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Why is my knife so rough?


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I made this knife from mild steel just to get some practice. The blade is pretty rough though. I cleaned the mill scale off the anvil between heats but the knife still ended up rough, there is pitting and other marks too that may be from mill scale on the anvil, but imp not sure. Maybe i need to be aware of new scale that falls on the anvil as i forge? Please let me know what you think, any pointers would be welcome.

 

 

 

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Any scale that gets hammered back into the hot steel will leave pitting. Wire brushing when the piece comes out of the forge and keeping the anvil clean between heats and during forging will definitely help.

 

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Some of the irregularities appear to be from hitting with the edges of the hammer rather than the flat portion of the face.  Try to keep the hammer face a bit more square with the stock and overlap blows.  Also learn how to make planishing blows at the end of your heats (lighter blows at lower stock temperatures) and definitely before completing your forging.

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Have to agree with Latticino. I usually drop a pound in my hammer for every other heat the closer I get to final shape.  I have postponed a blade build more than once to make a hammer to get what I want. Ok photo evidence included. 79B5C6E2-6E70-48CC-A249-12411260C058.jpeg.efac5e90b08f1e1a1b1897aeb0ae8f46.jpeg

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Blowing the face of the anvil clean can help; but why go to all the trouble of hooking up compressed air?  A small single action bellows like some people use for their fireplace will work fine; or just a huff and a puff and blowing the face clean.

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A bristle brush will dust the anvil face a LOT more safely than an air hose. I run a propane forge almost exclusively so I usually have a leather glove on my tong hand and just wipe the anvil off.

Frosty the Lucky.

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 I have to bend down to blow off the anvil, i thought a foot activated switch would be easier and faster. I guess i could just use my hand to sweep the anvil off but i would have to put down  the hammer first. I can keep the anvil pretty clean  with a blow gun and a foot switch. Im wanting to keep the anvil cleaner than i have. I cleaned it off between heats but that doesn't seem to be enough. Like i said, maybe its a dumb idea.

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17 minutes ago, Irondragon ForgeClay Works said:

I would say 30+ years of experience has something to do with it. Do you wire brush the steel, as it comes out of the fire before hammering?

Yes and i value your experience, thank you. No, i need to get a good brush. I want to get one of those flat bristle brushes. I was told by two YouTube blacksmiths that brushing when it comes out of the forge doesn't do much because as soon as you hammer more scale comes off anyway. But maybe it can be said that every little bit helps, if they were correct that is.

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Sorry can’t remember if your using a gas or coal forge, but either way, it you could be oxidizing the parts to heavy in the forge.
If it’s coal forge, keep your steel towards the top 1/3 of the fire. As Anvil says 4” of coal below and 2” above, but that can depend on where the fire ball is. You want most of the oxygen consumed before it gets to your part, and enough coverage on you part to keep shop air exposure.

If it’s a gas forge you may need to tune it more neutral. Not an area I can speak to. I rarely run my gas forge and it needs help…

It could also be that your bringing the steel to a higher temperature than needed. At forge welding temperature it will scale very fast. There are times when you need that much heat, but not for bottle openers…

Keep at it, and keep asking questions,

David

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Yes, scale continues to form while the workpiece is at forging temperatures and will continue to flake off during forging. HOWEVER, if you don't brush the workpiece before forging, you will be hammering scale into its top and bottom surfaces, even while scale flakes off the side.

Yes, brushing the workpiece as it comes out of the forge takes a little time that might be used for actual hammering, but that time is well worth the investment in the quality of the finished product. The smiths I've seen who forge cleanest are usually those who take the time to brush their work rigorously, vigorously, and often.

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