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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars

on 26 October 2017
Read this cover to cover. I make knives. This is a good book and if you make knives or swords you will get a lot from it. However, the author assumes you have knowledge and sometime the drawing were hard to understands. I found the formulas and quenching oil mixes and detail like that most useful. It is worth buying but you will have to fill in some gaps yourself.
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on 3 June 2017
A Very Interesting and Informative book . Great for anyone with a decent forge that wants to have a go making their own blades.
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on 24 May 2017
All good, quite a complete reference and good for a novice. It is written from the American point of view and all units are US which if you can forgive it that no worries.
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on 17 February 2004
This book falls short of being "complete" and I would certainly contradict the author on a number of matters. It only has B&W photos and the line illustrations are pitiful, nowhere near as good as the Ladybird book "How to do it Metalwork" By Brian Larkman! I defy anyone to make a brake drum forge as illustrated. There are many errors in this book, but perhaps the most laughable to any blacksmith is the authors idea that an anvil can be mounted in a cutdown oil drum filled with sand! Never do this you will kill the anvils rebound. Most blacksmiths try to increase anvil rebound not loose it! A good rebound means less work for you!
If you are not a US resident the metal designations are unwieldy and time consuming to decipher.
The illustrations of belt grinding and grinding wheel use leave much to be desired if you wish to retain your fingers! There is much superfluous text, at least half the book has nothing to do with bladesmithing and there is very very little on sword making. There is little in regard to Tempering and why is there no index? The authors notion that you can pin the bolster of a knife by drilling a 3/32 inch hole transversely across the ricasso is ludicrous, even if you have the precision machine tools for such a delicate task you will ruin the strength of the blade at a crucial area. The part of this book which is really going to raise hackles is the mere 12 pages devoted to Japanese sword making, the author does not know what he is talking about. I recommend he study The Craft of the Japanese Sword" by Leon and Hiroko Kapp and Yoshindo Yoshihara, an excellent insight into the Japanese smithing tecnique and much better that Hrisoulas' book.
I dont think I read a page without contradicting something! If you can get a copy of the enthralling video "Gurka Steel The Making of Khukuri" released by "Gurka House" you will learn more in half an hour about forging a blade than a 100 books like this. For correct forge workshop practice I would recommend Peter Parkinson's The Artist Blacksmith Design and Tecniques, it wont tell you how to make blades but it will illustrate in mostly full colour everything you'll need to get started at the forge,and its cheaper than "The Complete Bladesmith". Failing that visit the fantastic [...] for free and learn from a real American blacksmith.
I have no connection or interest with anything I have recommended.
A reader in Scotland.
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on 7 February 2002
I can definately recommend this book to anyone with any interest in the making of high quality knives or swords. It is a good read, and I am constantly rereading sections of mine as I progress with new projects. I have set up a home forge and have just finished my first damascus blade(not quite as good as Jim's!), and it is all due to the inspiration of this book and "The master bladesmith" which is a fine companion volume. If you buy the book go on and try the forging it's damn hard work, but it's well woth it.
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on 18 September 1997
Jim Hrisoulas has let out information some knifemakers refuse to share, and he is big enough to handle the criticism. He not only knows how to create beautiful knives and swords, he also knows how to write, so the novice to experienced knifemaker can comprehend the content. He also provides excellent diagrams of the subject matter he is addressing at the time. From the steels, tools, and techniques, to some trade secrets, it is all here. For the novice to experienced knifemaker, there is something for you to discover. The forging basics are spelled out in a clear and concise format. Most anything that has to do with the forging of blades is covered thoroughly in this volume. This book is a must for the wannna-be knifemaker. Jim also has two other books in print, "The Master Bladesmith", (Advanced Studies in Steel); and, "The Pattern Welded Blade", (Artistry in Iron). I have all three volumes, and most other knifemaking books in print, the other books being superfluous in contrast. All three volumes are a must for the serious forger of the steel blade, and should be required reading. What an addition to a starving subject matter, not to mention an attractive classic collection of works in the field. These books are really upscale in content in comparison. Why did I give the book a 9 rating if it is so good? You really need all three to have the best, a 10+. Warning: These books are not for the knifemakers that use the stock-removal method for knifemaking, although there is information that any knifemaker would like to read and use, it just may not pay to buy them. I have no personal bias here, as I do both methods. I would be happy to give my opinion of content regarding the other two books. Did someone say light the forge? Nels Nelson - nelsk@azstarnet.com
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on 12 August 2013
I purchased this book several years back with the idea of producing Damascus steel swords. I built all the equipment using this book, and after a decade I am making swords of Damascus steel with solid silver fittings, (with gold), it takes me seven months per order mainly due to indicate fittings, but I now have a two year waiting list, and my work goes to Arab royal buyers. My wealth and ability are due to this book. The best u can buy, and I have over 100, books and articles.
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on 19 August 2002
Jim Hrisoulas has (at moment of writing) over 30 years of experience in forging swords and knives and this is clearly visible when he guides you, step-by-step, through a craft that is centuries old. Every step of the process of creating swords and knives are made crystal clear through well written text and informative illustrations. I am very pleased with this book, it's a must-buy for those interested in swords!
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on 20 February 2011
WHat a brillant book, this book cover all aspect of knife making. It is clearly written and very useful. Beginners to experts will all find this book useful
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on 27 March 2013
The clue is in the title. It covers just about everything you need to know. A good buy and worth the money.
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