I see there are a number of shadetree knife makers here. Color me one of you. I made my first knife in 1982 from a metal cutting saw blade I got from a local machine shop. Since 1982 I have made knives out of about every steel I could get my hands on including all sorts of saw blades and files and implement parts, etc. Those were fun times but a guy quickly learns you are making more work for yourself by repurposing old steel. If there is anything you can take away from this that helps you in your desire to make knives, then it was not a wasted effort. Iíve been reclaiming metal and repurposing it into knife blades ever since. I also make them from O1 tool steel as well or pre-made blanks of Damascus where I only attach scales and make the sheath. I enjoy sheath making nearly as much as knife making. Glad to see a bunch of other steel knockers on here. Im enjoying viewing your works.
In all the time I have been making knives I have only ever sold one pair. All my other knives and knife sets were gifted or donated to sporting orgs for their fund raisers. Now I only make a few knives a year (since I have far too many hobbies) but when the bug hits me I tend to crank out a few and then gift them out. The knives I make are meant to be used as tools. I donít make show pieces or anything fancy (with the exception of one with a carved blade just to see if I could do it) Im a fan of simple, proven designs that fit well in a hand and stay sharp.
Here are some of the knives I have churned out.
I was asked by a friend to turn his antler into a hunting knife handle. This is not a show knife. Its meant to be a working manís tool rather than a show piece.I bought some O1 steel for this project. 1/8 thick 1 1/2 wide. The wrapper even came with the recipe instructions on the label.
The antler he sent. It was a little long so I cut about an inch off the end but I will have a use for that as well.
I can see a blank slate here. I can't leave it that way.
First I removed as much of the core as I needed by drilling and grinding. The core is pitty and soft and is better replaced with epoxy.
Then I started working on the blade.
Then I roughed out a finger guard from brass.
Time to bevel.
Beveling completed. Time to heat treat. The label said to use light oil so I did.
I used the burner from my range in the "Man Room" as well as a MAP gas torch to get the blade hot enough that a magnet would not stick to it.
Then it hit the oil. (wear a glove as the oil on the blade will flare up.
With the blade still too hot to hold, It sat in a preheated oven for one hour at around 400F
During that time, I worked on the finger guard and the antler to get it ready to assemble. Epoxy needs a rough surface so you need to rough up the mating halves.
After tempering, I cleaned it up a bit.
Then I assembled it.
And let it sit over night.
After unwrapping and a bit of buffing, it;s starting to take shape.
I filled in the blank slate as well with a fine tip sharpie.
Here is how I used the cut off end of the antler. I cut a slot in it to display the knife.
Every knife needs a sheath. I started with 6 Oz. leather for the face.
in order not to trap the finger guard (and the knife) in the sheath. I had to build up the area behind the guard. I used foam and tape.
I soaked the leather front and back.
then started massaging the leather over the knife.
It's kind of like working with a piece of balogna. The white thing a bone folder/creaser
When finished. I set it in the sun to dry.
When it dried and while I still had it on the form. I punched the lacing holes.
Then I cut it out and used it as a template to make the back of the sheath. For this I used 8 Oz. leather
To keep the leather from cracking during the bend, I got it wet.
Then I glued and sewed the belt loop in place.
I then added a deer head stamp to the face.