Steve Meyer
Hi, I'm Steve. Ice Broken!  No really I'm new to the hobby.  I put together a little brake drum forge inserted into a 30g drum.  with 2' of 3 inch steel pipe welded on then a metal heating hose to a $7 blow dryer.  Got myself a cheapo anvil from harbor freight and went to getting metal hot and hitting it with a 3 pound hammer.  I'm working on a knife from a RR spike because trains are everywhere here and my nephew said I could collect all the spikes I wanted from their yard and my kids went crazy and I have around 100 of them.  Of course I've been told I shouldn't try a knife as a first go at it.  and so I joined to learn all I could from people who know more than I do. Click image for larger version - Name: KIMG0165.jpeg, Views: 16, Size: 255.62 KB
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jmccustomknives
Howdy Steve from a transplanted Texan!  You'll probably want to ditch that Harbor Frieght ASO (anvil shaped object) for something a little better, even a piece of RR track is better.  There isn't nothing wrong with doing knives, if that's what you want to do.  I backed into blacksmithing from knife making.  The RR spike is fun to play with, but isn't even close to being a knife steel.  There are lots of other projects to use spikes for.

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

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Steve Meyer
Yea the spikes are for practice. Just something to do. And there was only so much money I was willing to spend without knowing if I liked it. All I had was a one foot piece of small track. I like the aaso almost anvil shaped object, better than that. My dad has a 8 ft section of the big track if I can ever get it cut down to a couple of foot
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Hank Rearden
Hi Steve,

Glad you're here. You'll find as you go everything you do ends up being practice for the next project. Or something like that. There's a lot of information on techniques, imagination and good fortune in this sport. Whether you call it a hobby, profession or obsession isn't the point. Be proud of every failure because if you're like me you're going to have your share of them. That's why getting it right is so sweet. It will truly be earned success.

By the way, share those failures and successes with others will you. Because in some way it becomes something like "motivation" for others.
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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Steve Meyer
Glad to share, I'm going to finish up the klo in the picture in the next day or two and will post it. Its not far from what I wanted.
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Skarzs the Cave Troll
If you're looking for scrap steel to start on knives, look for car or truck springs, which are oil quench. Welcome to the family, Steve!

jmccustomknives wrote:
You'll probably want to ditch that Harbor Frieght ASO (anvil shaped object) for something a little better, even a piece of RR track is better.
Can't say I fully agree there, Jim. While the track may be better steel, it doesn't have the mass that a lot of those cast iron ones have. Also, you might at least get a hardy hole with a Harbor Freight one, which is extremely useful.
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Steve Meyer
It does have a hardy hole which is nice. I like it better than the other things I was using even if I need to flatten the working surface. I'm a mechanic with a large scrap pile out back of my work place. Leaf springs aren't a problem to get.
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NorrinRadd
Hey Steve! Welcome to the club.

IMHO, A rr track anvil mounted the way that Anthony San Miguel has his is in this thread http://www.theironforgefire.com/post/my-smithy-7525726?pid=1288139781
is by far a better anvil than the HF ASO, even with the hardy hole. All the mass is under the striking surface and it is solidly mounted. Nothing wrong with starting out with the HF though. The good thing is now that you have the hardy in the aso if you want you can make a great post anvil out of a section of track. [biggrin]
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jmccustomknives
I bought a cast iron ASO from Northern Tool, 70lbs as I recall, when I first started.  It was so soft I had to really hammer hard.  That caused tendonitis in my elbow that stuck with me for 2 years, and to this day every once and a while I'll get a twinge.  A 50lb section of track will move more metal than 100lbs of cast iron, and if you have access to a long piece you can build a post anvil, which for knifemaking is very handy. 

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

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Steve Meyer
Might be silly I've seen post anvils and DIY's for them but not sure the advantages of them for knife making?  I actually have 3 objects outside right now with which to beat metal on. 2 inch thick piece of hard steel that who knows what it was for it was on my dads ranch kinda laying around, the iron "aso" and a piece of track 12 inches long. And there is the around 8' piece of RR track. the problem with that is getting a torch to it to cut it down some.  If when I can cut it Ill probably cut several sections. Click image for larger version - Name: KIMG0172.jpeg, Views: 13, Size: 268.73 KB
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jmccustomknives
The horn on an anvil is all but useless for knifemaking.  It can get in the way.  A post anvil allows you to flip the billet without having to re-position yourself.  I built a RR track anvil were it was flipped and the edges welded to box it in.  This braced the edges and added weight.  After it was welded onto the base the whole thing was about 150lbs.  I had to sell it, just didn't have room in my shop once I built another post anvil out of forklift forks that weighs 300lbs.  I miss that large flat surface, given my experience with the other I would rather have the rr track one.  lol

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

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Steve Meyer
This for me is just to get into the hobby of making knives.  so I assume at 5'8" around a 3ft piece of track to stand and mount on end should work?  Looks like more research for me.
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jmccustomknives
Here's that first post anvil I made from RR track.  It was hardly pretty in any way, kind of Frankensteinish, but worked well.  I made hundreds of knives on it.006.JPG 

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

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Steve Meyer
The short piece I have here might be a bit light, But I believe it wouldn't be hard for me to do something much like that in the very near future.
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jmccustomknives
The wonderful thing about smithing, you don't have to start out with the best stuff.  Like you, I started with a break drum forge (set in an old wheel barrow) and a piece of rr track.  Over the years my shop has grown and yours will too.  [wink]

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

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Steve Meyer
I hope so. Its definitely been fun so far. I picked up a pair of old bolt tongs today for $10 it was a nice find even if they are a bit beat up. I'm eager to get back at it. But the weather is disagreeing.
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Porterboy
Welcome aboard Steve its amazing how much u can do with very little to work with necessity is the mother invention lol
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