View Full Version : Forging vs. grinding
08-01-2010, 12:41 AM
A good book that covers forging, and grinding, "How To Make Knives" by Richard Barney, Bob Loveless, & Bill Moran.
It would take a pretty big press to press out an entire blade in one shot. Most knife presses are around 25-35 ton capacity, and the dies used for drawing are only about 2" wide.
To build my 25 ton press took around $2000, maybe a little less. Anvils in usable size, and shape (used) probably $300-$600.
Forges are easy, and fairly inexpensive to build. Do a search on this, and other forums, and Google. All of this is well covered.
I'm not completely with you on the book thing. A couple of hours with someone who knows how to forge is illuminating.
Let people know where you live. I bet there is someone pretty close that wouldn't mind having you over. You think that you are too strange, and nuts? Well, welcome home brother.
08-01-2010, 08:43 AM
You may also want to check out Basic Bladesmithing DVD by Master Smith Ed Caffrey. I hope to forge my own after watching this.
08-01-2010, 11:48 AM
08-01-2010, 12:20 PM
Wayne Goddard put out a video, I'm pretty sure it was the one on making cable damascus knives, where he uses a press to do most of the forging and gets into the type of dies that you will need for forming the blade as well as making cable damascus. You might want to look at some of the places like Jantz or Sheffield to see if they have it. The press will not do away with the need for an anvil and hammer for some of the finer work but it will speed the drawing out of the blade a lot. There is also a misconception out there that the choice in knife making is between forging or grinding. The actual choice is between forging AND grinding or just grinding. "How to Make Knifes" is a good book but you might to look at Goddard's two book also, "The $50 Knife Shop" and "The Wonder of Knifemaking".
08-01-2010, 04:20 PM
Get set up to do stock removal, then move into forging, is my advice. All of the equipment you need to grind knives will also be needed to finish knives that are forged to shape (unless you want to work a lot by hand, which it sounds like you do not).
The press itself is pretty quiet. It's the whine of the Hydraulic pump that can be pretty loud. The book you need on building a press is on the American Bladesmith web site. It's by James Batson. It is complete clear down to part drawings, and part numbers. Also search "Damascus" on you tube and check out the different presses being used. It will help in giving you an idea of what features you may want in a press.
08-01-2010, 08:00 PM
08-01-2010, 08:14 PM
Are you talking about a punch press? Are you planning to punch out the blade blanks from a sheet of metal? Just from what I am reading this is the impression I am getting. If so that is not a forged blade. I think we are talking 2 different methods.
08-01-2010, 09:59 PM
08-01-2010, 11:00 PM
I have never heard of knife blades being stamped out in that manner. I recommend that you spend some time doing basic research in knife making. I believe that most commercially made knifes are cut in computer driven milling machines. I finally found the DVD that I was thinking of and it wasn't by Wayne Goddard but Gene Osborn. The title is "Forge Welding Cable Damascus and Striped Cable Damascus. Osborn uses an hydrolic press that he got second hand from a muffler shop and made his own dies to go on the ram. His press is horizontal but the same work could be done on a verticle press. I know that Riverside Machine and Old World Anvils sell hydrolic presses. Ellis Custom Knifeworks also markets an hydrolic press.
Sounds like you want to drop forge which you are familiar with at Craftsman tools. Henckels drop forges their knives. Now you are talking very large and expensive equipment. I have seen have seen them home made. They are built like a guillotine, but I'm no sure how they raise the hammer, or trip the release. Though all that could be figured out.
08-02-2010, 12:30 PM
08-02-2010, 06:27 PM
Bobby, unless you are going to set up a shop in an industrial or remote agricultural area a drop forge is really going to get on your neighbors nerves. You're doing right by doing your research up front. You seem to be wanting to make a pretty standard blade shape(s) instead of one off knives. You might want to consider having blanks cut out for you and then you grind and handle them. Great Lakes Waterjet, which advertises on this site offers such a service.
08-08-2010, 09:47 AM
Here is a link to some info that I think you would find very useful. A lot of people have started from here.
What it sounds like you have in mind seems to be beyond the scope of the single man shop and into the realm of industrial production. The above link will lead you to info on how we common folks approach the craft of making knives.
Hope this is helpful,
08-08-2010, 09:18 PM
For now I am just going to grind out a few knives like the Becker Ka-Bar type of knives. I think its a good place for me and my kid to learn the business. I am wanting to make the hand grip out of American Walnut. How does that hold up on a knife. I want them to match most rifle stocks.
I think that's a wise way to start. Walnut makes very nice knife handles in my opinion, of course it needs to be sealed/oiled and kept clean just as a gunstock would.
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