Introduction: DARC - Defence Attack Rescue Claw

Picture of DARC - Defence Attack Rescue Claw

Got this idea after an internal brainstorming about the question 'What kind of tool would I like to have if I was burried alive?' Call it The Dark Side Of Myself...

This question implicates multiple if's:
- waking up on time (oxygen stuff)
- no panic (stay cool, it could have been worse)
- hands-free
- large coffin, not yak-proof
- tool not confiscated

Supposing it's my lucky day - after being burried of course - wich tool would it be?

A lot of ideas flashed through my head, but finally my poisoned mind came up with this DARC: a minimalists neck knife aka survival knife. Made to free yourself - not necessary out of a coffin, to defend, rescue, survive or attack. Or simply open a beer bottle - in Belgium we call it 'urban survival' ;-)

Or how a stupid idea turned out into an all-round survival tool...

Easy to make, reliable, solid, yak-proof!

Have fun with it!

All you need:
- a piece of carbon steel
- angle grinder
- drill
- dremel
- band sander
- hand sander
- a lot of sanding paper
- safety gear

Want the pdf-template? Load it down, it's here!

Want the sheath-template? Just load!

Step 1: Design

Picture of Design

Print out the pdf-template and glue it on a piece of carbon steel, ceramic or whatever (vectorised jpg).

I based my model on a piece of carbon steel - the tip of a machete I demolished to make another knife.
After a lot of try and error with cardboard I came up with something satisfying I copied on the piece of steel.

Golden rule: waste-steel doesn't exist!

Step 2: Cut the Blade

Picture of Cut the Blade

Use angle grinder. Safety first!!!

Step 3: Drilling the Main Hole

Picture of Drilling the Main Hole

It's carbon steel, so extremely hard to drill.

I managed to drill a basic hole and tried with a hole-drill - it looked like if the steel was just laughing at me...

So, I attacked the steel on its weakest side: heat. With an angle grinder I 'burned' it (making the steel blue). The carbon burns, the steel loses its strenght. A conic drill did the base hole, a dremel the rest.

Work from both sides, round the edges!

Don't forget the second hole, mine was already done.

Step 4: Fine Shaping

Picture of Fine Shaping

Use all your sanding gear, going from heavy '30' grain to wet polish '800' level.

Golden tip: fix your equipment upside down, this works a lot easier!

Step 5: Heat Threatment (updated)

Picture of Heat Threatment (updated)

Grinding & sanding may affect steels hardness, so if you want to be sure to have a tool that's really rockhard you'll have to harden it (again).
Boost the forge & heat the key to nice red. A good trick, is to put salt on the blade. Once it melts you're about at the right temperature and quench it in (clean motor) oil.
To temper it, let it cool down & throw it in the oven at 425°C (220°C) for 30 minutes (thanx member Deathcapt, your advice has been a great help!).

Step 6: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

DARC is done, here you see some possible positions.

It's a really nice to handle tool, can be 'spy style' taped to the interior of your leggs (with medical tape), hidden in your shoes, propped in your survival kit, taken in your wallet or just carried around your neck (don't forget a sheath because this is dangerous business).

I had a lot of fun with it, and it took me only 3 hours!


Step 7: Make the Sheath

Picture of Make the Sheath

An original knife deserves an original sheath, no? It took a while before I found an appropriate solution - making meet design, efficiency and security.
I created a sheath that holds the knife when it's around your neck. Whatever happens, the sheath will stay in place and protect you.

Print out the template (pdf is yet to come).
Print it on a piece of leather, cut it out, glue if you like, stich it all together and grease.

Note: I used a medical needle, mounted on my drill press (no drilling, just pushing!), to perforate. Works pretty well!

Enjoy, again!


kuruvar (author)2015-04-22

Really nice!!

badideasrus (author)2015-04-13

lol.... using hte drill press as a punch... that's... brilliant. where did you get a medical needle?

also, for those of you that dont know, it's much better to punch a hole in leather with a spike (like a needle or an awl) than it is to drill a hole, because the punched hole will be tight and keep the thread tight too. ((so i'm told at least XP. much reading indicates!))

Digital Flame (author)2015-03-11

Ok, first off, AMAZING! A lovely knife; with a brilliant shape, size and design! I will definitely make one! Favorited!

cford79c4 made it! (author)2014-12-30

I made a version of this on a 3D printer. it actually cuts pretty well and has a bottle opener and a screwdriver in it.

bricobart (author)cford79c42014-12-30

That is really really awesome! Sounds like a super lightweight tool in your survival kit, very nice build!

ffernandez indiano made it! (author)2014-12-09

I dont know why, but i made it

It rocks! Good job!

nemo13 (author)2013-06-03

a Wooden Vesion

aerdna12 (author)nemo132014-09-28

your wooden version looks really cool with all the designs

nemo13 (author)nemo132013-06-03


mechagen (author)nemo132013-09-09

Your wooden version of this is just plain cool!

Chandler08 (author)2014-08-20


TheCommander (author)2014-05-31


jpender1 (author)2014-04-20

Not sure if this was mentioned did you use the metal from a bill hook machete

yokxi (author)2013-12-21

What does "yak-proof" mean?

aregan (author)2013-11-30

I've just made a plastic one what do u think

bricobart (author)aregan2013-12-02

That looks pretty nice, undetectable ;)

Awesomeness4472 (author)2013-07-15


triumphman (author)2012-11-18

You should try my lawn edging plastic for some substitute Kydex sheaths. See my 'ibles. I made afew sheaths and they work well, and the cost is minimal compared to Kydex and the hardware it requires. Thank. Love your little knife!

TheNerdWhoBuilds (author)2012-11-02

In the 4th picture, are you holding the sharp part into your palm? Or is it not sharp enough to cut you?

You're right! The zone around the finger hole is not supposed to be sharpened. I sharpened only the zone that's covered by the sheath, more or less.

MMoyce (author)2012-09-13

Dam good 'ible' 5/5 4 sure!!!

bricobart (author)MMoyce2012-11-03


doctressjulia (author)2012-09-03

I don't wanna make one. Start an Etsy site and sell me one! :D

bricobart (author)doctressjulia2012-09-10

Nice try! I don't have time now, I'm building a flying fortress in duct tape ;-)

triumphman (author)2012-08-04

Check out some of my knives, I used the same type of drilling attack and keep finding new shapes to make! Just started a double ended throwing blade, its coming along nicely, 8.5 inches total length. I recently got two big mill wood cutting blades at a flea market. 26 inches accross by 5/32 " thick. Ten dollars each. I could not pass those up! Really good steel and thick too. Flea markets are great. I use a 4.5 " angle grinder to cut out the basic shape. Then drill press, and dremel for final detailing, and of course a 6" belt sander. Thanks for sharing your ideas. Check out my instructable sheaths and knifes. Cheers. Triumphman

bricobart (author)triumphman2012-09-10

Thanx for your support mate. Since a lot of time you'll find me on flea markets too ;-) I never saw your type of woodcutting blades, not yet, but I got a huge collection of old rusty butchers axes: great steel!

triumphman (author)2012-08-04

I love it! Awesome dude!

bricobart (author)triumphman2012-09-10

Thanx mate, don't hesitate to post a picture when you made your own!

MacTheHero (author)2012-06-16

don't suppose you're selling these on etsy or someplace.

bricobart (author)MacTheHero2012-06-16

I've never been running after the money - maybe I should have so ;-) - and I'll just make a few darcs this summer for some friends. We'll make a bloodyak gang, haha!!!
No commercial intentions, sorry. But thanx for the compliment!

MacTheHero (author)bricobart2012-06-16

I would just love somethign like this for a costume, but dont have the necessary tools for it.

bricobart (author)MacTheHero2012-06-17

If it's just for a costume, why not making it in plastic?

conrad0102 (author)2012-05-19

How do I know what carbon steel is? Would like a lawn edger have a carbon blade? I find those edger blades everywhere when I go for walks. Would That work?

xfirexstarzx (author)conrad01022012-06-12

One easy way to test for high carbon content is to take a grinder to the piece of metal in question. If you have a piece of high carbon steel, you will get lots of sparks that look like they're branching out. Check out this pic for an illustration:

Also, check out spark testing. Sparks can tell you a lot about the type of steel you have.

bricobart (author)conrad01022012-05-19

You can use ANY steel you want, this tool is no rocket science!
My best tip: buy a kitchen axe or garden machete or just take an old rusty butchers axe AND CUT IT DOWN!
One more thing: have fun conrad!!!

seraine (author)2012-06-11

Great Instructable! However, there is a small typo. It would be sheath, not sheet.

bricobart (author)seraine2012-06-11

So sorry, thanx for 'unridiculising' me ;-)

panzerfaust379 (author)2012-05-17

Remove the temper from the steel by heating it red hot and slowly cooling it. I bury the piece in a box of lime. it will be easier it work with. You can then restore the temper by reheating and quenching in oil or water. i like using old auto leaf springs for knife making.

RangerJ (author)panzerfaust3792012-06-07


Right on the money. I looked down the list of comments to see if anybody had mentioning heat.

I would heat it on either a charcoal or gas grill and pack it in ashes. You will save a huge amount of effort when you are cutting and shaping. (Wait hours before you try to pick it up - it will stay hot a long time.)

bricobart (author)panzerfaust3792012-05-17

Good idea, I really feel the need to build a forge! Girlfriend, the car is movin' outside!!!!

bricobart (author)2012-05-27

Hi all, just posted an extra step - finally I managed to make an appropriate sheet!
Hope you like it, pdf template will be added soon!

Wulf187 (author)2012-05-25

If you are looking for a small piece of very good steel that will cost very little you can buy a wood plane blade. This steel is very hard. You could also cut it in half lengthwise to make harpoon blades / kiridashi type knife.

bricobart (author)Wulf1872012-05-27

Nice idea, didn't think about that!

benduy (author)2012-05-24

it could look very nice, if you 'blued'. this is accomplished by submerging the tool in oil (preferbly motor - clean) and heating to a very high temperature. it means that rusting will not occur.. very nice 'ible, im a a great fan

bricobart (author)benduy2012-05-24

Thank you!!!

benduy (author)bricobart2012-05-26

glad to be of service :)
also your Illusionists heart... i would love to be abel to make it so it dose the slide as well as the twist.

bricobart (author)benduy2012-05-27

This I'ble may help, great work!

Karl Engen (author)2012-05-21

How thick of a steel piece was used?

bricobart (author)Karl Engen2012-05-21

3 millimeters - 0.12 inches

About This Instructable




Bio: I made a beer mug with only a knife & a hatchet. I think that says a lot about me.
More by bricobart:Bow Stories - My Experiences With Cross Country Ski Bows'Shave Mouse' Aka Revisited Shave Horse IKEAK - soft floor survival kayak
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