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I Forge Iron

Misrepresentation??


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Have you ever come across this.....I had a guy not long ago ask me how many deer a railroad spike knife would skin befor needed sharpening..I then told him the whole "Railroad spikes make neat knives and can be O.K to bang around the farm with but are not real hunting class knives" speach....He was asking me this about a spike knife I had for sale..I wasnt about to lie..He acted funny becasue from what I could gather someone had told him a far different story....I then saw(randomly poling around the net) just the other day where a knife maker had said he used a coal forge because a gas forge "damaged the carbon in the steel" :confused:

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I have made railroad spike knives for 20 years. Easy to find material. I have made them in both coal and gas forges. have not seen a difference. There are different grades of railroad spikes. Some are high carbon steel they are marked. You can harden them somewhat. If you ues a super quench better choice. it will hold a edge. would I shave with it no. You know people will try to sell anything. I have seen a set of chairs made form rebar with fitting right out os a cataloge with a bronze finish. The people were convinsed they were bronze. I always shoot stright its the best policy.

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I have made about 175 garden trowels from spikes and perhaps 20 knives. The spikes marked HC do have higher carbon than the plain spikes but still don't have enough carbon to get knife hard. I make the trowels in a gasser as I do them in batches of 10 to 12. A gasser will indeed scale worse than coal, but you can fry that steel in either.

Shoot straight KYBOY, you have to be able to sleep at night, and selling stuff as better than it is will make that hard.

I tell my customers for the trowels, "these are gaurnteed to not bend or break for my lifetime" That gets a laugh, and a lot of "How long do you expect to live?" I also tell folks that these trowels WILL rust when used as intended. I suggest they get a coffee can, fill with sand and put a coule tablespoons of oil in it and stir. Then when done gardening, stick the trowel in the sand. Scours off the dirt etc and the oil keeps them clean and nice. Added bonus is they can always find the trowel:)

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a gas forge can oxadize the surface of steel i make strikers for flint and steel ... in a gas forge i hit um lightly on a grinder after hardening to remove the outer layer so i can get um to spark.. other than that it dosnt make any difference... rr spike knives arnt really a good thing to skin a deer with. they just wont hold a good edge not enuf carbon. but i have seen all kinds of bull passed like "i use carcoal and gently work the steel to not disturb its grain structure"bull like that... as if the steel he was useing wasnt manafactured with a electric furnace! its like the old "packed edge" thing .. people like to believe knife makeing is "magic" instead of hard work.

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I have used coal, coke, charcoal, and propane. All will scale and can damage the steel. The first thing my Blacksmithing instructor told me about was fire control. All need to have the proper fire to prevent excess scale and even burning. I use a propane forge exclusively now and have no problem with decarb, even after hours of forging damascus billets.

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Unfortunately it seems that a small group of people make life difficult for the rest of us.

No matter how much evidence you can present, there will always be people that either rewrite history, or swear that you have to quench the knife with the point facing towards Zeus while using a magic bowl.

Have you ever come across this.....I had a guy not long ago ask me how many deer a railroad spike knife would skin before needed sharpening..........just the other day where a knife maker had said he used a coal forge because a gas forge "damaged the carbon in the steel" :confused:
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  • 2 weeks later...

It's Vulcan, you need to be facing, and the unicorn horn bowl is realy the key!!



any of the smithing gods will do, but need I remind you narwhals are a protected species? (unless your Inuit)

The real key is beer (or mead) and a certain nubile wench :P

seriously though
it could be argued that those that elaborate the truth are maintaining a smithing tradition of secrecy that stretches back to prehistory

or simply ignorant :p

9954.attach

Edited by mod07
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i've heard that gassers oxidize steel quicker, perhaps people interpret that as a sign that composition is affected....


I certainly can't agree with that. I know as others here just noted, that "gassers" can and should be adjusted correctly according to varying conditions and needs.

Perhaps good gas forge operation should be a separate thread.
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