Forging a blade
I want to ask a question, is a blade considered a forged blade, when you forge the blade profile, then forge bevels in, and then take it to a surface grinder and then grind it completely flat. Then you grind the blade on your belt grinder, grinding in the bevels again because you had ground them out on the surface grinder. IS THIS TRULY A FORGED BLADE? To me NO. What are your thoughts?
honestly I always end up with some stock removal. I still call my work forged. There are guys that are talented enough to do 97% of the profile on the anvil, but for the most part, I dont believe that is what the public wants. The blades I am selling are the polished damascus blades. Some require stock removal so as not to distort the pattern others I can hammer closer to shape. however they all require a lot of time on the grinder, flattening, smoothing and then finally hand sanding. To me, this is still a forged blade in that I have spent, sometimes considerable time, creating the steel and the basic shape. much like a wood worker will make the basic shape then haul out the sanders for final finishing.
I wrote about this in my Knife Magazine column last June. I don't really have any answer then or now.
Is it a forged blade .. probably. is it a well forged blade.. no ,I would say it isn't. Is it a fine well made knife, maybe. My judgement of another's skill in one step in the process means all most nothing. with some exception we don't tend to actually judge the skill of anyone's forging, and I am not sure we should.
Forging isn't a mark of quality, the act of hitting it with a hammer isn't some magic that makes a knife better. Forging is a skill. It can open doors to our creative process, it can save material, and even be an efficient method of production. there are lots of good reason to forge, but just making a great knife isn't one of them.
For me forging is the fun part, the part that got me into all of this. The better I get at forging the less time it takes me to forge a blade, and the closer to shape I tend to forge (with some exceptions that I CHOOSE not to forge close to shape.)
The only time that question really matters is in judgement for rank or awards.