Today I’m forging the miseretto blade. I started by upsetting the blade from the sides, in order to thicken it up a bit.
Above, I’m just beginning the process. If you look closely, you might be able to make out how the center of the blade looks a little lower than the edges – the metal is beginning to mushroom a little as I drive the mass of the steel towards the center of the blade. I repeat the process of heat and beat multiple times until the blade is thick enough, hammering both from the edges, top and bottom, and “on the diamond.” Forging “on the diamond” (from the corners) will forming the diamond cross section of the blade, and also begin tapering the blade towards the tip. Tapering it will also lengthen the blade, so I’ll have to cut off some eventually.
Above I’ve finished the forging, and carefully made sure everything is straight. In this image I’m “normalizing” the dagger. Normalizing is heating the steel up to its critical temperature ( a light orange, in the case of this 1080 carbon steel) and letting it air cool back to “black heat.” This process will relieve the stresses I put into the steel by whacking it during forging, and also refine the grain size. I’ll repeat this heat/air cool cycle three times.