LetsGoViking
Greetin's y'all! Been lurking here for a few days, learning what I could.  I am an aspiring bladesmith with zero experience. I know I'm starting about 50 years too late, but what the heck, it's always been something I've wanted to learn. My (read xyl) requirements to get started are almost zero cost. So I will need to make or find all the tools (I can always make a argument for a hammer or three). I have some handtools and a few common power tools, but nothing fancy.  Looking for ways to bootstrap both my knowledge and my gear.

I am far more interested in forging as opposed to grinding blades. Also, with forge experience I might be able to make some things that will keep the wife happy. [smile]

For any that have words of wisdom, I'm all ears!

Cheers, y'all!
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jmccustomknives
Howdy from 'bama.  I see you are wanting to make knives?  Here's the thing, no matter which method you choose you are going to have to grind them.  There is no way around that part.  If you forge your blade it's going to have hammer marks that need removal.  This is how I recommend one learns knife making;  learn how to grind a knife and get the profile / edge bevels correct.  Also getting the heat treat right.  Once one gets comfortable with those things then move on to forging.

Another advantage of doing this is the tooling required.  While there are a lot of expensive grinders out there one can use anything from a 1X30 to a 4x36.  Personally I wouldn't try a 1X but know guys who use them.  I use a 4x36 and it does well, it isn't as fast as a good 2x76 but I have access to belts for it so it's what I use.  For heat treating a torch or home made charcoal forge works.

You can tackle this hobby incrementally and on a budget.  My family motto, "Cheap or free".  lol.  I would suggest ordering a stick or two of 1084 from New Jersey Steel Barron.  His stuff comes annealed and is easy to work.  The 1084 is easy to heat treat and makes excellent blades.

Good luck.  Share your progress!

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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Hank Rearden
Hello LetsgoViking,

Like you there are many others here scavenging tools and making what we need. It's a can do attitude that happens to be part of this program. As far as making the wife happy: let us know how you do. We pride ourselves on sharing ideas. Don't be afraid of failure. We call it a learning swerve...I mean curve.
code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
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Skarzs the Cave Troll
If you're interested in learning to forge blades, be sure to tackle some beginners projects before going on to knives; the basics are important. What I think would be the most helpful project would be some basic leaves. If you have access to rebar (I mean, who doesn't?), make a few leaves to practice tapering, flattening, drawing out and beveling, four techniques necessary to forging knives.
Hope that helps, and welcome to the forum!
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Dustin Stephens
yes yes, make some tongs first, i used vise grips at first and hated it. tongs make good practice and also a tool that will last you a lifetime
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LetsGoViking
Thanks for all the kind words. I've started on the lookout for a grinder.
Skarzs, I've got rebar all over the backyard from the previous owner and I haven't throw it all away yet. I'll be sure to set that back now for my starting projects once I get a forge up and going.
Dustin, tongs were first on my list of beginners projects!

Thanks a lot guys, y'all be safe out there today!
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Skarzs the Cave Troll
Good luck, and happy forging!
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Ohio Rusty
I think I read a knife making article in a book called Practical Blacksmithing from 1913 that said .... forge thick, grind thin.  Grinding will leave the surface smooth and shiny taking out forge marks and pits. I like the look of the lower half of the knife smooth and the upper half still dark with some surface figure from forging.
Ohio Rusty
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Skarzs the Cave Troll
If you do it right, though, you can make a nice looking blade without having to grind very much. Forged to finish.
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NorrinRadd
Welcome aboard! I started 40 yrs too late so I'm with ya, it can be done. There's some great experience around here so you're in good company.
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Metalmelt
Welcome, I'm a newby too. I also started late in life. I've actually started 3 times, well 4 counting this last time. Bought anvils, set up a forge (coal or propane) and then sold it all and went to something else. I usually just beat on some metal and tried to make some things, didn't do too bad. This last time I joined a group in my area. They are very helpful and it wasn't expensive for their class. I know some places charge a lot for a little instruction, I think the group at Sloss Furnace in Birmingham charges $250 for a 3 day course. My group didn't charge me near that much and I'm still getting some instruction every time I go to the forge.
I would really like to start a group like that when I get back to Ohio.
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mtforge
Where in Ohio? There a few blacksmithing groups around now.
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Metalmelt
I'll be up north of Columbus, I know about SOFA but they're a couple hours away. I lived there most of my life, just can't stay away.
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mtforge
There are three groups listed with ABANA but I think SOFA may be your closest.
http://www.abana.org/affiliates/affiliate_map.shtml
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