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I Forge Iron

First Real Knife

John Martin

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Well, my blacksmithing friend came over yesterday, we get out to the shop, and pretty much just start messing around with metal. Seeing how far we make a piece of 3/4" piece sq stock, 12" long go. And he's like I'm gonna make a machette. So he starts on that, burns it up while talking to me. Hehe:)

So he starts on another one. Well, me wanting to make my first knife ever, take a piece of leaf spring and stick it in the fire. Take my hot cut and cut a 45 degree angle from the beginning of the stock. I then procede to forge the bevels in. Then forge my hilt or handle. Fix up a few things here and there, cut it off from the parent stock. Now I fine tune my forging even more, anneal it, and stick it my coal container to cool down. That took place from about 7-8 pm to about 1 in the morning last night.

Today, we get out there today at about 8am. He starts on his bowie, a smaller one. I polish my bevels with sand paper, and started the edge for the bowie with a file. Heated it to about 1450F. Guessing, I have an approx color chart. It was non-magnetic how's that??? :) Quench in motor oil. Polish the bevels again, and finish my edge to about 2/3 of the way, not sharp yet. Temper in an oven at 300F for 30minutes. Polished the bevels for the last time, sharpened it and beeswaxed the part of the blade that isn't the bevel,edge,shiny part, and the handle. Let it cool down completely. Do a few tests with it. Was able to "chop" logs for our fireplace. Cut straight through a water-bottle. Ended up putting a rope handle on it.

Took it out to our land today, while we worked on a bridge over a creek, my dad, me, and quentin. We put our bowies through a lot of abuse, mine is still sharp, very sharp. lol. He cut himself pretty bad while de-barking a piece of wood, while we were waiting for my dad to come by with more concrete so that we could finish setting some posts.

Took me about 9 hours from start to finish for my bowie.

Will get pictures tomorrow.

7" Blade
5" Handle
Overall: 12" long
Blade's widest point, about 2"
I'm gonna say it weighs about a pound. Bevels start at the middle of the blade go from 1/4" down to edge. Rest of it is 1/4" thick. It's a worker.

Edited by m_brothers
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300 degrees farenheit isnt hot enough to temper to a sensible level. Neither is 30 minutes long enough to temper for. Leaf spring (if you can't be sure what exact steel it is) in a "chopping" blade format is best tempered to a brown oxide film, which requires about 450 degrees (off the top of my head) farenheit.

A whole pound sounds very heavy for a 7" bowie.

I am looking forward to the pictures, nontheless.

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It's a 12" bowie. I re-did it at about 370F today for an hour. It's not going to break if you're worried about that Matt. It's been through a lot of stress in the first two days of it's creation. It's a primitive bowie that was made for abuse. :) That's why the whole thing is so darn thick. I made two more yesterday as well.

Edited by m_brothers
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