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Haha I find no matter how bothered I am with my fur friends they always forgive me the next day. Or as soon as I feed them, whichever comes first. Of course the furthest I ever have to chase them is from one side of the basement to the other... If they were outside critters, well there is an expression for what that would turn into.  

I decided to make myself a set of kitchen knives. One chef knife, a utility knife and paring knife. The larger two are made with spring steel and the paring knife is made with 1095. Here they are after tempering cycle #1.


I consider it a small miracle that the chef knife didn't warp, I've never tried to quench a blade that long. 

Started the plunge grinds and distal taper prior to heat treat current dimensions are as follows:

   - 7.5" Chef knife: Spine above the heel 4.75mm,  spine before the tip 2.3mm, behind the edge 2mm

   - 5" utility: Spine above the heel 3.45mm,  spine before the tip 2.1mm, behind the edge 1.9mm

   - 3" paring: Spine above the heel 3mm,  spine before the tip 2mm, behind the edge 1.8mm 

The plan is to grind these much thinner than anything I have tried before, ~0.4mm behind the edge. We will see if I get there.

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I hear you. I don't know what I'd do without my critters. I might wither and die. 

Very nice knives. I envy you being able to forge yourself a matching set of kitchen knives. I don't think I have what it takes even though Jennifer in particular and other generous IFI'ers have gone to great lengths to try to help me. I like your work very much. I look forward to seeing your progress on the knives and all the other wonderful things you'll post here

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Got the knives ground as thin as I'm comfortable with at the grinder, 0.6mm across the board. I'll be hand sanding the rest of the way. I also roughed out the handle scales. The two halves are stuck together with a layer of painters tape and a couple dabs of super glue.


I also made some more bottle openers to be sold at a local bar, I'll be giving them 10 to start with.


I don't like the stubby one on the left so I'll be keeping that one to give away to someone.

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Something might break, but probably not the holder haha.

No do not, but that is a good consideration. Hm... I do have a couple soft cloths you use to clean scopes laying around. Little silicone rubber feet would probably be ideal from a moisture perspective, but I don't have any of those handy at the moment either..

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Ha thanks Taylor (IIRC), I tend to forget why I don't make knives often until I go to make one again. Lots of sanding and measuring and fiddling about. These weren't too bad, except for grinding them much thinner than I have in the past, which on my grinder that has one speed, ludicrous, was very careful work. 

Yes, excited for the new place with a bigger space I can convert into a shop. Sure it is just a detached garage, but it's twice the size of where I'm working now and this one will even have 4 walls! I should be meeting with the chimney guys next week to go over the options I have to put in a proper chimney. I also contacted the blacksmithing school to talk about how they converted the space when they moved in. Informative, but being a welding/blacksmithing school they have exhaust hoods etc. built right in their  HVAC system.

The hope is to put in a Hofi style side draft and avoid penetrating the roof, but it depends on what I can get away with as far as building it to code. I wouldn't want any insurance troubles if, god forbid, something were to happen. Then I'm looking to put a 60A subpanel in the garage since I have plenty of extra space on my 200A main panel. It's all very exciting, but it's looking like it may be an expensive endeavor. It will all be worth it in the end.

Once I actually get in there and start working I'll probably document the conversion as I go. I may even bounce the chimney options off some of the guys here who have gone through this before. The current plan is to stick to a tried and true method, 12" flue (They sure don't give that double wall 12" chimney pipe away... May have to reduce it to 10" depending on how the numbers work out), side draft. If I have to go through the roof, then a super sucker straight up and out. We will see. 

If you ever find yourself in the area, you'll be welcome. Spare bedroom and cold beverages included haha.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I decided to take the drive over to where the blacksmithing school near me gets their smithing coal. I have been using it for a week now and I am liking it a lot more than the anthracite I have always used. There was certainly a learning curve in the first couple of days. Pardon my stating the obvious, but soft coal is a totally different animal than hard coal. Also, I knew it was smokey, but I don't think I was quite prepared for just how smokey this stuff is in comparison to anthracite. It dies down once the surrounding coal starts to coke up, but in the meantime that's some thick smoke.

I am thinking my use of anthracite has biased the way I designed my current forge and it might be time for another upgrade. I could always build another one, or perhaps modify my existing one, but I am thinking of going to a handcrank blower rather than the speed controlled furnace blower I have been using. I may rig some sort of T for the new forge so I can use either the handcrank blower or the electric one, but I'll figure that out down the road.

In looking for a forge blower I came across a craigslist listing that shows a complete forge and blower and I figure I may as well check it out. The pictures from the listing are attached below. The seller doesn't know the make and is asking way more than I think it's worth ($400). I think I can talk him way off that number.

1 00H0H_iiLupJctZkY_0lM0t2_600x450.jpg 00n0n_1AhKHdZAVFH_0lM0t2_600x450.jpg

Having never used a handcrank blower, the things I plan to check are: smooth operation of the gearbox when rotated slowly, how well it continues to spin when you stop cranking, the condition of the fan blades, the amount of air delivered to the firepot... anything else I'm overlooking?

I'm curious if anyone recognizes the forge/blower and/or might be able to point out something I overlooked or that I should be looking for on my visit.

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As long as the blower is in good shape, I think you will be happy with it. I would forge a lever with a counter weight to replace the wooden one. 
Also, most of the shops I’ve been to have an electric blower mounted directly to the hand crank blower. I haven’t done it or looked at how they’ve rigged it up, yet.


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Goods:  Assuming that the blower is in good shape I don't think that $400 is an outrageous price but get it for as little as possible.  The forge itself looks a little like a Caneday-Otto but the blower and gearbox may be a different make because the "patina" looks a little different.  It is a nice find.  Because of the density of population WY doesn't get things like that very often.  I agree about getting rid of the wooden crank.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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I agree, the wooden handle would need to go, but that's no trouble.

George, I had a feeling the blower wasn't original, but fortunately it appears to be newer than the forge itself. Also, thanks for the tip on Caneday-Otto, I found an old catalog. Nothing that is a perfect match, but certainly some that resemble the overall design. 


Based on the catalog it looks like I should offer him $42! :D

TP, the plan would be to either integrate the existing hood into the chimney I'll be putting in at the new place or to replace it altogether with a side draft. I would rather not build the chimney around one particular (somewhat mobile) forge, so it may end up making the most sense to sacrifice the old hood to make way for the new. Too soon to say at this point, but either way it will be reworked to some degree.

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George, in that case let's keep the original price between us :ph34r:

IDFCW, I went through that catalog when I first found the listing and started browsing the Solid Fuel Forges and Bellows, Blowers sections. In fact, I believe it was you that had posted that link in another thread! I didn't see any non-rivet forges that had that particular hood shape, but the blower on the other hand (considering it is likely not the original one for the forge) very well could be. 

I'll be sure to share more info after seeing it in person.

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Mr. Georg nm,

Has stated, (o.k. written),

"you would have to give him about $1105.00 but it is used so maybe a flat $1k would be fair. "

SLAG,  (that's me),    says it's a bargain at twice the price.*



* If you have the means.


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I think it would pay for itself rather quickly even at asking price. While I like the forge I built back in June, I'll just link to that here for anyone that wants to see it, I wouldn't mind having a larger tabletop for managing the coking process. Something I didn't have to worry about with anthracite. Assuming everything is functional I think it would be a good investment in the long run. 

However, the eternally frugal part of me will still try to talk him down on his price.. The listing does say "or best offer" after all. Plus I have a whole house worth of stuff I'll be spending money on soon so every bit counts.

That being said... taking a closer look at the background of the images...


That sure looks like an anvil to me... Granted I don't need another anvil. I love my Soderfors...

But I could just.. you know.. look at it? 

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