Making a Large Camp Knife From an Old Rasp. Part 2

About: Hi, I'm stephen, I'm a certified welder, working on my machinists cert, and working part time at a hardware store. Mixing in all of that with my hobbies of blacksmithing and knifemaking, only makes for more...

This is part 2, rough grinding. This isn't actually a big part of it, this knife is going to be a forge finish, and since the rasp let me forge it close to shape, I'm doing very little grinding, and thats the way I like it.

All I'm doing here is cleaning things up, my spine, my handle, grinding my main bevel, and in this case I'm adding a small choil.

Update - sorry, I never finished taking photos of the progress, so I can't continue the series. stay tuned though, I intend to do a step by step of a small belt knife soon. You can see the finished knife here

Step 1: Tools

The tools I use for grinding are few (I'm cheap).

I use an angle grinder for the really rough work. (be careful, this thing can ruin 8 hours of work in 2 seconds)

Then I take my 3"x21" handheld belt sander clamped in a vise. And using a rough belt (I lik 36 grit) and clean up all the angle grinding.

And since I dont like using power tools for the close work I then take the knife and clean up everuthing with a file. (Double cut nicholson files are good).

Step 2: Angle Grinder

After the rough forging, I use the angle grinder to clean up the spine, the tang, and rough in the bevels.

Step 3: Belt Grinding

Now that everything is roughed in, I use the beltsander to clean it all up. I flatten out the bevels, even them up, all of that.

Step 4: Filing

A lot of people just do only or mainly belt sanding, but I've only had the sander for a little bit, so I use files to even everything out better.

I take the edge down to where it's nearly sharp, that way I have less work to do once it's heattreated.  

Step 5: What I Havent Done Yet.

Before I start heattreating I have one more thing I'm going to do. I'm going to take the wood scales I got (Ironwood off of ebay). Cut them to approximately the same size of the tang ( a bit larger all around) and drill holes for the pins. (do it now, before heatreat, even if you don't try to harden the tang, you never know what might happen accidently (trust me, less drill bits get broken when your careful).

I'll take pics of this when I do it today or tomorrow and add it to this "ible"



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    8 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    When did you drill the many holes that I see for the brass pins? I am having a hard time drilling a hole in my 1/4 " knife blade project. It is a piece of steel from a truck leaf spring. Any suggestions to make hole drilling easy. I have a drill press, hand drill, angle grinder, wheel grinder, etc... Tried, oil, many types of bits! Only one finally broke through, a masonry bit, but it got fried and is burned up! HELP!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I made my knife last summer at my buddies forge and we were constantly referring back to your ible so for that, thank you. I made the knife out of an old file that was once my great uncle's but it was rusted out of use so to be able to re purpose it into something i will treasure is an amazing feeling and for that I too thank you


    7 years ago on Step 3

    u say it hasent been heat treated however certain peices of metal dont need to be treated. your knife if treated may actually weaken.


    8 years ago on Step 3

    Glad to see that I'm not the only one to make an improvised stand sander... Nice work, and great instructable.


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 5

    Unfortunately, I finished it without taking more pictures. So the "ible" stops here. I'm gonna do another knife here soon, and I hope to document that one. Sorry bout forgetting photos.