It's sort of funny, I got started with stock removal because that was my only option here at 12 years old. I figured SOME
day I'd get into forging but didn't know how or when.
When the time came that I did have my first forge (22) I had no interest
in forging blades. NONE
. I just wanted to forge damascus. I was perfectly content with stock removal blade making.
Then shortly after I started to get a feel for moving hot steel.... under a hand hammer, twisting, the press, the power hammer, I simply fell in love with it.
Now, it is hands down my favorite part of making a knife, and it has pushed me into the blacksmithing world much further than I ever expected.
Oddly, even though the two crafts have things in common.... there is a STRONG delineation between the two worlds. Many blacksmiths have no idea who the big knife makers are and vice versa.
When there is so much that can be learned from one to the other... it's great to see when folks from the two worlds unite. A MOST PRIME example was Ms Tom Ferry ( http://www.tomferryknives.com/
) meeting up with Dave Lisch ( http://davidlisch.com/classes.html
). Dave is now a Js and will be an Ms before long, and Tom is deeply rooted in blacksmithing now. All so very cool!!!