Sheath Knife




make a genuinely usable sheath knife from stuff you probably have around the house, with a veneered handle, in less than 2 hours.

Step 1: Get Yer Stuff

I'm guessing this will take a about 2 hrs to make. it's a compromise between the rough and ready 'toolles butterknife blade' and the polished lovelyness of 'basta's blade.
your gonna need;
A butterknife, thats good quality - the width of the blade should taper towards the end, and be quite thick.
about a foot of 1"x1/6" ish hardwood stock. I used jetoba, which is pretty, but anythng will do
some good, fast drying glue. i used '5 minute polyurethane'
*optional is a bit of thin veneer(?)y stuff in a contrasting colour to you handle

tools n things;
A dremel, essential (unless you have a lot of files and and a months worth of patience)
with a grinder bit, a cut off wheel, a polishing wheel and a sander thingy.
A hammer
a fretsaw (you could use a hacksaw)
a vice
an old sock
a gas cooker
umm. and some goggle. bits of metal in your eyes is not fun. casualty and a sadistic nurse with tweezers will await you.

Step 2: Blade Blank. Yay!

soo. as you saw in the first step, you'll want to draw on your design on the knife. have a look some knives on the internet for ideas, try to keep it functional, as with your butterknife you dont have much metal to play with. you will need to mark it very clearly, for grind. i found it useful to colour in the bits you will grind with a black marker, to get a sense of the shape. then grind away! you will probably want to use a cut off wheel for the tip, as there is a lot to grind away. be careful not to scuff the blade too much.
after that, get some wet and dry sandpaper and make the cutting edge smoother and sharper, then go over the whole blade, and polish it, because once it's hardened, thats it it. so make it nice and shiny.
jeez, these images are slow to upload.

Step 3: Sharpifying!

here's were it becomes a knife :D
start by marking out the area you want to grind the edge to (i drew a line around 5 mm in from the edge of the blade, but change that according to your design). then, erm grind it. in both sides. be careful not to scuff the main blade too much, because you'll hate yourself later.

Step 4: Hardifying

you'll need a sock, a pint glass and a hob. fun fun fun.
wrap the handle of the knife in the sock, and have your pint glass of water ready. turn on the gas, and start heating the blade of the knife, moving over the piddly flame to get a slightly even heating. do this till the whole thing is a nice cherry red, or close enough, then quench it in the water, putting it in tip first, prependicular to the water, to prevent any warping. you're blade should now the hard, sharp, and a nice orangey colour. yay.

Step 5: Handle!

this is probably the most difficult bit. i know. that easy? yay!
take your bit of hardwood and cut it in half. then, on each half, draw around the the handle of the blade knife, from the top of the wood. make sure these line up. on each piece.
then, you dremel out the shape of the the ex-butterknife handle in each bit of wood, so when put together, the handle fits nice and snug. (if your putting the veneer(?) in, you sould make it so the slots are slightly too shallow). *ignore this if you are not putting in the veneer* take your strip of wood, and apply your glue to itput the veneer ontop of this (it doesnt have to be neat, just bigger than the hardwood
put this delicious sandwich in your vice until the glue is dry. then, dremel out the veneer so you have the little slotty thing agin. now the two pieces, with the knife inside should fit together good and snug. yummmy.

Step 6: Shaping the Handlingingingle

this bit's pretty self explanatory. grab the sanidng bit on your dremel, and shape the handle to your specifications. you will need to cut the bits of veneer off the side of handle quite carefully, incase they snap and take a chunk out of the laminated bits. when you have done this, grab your danish oil, and rubit in with your trusty sock. give it at least six coats, which should only take you five mins or so, as it doeasnt really need to dry.
give everything a last buff, and their you go. one beautius knife, perfect for cutting vegetables, or skinning rabbits, or whatever. it holds it's edge quite well, and should sharpen on a good stone fairly easily when needed.
have fun!
this is my first instructable, but don't go easy on me. give me all you got, you evil comment devils you.
for I am all powe-
umm. yeah.
have fun, you lovely dumplings!



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    51 Discussions


    3 years ago

    During the heat treatment the orangey color comes from not heating the blade enough, to change the temper, your blade must go from gold to purple-blue to a steel color. And a butter knife is not the best thing to make a knife from, its not very high quality steel.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    u dont need to be a red head to love weapons =p. or insane. LIKE ME!!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Yay another insane redhead with an obsession with weapons! just like me :U


    Why does everyone say "No offense" after saying something that can be considered offensive? Particularly to a redhead who has an affixation with knives?


    9 years ago on Step 1

    X_o im scared of this carrot top mental dude

     no offence, but this dude looks like someone spray painted his hair. great instructable btw.................


    11 years ago on Introduction

    if you wait more than like 2 seconds in between red hot, and quenching, you will be making the knife softer, a LOT softer. The metal cools fast because it's so thin, and if it cools naturally, it's like annealing. thats a really nice looking edge picture, but I would have sharpened only one side. I like chisel edges more. They're sharper, safer, and way more practical. and what was wrong with the butter knife handle? just drill a hole in it and wrap some paracord around it.

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    chisle edges are actually alot duller but easier to sharpen and there not at all safer and why are they more practiclal???


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    paracord? phh. i was trying to make an object of beauty..:P and pyro13? im coming for you...


    9 years ago on Step 1



    10 years ago on Introduction

    Your tempering process seems unnecessary since the blade is heat treated at the factory. In addition, you tempered but did not draw in this process. This means that the blade will be hard but very brittle. A very dangerous situation for such a thin blade. I have made several such knives as usable costume accessories, all acquired at thrift stores for pocket change. My criteria was get as thick a blade as possible, have blade and handle be one piece so I don't have to build a handle (though sometimes they need cutting or shaping) and get something stylish. Several visits to the stores may be necessary to get a REALLY good looking knife. BTW, the 420 stainless steel that most table ware is made of is the same steel that is used in inexpensive SS knives. Over all you gave a fine presentation.

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    when i try to make this instructible, im gonna try to put in serrations. sure hope it works. great instuctable bt da way