Introduction: Bushwhacking Bowie
I was looking around on Instructables and saw there was a knife making competition. Realizing I really wanted to make a knife for the contest I decided to build a bowie knife. I did not want to spend allot of money on the knife so I went to the Home Depot and found a cheap 6 dollar steel L angle piece that was about 2 feet long.... and so started my fun endeavor to create my Bushwacking Bowie.
The Parts and Tools:
- Steel L joint (about 1/2in thick will do)
- Wood (For a beautiful handle)
- Sandpaper / automatic sander
- Dremel or Angle Grinder
- Jigsaw with metal blade
Step 1: Step 1:
I started by sketching out my design onto the steel with a sharpie. Then I used the jigsaw to cut off the opposite side of the L angle piece. Left with a relatively flat piece of metal I proceeded to cut the shape out with the angle grinder. I thoroughly applied WD-40 to make sure the blade did not overheat during the process of cutting.
Step 2: Sanding and Cleaning the Blade Up:
After the desired shape of my blade was made I proceeded to sand and grind down any leftover ridge from the sawed off piece. After this was accomplished I used my homemade forge to heat treat it by heating the metal till red hot and plunging it into a bath of oil. Next, I left the blade in my oven at 425 degrees fahrenheit for 4 hours. After this long process, the blade no longer stuck to a magnet, which meant I successfully fire hardened it.
Step 3: Beveling:
I beveled the blade my drawing out my desired edge with a sharpie and then I carefully ground it down till no sharpie was still visible. This step is very likely to ruin the blades heat treating if you are not careful about keeping the blade cool.
Step 4: Making the Handle:
This part of the process if up to you to decide what kind of handle you want to make. I simply went for a machete type handle which I sawed out and sanded profusely until my hand felt completely comfortable grasping it. I then cut a slit in the handle about the size of the blade and pushed the blade into the notch. I then put two erector set bolts straight through and sanded the entire handle down until the bolt head and nuts were flush with the handle. Next, I puttied over the bolts and into the crack and crevices and waited for it to dry. 3 hours later I resanded the entire handle so no extra putty was visible and put on a simple stain and varnish.
Step 5: Finishing Up:
After waiting for the handle to completely dry I sharpened the blade with a sharpening file and went outside for a test drive. I chopped the heads off of many innocent seltzer and soda cans without any effort. I went into the woods and easily chopped a 6-inch vine in half with a few hacks from the blade. Overall this project was really fun to build and I really love how the knife turned out.
Thanks for reading my instructable.... if you have any questions feel free to ask away.
P.S If you enjoyed my instructable please vote for me in the knife making contest.
Participated in the
Knives and Blades Challenge
6 years ago
I made my first from an old semi leaf spring, and really miss it. It was about eight inches longer than your example and quite thick. I used it extensively when in the green.
Reply 6 years ago
Nice! I might build one out of a leafspring soon