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Bob Ouellette

Order of operations

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Hi all, I'm finally getting back into forging and bladesmithing after far too long. I'm curious about when other smiths forge in the various features of a blade.

I typically forge the tang first, followed by tapering the point. Next I forge the profile and taper the thickness at the same time. Lastly, I forge the bevels keeping the desired profile as I do instead of precurving the blade.

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I don't forge much but when I do, I begin with the point and forge the tang just before the bevels. 

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Bob!  Welcome back!

I usually do what you do, except when I don't.  Depends on the blade, in other words.  ;)

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I forge the bevels after the tapering, thats the only thing that might need to be done in order. Taper the distal and profile of the bar, get it nice and smooth, then you have a preform. If you set up your preform right then all you need to do is precurve and bevel and you can forge very close to finished without any back and forth sort of stuff.

You can put a tip or a tang on a tapered bar, I dont really like forging the tip early and then having to taper it, they tend to come out less pointy and then you have to do more back and forth sort of forging.

But it doesnt matter so much if you can grind down a lumpy profile, I just like trying to get cleaner forgings.

Actually it might be better to forge the tang in early, you will have more room for error if you need to push it around.

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Thanks Alan! I'm glad to see you've kept things going while I've been away ;)

Steven, that sounds interesting about tapering before putting a point on it. I'll have to give it a shot with the next blade I forge.

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In general, I forge the blade out first and leave the tang for last. I start at the point and develop the bevels and distal taper as I move backward toward the tang area. I do this because I am typically trying to create a specific blade size & shape. The tang is almost insignificant, because I can draw a tang out of almost nothing. If I do not have enough material to develop a tang, I can always weld on some more where it won't be seen. I always work with a specific blade in mind and a template of what I need the finished size & shape to be. I forge the blade to that and worry about the tang later.

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