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I Forge Iron

Why is my knife so rough?


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I thought of a few things that haven't been posted yet.

#1  It may not seem like it, but it's a lot easier for a beginner to get smoother results by using a hammer that has a crowned face.  I don't think I've ever seen a hammer at a hardware shop with a properly crowned face for blacksmithing.  Hammers that aren't crowned well, tend to leave corner dings in the work until you're really good at striking flat.  That's harder to do when you're forging angles like the bevels in your work. If you know anybody with a decent farrier's rounding hammer, ask them to borrow it.  The "round" side will leave dings, but they're generally shallower than what the corner of a "flat" face will give you.

#2.  Patiently fixing problems when they first appear is often the fastest way to success.  Clean the stock, if it won't come clean, cut the scale off before pounding it in further.  You can use the flat end of a file to scrape scale off hot metal.  

#2  If you have a sturdy vice and a coarse file, you can hot rasp the work back to flat very quickly.  Thin stock tends to bend away from the rasp unless it's properly supported when hot.  Hot rasping is very heat, speed, and pressure sensitive.  

#3.  If you have an angle grinder, look into picking up a backing pad for abrasive discs.  The backing pad keeps the cut flat, even when the abrasive is wearing down.  The discs are commonly available in low grits that work quickly. They're much cheaper than stone or flap wheels.  If you decide to buy a lot of discs, make sure to lay them flat with something heavy on top, otherwise they tend to cup which makes them really difficult to mount.

#4. Some people with gas forges put a small section of square or rectangular tube stock in the forge such that the flame hits the tube, not their stock.  This helps to minimize scaling on the workpiece.




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29 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

I store my sanding/grinding disks between a couple of old circular saw blades

Now thats an interesting idea. I have some larger abrasive discs for a larger hand grinder that need that treatment since they like to curve. 

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USAN: They are talking about Sanding disks, not Grinding disks. They're two different things that work in the same tool. Sanding disks are literally sand "paper" though usually not actual paper backed.

You can get different kinds of backing disks I have a stiff rubber one and a hard one and there are others. They give the sanding disk different levels of rigidity depending on what you want from them.

For example, FINISH sanding auto bodies needs a more flexible backing so it follows the curves without biting into the finish. Sanding welds or say your knife blades will need a more rigid backer, you want to correct curves NOT follow them.

Buying sanding disks in quantity means you'll need to store them and moisture in the air will cause them to warp. So keeping them between saw blades or under something heavy and flat preserves them so they work properly.

Make sense?

Frosty The Lucky.

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