Part of my journey building things, was to invent creative ways to fund my projects, without breaking into the family income.
I made a couple of knives out of a bandsaw blade and a lawnmower blade. My friend Alistair saw this on a forum and invited me to Tharwa Valley Forge, near Canberra, for a knife-makers meeting. Karim Hadad, (the owner), gave me valuable advice and critique on my knives and then gave me a fistful of the correct steel to go and practice on. He has supported me with sound advice and encouragement ever since.
One thing led to another and I built two of my own forges out of scrap metal. With sound advice from Karim and other knife-makers, I learned how to design and improve my knives. Each knife became a wonderful way to thank someone for helping me with my builds, as I gave them away to those who had given freely to me. I made over 60 knives and gave them away. The knife-making community got behind me for the Iron man project and brought my skill levels up very quickly so I could sell knives to fund the suit.
A fun blade made from a Damascus billet stub and some deer antler.