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.
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.