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blacksmith's knife

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the friend i was 'teaching' a few months back has just bought a forge from Vaughn's, and has got it set up about 30 miles away from me, so on saturday i decided to go over and check it out. brought a couple of scraps of carbon steel and forged out a couple of knives - the photo of the other didn't come out, but this is the nicer of the two:


forged knot.jpg


i need to give it a proper polish, as it formed a very nice natural hamon from the interrupted water quench, which i was pretty pleased with as i was normalising and heat treating by eye in a very hot forge (he was still using the forge to knock down some 3/4" mild stock) and just quenched it in the slack bucket. i tempered it once we shut the forge off by holding it in the cooling forge for about 10 secs at a time and quenching, but i gave it another temper in the oven when i got home. the steel is 1095 (i think - maybe 1080) and the blade is about 4 1/2".


all in all a fun couple of hours forging. the only problem was that the forge seems to be using twice as much propane as it should be it took about an hour to get it to run as hot as we wanted, and to get the steel up to a bright orange/yellow heat, we had to run it at about 1.5bar (22psi), and the specs for the forge say it should run at about 7 - 10 psi. the forge seems to be lined with some kind of medium hard firebrick and the front opening is big, and he doesn't want to close it off as he's using it for general blacksmithing as opposed to knives, so it loses a lot of heat out the front and produces a lot of flame. i'm wondering if something like ITC 100 would help its efficiency, or if he needs to line it with something else?

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nice knife !


if its a new forge, sometimes its abit of a gas hogg with new refractory... if theres moisture in it

-myself i like to run my new forges hard at first (white heat ) then it seems to me that it takes very little gas to run the following times (with refractories i've used ) ... so my thinking is that moisture does somehow play a part


you really notice this with crucible furnaces.. i alway drill little holes in the metal shell for moisture/steam to come out ... sometimes it even pools at the foot of the furnace


the paper refractory is bout the most efficient .. then wool, then ifb's (alway exceptions to that )

- you could use a Kastolite refractory ..its like a ifb but castable to your shape


i think the itc is good for both flux resist and forge efficiency ... but jeez its pricey


to be honest... efficiency is complicated.. i'd just make the smallest for necessary for the job


there was a vid with Alan forging a bell dirk... that little box forge he used was perfect... if i did have 4 forges already, i'd woulda made one in an instant (have 2 bags of kastolite just itchin to be somethin )



mmmm... i'd better skeedaddle, cause i tend to ramble




the rambler G

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Jake, tell your buddy to get some soft fire bricks for the sides & some ceramic fibreboard for the top. for when he has to reline (& he will cos of the borax, which he will use to make damascus, cos he can, cos I did with my Swan ;) ) Best to get some castable for the bottom though ;)

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thank's guy's - the problem is he needs the wide opening and largish volume for the kinds of pieces he's working on for the smithing qualification he's going for so's he can become a farrier. Colin, the burner is the same as the one's Owen has on his teaching forges, though it has a shut-off valve attached to a thermocouple, so it should have no trouble reaching welding heat, but this was really struggling to get even close. it looks to be about the same size as owens forges as well, so i presume it must just be an insulation problem. i'm thinking some thin (6mm) wool blanket along with some removable firebrick doors should hopefully fix it. i've left him some 1" blanket to try as well.


snapped another pic of this knife along with the other wee one i knocked out at the same time from a scrap of O1 (i think - fully hardened in oil)


blacksmiths knives.jpg

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