So I finally got around to finding the stuff I needed to make my first knife this past weekend, and last night I fired up the forge (a.k.a. The Grill) and performed the first step of softening the steel. I’m using an old steel file that was pretty banged up as the material for the blade, and I have a few other files I am using to form the actual blade. Anyway, we got the fire lit, and at first I tried to use a big room fan to provide the air flow, but it wasn’t putting out enough air to get the fire as hot as I needed it, so out came the wife’s hair dryer (and it is still in perfect condition thank you very much!). The hair dryer got that fire burning hot in a hurry, but the file still wasn’t glowing like it was supposed to, so I moved the hair dryer and finally got it putting the heat in the right place. I don’t think I got the entire thing hot enough, and I’m still not sure it any of it really got hot enough, but we did eventually see some glow, so I took it off the fire, and laid it to the side to cool overnight.
This morning I went out and clamped the file to the banister, got the big file I’m using to shape the blade with, and started filing. It must have softened it enough, because it seems to be working. So yea, after last night I learned that while the grill may work in a pinch, without some modifications it really won’t work as good as it should, and I’m not too keen on modifying my one and only grill right now. That being the case, I’m still looking for the right pots and pans, as well as an old hair dryer (with a good fan) that I can rig to work as a home made forge. I won’t need another fire until I get the blade finished, so I should have plenty of time to get that figured out. Until then, I’ll try to keep posting updates and pictures of the knife as it gets closer to being finished. I’ll probably even try to get some pictures of it’s current state up sometime this afternoon, so keep an eye out!
UPDATE: Here are a few pictures of what I’ve done so far. You can click on the pics to make them bigger.