"Not all those who wander are lost."

J R R Tolkien

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22 December 2010

Forging a viking knife

I found a piece of 1/2" (12mm) re-bar today and I started to forge a one piece viking knife. Play was stopped when I ran out of gas...:-(

For now I just have a couple of pictures to show where play stopped!

Now...the not so good bit:

A long crack along the top of the blade and along most of the tang as well...doh! Going from the principle than we often learn more from our mistakes than from what goes well, I am not dissapointed, because this is a learning experiment for me, and I am anxious to discover what caused that crack... Anyone knows? Possibly a mix of not quite enough heat and hitting the steel too hard? I think that the size of this blade may be a little too much for my little gas forge!

I am still going to finish that knife as it's a good exercise in forging.


  1. It´s always if you need it most, it isn´t there...;-) looks VERY promising, though, as usual. I look forward to seeing the final knife!

  2. It's not all perfection though Markus. The next photo I am going to put up shows a long crack across the top of the blade and most of the tang too...:-(

    Now, I don't know if it due to the metal itself, hitting too hard, not enough heat or what else could it be. I have not too disappointed: we normally learn more from our mistakes than from what goes well, so now I need to find out what caused that long crack! Any ideas?

  3. I have not done this sort of work for years, but I would guess that it was not enough heat. Pitty, it was starting to look good.

  4. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You :-)


  5. Joel Ive used rebar myself and found that when it starts to cool if you hammer it is may crack.

    Good practice though mate.

  6. Welcome to my blog Ron. I've had a quick look at yours before going to work this morning. I've joined yours as well. I am sure we may well some interesting debates somertimes!

    I did suspect as much, Le Loup & John. It's going to be time to make myself a proper forge, probably charcoal with a blower of some sort! The two brick forge is ok for smaller blades but I have just found it's limitations now!

  7. What you have there is a fold. You've reduced the thickness of the bar too much on one side before turning it 90 degrees and giving blows to the sides. As a result the corner of the bar has folded back over itself. Always remember to forge on the sides as well and make sure no folding edges form. Don't blame the material ;)

  8. What you have there is a fold. It's a typical misstake. The material has turned back over itself as a result of too much forging on just one side. Allways remember to turn the bar 90 degrees often enough between the blows and not let any folding corners form. Don't blame the material ;)