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» Trad » Main Forums » Hunting Knives and Crafters » Forging Strategy for heel

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Author Topic: Forging Strategy for heel
Trad Bowhunter
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I was taught to draw out the heel. So my heel or choil is much lower than my ricasso. What is the tapering strategy to form your bevel yet keep your blade width the same as the ricasso width?

Should I just grind down the blade to match? I can do stock removal from the start and grind my bevels to match, but seems like a waste of material, and lots of grinding.


Posts: 1328 | From: Westminster, MD | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I'll take a stab at answering this, as it was also one of my questions when I started forging years ago. I had trouble getting a response as well for whatever reason.

I have done this a few times for certain blade styles where the ricasso is the widest part of the blade. Japanese style blades come to mind. I usually forge the preform with a much more aggressive taper in width than I would otherwise. Then when you forge the bevels, you forge the bevels lightly near the plunge and more heavily as you go towards the tip.

You can also forge a small step in your preform at the plunge and then forge the bevels as normal, which uses less material and requires less stock removal afterwards. It's a bit trickier to do this, if you are shooting for a certain size blade, until you have enough experience to know how much steel you need to start with to end up at the final dimensions.

Hope this helps,

Darcy [campfire]

60# GN Lil'Creep Jackknife
67# osage selfbow
62# "Zang Hill" string follow

Posts: 996 | From: Fort Fraser BC Canada | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lin Rhea
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Darcy's explanation is pretty much what I would say.

Actually, I saw an article by Ed Fowler that showed some photos of his forged blades. As you might know, he does not drop the choils on his blades. In the photos there looked to be very little forging back by the plunge.

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Posts: 4542 | From: Prattsville, Arkansas, USA | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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