I would like to add to the article “Swords and Bows for that Dreaded Multigenerational Scenario” [that appeared in SurvivalBlog back in September of 2006, with lots of follow-up letters in the following week.] I have been a closet survivalist for some time now and thought it prudent to learn several old world skills. Metalworking was one of the skills I put a high value on and for good reason, knives, spears, swords, and arrowheads are all important if in a “multigenerational” situation. Also knife making is a fun (and maybe even profitable) hobby.
The comment on leaf springs having internal micro cracks due to repetitive stressing is technically true, but if the correct procedure of annealing and re-hardening is used, all previous stresses are eliminated. They even have what is called a “tribal” knife makers guild that only uses salvage from junkyards and scraps from cabinetmakers and hardwood floor installers. They also practice using all hand tools, no electricity! A very friendly bunch that helped me understand knife making and metallurgy are at the Knife Network and Blade Forums. Regards, – TJ