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks Frosty. I will be attempting basic blacksmithing as well, but my entry into smithing was a wish to increase my bladed tool set, and it has sort of just gone from there. That knife isn't my first attempt, but the profile is certainly the trickiest I have attempted,  and so I have been messing up heaps on it. The first forged knife I started was the chonky kitchen knife on the previous page. The first one I finished was the krumkniv (which had a geometry  about as suited to cutting as a baseball bat. All the other ones cut though). The first blade I tried to make however was a large drawknife. I burned that up in the forge while heat treating.

As far as steel, at the moment I only have medium and high carbon ones. I figure if I'm putting the time investment into making blades, I might as well try to make them useful, and steel is relatively cheap anyway. Once I manage to make my way to the steel merchant I'll pick up some mild to play with. I've melted a couple of things in the charcoal, but mostly things hold up and especially after I switched to gas.

I've seen some Nepalese blade smiths make kukris out of leaf spring on sledgehammer heads. It's incredibly impressive!

Here is my current forging set upIMG_20200311_180016_3.thumb.jpg.07baee782dd1248c6fb5415981a1de1b.jpg

And here are two more knives in progress. The left one is w2 and the Sami knife on the right is 1084. They seem to have held up to heat treatments pretty well. The big knife is shaving sharp and the edge seems strong. I managed to get a hamon on the left one. I don't know if there's something I'm missing as far as being able to tell if I've messed up heating up the blades during forging though

IMG_20200311_200931_9.thumb.jpg.d4d3a4be11e3450b7666e1066f45008e.jpg

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Do you have access to an electric drill?  If so you can make a simple swing arm fuller from a couple short lengths of angle iron and two pieces of coil spring and two bolts and a couple of rivets.  

Access to a welder makes making one trivial.

As to jumping into blade forging---I see it as like saying you want to race cars and so the first time you get behind the wheel of a car you are going to start racing!  *Not* learning how to steer, brake, accelerate, downshift and working your way up to racing.  What would you consider the likely results of that?

I don't like to get frustrated and so when I teach I use a set of projects that are very hard NOT to succeed at; but still teach basic skills needed for bladesmithing.  I even tell my students "You are not wasting your time; everything I teach you to do making these simple projects are things you need to do and do well when forging a blade!"  (I'm teaching a lot of late teen/early 20's Men at a strong Science and Engineering Uni; so *BLADES*++)

I'd also suggest working on one blade shape till you can do it fast and well and then trying another.

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I do. I've been thinking of a way to make a fuller that would work with the sledge anvil, and think I might have something now.

One day I'll have a welder...

I see. I kindof thought it was a bit like cooking. I can make a great fish dinner. I'm not that good with pork. (unless said pork has been smoked, cured and sliced thinly beforehand). I cook great fish because I have cooked a lot of fish. I mean, it's almost mandatory as a Norwegian. So I've just figured that if i want to make good blades I'll have to practice making blades even if it means i stuff up along the way. I will certainly not argue that I am correct. I'm not exactly experienced at this game after all. That was just my thoughts on it, so I will take onboard any advice I get.

I don't like getting frustrated either, and I don't all that often. I have a lot of fun with this. I would certainly like to know what projects I could do to improve on my bladesmithing skills.

You teach bladesmithing at a university? Man I wish I had that option as an elective when doing my degree. My background is science and so is my job, I just never learned anything particularly relevant to smithing. I know a lot about fish though.

I'll have to have a think about what blade hape to stick with for now then. That sounds sensible. I think I'll probably focus on something along the lines of puukkos.

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No; what I do is that there are "Fine Arts Metals" classes taught by a friend, there is even an armour making one popular with the local SCA people!  Anyway a lot of the students want to get into smithing and the instructor didn't want to teach that; so once or twice a semester I give an "Introduction to smithing class" teaching the basics and will also "consult" on more advanced projects being worked on in parallel to my classes. (Starting out from just my stuff lugged in for my class they now have their own postvise, anvils, treadle hammer, propane forge, tools, etc!---I did sell them the postvise as I was tired of lugging it up there and setting it up and I had another 10 of them or so...I also found the bridge anvil out in the desert behind the property office. They wouldn't add it into the surplus auction so I had the FA-M instructor go lay claim to it.)

Now the university also has a "bladesmithing club" with a Metallurgy Prof as their sponsor.  They have some basic equipment and have been meeting right outside my building at 5pm on Fridays, so I've been packing a sandwich as a late snack and trying to help out just because they have nobody with smithing experience and it's painful for me to watch at times...One of my students has been showing up too and we are trying to get them a decent working set up.  They were using very low anvil stumps and working doubled over.  We pointed this out and they said they couldn't afford proper stumps.  We told them the University landscaping crew had a 5' tall pile of them and as a campus group they could get them for free!  Then there were complaints that the large stumps were hard to move---so we donated some 1/2" stock and forged some handles to be driven into the stumps to allow 2 people to carry them easily...

Now I've donated a set of the Frosty T Burner plans to the president of the club to see if they could get a forge built that will heat metal above red...Spring break is upon us soon. I hope a couple of working burners can show up after it!

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Please feel free to tell them I don't charge to consult on burners, Thomas.

Bonnskij: Norwegian living in North Queensland? Is there a N. Queensland in Norway or are you located down under? 

Regardless. Seeing as you're having trouble putting the tang where you want it why not make blades that require a specific tang?  

Another skill you need to develop seeing as you don't have access to store bought tools and such is "improvisation."  Making a spring fuller to mount on a hammer head anvil seems mighty straight forward to me. Determine what diameter fuller you need. For example 1/4" radius. You'll want a couple feet of 1/2" diameter round rod. Measure from the face to the top of the handle eye (hole) in your anvil and bend a 90* angle about 4"-5" longer than the hole to face measurement. Measure the width of the hammer head through the eye, add maybe 2" and bend it back on itself like a hair pin. Keep the 90 and hairpin on the same plane. 

Now the fuller will fit in the anvil like a staple, the hairpin through the eye and the 90 over the face with a goodly length sticking out. You want it tight enough you have to tap it in with a hammer so it stays in place.  Yes? Now's where it's a good idea to start with too much rod than just enough. You want to bend the remaining length in a curve up and over the bottom fuller but this needs to spring so you'll need to make a large open C shape or extend it out fro the anvil and back to it. Etc. This is your top fuller die and you'll need to tweak it till they're parallel with some separation so you can fit your work without having to pry them apart.

After than you need to cut the extra stock and file or grid the ends and it's ready to go to work. 

If you want a butcher use square stock and grind the angle.

Make sense? 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Would be nice to have a smithing club around here too. Then again, I'm generally quite content in my own company for the most part, so I suppose I wouldn't show up all that often.

 

Frosty: Yes. Norwegian living down under. No Queensland in Norway as far as I'm aware, but there is a Norwegian territory called Queen Mauds land in Antarctica.

Did you have any particular kind of blades in mind?

I think I can visualise how that works. Is mild steel suitable or should I get some spring steel or something?

Think I've worked out how to make a small guillotine tool for the hammerhead as well. Some rectangular tube and stock should do the trick.

 

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Temperature has finally gone down to decent, so I thought I'd do some forging after coming home from work. Alas. I ran out of gas. Happy with the accuracy of my hammer blows today, though I'm left with a dented monstrosity at the end of it. Earlier to work tomorrow and I'll pick up some gas and steel on the way. I was also going to straighten out some spring for a fuller/guillotine, but tomorrow it is if the weather holds.

IMG_20200316_164041_0.thumb.jpg.5a776d7deffc09b092cff0a3a881f007.jpg

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Well from now on it looks like there will be little time to go outside the house for a while. A couple of hours a day at work next week but after that the university will probably close. I've straightened the spring for the fullering tool, but haven't gotten the rest of the supplies needed. Will keep any shopping to a minimum, so might be a while. In the meantime I'm making some things out of scrap spring steel for myself.

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Because everybody needs a meat cleaver.

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And I need a draw knife. Or... Need is a strong word. I want a draw knife. I love draw knives and I miss using one. I've tried making one before, but it melted in my coal pit. Hoping the tang isn't ending up too short.

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As advised I decided to try my hand at something non-knify. I remembered I had some 6mm round rod lying around that I was using as rivets. Figured that was about the right size for one of those hair clips I've seen, and thought maybe my other half might like one.

I ran out of daylight so the pin in particular ended up quite crude, and I think the final bend in the bendy twisty bit was too shallow, so it doesn't fit all that much hair. It was fun though, and I'd appreciate any critique.

20200330201703_IMG_7782.thumb.JPG.8af7327443116f039c6ef53aac82d2e5.JPG

20200330201713_IMG_7783.JPG

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Nicely done.  For critique, I'm sure it's nothing you hadn't already seen, but I notice the two curls on the larger piece terminate differently, if that makes any sense. (one goes around further than the other)  But I like the piece as a whole.

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Thanks! I didn't actually pay that much attention to the terminus of the curls after I made them at the beginning, so that is definitely helpful and something I'll make sure to look out for next time.

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So I finished my spear this afternoon. It has a lot of flaws to it, but it is what it is, and I will take my lessons with me to my next attempt at forging a spear head. I was an active javelin thrower more than ten years ago now, so spears hold a special place in my heart (plus it is of course the superior medieval weapon ;) ). I still think it looks cool though :D
IMG_20200405_171649_5.thumb.jpg.f69ed7ffa0c1d60b4053c9ef8df60f96.jpg

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Does it have a crosspiece to stop it from running through something and up the pole? I like those leaf shaped blades on Spears. I used to go pig hunting with dogs and we'd finish the hogs off with a boar spear or sometimes a knife. The dogs seemed to enjoy it. 

Pnut

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