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Birth of a blade

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by messerist, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. messerist

    messerist Well-Known Member

    There have been a few members here expressing an interest in making their own knives. I have been making knives for a little over twenty years and do almost all of my work by hand. I was thinking of posting a thread here on how I make my knives so I forged out a blade from a very old and rusty leaf spring. It looked like it came off the first car ever invented according to my eight-year old son. I apologize for not having any photos of me forging the blade but I was the only one home at the time and simply can't forge and take pictures simultaneously. What I plan on doing is recording and posting the steps I take to make a blade from a rough, annealed blank through to the final fit in its sheath. I hope this is OK with the moderators. If not please let me know. This will be a project covering several months so sit back, relax and enjoy. Here is the first installment, the rough blade blank. Constructive criticism and suggestions are welcome during the process as well as any questions one might have. And awaaay we go!
  2. MattTheHat

    MattTheHat Well-Known Member


    Can't wait!

  3. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Well-Known Member

    This is gonna be a good one. I can feel it.

    I can't imagine the mods having a problem with it. this is the sort of thing that knife guys on this board salivate over.

    I can tell you right now, I'm already fascinated.
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Did you have to forge the tang down or did you profile before forging?
  5. messerist

    messerist Well-Known Member

    Yes HSO, the tang is drawn out from the bar of steel. The piece I started with was approximately 1 1/2" wide by 9" long. I spoke with the Wife last night and she recommended that I forge out another blade and she will photograph the steps involved in the actual forging. She is a teacher and says I am cutting you guys short by not showing the entire process. Besides, the fire part is the "funnest part" according to my 8-year old. Whaddaya think?
  6. Mp7

    Mp7 Well-Known Member

  7. Russ Jackson

    Russ Jackson member

    You should save a piece of the original spring and put it in the presentation case. Looking forward to this thread...Russ
  8. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator

    I am in for the wait
  9. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Well-Known Member

    Making sharp things...

    Yep, I'm in too. As if I didn't already have enough of a variety of ways to use up my time!

    What, if anything, do you have to do special to the spring steel when you start out? I have a nice 1/2 of a broken truck spring leaf that says to me "Knife, knife!" occasionally. I'm not into forging (forgery?? :D ) yet.

    BTW, I rather like the rough shape of your blank.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  10. Redhorse

    Redhorse Member

    Bring it on!
  11. Fergy35

    Fergy35 Well-Known Member


    Great idea for a thread. I am looking forward to seeing the progress. I have been itching to try forging and will be watching your post intently. Tell your wife thanks. I'm sure myself and the others will enjoy seeing the forging part take place.
  12. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Well-Known Member

    Bring it one Brother this will be GREAT!
  13. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator

    My only 2 attempts to forge were failures of epic proportion. Looking foward to learning some thing.
  14. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Well-Known Member

    I wanna see this, too! The only hammered-out edged weapon that I've made started out as a chunk of copper bar stock.
  15. jbkebert

    jbkebert Well-Known Member

    Looking forward to this thread. Thank you
  16. BRad704

    BRad704 Well-Known Member

    Great idea!

    Subscribed... :)
  17. messerist

    messerist Well-Known Member

    Sorry for the wait everyone. I was finally able to do some work on the blade this past weekend. First I removed as much scale as I could by soaking it in a bath of plain white vinegar overnight and then scrubbing with some 0 steel wool. Then I marked on the blade what parts to file away.
    Dapper Knute 003.jpg
    This is one of the reasons I try to forge my knives as close to shape as possible. A few hammer blows on a hot blade can save minutes or hours time filing. I suppose if I had power tools I could use them to save time as well.
    Dapper Knute 008.jpg Dapper Knute 007.jpg
    Here I am draw filing the spine of the blade and the finished shot. I will hit it again with a finer file and sandpaper later on.
    Next I will do the sides of the blade. As you can see there is not much to my set up just an old Workmate, some 2X4s and a few C-clamps
    Dapper Knute 023.jpg
    I try to keep it simple for several reasons. Of course the first is economy and second, I like the accomplishment of being able to do something almost entirely by hand. I will try and post some more photos tomorrow. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. Thanks for looking
  18. LHRGunslinger

    LHRGunslinger Well-Known Member

    Are you sure you aren't Norm Abrams evil twin? Ya know the one that works with hand tools and metal? I'm just joking around. I think we need MORE tutorials like this. Cause not everybody has a dremel or an entire workshop full of power tools to do stuff with.
  19. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

    Boy, they should. Dremels are well under $50.00 at Walmart right now and represent an inexpensive, solid tool investment for anyone remotely interested in handcrafting or doing different kinds of home repair. I know not everyone has all the money in the world to blow on tools, and some, like Messerist, simply like using hand tools but it's just not that big of an investment.

    On the other hand, I personally enjoy using hand tools. There is a certain zen about them, and as our society experiences something of a very small renaissance towards living more simply, owning a few basic hand tools and knowing how to use them just makes good sense. Plus, if your the teotwawki type, you can't shoot a log cabin together, nor can you tactically stab a new well. If things really do get medieval, tools and skill are going to be valuable, valuable assets.
  20. ColdDeadHand

    ColdDeadHand Well-Known Member

    I may have to take a field trip to Minnesota and look you up. What say?

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