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Today I had a surprise free afternoon after work and I felt like forging instead of doing the things that I should be doing.;)

 

I figured this would be the perfect time to start on this year´s Kith.

So I rummaged around the shop and found an end piece of a Damascus billet, this billet is very low layer twist I originally made for Damascus rings, I have no idea if the pattern will look good on a knife, If it turns out ugly I will just start another.

 

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The billet was almost the right size so it wasn´t much work at all to forge it to a 1´´ x 0.5´´ x2 inch block.

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A smart man would have welded a new handle on the tiny block, but I chose to play the ´´can I find the steel between the coals before overheating´´ game.

After forging the bar to about 4 inches in length I could start pushing steel around to get to a more knife shaped bar.

The preform is almost done, but my free afternoon was over before I could finish the forging.

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My plan at this point is to make something of a skinning knife, but I have nothing drawn out precisely

 

Normally I am an advocate for planning your knife ahead and making templates to work from, but this time I am ignoring my own advice and just sort of winging it.

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14 hours ago, Pieter-Paul Derks said:

this time I am ignoring my own advice and just sort of winging it

Good to do that every once in a while. Good progress so far.

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19 hours ago, Doug Webster said:

Cool stuff.   What anvil do you have there?   It looks like your hardy hole is next to the horn?

 

 

It is a ´´Soeding und Halbach´´ in a north german pattern, these have the hardy hole near the horn and no pritchel.

 

As a proud anvil dad I should have a picture somewhere on my pc:rolleyes:

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7 hours ago, Pieter-Paul Derks said:

I should have a picture somewhere on my pc:rolleyes:

So keep bragging, Daddy!  How big (because all blacksmiths know that size does matter.)

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3 hours ago, Doug Webster said:

I do think you have a hammer addiction

Funny, I would call that collection "a pretty good start"! :)

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On 4/11/2021 at 4:10 PM, billyO said:

So keep bragging, Daddy!  How big (because all blacksmiths know that size does matter.)

it is stamped 209 kilos, so that would be about 460 Ibs, it was made in 1913.

I also have a 60 pound stake anvil by the same manufacturer from the same year, when I saw that one pop up on an online marketplace it couldn't help but re-unite them.:D

These anvils are forged from cast steel, and the faces are really hard and almost an inch thick, thats why mine is still so flat after a hundred years, the downside is that the edges chip easily.

 

On 4/11/2021 at 5:56 PM, Joshua States said:

Funny, I would call that collection "a pretty good start"! :)

Since this picture was taken I have actually added another rack on the other side of the swage block, and I still can't fit everything on thereB)

 

On 4/11/2021 at 2:08 PM, Doug Webster said:

Nice anvil.   I do think you have a hammer addiction and should probably speak to a therapist.

At this point my therapy is the time spent in the forge, so I will only accumulate more hammers, tongs and files:lol:

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I've got some progress to show again, I'm really enjoying myself with this one.

 

the blade finish forged:

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The profile and flats ground before heat treat, and some filing done on the shoulders.

I like to heat treat as soon as possible, this way I have room to grind out small warps and I like to do most of the work with 60 grit anyway.

I never really understood why people grind knives to 220 grit before heat treat.

 

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And the knife finish ground ready for hand sanding, I also have a design now;)

My plan is to use stainless for the guard and nut, maybe bronze for the spacer and macassar ebony for the handle.

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  • 5 weeks later...

And I am all done!

 

I am really happy with how it turned out, the whole build went really smoothly.

I bought a new file guide and almost immediately my guard fit improved a lot, it is still not totally perfect, but quite close.

This is all takedown construction without a single drop of glue, though the guard doesn´t come off without removing the threaded rod.

The low layer damascus was a pain to finish, in the end I removed all the oxides and went for a silvery gray instead of contrast.

 

This was my first time working with stainless, and it really is pain to work with but the end result is real nice.

I also am very pleasantly surprised with the macassar ebony, when we get knife shows again I really need to get more of this stuff.

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Thank you guys!

 

I really liked doing this project, and I am curious to see some other KITH entries.

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As you already know, I think this came out just so well it's beautiful. 

On 5/16/2021 at 6:49 AM, Pieter-Paul Derks said:

the guard doesn´t come off without removing the threaded rod.

 

I have a way of changing that. I make these types of handles off the blade so I have a way of keeping the guard and handle together without the blade in place. (I also would typically have a spacer package of some sort between the guard and handle material, but that's just my thing). It's a variation of the threaded rod in this thread.

 

In that thread, I show how to use a threaded rod to hold the spacer packages to a take-down handle. That rod has some washers and nuts to tighten and keep everything in place using alignment screws.

 

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So how do you get that threaded rod though the guard slot that isn't big enough? You grind a bit off of opposite sides until it slips through.

(Thank you to Matthew Parkinson who showed me this trick in a Falchion class a couple of years ago to slip a threaded tang though a slotted pommel.)

 

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Threaded rod (2).jpg

 

You must keep this so the threads are directly across from each other and the nuts will still screw on. If the grinds are off parallel, the nuts will wobble and slip off.

Slide the flattened end through the handle and out the guard. Affix the washers and nuts. Use a leather washer so as not to scratch the guard face. Add washers and nuts to the handle end and tighten it up. Now you can shape everything together and get nice flush joints.

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Thanks Joshua!

 

My original plan was to add a fluted spacer, but I liked the clean look so much that I decided to keep it simple for this one.

 

Shaping the entire handle on a threaded rod is a nice trick, I will have to remember that, on this one my alingment pins were tight enough to hold the handle together on their own. I drilled and reamed in the guard, but left the holes in the wood undersized.

 

I have actually ground the sides of a threaded rod on a different, much bigger knife, since on this one the tang is quite thin, I wanted to keep the maximum strenght of the threaded rod. The force on this knife will probably never be great enough to strip the threads, but it does make me feel better.:rolleyes:

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