This article is intended to guide the home forging enthusiast in setting up a forging shop to make knives. It is excerpted from my book on knifemaking, which was published in 2020 by Fox Chapel Publishing. Part I will take you through setting up your home forge; blade design and material selection; and making a simple forge using a propane torch as a fuel source.
The knife is one of humankind’s first tools. The first knives were made about 2.5 million years ago by battering sharp flakes from stone, oftentimes used with a wooden or bone handle. About 10,000 years ago humans figured out how to make knives from copper; move forward 5,000 years and blades began to be made of bronze.
On the heels of the Bronze Age came the Iron Age. People throughout Europe, Asia and Africa began making blades from iron between 1200 BC and 600 BC, depending on the region. In modern times, we have now developed extremely tough, durable and hardened steels that are far superior to any blade material used in antiquity.
Check out the October 2020 issue of FORGE, featuring our cover story on "Fever Screening and Forging Quality". Other features include "Forging with Hybrid Steel", "FutureForge in Scotland: The Goldilocks Effect", and much more.