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Hey everybody. I just started forging a few months ago and I’m loving it. I want to make bigger and bigger knives until I work up to swords. 
 

This is my first somewhat completed knife. It’s made from 1080 flatbar and the handle is wrapped with rawhide and coated with epoxy. I know it’s ugly as all get out but it was a blast to make. 
 

I just joined the forums because i am hoping to learn from you all. Bladesmithing is just a hobby for me but I want to continue and see where it takes me. To all those that read, thank you and I hope to get the chance to talk soon!

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Actually, that is a pretty good first attempt.  You have what is a common problem for beginners, a short, steep, fat edge bevel.  That sort of grind does not cut very well.  If you were to cut an apple, for instance, it would cut up to the start of the flat, and then it would split the apple, tearing and cracking it.  I assume that you cut this out and tried to grind an edge with an angle grinder?  Draw filing would get you better results, but it's a tough go to draw file hard steel.

But for a first try, you are miles ahead of my first knife.  Of course back then, all we had were rocks, and you had to make your own rocks before you could start.

Geoff

 

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That you for pointing that out Geoff, I appreciate the response!
I hammered this knife into shape rather than cutting it out. As for the bevel, I actually don’t understand edge geometry that much. I used an angle grinder to clean the blade up but I used a 4x36 belt grinder to kinda bevel and sharpen the edge. 

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Image result for knife edge geometry examples

I stole this off the web, but it's a good place to start.  A hollow grind is like what you see on razors (an extreme example) but also on some factory knives whose names I won't mention.  A flat grind is the sort of thing you see on kitchen knives.  A saber (or noob) grind is usually seen in jig ground blades done on large stone wheels.  Chisel grinds are seen on chisels and some kinds of japanese knives.  Convex, or appleseed, grinds have thin edges with some mass behind the edge for strength.  Scandi grinds are not the best cutters, but make for good bushcraft tools.

This is pretty generic, but is a useful jumping off place.

Geoff

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Geoff is right.

For a first blade- its not bad.

Trust me, I've seen and done worse. :D

 

Whats best about it- is that you recognize that it can be better... but you don't seem obsessed about it being so now.

 

That's a very good thing in that you have an idea how to progress- and you'll get there.

 

Make five more... then 5 more after that. You're gonna screw up some. Keep going even though you did.

 

You'll be pleasantly surprised by/when comparing that 11th blade to your first.

 

Then- don't ever compare them again. Just know you're doing it then- because you enjoy it, and the comparison no longer matters!

 

Welcome to the madness! :o

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I agree, I wish that my first knife came out that good.  My advice, pick one or two things that you don't like about it and try to change it on you next knives.  One thing that you might try is to forge the primary bevel in but try not to get the edge finer than a dime.  Then grind\file the bevel smooth and heat treat; then file or grind in the secondary bevel.  Just make sure that you don't overheat the edge by cooling in water frequently.

 

Doug

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6 hours ago, Geoff Keyes said:

Image result for knife edge geometry examples

I stole this off the web, but it's a good place to start.  A hollow grind is like what you see on razors (an extreme example) but also on some factory knives whose names I won't mention.  A flat grind is the sort of thing you see on kitchen knives.  A saber (or noob) grind is usually seen in jig ground blades done on large stone wheels.  Chisel grinds are seen on chisels and some kinds of japanese knives.  Convex, or appleseed, grinds have thin edges with some mass behind the edge for strength.  Scandi grinds are not the best cutters, but make for good bushcraft tools.

This is pretty generic, but is a useful jumping off place.

Geoff

Thank you so much for this! 

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Nice first blade.  Sure better than my first!  Important part of doing this as a hobby is try to avoid getting frustrated.  Just learn and enjoy the journey!

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For the beginner:

 

One thing I've noticed is that a beginner will look at that geometry chart and exaggerate the grind til the convex is still huge.

 

Unless this is for an axe or really big chopper, I would suggest that every blade be ground as a flat grind as far as the chart goes (for a beginner; unless you are intentiionally making a chisel or scandi grind).

 

Flat grind it down to a hair's breadth (almost to zero) and then sharpen. Your method of sharpening will determine if the edge itself is convex or flat.

 

I think this is probably the best way to learn symmetry, geometry, and patience. You can watch an edge begin to disappear and that last "thickness of a dime" seems like it takes forever. It's tempting to get close then throw it on a slack belt and convex it. But I think if you can perfect the flat grind it will free you up to experiment with other geometries later.

 

 

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