By Joe Kertzman
Author of such books as Wayne Goddard's $50 Knife Shop and The ask yourself of Knifemaking, Wayne Goddard takes you thru his confirmed strategy of making the standard operating knife. Goddard speaks the language of normal those who prefer to use knives they have made themselves.
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Extra info for Building the Everyday Work Knife
The solution for me was to build a second forge that was designed to run at lower temperatures suitable for heat-treating. That meant it had to have a smaller chamber and a smaller burner tube with a proportionally smaller orifice. The smaller forge has worked out well for heat-treating and forging. The bonus is that I’m not bothered with the borax flux contamination of blades the way I was when I used the welding forge for forging and heat-treating. Pictured is the Extendo Forge. THE ONE-BRICK FORGE The one-brick forge I created started out with one brick and proved to be incredibly useful.
Like almost everything else, I learned this the hard way. About 25 years ago, I bought a beautiful piece of Macassar ebony that was 2 inches thick, 8 inches wide and about 18 inches long. I got it from a wood dealer who had the large board it was cut from for more than 15 years. I had no reason to suspect that it wasn’t dry enough to use. I brought it home and sawed off enough pieces for a matching bowie and Texas toothpick set I was making. The knife set was finished and delivered. Within four months, one of the handle slabs had shrunk enough to cause cracks to develop around the pins at the ends of a five-pin pattern.
The wood sample is weighed every 4-to-6 hours until such a time that there is no more loss in weight. This shows me how much moisture it has to give up. At this point, the material is drier than it should be. If attached to a knife in the dehydrated condition, it will probably swell as it becomes normalized to the average humidity and temperature of its new home. The trick is having material on hand with average moisture content (5-8 percent), then, with luck, it will stay close to the same size and remain attached to the steel of the knife tang.