Introduction: A Knife From a Shot Out M1 Rifle
About a year ago, I was contacted by a friend of a friend and asked if I could make a knife out of a shot out M1 (it had been shot so many times that the rifling was almost gone from the bore). It sounded like a fun project, so I said "sure".
This picture shows what I was sent, prior to any work being done.
Note that I made an educated guess that the barrel was 4140 steel, and annealing, hardening, and tempering were done based on that assumption.
I did the best I could with pictures, but I was working by myself when I made this knife, so there are no active work shots.
Here's the barrel after annealing.
Here the annealed barrel has been cut into bite sized pieces with my bandsaw.
Next, I cut a slit along the length of one side of the piece of the barrel I chose to make the blade from. I did this by opening up the bandsaw guide and addressing the blade vertically.
Handle scales cut from the stock. Very nice black walnut. Mmmm, tasty.
I heated the barrel in my forge, and started opening it by driving it onto the point of the horn on my anvil. After I opened it sufficiently, I forged it into a rectangular billet.
After the billet was formed, I bandsaw cut the profile. I would normally forge the profile, but there were a number of grooves in the billet that I could not forge weld closed - I suspect that this was due to chromium, which can prevent welds - and 4140 does contain chromium.Leaving the grooves on the surface, where they could be mostly ground away, was a better choice than forging them in and causing cold shuts from failed welds.
Here's the completed profile with a notch cut for the guard and pins drilled for the handle scales.
The bevels have been ground, the blade has been normalized, hardened, and tempered, and I've signed the blade.
Here the scales have been roughly shaped and pinned to the tang, and then finish sanded in place. Note that the front of the scales should be finished prior to the scales being attached - that surface is very hard to finish after the scales are attached.
I counter sunk a hole over each pin to accommodate the base of the bullet casings that the customer provided. After they were fitted they were epoxied in place.
Here's the finished knife and sheath. Please feel free to ask questions about this project.