I need a lot of tips

Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
72
I am a new knife maker, as new as they come, and my interests are mainly in Japanese style tantos all the way up to katanas. But being totally new and only now collecting parts to get started on my own I'm not doing highly technical things like damascus knifes. The only thing I have done is a small tanto with the tools and help of my friend.

Things I would like to know from more experienced knife makers is handy techniques, and tools I might need. All I have at the moment is a home-made charcoal forge (cant find coal yet) a 3lb hammer, and welding gloves. One thing I was also wondering is for the quenching of pieces, what kind of oil should I use? I hear that motor oil is good, but I don't know what kind, also canola oil I think.

So any information on things I might need, techniques I could use, and oils. I will most likely have many more questions later on, and being new to this site I cant find exactly what I need.
 

SBuzek

KnifeMaker
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Dec 7, 2006
Messages
3,454
Welcome to BF.First read the sticky for newbies and then Kevins sticky on quenching.These will answer alot of your questions,anything you don't understand or need help with,ask.
Stan
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Messages
2,415
Here is a link to a google search of the bladeforums, right click and you can save it to your desktop for future use. Pretty much any question you can think of has been asked and answered on the forum, use the search and you should find most of the answeres you need. There are a number of questions and answeres about quench oils, the answere is somewhat dependant on the steel you choose, search quench oil and I think you will find quite a bit of info.

http://www.google.com/cse/home?cx=011197018607028182644%3Aqfobr3dlcra

good luck
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
3,953
Welcome to the addiction. I think you'll find that forging a katana isn't as simple as making a long knife.

This is a link to a very good collection of tutorials:

http://gbrannon.bizhat.com/#heat

Fill out your profile, there may be someone nearby.

You didn't mention an anvil.
You didn't mention what type of steel.
You didn't mention your background (it's a bit different talking about steel to a philosopher than to a machinist.)

I would really recommend going back at least 20-30 pages and read through everything.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
72
At the moment I do not own an anvil (working on that) and I am going to buy some w2 steel from my friend. As for background I am totally new to bladesmithing so I don't really have one in that area. I'm only 16 so i dont have a ton of experience in much of anything.
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
3,953
I really recommend 1080/1084 as a simple steel that's forgiving and easy to work with. Make no mistakes though, it's a great knife steel and once you learn it, you'll reach for it time and time again.

You can make a simple and cheap anvil out of a sledge hammer head in a bucket of concrete or pretty much any smooth heavy chunk of steel.

As the father of teens I understand your reluctance to state your location. Do a search for Forge Council groups in your area, the groups down here meet once a month. Go to your local library and READ READ READ! Look up books on knifemaking and have your library borrow them from other libaries for you, have them get DVDs and other media for you. I know this is hard to believe but there are other means of information besides forums :p

When you go to a gun and knife show or a knife show, take your finished knife. There's a lot of MANNERS in properly doing this but if there's a maker that isn't busy at the time ask for some tips. Here are some other protocols that all makers will appreciate:

-Be polite, ask to touch/handle knives.

-If a customer walks up, step back from the table until he's finished with the sales (costing someone a sale will not make you popular)

-Do not critique, badmouth or say anything less that positive about his knives or other makers

-Please be understanding of his time, don't ask to come over, just ask for his advice. A lot of makers will invite you over to show you but there'll be issues with a teenager, a parent will go a long way to helping you out there.


Do a search for "neo-tribal bladesmiths" or "primal fires" they use minimal tools and produce great knives. Tai Goo and Tim Lively are great examples of the style.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2009
Messages
72
I used my friends 110lb anvil and I'm kinda hooked. my uncle has an anvil that I hope to buy from him, and if that doesn't work there's a shipyard near where I live and I hear that is a good place to pick one up.
 
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