My First Experience at Forging Yields a Rough Knife

I had a fun day forging, but the results of my first time at an anvil left something to be desired. Still, it was a good lesson.

The Bible verse Joel 3:10 says, “Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.”

I spent a morning last week beating a lawnmower blade into a rough knife shape. After three hours of forging and grinding, I have much greater respect for anyone who can fashion a decent blade from a hunk of raw metal. I’m also pretty certain that while I might be able to fashion a pruning hook into a spear, I could not beat a plowshare into a sword.

Forging is much harder than it looks on all those TV shows and YouTube videos.

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A Forging we Will Go; Building the Perfect Fixed Blade Knife

I never worked a forge or done any blacksmithing, but that’s all going to change. Now I just have to decide what to make.

I have three hours booked on a forge this coming week.  I’m going to forge—or at least start forging—a fixed blade knife that may become my new field knife.

I probably have at least 18 or 20 knives, both fixed and folding, but I only carry three different blades on a regular basis. Most of them sit in a box or are tucked into a bug out bag or vehicle emergency kit. I think every young man has bought a knife that they thought was cool, only to realize some years later that it was foolish. I kept mine around along with some inexpensive blades. They may have little value now, but in a post-SHTF situation, I can trade, give, or lend them out to someone who realizes any knife is better than no knife.

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Prepper Diary January 24: Trying to Identify the Best Way to Wear a Fixed Blade Knife

Carrying a sheath knife is pretty straight forward, but carrying a pistol and a fixed blade knife on your belt complicates things.

I’ve been practicing different carry methods for my fixed blades when I wear a gun on my strong side.  I should also mention that when you carry a revolver, you usually keep your speed loaders on the strong side since that is the hand you use to reload.  With a semi-auto, your spare magazine is on the opposite side, since you reload using your weak hand.  When carrying a .357 revolver, as I have been doing upon occasion when we head into the woods, you may end up with a fairly heavy steel revolver, two speed loaders and a good sized knife all on one side.  To me, this is less than ideal.

Here are the different methods of knife carry I’ve tried so far:

Knife in Front of Gun

Strong side carry is the method of carry for which most sheaths are designed.  Having my knife in front of the gun works well as the knife goes straight down the side of the leg and doesn’t get in the way much when I work or sit, however it makes accessing my strong-side pants pocked difficult.  This carry method works best with a holster where your firearm draw stroke is straight up and down.  If the holster is canted forward, then the handle of the knife can get in the way and mess up your draw.   

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Prepper Diary January 3: Sharp Knives are a Must; Cutlery for Preppers of all Ages

Knives are one of mankind’s earliest tools and are still useful toda. They belong in every prepper’s kit. Just make sure yours is sharp.

The storm we expected has made its way here, but it is far tamer than the Christmas snowstorm.  Wet and chilly with the threat of freezing rain rather than bitterly cold and snowing.  Nonetheless, a good day to stay indoors.

My big chore today was knife sharpening.  I sharpened nine knives using my Lansky diamond hone knife sharpening kit.  It’s not fast — I spent more than four hours sharpening knives — but it is effective.

My friend Karl can sharpen a knife with a honing stone and some oil, but I just cannot get them as sharp that way.  I watch him and I see people on videos, and it seems so easy for them.  Not for me.  Karl’s been sharpening knives since childhood, and he used to make $5 or $10 sharpening knives for colleagues.  I am envious of his skill, but I get the job done with the Lansky system.  I just don’t look as cool doing it.

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