Introduction: Knife Making

Knife making as a great way to put old scrap pieces of metal to use. From things like old files with broken handles or just chunks of steel, knifes are surprisingly simple in their making, it is really just the time needed to make them. In this instructable, we'll be looking at the basics of making a knife from a bar of steel.

Step 1: Design of the Blade and Handle

With this knife, I found a design online which I then traced into my material using a pencil.

Step 2: Finding Material

When making knifes and you get a pick in the type of material, it's best to go with hi-carbon steel. It's strong, has some weight to it for a nice balance, and can keep an edge nicely. I used a bar of 3/16" x 2" x 13" of hi-carbon steel from http://www.knifemaking.com/mobile/product.aspx?ProductCode=xh1220&404;http://www.knifemaking.com:80/product-p/xh1220.htm=

Step 3: Cutting Your Blade.

First, you want to clamp your material using a vice or other clamping tool. You could use a vertical ban saw, but I went with using an angle grinder with a cutting blade on it due to the fact that I didn't have a ban saw at my home shop.

Step 4: Hammering and Forming He Blade

Next, I heated up the metal using my acetylene torch in my vice instead of my forge due to the fact that it was raining. Using the torch turned out to be a better option because I was able to heat up the metal faster and in more specific places. I mainly just hammered the blade down the (soon to be) sharp side.

Step 5: Lots of Grinding

This step will be repeated several times to help shape the blade and clean of the metal. I mainly used this for shaping the back round part of the blade and setting the bevel of the blade edge.

Step 6: Much File. Very Grind.

Next, I used C-Clamps to hold down the blade to get all the final black spots from the blade. Be very careful during the part, if you move your hands just to much, you could cut your hands if you're not careful. The blade is not sharpened, but it's still a knife for gods sake.

Step 7: Heat Treating and Re-filing

I then heated the blade back up and soaked it in oil to harden the metal. After that, I put the blade into my oven to heat up to temper the metal. Check with where you bought the metal to see what temperature to heat the metal to and for how long. I heated mine to about 500 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes. From this point on, all cooling of the blade will be from air cooling. Water quenching will make the blade brittle.

Step 8: The Handle

For this knife, I used scales for the handle with brass hand made rivets. I drilled the holes for the brass dowels. I then drilled a hole that went down only part way and was bigger for when the brass is hammered down.

Step 9: Hammering the Rivets

I then used a ball peen hammer to hammer down the brass into rivets. It's pretty simple but Google-able if necessary. Also, you may need to grind the brass down to fit better if needed.

Step 10: Grinding the Handle

The final step is using the same grinder as before to grind down the wood on the handle up the desired shape and add a finish to the wood and metal.

Step 11: Enjoy Your Knife!

Overall the process took about 6 hours from start to finish with a bit of unneeded spoon forging in the middle. All that is needed now is to sharpen your blade and enjoy it's beauty.

Also, thanks to my friend Vinny for helping me make it, and letting me use all his tools.

Comments

author
PowellMade (author)2015-01-20

Nice serrations on the back. That would pull the scales off fish very well. Nice work.

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forge tech (author)2014-07-25

ruby would be very proud. ::::)

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Zaphod Beetlebrox (author)2014-06-24

If anyone is planning on using a file or other piece of hardened steel (brake rotors/pads) you will want to anneal it first otherwise it will dull out your tools and take a lot longer to work on. Heat it up (red hot) then let it cool down in the air)

author
saalivaan (author)2014-06-14

like

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innovativetom (author)2014-06-09

Awesome knife! But someone's hair is awful close to spinning tools. I work in a metal shop. And I have not witnessed but have heard some horror stories of people getting scalped. Just be carful throw a hat on or something...

author

That's exactly what I was thinking when I saw that picture. Oh jeez... being scalped by a machine... :O

author
kingwolf44 (author)2014-06-08

Sorry missed that. Great ible btw

author
kingwolf44 (author)2014-06-08

Did you heat treat it?

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magnamite9 (author)kingwolf442014-06-08

Yeah, it's step number 7. I heated it with the torch, put it in oil then in the oven to about 500 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes.

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joetribe (author)2014-06-07

Wow

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Basement_Craftsman (author)2014-06-07

Much cool. Wow. Very knife