This is part 1, rough forging. Next week I hope to have the next part up.
Update - sorry, I never finished taking photos of the progress, so I can't continue the series. stay tuned though, I intend to do a step by step of a small belt knife soon. You can see the finished knife here
Step 1: Supplies
3. anvil (or big hunk of metal)
4. tongs (channel locks are good)
5. old horse rasp (farriers typically go through 1-2 of these a week, and probably would be kind enough to give you one or two)
6. other tools will include- vise, angle grinder, belt grinder, files, drill press, and others.
Step 2: Design
Big, good looking, full tang, ironwood handle, be a "crocodile dundee knife" (people should see it and think, "now thats a knife!"), I didn't want a bowie, so I went for a camp knife style. I like to sketch out a design, now , I cant draw, so my sketchs always look terrible, but they give me the idea in my head. One tip is to trace the object your using, then sketch around it. That way you make sure you can fit it in the metal you have.
Step 3: Grinding
Step 4: Cut Off Test Piece
Step 5: Test for Hardness
Step 6: Begin Forging Handle
I always start with the handle, thats how I roll. you can start with blade if you want, I don't care. Now, I decided to make a full tang handle, that gives me less forging I have to do, but I still do need to forge it to shape. First, while the rasp is cool, grasp it in your hand and decide what you going to change to make it feel right, mark about where you want to start the handle with a soapstone pencil (get em at lowes in the welding section, or steal them from the community college shop where you take welding classes). the rest is simple, heat it red hot, and hammer till it's right. Use the peen of your hammer, and the edge of your anvil for the finger area. I'll give you some pictures to guide you along.
Step 7: Begin Forging Down the Tip.
Step 8: Forge Out the Bevel
Heat up part of the blade area and begin forging out the bevel (be warned, this will stretch it, and banana the blade. You'll need to prebend the other way, or bend it back when your done.) Go along the blade, heating up sections, and hammer it out thinner.
When the bevels are down to the size of a quarter, carefully, and slowly straighten the whole thing up. trust me, it'll be twisty, bendy, and out of whack. lovingly get it straight.