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New Member,,, trying his hand (Pic's & Quest.)

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My name is Joe Weed and I live in southern Ohio. I am using the handle "Osagetree" on this site.


My 23 year old Son and I have become interested in building knives, hachets & some simple tools. We made us a simple coal forge as an experiment to see if we would remain interested or if we could even do some fabricating of knives using RR spikes, plate metal and rebar.


We just jumped the knowlege gun so to speak and went right at pounding on our Rail Road Rail for our anvil. We made a couple things that resemles knives, but the are not heat treated correctly. We are now trying to gain a little knowledge so we can get decent items that will hold an edge and be more close to a correct temered state when finished, I know you fellows will help a Father/Son team learn a few tricks to your trade. We felt so good about our first experience we went out yesterday and bought us a 110# cast anvil. So, before I start asking questions let me show you what we have to work with and what we have done so far in this venture.


Our forge;





Our tools;





Our first creations;


after shaping/cutting RR spike



Finished blade and osage wood handle




Gut hook skinner with walnut handle





Okay that is it,,, Now who can give me a brief recipie for heat treating such blades we'll forge in the future????

Edited by osagetree
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Looks like yall are off to a great start! It is also great that a Father and Son can get together and spend some quality time together. As far as heat treating and such, your answers may be in some previous posts. (I've spent hours looking back through a bunch of them). I'm still somewhat new to quenching and tempering, but for my 2 cents; heat till non magnetic, quench in oil or water (straight in till all the action has stopped or do a "interupted quench" (in for a bit, out for a bit then back in for a bit), then temper in a oven (which is what I do). Everyone has their own way and certain temps for tempering. I guess try different ways and see what works for you. Welcome to the forum. Willie Nappier

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firstly are you quenching the blades if so you and heat treat in the wifes oven give em about 1 hr at 250 then let em cool and polish that should do the trick mate there are tutorials i think in the coffe cup section of this site or hot work but they are here welcome to both of you, now enjoy

you may whant to make the forge a bit safer to work with too plastic milk crates are a bit scary mate ,



cheers terry


dragonfly blades Aust :rolleyes:


A ken i just finnished



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Larry, good to see someone from the TG site one here. It must mean this site is a good one as well!


Tell, that sure looks like nice work you did!


Thanks for the welcome guy's and I will read up a bit more before asking a bunch of questions.


I'll be back soon!

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Welcome to the forum Joe those both look better than my first knife. I use propane myself but i think that the soft coal is the best for forging.



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I thought coal was coal,,, what do you recon it is that I'm getting off the tracks?


Coal is not coal. So far as forging is concerned most people want bituminous (soft) coal with the content of impurities as low as possible (especially sulphur). I've heard of people forging with anthracite (hard) coal and they say it needs more air to keep going. How does the stuff you're using burn? Lots of yellow/green smoke when you first light it (sulphur burning off)? Does it form a lot of clinker (or some clinker) ? How about ash?


As for heat treat it really helps to know what steel you're using. something from the 10XX series is easy enough: heat to non-magnetic, cool in air or ash (these two steps are normalizing or annealing depending on how slow the steel cools), repeat if desired, heat to non-magnetic, quench in oil or water (warm oil works, water is more likely to crack blades), temper anywhere from 325 to maybe 475 F depending on intended use or temper by oxidation colors.


Many question can be answered with the search feature.


If you really like forging check the ABANA (Artist Blacksmith Assn of North America) site for a local to you blacksmithing group.



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Ron, yes we have the yellow smoke at start up, so my coal probably is not the best. I will look around for suppliers of bituminous (soft) coal.


Thanks for the heat treat info and the ABANA info!



Edited by osagetree
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The bituminous smokes yellow when first lit. I don't know how anthracite works as I've never used it. If it doesn't just go out when you turn off the air it is probably bituminous. However that doesn't mean it is the best possible as it may be high in sulfur which is bad for steel. Let the coal "coke off" befor you put steel in the fire. Cokeing off is the initial burning of impurities down to a clean fire.


You can also use charcoal (chunk or hardwood Not briquettes). But that works better with a side blast forge.



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if your coal is hard and when you break its glassy looking then its anthracite if its not then its bituminous


and as far a the yellow smoke my coal has it too .. but after it cokes up it works fine and i personaly dont have trouble with it going out when i trun the blower off ( my coal is hard coal) ive left mine with out the blower on for a good bit of time and it was still buring ( no flames just red embers)












free is best but what is free might not be

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