top of page

Suppliers and Resources

There's a lot of supplies that go into keeping Life's Forge operating. This page lists a number of suppliers of tools and materials that a blacksmith or knife maker may find helpful. It was inspired by a series of demonstrations by David Lisch, MS, at the CBA 2018 Spring Conference. While watching the demos, I learned many valuable techniques and tricks, but was strongly reminded of a quote sometimes attributed to Picasso or Renoir:

“When art critics get together they talk about Form and Structure and Meaning. When artists get together they talk about where you can get the best turpentine.”

What follows is a list of online stores that sell tools and supplies useful for making knives or blacksmithing. Some of these were mentioned by David Lisch in his demos, some of them I've heard of from other people, and a few I've found myself. They're all stores that I, or someone I trust, thinks highly of.

The following are materials that can be useful, but can be found in many places, or aren't sold online.

  • Rutland's 2000 Degree Stone Black Caulking, instead of clay or Satanite for forming a hamon. Foams up as it heats. Not sure if it's still available or if I got the name wrong. Found at hardware stores and similar.

  • Blue Magnum Sharpie, instead of Dykem layout fluid. Dykem still does a better job, but the Sharpie is almost as good and extremely convenient. Available generally.

  • J-B Weld SteelStik, an epoxy putty, useful as a bedding compound. Hardware stores.

  • 3M Repositionable Spray Adhesive, to attach sandpaper to grinding discs. Available generally.

  • Adhesive-backed roll of 220 grit sandpaper, from any auto body store.

  • White lithium grease (instead of the much more messy anti-sieze), to keep takedown parts from corroding together.

  • Ferric chloride etchant.

  • Sink cutout from a counter, or a large smooth tile, for sturdy flat surface as sandpaper backing.

  • Surface calipers used as a height scribe

  • Small wheel attachment with a platen, to grind transition from flat blade to integral bolster.


I've also run across some other resources that may be useful:​

bottom of page