This is the process by which i forged a knife from an old Nicholson file. enjoy.
From this point forward you are forewarned; forging is a dangerous activity. it includes high temperatures, heavy hammers, and lots of smoke. always work in a well ventilated area, use good leather gloves, and wear eye protection. above all use your common sense, and you will be ok...probably.
Step 1: Coal, or lack thereof
maintaining a coal fire can be a challenge. unfortunately, i have no coal. so i use hardwoods and lots of forced air to attain the heat i need. it uses a lot of fuel, but it works.
select your steel now; preferably high-carbon (old files, car springs, (leaf or coil) lawnmower blades,old machete blades, etc. and put it in your coal bed.
Step 2: Forging heat
Apply your forced air. i use a 3000 RPM squirrel-cage blower with a three inch outlet. as you can see my docile coalbed has become a roaring jet of fire. this setup has the capability to heat steel into the oarnge-to-yellow range. add fuel as necessary while you heat your steel.
Step 3: Bevels
use a pair of tongs to pull your steel out of the fire, and rush it to your anvil (mine is set at a 90 degree angle to my forge, so i only have to turn my body to get there, very ergonomical.) strike the red-hot steel on the edges, flattening it at an angle and drawing it thinnest at the edge. it is very important to use a good-quality, flat-faced hammer for this job. i have three hammers i use for forging; a three-pound flattening hammer to straighten steel with, a four pound semi-flat for general forging, and a beautiful Vaughan 24-oz. ball-peen hammer. i chose the ball-peen for this particular task because it has the highest weight-to-surface area ratio of all my hammers, allowing me to move the steel more efficiently with each swing, and also its longer handle gives excellent leverage.