So you want a blade?
I'm presenting here a basic set of instructions to make a neat little kiridashi; a small Japanese blade traditionally used for woodworking, carpentry and leatherwork. They make an excellent utility, woodwork, or compact knife for every day carry, perhaps as a neck knife.
I'm using stock removal techniques here, but forging can be used quite easily due to the simplicity of a kiridashi. I have some tools that few people will have access to- so as I go along I will offer alternatives for those who don't have the same level of tooling. This is suitable for beginners, and could even be used as a first knife project. You will need some metalwork skills and common sense. If you've never tried knifemaking before don't expect perfect results on your first try
Step 1: Tooling and material selection
Tools and peripherals required:
-Saw or grinder with cutting disk (to rough out the blade)
-Bench grinder or angle grinder with grinding/sanding disc (to rough grind the blade)
-Vise, pliers/vise grips, clamps etc
-Belt grinder (rough grinding and shaping)
-Assorted files and sandpaper, sanding block
-Forge, propane torch, grill or small fire
-Drill and bits (if you want a lanyard hole)
-Oil or water for quenching, suitable for the steel you choose
A note on steel selection:
You need to use a good quality carbon steel which can be hardened and tempered. For the beginner without controllable heating equipment also avoid stainless steels as they can be tricky to heat treat. Don't use mystery steel that you don't know the composition of. Odds are you'll end up with junk that can't be hardened and will make a crappy shank, not a knife.
Good steel can be bought commercially or found in lawnmower blades, coil and leaf springs (coils will require forging), old saw blades, and old files. Don't chance it with junk