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New And Need Advice

Discussion in 'Working the Steel' started by ClaireLindemann, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. ClaireLindemann

    ClaireLindemann New Member

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    Hi I’m completely new to Blacksmithing and the only knowledge I have is from forged and fire. I live in rural Saskatchewan and was wondering what type of forge is the best for me as well as what type of hammer I should pick up? Also where can I pick up steel for forging?
  2. Mythtaken

    Mythtaken Staff Member CKM Staff

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    Welcome to Canadian Knifemaker. Let's start at the top:

    Forged in Fire is a fun show to watch. However, what you see there represents just a portion of what's involved in making knives. They show you all the exciting parts with lots of flame and pounding hot metal. They don't show you the hours spent figuring out the design, choosing material, sanding (oh, the sanding!), and the finishing work.

    A lot of knifemakers start out doing stock removal, rather than forging (some of us never leave it). It's cheaper to get into, requires fewer tools and less space, and lets you learn the basics of shaping and finishing a knife first. Forging a knife blade is a lot harder than it looks on TV -- it takes a lot of practice.

    If you do want to go ahead with forging right away, I recommend a propane powered gas forge rather than a coal one. It's a lot easier to start up and manage the heat. You'll find a few different forge build examples on here, or you can buy a ready-made one from various places. You'll also need an anvil (doesn't have to be a traditional blacksmith's anvil). For hammers, you'll want a lot of them in different sizes and shapes to help you move the metal in the way you need. You'll also likely want punches and drifts and various cutting tools too. And don't forget tongs to hold the hot steel.

    When it comes to steel, forget about the TV show. They make it look like you can grab a few parts from an old car or truck and make some knives, but all the material on that show is carefully chosen (and cleaned of dangerous chemicals). Generally speaking, junk steel renders junk knives. Every steel has its own requirements for heat-treating. Working with unknown metal will usually end in failure. Buy good knife steel. There aren't many good sources in Sask. Check out knifemker.ca for what's available (remember, you won't be forging stainless steel).

    Hope that helps. I'm sure others will provide more information. If you have specific questions, ask away and we'll do what we can to answer them.

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