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Fish mouth


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I’m working with 1095 flat stock 3/16” x 2” x 9”. When I try to forge out the tip and tang i get what I’ve seen called “fish mouth.” I watched a few videos and saw smiths only hitting one edge of the steel to form the tip. I realize I had been hitting both edges. How does one avoid the fish mouth on the tang though? 



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Fish mouth is caused from either not getting the steel hot all the way through or not hitting it hard enough. If anyone can think of any other reasons I'd appreciate their assistance. Those are the only two that come to mind at the moment. 


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Thank you both! I will just grind it flat here because I have so much material I’m not worried about losing that tiny bit. I could also see not having the steel hot enough or not hitting it hard enough. I’m quite new so my hammer skills are still in the works. 

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  • 5 weeks later...


On 1/12/2021 at 7:58 AM, Emmi said:

How does one avoid the fish mouth

I'd suggest trying this.  A lot of folks do what's in the first picture, but that almost always causes a fish-mouth.  By starting the taper as in the second picture, you are going to push metal into the 'fish mouth' and will be able to finish the point without having to cut off any material.   


Basically you are setting up the point before finishing it, or as some smiths would say, doing the pre-form first. 

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