Little Smithing Writeup

I’ve been working with hot metal for about a year now. Here’s a little writeup of things I’ve learned along the way.

First some basic one liners of wisdom. All of these have been learned the hard way.

  • Don’t work hot metal while wearing tennis shoes. Use steel toe leather work boots. You will learn new levels of speedy footwork if you ignore this.
  • Always make sure the metal stock is even with the face of the anvil before hitting it. You will save a lot of finger injuries if you keep this in mind.
  • Wood as a fuel source doesn’t work very well, but it works. Chop it up into small chunks or you’ll be waiting for ever for a hot spot.
  • Cold weather can rupture metal slack tubs when the water turns to ice.
  • Yellow/White hot steel is much, much, much easier to work than red. Be patient let the metal heat.
  • 6” wide pipe does not work as a chimney. Order the big stuff the first time (12” works good).
  • Too much air blowing into the forge is bad. If you’re throwing sparks you’re loosing heat.
  • Drill your holes BEFORE you quench… /facepalm
  • Take care not to accidentally bend your blades in the fire when heating to quench, this is especially true for thin blades.
  • Don’t smith without a slack tub nearby. If it breaks go ahead and rig up another one instead of just smithing without it.
  • When in doubt, don’t just take another swing of the hammer. Instead take a closer look and another heat.
  • Fast dry 2 part epoxy is horrible. Don’t use it. Ever. For anything. Use normal slow dry 2 part epoxy. It is crazy awesome.

A little about my shop:

My “anvil” was made pretty cheaply but has been very effective. I used a section from a very large forklift tine cut to size. Four 2′ long sections of rebar are welded to the bottom of it about 8” apart

Blacksmithing: Finished: English Scalping Knife

English Scalping Knife Replica 1750-1790


Remade the handle, the lanyard tube didn’t fit with the historical accuracy of the peice.eskfinal

This piece was my very first commissioned work, as such I tried my best adhere to the dimensions, look and function of the item.
It’s a very hard blade with great flexibility, and it is very sharp.
This is also the first sheath I’ve ever attempted but I think it turned out ok.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Steel: 9260
Length, Overall: 11.5”
Length, Blade: 7.5”
Length, Handle:4”
Width, Blade Edge: 1/8”
Width, Blade Max Width: 1.25”
Width, Handle: 1”

Taper, Distal: None, until the last .25”
Blade Edge: Taper Grind
Handle Material: Walnut, brass rod/tubing
Finish, Blade: Smithed look(unpolished very light sanding), boiling vinegar bath.
Finish, Handle: Walnut Danish oil
Quench: Vegetable oil full length of the blade and halfway up the handle
Temper: 45mins at 500F, dark yellow and light purple hues visible.
Sheath: Cow leather, black polish, wet soaked to knife shape, cooked in dehydrator.

Big forge build log

This slideshow requires JavaScript.