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Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Jay DeVore, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. Jay DeVore

    Jay DeVore

    11
    Jul 13, 2019
    Ok knife makers, I have an issue. I'm just starting building a forge and trying to get started. I live in BFE Kentucky aka Earlington Kentucky. The only places I have near me for hardware are Lowe's, Rural King, and a small (like about the size of your average 7-11) Ace hardware place. So my question is for those in similar situations where do you get your materials to build a forge? Where do you get your steel? How much am I gonna be into a small forge that can handle an OAL of 16 inches? Will Timmy ever get out of that well? Where was John Hall on the night JR was shot? Wait... Sorry wrong forum ignore those last two.

    Seriously though where can I find materials to build a simple coal forge? Where do I find steel? Can I use the metric buttloads of coal we find around old strip pits in a coal forge?
     
  2. A.McPherson

    A.McPherson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 27, 2012
  3. weo

    weo KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 21, 2014
    Welcome to the party, Jay.
    Did you go through the stickies at the top of the forum? Lots of good info, including answers to some of your questions there.
     
  4. John mc c

    John mc c

    289
    Aug 23, 2018
    I got all my steel in a scrap yard.
    Everywhere has a scrap yard even if it's just that crazy guy up the road with all the stuff in his back yard
    I've used coal to forge but it's smokey
    If your building I'd suggest making a gas forge with Venturi burner.very easy to do
     
  5. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Forge:
    Build/buy a propane forge. Atlas Tool sells a good one that is plug-and-play. HighTempTools has everything you need to make your own.

    Steel - buy from Any of the knife supply companies:
    Alpha Knife supply
    USA Knifemakers
    Texas Knife supply
    Jantz

    OR - New Jersey Steel Baron ( a fellow a lot of us use).
     
    Jay DeVore likes this.
  6. Jay DeVore

    Jay DeVore

    11
    Jul 13, 2019
    Thanks!!! Y'all this helps immensely. I think I got most of the hammers already since I have a pretty decent tool collection. Will long handle pliers (Channel Locks) work in place of specialized tongs until I can talk household 6 into letting me buy more tools?

    Oh another question would a color case hardened knife keep a cutting edge? I'm thinking about getting a color case hardening set up for gun stuff and well if I already have it I may as well use it on knives too if it'll work.
     
  7. Jay DeVore

    Jay DeVore

    11
    Jul 13, 2019
    My yard used to be a scrap yard you should see the stuff we pull out of the dirt whenever we till up a garden patch or dig post holes. I don't think any of it is able to be hardened though, seems most of it is junk metal like bed frames pieces and floor squeegee heads.
     
  8. Jay DeVore

    Jay DeVore

    11
    Jul 13, 2019
    I'll be reading the Heat treat sticky today and googling for any books I can find on metallurgy and bladesmithing. I come from a mechanic/Gunsmith background so hopefully this stuff ain't too far out of my skill set. Only thing that worries me is the handle work... Me and wood don't exactly get along. I can finish an already made stock and I can cut checkering but as for making a stock, well, you'd be better off asking someone else.
     
  9. John mc c

    John mc c

    289
    Aug 23, 2018
    Sorry I thought you meant steel to build your forge not knife steel.d'oh
     
  10. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Saying "I can't do handles" is the best way to prove yourself right.

    Read, look at lots of photos, take the wood down slowly. You can always take more off if it is too fat.
     
  11. tkroenlein

    tkroenlein Gold Member Gold Member

    46
    Dec 10, 2016
    For use with a forge, get proper tongs.

    Case hardening would likely be of little use for a blade. But it might make for some nice fittings...
     
  12. A.McPherson

    A.McPherson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 27, 2012
  13. Jay DeVore

    Jay DeVore

    11
    Jul 13, 2019
    I
    I gotta find more books and get a lot better before I attempt woodwork again. Now I can refinish stocks remove dents and all that it's just coming from scratch, I see every flaw and can never get a finish I like to come out of the wood and I refuse to send out something flawed or not up to my standard. Some of the finishing is probably my own fault as I approach it like auto body work, you sand and smooth till you get glass smooth and THEN put your finish on.
     
  14. Jay DeVore

    Jay DeVore

    11
    Jul 13, 2019
    I'm thinking about doing a blade in color case (actual color case not that BS flame coloring some try to pass off as color case) and just seeing if it holds up.
     
  15. A.McPherson

    A.McPherson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 27, 2012
    The problem with case hardening is that the hardness is not very deep. As you sharpen, you’ll expose unhardened steel. If you wait to color until after the hardening/tempering process the process will ruin the temper and make the knife too soft...

    I think color case hardening would look awesome on fittings though...
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
    tkroenlein likes this.
  16. weo

    weo KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 21, 2014
    Possibly. But the handles may be too short, and you'll probably find that the jaws are not oriented right. One way to find out is to try. If I were you, I'd grab a stick or piece of metal with them and see if you can hold the stock on the anvil to hammer.

    Here's another good source for tongs:
    https://quickanddirtytools.com/
     
    Jay DeVore likes this.
  17. coldsteelburns

    coldsteelburns

    Aug 2, 2010
    If you're able to find a pottery (or ceramic) supply store in your area you might be able to save a bit on prices and shipping, which is where I got/get my propane forge insulating materials. Check the yellow pages in your area.

    ~Paul
    My Youtube Channel
    ... (Just some older videos of some knives I've made in the past)
     
  18. 3fifty7

    3fifty7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    I used channel lock pliers for my first handful of knives. It’s sub optimal but definitely doable.

    BTW welcome to the forum. Stick around and show your work as you progress.
     
  19. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
  20. Jay DeVore

    Jay DeVore

    11
    Jul 13, 2019
    I have and we don't have anywhere that carries pottery stuff and no where that sells more than one kind of bar stock steel. Like I said we have Rural King for some things, which now that I think about it may have tongs, and Lowe's for everything else. Closest Hobby Lobby is an hour away.
     

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