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Wes Detrick

Resources for bladesmithing in the U.S.A.: A US Addendum to "How to become a Bladesmith" by Owen Bush

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This is just a addendum for the excellent post that Owen wrote that includes resources for US based smiths. Please see his original post for the meat of the topic.


Bladesmithing courses

Texarkana College

Hayword Community College

New England School of Metalwork

 

Material Suppliers

 

Steel suppliers

My No.1 steel supplier is New Jersey Steel baron. Most steel stockists sell steel in sheets, full bars and sometimes round bars. If you want smaller bits you have to pay a premium and go to someone who sells cut up steel to knife makers. Generally speaking as the quantity of steel you buy goes up the price goes down. Precision ground stock is a lot more expensive that hot or cold rolled steel and is a waste of time if you are going to get the steel hot and bash it.

New Jersey Steel Baron - AISI 10xx steels, Stainless steels, tool steels (W2, O1, D2...), CPM steels

Admiral Steel - AISI 10xx steels, Stainless steels, tool steels, some Damascus steels

USA Knifemaker - AISI 10xx steels, Stainless steels, some Damascus steels

Texas Knifemaker Supply - AISI 10xx steels, a few stainless steels, and a few tool steels

Alpha Knife Supply - Tool steels, Crucible Steels, Stainless Steels

Kelly Cupples - octihunter@charter.net - Kelly does not have a website, but if you email him, he will send a listing of the steels he sells. AISI 10xx Steels, Tool Steels, Powder Steels, Nickel Powder and Sheet. He even sells Parks 50. Kelly is a super nice guy and I have bought steel from him in the past. Dave Lisch buys steel from him quite often. If I remember correctly, if you buy over $100 in steel, shipping is free.

 

Gas Forges

I have made the forges I use, but there are companies that make them as well.

Forge material Suppliers

High Temp Tools - One of the best places to get materials for building forges, from insulating blankets to refractories.

Wayne Coe - Wayne has a some great supplies as well, and seems super helpful. He pops up on this forum. He has plans for a forge, and a ribbon burner, which he swears by

Zoeller Forge - Larry sells burners and plans to make forges. I have two of the sidearm burners from here, and they work great.

Hybrid Burners - The high water mark for venturri burners. They also sell an IR Reflective coating called Hyb-UV that I use and love.

Ron Reil Burners - The classic burner plan and Ron's website where he talks about how to build them

Pine Ridge Burner - They make multiple sizes of Ribbon burners, as well as blowers, and other parts for gas forges.

 

Prebuilt forges

Chili Forges - Our own Dave Stephens uses one as does David Delagardelle. Very good from what I have read

Majestic Forges - Large and small propane forges

NC Tool Forges - A farrier supplier, but they make the Whisper series of forges

Mankel Forges - Clamshell forge designs

 

Anvils

I am only going to list new anvils here, since old anvils are not regularly sold at a set place.  But I would recommend hunting one down, since they needs new homes too.  

*Note* - I did not include many farrier anvil suppliers.  Those anvils would certainly work, but they can be pretty specialized and may not be the best option for a bladesmith or someone interested in general blacksmithing

Nimba Anvils - Beautiful Italian style double horn.  I have used one and its awesome

Rhino Anvils - Double horn anvil.  Our own Jerrod Miller has a hand in making these

Hoffman Anvils - Jymm Hoffman's Colonial style anvils

Old World Anvils - A variety of anvil types.  They sell a 4" x 4" x 4" stake anvil that is recommended for beginners and is pretty affordable

Euro Anvils - A friend of mine has one, and it is very clean and very nice.  He doesn't let other people forge on it :lol:

Big Blu Anvils - Double horned anvils

Peddinghaus/Ridgid Anvil - Pretty double horned anvils

Fontanini Anvils - Rat Hole Double Horned Anvils

Kayne and Son Blacksmith Depot - Sell a variety of anvils, including Perun, which I believe are English

 

Thermocouples

Type K inconel (3 to 6 mm) remember to order a type K plug to go with the thermocouple.

Auber Instruments - They sell pyrometers, thermocouples, and PIDs

Digital thermometers are now cheaply available and they need a type K thermocouple (as above) This be ordered directly from China or Hong Kong for a few bucks.

Do a search on eBay for Type K digital thermometer TM-902C.

 

General knife supplies and tool suppliers

USA Knifemaker - Tons of knife making supplies, from abrasives to tools to belts... the list goes on

Jantz - My go-to supplier. They have what I want most of the time. My electro-etcher is from them as well

Texas Knifemaker Supply

Alpha Knife Supply

TruGrit - Lots of belts, but they have lots of other good stuff too

K & G Supply - They also stabilize wood. if you send them a load, they will stabilize it for about 14 bucks a pound.

 

Woods and Handle material suppliers

Woodcraft - I have one close to my house, so I go there to get lots of non stabilized woods

BellForest - A huge selection of wood

Desert Ironwood LLC - The go-to spot for Desert Ironwood. They also sell stabilized woods

Bexar Co Burls - A friend that supplies high quality stabilized wood.  Everything I have bought is high quality (note - may require an Instagram account)

Culpepper and Co - Exotic handle materials, like bone and horn

Dream Burls - Stabilized Burls

Shelton Pacific - Stabilized woods. I have used them in the past, and they sell good solid blocks

Burl Source - Stabilized Burls

Gilmer Wood Company - They have burls, and nice sales.  The wood is very cheap too.

Cook Woods

Vivid Stabilized Woods

Greenberg Woods - Responsibly sourced woods.  Lots of stabilized woods.  I have bought wood from him, and he has good service

 

Grinders

Bader - a friend of mine has a Bader, and I really like it.

KMG - The ever popular KMG that is copied quite often. I have used one, and they are great

Wuertz - The TW90 is considered top of the game in grinders

Northridge Tool - I have heard good things about Northridge, but never used one

Pheer - My first grinder was bought from Jose. It works great. He has since improved his grinders and makes great grinders

Origin Blademaker - What I currently have and I love it. They are cheaper than most other grinders, but honestly, the build quality is top notch.

Ameribrade - Never used, but a pretty affordable full package.

Wayne Coe - Wayne (Yes, the same Wayne from above; he is a useful guy) offer motors, VFDs, wiring kits and instructions as well as a DVD for how to build his grinder, named Moe's Grinder.

Grizzly - Single speed 2 x 72

Burr King - 2 x 72

Coote - 2 wheel 2 x 72 grinder

Hardcore - 2 x 72 

Wilton - A shielded 2 x 72

Kalamazoo - A variety of grinders

Grinder-in-a-box - A DIY kits grinder

Knife Grinder Parts - Not a grinder, but sells add-on and replacement parts for grinders. Flat platens, wheels, etc. I have a set of small wheels from him and they are great. Nice guy and great service

 

Grinding belts

Ceramic are best for hardened steel and zirconium for unhardened, the cheaper aluminum oxide belts do not last as long, but I use them primarily for wood. You get what you pay for with grinding belts.

TruGrit - Lots and Lots of belts.

SuperGrit - Have used in the past, and where I buy Rhynowet sandpaper from

Combat Abrasives - I really like their Ceramic "Shredder" belts. Tons of life in them

Pop's - have used in the past, great service.  He is the recommended supplier by the ABS.

Preferred Abrasives

 
Heat Treat Ovens
Evenheat and Paragon are the ones that most people use. I have an Evenheat and it works great. Takes a bit of time to ramp, but that is because it is 120V.
 
Evenheat - They have a large selection of ovens, and even some really long ones that could be used for swords
 
Paragon - I have never used Paragon, but I am sure that other forumites have and will weigh in
 
Olympic - They have a selection of ovens, but they will also build one to your specifications
 
Kiln Frog - Where I bought my oven from. Price was unbeatable.
 
 
If anyone finds a dead link, please PM me which one it is, and I will either fix it or remove it in case the site is kaput. Also, if you feel there is a link that should be included, feel free to PM me and if I agree I will drop it in the list.
Edited by Wes Detrick
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Thanks Wes.

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Good stuff Wes.................. B)

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Thanks, Wes! I'll try to figure out how to add this to Owen's thread, and if I (or someone!) can't, it'll get pinned, fear not.

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Nice. Great set of links for shopping time.

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You are certainly welcome everyone :) I have thought about adding general smithing resources, which I may do in a later update. Please let me know if you think that is something worthwhile to add.

 

 

Thanks, Wes! I'll try to figure out how to add this to Owen's thread, and if I (or someone!) can't, it'll get pinned, fear not.

 

I thought about dropping it as a comment on Owen's post, but I was worried that it would get lost in the noise of comments. Please feel free to do what you believe to be the most appropriate Alan.

Edited by Wes Detrick

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I thought about dropping it as a comment on Owen's post, but I was worried that it would get lost in the noise of comments. Please feel free to do what you believe to be the most appropriate Alan.

That was my worry as well. Still pondering...

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I'd vote for pasting Owen's write-up and Wes' info into a new pinned thread, and locking it.

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whatever works , feel free to cut and shut my stuff as you wish or I can copy and past Wes's stuff to the bottom of my post whatever is neater.

 

and you guys over the pond have so much more resources for bladesmiths.......

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Yep, we do. Sorry 'bout that!

 

I think perhaps if I pinned this topic's first post only under the title "Resources for Bladesmithing is the U.S." and Owen added a link at the bottom of his post?

 

I don't want to lock it, since other folk may have other resources that would be good to add. I know, I can unlock it and add stuff, but I'm lazy and I do have a job, etc. :rolleyes:

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tis added.

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Many thanks Owen, and thanks for pinning it guys.

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Wilmont grinders should be added to the grinder list. I visited his shop and tested out his modular tool rest. I would assume its in the top tier of grinders made.

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Thanks Gabe, that was a good recommendation. I would ask though, that in the future that any request for editing be sent as a PM. That way we aren't flooded with a ton of comments asking for things to be added.

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Mint thread Wes. Thanks. Shame it is all very far away from me. 

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2 hours ago, Chris C-S said:

Mint thread Wes. Thanks. Shame it is all very far away from me. 

Start one for our friends down under.........:D

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2 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Start one for our friends down under.........:D

Oh ya, we have a few smiths on here that are from Straya. 

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Unfortunately / fortunately in some respects there is only 1 comprehensive store in Australia for all your blade needs... Gameco or Artisan Supplies (same store). Literally everything you need. Go check it out. There are a couple of other places that do bits and pieces but these are far and few between, and to be honest they usually source all there stuff from, you guessed it... US o A. 

Therefore the Straya sub-forum would have one link, ;)

Edited by Chris C-S
further explanation.

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10 hours ago, Chris C-S said:

Unfortunately / fortunately in some respects there is only 1 comprehensive store in Australia for all your blade needs... Gameco or Artisan Supplies (same store). Literally everything you need. Go check it out. There are a couple of other places that do bits and pieces but these are far and few between, and to be honest they usually source all there stuff from, you guessed it... US o A. 

Therefore the Straya sub-forum would have one link, ;)

This was perhaps one of the strangest websites I have ever browsed. Nearly every page was covered in "out of stock" labels. Do they actually sell anything?

It was like Python's Cheese Shop sketch.

Edited by Joshua States
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6 hours ago, Joshua States said:

This was perhaps one of the strangest websites I have ever browsed. Nearly every page was covered in "out of stock" labels. Do they actually sell anything?

This is the dilemma that we Aussies face. Hence why a lot purchase from the US. Unfornunately I am in a position of not having a high disposable income at the moment and why I am making do with whats out there. 

Essentially all the more common 'out of stock' items come and go so quickly to the well know "IN" group that the remainder of us, "small guys" don't get a chance, and therefore need to make do with stuff which isn't what we need. :angry:

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On 6/18/2018 at 11:47 AM, MathewKellerKinmond said:

amazing resources. thank you for sharing!!

 

Sure thing!

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For anyone not interested in making there own. PineRidge burners supplies ribbon burners. A little on the high side compared to the DIY path but quality nonetheless. 

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