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This is my first attempt at making a blade. I decided to go with some cheap mild steel for the first few so I can save a little money while I work out my initial flaws in technique. The first few blades were bound to be less than desirable.

 

The over all length is 8"

 

Blade is 4"

 

Handle is 4"

 

The wood is just a chunk of wood from the backyard.. No sense in getting crazy on the practice run.

I pinned it using some old .22 caliber bullet shells just because I had them laying around.

I thought I'd attempt some filework just for the practice.

 

I'd really appreciate some feed back, Thanks..:)

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For a first knife, that is very good. On the down side, it's not a knife, it's a knife shaped object. The cost difference between a piece of mild, and a piece of something that would hold an edge, is pennies, so why not work in carbon steel to start. It's not more difficult to work (prior to the heat treating) and then you'd have a tool you could use.

 

I like the file work, it takes some skills to be that precise.

 

If there is a shop in your town that makes or repairs springs for vehicles, try contacting them and tell them what you are doing. A small pile of cut off will keep you busy for a long time.

 

Geoff

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This looks very nice for a first knife! (Mine was far worse :unsure: ) Do you have any previous metalworking experience?

 

Here's a little critique for ya: There are some finishing flaws around the engraving and choil/plunge area, but looks good otherwise. I like my knife handles to be largest at the butt and taper towards the blade as that helps keep the knife from slipping out of the hand and is a pretty standard design. The palm swell is good. Lastly, mild steel is great for practicing forging but since it can't be hardened (not much anyway) it won't function well as a knife. Find some high carbon scrap, like leaf spring, so you can practice heat treating as that is a critical step in making quality knives.

 

Hope this helps and keep up the good work!

~Joshua Snead

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Thank you for all your complements! :)

 

Thanks for your thoughts, Geoff. In truth, I got a pile of mild steel for free, so I figured I could do with some practice before I spend any money, I have yet to buy any tools. I had a good file selection in my tool box already, I made the forge myself (as most beginner bladesmiths seem to do), And a hammer isn't hard too find. I'm going to start on some blade steel soon. Until it arrives in the mail, though, I might as well get some practice done! :) I'm also going to make a trip to the hardware store to get some more tools. I have a pretty good tool selection, but, I have a few tools in mind that I wouldn't mind having.

 

Thanks again for your constructive criticism, Geoff, I really appreciate it!

 

-=James Fuller=-

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Joshua, I have done some metal working before, but not much. I understand that the mild steel is practically useless for making knives, but, I wanted to do get some practice in. I'm working on one other blade so I can try and practice hollow grinding on my small (Really not the right kind of grinder) bench grinder. But I think after that I will only use blade steel. I ordered some 1095 today and it won't be in for at least a week.

 

Thanks for your time and thoughts!

 

-=James Fuller=-

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James, that is impressive! And to practice on 'free' steel is a good idea! You can make and sell 'letter openers' or just blades for display, or keep them as a reminder of where you can improve, I've just lost my first knife, a buddy claimed it when he got a cheffing job, and he can't believe how it cuts! (Made from free saw blades) so keep practicing and produce a good knife when you have the tools, materials etc! I'll be looking forward to that day!

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