I whittle a lot and find that whittling with my pocket knife makes my thumb sore after a while. After looking at a few instructables I found that the wood working knives that people make have handles that fit nicely in the hand. Here is where I got the original inspiration for making these type of knives: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-design-and-... And this instructable showed me how to make the matching wood sheath: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-mat... You will see that I somewhat combined them and added a touch or two of my own.
My method is not set in stone and you are welcome to use the materials you have available. I hope you enjoy this project and make your own custom knife and matching sheath.
For this knife I used:
- Broken household scissors
- Center brace wood from a pallet
- Jigsaw with woodcutting blade
- Drill with 3/8" bit
- JB weld epoxy and mixing stick
- Wood clamps
- Duct tape
- Rusty vinegar wood stain
- Small craft brush
- Dremel with grinding stone bit, buffing pad, and burnishing compound.
- Whetstone and oil
Step 1: Cut the Handle and Mount the Blade
I'm not exact in any of my projects and allow a lot of room for error. It makes for a little more sanding but I'm Ok with that. As you can see in the pictures, I lay the broken scissor blade on the piece of pallet wood that I'm going to use. I somewhat center it and mark along where I need to cut the handle from sheath. Use a jigsaw (or scroll saw if you have one) and cut the handle from sheath.
Then I stand the handle up in a clamp and drill out the hole that I'm going to sink the blade into. I drill it out just a little larger than the blade itself. Blow out the sawdust, mix up some epoxy and fill the hole. Slowly sink the blade into the epoxy and let it stand overnight. I wait until the whittling or sanding stage to remove the excess epoxy that is displaced from the hole. Also, sometimes I do all the epoxy work at the same time.
Step 2: Make the Sheath
I clamp the sheath wood and use a jigsaw to cut it halfway. I then turn the wood around in the clamp and cut the other side. A scroll saw or band saw would definitely work better for that task as you can see from the picture. Now mark out an outline of the blade on the inside of the sheath. I whittled out the blade cavity as well as a notch to embed a magnet.
The embedded magnet holds the knife in the sheath nicely. The magnets I use are out of old hard drives. I cracked this one in half and used half for this project and will use the other for the knife I'll make out of the other half of the broken scissors. Mix up some more epoxy, sink the magnet into the notch cut for it, and then smear the epoxy along the seam where the sheath halves will meet up. I clamped it and let it sit overnight.
Step 3: Shape the Handle and Sheath
Wrap some tape around the blade so you don't cut yourself while whittling the handle. Shape the wood to any creative design you want, or you can just round off the edges and it will still be a functional knife. I like to put some funky shapes in while keeping the flat thumb spot, a bulge in the middle, and then curve the taper at the heel. In this one I also shaped the sheath to match the handle. One touch I put on this one was I made parts flat so it works as its own knife stand.
Step 4: Sand and Finish the Wood
Now that you have the wood shaped, sand it down. I start with 150 grit until the blemishes I see are the scratches from the sandpaper. I then repeat for 100 grit, then emory cloth (311 grit), and finally 500 grit that makes it so smooth. I brush on a rusty-vinegar wood stain that gives fantastic results on pallet wood. If you are interested, here it is: https://www.instructables.com/id/Rust-and-Vinegar-Wood-Stain/ Let it set overnight. I took a dremel with a buffing pad and burnishing compound to the wood and made it nice and shiny.
Step 5: Sharpen the Blade
The scissors had a chisel type blade on it, with only one edge sharpened. For the whittling knife I need both sides of the blade to be sharpened with the blade edge running down the center. I put a grinding stone on the dremel and slowly shaped the blade to get the sharp edge to the center. If you have a belt sander or bench grinder it it quicker, just watch the heat. Once I had it nice and centered, I used the whetstone to get a smooth, sharp edge on it. It is pretty enough to be a decorative piece, but even better I used it to whittle the handle for the other scissor blade.
I hope you enjoy this project. Go ahead and make your own knife now.