Instructables
This is all new for me, a few times over. This will be my first Instructable and the first knife I've made. Hope all turns out well. ;-)
First of all, I have read many things on the internet, in books, and seen many more videos on the subject of knife making. I doubt I will do any justice to naming all of the sources of my inspiration for this knife but I will try to name a few. GreenPete on YouTube, Purgatoryironworks on YouTube, The Backyard Bushman (Makes beautiful knives), and the books "Wayne Goddard's $50 knife shop" (This is a great book to start with.) and the "Step-by-Step Knifemaking You Can Do It!" by David Boye.
I decided that the first couple of knives I make will be made from some old files, that I bought at the pawn shop for a buck each, and some wood I found at work from a pallet (Oak I think)
I plan to make some more knives soon but I will be using O-1 tool steel for those. Ha ha, O-1 is a bit more expensive than old files so maybe just a few more practice runs before that.
 
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Step 1: Annealing the files.

The first thing I started with is a couple of old files bought from the pawn shop in town.
You have to make the files softer to be able to shape them as you wish. I learned how to do this by watching some videos posted on YouTube by GreenPete.co.uk. While Pete made a fire in the woods to anneal his file, I needed to cook some hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner....so use what you've got. ;-)
I started the coals, raked them around, added the files on top of the coals, and then added a few more new coals on top of the files. After grilling some great burgers and dogs we ate dinner....but that's another story. I pulled the files out of the coal ash the next morning. It's important to let the steel cool slowly, after getting it red hot, for it to soften nicely.
Test your file to see if you can cut and grind it easily. To do this: try cutting it with a hack saw, another file (A normal one, not annealed), or your grinder. Using your normal file, you should be able to shave off the edge grooves of your annealed file fairly easy.
A good vice is very helpful also. You can use some standard C-clamps to hold your work if that's all you have.
Whats a good method to keep your metal piece straight after you have annealed and begun grinding the file's grooves off? Also would a belt + bench grinder be a good substitute for an angle grinder?
diverjim30 (author)  Purple Llama4 years ago
Hey Purple Llama, both of my files were bent after the annealing process. All I used was my bench vice to get it straight. Well, that and a bit of muscle. lol A belt grinder is a great tool to make knives with. At the time of this Instructable, all I had was the angle grinder....so I used what I had.
Very well made, but i do prefer beating out a blade the old fashioned way by a long shot.
what material did you use between the wood and the steel?
diverjim30 (author)  ultrablacksmith4 years ago
Sorry, I haven't been on here for some time so I didn't see your question. The yellow material I used between the wood and steel is plastic from a automotive coolant jug.
repear94 years ago
that blade kicks butt..
Tool steel (files and some other tools) is a very high carbon steel that can be quite brittle and break easily if you don't temper it correctly.
old boots from th' thrift store (or skip) are very good leather as are old leather upholstered furniture
Mattrox5 years ago
Very Good 5 stars
Beautifil knife, good job on the handle.
diverjim30 (author)  samuraimanmanguy5 years ago
Thank you.
Erwan885 years ago
Just wondering if you could possibly do an instructable on the forge or possibly link the vid from purgatoryironworks on you tube please. I like the design and is the last major piece of this instructable I (or others) need to follow it. Thanks a bunch. Great first instructable btw!
diverjim30 (author)  Erwan885 years ago
Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I posted the video and added a few lines on what I did with my forge. I'll try to get some more pics of my forge posted soon.
liam015 years ago
Nice knife, i've seen this method before somewhere and this has reminded me to make one. Now off to the garage to fine a file. haha
Holden_vy_s5 years ago
Beautiful blade and good instructible.
theRIAA5 years ago
looks really nice and professional. nice instructable too.