First blades.....


April 6, 2013, 09:56 PM
I am now taken the first step into blacksmithing, under the teaching of James McClendon (JMC Custom Knives) he is on facebook. Went over to his house for a project and left with a new tomahawk and knife made by my own hands. Its obviously a first attempt, it looks rough and crappy, but it is MY rough and crappy so I am happy with them!

Hope this picture works, put picturelink, aint that right?

Tomahawk is a 4140 Manganeese ballpeen hammer, unknown wood, paracord wrap and the knife is unknown wood, brass pins, and 1075 steel.

At any rate, thanks for looking!

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April 6, 2013, 10:07 PM
pic did not come up. I can't wait to see it.

April 6, 2013, 10:15 PM
I looked at the link, but it seems to go to a mobile thumbnail, not a real image. Photobucket should give you the right link to add here.

April 6, 2013, 11:27 PM
Check it now... though dont know how to resize....

April 7, 2013, 03:08 AM
They are rough but I'd be proud - you should see my first knife!

April 7, 2013, 06:40 AM
Useable! And they've got a certain cool "primitive/paleo" feel to them! :) Good job!

April 7, 2013, 09:14 AM
You've put yourself on the path so all you need now is passion and practice!

April 7, 2013, 09:17 AM
For a first try, I'd say you did well. Many don't even come out with a usable product the first time around.

April 7, 2013, 10:03 AM
The steel itself I like the hammer, sander, and grinder marks. In a certain light it gives the blade a pearl(ish) look to it. The knife handle, well I had to do that with a file and sandpaper (did the rest at the teacher's house, who has actual tools. The tomahawk handle was the only thing I could find to find the small drifted hole of the baby ballpeen hammer.

Now to order some kydex and form a sheath for the knife, still tring to figure out a practical design for the tomahawk.

Any ideas for the tomahawk sheath (kydex of course)?

April 7, 2013, 04:42 PM
Looks good for a first effort.

April 7, 2013, 05:34 PM
Nothing to be concerned with, dude. Your first try is cool, and the fun is in the making. Skills improve over time, but the fun part is being able to say you made something!

April 7, 2013, 06:07 PM
Be proud, that is a good first effort.
My first 2 knives were disasters. then it got better. Even today I would not attempt a hawk.
Now get to work and show us more.:)

April 7, 2013, 07:13 PM
The hawk was forged from a ball peen hammer? That's pretty cool.

I've made a few rough but functional knives, but all through stock removal of a steel slab. Nothing with an anvil and forge yet.

Look good.

April 7, 2013, 11:24 PM
My hat's off to you and anyone who actually doing it instead of just talking about doing it. Keep posting pics as you continue your journey. Nice work!

April 7, 2013, 11:42 PM
Yea, next step is to get my own propane forge built! Doesn't look too hard to do, even for me!

Can't wait to have my own sander and grinder, I cant stand buying stuff that I can make, like sheaths, knives, lanyards, etc.

Yea little rusty ballpeen hammer, was my rivet punch.....

April 8, 2013, 12:15 AM
i went to a blacksmith class at a pioneer village in Florida...made some neat stuff. Surprising how much cool stuff can be made from rail road spikes. Walk along a railroad track some time and you can find old discarded spikes just laying along the side of the rails. They are usually of a good quality iron that can be reformed rather easily. They make great oyster knives

April 8, 2013, 10:32 AM
i like 'em, as was mentioned the whole primitive, paleo look you nailed it!
but in my opinion it would be criminal to put kydex on that knife, its in need of some leather pants to finish the whole look off:D
but again, theyre really cool

April 8, 2013, 11:49 AM
I've had issues trying to use propane for heat treating, switched to MAP gas instead and haven't turned back. It's (IIFC) a mixture of Methane, Acetylene and Propane and it burns a lot hotter.

I've got plans to build a forge this spring, and I think a ball peen turned tomahawk might be a fun early project.

I've got a war hammer made from a rail spike. I might have to hike down the tracks and see if I can find some more.

April 8, 2013, 01:28 PM
It is an addiction. I, too am trying to learn to forge blades. I do sort of a combo of forging and material removal. I have a great time, which, is why I like the hobby. Nice job and keep them coming.


April 8, 2013, 05:17 PM
Great work P.B.! Thanks for the pictures.


April 8, 2013, 07:49 PM
Thanks for posting, talent there for sure. Keep going keep posting pictures.:)

April 8, 2013, 08:31 PM
I wish I could do leatherwork, but kydex is far more functional, and I am function over beauty. Leather is alot nicer looking though.

April 9, 2013, 07:57 AM
i hear ya but if you can hammer out those you could do primitive leather pants for 'em:D... you should see my first two sheaths:eek:
either way you did 'em be proud

April 9, 2013, 08:01 AM
I am a blacksmith, but i'm not brave enough to tackle knives yet! :)

Nice job.

April 9, 2013, 08:28 AM
Haha thanks ya'll!

kim breed
April 11, 2013, 08:22 AM
good work for your first try. when you can spend time your finish will improve. but I like them the way they are now. frontier.

April 11, 2013, 11:15 AM
I pretty excited, I now have a summer job (currently in college) that can let me afford to buy the stuff I need! First is to build a propane forge, does this look right:

Then to buy a bench grinder, then the other stuff. As far as an anvil, what I have will do until I can trade for a railroad one.....

April 11, 2013, 11:37 PM
Dude, you just got a compliment from Kim Breed. Being familiar with Kim's work by merit of having a Breed knife about three feet from me right now, I can assure you that you should be giggling like a baby being tickled by grandpa. High praise indeed.

April 11, 2013, 11:59 PM
Slap me slilly.... I just realized that that was Kim Breed (on my phone I only see the text). Thank you Mr. Breed, high comlliments indeed!

April 14, 2013, 08:25 AM
My first knife was one that only a father could love, so I gave it to him for Christmas.

April 14, 2013, 10:10 AM
Thats funny, tried making a kydex sheath but the spine of the knife is a bit twisted because my strikes did not give a straight spine. Therefore, it takes way too much force to take in and out of the sheath. So I guess I'll have to use an older leather sheath.

Any thoughts on the forge link?

April 14, 2013, 10:16 AM
That's a very nice little forge! I should probably bite the bullet and make something like that myself.

Here's what I use for now:

Coal fired, with a perforated pipe at the bottom fed from the blower side of a shop-vac.

It's done all I could ask so far. I've had fabulous heat-treat results with 5160, W2, and 1095. I leave anything more exotic to the professionals. :)

April 14, 2013, 10:38 AM
I plan on using 5160 as my primary steel. Are those bricks as the walls?

April 14, 2013, 12:51 PM
Yes, those are the refractory bricks sold as woodstove lining.

April 14, 2013, 01:31 PM
You know, if I had a good source of coal, I might would do that setup, looks much more simple than building a propane one... or maybe I am over thinking it.

April 14, 2013, 06:40 PM
Most makers say they're much more comfortable working with a gas forge as it's a whole lot easier to see what you're doing, control temps, and its just a lot simpler to make go.

Having used a coal forge for my stuff, I'm inclined to agree strongly! :)

April 14, 2013, 06:58 PM
It is easier to work with, and I did not get any "sparks" from getting the steel too hot, which I did with the coal one.

Just gotta get my mind wrapped around the propane forge building, I am not too mechanically inclined.

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