Introduction: Make Your Own Knife

Hello again! This is an instructable on how to make a simple knife. In fact, you will just be making the wooden handle, as making the blade itself requires a lot more tools and knowledge than I have.

Oh, and a disclaimer: Knives are sharp and some tools potentially dangerous. Use protection. Really, I mean it.

There-let's start!

Step 1: Materials Needed

For this specific knife you will need the following:

- a blade

- a piece of nice wood for the handle

- a thin piece of brass/metal for the guard

- a few pieces of coloured distance material

Step 2: Drilling a Hole for the Blade Shaft

This is a step that requires some patience and control. Get it wrong and you may have a shaft protruding from the side of the handle - or a crooked knife. Draw a line on the outside of the wood and try to keep the drill aligned. You may have to drill two or three holes next to each other to get a sufficiently big hole for the shaft. This can be tricky without a mounted drill rig, but possible.

Step 3: Prepare the Metal Guard

Drill two or three holes in order to get a hole big enough to fit the knife. Shape a rektangular hole using a very small file. Sandpaper and polish the side that will be exposed. It will be harder to do afterwards as the blade will be in the way.

Step 4: Test the Spaces and Metal Guard

Make sure that all pieces fit together as planned.

Step 5: Glue It All Together

Here I would suggest that you use a two component glue. Make sure you get enough glue into the hole in the wood piece. And between all the pieces. Don't worry about excess glue. It will be sanded off later.

Step 6: Let It Dry

Use your imagination in order to put the knife under pressure during the drying process.

Step 7: Take a Break

Take a well deserved break!

Step 8: Prepare for Sanding

When dry, it is time to start sanding.

Step 9: Set Up Sanding Tools

There are many different tools that can be used for sanding. The picture shows my choice and setup.

Step 10: Get a Rough Shape

This is where your creativity comes to play. Make up your mind on how you want the knife to look like when finished. Start sanding, but take it slow as rotation sandpaper eats the wood fast.

Step 11: Refine the Shape

Refine the shape using files and some 40 grade sandpaper.

Step 12: Work Out the Details

When you are satisfied with the shape start using 80 grade paper and gradually change to 200, 400, 800 and1200 paper.

Step 13: Get That Smooth Finish

Keep sanding!

Step 14: Add Oil

When satisfied with the finish, add some oil. In my case I used olive oil.

Step 15: Take a Step Back and Feel Satisfied

... and finished!

Step 16: Enjoy the Living Material and Non Poisonous Oil


fixmystuff made it!(author)2015-06-06

I made one. Thanks:)

satcchi.08 made it!(author)2015-02-13

it's a wonderful tutorial and the knife handel looks amazing but what good in knife making if you don't make the blade.

ffrisell made it!(author)2015-02-13

Hi Satcchi.08,
I am happy that you enjoyed the Instbl. As "for what good" it is to make a knife handle without making a knife blade:

1. There is not really any "for what good". I just enjoy making knife handles and to buy the blades ready-made.
2. Making of a knife blade requires expensive equipment, such as a furn for tempering/hardening of the blade.
3. Metal treatment also requires knowledge which I don't have (yet). If you get the heat treatment wrong, you may end up with a very brittle blade. That could be somewhat dangerous when the knife is put to use.

Having said that, I am hoping to one day to be able to make my own knife blades as well. Especially damascus style blades seem interesting to work with.

Holje made it!(author)2015-01-27

Great handle! P

What are the distance materials from? What can I use for the purpose?

brather made it!(author)2015-01-22

olive oil is agood idea.. but how long it takes to dry? and after that, is it sliding softly or glueing in the hand?

PowellMade made it!(author)2015-01-20

I like your glue jig. Did you have to put the screws in on an angle?

ffrisell made it!(author)2015-01-21

Hi PowellMade,

No angle on the screws. Just fasten one screw, then turn the woodpiece to desired pressure on the knife and screw in the other. But the pressure was relatively low. Don't want to press all the glue out.../Frederik

bricobart made it!(author)2014-11-07

Simple & beautiful, that looks like a great bushcraft knife!

I disagree at one point: a beer is so much better to wipe the dust away ;)

alcurb made it!(author)2014-11-01

I like your knife project. It is very elegant.

I'm curious about your drill adapter to rotary sander. Did you make it yourself or did you buy it somewhere? I would like one but I need the details. Thanks.

ffrisell made it!(author)2014-11-03

Hi Alcurb,
Thanks for the nice comment! Please se photo of the adapter. Maybe you can find it at a hardware store.All the best/Frederik

ffrisell made it!(author)2014-10-06

Hi Mousedude - For this knife I used a piece of wood from an old apple tree in my garden back in Sweden. It has not been dyed. Very nice wood to work with. Not to hard and with a slight pink tone to it.

Professor-Mousedude made it!(author)2014-10-06

What kind of wood did you use for the handle?

Flash67 made it!(author)2014-09-28

Good job! But where did you get the knife blade?

Professor-Mousedude made it!(author)2014-10-06

Google "scandanavian knife blanks". They tend to be very high quality steel and are often quite inexpensive. Best place I've seen to buy them in the USA is a place called "ragweed forge".

Tecwyn+Twmffat made it!(author)2014-09-29

I saw a blacksmith make a blade out of an old file yesterday.

ffrisell made it!(author)2014-10-01

This photo shows how I like to sand with the finer papers(by hand). Cut thin strips of sand paper and pull it around the knife as you would with a tovel on your back(not the greatest analogy there, buti hope you understand...)

photo-2014-10-01 15:14.jpg
ffrisell made it!(author)2014-10-01

Thank you for all the nice comments! The reason why I glue the blade first(before sanding) is that it allows me to adjust the handle if the blade ends up at a slight angle in relation to the blade.

Jobar007 made it!(author)2014-09-30

I like this knife. It is really practical. One question though: why not do rough shaping of the handle before you have a blade in it? That way you are less likely to damage the blade when doing the roughing out.

GAM3D1FF1CULTY made it!(author)2014-09-28

The knifes pretty short but other than that really good and clean blade+ polished handle

Jobar007 made it!(author)2014-09-30

A short knife is a handy tool for being out and about. Long knives have limited use due to being much more dangerous.

Bowie and Rambo style knives have one purpose: killing people. They are impractical anywhere else.

MandalorianMaker made it!(author)2014-09-29

im so gonna try this

ffrisell made it!(author)2014-09-29

Thank you for all the nice comments! In scandinavia blades can easily be bought online. I would suggest that you try to find a locally handmade blade, they are normally available from 50 usd and upwards. This knife is a mushroom/flower knife for my mother so the blade is relatively short. It is a high carbon hand made blade which may rust, but it is sharper than a stainless steel blade.

Bongmaster made it!(author)2014-09-28

olive oil is good stuff :)

JM1999 made it!(author)2014-09-28

Very nice!

I love knives, I so want to make my own that I can use and not worry that it is a $xx.xx knife!

Thanks for posting this great idea, I will be sure to try it one day.

MsSweetSatisfaction made it!(author)2014-09-28

This is so awesome how you did each step by hand. It came out really beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a Swede living in Stockholm, with two beautiful kids and one wife (equally beautiful!)..
More by ffrisell:DIY Stacked Leather Handle Bowie KnifeStylish Pen Knife of upcycled bambooHandle out of recycled bamboo
Add instructable to: