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First Forged Knife

Discussion in 'Fixed Blades' started by BigUglyMan, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. BigUglyMan

    BigUglyMan Active Member

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    This was the first blade that I forged. I was only using some scrap steel, a blower shaft out of a furnace, but it hardened up nicely when I tested it so I decided to go ahead and forge it out and see what I ended up with.


    I started work on it in the summer of 2011 when I finished rough forging it and then took it South on holidays to work on at the Old Man's place. That was when I made a prophetic, and labour-intensive, decision. I decided to go go with a pierced guard of 416 stainless. Lacking a mill, this turned into a hugely long process. But, as with anything difficult, I learned a lot and in the end it was rewarding. I didn't get the guard fit during that summer visit and the project was shelved until the fall when I went back to hunt deer. I managed to get my daughter to bed early one night and put some serious file time into the guard. After 4 more hours of test fitting I had the guard and blade mated up nicely. Once I had decided on handle material and spacers it came together quickly. I decided that it wouldn't do to sell my first forged knife - too many things that I wasn't wild about to sell it in good conscience, But I thought that I would make a fine gift for my wife for Christmas. I left it with the Old Man to finish the polishing on the handle and to make a sheath.


    Was she ever surprised on Christmas Morning, particularly as we had decided not to exchange gifts! The pics don't really do the figure in the maple justice but overall it turned out quite well.


    Blade Length: 3" Differentially heat treated carbon steel with a Ferric Chloride etch
    Guard: 416 SS
    Spacers: Black Fibre and Copper
    Handle Material: Muskox Horn and Curly Maple


    [​IMG]
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  2. cliffka

    cliffka New Member

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    Sweet looking little knife. Bet it will open a hide like a zipper. I know what you mean about pierced guards being time consuming. I use them on the majority of my blades,either brass,wrought or mild steel. They do get easier with repetition, although there's a few tricks I've learned that will make the job easier. Most of my ricassos are not perfectly rectangular in cross section. Shaped more like the map of Sask with the narrow part at the choil. I drill side by side holes the width of the tang using a bit 1/64 smaller than the narrowest part of the ricasso. Instead of using a center punch to mark the holes I use a chisel to establish a straight line for the bit. I hog out the material between the holes with a little end mill I picked up for my dremel although I used a chainsaw file for a long time too. Then it's file & check until I almost have a fit. I use rounded shoulders on my tangs to avoid stress risers, so I have to round the hole in the guard to match. I have a few files with safe sides that make the job easier. Oh, and it's bound to happen occasionally that you get a bit of a gap between blade & guard. If it's too big it's junk, but if it's a hair line, I put the guard at a 45 at the upper corner of my vise jaws & apply mucho pressure. Then I wonder why my vice jaws aren't parallel. Just a few hints that might help for the next one.
     
  3. BigUglyMan

    BigUglyMan Active Member

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    I appreciate the hints. I employed a few of them on this project but there is a ton that I don't know and am yet to learn. My latest filing job was wrought iron which was much easier than the SS. I see lots of additional files in my future.

    Is it a little sick that I find the time-consuming work of filing and fitting a guard relaxing?;)
     
  4. FORGE

    FORGE Active Member

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    Looks great!
    Glad to seeing you are putting that forge and burner to good use.
     
  5. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    That's a beauty, Big. I hope my first try at forging goes half that good.

    And no, it's not sick. One of the things I like most about folders is the hours spent filing tiny amounts and checking the fit, over and over.
     
  6. metal99

    metal99 Member

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    Looks good man :) I spent a few hours filing my guard to fit the tang of the first knife I made. I tapered the tang and made the guard just slightly smaller then forced it on for a really nice tight fit but that was only 1/8 brass. I'm thinking that might be a little harder to do with a thicker stainless guard.
     

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