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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > New wrought iron knife project Reply to topic
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Nathan Webb




Location: Fairbanks, AK
Joined: 13 May 2013

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed 31 Aug, 2016 10:02 am    Post subject: New wrought iron knife project         Reply with quote

In my effort to produce more period blades I recently acquired some wrought iron and decided to do a knife with a welded steel edge. This particular rabbit hole was even more involved that I had planned for and took me almost all the way back to square one. Even to the point of having to remake my forge (gas sadly, not coal/charcoal due to space limitations) because of the temps required to forge wrought iron.

For this first knife I decided to go with a simple (but period) butt weld. I plan to go on to some of the more complicated edge welds found in other period pieces as I get more comfortable with the process.

I'll post comments on the photos below to show the process. Hopefully that will work. Bear with me, it's my first work in progress post to the forum...

I hope you enjoy the pics. I had a great time with the project Happy



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Finished! Oiled walnut handle, copper hilt-plate, and copper inlaid makers mark (the makers mark is a work in progress)

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Forge the point around and forge in the bevels. Note how hot the material is. Wrought iron has to be worked way hotter than steel.

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Counter cut the point.

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After three passes she's all welded up. Note that most of the soft wire has burned off by this point. The rest is easily removed.

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Get it hot!

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Materials pre-weld. The wrought iron is forged down to about 3/4"x1/4" while the blade steel (1075 carbon steel) is about 1/4" square and 2" long. Everthing is held together with soft steel wire.
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Nathan Webb




Location: Fairbanks, AK
Joined: 13 May 2013

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed 31 Aug, 2016 10:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

D'oh! Of course the pictures are reversed when I hit submit. Sigh... WTF?!

Anyway, right after I got the blade rough ground I dipped it in ferric chloride just fore giggles. The wrought iron sure does make a pretty pattern doesn't it?



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Michael B.
Industry Professional



Location: Chugiak, AK
Joined: 18 Oct 2007

Posts: 356

PostPosted: Wed 31 Aug, 2016 10:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice work. And nice to find another Alaskan forging. I'm out in Chugiak. You're right about wrought, has to be super hot, I'm just finishing up a dagger from wrought iron . Looks like you got a beautiful weld on that, what was the bit steel you put in? Can you talk about the handle?
www.facebook.com/bearmountainforge2
Michael Bergstrom
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Nathan Webb




Location: Fairbanks, AK
Joined: 13 May 2013

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed 31 Aug, 2016 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael B. wrote:
Nice work. And nice to find another Alaskan forging. I'm out in Chugiak. You're right about wrought, has to be super hot, I'm just finishing up a dagger from wrought iron . Looks like you got a beautiful weld on that, what was the bit steel you put in? Can you talk about the handle?


Thanks! I'm looking forward to winter just so it'll cool down a bit in the garage Wink I got it up to 105 degrees in there during this one...

The edge steel is 1075. Nice simple carbon steel which takes a good edge. The weld went well, and it didn't so much as bat an eye during the quench, which is what I was really worried about.

As for the handle, it's Claro walnut from Cali. Not the same as European walnut, which is what I wanted to use, but close enough to make me feel reasonably good about it. the knife has a whittle tang, and is affixed with a modern two part epoxy as opposed to cutler's resin that would have been used in period. To be perfectly honest though, I hate working with cutler's resin, so I tend to just use epoxy in it's place.
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