My youngest apprentice

Mark Knapp

Dealer - Purveyor
Warner came in on Saturday, we welded a handle to his canister and started the forge to pre-heat it. It was just about up to forge welding temperature so we put the box in.

and guess what happened, we ran out of propane. Shoot, all the bottles in the shop were empty. Nothing else to do but fill the bottles and try again next week end.

Mark Knapp

Dealer - Purveyor
I could be your oldest apprentice!! LOL!!
I have one that is 71 yrs old, one that's been to the middle east 5 times, been shot and blowed up too many times, one that's about thirty five and will be a pretty good knife maker, my little brother, who's gunna make some pretty nice chef knives someday and the 15 year old. Besides them, I have several paying students of varied ages.

Mark Knapp

Dealer - Purveyor
OK, got the bottles filled, heated up the ribbon forge (OH yeah, you heard it, I got one. I said RIBBON FORGE)

Using the squaring dies, the first weld compression. Warner will compress the canister in several small presses alternating corners.

Here's a big fish I caught this summer. 32 inch laker, 13 pounds, from shore on a 5 wt fly rod. (ADHD kicking in. Come on Mark, focus)

OK, back to forging pictures. Here's a better look at the squaring dies. We keep compressing while alternating corners.

Then we switch to the "drawing" dies and continue reducing the billet (drawing it out).

I cut a notch in the top die so we can press the ends together. It keeps the ends from pooching out too much and puts more material back into the billet. I think we get more usable material in the end.

Pretty soon, the box starts to fall apart so we take it off and weld the handle to the billet itself.

We have a good billet now and the hammer does what the hammer does.

We go back and forth between the hammer and the press depending on how we feel. I don't know why Warner doesn't have his safety glasses on, if his eyes got injured, his Mom would not be happy with me.

We have drawn the billet out and squared it up. It's about 1 1/4 inches square and 8 inches long. We like it like that.

It goes into the vermiculite to anneal. It goes in at critical temperature and will cool over a 24 hour period. The goal is to have it as soft as it can be for the next step. Hopefully the design we put into the can was reduced in proportion to the 1 1/4 inch size and goes all the way through the billet from end to end. A certain amount of each end will be unusable but we should have some good stuff in there.

What's that green machine to the right of Warner you ask? It's my rolling mill I converted from a horizontal milling machine. It has reducing rolls, texturing rolls for putting patterns into damascus and a billet twister. More about that later.

Next week, we cut the billet into tiles and turn them sideways to expose the end grain.

Thanks for looking, stay tuned.


Well-Known Member
Your very creative. It's good to see it being put to good use. I cant see the DOD tag. I just knew it had one. Worked in a shop once that was full of that kind of thing.

C Craft

Well-Known Member
Mark, I looked at the blog, I am no longer jealous, I am sick with envy!!!
f21f5487061e610ebf2dbff5121aa0df_384.png smiley-clipart-fish-18.png Rolling laughter.gif

Love all the pics and story!! There is nothing like fresh fish. Some of the best fish I ever eat were caught and hour before they hit the frying pan!

Sorry for making this detour in your thread. I have followed your work for some time and the fact that you are passing on and teaching your craft speaks well of you. You sir are indeed a master at what you do. The more I learn of you and all the things you do. The more I realize you are a very multitalented person!!

Will be watching for the results with your student! Keep up the great work!