In this video, Matt is demonstrating how a ground forge works for those interested in making their own knife. A forge is simply a campfire with forced air blown into it. The easiest forge to start with is a ground forge. You start by digging a small ditch about 12 inches wide by about 24 inches long and about 12 inches deep. In the middle of one side cut a narrow channel, starting at the bottom, center of the forge between 12 to 24 inches long angling upward very slightly. This will be for your air source. Locate a piece of iron pipe about 24 to 36 inches long and between one to two inches in diameter. Place one end of the pipe in that channel at the bottom of the forge with the other end lying in the channel out and away from the forge. Cover the pipe with dirt leaving the end inside the forge slightly uncovered and the opposite end uncovered. Next you will need to find a source of forced air. The best items for this are a small hair dryer or an air mattress inflator (a battery powered inflator can provide the advantage of going cordless). Using duct tape or the like attach your forced air source to the outside end of the pipe. (If you are using a hair dryer you will want to keep the dryer setting on low with the “cool” button taped down). The important aspect of the air source is that it is not too powerful. Too fast and you have a fire hazard; AND, you can over heat and burn your steel. The blower being used is a 120 V and can be purchased for between $15.00 and $20.00 at any Walmart or Target store. Some of the nicer blowers have an adjustable intake flap to control air flow. Matt is going to use large channel locks as tongs to hold his stock (a coil spring that was straightened and cut into pieces) in order to insert the metal into his fire. If you observe the video closely you will notice the hole he dug for the forge and the blower mouth inserted into a small channel dug beneath the dirt to allow air to be forced into the fire. A lot of your fuel source is going to come from hardwood trees which is used to produce the charcoal. The charcoal is a clean-burning fuel for many bladesmiths such as Matt. Charcoal can give out plenty of heat when its burned on the forge.

By Michael Kurcina

Mike credits his early military training as the one thing that kept him disciplined through the many years. He currently provides his expertise as an adviser for an agency within the DoD. Michael Kurcina subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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