My very first 'made by me' knife was hardened and tempered last night. Heating was done via a very hot hardwood fire, quenched in water, and tempered in the over for two hours at 400* in the kitchen stove. I know, not very accurate, but it's the best I can do on my budget, which is basically nothing. I'm pretty sure I got it hot enough and cooled it rapidly enough for it to get nice and hard. The file test passed, though I'm no expert and thus I'm only guessing. We'll find out when I put an edge on it and if it holds it or not. If not, then back to the drawing board.

In other news, I'm going to attempt to build a cheap-ass forge. Pretty much all I need is some black iron pipe and an old brake drum. Once I get that up and running I KNOW I'll be able to get steel up to a heat treatment temp (thats with simple steels, like W2 or the 10XX series. More complex steels will require soak times at precise temps for exact periods of time).

I'll get some picks up as soon as I get them resized.