Scott starts with a piece of steel, heats it up, then bangs on it until it's real pretty. Okay, maybe that's a bit simplified. It takes Scott about 15-20 hours to make a forged knife. The following is a brief overview of that process.
First Scott designs the knife on graph paper and sometimes makes a wood mock up. Then he rough forges the steel to the desired shape and anneals it in vermiculite.
Next, he rough grinds the knife to its final profile and refines the distal tapers. Note custom made grinder below. This machine is amazing!
Normalization comes next. This involves heating the knife to just above non-critical (non-magnetic or 1,450 degrees) in the forge. This is done 3 times, letting the knife cool in still air between each cycle.
After the knife cools, Scott hardens the blade by bringing it slightly above critical temperture with a torch (or in the forge) and edge quenching it in 120 degree oil. This is also done 3 times.
Temper is drawn afterwards. Scott is currently tempering his knives in a toaster oven at 300-450 degrees (depending on the steel) for 2 hours and over 3 cycles.
Lastly, the blade is finish ground, hand rubbed, and etched to show temper lines (see second knife). Handles and other elements are the final touch. These are custom made and fitted to the knife.
I know it sounds like a lot of work, but the product is truly superior to a production blade. Scott's forged knives cut and hold an edge better than any knife we've ever seen. Here are his latest creations.The blade above is a full tang design made of 5160 steel and fitted with desert ironwood handles. Scott custom made a leather sheath for the knife and boned the leather for a snug fit.
The following knife is a hidden tang design that Scott's mom has claimed as her own. The handle is purple heart, the guard is brass, and the butt cap is made of steel. Note the beautiful temper line on the blade. The steel is hard at the edge and softer towards the back. This gives the blade strength balanced with flexibility.
I made the sheath for this knife. It was my first attempt at leather work, so it's not nearly as nice as the knife. More knives coming soon!