Hello & warm welcome to instructables community & My All Friends.......
This is my second metal working project on instructables. I often do very less projects regarding metal working but thanks to the instructables community who is always encourage their participants to try to do something new and innovative.
So few weeks ago one of my soldier friend gave me a challenge to make a combat knife for him and he sent me an image,which he want his knife to be look like.So i accept his challenge.Before started making a knife I searched on YouTube to find the correct method to make a knife.There i found a youtuber named Slavik Tely Who is a master magician of custom knife making for me.I learned a lot from him about knife making.Now its time to make that one myself.
Step 1: Material, Tools and Safety Equipment’s
Material for Blade
it’s very essential to choose a right material for your projects. For making a projects regarding blades and knife you should always use steel of good quality. I think if you are making a normal knife (for Practice Purpose) with a less tools mild steel is a good option for you as it easy to file down according to your desire shape. as you become perfect you have so many choices of steel.As other option you can use leaf spring for making such blade because it having carbon and silicon added to it and also its very hard. For my project i use Mild Steel as it’s easy to work on.
Material for Handle: -
There are lots of choice for the materials you can choose for making handles of your knife. They are either metal like brass, copper, aluminum or nonmetals like wood, composite wood (which is a mixture of wood and resin mixed with some luster dye in it) colored resins and other type of composite materials. For my project I used Hard Wood Which is named saal wood in India. As I am new in knife making so to cut down my cost I used saal wood, because if anything goes wrong and I damaged the handle during making, I don’t hesitate to choose another piece of wood and also it reduces the cost because it was a challenge and a learning project for me.
So Instead of going for a precious metal I use the material for my project. If you have confidence, then you can choose any material you want. Although design of blade describes the beauty of blade but it still incomplete without handle, if that material is precious your knife turns into a master piece whether your blade design is simple.
As I told you earlier that there are bunch of methods you can use to make a knife for yourself.Best method for cutting the complex shape is metal bandsaw.But for this knife I use angle grinder for the cutting of knife.If you don’t have any of the other tools you can use hacksaw also.For the making of knife I used following tools listed below:-
1. Angle grinder with metal cutting disc.
2. Drill machine
3. Drill bits (according to your preference, it also depends upon the rivet size)
4. Metal Files(Flat, Half Round and circular)
5. Sharpening stone
6. Sand paper 400 and 1200.
7. Buffing wheel (if you want to buff your knife for a mirror finish)
Safety Precautions: -
Before starting any project safety precaution is the precious thing you have to follow during the making of your project. Although it keeps you safe from harmful material but it also increases the quality of product because your fear will not interrupt you in making the project.
I think if you are going to buy tools first time the you should buy safety equipment’s also rather than injured yourself the think that wish I bought safety equipment. Following are the safety equipment’s you are needed to complete this project.
1. Safety goggles
2. Dust mask
3. Leather gloves
5. Water bucket with full of water.
Step 2: Template and Metal Cutting
For cutting a metal into blade shape there are two methods either you have a good drawing and draw directly on the metal with permanent marker or you can print the drawing on a paper and glued it on metal. Gluing process is not a difficult task. For that you can use either wood glue or paper glue for that. But as I worked and faced problem the better way is to draw your design on metal surface and start cutting.
Problem occurring with paper template is that when you start cutting with power tools the blade some time knock off the template and it’s very hard to follow the lines.
Metal cutting: -
For Metal cutting I used angle grinder with a metal cutting disc and carefully follow the outlines’ cut down the shape, always keep some margin for filing down. The place where it’s difficult to cut the metal with disc you can drill their holes to clean out small circular shapes.
Sometimes its unable to follow the complex curves, so the right method for cutting that area is using multiple cuts at regular intervals. With the help of that you can knock of any extra material
Step 3: Filing the Blade
In my opinion the important method for making a knife is the file method. Although you can use belt sander and other tools but even then files are still required to proceed this project because some complex shapes are not covered by the belt sander.Use template outlines to file down your knife shape Just like i do in the pitcures.
As there is an alternate of everything in this world. Instead of files you can also use diy grinder having variable types of bits. This power tool definitely saves your a lot of time.
Step 4: Marking of Sharpening Area and Center Line:-
Marking of Sharpening area:-
For marking of sharpening profile I took two pieces of paper stacked them together, then place the knife over it and trace the outline profile of knife. After that I trace the sharpening profile on the paper and by following that line I cut down my template.
Now I have two template ready for each side. Place the template on one side and carefully aligned that, now lift outer side of the template. Now colored the knife. The place where template is glued will not covered by the colored but the outer area is marked. Repeat the procedure for other side also. This way you have both areas marked out.
Center Line: -
For marking the center line on the knife first of all cover the edge of the blade with some dark color. Gernaly Blue is used for marking purpose but I don’t have that thing so I used permanent marker instead of that. Take a drill bit have thickness equals to the material you choose for the knife making. Now place the blade on a flat surface along with that bit and scribed the center line.
Step 5: Filing Down the Wedge Like Shape
This is also one of the important part of knife making. Again there are many methods to make a sharp profile on knife. Widely use method is belt sander but like most of us I don’t have a belt sander. You can also use angle grinder to get your profile but it would be risky. The safest method to make the profile is using files.
First you have to secure your blade on a piece of wood, so that during the filing process the blade stays at its place. Another important thing is to tightly clamp that wooden piece to your work bench.
Now with the help of half round file make an angle with file and start filing the marked area. File down the area till its reach to the center line of the blade. Repeat these steps for the other side also and then you will get the sharpening profile on both side of the blade
Step 6: Drilling Down the Holes for Handles and Heat Treatment
Drilling down the holes for handles
It is good to drill down the holes for handle fasteners. Usually now there are many special type of fasteners available in the market which you can use to fasten your handle with the blade. Although the blade is attached with handle with the help of two-part epoxy, but if you use fasteners like rivets etc. it provides a lot of strength to the handle. You can drill holes on other areas of the blade to make it more fancy. The image I got contains holes in it so I drill those holes, if you want to skip that than you can.
Heat treatment is one of the most important process in knife making.Main purpose of heat treatment is to make your blade harden.
The important process we are doing here is the quenching and tampering process. Quenching is the process in which you heat the metal to red hot and quickly cooled down it in water or oil.This may lead in the hardening of your metal.In my case I placed my blade into burnt coal and heat it unto the redness.After that rapidly cooled down in oil.Some people uses propane torch to heat the metal.i don’t have it,So I uses coal method.After that second process is tempering, in which you are heating the metal to a low temperature.You can do this in the oven.This will removes stress from the blade which are occur during the quenching process.
After that with the help of 120 grit sand paper removes the scales from the blade and make it ready for the next step
Step 7: Making the Wooden Handle
This is the beauty section in the knife making. Its increase the look of your knife. As I told earlier that there are bunch of stuff with the help of which you can make your blade handle.In my case I use Indian Saal wood. It’s the hardest wood and didn’t react with moisture too much.
The knife handle is a two part assembly. In this you need two piece of wood.The thickness of wood depends upon how thick you want your handle to make a good grip.For cutting the wood I used blade butt to take the reference and with the help of jigsaw I cut it roughly and after that file it to the desire shape.In my case I slice the wood too thick and it was difficult for me to shape it but the end product is 20 mm thick so the thickness of wood or other type of material which you are using for make your handle depends upon the blade thickness.In my case blade is 6 mm thick and I use 6 mm drill bit to mark the center line. Don’t glued your handles with the blade.you can use rivets for dry fitting and carved the shape of your handle grips.After you satisfied with your work glued your handles to blade with two-part epoxy and secure it with rivets.Allow it to cure for at least 12 hr. to proceed for next operation.
Step 8: Finishing
Now it’s the final process in knife making. The major importance of this product is to give it a smooth finish, increase the beauty of knife and make it a master piece.
The major process to make your knife smooth is by sanding method and after that buff your blade with grinder and buffing compound. In my case I first use sand paper having size varying from 120 grit to 1500 grit. After that I Buffed my knife to remove the very fine scratches. In the end with the help of sharpening stone sharpened your knife.
For the wooden grips I sand it down with 400 grit and use clear synthetic varnish.In the end I am very happy with the product but I am upset because it was for my friend. when I see a huge smile on his face I forgot everything and gave him but I never forget that because that knife teaches me so much about metal working. I thank instructables for encouraging the people like me to try some new things.
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