Learning some forging tips from Burt Foster

I started doing stock removal knifemaking around 12 years ago. I have always been interested in forging so I have accumulated a forge and an anvil and some hand tools. I have played around a couple of times with my home forge. I went to North Wilkesboro’s Apple Festival this October with the sole intent on forging a small knife. This is a two fold mission for me. Learning some tips from a skilled bladesmith and supporting Resilience Forge. Resilience Forge was started and is ran by Kyle Gahagan and helps wounded soldiers by giving them a feeling of accomplishment. I got teamed up with Masterbladesmith Burt Foster, who gave me a lot of hands on tips it may have taken a long time to learn on my own. I had the time of my life. My family said I was like a kid out there. It was a great time.

Why a handmade knife

Handmade knives are generally a lot more expensive than a factory knife. I know most big knife companies stamp their blades out which of coarse makes every one the same. Most of today’s factory knives are of stainless steel, which is great for wet locations, as well as most cutting tasks. Also a lot of the stock removal knives are stainless also but can be somewhat customized. Most of the famous brand name knives are very high tolerance and very well made. I cannot improve on the fit and finish on a cnc computer made knife. the tolerances are incredible. My handmade knives will not hold an edge longer than a stainless blade but will be easier to sharpen than a stainless because of the hard chromium carbides in stainless. I can make the blade harder or softer according to what it is used for. A knife for chopping for instance should be a bit softer because of the shock on the blade. So customization is a plus for the handmade knife for the blade as well as a sheath.      The left handed issue is another thing. My son is left handed and also makes knives. Although the blades are the same the sheaths are usually backwards for a left hander. If you do a custom order you can have the knife designed for the specific task you have in mind. You can have a one of a kind knife. I understand the cost factor. I work in the HVAC industry and carry a cheap $5 knife with a pocket clip so I won’t destroy an expensive knife. Just some thoughts on the subject. I also keep my knives as cheap as possible. As a kid I remember looking at the knife cases wishing I could afford the better brands so I understand.

New Knives

We have started working on knives, finally. We have been building tables and getting our shop ready as well as the duties of life, but we are throwing knife making into the mix where we can.

Denney’s Knives Custom Hunting Knife — 7.62 Precision Custom Firearm Finishes

There was a time on this continent when many men spent the better part of their lives in wilderness areas. These men depended on a few necessary tools, and one of the most essential was a good knife. Knives in that era were simple, tough, and above all practical. A good knife of proper steel […]

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