Easy File Knife




About: South East London, dont upload much

I picked up an old skinny file in a flea market and decided to make a knife from it, I did not want to have to heat treat it or put in hours of sanding, so I left the finish minimal and the blade cool as I ground it. It took about 2 days (including glue drying time)

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Step 1: Design

I drew up the design freehand roughly inspired by a knife by Pave.W because of how thin the file was (both width and thickness). I didnt mind changing the shape slightly as I went along.

Step 2: Grinding

I ground the tang first, then the tip of the blade all on a bench grinder. Then did the bevels freehand which turned out fine - not perfect - but I dont mind. All the time I was keeping the file cool with a cup of water, so as not to ruin the hardness, this is very easy to do as the blade heats up so quickly the thinner its ground. A butterfly was attracted to my hands for some reason and stayed there throughout the whole process.

Step 3: Blade

After grinding I just used a piece of 60 grit sandpaper to take out the deep scratches, and smoothen the surface. I kept the file grooves because it would take long to sand them away. The blade is hollow ground because it was ground on a wheel. I didn't expect it to turn out as even as it did.

Step 4: Handle

The handle is made from a 6mm thick piece of brass and a block of purple hart wood, I chose them because the purple and brass go well together. Both were ordered from www.english-handmade-knives.co.uk I drilled 2 5mm holes through the brass and merged them together with the drill and a jacksaw blade. People usually use tiny files but I don't have them and I wasn't going for perfection on this knife. A 5mm hole in the wood was filled with epoxy and the bolster and tang were stacked in. There are small gaps in the sides of the brass by the tang but it was the best I could do with what I have.

Step 5: Shaping

I let the glue dry overnight before I started on the handle. I first cut the block in half with a wood and hacksaw close to the final width. Then I clamped it to the table and used a 120 sanding disc on my grinder to shape the profile - careful when grinding around the bolster cos the wood disappears a lot faster than the brass. When I was happy with the profile I started thinning down the handle and rounding it the same way until I was happy with it. It took about an hour in total.

Step 6: Finishing

I hand sanded the handle up to 240 grit, and used the polishing wheel on my dremel polished the bolster - its still got scratches but I like them. I then oiled the handle with Danish oil, (4 times with light sanding inbetween). Then put an edge on it with an oil stone.
The purple hart becomes more purple with age as it oxidises and also shows more red in photos it's a very bright purple irl.
Thanks for reading!

Metal Contest 2016

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Metal Contest 2016



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    6 Discussions


    2 years ago



    milo_bakerNot only Wood

    Reply 3 years ago

    no, but its not brittle for some reason, I guess the grinding tempered it somewhat


    3 years ago

    Great knife Milo. I have made several & appreciate yours.