View Full Version : My first Heat and Beat knife

12-06-2010, 08:59 AM
I started with a piece of 5160, 1/4" thick, about 1x5 (or so)...

Using a rosebud on our cutting torch, heated it up to orange and used a 5lb hammer to work it out. As I was hammering, I began to understand how different angles and different strikes were moving the metal differently, and what I got is actually just what I was going for.

HT was done again with the torch, and once it was non-magnetic, quenched in vegetable oil. Tempered 2 - 90 minute cycles at 375F. This blade might not pass the ABS test, but it was a great proof of concept for me. :)

Now I have to decide how to finish the handle for it. I am thinking a cherry wood that mirrors the curve of the blade, and using a copper wire wrap at the top and bottom of the handle as an accent.


My uploads from my phone aren't working too well, so I'll add the other pics as soon as I can... About 15 minute on a 220 belt will have the blade ready to sharpen, and I am leaving as much "character" as I can in this blade...

12-06-2010, 09:50 AM
Ok, finally got more pics uploaded. I know I need to walk the edge to the left just a little toward the bottom, but I'm extremely pleased with my first attempt.



Distal taper... :D


Doug Lester
12-06-2010, 10:49 AM
Good work for the equiptment that you have. Some advice, one is get a smaller hammer; it will give you more control and allow you to work longer. I have a 1.5 kilo hammer, that's a tad under 3 1/2lbs, for when I'm serious about moving metal. Most of my work is done with hammers around 1lb lighter. To straighten the blade heat just the section ahead of where the curve that you want to correct starts and strike on the edge or the spine of the blade to move the steel to where you want it. Continue down the blade until you have it in the shape that you want.

You also have some monster dings in that blade. Some of the causes are, having your anvil at the wrong hight which causes you to the hammer face down more towards the edge; poor hammer control can cause the same thing. To judge anvil height you should be able to stand straight and touch the face with the knuckles of your hand when standing straight beside it. Too heavy of a hammer is one cause of poor hammer control. Another is striking too hard, something that too heavy of a hammer contributes too. Another thing to look at is the face of the hammer. Does it have sharp angles to it? If it does you will need to smooth them out.

You also need to correct the grind on the tang. It's wider than the blade on one side. You did, however, do a good job of evening out the blade with your grind. Looking at the pre-grind picture I noticed that there was a marked curve at the tip of the blade. Things like that should be corrected on the anvil. Just keep working at it with light taps until it looks straight. Two things that I found helpful is judging a straight blade is, one, a straight edge and, two, to hold the knife out at arms length to check for straightness. Take your time. The time spent at the anvil getting things straight will save a lot of time grinding. Also you don't have to get things absolutely perfectly straight at this point. Visually straight will do. The straight edge only helped me develope a good eye for straightness; you may not need it but it's worth a try.

Doug Lester

12-06-2010, 10:59 AM
Thanks for all that Doug... Literally the tools I had to work with were the heavy hammer, a pair of big vise-grips, the torch, and the big frame machine at out body shop...

I left the monster dings in this one to remind me that I actually did pound this out myself. I know in the future, those have to NOT happen, but as my very first hammered blade, I like them... :)

I'll definetly look into more appropriate hammers for the future.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean about correcting the grind on the tang... taking my time is probably the biggest thing I was NOT doing. I was excited, and ready to see some progress and that's what lead to some errant strikes and not getting things quite where they needed to be...

Doug Lester
12-06-2010, 01:45 PM
We all started out not being what we wanted to be as knifesmiths and started progressing to where we want to be. Sometimes it seems like driving cross a flat plane toward a line of mountains. You drive and drive and it seems like the mountains aren't getting any closer. Then all of a sudden you arive. Then you hit the top of the pass and you see more mountains ahead of you. It's all about the trip, not the destany.

Doug Lester

12-13-2010, 03:12 PM
Cherrywood 3-finger handle, copper wire wrap. I'll make a sheath for it once I get some more leather...




12-13-2010, 06:01 PM
Cool I really like how the whole thing "flows" together.

12-14-2010, 07:22 AM
Thanks, I've heard that several times and that's what I was going for. I nice flow from the tip of the blade to the end of the handle...

Archer Moon
12-14-2010, 11:00 AM
Great start Brad. Is that some of the cherry that I sent your way? Looks good. I was hoping for more of the curl to come out. Deffently one knife that I would hold on to.

12-14-2010, 12:30 PM
Yessir it is... it has some good grain on teh front and back, and there may be ways to use more natural grain than I have, its just gonna take some practice...

I have the next 3 blades heat treated today, so you will see some of your other materials on finished products in the next couple of weeks.

12-14-2010, 01:28 PM
thats really cool. it has a real rustic appeal with the hammer marks. 2 thumbs up!