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I Forge Iron

Nooby for Arizona


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Hi guys and thank you for all the awesome information.  I have been a carpenter, mechanic, landscaper, health care worker, and finally found a passion for IT work.  But I was looking for a new hobby to get outside more and off the computer.  I like working with metal and just purchased some basic tools.  I think I have enough materials for about 6 small knives and plan on starting with small skinners using stock removal for now.  I'm currently renting while our new house is being built and the garage is packed with lots of boxes and flammable material so forging isn't in the cards at the moment.  Most of my tools are geared toward building a house or changing a water pump, but I plan to start small and learn what I can until the new house is up.

I have a local shop that offers a weekly open forge nights to come watch and classes in everything from basic blacksmithing to Damascus swords.  I plan on attending the open forge nights as much as I can and then take a class or two.  I can't tell you how many videos I have watched, but it must be over 100.  And reading posts on several forums and blogs has me itching to get out there and start failing spectacularly!  I read somewhere that you can't learn without failing, so I'm going to just jump in and see how it goes.

Andrew

 

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Welcome to the madness Andrew!:D

I got into it with knives in mind as well, but found this forumn in the process. Spend some time here reading as much as you can- there's alot of good info here. Real information... that can save you alot of pain and frustration.

Looking forward to seeing what you do.

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Welcome! There are some good guys in AZ; much better watching live and asking questions; when you are new you never know if a video is made by a well respected expert or by a dangerous idiot.  ("likes" by the clueless don't help sift the crop either!)

I'm over in NM about an hour south of Albuquerque and also in IT; but nearing retirement.  After  day of herding bits, coming home and hitting something repeatedly with a hammer can be very soothing.  Been doing both since the days of 1200 baud modems, monochrome monitors, (I had an *orange* one!), and rec.crafts.metalworking.

What alloy do you have for knives?

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Thanks for the warm welcome.  My first computer was an Apple IIe with the green screen and dual 5.25" floppy disk drives.  I loved the amber monitors on the dumb terminals in college!

I bought 2 x 24" lengths of .25" x 2" 80CrV2 and I have some mild steel to practice with.  I am also going to make a trip to a local junk yard to see if they have any leaf springs for cheap to play with.  While I wait for my materials and new tools, I'm watching more videos, went to a local open forge night where I met some awesome people, and working on my welding and fabrication skills.

The open forge was an interesting experience.  They have forges and anvils and power hammers galore.  I'm planning a return trip to start hammering some metal as soon as my schedule allows.

Some of my favorite maker videos are from Jason Knight, Walter Sorrells, Red Beard Ops, and Black Bear Forge.  I also watched over a dozen videos each on making a forge, making tools, buying an anvil or ASO, and other grinding videos.

My wife is so sick of watching Forged in Fire that she told me to buy stuff and get off the TV!!!  lol

 

 

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One trick about getting leaf springs cheap at a scrapyard: if they are selling them as "car parts" they will be a lot more expensive than if they are selling them as scrap.  So loose pieces in the scrap pile are often sold cheap rather than spring packs on a car.  You also want to buy ones with as few miles as possible on them.  I've found helper springs never used with the original paper tags on them but I look a lot.  Places that do lifts and lowers of cars and pickups often will give you springs with few miles---one I got a pack from took brand new large pickups and made EMT trucks and so they scrapped the original springs with under 20 miles on them, dealer to their shop!

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Welcome aboard Andrew, glad to have you. Sounds like you have a good handle on the plan for learning the craft with minimal muss and fuss. Saves me a list of suggestions, thank you. :) 

I don't recommend new folk start off forging blades as you're climbing two similar and related but different learning curves at the same time. Knowing learning and heck, practicing the craft is an ongoing exercise in failure analysis is important. It really helps ease frustration.

I would suggest you use coil spring for blades rather than leaf. Just because leaf is sort of the right shape doesn't make it easier, especially when forging. Coil/round stock doesn't curve as radically when forging a blade's cheeks as does leaf. Forging flat stock isn't a trivial pursuit. It's not an advanced technique, just a hassle a new guy doesn't need to add to the curve.

Buying new stock is also high on my recommendation list for new bladesmiths, consistency allows you to concentrate on blade making rather than evaluating damaged mystery steel. Used spring steel often has micro fractures and is fatigued unpredictably. Evaluating salvaged steel is another list of skill sets.

Frosty The Lucky. 

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Thanks for the advice Gents!

While visiting my dad, I noticed he had some coil springs new in the box that he never used on his GTO.  He was going to pitch them.  I now have 2 full coil springs just waiting for me.  Those should make some knives, tools, or whatever when I get to straightening them out.

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