Tool spotlight: North Bay Forge

Tool spotlight: North Bay Forge


   These magnificent carving knives are of traditional Northwest American Indian design, & have surprising impressive versatility. The curved blade is razor sharp on both edges, so these carving knives can be used with pushing & pulling strokes without needing to change positions. The large comfortable handle on them is most frequently held palm up in one hand, but can also be used with both hands for extra leverage & control!

  How are these knives are made?

      North Bay Forge Bent Knives start with a round bar of the best quality high carbon steel available. The blades are shaped by heating in a forge to glowing red & hammering to rough shape. The repeated blows of forging refine the grain structure of the steel, having a significant effect on the tool's edge holding & durability. Throughout the subsequent grinding steps, very careful attention was given to maintaining the optimal profile & bevel angle of these knives.

  After forging & grinding, the blades go through a process North Bay Forge developed a few years ago. By cold hammering the blade with hundreds of tiny hammer hits per square inch, it becomes cold work hardened. Although it entails a few extra steps, this peining results in a surprising amount of toughness to the finished blade, increasing both edge holding & durability to a degree North Bay Forge did not think possible!

  The blades are then heat treated (two very critical steps). First, the blades are heated to full martensite hardness by heating them to just the right temperature(but no further!) & quickly quenching it in oil. The temper was then gradually drawn (& held for several hours) to give the blades the optimal combination of edge holding & toughness. Finally, the area near the cutting edges are honed to razor sharpness, thus removing the peining marks there.

  North Bay Forge is dedicated to providing the highest quality hand forged wood working tools, & they have been forging their tools on Waldron Island in the great Pacific Northwest since 1987.



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