Making a Dagger From Found Materials! *UPDATE*




Introduction: Making a Dagger From Found Materials! *UPDATE*

About: AKA Roborovski, and Cowscankill for several years. I'm a mechanical engineering undergrad.

UPDATE: So... I have been getting better at this and have since made a machete and a new knife.  The new knife is made from a lawnmower blade and block of wood.  It was pretty easy, and came out with fantastic results.
All of my knives cost $0 to make.

Wow. It has been a while since I have posted an 'ible hasn't it? Well, I decided to post this: a guide on making a dagger from scrap materials. It was fairly easy for me, and experienced builders should have little difficulty making one using my method.

This dagger is made from a tent peg, bike inner tube, and scrap wood. Sadly, the tent peg is made from aluminum and not something such as steel, so it will not hold a sharp edge for a long time, but the dagger is still a great decorative product that can be given as a gift, used for a costume, or for actually cutting stuff.

Why a dagger? Well, I have seen many, many knife Instructables and sword 'ibles as well. I wanted a dagger! A large knife, but still not a sword.
So this is how I made my dagger! Enjoy, have fun, rate and comment! (Subscribe if you want to see me build a sword sometime in the future :D)

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Step 1: What Do I Need?

Well, I made up the process as I went along, but it still came out great. Here is what I used:


*Angle Grinder
*Ball-peen Hammer (sp?)
*A Large File
*Assorted Small Files
*Wood Saw
*Permanent marker
*Dremel w/ sanding wheel and cutting wheel
*Dental Pick - Can be substituted with a nail or other small pointy object
*Mechanical Pencil


*Bike Inner Tube
*Cheap Cardboard (found on cereal boxes, oatmeal, etc.)
*Tent Peg
*Wood Stain
*Epoxy/ JB Weld
*Paint Thinner/ Nail Polish Remover/ Alchohol

Step 2: The Tent Peg (part 1)

If you have a regular tent peg, it should be bent at at 90degree angle. We will be flattening this out. To do so, you will need a hammer, anvil, and safety equipment.
I do not own an anvil. The easiest thing to do is use the end of a sledge hammer to flatten the metal against. The hammer I used is a ball-peen hammer, used for bending metal.
For safety, you should wear safety glasses and ear protection. I made my ears rings by whacking the tent peg repeatedly.
After flattening out the bend, your tent peg might be curved. Just hit it a few more times to straighten it.
~~!!Be Careful Not To Split The Metal!!~~

Step 3: The Tent Peg (part 2)

Now we use power tools! *gasp*
My dad actually let me use his angle grinder. This is the first time I used it, and it works wonders on metal. Clamp the blank onto a table or put in a vice, then grind it to shape, as seen in the pictures.
For cuttin small nubs, I used a dremel with a cutting wheel.

Step 4: The Tent Peg (part 3)

Now we have to finish up the blade. File the blade to give it a nice edge. Using low grit then high grit sand paper, sand off most of the paint and smooth the metal some.
Oh, and if there was a small hole in the metal like on my blades, use a file/ drill and make a hole on the other side to make the blade symmetrical.

Step 5: The Hardwood (part 1)

Using the cheap cardboard, draw a template for your handle and trace it onto a piece of hardwood. I think mine is 1/2" wide. If you have a band saw... USE IT! The hack saw took forever to use, made a big mess, and I had to keep re-clamping it to the desk.
After cutting out the handle, I used a dremel to plane the wood narrower at the tip. I also used it to round the edges, then went back with sandpaper to smooth it. Using some kind of saw, cut a notch where the blade will fit. My handle actually broke while trying to make the gap wider, so I used wood glue and sanded it smooth again.
Test fit the handle onto the blade, and clean your work area. That saw dust is a pain when in the way...

Step 6: The Hardwood (part 2)

Now we engrave the handle! It would be best to use something such as a wood burner, but my method was really easy. First, draw the pattern. Next, use a blade and score the pattern. Using a dental pic, go over the scores and make a wider engraving. Erase all pencil marks and use a thin lead mechanical pencil to draw inside the engraving. This makes the engraving darker and gives it a faux wood burned look.

After you finish the handle, cut a bike inner tube into fourths lengthwise. You can use leather, but the rubber is easier for me to come by. We will be wrapping the handle in this.

Step 7: The Hardwood (part 3)

To finish up, we stain the handle, coat in a protective layer, and wrap the handle.
I used Red Mahogany stain, and a coat of polyurethane.
The wrapping part was invented by me. I came up with it while trying to find a neat way to wrap the handle without having to tack down the rubber. It is hard to explain in text, so please look at the pictures.

Step 8: Tent Peg + Hardwood = ?

Now we get to finally put the two parts together that we have been working on. I have to admit that I cheated... Instead of using rivets or something similar to that, I used JB Weld. I don't have a dril bit that can drill through metal, so I had to settle with this. You can use whatever method you wish. Remember to allow to dry 15 hours!

Step 9: Finished Dagger!

Congratulations! You just recycled some unused materials into a pretty rad dagger! (or you just completed reading this Instructable :D ). I plan to finish the second one the next time my sister has a chance to give me the handle back with finished design. I will update when that dagger is finished.
If you see grammar mistakes, misspellings, or something I can change, please tell me! Constructive criticism is a must!

Don't forget to rate and comment, and subscribe if you want to see me post a sword later (may be a while, but I will do it)!
(I hope I get featured! :P)

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    46 Discussions


    4 years ago

    will it cause a cut that can slow down a person chasing you so you can successfully incapacitate them then escape?


    Reply 6 weeks ago

    1. Yeah
    2. If this is your primary use for a blade you just might want to go find a nice padded room.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Even with the JB Weld, I would bet money that it will break from the handle the first time you strike anything with some density to it with some force.  I whole heartedly agree that it looks cool, but if you want something functional you will have to either
    1) weld on a tang that runs at least 1/3 the length of the handle (preferably full length)
    2) shorten the blade by a couple of inches and make the tang out of that.

    Not trying to judge, but it is a matter of shear force on your weak spot (which is the connection between the wood and the steel) hitting it at the right angle.  Wider/Longer tang = better ability to withstand force  :)


    Reply 4 years ago

    Lol, the aluminum would probably break before the welded spot honestly.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, I agree to that,you should probably make a piece of metal the entire length, and then put two holes in one side, and then use pins to hold the blade to the handle. This way it should be stronger.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Just made a wooden knife and found this. Thank you for the end of my spring break :)


    8 years ago on Step 9

    epic. I'm so doing this.


    8 years ago on Step 9

    very good I loved the first knife the one that looked like the hunting knife. I think I will make one.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, that was the original plan, but then I changed it.


    9 years ago on Step 9

    You should try using a piece of heavy cloth (like canvas) to weather the wood, just to make it look cooler, like somone relied on it to stay alive.


    9 years ago on Step 9

    This looks real nice and all and I like your handle wrapping method but an aluminum blade will not be able to hold an edge for long. I guess its better than not having a dagger when you need one! - Dr 0'Neil


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 9

    Yeah, I didn't realize it was aluminum at first, but it was a good practice knife?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Where was he when this happened and what was he doing?


    10 years ago on Step 3

    or recycle and use the metal an arrowhead.