The Walking Dead Intro Knife





Introduction: The Walking Dead Intro Knife

Survival Ready Contest

Third Prize in the
Survival Ready Contest

This project combine the two things that I enjoy the most: knifemaking and aluminum casting.

Step 1: Where to Start

In this video I make the knife from start to finish, I suggest you to watch it first: most steps are self explaining!

Step 2: The Blade

Trace the blade template on a piece suitable steel stock: I used 1070 high carbon steel 5mm thick since is easy to heat treat like most high carbon steel.

Cut the knife black with watever you have aveiable. I have a metal cutting bandsaw so of course I use that but any angle grinder with a cut off wheel or even an old hacksaw can do the job.

Drill some hole in the tang to reduece the weight and most importantly to give something at the aluminum to hold to later on.

You can find the template attatched here for free, I made it on cad following reference image found on Google.

Step 3: Grind Time

Tune up the shape of the blank and grind the bevels. Mark lines to help you out get consistent grinds.

If you don't have a belt grinder this can be done even with a regular bastard file and a file jig, there are many tutorial about making one.

Step 4: Hardening

The heat treatment will vary depending on the steel you are using, for high carbon steel like the one I use you just need to let the steel heat up over the curie temperature and quench the blade in oil. I used vegetable oil and a magnet to check the steel temperature.

Step 5: Shaping Foam for the Aluminum Handle

Using the template cut and shape the high density foam for the handle.

Then slice it in half and make a slot for the blade tang, I've used a broken hacksaw heated with a blow torch for that.

Step 6: Aluminum Casting

Combine the two parts already done and bury them under casting sand. Mine is an oil based clay, but there are also diy sand called "green sand" that work the same way.

Leave a piece of foam uncovered to pour the molten aluminum.

Step 7: Finishing

Temper the blade by heating it to 200°C for 1 hour. That might seem like a short tempering process but some of the hardness must already have been taken off by the molten aluminum at over 700°C.

Take away the sprue and start refining the aluminum with files and sandpaper. For extra shine butt if on the wheel when you reach at least 600grit with the sandpaper. On the blade I polished only the bevels, I left the other parts with scales from the hardening for estetic reason.

Step 8: Walking Dead Approved!

Feel free to ask me anything, this is my first instructables article so I might have missed some important stuff that I don't know about. Thank you for reading through the end :)



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    Cast Aluminum can be very brittle, did you find that tempering the blade and handle together lowered the brittleness of the handle? Was that Borox that you put in the melted Aluminum?

    Cast aluminum isn't brittle, work hardening makes it brittle.

    excellent instructable and i really appreciate the template design for download, plan to make a couple in brass, recycle a bit of rifle brass for it.

    That's great! :) thank you! sorry i reply only now, I must have missed this comment. Have nice holidays :)

    Great job for your first 'ible!

    ok... sooooooooo this is awesome. you combined many 'ibles into one... and this is your first one?! showoff!

    But this is really really excellent.

    As far as instructables go... I know ill get some backlash for this, but add more details... steps....and pictures, even the mundane ones. I find MORE info is better. I have a couple of instructables up...and there is WAY to much detail. I try to approach these as if I were teaching someone who has NO idea about what things are....the more veteran of the group will fly over the mundane details but the beginners will appreciate the details.


    Haha! Thank you sir! :) I really appreciate your kind words! You are right, those who never saw any other aluminum casting and knifemaking video won't understand much from this article probably :( The main reason I didn't added many extra information is that I didn't wanted to overcomplicate this and also because I struggle a bit trying to explain myself well in written english :'D But I should definitely add a "more info" paragraph to every step! Thank you again for the suggestion, I will keep your point it mind to improve my articles :)