Books on knife making?


June 25, 2008, 09:18 PM
Suppose a fella with alot of experience in wood and leather, but very little in steel, wanted to give this knife making a try. Nothing fancy, just a fixed blade or 2 with some exotic wood, maybe even try my hand with some bone. What would be my best bet in books to lead me on my way? And where is the best place to secure supplies for such an endeavor?

If you enjoyed reading about "Books on knife making?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Tom Krein
June 25, 2008, 09:50 PM
PM me your address and I will send you a copy of my favorite knifemaking book. How to Make Knives by Loveless, Barney and Moran!

It has it all. Feel free to give me a call if you want to talk knives/building also.


How far are you from NW Arkansas?? Maybe you could drive over and have a shop visit, hands on instruction?:D


June 25, 2008, 10:10 PM
Goddard's $50 Knife Shop is a great place to start. Of course you could just start on the net and every piece of advice you need can be found there (start with anvilfire and Don Fogg and ABS).

Low and slow and you get the basics.


Did you ever think that the "classic" 2" belt grinders were a stupid compromise that we've saddled ourselves with out of tradition? Why not a 4" wide belt when so many knives are 4" and under? Why put up with the chatter marks a 2" belt gives us to overcome? Just a thought.

Tom Krein
June 25, 2008, 10:45 PM
HSO, in theory it would be a good idea to have a 4" grinder. In practice its not quiet as good an idea. Most of my belts are worn out on the first 1/2" inch from either side. With a little instruction the 2" grind mark is easily avoided.

Several of my friends are going to a 1" wide wheel to save money on belts. I have a 1" X 14" wheel, but I usually reserve it for recurves and hawkbill type blades.

One of the reasons I always recommend How to make Knives is because it has an excellent section on how to make a knife with hand tools. Also lots of good info on heat treat, steel, leather sheath making, etc!


June 25, 2008, 11:11 PM
Ah, hand tools, that's what I'm talking about. I'm looking at this the way I look at my wood working, the finished product is unimportant, it's the process getting there that I enjoy. I've done some initial searching online, but mostly what I have found are knife "kits" with all the parts you can put together. Hardly sounds like much fun to me.
I'm quite away away from NW Ark, but I get to Mountain Home about once a year. There's a woodworker up in those parts that I want to visit with on my next trip and hands on instruction is never a bad idea.

June 25, 2008, 11:49 PM
and the 4" wide belt grinders dont allow you to get into the plunge cuts too easy. Then knife making books are a saving grace , as are the DVD's , it's all I have learned from , well that and talking to folks like Tom on the phone.

June 26, 2008, 12:13 AM
I can't send my copy of the one Tom likes because Bob signed it! There's a bunch of good books out there and as JTW mentioned some outstanding tapes and videos. You learn so much from the videos because you get to see Loveless or Hayes or Stout in action and you pick up little things from that.

Check out for books, vidoes and lots of other stuff.

June 26, 2008, 07:24 AM
Here's a list of books I've had recommended to me or found useful (a few are e-books):

There are also some links at the bottom of the page to other knife making resources.

To get your feet wet, I highly recommend this tutorial:


June 26, 2008, 08:49 AM
Jonesy's instructions are pretty good. If you mount an overhanging 2X4 onto your stump/bench and clamp your knife onto it you'll be able to get to the blade easier for filing/sanding.

June 26, 2008, 05:06 PM
That tutorial is what I made my first knife from - it was a POS that I am NOT showing a pic of. But that doesn't matter - all "first knives" aren't going to be that great. The only important thing is that you keep making 'em and they will get better.

Tom Krein
June 26, 2008, 06:27 PM
Okie.... seriously. If you would like I have an extra copy of this book and will send it to you.... Shoot my your addy in a PM.


June 26, 2008, 08:16 PM

I agree The $50 Knife Shop is a good book. I also recommend The Complete Bladesmith by Jim Hrisoulas. The how to stuff really depends on whether you want to do it via stock removal or by forging. (There's alot of debate on which is better but in my belief both are fine. The magic is in the heat treat.) Check out this site:

They're a friendly bunch and very helpful. They have all kinds of links to supplies though for handle materials I'm a big advocate of just going about in the woods and seeing what nature has left. I've seen one fella use lilac wood. That turned out real nice as it had some streaks of purple in it. Oh yes, the Texas Knifemaker Supply website is nice too.

I made this one for my father. It's a little rough as it's a first go at it but it turned out to be a good knife. Holds an edge well too.

June 27, 2008, 12:59 AM
As for supplies: a couple of good ones are Atlanta Cutlery and Texas Knifemaker's Supply, both of which have websites.

For your first few knives, I'd recommend buying blades instead of trying to make blades from scratch. Once you've made up a few knives and can make an informed decision about your desire to continue your hobby, only then should you consider making blades from scratch, either by the stock-removal or forging methods.

If you enjoyed reading about "Books on knife making?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!