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High-Performance Blades Sharing ideas for getting the most out of our steel.

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Old 02-19-2015, 07:15 PM
remist17 remist17 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: South Central PA
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what metal to use in forge

Looking to start forging metal in charcoal forge. What metal is everyone using. So far I know railroad spikes. Please let me know what you are using
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:36 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Railroad spikes are marginal at best for knives. Too little carbon and too much copper in them. Though some do make railroad spike knives they are mostly novelties; something that they can produce and sell cheaply. Probably the most forgiving steel out there for the smith is 1084 though 1075 and 1080 are good too. You could also try 5160 though it's a little on the low side in carbon it's twice as much as railroad spikes and has none but a trace of copper at worst.

Admiral Steel, Alpha Knife Supply, and The New Jersey Steel Baron sell at least some of these steels. I would stay away from steels like 1095 and 52100 for now.


If you're not making mistakes then you're not trying hard enough
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:23 PM
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TexasJack TexasJack is offline
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Everything Doug Lester said is right on the money.

I will add one thing: railroad spikes are cheap (or free!) and are a good way to practice forging. They're awfully thick to get heated up, but if you're just learning, they can be a fun way to pound out some steel.

If you're actually going to make a useful knife, then buy one of the steels Doug listed.

God bless Texas! Now let's secede!!
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1084, 1095, 5160, 52100, art, carbon, charcoal forge, forge, forging, knife, knife supply, knives, make, metal, sell, steel, supply

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