Forged Knife With Brass Handguard

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This knife I forged out from a bit of 5160 (number refers to the steel alloy) car spring steel, a little slab about a third of an inch thick and an inch wide. Forged it out to the same shape as it is now, then ground the grind with a disc sander held in place with a vise. The knife is stick tang, which means past the riccasso (the unsharpened section between the guard and the blade), there is only a little flat “stick” of steel protruding into the wood handle, secured with a Nickel Silver pin.

I did a little experimenting with this blade actually. I mixed up a little paste made of plaster of paris, burned ashes, and a bit of water. This mixture I spread over the spine of the blade, and heated it up to critical temperature and quenched it in oil. The shock of the sudden cooling hardens the blade, yet makes it brittle. However, the spine of the blade was covered with paste, and so cooled a little slower than the edge, making it much softer. This is the same technique that was used (yet perfected) by the Japanese on their katanas. Later I will be etching the blade with a weak acid (lemon juice), and the wave should show up in the blade.

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