Introduction: DARC - Defence Attack Rescue Claw

About: Failure is not the opposite of success, it's part of success.

Got this idea after an internal brainstorming about the question 'What kind of tool would I like to have if I was burried alive?' Call it The Dark Side Of Myself...

This question implicates multiple if's:
- waking up on time (oxygen stuff)
- no panic (stay cool, it could have been worse)
- hands-free
- large coffin, not yak-proof
- tool not confiscated

Supposing it's my lucky day - after being burried of course - wich tool would it be?

A lot of ideas flashed through my head, but finally my poisoned mind came up with this DARC: a minimalists neck knife aka survival knife. Made to free yourself - not necessary out of a coffin, to defend, rescue, survive or attack. Or simply open a beer bottle - in Belgium we call it 'urban survival' ;-)

Or how a stupid idea turned out into an all-round survival tool...

Easy to make, reliable, solid, yak-proof!

Have fun with it!

All you need:
- a piece of carbon steel
- angle grinder
- drill
- dremel
- band sander
- hand sander
- a lot of sanding paper
- safety gear

Want the pdf-template? Load it down, it's here!

Want the sheath-template? Just load!

Step 1: Design

Print out the pdf-template and glue it on a piece of carbon steel, ceramic or whatever (vectorised jpg).

I based my model on a piece of carbon steel - the tip of a machete I demolished to make another knife.
After a lot of try and error with cardboard I came up with something satisfying I copied on the piece of steel.

Golden rule: waste-steel doesn't exist!

Step 2: Cut the Blade

Use angle grinder. Safety first!!!

Step 3: Drilling the Main Hole

It's carbon steel, so extremely hard to drill.

I managed to drill a basic hole and tried with a hole-drill - it looked like if the steel was just laughing at me...

So, I attacked the steel on its weakest side: heat. With an angle grinder I 'burned' it (making the steel blue). The carbon burns, the steel loses its strenght. A conic drill did the base hole, a dremel the rest.

Work from both sides, round the edges!

Don't forget the second hole, mine was already done.

Step 4: Fine Shaping

Use all your sanding gear, going from heavy '30' grain to wet polish '800' level.

Golden tip: fix your equipment upside down, this works a lot easier!

Step 5: Heat Threatment (updated)

Grinding & sanding may affect steels hardness, so if you want to be sure to have a tool that's really rockhard you'll have to harden it (again).
Boost the forge & heat the key to nice red. A good trick, is to put salt on the blade. Once it melts you're about at the right temperature and quench it in (clean motor) oil.
To temper it, let it cool down & throw it in the oven at 425°C (220°C) for 30 minutes (thanx member Deathcapt, your advice has been a great help!).

Step 6: Finished!

DARC is done, here you see some possible positions.

It's a really nice to handle tool, can be 'spy style' taped to the interior of your leggs (with medical tape), hidden in your shoes, propped in your survival kit, taken in your wallet or just carried around your neck (don't forget a sheath because this is dangerous business).

I had a lot of fun with it, and it took me only 3 hours!


Step 7: Make the Sheath

An original knife deserves an original sheath, no? It took a while before I found an appropriate solution - making meet design, efficiency and security.
I created a sheath that holds the knife when it's around your neck. Whatever happens, the sheath will stay in place and protect you.

Print out the template (pdf is yet to come).
Print it on a piece of leather, cut it out, glue if you like, stich it all together and grease.

Note: I used a medical needle, mounted on my drill press (no drilling, just pushing!), to perforate. Works pretty well!

Enjoy, again!

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