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How many people does it take to make a knife?


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10" chopper for example. Would I need help hammering or for anything else? If by myself would I need a power hammer?

Any and all input is welcomed and greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

 

- Jimmy Yang

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Using what for stock? If you use stock that is close to the dimensions of the finished piece, you could do it all by stock removal. If you start with 2 inch round, you are going to need some big help, or a powerhammer or a press. I find forging 2 x .250 stock to be a chore, particularly when forging tips and tangs, but it can be done by one person. The rest is all skill level and time.

 

Geoff

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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10" chopper for example. Would I need help hammering or for anything else? If by myself would I need a power hammer?

 

 

depends what your starting with ? how good you are with a hammer / what tools you posess / have you worked hot steel before / what equipment have you got ie forge / anvil hammers /if the answer is no to these then firstly dont make a chopper start on something small ,its ok to have big idears and ambitions but unless you know at least the bacics then the only thing you will end up with is a big lump of disapointment and a hunk of scrap steel.

and a power hammer is something i would say at the stage your at is asking for a disaster, and im guessing by the way you asked the question you are a compleat novice , then all i can say is find a smith to help set you on your way read a lot on this forum etc , good luck remember knowlage is half of doing it right ,

 

tell

Terence.........(today started off perfect now --- watch sombody come and stuff it up ]

 

if it aint broke dont fix it

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depends what your starting with ? how good you are with a hammer / what tools you posess / have you worked hot steel before / what equipment have you got ie forge / anvil hammers /if the answer is no to these then firstly dont make a chopper start on something small ,its ok to have big idears and ambitions but unless you know at least the bacics then the only thing you will end up with is a big lump of disapointment and a hunk of scrap steel.

and a power hammer is something i would say at the stage your at is asking for a disaster, and im guessing by the way you asked the question you are a compleat novice , then all i can say is find a smith to help set you on your way read a lot on this forum etc , good luck remember knowlage is half of doing it right ,

 

tell

 

 

hmm...maybe I should rephrase my question.

 

If someone had the experience and the necessary skills. Can THAT person be able to make a chopper by himself. Even with a 2" round? Would it take an impractical amount of time?

 

I didn't mean myself personally. I'm just trying to get an idea.

Edited by ZongTa

Any and all input is welcomed and greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

 

- Jimmy Yang

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Sure you can i do it all by hand it's a lot of work but it can be done.

Many others do it with large stock as well. I'm never in a hurry so i don't know what an impractical amount of time is.

 

Bob

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i'd say the vast majority of us work alone, and without power hammer or press. as to how long it takes, that depends on the type of knife, the style and quality of finish, complexity of construction, level of ornamentation etc, etc, etc...

 

as a rule of thumb, given reasonable sized starting stock,say a bar 10" x 1" x 5/16ths, i'd say pretty much anyone on this forum could make a basic 10" chopper, with a cord wrapped or burnt on handle with a proper heat treat and a rough finsh in the course of a day. some could do it in an hour or two. some would make a much nicer job of it than others. the basic skills are simple to acquire, but nigh on impossible to master, and anything more elaborate requires that you acquire the further skills to do it - if you want a guard, you need to learn how to fit a guard, you want jewels, you have to learn to set them, and so on

 

there is no physical impediment to one person doing all the work on a knife and sword, and no theoretical impediment to them accomplishing each part as close to perfect as humanly possible, if they have the basic coordination and are prepared to put in the work to gain the skills, but that doesn't mean you have to do all the work yourself, and many smiths farm out specialised tasks to other people, sheathmaking, or engraving say. those who work with stainless steel often send blades out to be heat treated. Japanese swords for example, usually had many different people to complete each stage of the work -the tatara workers made the basic steel, a smith (sometimes with one or more assistants) refines the steel and shapes and hardens the blade, a polisher, habaki maker, saya maker, someone to make the fittings, etc, but a single determined and skilled person could accomplish all these tasks.

Jake Cleland - Skye Knives

www.knifemaker.co.uk

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

 

Albert Einstein

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i'd say the vast majority of us work alone, and without power hammer or press. as to how long it takes, that depends on the type of knife, the style and quality of finish, complexity of construction, level of ornamentation etc, etc, etc...

 

as a rule of thumb, given reasonable sized starting stock,say a bar 10" x 1" x 5/16ths, i'd say pretty much anyone on this forum could make a basic 10" chopper, with a cord wrapped or burnt on handle with a proper heat treat and a rough finsh in the course of a day. some could do it in an hour or two.

 

 

Jake,

 

Are we talking about forging, as opposed to stock removal? Forging is the path I want to take. Thanks

Any and all input is welcomed and greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

 

- Jimmy Yang

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i was talking about forging, but you need both disciplines - you have to remove stock to get down to an edge after forging and h-t, and if you go the stock removal route, you still have to do some forge work to harden the blade. personally almost everything i make is stock removal - i've probably only ever done about a weeks forging in total. the first day i spent maybe 9 hrs to make a 6" blade from 1/2" round. last time i forged a 20" nagasa wakizashi from 12" x 1 1/2" x3/8ths stock in about the same time, so if you concentrate and pay attention the learning curve can be pretty fast.

Jake Cleland - Skye Knives

www.knifemaker.co.uk

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

 

Albert Einstein

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You would not enjoy forging the blade you described out of 2" round, alone, by hand. At least I wouldn't. But starting from some reasonable sized stock, sure, of course you could do it alone.

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You would not enjoy forging the blade you described out of 2" round, alone, by hand. At least I wouldn't. But starting from some reasonable sized stock, sure, of course you could do it alone.

 

Sure, I kinda get that. I'm just wondering if it can be done. I already have some good size stock a friend sent me...when I'm ready of course.

 

The reason I asked was because bladesmithing is gonna be my personal hobby, and it'll kind suck if I ever had to rely and wait on others. Not because I prefer to do it alone but because well...I've never met another person in person who shares the same interest in forging blades as I do, and I don't want to hassle anybody.

Any and all input is welcomed and greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

 

- Jimmy Yang

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I think that one problem might be that you are assuming that 2" round stock will forge into 2" flat stock without a concerted effort to keep it to that width. From my experience working with 9/16" round bar I would say that the flat 1/4" forged from 2" round bar would end up 4-5" wide which is pretty wide even for a chopper. I am in the process (and have been for several months) of forging some 2" round 1045 into a hardy tool. Forging the post down to a 1" square has been fun-not. It takes a long initial soak to make sure that the bar is heated all with way through but, with time, it can be done but it's big jobs like this that make one appreciate a power hammer or a press.

 

Doug Lester

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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i would say that 80% or more of what you have seen on this site has been done by one person all my work is solo other than add ons i have done to existing items then i didnt make the item just the add on

Brandon Sawisch bladesmith

 

eagles may soar but weasels don't get sucked in to jet engines

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There are a number of start to finish projects over in the Pinned Topics. This one is one that I did.

 

It's a little bit hard to know quite what it is you are asking. Can a single craftsperson make a knife from start to finish? Sure. Can I do it in a day? Probably, but 2 or 3 days would get you a better product. Could you do it? It's hard to say. It sounds like your skill level is pretty low, OTOH, everyone has to start somewhere.

 

Your profile says that you are in Minnesota, there must be makers nearby where you live. This is a pretty good place to find someone, and if you can spend a half a day in someone elses shop, that would be worth whatever it cost you. Be mindful that you are taking up that persons time, and time is his (or her) most precious asset. Most of us are willing to help the next guy along on his journey, it is, after all, how we got started.

 

Good Luck,

 

Geoff

Edited by Geoff Keyes

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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There are a number if start to finish projects over in the Pinned Topics. This one is one that I did.

 

It's a little bit hard to know quite what it is you are asking. Can a single craftsperson make a knife from start to finish? Sure. Can I do it in a day? Probably, but 2 or 3 days would get you a better product. Could you do it? It's hard to say. It sounds like your skill level is pretty low, OTOH, everyone has to start somewhere.

 

Your profile says that you are in Minnesota, there must be makers nearby where you live. This is a pretty good place to find someone, and if you can spend a half a day in someone elses shop, that would be worth whatever it cost you. Be mindful that you are taking up that persons time, and time is his (or her) most precious asset. Most of us are willing to help the next guy along on his journey, it ism after all, how we got started.

 

Good Luck,

 

Geoff

 

 

Thanks Geoff,

 

The bolded is to what I'm referring. But more the blade itself. I know I personally can't make a knife yet but I don't think a few days is a lot of time for an experienced craftsman so thanks for clearing that up.

 

And yes I am from MN but I'm having a hard time finding a local bladesmith or classes as of this moment. But I'm sure someone will come through eventually.

Edited by ZongTa

Any and all input is welcomed and greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

 

- Jimmy Yang

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Thanks Geoff,

 

The bolded is to what I'm referring. But more the blade itself. I know I personally can't make a knife yet but I don't think a few days is a lot of time for an experienced craftsman so thanks for clearing that up.

 

And yes I am from MN but I'm having a hard time finding a local bladesmith or classes as of this moment. But I'm sure someone will come through eventually.

 

CENTRAL MINNESOTA BLACKSMITHS

 

Pres: Rome Hutchings

13633 Ferman Ave. NW

Clearwater, MN 55320

(763) 878-1694

rome.hutchings@theprairieismygarden.com

 

Ed: Ken Zitur

37634 County Rd. 9

Avon, MN 56310

(320) 746-2557

KjZitur@hotmail.com

 

 

 

GUILD OF METALSMITHS

 

P.O. Box 11423, St. Paul, MN 55111

 

Pres: Norm Groehler

4405 S Darrow Rd

Superior,WI 54880

(715) 399-8151

normanwgroehler@centurytel.net

 

Ed: Beth Olson

2153 Fox Pl.

Mendota Hts, MN 55120

(651) 683-0906

byhenry@mindless.com

 

www.metalsmith.org

 

LAKE SUPERIOR METALSMITHS

 

Pres: David Hanson

5873 Taft Rd.

Duluth, MN 55803

(218) 721-4572

daveforge1@aol.com

 

Ed: Gerri Hanson

5873 Taft Road

Duluth, MN 55803

(218) 721-4572

daveforge1@aol.com

 

NORTHERN MINNESOTA METAL SMITHS

 

Pres: Phil Ylitalo,

54759 110th St.

Menahga, Mn. 56464

 

Ed: NMM Offices

c/o Kieth Johnson

9179 Beltrami Line Rd. SW

Bemidji, MN 56601-5799

keith@greatriverforge.com

 

I don't know how far you are from them but there is listed an ABANA affiliate in Minnesota.

Having watched government for some time, it has become obvious that our government is no longer for the people. If the current trend continues, it won't be long untill armed rebellion is required.

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Thanks for the list. I'm not too far from some of those on the list but I'm always willing to drive a little further if I have to.

 

I noticed that those listed are blacksmiths and metalsmiths...are they one in the same as bladesmiths?

Any and all input is welcomed and greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

 

- Jimmy Yang

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They may not all be interested in blades, but every bit of metalworking information you can pick up will help you make a better blade. :) I'm sure you'll find a LOT of knife guys among those groups, though.

 

Personally, I use blacksmithing, bladesmithing, stock removal (grinding/filing), jewelry, woodworking, and gunsmithing skills in my work. And I still want to learn more. ;)

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Got this Journeyman Bladesmith listing off the ABS website. No idea if he's still an active maker or has time for a look around the shop. Couldn't hurt to try to contact him though:

 

Name :MICHAEL ROCHFORD

JS :1986

Business Name :

Address : P O BOX 577

Address #2 :

City :DRESSER

State :WisconsinPostal Code :54009-0577

Country :United States

Phone :715- 755-3520

Secondary Phone :

Email :mrrochford@centurytel.net

Edited by HSJackson
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Thanks for the list. I'm not too far from some of those on the list but I'm always willing to drive a little further if I have to.

 

I noticed that those listed are blacksmiths and metalsmiths...are they one in the same as bladesmiths?

 

Go to a meeting. Start meeting and talking to people, and I think you'll be surprised how things come together.

 

And yes, this board is a wonderful resource, too. Through it I've found one who guy lives maybe ten minutes from my office, and another who lives about fifteen minutes from my house (though I haven't met him yet).

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  • 2 months later...

If your looking for a Great maker in the MN area look up Mike Blue, hes on the forums here and is a very helpful fellow.

 

and to put in my opinion, yes you can forge down 2 in dia stock on your own.. Ive done it by hand with 2 in O1.. its a real pain to get flat even with my 12 lb hammers but I also work alone so i have had to develop strength to use 10 and 12 lb hammers with one arm.

 

best recommendation for a beginner.. play with 3/8 in mild steel.. .or if u want carbon steel.. find a local scrap yard or mechanic and get some leaf springs, slice them up with a angle grinder abrasive wheel and forge from there. Its great practice and old springs are hard to screw up with HT

Gnáthamh na hoibre an t-eólas

(Knowledge comes through practice)

 

Iron is full of impurities that weaken it; through the forging fire, it becomes steel and is transformed into a razor-sharp sword. Human beings develop in the same fashion. - Morihei Ueshiba

 

my site: http://lfcforgeworks.webs.com/

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