I wanted to call this Instructable "Make a heavy duty survival knife from an rusty file for less then 15 dollar in less then 2 hours with only basic tools", but sometimes less is simply more...
Survival. Again. I'm doing this - this what? this sport? this spirit? this way of life? I like the last one! - for many years and every survivalist comes to The Moment of asking the only question that counts:'which knife???'
On the net you'll find thousands of 'survival knives' and a few brands offer really good stuff.
Instead of buying one, as a survivalist I prefered making one.
Making your own survival knife is going back to basics of survival: be inventive or die, or so.
Untill now I always used a customized tactical knife (my custom Muela Tornado 'Black Betty' - see picture). No need to spend an Instructable on this: take the knife, take a grinder, take a sander and you're done!
A few months ago I decided to make a survival knife from a file with only some basic tools. That evening project resulted in Y.U.R.T, I agree, the most ugly knife you've ever seen. But one that does the job!
YURT exceeded my best expectations. It's 200% yak-proof and a lot more reliable than a lot of the so-called 'survival' stuff you'll find on the net - with all my respect for those brands that matter.
Why a file? Because it's very hard steel, easy to find, and cheap.
All you need:
- a big grandpa's file
- a big hammer handle
- chemical anchor
- angle grinder
- safety gear
- weight: 272 gram - almost 10 oz
- overall length: 26.5 cm - a bit more than 10 inches
- blade length: 11.5 cm - 4.5 inches
- blade width: 3.5 cm - 1.4 inch
- maximal blade thickness: 0.7 cm - 0.27 inch
Step 1: Preparing the Blade
- the tang aka 'root' has the same length as the blade!
- cut some grooves in the root so that the anchor will have more grip
For me, a survival knife needs four major functions:
- pointed for digging and carving
- an axe-styled upperpart for splitting
- a hollow shaped underpart for bushcraft and potato peeling
Use sander to finalize.
Step 2: Preparing the Handle
For less than 5 euro I bought this hammer handle 'elasto fibre'.
Why not wood? Because I wanted it to be water-resistant and I didn't give a spanish beer about beauty.
Cut the handle into the size you want (make it longer than usual) and keep the big end.
Drill a hole in the small end (same diameter of the blade 'root').
Ready it is!
Step 3: Assembly!
Prepare the chemical anchor (5 euro). Be careful to evacuate all the dust out of the hole you made.
Chemical anchor? This sticky stuff is used a lot in building construction. We use it to anchor iron poles into concrete, to anchor stairs and balcony's and everything that has to be as solid as possible. With this stuff you'll putting almost everything together. It's incredibly solid, and dries extremely fast.
Unorthodox way of knife-making? It is!!!
Fill the handle with the paste and put the blade in place.
Clean the excess, and let it solidify for a couple of minutes.
End with a sharpening session and ready is your survival knife!!!
Step 4: The Big Test
- I cutted down some arm-thick logs of hard wood (cooked by bushfire)
- I splitted them into Belgian fries
- I digged some holes in a rocky soil
- The knife behaves extremely well!
- The heavy weight at the end makes cutting an easy job!
- It should have been a little bit longer for splitting stuff, nevertheless it withstanded the pressure and gave me some excellent firewood!
- Digging is a piece of cake - due to the relatively long handle who makes it possible to hold it with both hands!
- After an hour of work it was still razorsharp!
So: if you don't have a lot of money to spend on a 'branded' survival knife you know what to do now!