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Newbie's meager beginnings

Discussion in 'Knife & Gear Galleries' started by sfeile, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. Hopefully this is the right place to say hello and post this.

    I started up my first attempt at making a forge about 5 months ago. I had been keeping a sort of a "diary" of my progress on a shaving forum. Jim said I should stop by here and check things out, so here I am.

    So far I have made 1 kitchen knife from a mower blade that is at my parent's house. They didn't have anything I would even call a knife in their house, so it went to them. As pathetic as it was, it was like going from a skateboard to a Ferrari for them. For being a mower blade, it actually took a decent quench.


    As I got my forge dialed in a bit better, and some tongs and stuff made I got a little better with my hammering and heating. I also upgraded from a piece or railroad rail to a 100 pound Vulcan anvil.

    My second blade was a straight razor. Not 100% sure on the steel, but a lot of leaf springs are 5160, and it took a good oil quench, so I'm calling it that.


    After having some decent luck with that one, I tried a hunter from the same material. It is actually going to the mechanic I got the material from in trade for some work on my car. Handle is Curly Maple, and I am not a leather-smith by any means at all.


    I also tried a small kitchen utility knife as well, but it's not completely done yet.
    Been spending time relining my forge and resurfacing my anvil. But it's about 90% done. A bit more polishing and finishing sharpening it and it should be ready to go. Handle on it is mahogany.


    And just because, event though it isn't a knife, this is the project that got Jim's attention and started our conversation that led me here. I recently got some cast iron handed down to me and built a hanging rack for it.

  2. Nice work. I gave enjoyed reading this post and seeing your progress. You are doing some really good work especially considering how much time you have smithing. Keep it up.
  3. Thank you! I'm not producing anything awesome yet, but I'm having a great time learning. Except learning that I really hate grinding haha. I like the forging part, but the fit and finish is where I struggle. Some day I will get there though.
  4. MotoMike

    MotoMike Founding Member

    I'm envious. I've just finished my forge and looking to fire the Plistix wash tomorrow.
  5. Jim

    Jim Old Curmudgeon Founding Member

  6. marc4pt0

    marc4pt0 Founding Member

    I'm actually actively looking for a hanging pot rack you go in the middle of our kitchen. So this one definitely caught my eye.

    As for the knives, I envy anybody with the time and tools to make it happen. Congrats and all the best for your journey!
  7. Thanks everybody! It's been a learning experience for sure, but each project I do, I figure out something new to improve on the next time.

    It would be awesome if there was someone close to at least watch and be able to ask questions, but I haven't had any luck finding anyone yet.
  8. I suppose since this is a kitchen knife site, I should actually post what I have.

    Nothing anywhere near as nice as most I've seen here though.

    About 90% of the wife's family has either retired from, or still works at Alcas. So naturally, she has some Cutco knives.


    I'm actually not a huge fan of them, I just can't say it at any family get-togethers. :D

    I do have a few though, but they get left in a drawer. The one in the middle I bought just because I got a really good deal on it and two forks, and they had the old handles. The white "santuku" on top was given to me by a shooting buddy. I was at his house and we were talking knives. He has probably 4 full sets of Cutco since he works there also. He gave me that one which was still a prototype for them at the time to try and convert me. (Didn't work.) Bottom one was a gift also.


    Then there is my set of Wusthof classic that has served me faithfully for the last 19 years. In all honesty, the 8 inch chef and the paring knife are pretty much the only two that get used.

  9. New addition to the kitchen is finished now.
    I made the bottom out of red oak and finished it with danish oil. The cutting top is side grain soft maple and finished with normal cutting board oil. My kitchen is pretty limited on space, so it's on casters so I can move it around, and it is countertop height, so easy to work on.

  10. MotoMike

    MotoMike Founding Member

    Awsome work Shawn. That would just fit in my kitchen.
  11. Thanks Mike! I got the last 2 coats on it and it darkened up just a little. I didn't have the casters when I made it, so I guessed on the height. I'm 1/2 inch lower than my actual counter with the casters on. Pretty decent guess.
  12. Jim

    Jim Old Curmudgeon Founding Member

    Very nice Shawn!
    I am guessing a 1/2 inch oak shim would fix it up to height? .
  13. Thanks Jim!
    A shim would do it for sure, but to be honest, that's close enough for me.
  14. WarrenB

    WarrenB Contributor

  15. Thanks Warren!
    My dad is a custom cabinet maker. So my entire bathroom and kitchen I helped make down in his shop.
    This cutting block was a byproduct of some tables I was helping him make for a local restaurant. Took some leftover pieces from them to make the top.
  16. WarrenB

    WarrenB Contributor

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