View Full Version : Knife making

01-21-2006, 07:31 PM
found a neat link!!!


01-21-2006, 10:36 PM
That's a great link. It's one of the best I have read about introductory blade making and heat treating. There are easier ways to make and fit the handles, but his simple, no nonsense (and no forging!) approach to the metalworking is fantastic! I have some skill with lathe and mill, but I'm dangerous around a forge - I use a torch to anneal and temper. Wood, on the other hand, I have been working in since childhood, and knifemaking is a hobby I naturally gravitated to. I started with making handles for hammers and axes, then chef's knives, and finally hunting knives. Mostly I buy finished or semifinished blade blanks and go from there, but I may scare up a slab of spring steel and have a go at one from scratch this summer.
Here are some of my projects:

01-21-2006, 10:59 PM
nice knifes! i'd tryed forging files on an anvil but always ended up braking them

my patch knife

01-22-2006, 05:03 AM
I know what you mean. The "little Japanese swordsmith" in me has four thumbs and two left hands. My dad has made some nice Bowies out of files, and I have a beautiful tiny little handmade patch knife my brother got in trade that was made from one, but my own attempts have been pitiful.
This method looks doable. I much prefer the strength of full tang knives, although those two patch knives are not. I had that beautiful piece of koa (Hawaiian Acacia), and I had my dad carve my dog's head on the end of the walnut piece, and neither would have worked with a full tang.
There used to be blanks available from a lot of different sources like Atlanta Cutlery, etc., but the only one I am aware of now is Jantz Supply. I collect exotic woods and have made more than a hundred knives, mostly small hunters, which I sold or gave away over the years. I still have some blanks and am planning to do a run of five or six this spring when it warms up. I think I can get some pieces of spring steel without too much hassle to play with blade making.
BTW, I am always on the lookout for small pieces of wood with intense grain patterns and/or figureing - walnut, elm, cherry, and apple especially. Burls, crotchwood, and regrown sections over and around a broken limb are likely to yeild the best pieces. Knife handles are small and thin, so the patterns have to be tight and intense. What would make an extra super fancy drop dead gorgeous rifle stock blank for instance might have only very small sections that would work on a premium knife. Some people prefer plain, straight-grained wood, too, often walnut to match their favorite rifle's stock.
I would happily trade a finished knife for a curly cherry burl with swirled figure (it does not grow here, neither does walnut, but I have access to lots of that) or other premium piece that I could get several knife handles out of. Furniture makers avoid them and the mills don't want burl either because it does not saw or plane easily. Curly and birdseye maple I can get lots of locally.
I also will put new handles on any full tang blade, like heirloom chef's knives. (My family has a set of two Damascus chef's knives from the early 1800's that my great grandmother brought from Ireland that were a gift from her grandmother. A large 18" blade, and a smaller 12" which I am the keeper of that was redone in curly maple when the old handle was no longer servicable.)

01-22-2006, 05:17 AM
Yep it's got me ready to drill a couple of holes in the desk

I've been on the lookout for some wood to make grips for my star super B

01-22-2006, 05:53 AM
What kind of wood are you interested in, and what size LxWxthickness? I have a lot of apple and walnut handy and a bunch of different exotics but with them it depends on the size. I can scare up most anything else from several contacts if you want something special. If I have it here, you can have it for the postage, and if I don't, I can find it and we can work it out from there at my cost. I can go through the box tomorrow and see what I have that might work for you if you want.

01-22-2006, 04:07 PM
Thanks Versifier

01-23-2006, 12:15 AM
Most of the pieces I have put aside here are already slabbed and sized for knife handles, BUT, I have quite a stash of larger stuff at my dad's farm and will be visiting him during the week, if I know what to look for. What I have here are a series of slabs cut from the same piece of curly maple, not really tight pattern, but still quite nice 2 1/2+ W X 16 L X 3/8 thick. Some have gray streaks. Also I have a block of Birdseye that is 2 3/4 L X 5 1/4 L and about 6" deep so any thickness can be cut. If you will be checkering it we can go with less fancy wood, but if I were going to the trouble, and the pistol is in good shape, I'd go for a looker.
At the farm are various pieces of cherry and walnut about 3 W X 16 L X 1/2" thick. I don't know if there are any really fancy pieces of the walnut, but know there were, and although my brother has welcome access to my stash, he has not had time to do anything ambitious in quite a while. (Mostly he restores antique folding knives.) I am willing to look through them if you would like. Dad also may have other interesting goodies stuck here and there that would be of interest. Let me know the rough dimensions and if 3/8 is thick enough to make a comfortable grip for you. It will be much easier to send pieces cut to rough size, maybe 1-2" overlong. Do you have access to a planer? If not, I do and can save you the trouble.

01-23-2006, 01:33 AM
Something fairly soft, will be my first attempt. I'm very handy with stuff that's bolted {engines trans diff} i can swing a ball peen or a shop hammer whith either hand. but i can't get a claw hammer to work at all

01-23-2006, 06:57 AM
I'll dig you out a piece of straight grained walnut. It's fairly soft and easy enough to work. There might also be a suitable piece of Phillipine mahogany or teak that are also easily worked. The very hard maple can tear out if you are not used to working it. I'll visit him Thursday. I still need to know how thick you want, they're about 1/2" thick now and I can run one through the planer to any thickness while I'm there easily, it will save a lot of file and rasp work... If the one on it fits you, check it with a dial caliper, or if it's not thick enough as is, I can plane to whatever is needed, and I can make sure you have enough extra to make another if you get caried away. I use a 1" belt and a 6" disc for shaping, and occasionally get a little too enthusiastic.
I will post pictures of what I find, too.

01-23-2006, 07:21 AM
The plastic grips on it now are only a 1/4" thick they feel pretty good.

Seen a couple of the star super B's at the show one for $335 and $390 mabie my swap was'nt to bad. I traded a savage rifle for it.

01-23-2006, 06:51 PM
Can do. I'll get back to you on it Thursday evening.

01-27-2006, 09:27 PM
My brother was working in the woodshop Thursday, I'll be going back there tomorrow. I have a suitable piece of walnut, PM me a mailing address and I'll send it off to you the first of next week.