FORGED: Making a Knife with Traditional Blacksmith Skills
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“Concise and simplified instructions along with the illustrations made for an informative and easy to follow plan. The injection of tips kept me wanting to read and learn more. The simple, yet effective layout of information and instruction made this an enjoyable read. A great source of tips and tricks for any bladesmith from start to finish. This book is a must read for up-and-coming bladesmiths. It inspired me to try my hand at an all-traditional knife build in the future.” – Lee Crawford, Professional knifemaker and winner of the Naval competition in TV’s “Forged in Fire” in the tournament of the Military Branches, Central States Metal Artisans Newsletter.
“Lavishly illustrated, and with technique very clearly explained, this book is a WINNER. Highly recommended if you want a NO-BS primer on how to forge a blade. Beautifully photographed, a very pleasant surprise.” – Stuart Geisler, Moderator, The Original International Blacksmithing group Facebook page
".... does an excellent job explaining the process of forging a knife but also in instilling enthusiasm for doing this the traditional way." – The Forum, newsletter of The Guild of Metalsmiths
“… this one’s a keeper.” – Rob Fertner, CSMA Editor
“In ‘Forged: Making a Knife with Traditional Blacksmith Skills’ author Paul White sets out to teach exactly that; how to forge a frontier knife, start to finish, using nothing but hammer, anvil, files, and other traditional hand tools. A working blacksmith for over 40 years, and a teacher of traditional blacksmithing for much of that time, White is well-qualified to write this book. With sections on blacksmithing history and the history of steel, the general use of blacksmithing tools, and the selection of suitable knife steel (and why); he then moves into an extremely detailed, step-by-step guide to building the 5-inch utility blade that he refers to as the "frontier knife." I highly recommend this book for a beginner, or, for a blacksmith who perhaps hasn't done much work with high-carbon knife steel but would like to learn. It is also an excellent read for anyone simply interested in knowing a bit of the history of traditional bladesmithing, and who wants to understand the processes involved. The author is very detailed, and I believe it would be impossible for even the most experienced smith to read this book without gleaning at least a few new tidbits.” - Michael Johnston, California Blacksmith (official publication of the California Blacksmith Association)
"The author provides an excellent blend of blacksmithing and knife making techniques and processes." - Albin Drzewianowski, "The Hammer and Tong"
“One of the first observations is the quantity and quality of the photographs and drawings, easy to see what is going on and well reproduced in copy. Another feature is inserts scattered throughout the text titled: Tip, Note, Blacksmith Secret, each revealing a tidbit of information added in here and there to emphasize something in the text. The history of iron and steel is brief but accurate as is the explanation of the why and how of heat treating imparting enough information to make a usable blade without a lot of unnecessary scientific speak. The knife explained here is easily made without any expensive power tools, just hand tools. All in all I found this book easy to read and understand and a student of smithing with a bit of hammer skills under their belt should not have much problem producing a usable knife.” – Robert Timberlake, The Hot Iron Sparkle
“I bought a copy myself a few weeks ago, and I was impressed.” – Bill Ganoe, Editor, Arizona Artist Blacksmith Association
“This author has a lot of very good information to share, especially to the beginning smith wanting to forge knives - there seems to be a lot of that going around. His heat treating methods are good for the smith with little experience and equipment. I have been making knives for twenty years and I found his method of hammering out the edge to be enlightening. I particularly like his use of crossbill tongs to keep the blade from warping in the quench. I don't know that I have even seen this type of tong, but I will be making a pair. The price of this book is about $30, well worth not having to wait for it to come back to our library from the would-be knife smith who got it first!” – Barry Myers, On the Anvil Newsletter (the Phillip Simmons Artist Blacksmith Guild)
“In 'Forged: Making a Knife with Traditional Blacksmith Skills', Paul White sets out to teach the beginner bladesmith how to forge a basic working knife, which he calls a frontier knife. He uses a low tech, by-hand method that he was taught by his mentors. He's organized and explains well in plain English how to accomplish this 12-15 hour project. The book starts with basic metallurgy, anatomy and geometry of a knife, hammer selection (rounding hammer recommended), and using the vise to straighten the handle and blade (heat and lock technique). There's a good section on the types of mistakes students make and how to fix them - including how he deals with the fishmouth seen in the cover photo. 'Forged' ends with instructions on heat treating, riveting a wood scale handle, polishing and sharpening. I think that the heat treating chapter is the best part of the book; explaining a confusing topic (to a beginner) in an organized, common sense way. There's information on annealing, normalizing, hardening, edge quenching, and several tempering techniques. Forged fills a niche; the beginner or intermediate smith who wants to get beyond stock removal and make forged knives using only hand tools. If you're in this category, read 'Forged'”. - Ira Wiesenfeld, The Anvil’s Horn
“I particularly liked the author's emphasis on forging and producing a serviceable blade. The knife in the book is a basic working or hunting knife pattern with a four- inch blade and a full tang handle with wood scales. There is a solid chapter on the all-important topic of heat treatment. And the emphasis on getting the job done with hand tools is great for learning to make a knife without a kilo-dollar investment in tools, equipment, and supplies. Having been steeped in the ABS style knife with a high degree of fit and finish this work knife style initially did not fit my preconceived notions of how a knife should be made. But as I read the book I found a good, solid explanation of how to forge a blade. The finish allows for quick completion of a useful knife without spending a lot of money or getting lost in details. There's plenty of time to move on to other styles or to just have fun making this style of knife.” – Steve Alford, Bituminous Bits (The Journal of the Alabama Forge Council) May/June 2021 issue
This book will teach you to hand build a knife using the traditional method of blacksmiths of old — FORGING.
Traditional forging of a knife blade is a process which uses the ancient techniques of moving hot steel with hammer and anvil alone into a knife-form that is ready for filing, heat treating and sharpening with no or very minimal electric grinding.
This book also teaches traditional fit-and-finish skills using only hand tools. It explains an ancient riveted full-tang handle construction system that surpasses modern methods.
In the author's words; "In my early blacksmithing years, I was lucky to get to know some old smiths who wrangled hot iron every day just to make a living. They unselfishly taught me traditional blacksmithing skills and knife forging methods. Every time I use those skills and methods, I honor their friendships, and by teaching you, the reader, we keep alive the memory of those old-time iron pounders."
Hardcover, 132 pages, 150 photos and illustrations, $29.95.