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How far have you travelled on the Journey?

Rob Toneguzzo

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I started this journey in July of 2020. My first knife I made from a file, but never finished it. I know that I have a long road of improvement ahead of me, but I think I'm making some progress. I don't have any training with the exception of videos on YouTube and insight from people in this forum. The first image are my first two file knives and the others were mild steel. I was just trying to learn how to swing the hammer correctly.


My first completed knife was a chopper made from 1084 bar stock.


My first twist damascus. It was about 36 layers, I learned a lot about layered damascus with this one.


My only successful cannister damascus. Six attempts not so good.


My first attempt at a Bowie with a hidden tang.



Don't laugh to hard, this is my first attempt at a kukri.


A little whittling knife.


My first attempt at an integral Bowie. 


Neck knife made five months ago.


312 layered damascus.  


These next two were stock removal.



And I just finished this Kabar a couple of days ago.  The one on top is mine from the Marine Corps.


Edited by Peter Killham
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It's been what, 3.5 years since I first posted here, working with a file jig? And now I'm being published in Blade. This is crazy...

And mostly because of this forum. The knife pictured was supposed to be in the KITH and I couldn't finish it in time. Thanks to everyone here who took the time to answer my questions with patience and respect.


Edited by Joël Mercier
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  • 2 months later...
On 3/26/2021 at 8:39 PM, Welsh joel said:

Jerry- the trick to getting a "mirror" or chrome looking polish is successively finer grits of sandpaper.

Hand sanding with a backer board, go up to finer grits as you go, making sure to get out all the deep scratches from the previous rough grit.


Wet sanding with water, windex, or even wd40... with a good sandpaper will make it better.


Is your handle pinned and glued on already? Its (polishing ) usually done before attaching handles.

Its easier to clamp the blade to a board clamped in a vise, or to a table, or in a knife vise to hold while you sand.


Sand progressively up to a 2,000, 2,500 grit paper- you'll be surprised how it shines. I then polish in a buffing wheel with polishing rouge.





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  • 1 month later...

My humble beginnings began when I was just a kid. Always fascinated by fantasy, I made some wooden Legolas swords from the Lord of the Rings, and Aragorn's elvish dagger out of metal. Unfortunately this was before I had a camera, much less a camera phone (they didn't exist) so I don't have a photo of those. Moving on to 2014, halfway through college, the knife making bug bit me when I made the knife in the first photo. Un-hardened stainless steel from some scrap with plenty of scratch marks and mistakes.... but it looked cool I guess! Started a low output business, ran it successfully for a few years, and went off to be an adult after failing out of college. 


So here we are, 2022. I do it as a hobby for supplemental income now. No custom work unless I like ya. The other photos are some if my favorites, although maybe not my best or the most intricate, they are my cleanest work. 


This forum is what started it, and what has kept me going, albeit, a little slower these days due to life. Love you guys and am glad to be apart of everyone's journey and excited to see what everyone else is making from all experience levels. 


Cheers folks!





Walnut Knife.jpg



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  • 4 weeks later...

Just some recently completed blades.   Nothing fancy.  The seax I did a mustard etch on the blade to give it a faux patern welded look and hickory.  The curvy kitchen has a maple handle and scandi grind with micro bevel,  and the last was just fun.  




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  • 1 month later...

First knife ever: an ambitious attempt at a folder from a piece of 1/4" round mild steel, propane hand torch, claw hammer, and "anvil" on the back of a vise. Copper pins and walnut. 1998, I think.



The little curl a the end actually locks into the pins, holding the knife open.


Two of my most recent, a "Kitchen Seax," and a big heavy Deba blade. The left side is slightly concave, which was a pain. 2021.


No photo description available.


May be an image of knife


I've also moved into jewelry, with some work in silver and mokume. 2021.


No photo description available.


No photo description available.


Nowadays I make stuff like hand-forged chain, quite a bit. 2022.


May be an image of outdoors


May be an image of outdoors



Edited by Christopher Price
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The Tidewater Forge

Christopher Price, Bladesmith

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Mr. Price! long time no see on these forum boards. Good to see you are still creating marvelous works.


“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  





J.States Bladesmith | Facebook



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15 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Blades are easy. Chain will teach you how bad your forging skills are. When you can make a chain like that one, you can say you're a blacksmith. B)

The top one is made of 9 inch lengths of 3/8", the bottom one of 4 inch lengths of 1/4". Huge difference in how those scales work. I couldn't do it in gas, the coal forge makes it easy for me. When doing it at home, I can get my small anvil horn right up next to the fire pot, which is great... at the guild, where those pictures are taken, the forge is better quality, but the lack of a little anvil right on the table makes me look like a crazed ape swinging hot metal around trying to get to the right tool while it's still hot enough.

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The Tidewater Forge

Christopher Price, Bladesmith

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  • 2 months later...

I started in Oct 2018 with files and a map gas torch. I wanted to try first with something small so I designed a 3 finger fixed blade pocket knife



3 1/2 years later, I just finished my 60th knife


Here is one of my recent projects.  a traditional tanto 




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  • 3 weeks later...

This is a cool thread. I think it is important to hold on to the first pieces you make…As this thread shows most of us have started out with little but the desire to try …I like the comment about the more I learn the more I find out how much I don’t know….that is the fun of it isn’t it. To the fun of improving is a life long quest …

My first blade…with no knowledge …an old file . I did not forge it and I don’t remember if I even tried to heat treat it..it resides in the tool In my truck…maybe in the 70’s ….




this is the latest ….finished 2022….


The list of new things to try keeps expanding… When Don Fogg started this “way”It became a place of imagination…it is so fun to see the myriad directions you all have taken it

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  • 4 months later...

Brand new to this site and only 4-5 months into bladesmithing. 

here is my first blade — 1084 Bowie then my 10th blade a 320 layer dagger that I finished yesterday!



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  • 4 months later...

I never have just one in progress, how many blades are in your too finish pile?

I have some divots work to do on this lovely pair,  simple 5160.  The sword has a hickory handle this is going to get a leather wrap,  the side dagger has a stacked leather handle.   I wanted to keep them simple and utilitarian, like what a middling level soldier might have been able to afford. 


Hopefully I will get one or 2 of the following done soon...


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  • 7 months later...

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