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  #16  
Old 01-22-2017, 11:55 AM
efarley efarley is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Portland, OR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Rogers View Post
You didn't offend anybody concerning stock removal.

As for the patterned steel, you probably won't be doing much of that by hand. If making that steel is your goal be prepared to spend huge amounts of money (as many of us already have so we can make that steel) ...
Yeah doing things like Damascus would be cool but isn't really something I plan to do any time soon. I was more referring to the patterns that are created by just folding a single billet over it's self and forge welding it; rinse and repeat. Since Japanese smiths have been doing this process by hand for hundreds of years and some smiths still do it this way to this day I figure it should be doable without any fancy tools, just a hot forge some flux and sweat. Yeah I know it's a lot more work than just cutting up some stock and welding it into a billet with a bunch of layers that never have to be folded, but I don't plan to buy a welder any time soon, so hard work it'll be.

Last edited by efarley; 01-22-2017 at 11:57 AM.
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  #17  
Old 01-22-2017, 12:37 PM
damon damon is offline
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sounds like a waste of time and materials. the steels you get today are refined enough that forging and folding repeatedly is not necessary. after all that work youll end up with a piece of steel that's the same as what you started with.... and a pile of scale that use to be steel.
any hamon line will show up as a process of the heat treating, not from the forging.
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  #18  
Old 01-22-2017, 01:06 PM
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squigly1965 squigly1965 is offline
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The smaller width belt grinders. Ha a better slack belt area for contouring and shaping. Not to say a 4" wide belt wouldn't be a good investment. A narrower belt gives more versatility. Which you will need for making a knife.

When it comes to forge building you can scale it down to fit your needs. I used an 8"x24" stove pipe lined with 2"s of insuwool giving me a 4"diameter by 20ish deep forge. Actually 3" ish once I put the hard brick floor in. Which for your needs is far too long. You can by shorter lengths of stove pipe, or cut it, seems 12-16" would be what you are looking for. A single 3/4" burner would get it plenty hot. There are plenty of plans for burners or you can even buy them full assembled. I went forced air because I was lucky enough to have a usable blower fall in my lap. But a Venturi burner is fine and requires less extra costs. Folding steel(forge welding) requires lots of heat. Not to sound like a broken record. But, ITC-100 is almost a requirement for this. And it will pay for itself in the propane you save.


Chris
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  #19  
Old 01-22-2017, 01:12 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Don't worry about it, Damon. he's still under the impression that the old Japanese achieved the ultimate in blade making and performance. He hasn't had time to figure out that we stack the steel instead of folding it because it avoids the major pitfalls that come from folding.

Lord knows that knife making is not a cheap hobby but most of us do it because we enjoy it - but we don't all enjoy it for the same reasons. Lots of different ways to make knives and for some there is joy in replicating the traditional methods (whether the result is actually superior to newer methods or not). The important thing at this point is that he enjoys what he is doing so that he stays with the hobby...


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  #20  
Old 01-22-2017, 01:29 PM
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squigly1965 squigly1965 is offline
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There is nothing wrong with desiring to make Damascus or adding hamons to your blades. I'm sure everyone has had or still have those aspirations that's ever put there hat in the bladesmithing ring.

The guys here want you to succeed in making knives, whichever way you decide to make them. The advice they are giving is the path of least resistance, so to speak. It is experienced information. Based on all the information that's been offered. Why not put a list of things you decided on purchasing for this project as well as ones you are on the fence about. And maybe we can help guide you to your needs and also what you don't need

Chris
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  #21  
Old 01-22-2017, 08:18 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Damon you're right on colleges that have forge classes.

I live in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mtns and that may have something to do with it why my local CC has the Smithy classes. They do not have the classes all the time though. But it's worth a look-see if he lives in an area that may have them. A quick Google search may show a bladesmith who gives classes near you Farley. I know some of our Moderators do. It would take you a long way if you had a class by one, There are others and hands on teaching really gives a better "feel" than a video does which is the next best thing.

As for making Damascus in a small forge by hand without a power hammer or press it is doable, but get a good 5 lb. long handled hammer. Then figure out how big you want your finished knife and then put 5 times that amount of steel together, yes you lose that much.

I put in that link for the 2x42 grinder because you want to keep the whole price under $500, I just bought a 2x48 with a 3/4 HP motor for $230. The reason you want a 2" wide belt is because it is wide enough to sand your handle scales flat and with J Flex belts it does contours fairly easy. I told you to get the 2x42 because it will take 1x42 belts and they can't be beat for sanding contours. The little 6" disc isn't any good for grinding blades, but is good for sanding angles with the little miter gage that come with it. I presently have a 1x42 Delta with an 8" disc and I use that for flattening handles. I live in an apt and have my grinder on a cart to take outside, soon I will have a 2x48 grinder, so I'll take the drill press off the cart and mount the 2x48 onto it. It is a heavy duty cart to be sure. I do not have room for a 2x72 so I make do with what I have. I am not allowed a forge, no compressed flammables.

I have a 220v plug that needs a heat treating oven, but I do not have the money for one right now. One of the things about knife making is you may be surprised by liking some other facet of the craft. I've found I really like doing leather work and have kind of branched off into leatherworking too and have made some extra money at that.
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  #22  
Old 01-22-2017, 11:13 PM
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cnccutter cnccutter is offline
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Farley, I see you are from the Portland area. I'm just down the freeway from you at Eugene. we have a group that meets every month. its a mix of forgers and stock removal guys. you might want to try and make a meeting just once to dip your toe in the water. we have hammer in's two or three time a year and everyone is welcome. you can get on our news letter if you go to our web page and follow the link. lots of good stuff and the last i saw there was 4 years worth of news letters on line. we have a few guys that make the drive down from Portland to go to the meetings.

http://www.elementalforge.com/5160Club/

I know there is a big black smith group that meets in the Portland area too. look in the back of the news letter for their link.

Erik
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  #23  
Old 01-23-2017, 01:02 AM
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squigly1965 squigly1965 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnccutter View Post
Farley, I see you are from the Portland area. I'm just down the freeway from you at Eugene. we have a group that meets every month. its a mix of forgers and stock removal guys. you might want to try and make a meeting just once to dip your toe in the water. we have hammer in's two or three time a year and everyone is welcome. you can get on our news letter if you go to our web page and follow the link. lots of good stuff and the last i saw there was 4 years worth of news letters on line. we have a few guys that make the drive down from Portland to go to the meetings.

http://www.elementalforge.com/5160Club/

I know there is a big black smith group that meets in the Portland area too. look in the back of the news letter for their link.

Erik
Boom there it is. Wish I had something like that around me. I used to live in Springfield, OR 20 some years ago. Would love to move back. Sounds like a great opportunity for a new maker. If it weren't for a 10 hour drive I'd be there
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  #24  
Old 01-23-2017, 04:16 AM
damon damon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnccutter View Post
Farley, I see you are from the Portland area. I'm just down the freeway from you at Eugene. we have a group that meets every month. its a mix of forgers and stock removal guys. you might want to try and make a meeting just once to dip your toe in the water. we have hammer in's two or three time a year and everyone is welcome. you can get on our news letter if you go to our web page and follow the link. lots of good stuff and the last i saw there was 4 years worth of news letters on line. we have a few guys that make the drive down from Portland to go to the meetings.

http://www.elementalforge.com/5160Club/

I know there is a big black smith group that meets in the Portland area too. look in the back of the news letter for their link.

Erik
and..... another vote for this one. it will give you the chance to try out some of the necessary tools before spending $$. also great for making local connections.
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  #25  
Old 01-23-2017, 10:08 AM
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C Craft C Craft is offline
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QUOTE: What is a cheep (under $500) way to get into the craft?

There is no cheap way, but you can start with files and small grinder. However this is kind of like I told my son years ago when he said he wanted to get into racing. Go dig a hole in the back yard by the back door and every time you pass it throw a $20.00 bill at it! His response was, but I go in and out of the door sometimes 5 times a day! Yepper that is what I am trying to say!!

If you are handy you can build a lot of what you need but it takes time to acquire what most makers have in there shop! Start small and see what you think about it!

I always say a prayer, please don't let my wife sell my shop for what she thinks I have in it! On the flip side of that someone would get a deal to start up there own shop!!!

You can work with the minimum and after you sell a few, reinvest that profit back into the tools!! to the obsession!!


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With every custom knife I build I try to accomplish three things. I want that knife to look so good you just have to pick it up, feel so good in your hand you can't wait to try it, and once you use it, you never want to put it down !
If I capture those three factors in each knife I build, I am assured the knife will become a piece that is used and treasured by its owner!

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  #26  
Old 01-23-2017, 01:08 PM
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Hunter10139 Hunter10139 is offline
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Forge: go get a used brake rotor or drum, black iron piping NOT GALVANISED, a small piece of sheet carbon steel, and a $10 hairdryer from walmart.

anvil: $50 from harbor freight.

I recommend files and sandpaper for super cheap, if you want a reasonable grinder sears has a 2x42 that I'm currently using.


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  #27  
Old 01-23-2017, 01:11 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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I like to tell the story of how I went to a show and saw a $600 knife that I really liked but couldn't convince myself to pay that much for such a plain looking knife. So, I bought a cheap kit knife and built that. Then a few more. Then a 1x30 and tried making a few blades. Then a Grizzly and more blades.

Now, after only 20 years of making knives I have invested about $30k in my shop and can make all the $600 knives I want for free!!


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  #28  
Old 01-23-2017, 01:38 PM
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squigly1965 squigly1965 is offline
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If you use the HiTempTools for the forge material
Satanite 5# bag $14
Insuwool 5' length. $36
Venturi burner kit $45
Propane regulator assembly $50
ITC-100. $27
1hard brick. $5.50
Total $177 plus shipping

8" x 24" stove pipe from Home Depot $20

After checking Craigslist a guy in Beaverton is selling railroad track in 12&18" lengths $50&$60 respectively

1x30 grinder from harbor freight $60
Or 2x42 grinder from zoro.com $130 plus shipping better choice if you can spend the money

Belts from Pops about $$20-40 shipped 1x30 belts

Files get single cut ones about $10 apiece I mostly use a bastard and a fine

Hammer depends on how much you want to spend. If I remember right you want you hammer about 1/40th the weight of your anvil. So if you have a 60# anvil 1.5# hammer. I maybe off on this if I am someone please correct me. You can buy a single jack or cross peen hammer but you want to prep the face with a very slight radius. Helps move the metal faster. No ball peen at least not the ball side it's much to aggressive a radius.
Well looks like you can make it under $500
Some of these items you may be able to source locally possibly a better price as well.
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  #29  
Old 01-23-2017, 02:17 PM
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Hunter10139 Hunter10139 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efarley View Post
Thanks for the advice everyone. I've looked into building bigger forges like the ones you all mentioned but they feel like overkill until I've made a crappy knife or three and decide if I'm going to continue learning or get distracted by something else.

As far was a 2x42 sander, wouldn't a 4x36 sander be better since it's wider, or is it more important to have a longer belt?

I know I need a vice, I just didn't list it since it's a fairly inexpensive purchase that I'll get a lot of use out of even if I never make a single knife.

I seem to have offended some of you stock removal guys, I didn't mean to belittle your method at all, I know some fantastic knives are made this way, and if you're scaling up for commercial production there isn't really any other option but it just doesn't strike me the same way. Also yes I understand that even with forging I'll be using stock removal to create the bevels and edge geometry, that's why I listed a grinder as one of my required purchases

Also I don't intend to make anything out of stainless steel any time soon, I plan to make high carbon knifes. I love Japanese style blades and once I have some experience I want all of my blades to have the layers and hamon found on traditional Japanese blades which as far as I know pretty much always uses high carbon steels (I'm probably wrong though and yes I know you can add a hamon to stainless ). p.s. Yes I know the only reason Japanese smiths traditionally folded their steel was to evenly distribute the carbon and it's totally unnecessary with modern steels but I love the aesthetics.

Now that I think of it, this may be the main reason stock removal doesn't strike the same cord for me, you can't fold the steel and learn to create the beautiful patterns and layers that give the blade it's soul. A stainless blade created with stock removal feels like a plain ordinary blade crafted for mass production to me no matter how nice the fit and finish are. A blade with many layers and patterns flowing through the blade is a work of art that's as beautiful as it is functional. Of course this is just my personal opinion and you're welcome to say it's #### but that won't change it haha.
IMO a 4x36 is too wide. 2 inch wide belts are the standard for knifemaking because of their versatility.


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  #30  
Old 01-23-2017, 02:56 PM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
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Yea, you wont be folding your own Damascus with a 2lb hammer and a budget forge. You'll need premium tooling of the type that takes up an entire two-car garage (forced air forge capable of 2K degrees, hydraulic press, power hammer, etc.)

I am nearly exclusively a stock removal guy these days, and I use high-end Damascus all the time. But I get it--you've been attracted to the mysticism of the craft as much as the function of the knife. You are in good company. Just don't look at a fine artistic pattern-welded blade an make assumptions about how it was made. You might be surprised.


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