So it’s been a while since I posted anything here but in the last several months I’ve picked up a new hobby, Blacksmithing. I did a bit of metal work when I was in the SCA and I always really enjoyed it. I didn’t realize a the time how much I enjoyed to be honest. Since I own my home and have land I figured now was the perfect time to give it a whirl.
After purchasing all the necessary tools (and some non-necessary tools) the last couple of months have consisted of me failing to make anything remotely resembling useful. I would start out with a picture in my head and end up with something that was completely different and not useful at all. For those that don’t know me pretty well, I’m very hard on myself picking up new skills. I expect that when I see something in my head I should be able to make it exactly like that the first time. So needless to say it’s been quite frustrating but I know enough about myself now to push through those frustrations and just keep working to realize what I see in my mind.
Fast forward to this past weekend and I finally got off my ass and fired up the forge. I wanted to try and make a knife out of some bar stock I picked up at lowe’s a few months ago. I started out with what you see below:
After heating it up and cutting out the rough design of what I wanted I ended up with this
I then started forging the bevels of the blade. One thing I remember from the reading I’ve done is you want to hammer the point of the blade down which is kind of counter intuitive since I wanted the blade to be curved. But as you’re forging the bevels the blade will naturally curve. It was pretty cool to actually see that happen.
Once I had the rough blade shape I was going to just put it down and work on something else but I was so stoked at what I had that I found an old file and started refining the shape of the blade. Here is a shot of the blade after forging.
Now, I was actually pretty damn stoked by this point. I wasn’t completely happy with the shape but I knew I could clean it up a bit with some file/grinder work and since I don’t own a grinder yet, a file it is!
Here is a shot of it after a 30-45 min worth of hand filing.
And one more after filing
I literally grabbed the closest piece of steel I had so I’m not even sure if it will hold an edge at all but I’m planning on cleaning up the profile a bit more and then putting a handle on it. More importantly this gave me a huge kick in the ass to get back out there and forge. I was keeping the frustration in check, for the most part, but it was starting to get to me.
I’ve got a couple more blades roughed out and I’m using what I learned with the first one to make them even better. Again, this isn’t “knife quality” steel but for my use and as a learning exercise I think it will work.