building a forge

Discussion in 'Knives & Edged Items' started by joncutt87, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Hey Jon! Check out this easy propane forge made out of a weed torch, some KAOWOOL, and a coffee can. You could be up and running making your own knives up to 6" long in 20 minutes with about a 50 dollar investment.. Im gonna give it a try.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bt4OfHUi5V4&feature=related
  2. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest

    Great advice Bill.;)
  3. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

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    Many leaf springs are 5160, but how do you know? Having the metal analyzed is inefficient.
    You can build a good knife out of leaf springs with a generic heat treat, if you know what you're doing.
    You can build a better knife out of a known steel with an exact heat treat-again, if you know what you're doing.
  4. popgun

    popgun New Member

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    now thats old school for sure. Saw a guy at a fair once use one like it to do rought irn work, wanted one ever since.
  5. okie headhunter

    okie headhunter New Member

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    i have been using a propane weed burner for a couple of years. they work great. my son found that you can forge a pretty fair sword out of lawnmower blades. it's a lot of fun
    IMG_0926.jpg
  6. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    looks Good Okie ..
  7. okie headhunter

    okie headhunter New Member

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    i was wrong he's working with a peice of leaf spring.
  8. okie headhunter

    okie headhunter New Member

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    thanks jack ,it really works pretty good. i an goinf to bulid a better one when i get healed up.
  9. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    if you folks can get a hold of the old John deere rotating cultivator disk plows thats great steel for making knives and pretty thin, plasma cut one up and still got a dozen blanks left and given a dozen or so away and made some as well , good metal eh
  10. joncutt87

    joncutt87 Active Member

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    I have plenty of mower blades around, used to work for a deere dealer
  11. okie headhunter

    okie headhunter New Member

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    the most important thing is to have fun with it.
  12. joncutt87

    joncutt87 Active Member

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    Plenty of cultivator disks too
  13. DesertRose

    DesertRose New Member

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    My husband built his first forgebox from an empty 55 gal. steel drum back in the mid 1950s when he started forging his sword blades as a teen. Used a #400 Champion forgeblower to attach it. Now he uses a commercially made 1930s forgebox. Although he could have made a gas powered forge, he has always preferred coal since he has better "heat" control...especially when he tempers.

    You can still find old farrier's/Blacksmith portable forges like Hawg's. My husband has one powered by a #40 Champion blower. When he got it, the bronze gears were still in good shape. All that was needed was to be regreased. Better than being used as a "quaint flower pot".

    Usually these portables had either #40 Champions or same size Buffalo type.

    Occasionally you will find one that used a lever action "rack and pinon" style "pump" to turn a large leather belt powered blower. These were made in the late 1890s up through the early 1900s for farm and farrier use. These sold through Sears or Montgomery Wards.

    Not all steels are good for making knives...and especially if you decide to make a longer sword blade. Too little carbon and the steel will be too soft for a suitable blade and you can't temper it. Tool steel alloys are too hard and brittle. I have seen a sword blade made from tool steel snap when its owner was showing it to some friends. Stainless is the same way....It was developed as a "rust free" steel alloy. And despite it being used for all sorts of knives, commercially made "swords" et.c......if you want to start out making a good knife, stick with a high carbon steel.

    The higher carbon steels like 1080, 1084, and 1095 are good blade steels but the 5160 alloy is the King. This alloy was actually used by Frankish swordsmiths in the 8th century and found as "mined" ore in specific Celtic held areas from the Iron Age. Even the Thracian smiths used it. The alloy has a certain amount of chromium and manganese in the iron ore. When forging it out, you change/rearrange the molecular structure. After proper oil tempering and annealing, you create a tough, yet springy blade.

    From the beginning my husband used Spring Steel 1/4" leaf springs for his sword blades and any knife/daggers too.

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