My First Blacksmithing Project

Kyle Pastrell makes these beautiful Damascus Steel Knifes. For months before that I was geeking out on his awesome knives and finally, the other day we set a date to spend the day at his Dad’s black smith operation in the garage of his house. It was awesome.

That said, my blacksmithing skills are 100% beginner. That was the first time I set a piece of metal into a forge and hit it with a hammer.

Of course, there is no better way to learn something than doing it, so the first day we committed to making a single day knife. Kyle makes really nice knives… but they always take him a few days at the least. So the idea of making a knife in a day was a stretch, but stretching feels good.

Lessons Learned

Overall workmanship on this knife is average at best. The steel is a bit soft because we didn’t have time to temper the blade in oil quite like Kyle would have preferred.

We also forgot to eat so I got pretty shaky towards the end of the day. That’s why my epoxy job was just about as disgusting as it could have been.

We did get lucky in that the knife is well balanced. It’s centered almost perfectly so it actually feels excellent in hand.

It seemed cool to me to keep the old railroad impressions on the butt of the knife. That maintained it’s crude look.

It would be possible to bandsaw the handle off, reforge and grind a little more and make this blade something really special. Perhaps I’ll reforge this one every time I make another 9 knives so this one could become a Damascus beauty like the ones Kyle makes.

That’s a really long way away for me.

Videography Notes

Autofocus is problematic with maker videos. Even though I love some of the beautiful depth of field shots that I get from the d70, it’s the G7X that I find to be the trustworthy camera to shoot with. Best of all, the G7X makes video files that work well with my version of Adobe Premiere.

I love the versatility and indestructibility of my GoPro Silver, but my footage is REALLY hard to edit. For some reason, that footage kills my editing software. It takes way too long to render. There had to be a better way, but so far GoPro software seems really unhelpful.

Thank You

Big thanks to my friend Erik who showed me the first few maker videos. Also, bit thanks to Diresta, Primitive Technologies and Birth of a Tool for your amazing movies. Finally, and without precedent, thank you again to Kyle Pastrell. It’s a huge complement to receive an invite to come work with you for the day buddy. I look forward to future projects.

This one isn’t great, but I feel like it’s a good start.

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