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  #1  
Old 06-06-2017, 01:40 PM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Forging critique please

Crex, James Mc, Jim & any other forgers...

So I took a bar of 1 1/2" 0-1 and decided to try & hammer out a blade. Because of the width, it sort of just evolved into more of a chef knife, that's okay. I have a couple of issues, and took WAY too many heats, but overall pleased for a first time and looking for critique or constructive criticism.



The left side. Those three dark dimples was a low spot that may grind on out when I finish grinding after HT. They will diminish more.


The right side. Really bad low spot I don't believe will go away with the final grind even though I plan on an "almost" full flat grind. I want to leave the forging pattern on the flats so I don't want a full flat grind.


And then this curious "grainy" pattern Look along the yellowish reflection, little wood grain looking pattern that runs longitudinally along the whole length of the knife. This is with a 60 grit grind. Easier to see with the eye than photograph. Any idea?


It took me way longer than it should and with the relatively thin starting bar stock, I was never really able to refine a plunge line on the anvil edge, at least not that survived the constant tweaking.

After forging I heated to critical and stuck it in sand to slowly cool. Then heated it again, & turned off the forge leaving the blade inside to slowly cool and blocked off the mouth with a firebrick.


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Old 06-06-2017, 01:47 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Only critique I have goater is simple, when forging start with 1/4 stock at a minimum. What thickness did you start with? The yellowish looks like overheat on the grind possibly?

Also you have a HT oven, why didn't you do your normalize and final HT with that?


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Last edited by jimmontg; 06-06-2017 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 06-06-2017, 02:21 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Just some things I do when forging. First off O1 is fine for forging as it has a higher carbon content than lets say 1084. If I didn't have 1/4 stock I would have folded the 1/8 or 3/16 you have in half and go from there. Stretching it out and pounding it back thick until I was 3/4 of the length I want and then start my thinning process and I would leave plenty of stock to grind off as there was usually be some dings to deep when I first started. I also never try to make my plunge line while forging, I do that with the grinder. That's just me. others will have their own forging style. If I had a HT oven I would anneal it with that and do my final HT the same with O1.
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:00 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Where is everybody?


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Old 06-07-2017, 02:08 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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The shape of the knife looks good. The little dents in the blade are probably from hitting the blade too hard and thinning the steel more in that spot than you wanted to. I'm not sure about the "grainy" marks that you are too.
They could be from forging scale into the hot steel. Always brush the scale off the face of the anvil when you're taking another heat.

Doug


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Old 06-07-2017, 06:35 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Wnc not sure if you realized this yet. But recently I have been working on some blades my friend forged. To me any way those hammer marks always go deeper than they look so be carful not to thin the blade out to much. If it starts getting thin hit it with a scotch brite belt and it comes out as a very nice forged finish....just figured I would share I made that mistake thinning out a blade too much.
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Old 06-07-2017, 06:56 PM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Originally Posted by jimmontg View Post
Where is everybody?
Zzzzz...


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Old 06-07-2017, 07:01 PM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug Lester View Post
The shape of the knife looks good. The little dents in the blade are probably from hitting the blade too hard and thinning the steel more in that spot than you wanted to. I'm not sure about the "grainy" marks that you are too.
They could be from forging scale into the hot steel. Always brush the scale off the face of the anvil when you're taking another heat.

Doug
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtec1 View Post
Wnc not sure if you realized this yet. But recently I have been working on some blades my friend forged. To me any way those hammer marks always go deeper than they look so be carful not to thin the blade out to much. If it starts getting thin hit it with a scotch brite belt and it comes out as a very nice forged finish....just figured I would share I made that mistake thinning out a blade too much.
Yeah, I realize those dimple areas are hammer marks that went too deep. I suppose a smoother more consistent surface comes with experience. I intend to leave the forged finish on the flats, and a small amount on the bevel is okay too, I really like that rustic look. But what is left on this one is too deep.

Doug, I kind of doubt that grain is from forging scale on the anvil. It is a symmetrical pattern almost like a wood grain and it all runs longitudinally along the blade. Also only showed up below the surface after grinding. Forging scale would be random/unsymmetrical and likely only on the surface. I can see some surface dimpling from scale, this is in the metal.


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  #9  
Old 06-08-2017, 05:57 AM
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I have heard the "grain" pattern referred to as carbide banding (not totally sold on this, but may be). See it a lot in forged O1. Do not believe it has anything to do with scale, but you should get in the practice of wiring off scale between heats anyway.
Soak the blade in warm white vinegar for several hours then wire brush off the scale. You will then be able to determine just how deep the dings are and go from there.
Got to learn when to stop with the bigger hammer and go with a smaller flatter faced hammer and concentrate on flat controlled strikes when you get closer to your final forge bevels/tapers and plunge lines. Work your plunge lines on the edge of the anvil (cleanest most defined edge), again with lighter flatter faced hammer and focused control. Yeah easier said than done, but gets much easier with practice.
Not a bad shape, however if you plan to put a guard on it you need to start your tang a little lower from the spine. I teach my students to forge in the tang first and get it positioned, before forging the blade. Lot harder to chase it back to where you want it once the blade is formed.

ps- most of us are busy recovering from last weekend, cleaning, sorting, etc. Me, just getting ready for another 3-4 day weekend doing a demo at the Highland Games (then more cleaning and sorting ..... and hopefully replenishing my inventory for the rest of the season). Not ignoring just busier than a weasel with his tail on fire.


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Last edited by Crex; 06-08-2017 at 06:01 AM.
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:02 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Crex...i was going to respond the same thing to jim's "where is every on"..........for me i was driving from the show to NY i am sure you had a trip home that took a while. Finally back home drinking coffee in the shop cant wait to get back to work.....the shw was great but aint going to lie deffinitly a lil "knife making withdrawel" LOL especially with all the cool materials i got
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:20 AM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crex View Post
I have heard the "grain" pattern referred to as carbide banding (not totally sold on this, but may be). See it a lot in forged O1. Do not believe it has anything to do with scale, but you should get in the practice of wiring off scale between heats anyway.
Soak the blade in warm white vinegar for several hours then wire brush off the scale. You will then be able to determine just how deep the dings are and go from there.
Got to learn when to stop with the bigger hammer and go with a smaller flatter faced hammer and concentrate on flat controlled strikes when you get closer to your final forge bevels/tapers and plunge lines. Work your plunge lines on the edge of the anvil (cleanest most defined edge), again with lighter flatter faced hammer and focused control. Yeah easier said than done, but gets much easier with practice.
Not a bad shape, however if you plan to put a guard on it you need to start your tang a little lower from the spine. I teach my students to forge in the tang first and get it positioned, before forging the blade. Lot harder to chase it back to where you want it once the blade is formed.
Thanks, good stuff! Didn't know white vinegar would remove forging scale. Good tip. I drew out that tang from the last inch or so of bar stock. I need to move it a bit down or define better from the top from the start of the drawing process. Mostly focused on the bottom curvature. By the time I got to this point, it was too late. I DO have a bit of extra material there I can grind away when filing for a guard or spacer, so as to have a bit more room at the top. Good advice to start with the tang and go from there.

Thanks again for the info Carl and thanks to everyone else as well!

As a PS, I need to go over to Candler to the Blacksmith Depot and check out their hammers. I'm currently working with a couple of flea market finds but most are in the 2-3 lb range like that little 2 1/4 pound sledge in the first photo. I could use something lighter for the final refining of the shape and bevel.


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Last edited by WNC Goater; 06-08-2017 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:15 PM
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Some of my favorite "light" hammers are modified ballpeens of various weights. I just regrind the faces to suit my needs. Always look for the ones with weight forward - big head and small ball. They seem a bit more suitable to me. I also use a modified body hammer (car repair) for final "smoothing". Just clean up the edges and soften the harsh corners then practice hitting flat. Can get close to baby butt smooth with practice.


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Old 06-13-2017, 06:40 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Goater do you know the technique of slightly yanking the hammer back when you smack the steel? (it's in the elbow and shoulder, as you swing down you pull back slightly before it hits, pulls the metal towards you) I learned it in a blacksmith's shop and switching to lighter hammers as I went along made it easier to keep it smooth. My mistake on my first forged knife was using the power trip hammer to far along. You can get pretty flat with some practice. Also with practice you can make the after grind dimples to leave a concentric pattern, looks cool.

Happy Hammering Goater.
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:18 AM
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Heard a much more mature smith than I refer to that as "painting" the finish. I use that technique all the time Jim. Takes a little practice to get the hammer strokes right and even but works very well.
There is a personal human bias that will show up when you forge a blade, as in one side will always be just a little better than the other (same with grinding a blade, we can't help it). Study your work and figure which side it is and work that side to satisfactory finish before doing the "easy" side. This is all in the final stages. You can make it to the point where only you will know it was there.


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Old 06-14-2017, 12:53 PM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmontg View Post
Goater do you know the technique of slightly yanking the hammer back when you smack the steel? (it's in the elbow and shoulder, as you swing down you pull back slightly before it hits, pulls the metal towards you) I learned it in a blacksmith's shop and switching to lighter hammers as I went along made it easier to keep it smooth. My mistake on my first forged knife was using the power trip hammer to far along. You can get pretty flat with some practice. Also with practice you can make the after grind dimples to leave a concentric pattern, looks cool.

Happy Hammering Goater.

Yes, done it many times chasing gold or silver. Albeit on a much smaller scale. Big difference in a 2 or 3 oz goldsmithing hammer vs. typical blacksmithing hammer!

But also yes, even considering my recent intro into "smithing", I've done it a fair amount making little leaves and spoons in steel where the need to "pull or push" the hot steel with glancing blows enables precise shaping.

Just received a couple hammers from Blacksmith Depot. One a 2.5 pound rounding hammer and another smaller 600 gram German cross peen that I thought may be handy in the final finishing of a blade. Also have an old 1.5 pound ball peen that was my grandfather's. Had a 3 pound cross peen laying around. I found a 3 lb straight peen at the flea market I put a handle on and a 2.5 pound I guess what would be a machinist or boiler hammer. Another flea market find, a honkin 7 pound hand hammer head I put a new handle on I grabbed for $4. Seems I have a deficiency at the 2 pound mark, need more hammers!


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2017, anvil, art, blade, chef knife, dip, edge, finish, firebrick, first time, flat, flat grind, forged, forging, grind, grinding, hammer, knife, knives, pattern, repair, sand, simple, thickness, wood


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