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  • Bashing about or each one teach one

    Along with other things, my father passed on an interest in blacksmithing. I inherited his coal fired portable rivet forge.

    The unit was old when he bought it before I was born. It is a low cost unit with a pressed steel pan, light wall pipe legs, cast iron air piping, and a hand cranked centrifical blower. In the 4 decades it sat unused behind a shed in his yard, the pan rusted through, a succession of wren and tree swallow sized birds set up house keeping in the blower, the legs rusted through, and the cast iron lower air piping rotted away.

    I undertook to clean it up and resurrect the forge by removing the birdsnest, replacing the air piping with steel piping, and patching the pan. Patching the pan was the most entertaining. Stick welding a patch of 16 gage plate/sheet to a pan perforated with rust was a challenge for a weekend welder...


    My two girls wanted pocket or sheath knives. They managed to lose both the folding lock blade knives they were given within 3 months....
    To give them an idea what went into a knife, I decided that we would make replacements. A sheathed belt knife seemed the simplest and safest.

    Along with the portable forge, I inherited a 10' Graham Holme (SP?) chisel plow. The old cultivator had had a rough life. It suffered abuse from too much HP, too many rocks, and too severe duty. Too big for the garden patch and way too small to be of value for it's original purpose, it represents an estimated 2 tons of structural and spring steel and misc other parts

    On the top of each shank was a coil spring made of 3/8" spring steel rod. Perfect for a flat knife blank.

    Earlier, I'd flattened the top of a piece of 100#/yd rail with the mill/drill for anvil.


    I mooched some stoker coal from a neighbor, and we were off.
    Last edited by camdigger; 10-18-2010, 02:06 PM.
    Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit

  • #2
    I mooched some stoker coal from a neighbor, and we were off.

    First the coil spring had to be unwound.


    And hot cut.


    bashed out to size


    All under the watchful eye of the local supervisor.
    Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit

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    • #3
      A little cleanup after rough shaping and hot punching hole for the wooden handle pieces, we hardened by heating to a bright red heat in the forge and quenching in water After another cleanup, the blanks were tempered by heating along the spine with an oxy-acet torch set to slightly carburizing flame and running the colors to a light straw at the cutting edge. Then we installed the handle pieces using Gorilla glue and knife handle rivets (from Lee Valley). The handle was sanded to shape with a random orbit sander, and sharpened with a Lansky style (Gatco?) kit by the end user. Then a sheath was made up out of a "belly trimming" of leather from Tandy, holes punched for the seam and hand stitched by the end user.



      The blade was left with the tempering colors of oxidation and the rough, rustic surface from the amateurish forging for a deliberate rustic final appearance.

      Both of the end users are estatic with their knives and have managed to keep close track of them for 4 months or so even through an extended camping trip Both girls also have a new appreciation for knives.
      Last edited by camdigger; 10-18-2010, 02:08 PM.
      Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit

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      • #4
        On the down side, after having cranked the blower long enough to make the 3 knives, I can't get them to do it for any of my projects.

        I salvaged the blower out of an old vacuum cleaner.



        It supplies more than enough draft, but howls like a banshee. I found a small squirrel cage blower and intend to replace the one out of the vacuum cleaner.

        I also decided to make a stand for the leg vise I aquired at a local farm auction. I sacrificed some stability for portability. Still better than nothing.
        and makes use of the leg vise I've been tripping over and walking around for at least 3 years

        Last edited by camdigger; 10-18-2010, 02:39 PM.
        Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit

        Comment


        • #5
          Good writeup. I will bet that they will still have those knives when they are old and gray. Nothing beats actually manufacturing something that you need to give an appreciation for the value it represents.
          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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          • #6
            I'm sorry. THIS is what you are able to do,and you have the gall to challenge Evan? I wouldn't post that knife. I'd have nothing to say,except for that horrible gear faceting thread you were into Evan about.

            WHAT shape was the knife handle sanded to? Square all over?(Or approximately so).
            Last edited by gwilson; 10-18-2010, 03:09 PM.

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            • #7
              Good post Camdigger.
              Blacksmithing is starting to become a lost art, some good basic info here and maybe a spark to pique someone else's curiosity.

              Well I see at least Evan is big enough not to take this stuff so seriously and hand out an olive branch so to speak.
              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

              Location: British Columbia

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              • #8
                Originally posted by gwilson
                I'm sorry. THIS is what you are able to do,and you have the gall to challenge Evan? I wouldn't post that knife. I'd have nothing to say,except for that horrible gear faceting thread you were into Evan about.
                and that makes for less animosity here?

                The guy's a begineer at this craft and showing what he did; that deserves such harsh words - we're we only post after mastering something?
                in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gwilson
                  I'm sorry. THIS is what you are able to do,and you have the gall to challenge Evan? I wouldn't post that knife.
                  George, that is way out of line.

                  If you read his post, he's trying his hand at blacksmithing, and posting his adventures resurrecting an old pan forge and making his first knife.

                  If you have something interesting to post, feel free. But don't crap on someone's thread because of a personal vendetta.
                  "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Repeat: I would have said nothing,but for the incredible gall he had in challenging Evan's work,which is light years better. I never have come here to make trouble. This is just too much.

                    I wouldn't get after a guy about whittling his own toothpick if he stayed in line himself. I do not know Evan,but I have respect for the work and knowledge he has shown here.

                    Lazlo and McGyver,I agree with everything you two have said. Camdigger is a troll or I'd have nothing to say. Maybe he needs to straighten up himself before bashing the work of his betters.

                    I'd hope that a 13 year old would have better judgement than to post that piece of work,anyway.

                    I already asked Mr. Bulliss to stop these threads that go on forever while people bicker about how many angels dance on a pinhead. If he wants to ban me here,I have gotten a bad taste in my mouth over the constant trolling anyway. If I go,so does my subscription to HSM.

                    I really have nothing more to say. I have not made trouble here before,nor do I plan to.
                    Last edited by gwilson; 10-18-2010, 03:24 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lazlo

                      If you have something interesting to post, feel free. But don't crap on someone's thread because of a personal vendetta.
                      Here we call it "Don't pull a Camdigger". He's still in my bitbucket.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gwilson
                        I would have said nothing,but for the incredible gall he had in challenging Evan's work,which is light years better.
                        Has Evan posted pictures of his first attempt at blacksmithing?

                        By the way Evan: tip of the hat for your reply to Cam.
                        Last edited by lazlo; 10-18-2010, 03:28 PM.
                        "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You just don't get it,do you,Lazlo? Go back to the thread faceting thread and see the things camdigger said to Evan. I don't know either of them personally,so it's not a personal vendetta. I am able to see intelligence and good work,and everything Evan has posted shows it. He doesn't need some piker attacking him.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Mr. Wilson,

                            Not only do I understand your point, but I feel your point and would have a strong desire to point out the same.

                            But what you end up doing is quashing the sharing of work. Not just of Camdigger, but anybody that is vocal about issues that come up here.

                            There is a good chance that Camdigger is quite professional in another field and this was simply a foray into an un-attempted field that was also a learning opportunity for his daughters....As I understand the post, his daughters probably had some hand in the making of the knives...

                            As a dad, IMHO the work done with your kid should look like a kid did it, as that's the point.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks Evan!

                              Thanks for all the kind words.


                              As for Mr Wilson, this is my first knife (although not my first shop project ). It was also kept rustic and simple deliberately because I was teaching my 3 kids the methodology as I learned the nuances myself. Some of the design decisions were left to the end user. The other two knives have different looking handles as they were finished by someone else. All other vitriol was addressed in the other thread and will not be visited again here by me.
                              Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit

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