Make Your Own Knife





Introduction: Make Your Own Knife

About: I am a Swede living in Stockholm, with two beautiful kids and one wife (equally beautiful!)..

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

2 People Made This Project!


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

1 reply

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.

Great handle! P

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

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

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

1 reply

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

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 ;)

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.

1 reply

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


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.

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

2 replies

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".

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

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

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.

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.

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

1 reply

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.