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Knife Forging

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Hey /diy/. I want to forge a knife. I plan to use spring steel for the blade. Will a 10kg (20 pound) anvil work? Pic related. I want to build the forge from a truck bake drum. Anyone got some experiences or advice?
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Bumping for very piqued interest

Other than knife forging, any Blacksmiths here?
I would very much like to know about the job
Salary, hours, how business is, etc.
Also some weird or funny stories
Shit sounds cash but I wouldnt know where to start desu baka senpai
Go look in the catalogue, there's always a couple of active threads.
Thank you kindly
that's not an anvil, it's an anvil-shaped object, probably a doorstop.

a 20lb sledgehammer head set in a stump is a better choice for a small cheap anvil. honestly you're not going to miss the bick or the hardie hole much when doing simple knifemaking work.
Any recommendations on the steel?
Old rasps you can pick up at a boot fair for 50 pence.
Thanks. That would also make a nice surface, I guess.
No, that's some china pig iron.

Good DIY anvil material is rail road track.

Thanks. Pretty hard to get some here, tough
Pay depends on your selling skills.
Being a blacksmith these days is basically selling hand made expensive shit that can be bought more cheaply from a ordinary store.
Basically you are selling unique items and that means you have to SELL them. Joe Schmoe won't buy hand made shit just because, you need to convince him.
My best friend is trying to run a blacksmithing business but is struggling. My wife's brother is selling bicycles in his shop and doin' good!
The difference between these guys is that one is mainly an artesan, not a salesman. The other is a salesman, just happens to be a bicyclesalesman.
What I'm saying is that to succeed as a entrepreneur you need to have selling skills, not just be able to do a good job. And this is especially true when you are selling something as useless as a piece of steel made by hand. At this point the salesman can sell a shit product where someone lacking skills to sell will struggle...

Just my five cents when I've been looking at the blacksmithing scene in my small country...
Does nobody else here /fit/?
A 10kg anvil is 22lbs.
For just starting out, a cheap anvil is fine. When it breaks, and it will, then you'll know more and can make a more informed purchase decision. Along the way you'll learn where to buy scrap, and a piece of railroad track or plate steel just might find you.
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(PART 1)
Check it son:
I've been tinkering with black smithing for about 6 months now, and i've figured out many things the hard way.
FIRST: You need to decide if this is something you really want to do. If you're just wanting to make yourself a knife for shits and gigs, dont bother. just go to a pawn shop and buy one for yourself. Dont start with the "Oh but i want to make something from my bear hands and the sweat off my brow" shit. If its not something you're willing to dedicate alot of time and effort to then you're just wasting your money.
SECOND: Some materials you'll need. You need something to make metal hot. My advice is to figure out what you want to make, and go from there. Small things dont need a giant forge, so go to your local junk yard and get a brake rotor, or good sized brake drum. (This is what i did btw). That will serve as your fire pot, next you'll want to either weld on a pipe at the bottom hole of the rotor to allow air to flow up. I welded a 2in flange to the bottom so i could easily remove my fire pot for cleaning. Next figure out a way to suspend said device, i used a tripod to hold a small satellite dish. Get a 3 way connector and screw that to the bottom of the large pipe you put into the rotor. put an end cap on the bottom, and a length of pipe into the side. Use a cheap hair dryer that has a COOL function and slap it into the pipe on the side and you're set.
THIRD: FIRE! You'll want to use coal, i use anthrecite coal because that all that i can find here in Northern Michigan, it works well enough, but is a little bit too hard of a coal for "real" blacksmithing. You'll want to create a small fire with either lump charcoal or regular wood just so you have a bed of hot coals to get your Coal going. Turn on your hair dryer to increase the heat of the fire.
FOURTH: An Anvil. You can use quite a few things as an anvil, but nothing compares to an actual, no shit anvil. Im not talking about that piece of shit you put up as a picture.
(PART 2)
Dont waste your money on a shitty harbor freight anvil. They're cheap iron and they are a waste of time and effort. The thing behind successful pounding isnt just your hammer hitting the metal, but the energy of the metal hitting the anvil and coming back up. A good anvil has a nice ring to it (See what i did there). Thats because they'll often times have a forge welded steel plate to the top of them. Thats what you want, and what youre looking for. You'll know you've got one when you hit it with a hammer and it has a good bit of bounce and a good sound. If you can, go around to local estate sales, barn sales and look for one. They're not impossible to find, and not to expensive. I'd say the cheapest you can find is about $1/lb (US). If someone is asking for 3-4$/lb then forget it, unless its a no shit Peter Wright anvil, and in damn near mint condition. The problem with old, used anvils is that they can be a real bitch to use, and someone who doesnt know what they're looking at, ie; you, can get suckered into wasting money.
After you've got your anvil, get some hammers. Go to lowes and pick up one of their blacksmithing hammers, aka a Cross Peen hammer. Relatively inexpensive and solid quality. Heat your metal till its yellow hot and hit it. If a bunch of sparks come off after your pull it out of the fire, its too fucking hot and you've burnt your steel. Dont rush it. Think about it every time your hammer hits your metal, and know where its going to hit. Misplaced strikes can not only ruin your piece, but if you're just smacking away like a moron you can miss and hit yourself, or smack the shit out of your anvil. Dont do that, especially if you buy some piece of shit Chinese model.
Most importantly, have fun. Create something useful to you, and dont try and tackle giant jobs on your first try.
Go to the youtube and look up a guy by the name of Chandler Dickenson, he's who inspired me to try this shit and i love it.Good luck, and may the forge be with you
some points I'd like to make:

1: OP, you're going about it right by using spring steel. (or tool steel). using scrap, files, old truck springs, etc, is a fool's game. I'd reccommend O1 steel, as its very forgiving in the heat-treat. Failing that, if you're in the US go to the NJ steel Baron, and get 1085.

2. Anvil-shaped objects are shit. for knifemaking a good stump and a section of RR track is easily enough, you will rarely use a bickiron, or the hardy hole for simple blades - infact, you can use a cube of steel, and it works well. keep an eye on farm sales for old anvils as you get into it more.. Good way to test an anvil is take a 25mm/1inch steel ball bearing hold it above, and drop. it should bounce back up almost as high as you dropped it. if it only bounces a little, walk away, the anvil's shit.

Weight of the anvil should be taken into consideration - ideally you need at least 30X the mass of the hammer. some will argue to go for 50x. so if you have a 500g/1lb hammer, you will likely need a 15kg/30lb anvil. use a 4lb sledge, you should be using a 60kg anvil.

RR track anvils, obviously, where to get it is the problem. Dont be afraid to write to your local rail authority, and ask if you can buy an offcut. If you can, claim its a student/college project, and they might well help you out. I did that, the national rail company didn't just let me get a section, they delivered a 50cm section to my front door, signed for it and paid £5 (scrap, that steel would've been £30 at least), solely so they had a record of the sale, and that way, I was protected from anyone ever saying the line was stolen from a trackside. if you've got an anglegrinder, take off the crown of the track so its flat, and you've got a perfect surface for working. then get a tree stump to mount it to the right height, and you're laughing.

3 good quality files are an investment. Yes, you can get cheap ones in india... but they cost 1/2 the price and last 1/4 as long.
4. safety gear. Ear protection and eye protection. staring into a fire can cause cornea damage, including UV and IR radiation, that can cause caratacts. Get appropriate eye protection. Same for hearing, you have only one set of ears.

Likewise, have an extinguisher, or a bucket of sand. Especially if you're doing quenching etc into oils.
start by making a railroad spike into a knife.

the steel is too soft for a proper knife but great for learning with.

Then move on to a making knives from old steel files. lawnmower blades and old circular saw blade discs are good steel too.
In other excellent advice, keep your car running in tip-top condition by using tyres from scrapyards. tread depth is overrated. no-one needs that.
then move on to making new body panels from corrugated iron. that stuff is perfect for restoring old cars, once you beat the curves into it.

Or, lets not.
Only idiots use old files, and circular sawblades. Only those who've performed DIY trepannings use fucking lawnmower blades.

That's what's called "mystery metal". Is it high-carbon? Low-carbon? Oil quenching? Water quench? Air-hardening? Case-hardened mild steel (like many files)?

You don't know. You cant know, without a large lab to do metallurgical analysis. You can sometimes get a guess by looking at what shape and colour the sparks are when its touched to a grinder. Sometimes.

Alternately, you can use the brain which you were born with, and go shopping, go to someone like Aldo Bruno, or Furnival Steel, or Dick Herdim, and you can order a steel stock. It comes pre-marked. You can pick if you're buying 1080, or 1095. You can pick exactly the right steel for if you're making a short paring knife, or a long machete. Perhaps you'd like a 5160 spring steel, or perhaps some Hitachi blue paper. Maybe a bit of O1. Perhaps you'll find that stainless blade steels are your thing.

the important thing is, you know the alloy exactly. And that means you know how to heat treat it for optimal results. Play around with mystery metal, and you have no clue what is best for the metal you're using. You will never get consistent results with scrap. it is a waste of time, and you have to be a complete and utter fucking retard to do so.
Why buy good metal when just starting out?

Master the basics on scrap.

A little time on the Internet will take the mystery out of metal.
He's half-right. If you are already somewhat experienced in forging metal, you should absolutely only and always work in known steel. It's important to know how to finish the blade and to get an idea of what kind of performance you should expect. Any deviation is something that you did incorrectly. If you have literally no idea what you're doing (which OP likely does not, as he asked if a 22-pound anvil was good for anything), it's fine to use whatever. It's unlikely that a true amateur's first half dozen blanks will ever even get to heat treatment. There's nothing wrong with learning the fundamentals of hammer work on railroad spikes. Once you manage to actually make something knife-shaped that isn't full of cracks and warped, you won't learn anything more from using scrap.
>Why buy good metal when just starting out?

because bad habits should be avoided when starting. and using scrap is a bad habit.
You don't go out to your local farmers market when you need to teach someone how to use a chopper. You go to the reduced aisle, and pick up something no-one's going to eat anyway.
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