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Hello, newbie just starting out


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Hello, I am absolutely new here and first post.  The boys and I were talking about wanting to make some knives, so wife got me a propane fired forge for father's day.  The only thing I had to start with some was some mystery metal round bar that the wife brought home one day, so I chopped a piece off and started hammering and filing.  I made the handles out of a cedar tree stump that we cut down in the spring.  I tried to heat treat the blade, but it's probably just some low carbon steel, so it can be a letter opener.  It's ugly and I made a bunch of mistakes, but I learned along the way.

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I ordered up an assortment of 5160, 52100, 1080 and 1084 to play with.  I went with the 52100 and stock removal for the second one.  the handles are Black micarta.

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The wife's birthday was coming up, so I thought I'd try to make a pairing knife out of a piece of the 52100.  I used water buffalo horn for the handle on it.  Her birthday is a little way off, but I couldn't wait and gave it to her early.

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My buddy Wayne saw the pairing knife and mentioned that he could use a new hunting knife that was just a little bigger, so...  The blade was my last piece of 52100.  I ordered some black and orange G10 for the handles.  Wayne is a Vet, so I got some pins for the handle that look like dog feet.  I thought they were lined up when I set it down for the glue to cure.  I'll pay closer attention next time.  This one is scary sharp and shaves very easily.

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Wow, what they said!  Lots of improvement with each one.  Keep it going!

You mentioned that your wife got you a propane forge as a gift.  Take a look and see how your forge is lined.  It will probably either be with some sort of fire brick, or a soft fiber blanket.  If it is brick lined, ignore this post, but if it has a fiber blanket, please make sure it is coated with a rigidizer of some sort.

I've been on a bit of a soap box about this lately, but there are a few suppliers of propane forges on ebay that are selling forges lined with kaowool or something similar.  New people have been buying these forges, and lighting them up without realizing that the fiber blankets will release fibers into the air once they are fired the first time.  This is a pretty serious health hazard.

 

 

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What they said!

I'll give you a helpful hint. Get yourself a piece of 3/16" thick angle iron for a sanding backer. You can clamp it in a vise and use wood clamps to hold sandpaper on it. The slight radius on the edge of the angle iron lets you sand those hard to reach places like in the plunge line. Finish sand from tip to choil and let the plunge bump the angle. Sands a perfectly flat blade with a defined plunge every time. 

Hope this helps ya!

Edited by Zeb Camper
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Thank you for the kind words and suggestions. I think I've got bitten by the blade bug.  I've got the urge to start something new :) 

I just got some rigidizer in yesterday for the insulation.  Do I just paint it on with a brush, or can I put it in a spray bottle and spray it on?

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1 hour ago, Glenn Larsen said:

Thank you for the kind words and suggestions. I think I've got bitten by the blade bug.  I've got the urge to start something new :) 

I just got some rigidizer in yesterday for the insulation.  Do I just paint it on with a brush, or can I put it in a spray bottle and spray it on?

He He, another one down the bladesmithing rabbit hole :)

There are a few different rigidizers out there, and I'm not an expert at all.  The stuff I had I mixed from a powder to a thin slurry and painted it on with a brush.  You definitely want to coat that forge with something though.  Some of the others will chime in and help with more info.

What kinds of rigidizer did you get?

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53 minutes ago, Glenn Larsen said:

It is Simwool Rigidizer.  I guess I should have read the bottle, it says to dip, brush or spray.

A layer of Satanite will help get that forge hot and keep it there.

https://www.hightemptools.com/refractorycoatings.html

Good work on those knives Glenn. I second the idea of contacting Lin Rhea. Super-friendly, superb knife maker and very accomplished blacksmith as well.

Edited by Joshua States
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