So I was commissioned to do an Arkansas Toothpick for a FW member. This thread will document the process from start to finish.
First, the initial design:
Approximately 15" long, 10" blade. Not a straight point on it so that the point is a bit more sturdy. It'll be a quarter inch thick at the guard. The guard itself will be a bent and shaped piece of brass. The handle will be brazilian greenwood (probably), with a hidden tang. I'll rip the handle into two pieces, carve out the tang, and then glue it together AND pin it with brass. And there's talk about ivory inlays, so I'll need to practice how to do that as well.
So the materials are ordered. They are on the way! The very first thing to do is to practice. So I decided to cut out some pieces from a giant leaf spring, and a coil spring, and forge out some stuff.
The little knives went great! I went straight to the harden process because they were small. The giant leaf spring was a motherfucker, though. It was too thick and was chewing up my god damned cutting disks. So I got frustrated and decided to anneal it to soften it up.
Then I got a diamond cutting disk and it went great! Welded on some handles so I could hold them while they were in the fire.
BUT my brakedrum forge wasn't good enough to heat up these giant pieces of steel. So I decided to alter my forge to an inverted cone shape by carving out some firebricks. See, the brake drum loses a LOT of heat to the bottom corners of the cylinder shape. The inverted cone lifts the center of the heat upwards, allowing me to heat up the big steel.
Here's one of the giant pieces, halfway forged out by hand.
I was getting a LOT of clinkers, so I decided to call it for the day.
I'm pooped. Imagine swinging a 5 pound hammer 50,000 times as hard as you can. More to come later as I get the materials in and practice further.