I'm new to the forum folks so I don't know if this question can be asked here. What are some of the best books in your opinion for beginning blacksmiths/knife makers? And specifically, books that may address how metals will react under certain conditions? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. I would rather read up on the art and physics of heated and cooled metals before any practical applications. Thanks.
The top end of blacksmithing books I think are "mastering the fundamentals of blacksmithing" By Mark Aspery.
Jim Hirosulous has books on knife making and there are several that have been published by American Bladesmith society smiths.
Handles and Guards is one that comes to mind.
I can't remeber the author.
I find forums and video in this day and age really have all the info you need.
Unfortunately you don't know what you don't know so you have to figure out the right questions.
Feel free to ask me anything that comes up.
I will do my best to answer them.
There is a sub-forum here titled Books, Videos and Other Media. You can probably find some recommendations there. https://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?/forum/29-books-videos-and-other-media/&page=3
Mark Aspery's books on Blacksmithing are very good for beginning to advanced work (there are 3 books in all) and are far and away considered the standard reference. The Blacksmith and his Art by J.E. Hawley. Practical Blacksmithing and Metal Working by Percy Blanford. Books are great to have because you can keep them handy in the shop and refer to them while trying the techniques, something you cannot do with Youtube videos. Very often the type of information regarding metals and their reactions under heat and stress are not covered in videos, but are covered in books.
For knife making, Jim Hrisoulas's books (there are 3) have been a standard reference for a lot of us, but there are many more out there now than there were when Jim wrote his books. Jim frequents this forum and goes by JPH. This forum is the largest collection of information on the art I have found. Read many of the pinned threads. They are pinned for good reason.
Welcome to the forum and the madness.