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I Forge Iron

asking for ideas or suggestions

kevin (the professor)

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Hello Everyone,

I am posting a blade that is forged and ground. It is somewhat polished (I am not good at polishing, among other things).

Here is my situation: there are not any people that I know near me who are into forging and grinding blades. So, I am asking you guys for any suggestions or input regarding the knife at this point.

Please include things to fix and ideas for finishing. If the idea is within my limited skills, or near enough to them that I can learn to do it within the course of finishing this knife, then I will give it an honest try (this is #6 for me). Handle, guard, spacer, butt cap, etc.

Any guidance or ideas will be appreciated and a serious attempt will be made to follow (reasonable) directions given. Consider it teaching over the web.

thanks for taking time to read this.

10" blade
2.25" wide
3/16 @ ricasso; 1/8" tip
tang - 5.5" (I am going to hack about a half to a full inch off)
blade has large flat ground bevel with convex at cutting edge (very sharp but with pretty thick section supporting edge - sharpened on slack belt and mouse pad with abrasives)

1095 admiral steel
edge quenched in canola
tempered at 430F for two one-hour cycles

guard materials on hand:
aluminum or mild steel flat bar, 3/4" wide and 1/4" thick
alumin flat bar 1.25" wide and 1/8" thick
mild steel flat bar 3/4" wide and 1/8" thick

spacer and butt-cap:
coin mokume from quarters (2 sets welded up)
small blocks of ebony, rosewood, mesquite, and pine
the above listed flat bars

Handle materials (all blocks):
a pretty attractive but unknown hardwood burl (my favorite of bunch)



Edited by kevin (the professor)
shrinking pics
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howdy,kevin the prof., i am not a master by any means. but, i use a 4 x 36" belt/ 6" disc combo to grind.but hand sand to 600 grit. i been thinking of going to the city and see a auto paint store for real fine discs- we have lots of mesquite here so i play with it, but it is brittle, so you can't get real abusive with it. most of mine are full tang, so i have to hot punch them.i know this isnot much info. but there it is, good luck. jimmy

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You are bound to be a lot farther along than me.
Thanks for info. I am also looking for suggestions about guard shape, butt cap and spacer styling ideas, handle shaping...

I am hoping that people with more experience eyes can not only help see and fix any mistakes, but also give insight into what would function/look good with this type of fairly large and fairly stout blade. Its not too thick, so it can slice as well as chop, but it is substantial.

thanks for the info. I really appreciate the guidance that I have gotten from people on this forum to date.


(I added "the professor" because I thought there should be more than one Kevin on a forum this size.)

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Just go with what feels right. Try starting off woth your gaurd. Go for a simple teardrop shape and let everything else flow from there. Keep looking at the blade shape and leat that guide the overall shape of things. Pick one of the woods you have on hand. Drill it and burn it onto the tang once you have the gaurd made. Again, going with what feels good to you, rasp and sand that baby to shape.
You can add a buttcap of the same material you made the gaurd out of and peen the end of the tang to hold it all together.
The main thing is doing what makes you happy. If you're proud of how it turns out, chances are that someone else will be, too.
Incidentally, I saw your first knife somewhere else. You're getting better. Keep it up!

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thanks for looking and commenting. I had decided to go with some simple guard shape, to keep this somewhat funtional. I may use it like a junior machete when camping, among other things.

I am going to try and get rid of the dip in the edge of the blade, just forward of the heel. I have somehow put that same mistake into two knives. When I grind it flat, it will probably make the knife appear to swell more forward and shift center of balance some.

I have to go to a professional conference, and I won't be able to finish the knife until after March 8. Oh boy... I can't wait.

take care,


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Before you leave home, trace that blade out full size on paper. Make several tracings and you can play with different grinds, grips, and furniture while you're gone. It's a game I play at home to figure out what I like better before bringing it to life in metal. That, and it will keep you out of trouble between meetings. I always hated being away from home.

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