Rocketmandane’s 1st Attempt at Knife Making!

Discussion in 'DIY (Do It Yourself)' started by RocketmanDane, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. RocketmanDane

    RocketmanDane Member

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    I have been highly considering trying to make a file knife.

    Has anyone done this?

    Can this be done with basic hand tools?

    I have ZERO knife making experience... Is this a good first knife project?

    Here are some of my inspirations/ shapes I was thinking of below:

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    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
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  2. SEMO

    SEMO Member

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  3. RocketmanDane

    RocketmanDane Member

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    Haven’t been able to dig a lot of my tools out in a while but I should still have.

    Angle grinder
    Small bench grinder
    Files
    Hand drills
    Good drill bits
    Work bench
    Clamps
    Hand saws
    Jig saw
    Chisels
    Dremel
    Sanders electric and Hand but no belt sander thou
    Taps and dies
    Calipers

    Most house hold repair tools
    Plenty of mechanic tools ( pretty sure that doesn’t matter)

    I do not have a forge thou..

    I do have a decent amount of machine shop experience it’s just been a few years and I mostly ran CNC’s, Lathes and Mills... Which I have none of now..

    I was thinking of starting with a 1/4 inch piece.. Do you have a recommendation of where to find that? I don’t speak very good eBay.. I speak Amazon really well thou if you know of one there. But I can speak eBay if you would trust the source.
     
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  4. SEMO

    SEMO Member

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    Looks like you have enough experience and tooling to make a superb knife.

    I don’t know of anyone on amazon who sells steel. You can buy direct from the source...New Jersey steel baron. Shipping will kill you there on a small order.
    The price on that bar steel from eBay is right, especially considering shipping.
     
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  5. JollyRoger523

    JollyRoger523 Member

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    As someone who was in a similar situation, I'd suggest ordering a piece of steel and sending it out for heat treat. I also made my first knife out of a file, but at the time I worked at a machine shop and was able to draw a little hardness out (files are usually very hard ... And brittle) as well as having access to a belt grinder.

    I made a pair of knives at home using all hand tools, some planning, patience, and a lot of elbow grease. I'll dig up my thread on them when I have more time later.
     
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  6. RocketmanDane

    RocketmanDane Member

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    @SEMO
    How much help do you think a Belt sander would be?? If i talk real nicely i might be able to convince the wifey to let me get a small one :)

    **Edit**
    I did a little fiddling around with a caliper and a couple different knives in the house and decided i probably really didn't need to get the 1/4 bar i was considering. I decided to go with the 3/16"x 1 3/4"x 12" high carbon steel 1084 flat bar from the seller you linked to :) Should be here next Friday.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
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  7. SEMO

    SEMO Member

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  8. SEMO

    SEMO Member

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    I have a 1 inch Belt grinder that I use for handles and choils. Early on, I figured out that it dug into the flat grind really bad. As in leaving Lions to be hand sanded out. What works better than that is a disc grinder. A table mounted disc grinder is super for getting a flat grind.

    The first two knives that I made I used an angle grinder and a file to put the primary bevels in. Took a while, but it worked.

    1/4” thick material is super thick! You will get half way through the project and wish you had went with 1/8”

    Think Esee 3 vs Esee 5

    Just my opinions.
     
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  9. RocketmanDane

    RocketmanDane Member

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    @SEMO With the projects i see you producing i HIGHLY value your opinion on the matter!

    I didn't see the 1/8 comment until after i already hit purchase on the 3/16 BUT ill make it work.

    When you say disk grinder do you mean a disk sander like below?? When ever i put disk grinder in it keeps going back to disk sander..

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  10. JollyRoger523

    JollyRoger523 Member

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    A suggestion from experience ... Whenever you draw up a design you like, make a few copies. Glue a copy to a piece of cardboard such as a cereal box, and cut it out. Hold that in your hand in "knife positions". If anything needs refined (mine did originally) you can easily make changes before you start cutting metal. Once I had a design I liked, I cut a prototype out of aluminum flat stock. I did this for experience (shaped them all with hacksaw and files) as well as to use for a pattern.

    It looks like you're gonna use some power tools which should make the job much easier than doing it all by hand. I used a file jig for the bevels, and after a small learning curve, it made even bevels a breeze (difficulty wise that is. It was still A LOT of physical work). If you're having a hard time keeping even angles with the grinder, maybe rough them out and then finish with files on a jig.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

    Here's the knives I made. The build thread for them was lost on the old forums ...
    http://eseeknives.com/forums/index.php?threads/a-pair-of-handmade-knives.6068/
     
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  11. SEMO

    SEMO Member

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    3/16 is much better than 1/4”
    That is a lot of metal to move by file or paper.

    Yes! I wish I had that Burr King model disk sander. I have a couple of cheap ones...harbor freight variety. Also have a home made one from a random electric motor and a disk i purchased from blade forums for sale ad.

    Ditto what @JollyRoger523 said about practicing with patterns, and grinding.
    I have used paint stir sticks and 1/8” Luan, as well, for practice.
     
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  12. RocketmanDane

    RocketmanDane Member

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    Due to the fact it says the piece of steel will be here tomorrow!! I decided to start mocking up some designs..

    I found that the only knives I have kept that are larger then a Izula 2 include:
    ESEE 4
    Ka-Bar fighting knife
    Bear Grylls survival knife

    Morale of that is apparently I am a fan of the around 4 inch blades. SO I drew the size of the steel blank on a sheet of paper. One at a time I laid each knife on the paper and traced them. Turns out other then the Ka-bar being longer they all have approximately the same blade and handle profile. A little smudging and fiddling later I think I have settled on the initial design!

    It should actually turn out very similar in shape to all the photos I left in my initial post except a slightly rounder tip..

    Comparison below with ESEE 4 and Bear Grylls Blade

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
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  13. RocketmanDane

    RocketmanDane Member

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    Went looking for a sander today and found a Delta brand belt/grinder. :) (stock photos)

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  14. Bushman5

    Bushman5 Member

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    nice score man! (cheap $$ too)!
     
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  15. JollyRoger523

    JollyRoger523 Member

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    Nice!
     
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  16. SEMO

    SEMO Member

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    Great! You can work with that.
     
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  17. RocketmanDane

    RocketmanDane Member

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    Decided I’m going to practice with a Old Hickory Kephart conversion project.
    I’ll post pictures below from the tutorials I’ve seen but I think it will be a good simple project to learn my grinder and get refreshed on metal working.
    Also if it fits I might try and copy atleast the blade design I made onto one of the old hickory knives and see how it looks and works!

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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
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  18. Mudman

    Mudman Member

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    Quality work man, keep it up!
     
  19. RocketmanDane

    RocketmanDane Member

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    Thanks but those above aren’t mine... Those are supposed to the the knives I’m going to try to make :)
     
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  20. Mudman

    Mudman Member

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    ah, my lazyness in reading finally got me.

    Modifying Old Hickory knives is a great start. They are cheap, use good steel.

    Best bet, imo. Is go with known steels instead of files. If you do your own HT it will be more consistent. If your sending out for ht, skies the limit.

    I've done two knives in 80crv-2 and was extremely impressed by the toughness. Mostly though it's O1 for me, relatively cheap and easier to heat treat at home than 1095. Although not by much as far as I can tell.
     
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