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Hagerson Forge Photo Album of past Work

All items made by the author unless otherwise stated.

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This page last updated 03/20/2006

    These pieces should give you an idea where I have come from and where I am going with this craft. If you are interested in any these knife styles, please contact me via email. I do some custom work, so long as it is within my skill set and I feel I can do justice to the style.

Rail Road Spike Knives and Axes.

     As a bladesmith / blacksmith, you almost have to do a rail road spike knife. The add an inexpensive item to your product line. And, they make for a very good blacksmithing demonstration project. I use only legally collected "HC" railroad spikes. I use Super Quench in heat treating all my spike knives and axes, to get the best possible performance out of this medium carbon steel.

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This Fancy Rail-Road Spike Knife has had the handle and the spike head ground flat. This both dresses up the knife and lightens it up as well. The whole thing is taken to a high polish except for in the grooves on the top and bottom of the handle. This variant on the classic rail-road spike knife will most likely become a standard item for me.  This was my first Rail-Road Spike Knife. It was made during my First Demo at Lancaster California's Poppy Festival. I have made a lot more since that day. A clip point bowie pattern blade. I polished the handle and the spike head prior to twisting and heat treating. I then left the natural heat bluing on the twisted handle alone while I did the final polish on the knife blade.

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This is a Rail Road Spike Tomahawk. And it was my first axe. A high polished Rail Road Spike head on a fire hardened maple handle finished with Danish Oil. Designed for throwing, the handle is angled back slightly from the axe edge. Allowing the heel or toe of the axe to stick solid, without the handle hitting the target face. This is one of two styles or Rail Road Spike axes I make. This is a Rail Road Spike Bearded Axe. This is the other style of Rail Road Spike Axes I make. The blade is drawn out of the head of the spike. The axe eye was first punched through the spike shaft and then shaped with a Tomahawk drift tool. The head is treated with a plumb brown finish. The handle is hickory finished with Danish Oil


Welded Cable

     As you will see most of my early work was done in welded cable. I really like the look of this material when I'm not trying for a totally accurate historical reproduction. And I still use it any time I trying something new.

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A Complete welded cable eating set. This set now belongs to my wife. The set was made as a series of gifts for her. The spoon for her Birthday, the knife for Christmas and the fork for 12th Night. This set contains my first attempt at welded cable (the spoon) and my first forged blade My second knife was a dagger made for a raffle. Welded Cable with nickel twisted into the cable bundle before welding the billet. The handle is Purple heart. Knife number four was made in the same style.

My third knife also in welded cable Knife (This is the first use of my electro-etched makers mark) This is a nice utility pattern knife with an integral handle. 

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Welded Cable Persian Dagger, with slab handles of Vera wood. My fifth forged blade. At this point I started to feel like I was getting somewhere with this craft. It's one of my favorite pieces, even after having made many more. This knife was a challenge to make, but it was also a lot of fun. This is a 16th century, single off-side ring hilt, left- hand dagger. As would have been used by a 16th or 17th century dualist. The blade, hilt and pommel are made of welded cable. The handle is made from holly.....wood. Blade length is 10.5 inches. The overall pattern is based on examples found in the Wallace Collection. The hard part on this knife was making the hilt from a single piece of welded cable. Knife number 19. 


Pattern Welding

My pattern welded blades are by far my most popular pieces. I do all my pattern welding by hand currently. One of these days I'm hoping to build or buy a power hammer or hydraulic press. But for right now, it's really helping me build upper body strength.

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My first pattern welded blade. A Star-Twist Pattern Damascus Seax. 1084 and 15N20 steels, 11 layers. This is what I call my "poor man's pattern weld". Bone and brass handle and fittings finish out this piece. Seax pattern knives until recently have been almost ignored by modern knife makers. However this style of knife dominated the market for hundreds of years. This is such a important historic blade style, that I will always try to have at least one in stock. Forged knife number six Another example of "poor man's pattern weld". 11 layers of 1084 and 15N20 in a Star Twist pattern. Large, single edge Sgain Dubh style blade with a brass bolster and Bocote wood handle. Knife number nine My First Ladder Pattern blade. 40 layers of 1095 and Pure Nickel. Snakewood handle with brass bolster and butt cap. Knife Number eleven to date. The first Snakewood handle cracked when exposed to a hot sunny day, in a glass case. The handle shown is the replacement. This handle is the first using my new wood stabilization technique.

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I originally called this a Viking Woman's Knife. However checking the info on the Birka grave finds myself, I can find no documentation to call it such. So now I call this a blacksmiths knife. Anyway, this little number was done as a demo at the Lancaster Poppy Festival. Knife Number 13. It might make someone a nice patch knife. I have made several of these to date. My 29th knife to date. Our version of a 15th Century Ballock Dirk. The blade is an 8 layer star twist pattern of 15N20 and 1084. The billet was made during  a forge welding class I taught. The handle was carved by my Lady Wife from African Pink Ivory wood. Brass fittings finish out this piece. The design is based on research from the Mary Rose, auction items, the Wallace Collection and other sources.  This my third axe. A welded "bow tie" construction tomahawk head, done on pattern welded steel. The pattern weld is 40 layers of 1095 and nickel foil. So it's about 80 layers were it is bent back on it's self and welded to form the axe blade. The pattern weld is random pattern except at the edge of the blade. There I added sort on a tooth or ladder style pattern while spreading the blade area out. The handle is hickory that has been flame hardened and finished with Danish oil.

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Knife number 30 is a 30-layer 3-color ladder pattern welded Rondel Dagger. The handle detail is based on a knife now in the Museum of London. The pattern weld blade  is made from alternating layers of 1095 , 15N20 and  pure Nickel foil. The handle is Black Walnut with brass fittings. The overall length is about 14 inches. This is my second take at a Roundel Dagger. Once again I started with a 33 layer 3-color ladder pattern welded billet. This time I went with a more traditional handle arrangement. The blade has a triangular profile and an asymmetrical double edge grind. The different sized roundels are based on a couple of period pieces I have seen and are used to enhance the triangular aspect of the whole knife. The handle is Bolivian Rosewood, the fittings are of high polished brass. Overall length is just over 12 inches. The larger roundel at the pommel is 2 inches in diameter. This is my third take on the Roundel dagger form. The blade profile is taken from a Museum of London artifact found in a dig on Thames Street. The blade is a forty layer ladder pattern weld of 1095 and nickel. The fittings are brass and the handle is African Bloodwood, finished with Danish oil. The back of this Poniard is flat giving the blade a flatten triangle cross section. From tip to pommel-nut the knife is 13 inches in length overall. The first roundel is 1.5 inches in diameter and the second one is just over 2 inches.


Early Historic Folding Knives

     Recently I have been exploring Roman, Viking and Medieval folding knives. This is an area not being explored by many knife makers right now. Our first two piece have been very well received and we will most definitely be exploring this area further.

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My first folding knife is a reproduction of a 13th Century folding knife in the Museum of London. I did a three layer laminate on the blade. A 1080 high carbon steel core with antique wrought iron sides. The wrought iron will run almost all the way down the blade to the edge bevel. Thus giving a nice historic appearance. While the high carbon steel core will give good edge performance. The wood is English Bow wood as per the original. This is a very simple folding knife. The user must hold the blade open with the thumb when the knife is in use. No fancy springs or locks to hold the blade open or closed.

Base on a Viking Age find from Canterbury, this is our second early historic folding knife. I say our, because the carving on the bone handles was done by my wife. She reproduced exactly the carving from the archeological drawings. The blade is a multi-core composite pattern weld of 1070 and 15N20. This bar of pattern weld was also used to produce the Viking working knife, from the Swedish grave find 226, shown elsewhere. The second pin near the blade pivot is a stop that acts against notches on both sides of the pivot, in both the opened closed position.


Chef's Knives

     From time to time I make chef's knives. Until recently these have only been a donation item for raffles and such. Now they are becoming a regular part of my line. Mostly because not a lot of local knife makers are dealing in historic kitchen knives. Nor are that many making traditional Japanese chef's knives.

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Small traditional Japanese chiefs knife. Pure Iron forge welded to 1084 steel. Chisel ground on one side to expose the steel edge. Lightly etched to show the weld. Poplar wood handle. Marked on back of the blade to preserve the traditional, appearance. My eighth forged blade to date.  It and companion 6" Japanese chiefs knife were raffled off.

Chinese Chopper made in the Japanese style. Two layer construction 1084 high carbon steel and 1018 mild steel. Chisel ground on one side to expose the high carbon steel edge. Lightly etched to show the weld. Black camphor wood handle. Marked on back of the blade to preserve the traditional, appearance.

The Deba or "fish knife".  San-Mai construction consisting of a layer of 1084 sandwiched between two layers of 1018. Chisel ground on one of the sides to expose the high carbon steel edge. The back side has a shallow hollow grind, so as not to drag on the fish as it is being cut. Black camphor wood handle. Marked on back of the blade to preserve the traditional, appearance.

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A Panters Knife. Specifically the chaffer, for serving bread. Reproduced from a medieval illustration. The Blade is ATS34 stainless steel. The handle is Mohama wood from Africa. The bolster and butt plate are nickel-silver.

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