Can you really call it forged ?

Joined
Dec 24, 2005
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Hi, I'm new to the forum and to making knives & hawks (2 & 1/2 weeks in).I have noticed that a lot of the so called forged hawks are only very roughly forged to shape and then the majority of the work is done on a grinder/sander..Is this really forged:confused: ?? Or is it stock removal?? I have been putting in a lot of effort trying to forge to about 99% and only use the sander/grinder to clean & sharpen the edge!! I know that the old blacksmiths did not have access to modern tools but does that make it "wrong" to cheat and do most of the hard work with them? Just asking:confused:
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2005
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Well in my opinion it's whatever you want your finished product to look like. There are not a lot of makers that just forge and sharpen. Blacksmiths have had files and a way to make things smooth and pollished for a long time. Todays bladesmiths use a combination of forging and stock removal as they have in years gone by we are just a little more automated. But yes in mho they are forged if you heat it up and pound it with a hammer to rough shape.

Bob

http://www.wrtcleather.com/1-ckd/hawks/hawks.html
 

Cliff Stamp

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Oct 5, 1998
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There was a discussion of this on the custom forum awhile back, is a knife forged if you just take a piece of steel once, hit it with a hammer and then grind it, how about if you forge a billet from a bearing and then grind the knife, of forge the basic shape but grind in a fuller, a clip, distal taper, etc. . The answer is that there is no general agreement on how much grinding can be done before it isn't reasonable to still call it forged.

-Cliff
 
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Dec 24, 2005
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thats about what I thought the answer would be, I was just looking for some insight on how others view the process..
 
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Jan 6, 2006
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allot of knifemakers nowerdays forge the blade to the shape but they do not put the bevels in. They also leave the blade shape a bit bigger than the intended shape in the end. They say that this is a sacraficial layer of steel that gets ground off afterwards. This system is used by guys like Ed Fowler who has persued high performance blades. Whether it is right or wrong is debateable but in the end his knives are high performance items. There are also guys who forges the blades to 99% completion and then they heat treat it. What you normally find then is that when that blade is used it does not hold such a good edge in the beginning but as the blade gets sharpened a few times it gets into the virgin steel that was not exposed to the heat treating cycle. This is when it starts to perform better. (l am talking about High Carbon steels here) My personall opinion here is that you should follow the path that spins your wheel. After all the art of Bladesmithing is a personall journey and it should give you satisfaction first and formost. So, only you will know if you are forging the blade of using stock removal. Also remember the more time spent at the forge, the less time spent grinding!
 
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Nov 29, 2001
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All of our tomahawks are completely hand-forged. The only time it hits the grinder is to clean up the edges and sharpened it and polish it if someone ordered it that way.
 

TLM

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Jan 11, 2000
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Technically the steel "feels" the forging when the deformation has been large enough that recrystallization can happen. There are of course other definitions but this atleast makes the end result different from just normalized bar steel.

TLM
 
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