|by mgugliotta on February 02, 2007, 07:33:00 AM
Start the fire using a mixture of tinder and vegetable coal, soaked
with kerosene or gas oil.
When the coal is properly lit, add a shovel-full of rock coal.
Once the coke is burning, place the file on its side between the coals
and start blowing air with a turbine (hand operated), this must be
done consistently and at a moderate speed.
After the file reaches the desired temperature, a light red or dark
orange color, place it on the anvil and forge the point. It has to
form an angle similar to that shown in picture . You have to hammer
all four sides of the file, this will help you both achieve an angle
like the one in the picture and make the file thinner as well.
With the point finished, it's time to start forging the edge of your
knife. In order to do this, you need to heat the steel again and start
hammering the lower half of the blade with moderate strength. This way
you'll start thinning and stretching down the steel. It's important to
do these on both sides of the file, otherwise you won't get a centered edge.
Repeat this process through the whole length of the file. The knife
will start to take shape. As you can see from the picture , as we stretch
the steel down to the point that we forged in the beginning it has anupward curve that will later become the blades "clip".
When using this technique of "pulling the edge down", you must broaden
the part of the file that is going to become the knife's handle.
Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of that part of the process, but
I don't think it will entail any difficulties.
In the photograph you can see the finished product from the forging
process. The edge could be much thinner and even, but this is a very
basic tutorial and we'll have to make due with what we've accomplished
For this part of the process I always turn to one of the belt grinders
in my workshop, but since I'm trying to do this in the most basic
possible way, I'm going to use common, easy to find, tools.
You'll need a large file (the bigger the better!), stones of at least
to different grains and sandpaper (which will be used later on), water
and a lot of patience.
Before you get started, you need to make sure that the blade is very
soft. After forging it, let it cool slowly in a sheltered place, the
best way to do it is to let it sit in the ashes of the forge. Heat
treatment experts, don't get your panties in a bunch, this is just a
tutorial for beginners.
Hold the blade in a vise. Start the grinding by marking the blade's
ricasso, which is the thickest part of the blade and will be used to
determine all other thicknesses.
As you can see from the picture, you have to hold the file at a
certain angle, 25º (more or less) is about right. This way, by the end
of this chapter, the edge area will be smooth and the body of the
knife will show a characteristic file pattern.
End of Part 01
By. Mariano Gugliotta