A letter opener I made inspired by the Lord of the Rings High Elven Warrior Sword. This is my first time making something that resembles a knife, since this is just a letter opener it was not heat treated. This was more of an exercise to get an idea of what it would be like to grind and bevel a blade.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
First I printed out an image that I could use to make the template. I cut it out and taped it to a piece of mild steel, this is the stuff you can find at Home Depot or Lowes or Ace Hardware. I taped on the paper template and traced the shape on to the flat bar steel. I later realized that I should have used a finer tipped marker for this step it would have made for a more accurate tracing. The regular marker leaves a wide tracing which isn't as accurate when it comes to refining the shape so I had to remember to grind and shape to the inside of the traced line.
Next I clamped down the steel and using an angle grinder with a cutoff wheel I removed most of the excess material to get the basic shape of the blade.
Next using the angle grinder with a grinding disc and later a flap disc I cleaned up the edge and shaped of the blade. I used a file to refine the shape.
This was the bevel shape I was trying to achieve.
Now it was just a matter of using the1x30 belt sander to shape the bevels I was going after. through out this whole process I only had access to 80 and 120 grit belts so that is all I used. I would start with the 80 grit and then switch to the 120 grit to clean up an big scratches left from the 80 grit. This was my first time doing this and I realize I still have a lot to learn and would probably do well to get a variety of sanding belts.
Once I was done with the belt sander I used the files to further refine and shape the bevels.
Next I used a piece of mesquite wood flooring to make the handles for the letter opener. I found a scrap piece that I could split in half and then traced the blade's handle shape on to the two pieces of wood.
I used my scroll saw to cut out the shape, I made sure to make the wood pieces larger than I needed them so I could shape them on the belt sander later. I also shaped the bolster portion of the wood handle as this is more difficult to do once the handles are attached to the blade.
I centered punched the blade handle for the two pins that I would need to drill holes for. I used my drill press to make the two holes.
I cut the head off of a nail and did a quick mock up after I had drilled the holes for the wood handles top see how it would look.
Before attaching the wood to the blade I made sure to finish any shaping on the blade as well as any polishing or sanding. Using some epoxy I attached the wood handles with the nail pins to the blade. I secured everything with clamps. I let it dry overnight.
I used a hacksaw to cut off the portion of the pins that stuck out.
Next I used my 1x30 belt sander to shape the handle.
Here you can see the various files that I used to shape the handle. I also used sandpaper to make it nice and smooth.
After completing the shaping and the final sanding of the wood handle I used a dark walnut Danish tung oil to finish the wood. I applied 5 coats to the wood. I also did any final polishing to the blade.
The finished piece. I made a little stand for it out of the same mesquite wood flooring. Thank you for reading all this and I hope you enjoyed the instructable as much as I enjoyed making this letter opener.