My process goes like this:

(1) Heat until non-magnetic, forge (hammer) until the red color is nearly gone; or desired shape is achieved.

(2) Heat until non-magnetic, forge to refine shape, flatten, and straighten; repeat if necessary.

(3) Heat to a dull cherry red and place in a coffee can filled with vermiculite, allow to cool slowly (about 5 minutes)

(4) Lightly grind the sides of the blade until flat and smooth, and shape profile; keeping much of the thickness.

(5) Heat slowly to non-magnetic, hold that temperature for a little while, and quench quickly into warm vegetable oil (approx. 5-10 seconds).

(6) Polish blade and temper

(7) Carefully grind blade to finished shape.

(8) Grind flats on shank and set into handle with 5 min. epoxy.

(9)  Sharpen and polish the blade.

(10) Test the blade for edge-holding ability.

(11) Turn off the propane and go carve something.



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Tool Making for Wood Carving


Many carvers enjoy learning about knife making as it pertains to carving knives; so I have included some information here on making a forged knife.
This information is based on my personal experience, and is posted here for reference only.
I shape, grind, and sharpen the knives I make on a "Burke Sharpening System". 
On large tools or when there is much metal to remove, a coarse belt sander or grinder will speed up the process.  To cut the radius where the blade meets the handle, I use a micro-motor with a 1/4" coarse sanding drum.
I use a hand-held propane torch when forging a single blade, if I were making several or a large knife, I would use a “fire brick forge”.

To determine the correct temperature for heat-treating and forging, 
I use a "cow magnet."  No, it doesn't attract cows!  It's about a three inch long magnet shaped like a small hot dog. It is fed to cows to collect any wire etc. that the cow might eat.   The hard part is getting them out of the cows (you figure that out on your own). When the metal is heated enough that the magnet will not attract it, then I have the desired temperature.
I put a polished finish on the blade before tempering it with the torch, the tempering is done shortly after hardening the blade. (some metals will form stress cracks if not tempered soon after hardening).
The final sharpening and polishing is done after tempering.
Often I temper by color, but when I am tempering several blades, I prefer a toaster oven with a good thermometer.
Hold at these temperatures for about 45 - 60 minutes (for most small tools) I try to stay between 425-450 degrees

Temperature and Approx. Rockwell C results
350 deg. F 62/64
400 deg. F 61/63
450 deg. F 60/62
500 deg. F 58/60
For more consistent results, have your blades treated by a professional heat-treating shop

I use 3/16" 01 dowel stock for most small knives, 1/4" for roughout knives, and 1/8" for fine detail knives.
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