Learn Practical Blacksmithing

Robert Stenzel
For my capstone project, I learned how to blacksmith. I used salvaged materials to build a forge and make a kitchen knife. Using a few online tutorials for inspiration for the design of the forge, my father and I took scrap materials that we either had lying around from previous projects or purchased cheaply from a nearby junkyard and used them to make the knife. I enjoyed the whole process, from welding together the forge to shaping the knife blade, but the most enjoyable parts were the challenges that popped up along the way. I had to change the metal I planned on using for the knife since it was more difficult to heat than expected. We had to readjust the fuel intake system to allow more air (and thus oxygen) into the flame to make it hotter. It made the final product all the more fulfilling after overcoming various setbacks. The only thing I would’ve done differently comes down to technique as parts of the knife blade were hammered inconsistently and it has a few depressions in the metal as a result.

This project served as the perfect way to try blacksmithing, something I’ve been interested in for a long time. I’d like to thank Ms. Bird for allowing me to do this as a capstone project, to Mr. Walters for being my advisor, and to my father for helping me tremendously throughout the whole process.
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