Introduction: Homemade Knife From a File

This is my first instructable so bear with me. I made this knife from an old file I bought at a yard sale.

I can't be right all the time if you know how to do something better please leave a comment below.

I'm trying to leave this as open to customization as possible so that the knife will be unique to you, so change what you want designs, size, material etc.

WHEN I WRITE LIKE THIS I AM TRYING TO HELP YOU NOT MAKE THE MISTAKES THAT I DID

DISCLAIMER: you are making a knife which will hopefully be sharp it is not my fault if you cut yourself

Step 1: Temper Your File

so here I'm going to describe a technique I learned from a friend. to get a knife edge to stay sharp you have to harden it, I do not have the tools to do that efficiently, so I use a file which is already hard but it is too brittle to work with so we temper it
place your file in the oven at 400'F for about an hour and a half

MAKE SURE TO CLEAN YOUR KNIFE BEFORE THIS STEP, I DID NOT DO THIS WITH A FARRIERS RASP AND IT FILLED THE HOUSE WITH SMOKE

Step 2: Design Your Knife

The first step in making a knife is designing it. I draw mine out on paper but there are printable ones you can get for free. I like freehand because I can change the dimensions.

Trace the outline of the file on paper. then go to work. in my experience a 3 1/2 to 4in handle works best. blade length is your decision but personally I like smaller blade's

Step 3: Cut Out and Apply to File

cut out your drawing or printout and place on file use a marker to outline it on the file, you might have to clean it up a little to be able to see the marker

Step 4: Cut Out Shape

I use an angle grinder to cut out the file shape, clamp the knife and cut small pieces off

BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERHEAT THE METAL IF YOU DO YOU'LL HAVE TO QUENCH IT LATER

Step 5: Profile the Blade

using the angle grinder and a 4x36in belt sander grind the profile of the blade to shape

BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN THE BLADE A SMALL DARK SPOT IS FINE YOU CAN JUST GRIND IT AWAY BUT IF IT BURNS ALL THE WAY THROUGH YOU HAVE TO CUT IT OFF

Step 6: Put in Lines

useing a marker color your edge find a drill bit the same width as your file scratch a center line this is for reference later. now draw a line for your bevel this is also for reference

Step 7: Grind Bevel

using the belt sander and grinder put in your bevels watch those lines

KEEP YOUR BLADE COOL BY CONSTANTLY DIPPING IN A CUP OF WATER

Step 8: Find Pins

you can do a lot with this step you can go simple and use a nail or go fancy and order online i went to a hardware store and got some hollow spacers do what you want

Step 9: Find Handle Material

this is another step you can do a lot with you can use different materials wood micarta bone antler I use some wood I had laying around

Step 10: Soften Handle

we have kept the blade hard up till now but it is difficult to drill into hardened steel, to solve this place knife blade into a fireproof container of water. useing a torch heat the blade to red hot an let air cool

Step 11: Drill Holes in Handle

measure your holes mark them and drill this is easier with a drillpress but if you don't have one just concentrate on going up an down

Step 12: Clean Up Blade

after all the water dipping your blade will probably be rusty clean up by placing in an old cup full of vinegar

DO NOT LEAVE IN VINEGAR FOR MORE THAN 24 HOURS IT WILL BECOME PITTED AND IS VERY DIFFICULT TO FIX

Step 13: Handsand

this is optional after the vinegar your blade will have a dark tint you can leave this if you want. clean up by hand sanding the bevel gradually increasing grits

Step 14: Cut Handle Material

place knife handle on wood trace outline cut out profile making sure to stay outside the lines my wood was to thick so I cut it in half

Step 15: Drill Holes in Wood

clamp blade on wood drill holes making sure it won't wobble. switch piece and repeat

Step 16: Ruff Sand

push pins through holes sand handle outline and the top of the handle because it is hard to do after glueing

Step 17: File Work on Spine

this step is optional it will increase your grip and it looks cool
measure, mark, then clamp your knife. grind a small indentation then file the rest of the way

Step 18: Glue Handle Scales

sand handle with a ruff grit against the grain. put glue on handle and pins push pins through handle and blade put glue on other piece and push on. clamp and let sit overnight

Step 19: Sand Handle to Finish

finish sanding your handle profile to shape, then hand sand gradually increasing grits

Step 20: Finish Handle

I use colonial maple 223 stain on the handle but you can use whatever you want

Step 21: Sharpen Blade

use whatever you can to sharpen your knife. I used a kitchen knife sharpener

Step 22: Finished

here is the completed project.
please leave comment

Comments

author
TheGunNut44 (author)2017-01-29

Excellent guide, very comprehensive.

author
BeachsideHank (author)2016-09-03

A farrier rasp?- I'll bet it did stink when you gave it the oven treatment, next time give it a few quick passes outdoors with the torch first to burn off the impacted residue from the surface. ☺

author

This is a file, not a rasp. Big difference.

author

See step 1:

"MAKE SURE TO CLEAN YOUR KNIFE BEFORE THIS STEP, I DID NOT DO THIS WITH A FARRIERS RASP AND IT FILLED THE HOUSE WITH SMOKE"

I addressed the authors opening statement, nothing more.

btw a rasp is simply a coarse file.

author

No a rasp is a rasp, and a coarse file is a coarse file. Rasps are cut differently then files.

author

Read the first sentence of the first paragraph:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasp

A serrated knife is cut differently then a paring knife, but it is still a knife.

author

Point ceded.

author

"In
science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a
really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would
actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from
them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it
should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful.
But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something
like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl
Sagan

Thank you for your response, I respect your tenacity in defending your opinion, but even more importantly, your ability to accept well- reasoned, civil debate as a game changer too.

author

It wasn't a hill to die on mate, especially since I was wrong. :)

author

"It wasn't a hill to die on..."

I like the way you put that, we both win my friend.

author
Tgizzo (author)2016-09-03

very glad to have found this! I am currently planning on making one, so this was great to find! great job on the knife, too; looks great

author
3366carlos (author)2016-09-03

super awesome

author
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-09-03

Awesome knife making tutorial.

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