How to Make a Knife From a Old File

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Introduction: How to Make a Knife From a Old File

making a knife from a file. I will help teach you how to make your first knife:} for more on knife making go to http://www.m4040.com/Bladesmithing.htm

Step 1: Tools and Suplies

you will need a grinder or belt sander,a old file (files have a high carbon content perfect for a knife) wood blocks, glue, a sharpening stone, sandpaper, and yes a knife (not the one you are making)

Step 2: Grinding

you have to grind away at the file to make a knife be careful not to over heat the steel and do not let the file get to hot to touch. you do not have to grind away the file marks on the blade they are deep when you are done sharpen it.

Step 3: Making the Handle

when you are done grinding the knife you attach the handle, first cut the wood scales, then glue on the wood, you do this by gluing the blocks of wood to the knife, the wood should be about 1/4 inch thick. shape the wood with knives, files, sandpaper,
and anything else you want to use.
for a quick handle wrap some paracord around the knife it can be removed later for a better handle made of wood

Step 4: The End

you are done i will post a guide on how to make a leather sheath.

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48 Discussions

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9 years ago

Hey, this is a great instructable and is very informative. Just one thing is missing... pictures! It really helps a lot when trying to follow directions so you should consider taking some photographs. Once you do that and leave me a message when you have so that we can publish your work. Thanks! Thanks for the cool instructable and we hope to publish this soon!

Milling machines and flat bar does take the chalenge out of reclaiming material if only we were all blessed with a miller and a heap o flat bar this guy made an instuctable u view and mock him show us your masterpieces as another comment said check out the web site he is a talented person

This is why I'm glad I have access to a milling machine and good ol' steel flat bar.

I am making a big file knife tonight. The blade is12" long and has a tang of 3" . I have not decided on the handle material as of yet. I have maple oak birch and hickory in my wood stash. I have drilled the tang for two brass pins. I will post some pics. May even do an ible of it! Booyah!

Alot of people sitting here talking about his process and such. Have any of you actually taken the time to go to his website and look? He makes freaking amazing knifes in all different manners. He is a great knife maker but per the usual everyone is to lazy to look. Fail on yall's part.

1 reply

Mine will be up in a couple days, I'm making a full scale Rambo first blood part1 knife

i made this with a big file, and a 4 x 36 sander, a bucket of water, a regular knife grinding stone, and 80, 100, 220, 400 and 600 sand paper. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/83411/IMG_20110803_204846.jpg you can make amazing blades from files, if you know what you want to make out of it.

where did you get the big knife from. looks cool. are they all yours. nice instructables

Thats not really a knife now is it, its the sharpened end of a file with some wood tied on as a handle.
Quite a poor instructable in my opinion.

1 reply

you can improvise a knife out of practicallyanything, even a broken bottle, it depends on how fancy you want to be. certainly there are better knives available, but I like this concept for a very accesable first homemade knife

I had always thought you had to heat it to soften the file and then use a hack saw to cut out the pattern of your choice, then use a file to sharpen it before heating it up again and cooling it in oil to harden it again.

3 replies

te term for the softening process is called annealing and dont forget the temper

my way of doing that:
lob file on fire;
shape knife;
make forge;
heat knife to red hot and put in oil;
temper knife with a blowtorch;
hone knife.
test knife

annealing it would make it EZer to work then harden then temper

More detail on the steps taken to shape the blade would be good.

I like the idea but that looks more like a homemade shank rather than a knife