Step 11: Finishing Up, Or, What's Left to Do
I need to grind off the rest of the fire scale (the black stuff) and put a handle on it.
I should have thought more about the balance of the blade across the handle, hammer out the dip in the back and maybe a bit of a false edge. The rat-tail tang is easier to put a handle on, you drill a hole in the handle a little smaller than the tang, heat the tang up and burn the hole the right size. Any extra tang that sticks out can be handled in a number of ways-bent over like a nail, cut the extra off or put a nut on it to keep the handle tight. A loop handle could have been done, heating the middle of the tang, then bending the end up like a U until the tip touches the base of the blade.
Total time, little more than an hour, not counting the bonfire : ) Probably another hour to grind off the rest of the scale (or soak it in vinegar for a day or so) and make a handle.