A good "bushcraft" knife is a must-have for every outdoorsman.
It's a tool that lasts a lifetime.
Wouldn't it be awesome to make such an essential, lasting tool yourself?

There are many different types of knives and many ways of making them.
This instructable will show you how to make an excellent, inexpensive (<$20) bushcraft knife with simple tools (such as a hacksaw, file, drill and vice).
The design is based on the popular (but expensive) Ray Mears Bushcraft knife.

So if you have a few basic tools and plenty of elbow grease, lets make the [Your Name Here] Bushcraft Knife :)

I have entered this instructable for the Great Outdoors Contest and the I Could Make That Contest.
If you like this instructable, please vote for it!

Step 1: Tools and materials

Here's a quick overview of the tools and materials that I used.
They'll be discussed a bit more later on in the instructable.

-Old file
-Piece of hardwood
-Two-part epoxy adhesive

-Forge (something to burn the coal in)
-Air pump
-Quenching oil
-Kitchen oven

-Scriber, permanent marker

-Lubricating oil
You made an great instructable. It was a lot of fun to make the knifes.
<p>Did you just glue the handle on the steel ?</p>
I used epoxy glue.<br>
Wow, very cool! Thank you.
<p>Finally finished! Thanks for the idea...it was a great learning experience. </p><p><a href="http://imgur.com/5Els4kk" rel="nofollow"><br></a></p>
Awsome! Nice Work!
Awesome work and good explanation . I hope you won the contest
<p>Thank you so much for this incredible knife making tutorial. I should be gratefull if you could represent with numbers the formula for grind width calculation. </p>
<p>It depends on the thickness of the file and the grind angle you chose. My file had a thickness <strong>T=5mm </strong>and a grind angle <strong>&alpha;=20</strong><strong>&deg;</strong>. So the width <strong>b=5</strong><strong>/(2*tan(20 degrees))=</strong><strong>7mm</strong>.</p><p>You can insert the following formula into Google with your own thickness and grind angle: <strong>T/(2*tan(&alpha; degrees))</strong></p>
<p>perfectly explained, thank you so much !!!!</p>
<p>after cool down of the steel,does it become magnetic again?...or is it just Demagnetized when its hot?</p>
<p>Only while it is hot. Magnetism comes back once it drops below critical temperature.</p>
<p>I don't have an oven for tempering, so can i use a charcoal fire instead ? if i can, how can i determine the suitable temperature of the fire for tempering ?</p>
You have much less control over the temperature, so I wouldn't recommend it. But maybe it is possible. Perhaps by putting the knife on a bbq rack a distance away from the coal and waiting for the color of the steel to change. If the color is not yet the desirable tempering color, then lower the rack and wait for the color to change, etc...
So what is the color of the steel should be ? cherry red or yellow, etc... ? I don't know a thing or two about knife making but i really want to do it. I got my file being filed and sawed into the shape of a knife ( pure labour, 'cause i don't have any power tool, not even a vice but i do it anyway ^^). It now need to drill hole for handle and then it will be ready for tempering.
<p>To harden the metal, it should be orange, best way to test if you've reached critical temperature is to hold it against a magnet. It shouldn't attract if it's hot enough.</p><p>To temper the hardness back, either use a normal kitchen oven or toaster oven and set for 400-450 and bake for two hours. Allow to cool and bake another 2 hours at 25 degrees less than the first time. Tempering the hardness back is VERY specific, need tight control of the temperatures. You can fudge it by using a torch or a BBQ if you watch the steel change colors as it heats up. Straw yellow is what you're going for. If it reaches blue or purple tints, you'll have taken most of the hardness out of it and it wont hold an edge well. You'll have to start over.</p>
<p>Please see step 7 for the tempering instructions. Good luck!</p>
<p>Thank you for this tutorial, i didn't exactly go step by step but here is my knife</p>
<p>Very nice!</p>
<p>Very nice :)</p>
<p>Thanks so much for a fabulous 'ible. I am going to give this a try. I would really like to try this with a group of metal work students... hopefully I will get admin permission...:Thanks again!</p>
wow.....this amazing. A pretty well laid out instructable as well
Beautiful knife, now i just need to make one.
That was a beautifully done, well informed, and simply stated instructible! Great job, and thank you.
<p>after cool down of the steel,does it become magnetic again?...or is it just Demagnetized when its hot?</p>
The steel is only non-magnetic above a certain temperature.
<p>does the finished blade still have the grooves from the file or did you smooth it down?</p>
Yes, it still has the grooves from the file
<p>nice and simple!</p>
<p>Great job. Nicely laid out tutorial!! I saw this video a while back on a knife forum and found it to be incredibly useful. Its about hardening steel. A must for anyone who is serious about making a file knife or even one from O1 steel as a first.</p><p>heres a link</p><p>http://youtu.be/hw4Rl0uG7ok</p>
This is great! Been making kit knives for a while. I am ready to do some file knives. You did a great job with this. I understand each step. Thank you!
<p>Nice, good luck! And show us the result :D</p>
Good instrucrions , I have made several file knifes. I do some of the same things you do. The information about the blade grind I am going to try. I am not sure about my tempering of the blade.
<p>Lol Step 5 is very ironic</p>
<p>this is fun. my dad has about 40 old files. now he only has 26. :)</p>
<p>Wow, you can start a bussiness ;)</p>
I have a couple of questions. Firstly, what type of file was used in the making of this knife? Secondly, could a dremel be used instead of a hacksaw to remove the blank from the rest of the file?
It was a large smooth flat file, high carbon steel (not case hardened). What tool would you want to use? A small grinding disk? I think it is possible, but not ideal. I think a dremel lacks power. You could use an angle grinder.
<p>I'm a bit confused as to how thick each bolster should be. You said the handle is 115mm before you peen the end off, then it will be around 110mm. How much space do the bolsters take up after peening?</p>
My bolsters were about 5 mm thick. As long as the tang is sticking out a few millimeters you will be fine. When you have peened the tang, you can remove excess material. I hope this answers your question.
<p>Problem: the files warped in annealing step. Suggestions?</p>
<p>Hit it with a hammer.</p>
This is cool, is there anyway you can get rid of the file edges on the finished product?
Ofcourse: you can just file them off ;)
Wow! You did an amazing job on this i can see you really put your time into this instructable and I can tell you very passionate about this! I'm gonna have to try this someday. This instructable is also a very good example of good instructables I want my first instructable to be like this:)
Thank you very much :D I'm glad that I've inspired you to make good instructables.
<p>Great ible! Just finished annealing mine, I'll post a picture when I'm finished with it.</p>
<p>Nice! I'm curious how it turned out.</p>

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