Material. 35 x 40 x 6 mm carbon-steel bar or spring steel or a piece of ploughshare or disc; small piece of water-pipe to make a ferrule.
Additional tools. Set hammer; flatter; 25-mm top fuller; drill for hole in handle.
Cut or forge a piece of steel to the size shown in Fig. 152A. Heat one end to a bright red heat and partially forge the tang (Fig. 153). Take care to work from both sides of the metal to keep the tang on the centre line. Reverse the piece and hold the partially made tang in tongs. Heat the other end to a bright red heat and forge (Fig. 154) to the approximate shape shown in Fig. 152C.
Reheat if necessary and partly bend the point over the beak(Fig. 155). Reheat and complete the bend (Fig. 156).
Hold the point and heat the tang end for a distance of 50 to 60 mm back from the shoulder. Hold the tang and set in the blade to begin the drawing-down (Fig. 157). The blade and the set should be held at an angle to allow the force of the blows to impinge on what is to be the cutting edge. Reheat about half the length of the blade and draw-down the edge using a fuller (Fig. 158). This fullering is continued along the length of the blade until the whole length is nearly the correct dimension. Final finishing is carried out using set hammer and flatter. Take care not to hammer the edges of these tools into the anvil face when working on the thin edge.
Reheat the tang end to a bright red heat and draw out the tang (Fig. 159) to the dimensions shown in Fig. 152E. Make sure that the last 25 mm or so of the tang is drawn out very thin to simplify the fastening of the handle. A wooden handle can be made to the sizes shown in Fig. 152F. The ferrule (Fig. 152G) is a metal ring girdling the handle to strengthen it and is made from a small piece of steel water-pipe heated and stretched over a drift. This must be a tight fit on the wood. A 6- to 7-mm hole is next drilled through the wooden handle. The tang is heated to a dull red heat and inserted into the handle to burn its way through. The tang should go easily into the wood to within about 4 mm of the shoulder. Remove the handle from the tang and carry out hardening and tempering.
Hardening is best carried out in oil. If tempering is difficult, place a metal tray full of sand on top of the fire and put the blade in the sand with its cutting edge uppermost and out of the sand. Heat will be transferred from the sand to the metal slowly, giving plenty of time for the temper colours to be observed. The cutting edge should be ground or filed to a keen edge before hardening and tempering. Final sharpening is done afterwards on a whetstone.
When the handle and blade are complete, heat the end of the tang to a red heat, quickly place the tang into the handle and bend over the end as shown in Fig. 152H. Then quickly cool the handle in water to prevent excessive burning of the wood.