View Full Version : Have you even seen a knife's belly button?

Raymond Richard
12-31-2011, 03:25 PM

You just got to know where to look.

I though I'd take you through what I do when I hand forge a knife and thought I do it like a WIP. All of the work that I'll be doing through these photo's was done with a 5 pound hammer, Godzilla, my 150 Trenton, and of course my propane forge. Also some tongs to.


I'm starting out with a piece of 1" round L-6 that is 4 1/2" long.

Out of that 4 1/2" I'll segregate 1" that will become the tang. Most the hammering I am doing now is with me striking Godzilla with the hammer. I'll take this knob and turn it into 2 knobs, and then into 3 and 4 knobs.


I have now hammered the tang round and will leave it this way till I'm further along in the forging process. I will add a flat end to it just so I can grip it better with the tongs.

This is where I stopped cause the propane bottle froze up and its a good place to take a break. I have flattened out the sides of the bar some now and indented where I want the back of the blade to stop. All lot of time will now be spent drawing out the bar. I'll be using Godzilla and the big hammer for most of that to.

Raymond Richard
12-31-2011, 09:29 PM
I got to work on the stretching party. Still go more to move. The thickness of the blade is about 1/2". I'd like to get it down to 3/8". Right now there's about 6" of blade. By the time I get the barn thinned down and pre formed it will be around 8" or a little longer. Its going to be a good sized knife blade when its all done.

Old man feeding Godzilla. This tool really makes it possible for me to forge especially with these larger chunks of steel. Basically All I'm doing is indenting the steel with Godzilla. After I have that the whole length I'll then start hammering with my big straight peen hammer. The one that's around 5 pounds.

Just a few pictures along the way. This is the pretty boring part of the hand forging. Once I have the preform totally done things will start changing pretty fast. Kinda fast.

Raymond Richard
01-01-2012, 01:07 AM
I just finished the rough forging. I've still got a fair amount of tuning up on the blade but its pretty much there.

I stretched the steel out some more. Just need to smooth it off and start shaping the pre form.

This is the preform.

I'm going to be doing a double bevel blade so I'm only going to be forging halfway down the blade. Also all the hammer work I will be doing will be done with a rounded over cross peen hammer. It moves steel faster with less bending.

I did more forging on the bottom bevel in this photo.

I just started the top bevel. Can you see how it brought the tip down?

Here's the blade now after forging. I didn't measure the blade but I'd say its close to 9".

Nothing other than Godzilla and hammers have been used on the blade so far. I'll probably clean up the profile with the grinder next and then take a real good look at the blade before I go any further.

01-01-2012, 03:38 AM
Ray, this is awesome! It's like watching Michelangelo at work. Can't wait to see what this turns out like. I'm a little perplexed by that knob at the end of the blade. I'm sure you know what you're doing though, so I'll let you get on with it. :)

Raymond Richard
01-01-2012, 10:33 AM
Ray, this is awesome! It's like watching Michelangelo at work. Can't wait to see what this turns out like. I'm a little perplexed by that knob at the end of the blade. I'm sure you know what you're doing though, so I'll let you get on with it. :)

Dave, You would think after being around 64 years I'd know when I am overdoing it. The wrist is pretty sore this morning. Actually this knife is going to be an integral if I can pull it off. If not I can remove the bump and do my normal thing. Thanks for dropping by! Glad to know I have at least one fan..........

01-01-2012, 05:21 PM
Pretty slow day today, I guess everyone's recovering from last night. :) When you're as old as I am, you no longer have anything left to recover from, so I'm all over it today. Bored though; not used to being home with nothing much to do. Laundry. Maybe I'll go down and dust my shop, it's a freakin mess. Got it swept out yesterday, but still so much dust all over everything that it's not a good place to work. Grinding Micarta makes a mess! :D

Hope your wrist is coming back to life!

Eli Gautreaux
01-02-2012, 04:43 PM
What do you mean "if I can pull it off"??? You can do it Ray :D.

I love integrals.

Awesome hammer work brother, you amaze me.

Raymond Richard
01-02-2012, 04:58 PM
Dave, I've been feeling the urge to light up the forge and get back on this blade. It can still grow more. Mostly in width. I think I'm going to just watch football for the rest of the day.

Eli, The plan is to keep it an integral but that could get lost somewhere down the road.

Raymond Richard
01-04-2012, 10:18 AM
What do you mean "if I can pull it off"??? You can do it Ray :D.

I love integrals.

Awesome hammer work brother, you amaze me.


I did some more hammer work on the blade yesterday. While working on the blade I noticed a crack right behind what was going to be the bolster. Checked the crack out even better and it looked like it could be a problem so I cut the tang off where the crack was and forged a new tang from the bolster area. If you look at the first picture you can see the crack. I've been thinking back to what could have caused the crack and I think I determined what caused the crack. Shortly after I had forged the tang I had the piece of steel setting on the anvil and it decided to roll. When it rolled it landed in a water bucket. I'm pretty sure that's what caused the crack. At least the blade will work.


Raymond Richard
01-07-2012, 02:15 PM
Here's a couple more detailed photo's of Godzilla and my 5 1/2 pound little giant. The big straight peen see's a lot of work. More so than the regular face. I use this hammer all the way to the preform. Then I start forging with smaller cross peen hammers. I also added a photo of the blade that I started this thread with after surgery. Its ready for heat treat as well as the blade underneath it. Just got the piece of steel forged into another blade and I'll add that later.


Don Carlos Andrade
01-07-2012, 08:03 PM
Looking good Ray!!!

That's lots of pounding there!