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    Anyone here forge your own knives? If so, what forge do you use or is it homemade? And remember....

  • #2
    SS, I have made knives and I have used a forge. I have not made knives using a forge. When I was in High School we had a huge gas forge and a large elecric trip hammer, a large anvil, and a large 2" thick steel slab that had various shapes inletted in to it that we hammered white hot steel into. We had to make a length of chain by forging and welding the links. Also had to make twisted wrought iron fence rods. Find a high school class like that today!

    I also learned to use a coal forge at a local blacksmith shop where I hung out in the winter. Kind of like Tom Sawyer painting the fence, they let me burn several boxes of welding rod rebuilding Caterpillar hard bars etc. Watching the smith straighten and repair farm machinery was an education in itself.

    That being said I have wanted to build a forge for a long time. I have a medium sized, about 100 pound, anvil that was my father's when he shod horses. I will be watching this post with great interest. Some where in my collection of plans I have a plan to make a forge from the brake drum of a large truck. They welded three 1 1/2" pipe couplings at an angle on the outside of the drum.Then screwed in 3 pipe legs to make a table height forge with the legs sitting in about a 3 foot circle at the base. They attached a bit shorter pipe dead center up through the middle of the drum and used a shop vac to force air into the bottom of the drum. Fill it with coal and go to work.

    Here's a similar plan using a brake drum and a lawn mower deck. Not pretty but functional. http://www.stormthecastle.com/blacks...mith-forge.htm
    Every once in a while in life we need a policeman, a lawyer, a doctor and a preacher. We need a farmer three times a day, every day.

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    • #3
      ...
      Homo sapiens, [ˈhōmō ˈsāpēənz] Noun. An advanced primate characterized by a large brain which it seldom uses.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the pic Plainsman! lol

        RD, I asked this question because I'd like to give this a go myself. I really enjoyed working with metal in my HS shop, and for a short period of time I worked with Sheet Metal to fix interiors of UPS planes. Since I moved into computer work I've never looked back but I've always missed working with metal. Something about creating a product from plain stock has always fulfilled me, the labor aspect of it and the creation part. Anyway, I thought about this because I was watching a show on History Channel called "Forged in Fire" and it's a competition show about building weapons. I highly recommend it if you've not seen it. On that show a guy had built a forge using a old cast iron pot with a hole drilled in the bottom and he was feeding it air via a hair dryer! It reminded me of Swampratt and his creativeness. He forged a Viking Axe and won his show with his axe using that forge.

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        • #5
          I can understand your penchant for 'creating.' Knives are fascinating. I have made only one knife: a crude skinner I cobbled together when I was about 15. Wrapped the handle with baling twine! Elegant! I like going to knife sites and enjoying the design of them. I find that more satisfying than looking at guns. I have a few of Bark River's creations and you might enjoy checking them out. They make sturdy utilitarian stuff from fine steels.

          Forgot to mention-- The photo is of Mr Cunningham, at his forge. He was almost 90 when the picture was taken, in the early '70s, and had been 'at the forge' for 80 years, so he said. After he died the building was torn down. The site now holds a Super-8 motel. Quite a come-down, IMO.
          Last edited by Plainsman; 09-05-2017, 10:13.
          Homo sapiens, [ˈhōmō ˈsāpēənz] Noun. An advanced primate characterized by a large brain which it seldom uses.

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          • #6
            Many millrights, in sawmills, used planer knives and saw blades to make knives, without taking temper out or using forge. Old hunting buddy of dad's made and gave them hunting and fillet knives, from bandsaw blades (fillet) and planer knives (hunting). These are a pain to sharpen, (way harder than Buck brand), but hold edge forever. You can get them so sharp, you can't test edge, without cutting yourself. Bud ground and formed them on old treadle powered, grinding wheel and used natural Arkansas stones and strop to finish them. Handles are elk and deer, glued on with pitch, blades too hard to drill. He also tried his hand at using files, as base, very sharp, but too brittle to be carried.
            Quote from the Rev. Martin Niemöller, a Holocaust survivor:

            First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out -- because I was not a Socialist.

            Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out -- because I was not a Trade Unionist.

            Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -- because I was not a Jew.

            Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me.

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            • #7
              Here's some pics of my Dads Forges, he built both of them. The propane forge is made from a short section of a John Deere planter tool bar. The handiest thing he built though, is the 2"x72" belt grinder, a must for making knives and it gets used constantly for other things around the shop. He has been working on his blacksmithing shop off and on for over three years. I don't think he has forged an actual knife yet, but he has made lots of tools getting ready to do just that. His latest project is a hydraulic hammer/press. He joined a local blacksmithing club that meets once a month and has learned lots from them.
              Attached Files
              Last edited by Snuffy; 09-05-2017, 20:41.
              Not as Lean, Not as Mean, but still a Marine!

              If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. -- Thomas Paine

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              • #8
                Snuffy, you tell him that I like his setup. Except the hand cranked blower for the coal forge. I'd hook up a blow dryer or something as I'd not want to wear myself out.

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                • #9
                  Actually it would not be all that difficult to rig a 1/2 HP electric motor to that hand blower to deal with the air for the coal fired forge. Especially with a speed control. The only concern is the sheeves (pully's) diameters used to develop the proper RPM's needed to move the air.
                  "I am, therefore I\'ll Think."- John Galt "Atlas Shrugged"

                  "Arguing with a Marine is like wrestling with a Pig. Everyone gets dirty, but the Pig loves it."

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                  • #10
                    A small squirrel cage fan would be ideal. Fairly quiet easy to regulate with a motor control. Just need to make a square to round adaptor to route it to the forge. RD
                    Every once in a while in life we need a policeman, a lawyer, a doctor and a preacher. We need a farmer three times a day, every day.

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                    • #11
                      A Youtube video about forging billets for Damascus. Long but instructive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3y0IvMKCL8
                      Every once in a while in life we need a policeman, a lawyer, a doctor and a preacher. We need a farmer three times a day, every day.

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                      • #12
                        I've got an old vent hood blower with the controller and everything I've tried to get him to use for the blower. He is hard headed and old school and will have nothing to do with it, at the same time though, I've noticed he uses the propane forge the most.
                        Not as Lean, Not as Mean, but still a Marine!

                        If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. -- Thomas Paine

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                        • #13
                          I wanted to try some metal work. Cut the top I/3 of an old air compressor. The base for the old compressor made it sit flat. Thought the air connection could work as an air supply using a heat shielded supply tube. Dr. put the stops to it. Might have worked on the cheap to see if it was something I wanted to do.
                          Never drink down stream from the herd.

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