Steve Meyer
Is it worth it to buy mild steel stock from the localish tractor supply to practice on?  Making tapers and or leaves, maybe a hardy hold down stuff like that?
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jmccustomknives
Practice, probably not the most cost effective way to obtain your steel.  I have bought their steel to get a project out though.  If you can find a steel supplier it will be a lot cheaper.

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

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Steve Meyer
I can order steel, there's just not anything bigger steel supply around.  I was looking at their half inch square and round stock though.  Its around $5 for 4 ft, wasn't sure if that was cheap or expensive.  Also didn't know/think I needed to be buying HC steel for learning?
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jmccustomknives
If your wanting to do general smithing then the stuff from TS will work although it is expensive compared to getting it from a steel supplier.  High carbon steels do move differently than mild steel and has bit of a learning curve.  If you can get a leaf spring from a modern truck it will give you hours of forging pleasure.  Be aware that any used materials may have cracks and defects though.

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

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Steve Meyer
My overall goal is to get to where I can make knives.  I've just realized in trying,  how much of the basics of the art I'm missing ( like all of them)[smile].
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Dustin Stephens
A local junk yard can be a beginners best friend.  I frequent them all the time, and the guy that runs it sets stuff he knows Id like aside for me
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Anthony San Miguel
As Dustin suggested, try to find a local scrapyard. Every one I've ever visited has been a gold mine for a blacksmith. Now, usually my wife goes with me because she finds things for the yard that she likes. It is surprising some of the things people throw out.
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