My first self forged knife

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Suffolkrafter

Forager
Dec 25, 2019
192
157
Suffolk
Hi all. I was lucky enough to spend a day forging a knife, and thought I'd share the result. It's not often I get to work on a proper project in this way, and this was a completely new, rewarding (and exhausting) experience. It's not perfect, but it's handmade and unique, if nothing else.

Here's a picture:
IMG-20210812-171941.jpg


The end result is a blade length of 13 cm, 5.5 mm thick at the spine and 227 g in weight. It currently has something approximating a scandi grind that needs finishing off. It is currently at 20 degrees total.

One thing I did wrong was the alignment of the tang - the point of the knife sits too high relative to the plane of the tang. Not sure how I managed this. I was meant to correct this when grinding but somehow I didn't. So my first job now will be to file down the end portion of the spine to bring the point down a little - if I can.

Second job will be to finish the edge off. I already have a couple of scandi knives so my plan is to put a microbevel on to make it that bit more robust.

Third job is to somehow fashion a handle. I may wrap it, otherwise, I may try and fashion one out of wood using the rivet holes. Depending on how I align handles, I may be able to correct for the position of the point to some degree.

As you can see I am by no means a knife expert! Any comments, criticisms, ideas on next steps etc will be greatly welcome.
 
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Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,774
2,678
S. Lanarkshire
There's something incredibly satisfying in using a tool you made yourself, and knowing it's good :)

It's a great learning process getting there too :cool:
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,374
2,145
McBride, BC
You are not the same person as when you started, are you?
Make several handles. This is a magnificent learning experiment.
I do not have the striking accuracy to do what you did. I've tried in copper.

Palm up, fist grip, the tips of your second and third fingers should just touch the fat ball part of your thumb. Kind of like sizing the handle on a tennis racquet.
I don't need a death grip on any wood carving tool handle which is a basic diameter of 7/8". 3/4" - 1" is my range.
 
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Suffolkrafter

Forager
Dec 25, 2019
192
157
Suffolk
It is indeed very satisfying.
I have striking accuracy but lacked sufficient strength in my hammering arm. Fortunately I had guidance and help on hand. I came away with a profound respect for blacksmiths, and how incredible that prior to automation of these things, everything single tool was forged this way through sheer skill and strength.
 
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JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,679
1,267
Stourton,UK
The first, and only one I did looked nothing near as workable as that. So keep on forging. And update us on the progress. It’s always fascinating to see ‘the making of’ things.

Fixed your pic.921292D6-50E8-4701-B7F0-5C206398CA06.jpeg
 

Suffolkrafter

Forager
Dec 25, 2019
192
157
Suffolk
Well it took a while, but I finally finished the knife. I added a handle in teak; two old peices that fully enclose the tang (grooves cut using a router), sanded into shape and held with two dowels through the rivet holes. I areldited the whole lot together. Finally, I put a shaving sharp edge on using my DC4 stone (as usual I got nowhere with my bench top stones and resorted to the dc4).

This is my first carbon steel knife and I absolutely love it. It was a pleasure to sharpen and work with compared to stainless steel. My other knives are all scandi and I loved not having to worry about conforming to a pre-existing bevel. I'm a happy camper!


 
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TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,956
910
Vantaa, Finland
I can see a few things where some changes could be made but if you succeeded in your heat treatment that'll work. Not bad, not bad.
 

Suffolkrafter

Forager
Dec 25, 2019
192
157
Suffolk
Thanks TLM. I'd be interested to know what changes you'd make, it's always good to get insight from others. I'm fairly confident on the heat treatment. If I did anything wrong it was hammering the steel when a bit too cold. I've considered lowering the point to be in line with the tang. But then again, that would make it the same as my other knives.
 

TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,956
910
Vantaa, Finland
Thanks TLM. I'd be interested to know what changes you'd make, it's always good to get insight from others.
The handle: I prefer to have an oval cross section for max strength grip when whittling also the oval section lets one know by touch which way the knife is in hand. I also like the handle to be as close to the cutting edge as possible to again get the max force if needed.

The edge: slightly difficult to see how the edge is sharpened but I prefer a very slightly convex edge, in my experience that is the best compromise in a general use knife, strong and lets one control the cutting better than some other alternatives. It is also somewhat tedious to keep sharp and takes some trial and error.

All this of course depends how and where the knife is mainly going to be used and a lot also on personal preferences. On the third hand I see no reason why the knife wouldn't work in a satisfactory way as it is. :thumbsup:
 

Suffolkrafter

Forager
Dec 25, 2019
192
157
Suffolk
Some good points :) I will put it through its paces and see how the handle feels with proper work. The nice thing is I can change its shape easily at any point, just through sanding and re-buffing.
As for the grind, I'm not too sure how to describe it - a sort of vaguely convex bevel with a secondary bevel of around a milimetre or two. I reckon it'll find its use as a chopper of sorts. It's a big and heavy beast.
 

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