Well, MacMac and I have probably hijacked enough threads in the last couple weeks :uhoh:, so I thought I might start one where members could show off what they've accomplished for home made knives and other non-firearm weapons. ;)
It'd be great if you could post one or 2 items per post, and tell us about it. Tell us how you made it, where the form came from, what it was intended to do, what parts you succeeded in, what failures were experienced....
Kind of a display case and DIY guide, all in one.... :D
So, good folk, post away! I'll start with one in a few minutes here.....
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January 29, 2009, 11:27 AM
I started forgeing knives in 2005. I built a simple charcoal forge in my backyard from flea market equipment and a few home made fixtures. My forge design is adapted from Tim Lively's design. Air is supplied by a hand crank blower, fuel is Royal Oak natural lump charcoal, and I've used anvils ranging from a carved up section of RR track, cheap cast iron ASO's, and now forge on a 250+ # anvil a neighbour found....
This knife is known as "The Wicked". Forged from a 5160 leaf spring (ford galaxy) in the first summer of my forge's operation. This was (I think) the 4th blade I produced. The design is by my friend Derek, who now owns the knife.
The design is intended as a fighting knife of sorts, and is mostly whimsical. Heavily curved blade is ideal for slashing. It's ALL belly! The clipped point is ground with a false edge to make stabbing more practical, tho that is limited somewhat by the curve of the blade... The grind is a slight hollow grind, and the spine is about 1/4" thick. We originally intended to mount scales on the handle, but were unable to drill thru the hard steel. Should have anealed it and then tried, but the rope wrap handle worked out just great anyway, so that's how it is now.
Started making it with a section of leaf spring about 14" long. First, forged the handle (ALWAYS start with the handle/tang/socket of a blade, blade is forged LAST!). Then forged the blade to rough shape. Once the rough shape was realized to our satisfaction, we used angle grinder and bench grinder to profile and shape the blade to final form. THis is when the hollow grind was formed (by hand, with angle grinder). The false edge was put on the clip, the choil was cut, and generally the blade came into it's final shape.
Heated to critical and oil quenched, then temper drawn. You can see some vestiges of the temper colours on the knife in the photo. The bulk was tempered to purple, with the belly's sweet spot left dark yellow/brown. This gives an EXTREMELY tough blade, with a hard enough edge to take a razor edge.
This is definately the scariest looking blade I've forged. I would NOT want to meet someone carrying this in the proverbial dark alley. A real "blood letting" blade if ever I saw one....
James T Thomas
January 29, 2009, 01:00 PM
You apologized for hijacking, so may I diverge; just a little?
The "Home Made" topic interested me.
By the way, I like how you curled the tang, and your wrap on it too.
But, boy -that blade needs a guard! Jamb it into a log with force and a sweaty hand some time and you will see what I mean.
It is a matter of preference, but I like the home made or primitive; it has a certain appeal. Besides often being much less cost than the customs.
-With the exception of Mr. Valkman, who makes such bargains. When I view his products which are exquisitely finished, it occurs to me that he would also have a market for his knives in a slightly or unfinshed; "primitive" category.
Sort of like the way the Tarurus vs. S&W firearms are done.
Your home made knife is somewhere between the categories of "Trade knives" on one end and the commercialy made bottom end of, plain and simple Old Hickory, Chicago Cutlery, that kind of blades.
I have not attempted the making of knives and so, do not know the satisfaction of doing that, but I do appreciate your charcoal, heat treatment, and final product. I would call the one shown a "Roach Belly Bowie."
I'm hoping that you and your friends will eventually progress beyond facination with "blood letting," and come to appreciate utility, durability, and the peaceful use of man's most valued tool.That is where the real value of a knife lies. Strictly "whimsical" is good too.
I hope to see some other home made efforts here.
January 29, 2009, 01:02 PM
That's awesome. It looks pretty well balanced too...more pics of other blades please :)
I'm hoping that you and your friends will eventually progress beyond facination with "blood letting," and come to appreciate utility, durability, and the peaceful use of man's most valued tool.
To be fair, he has some cool small knives posted in another thread that are certainly not defense-oriented by the look of them.
January 29, 2009, 01:28 PM
Here are the little utility knives Conwict is mentioning....
These are forged from 1/4" diameter music wire, basically 1085 high carbon steel. Basically the same process as used for the Wicked, but without the use of angle grinder. Most of my later blades are as-forged. Also, the blade is tempered rather harder than a fighting knife, a light straw yellow, with blue/purple spine and tip. They take and hold razor edges with little effort. Generally, these little music wire knives have 2-3" blades. They are light duty pocket knives, and weigh next to nothing. Stocking stuffers for friends and family:
So far I've made maybe 20 blades.... 2 have been fighting forms, 2 have been throwing knives, over a dozen have been utility, hunting and kitchen knives.....
But ya gotta post the attention grabbers first!
James T Thomas
January 29, 2009, 01:29 PM
Your are fair. I tried hard with that statement; not to make it read as being critical, but it must have come across wrong any way.
It was not intended so.
I've not seen the other "cool" knives posted. Where?
January 29, 2009, 01:36 PM
Here is a hunting knife I made for a friend on New Year's Eve. Again, 5160 spring steel (or very similar), but this one from a coil spring (Corolla), he wanted a knife that would be utterly reliable, and utterly unique.
The blade shape is a mix of drop point hunter and big bellied skinner. A simple and durable design, we hope :)
Tempered much like the music wire blades, the belly and main part of the edge are tempered to light straw, while the tip and spine are purple to blue, giving a blade that can at once shave or chop small bone, or pop a rabbit's hip joint....
James, I know what you're sayin', and I agree. No offence taken.
I operate my forge on a strictly recreational basis. Whenever friends come out to visit, they get to make whatever form is in their head, as best they can. Sometimes it's a fighting knife. These fine fellows will never actually get in a knife fight, unless it's with a home invader.
January 29, 2009, 01:41 PM
This was the second knife in my now usual form that I forged. It's made to be an EDC utility knife, a duty it's served in since shortly after it cooled from tempering.
Yet another piece of leaf spring, this one hollow ground with angle grinder, and polished a bit by hand with wet/dry paper and finally rouge. Clearly, finishing is not my strong suit. 2-3/8" blade, 6" OAL....
The pocket clip is actually one of my favorite pieces that I've ever forged. Made from an off-cut from the knife's handle. It has now outlived the first leather sheath, and is on the second. After 3 years of EDC, the edge finally worried it way thru the welt and cut a stitch in the original sheath. New sheath has a much denser welt.
January 29, 2009, 02:55 PM
I'm not a knife maker, but I do some knapping. Here's one I've posted before. The blade is dacite and is 5" long. The handle is chinese privet. The blade is attached with hide glue and whitetail sinew. The pocket knife is just for scale.
I make wooden bows using natural materials (except glue) and hand tools as a hobby and you said non-firearms weapons as well, so here are a few of my favorites.
75# @ 29" black bamboo backed ipe with a chinaberry handle. 15/16 wide at the handle tapering to 3/8 nocks. 71" and almost goes completely straight after unbracing.
60# @ 29" bamboo backed ipe with a built up leather handle and black cow horn overlays. 68" long, 1" wide at the handle and has 3/4" unbraced reflex.
50# @ 26" $8 red oak board from Lowes. 61" long
50# @ 29" $6 red oak board from Lowes. 71" long. Took only five hours to make. That's my buddy Harley shooting it.
January 29, 2009, 03:11 PM
Mole, NICE BOWS!!!!
I dabbled with green birch bows when I was a kid, never got much over 30#, just a carved stick. THey always died by compression failure when the wood dried..... Yours are beautiful!
The knapped knife is awesome too. I've been gaining an appreciation for knapping lately, as I've been playing with flint'n'steel firemaking.... A new skill for me. Just making a flake useful for striking sparks is a challenge to me. I'm learnin', tho....
Hope others will post their work too...
January 29, 2009, 03:24 PM
I've posted many, many knives here already so no need to post them again. Just click on one of the links in my sig line to see lots of homemade knives! :)
January 29, 2009, 03:39 PM
This is another early knife of mine... I posted it somewhere else here before as well.
It's a double edged dagger of sorts.... 10" blade, 16" OAL. I've not seen any other knives with a blade shape quite like this, with the rather backwards taper it has goin' on.... If anyone knows a name for this form of dagger, I'd like to know...
Again, 5160 leaf spring, forged, angle ground. It has a full tang, the handle is secured with a nut and washer under a wood plug in the butt. That was the greatest challenge in making this piece: Threading the tang... Even annealed, 5160 is rather harder than my die likes to cut, but with ample lube and very careful starting, it managed to cut a workable thread.
I've been asked before how the water marking on the blade was done. I have to be honest: This was an early forging, and that is a result of my failure to maintain a reducing fire while heating the blade for hardening. The excess oxygen I blew into the fire etched into the blade. The "water drops" are high islands of steel that were protected by scale or ash from the oxygen rich blast. Many of my early blades show this. It is an accident, and not something I desired to do. It looks MIGHTY COOL on this blade, tho :)
Boring the handle also proved to be a real exercise... The one installed was the 3rd attempt. The tang tapers from blade to nut, so a tapered hole had to be bored. I drilled 2 separate holes that intersected at the butt, and then carved out the web left between them. Once I was satisfied with the fit, it was made permanent with a liberal application of epoxy. I regret that somewhat now, as I'd like to have put a metal guard in place, basically an iron facing on the handle as it is now, but that won't happen now.
The sheath is the same oak as the handle, ripped, carved out, and glued back together. Fits tight without any mechanical keepers. After 3 years of thinking, I finally managed to come up with a leather frog design I liked.
Anyway, yup, it's another whimsical people-killer, but it was created as a piece of artwork, really. And we all know art knives must be both properly hardened and tempered, and kept service-sharp. It is. It has chopped 2x4's, felled small trees, been stabbed thru car doors, dropped 3' onto a concrete floor (landing edge first).... And not seen any unacceptable damage...
A sentimental favorite. I'll be making a new dagger of smaller and more traditional size and shape this spring, I think.... Have some desert ironwood burl coming......
January 29, 2009, 03:43 PM
Wow.... Kinda puts my feeble attempts to shame....
I've got to learn something about finishing my blades..... Get me a belt grinder and a polishing center at least.....
January 29, 2009, 04:16 PM
Feeble? Not by a long shot my friend! I envy those who forge and wish I could get into it but learning all there is to know about stock removal is taking all my time. I haven't even made folders yet!
As for finishing I take my blades to 400 grit - that's it. I do not get the "polished mirror" look that some do but I haven't gotten that far yet. After 4 years I can easily say there's tons more to learn!
January 29, 2009, 04:53 PM
I knew it was a good idea to wait before buying a knife from Valk...
Just kidding! :neener:
Every craft item posted has been a joy to see, please post more!
January 29, 2009, 05:08 PM
It's a double edged dagger of sorts.... 10" blade, 16" OAL. I've not seen any other knives with a blade shape quite like this, with the rather backwards taper it has goin' on.... If anyone knows a name for this form of dagger, I'd like to know...
That almost looks like a Roman Pugio. At least that is what the lines and shape suggests to me. Nice work :)
January 29, 2009, 07:17 PM
Yup, the last 5 inches or so have that look....
Never could bring myself to make a blade transition to tang as abruptly as I see on so many daggers, just like the Pugio.... Stress rizer is all I can see!
January 29, 2009, 07:36 PM
It started as a leaf spring, probably 5160.
I did stock removal, and heat treated in peanut oil.
The final finish was Brownells baking lacquer over glass bead.
The handles are micarta, attached with #10-32 flat head screws.
I was just kidding when I said I knew it'd be a good idea to wait...not only does he make great-looking knives, he's humble! (I dunno if you were referring to me or not.)
January 29, 2009, 11:33 PM
Valkman is making a couple of knives for me. Even though I didn't make them, I'll post a picture when I get them. I was picky about what I wanted, my wife says I like to be difficult. I don't know that she's wrong.
January 29, 2009, 11:45 PM
Your 2 are done and the Landshark is off for Kydex. When it's done I'll send them both for leather!
I didn't think Tom would mind if I made a few personal changes to his design. I increased the length 1/2" to increase the arc of the belly. I beefed up the thumb and finger grooves a bit, as well as moving the lanyard point from inside the scales out to the pommel. The pommel was extended for use as an impact point without damaging the stocks.
It has a distal taper from .270" near the tip to .300" at the pommel.
The blank was flame cut, then off to the grinder.
The convex bevels were cut on a belt sander, and the notching on the back was done with a radius on a cut off wheel. The angles and faces on the teeth were done with 80 grit toolroom wheel. I need better pics of the notching, because it really came out well.
The notch closest to the tip is .050"ish deeper than the rest to facilitate snapping cyclone fence. It works ok, but wear gloves!
She takes an edge pretty easily, and holds it.
I tried my hand at leather, using adhesive and rivets (I'll shoot some more pics of everything) ad I think it turned out ok. Some more thought should have been put to belt/gear attachment, but I have a 12"x24" sheet of kydex that will solve that.
January 30, 2009, 12:46 AM
Don, that is absolutely beautiful. When I first started looking at your stuff I was contemplating getting a Randall model 26. Not only is your knife better looking and much less expensive, I didn't have to wait 5 years to get it.
Guys, seriously, if you need a great knife, look at http://www.DLKnives.com
I wonder if this thread could be stickied to serve as a member's display case for handmade non-firearm items....
Mac, I started this thread because yours seemed to be for works in progress... I've got nothin' "in the fire" right now, but a fair body of toys behind me....
Ok, so this time, I bring a Saxon style (roughly :)) socketed spear head. I've made 3 of these now, and they're the only 2-day forgeing projects I've embarked on. They take that long simply because I start with a railroad spike. Turning that head into a big socket takes some time, as it turns out....
Railroad spikes are generally mild steel, but if you look around your local delapidated switchyard, you'll find that some spikes are stamped with an H or an HC on the head. This means "High Carbon". Now, high carbon here doesn't mean 1085 or better, but what most of us would call medium carbon, about 1040. Just enough that a quench hardens the material usefully for this sort of application (no temper needed), but not enough to take a razor like edge.
This little leaf bladed spear will penetrate 3/4" plywood when given a solid thrust.
The socket is left unwelded (aparently, this is how it was done....), and wedged firmly on the tapered end of the 1-1/4" hardwood pole. Then the socket and pole are drilled thru and a 3/16" brass pin rivits it in place.
This lives in my bedroom, 3' from where I sleep. This is my HD handgun. I figure the sight of a 6'2", 230# angry mostly naked guy with this spear would weaken the resolve of most neerdowells.... But luckily, it's unlikely I'll ever have to find out. Really hope not.
January 30, 2009, 01:33 PM
If they've read this thread they will equip themselves with 1.5" plywood platemail...:neener:
January 30, 2009, 01:44 PM
Can't cover everything!
January 30, 2009, 03:08 PM
Valkman and conwict, i appologize for the name spelling error. I spell it Volk..
I was dead tired and just looking in , and really to tired to type. Sorry about that, but the work is nice and tidy, well balanced art that functions.
7X57chilmau, I have no0 idea the steps it takes to turn a rr spike into a lance head like that. I sure would like to see a step by step sometime.
I am hoping to see on for hawks somewhere or another too. This Spring after the snow goes i hope to get my forge set up again. So far most of what I make is fire irons for a camp fire at a primitive camp we all call voo, and other related items for cooking, plus the knives which are a combination of forging and stock removal. My forging skills have developed to be all forge except 1% yet, but I sure would like to know how more than I do.
On my something to do thread some iotems are current, while others are now, and have been around a long time. I like to show off the file patterns, not that that one is great, it's just about the only blade I still have to take a pics of. There is a few others, but I still have a long wish list of pics to get on line.
I used to be pretty good with a 35 mm camera, but these digitals beat me up bad. Where I live space to do much in doors is minimal, and it's been dammned cold, where I am a lot, so I get to fight steel and the cold at the same time. As of late I can't seem to turn a ignition key with out some wicked thing happening. Cars, trucks and the Bob Cat which we can't live with out.
Anyone wants snow come git it fer free! I'll load all you want and you are free to come back for more!
January 30, 2009, 03:51 PM
Making the spearhead isn't that hard, but it sure takes time. Here's how I did it (three times so far....)
Get a HC or H type RR spike.
First, the socket. Blade is always last. Hold the spike by the pointy end, the head will become the socket. The idea with the socket is to draw the stock out into a triangle shape about 7 or 8" tall, and about 3 or 3.5" at the base, while leaving about half the spike for the blade and "tang". I work this with a combo of cross pien and ballpiens, flatting the work every few heats with the smithing hammer. The cross pien will spread the metal perpendicular to the pien, while the ballpien will spread it in all directions equally. You need to do both. Basically, this is a fullering type process. Try to leave a vein (like a leaf) down the first inch or 2 of the socket from the blade "tang", to help support the blade and spread bending loads into the socket better.... This is a day's hard work for the newbie like me. I could likely do this faster now, I haven't made such a piece in 3 years now... Trim scallopped edges with the hardy.
Now, you have what looks like a very crude pancake flipper, with a big triangular spatula, about 1/32 thick at the base, tapering up to about 1/8" near the top. The "handle" of the spatula is the remaining 4" or so of spike.... Use tongs and a ring to grip the socket end, and forge your blade as your imagination demands. Don't try to thin the "tang" down too much early on, it can easily be over-thinned, weakening the blade.
Once I had the blade roughed out, I finished it with angle and bench grinders. I really oughta get a belt sander... I use the bench grinder to shape the general form of the blade, to make it leaf shaped, as it were. I grind 45 chamfers to create a false edge.... Helps me see what I'm doing when I use the angle grinder to grind the blade flats.
The higher angle the angle grinder is held, the more hollow the grind it produces. This spear is fairly flat ground. I just clamp the piece to a bit of angle iron in my post vice and go at'er. I use glazed (overheated) wheels on my grinder because they cut slower and leave a smoother finish.
Once the blade is formed reasonably well, it's back to the forge. Rolling the socket is fairly easy, start it on the edge of the anvil, then to the horn, finish on a bic or a piece of rod in the post vice. I use rod and post vice, have no bic to fit my anvil. Easy enough to do in 2 or 3 heats.
I crank the "tang" over a bit to put the blade into the centreline of the socket. It will tend to be off-centre if you don't. Straighten everything out (with a good heat on the steel, any adjustments you make to black iron will result in warping when you quench....)
So, finally heat the entire thing to critical, and quench in oil. No temper required, this is medium carbon stuff. Taper a suitable pole to suit the socket, ram it in there, drill thru, rivet with brass or copper.
I can't imagine being a soldier a thousand years ago. This would have been the grunt's weapon of choice. Imagine charging a position fortified with a determined cohort of soldiers, each armed with one of these, a veritable porcupine, determined to run you thru....
The spear has never been finished. I need to take a 6" piece of 1-1/4" black iron pipe, and forge one end of it down to a point. This goes on the butt end of the pole, sharpened to a 90 degree pyramid point....
I gotta get me some more charcoal..... I'm out!
January 30, 2009, 03:52 PM
And I've got plenty of snow here... You keep yours. :)
January 30, 2009, 04:07 PM
No problem Mac!
It's kind of unfair that me and Wylie get into threads like this as we aren't making one knife back in the shed - we are knifemakers so we're going to show better than most even if we are "hobby" makers and not full time guys. We've both been at this about 4 years so we should be showing some pretty good stuff. John also makes excellent sheaths while I send out for mine.
I have to say the job highorder did on that Tracker is amazing for a non-knifemaker and I'm thinking that boy knows more about making knives than he lets on. :) That's not your first knife, now is it? LOL I see a bunch of talent in this thread!
January 30, 2009, 04:09 PM
No snow here and NO mac im not sending you the kinfolk (Smirk and Snicker). But it is going out for a custom sheath, I can sharpen any knife but this one is truely scary sharp- yes it has already "bit" me, so it is mine forever, as the old saying goes. I love 1095!
January 30, 2009, 04:37 PM
LOL, Doc I am sure gonna be fuzzy ifn' ya don't send me that little shaver fast! :evil: Springs 'a cumin' and when sugarin is over I gotta shave this face!
Come on now Doc doncha be that way.... :D Why you wouldn't want me to be shavin with that Bowie of mine would ya :what:
Ah ha! 'The confessions of a knifemaker Valkman. I fear for me it is a hobby to serve another hobby, but your work while modern looking, is very nice art.
Pre 1840 events were once a hobby, now gone mad and is my lifestyle as much as it can be allowed and still surive in the world we have made now.
I can fulley attest to that I would have prefered spending time dabbling around on something to do (something sharp) than mess with ice in the stater motor on the Bob Cat,and then dig in deep and fix 2 very heavy leaks, but one must do what one must do..
Since neither Doc, nor 7X57chilmau are interested in any snow, perhaps I could interest you? Surely yer loving family would like about (20) 18 wheeler loads and all for free, I mean this is such a deal! I literally have achers of the stuff to get rid of.. I am running out of room for any more too.
7X57chilmau, Thank you I understand most of that..
About 1/2 of the head end is forged to a wide triangle 'tight delta wing', and then the other end is drawn out to be thick and round, tapering, where you forge a flat pod shape, and forge/grind a spear head.
Then form the socket. Once I try and mess it up getting it off set, I will understand how you center it better. Medium carbon works well for this sort of thing as I have found using telephone pole 'V' straps
(galvi coated steel bars to hold the wooden cross beams)
I had 2 burlap sacks full of rr spikes, but lost them somewhere in a move. I will find more after the snow goes..
I just can't wait for Valkman to come get his share... :evil:
January 30, 2009, 04:58 PM
No snow for me - I hate that crap! That's why I live in the desert where it's 65 today and 70 tomorrow! Woohoo!
January 30, 2009, 09:25 PM
:D Snowy down there, Mac... I went mountain biking on Mt. Cranmore once, a decade or so ago.... Not far from you, no? Red Jersey Cyclery was nearby.... So many years and hobbies ago...
Valkman, I want to see what any man can make by hand. I don't care if he's a pro making his living or if he's some nut who bangs car springs into crude blades....
This is about people with a passion for steel and pointy things. I think every poster here shares that.
That Tracker's one mean lookin' slab-o-metal!
SeanSw, that's a strange lookin' thing! Ya gotta tell us something about it, what's it made of, what's the idea behind it, and where did you succeed or fail? I'm not quite sure from the picture if it's single or double edged, but it looks like some kinda cleaver/machete/tanto evil zombie offspring :D;):evil:
January 31, 2009, 02:14 PM
I have to say the job highorder did on that Tracker is amazing for a non-knifemaker and I'm thinking that boy knows more about making knives than he lets on. That's not your first knife, now is it?
First, thank you for the compliment! It means a lot coming from a guy with your skillset :)
Second, you pegged me guilty ;)
I started making knives in the early 90's. Most have been stock removal in O-1, 440C, 1095, but I have also done some forging on O-1 and motorcycle chain damascus...
The Tracker was made when I was teaching Manufacturing at Western Michigan University.
I spent a few hours after class each night when I had the Fab shop and Machining lab to myself.
A friend of mine bought a Tracker, and I liked it. I'm a big backcountry hiker, and was thinking something like the Tracker could take the place of both my Cold Steel SRK and my Gerber Sport Axe. I tweaked the basic design, and you've seen the result. Turns out I really prefer a small fixed blade (currently a SOG NW Ranger) and the Gerber axe.
The tracker sees more use taming brush in the yard these days; its stout enough for most any task.
January 31, 2009, 05:26 PM
7X57chilmau :D yeah it's snowy here. Goes like this, storm, plow, break the truck, bob cat the bankings back, break the bob cat, fix the truck, fix the bob cat, shovel the roof, storm. I am half down shoveling all these damnned roofs. Oh yeah break the roof rake, gotta fix that now..
I don't need to think at all doing any of that stuff, so I am dreaming up the way the forge will be, of sapin' (maple sugar) and the garden.
I don't know how yet to forge hawks, but I hope to by summers end. When I get to where i want to be the hawks should be delicate, clean and smokable, with I hope silver inlay.
If anyone knows where I can find a How To with some good pics I sure wouldn't mind knowing. No vidio's though as I am on a 56k mo dumb.
February 2, 2009, 09:07 AM
Anvilfire is a forgeing forum. Go there. They have step-by-step tutorials for forgeing many common items.
I've tried to make a hawk myself, but have yet to master the forge welding required to pull it off. Have some nice wrought iron home now, so I'll have to try it again.
You cannot weld leaf springs. I know!
February 2, 2009, 10:40 AM
I'll check that out. My first attempts will probably be failuers. I expect it.
Some will be folded in half tries and others will be slotted with 2 drill holes and saw cuttting to make the holes become one oval, with heat and a mandrel.
I will try a variety of steels, like rail road spikes, horse shoe rasps, and other odd bits.
What happens if you thin out leaf spring, and try to weld it then?
February 2, 2009, 11:30 AM
Leaf springs simply won't weld in the forge, they'll stick a little, but give under light pressure. The chrome in the mix makes it impossible with this method. Aparently, it's even difficult with modern mig/tig techniques.....
From my experience, I'd have to agree with "them"....
In the end, I gave up, hardened it like glass and smacked it with the hammer. Many small pieces. Frustration quenched....
February 2, 2009, 07:50 PM
here is a knife I made last yearhttp://i612.photobucket.com/albums/tt204/messerist/008.jpg
February 3, 2009, 09:21 AM
Nicely done! Stock removal from a file? Did you modify the heat treat in any way? Files are brutal-hard, and quite brittle!
I really like the handle and guard
February 3, 2009, 07:48 PM
I forged it out of an old file. I found a passle of them at a garage sale for $1! I even got a nice old orange crate out of the deal! After forging I annealed the blade then filed and sanded out everything that didn't look like a knife. Edge quenched in oil/bacon fat/parrafin goop(Wayne Goddard mix) then triple tempered it in the oven at 400F. I mostly follow the proceedures in Wayne Goddards "$50 Knife Shop. Here is one I made out of 5160 steel, moose antler and leather washershttp://i612.photobucket.com/albums/tt204/messerist/TroysNikon30Nov08168.jpg
February 5, 2009, 08:51 AM
messerist, I really like that second one! Beauty lines...
Throwing knives have held a certain fascination for me for years. Always had that exotic "glow" about 'em, but I could never see a good reason to throw a perfectly good knife away.... Oh, and I'm so physically uncoordinated, successful sticks ran in the 30% range, on a good day.
This one's crude, but it achieved it's purpose: A throwing knife even I can reliably stick, and one that's completely impractical to use in any other way. Forged from a coil spring, double edged, double pointed. Tempered to a blue for durability, still hard enough. It's been planted in plywood dozens of times, bounced off its share of concrete walls and floors (throwing at a too-small target block in my basement), and survived with nothing more than a horrid CLANG and a slightly burred edge....
This thing is, of course, illegal in many jurisdictions. It are not specifically banned in Canada, and is treated as a "martial arts weapon". It is not something I'd actually carry, it's for home amusement only.
Know your local laws before manufacturing edged exotica.
Clearly, I'm running outa stuff to show....
February 5, 2009, 09:06 AM
messerist, I really like that last one you posted.
February 5, 2009, 10:58 AM
messerist , I like both workings. I think your methods are much like mine.
I wonder if ever you pre hot bent a file down in a gentile curve, so forging brings the top (spine) back up to straight?
The 2nd knife... How do you like the finger grooves? I am not sure, but I think there is room there to bevel the hard corners.
It might be I was just never really fond of finger grooves in the first place, but what I do and or think shouldn't be any influence anyway.
The hard edges to me represent blisters. Nice controll of the belt grinder too assuming that is what you used to get the final shape.
7X57chilmau , seems to be one of the few who can forge very close to his final shape, something I am lacking in myself.
February 5, 2009, 11:22 AM
Mac, I pre-curve my blades towards the edge (A-la kukri) prior to forging the edge. Pure magic when you get the amount of pre-curve right and the blade slowly squirms its way towards it's final shape with each hammer blow...
I don't think I'm any more than a very average novice bladesmith. I think I'm simply willing to accept a cruder final product than so many others who perform fine grinds on their blades.
I don't grind more mostly because my grinding equipment is woefully inadequate: A 6" bench grinder with one medium wheel and one wire wheel, and a 4.5" angle grinder and selection of discs.... And angle grinders don't lend themselves to precision work. I desperately need a decent belt grinder, an 8" or larger bench unit and to convert the 6" bench to a polishing centre. Alas, funds not available.... :(
February 5, 2009, 01:44 PM
Here is a socketed arrowhead I made a year ago... One of 3 I turned out that day.
Entirely forged from 1/4" diameter music wire (1085), this one takes a 5/16" shaft. Hardened and tempered blue. I made said shaft and fletched it with feathers and thread. My 30# recurve is inadequate for this heavy a projectile, but the head took the heat, anyway, in 3/4" plywood.
For all intents and purposes, this is a miniature spearhead like the one I posted a few days ago. Fabrication is the same, but much quicker and easier.
by rights, I should have forge welded the socket seam, but I lack the skill. That is VERY thin metal there, under 1mm by the socket base. The test shots did not show any sign of opening the socket or driving the shaft further into the socket than I did on installing it.
I do not pin the head to the arrow. Better that the head should become detached when the victim attempts to withdraw the arrow. Barbs can, of course, be formed in the blade to ensure this happens. ONe I made did feature that. Looked mean!
Again, forged entirely as amusement and for the challenge / art of the endevour. I have no intention of using any of these things as weapons unless under extreme duress. Knife fights etc. are for idiots and the desperate.
February 5, 2009, 05:49 PM
7X57chilmau, Anvilfire is a odd site to navigate. Do you post there, or just read the How To's?
February 5, 2009, 07:33 PM
My grandfather was a jeweler. He was also an avid firearm and antique collector, a hunter, and knife maker.
After he passed away, we inherited his collection of knives.
In the collection were about 12 knives made from things like marble, jade, tigers eye, and granite. This included the handles and blades.
The one in the following photos is tigers eye and I believe marble. And yes, the blade is made from marble as well. (I emphasize because so many people I show it to at gun shows think the blade is something else until they examine it closer).
Link to the Album (http://picasaweb.google.com/shisouka/RockKnife?feat=directlink)
If you thought you saw a crack near one of the pins, you are correct. This particular knife is our display knife that we show to others and handle a lot. It was sadly dropped some time ago, but thankfully didn't shatter...just cracked in the one spot.
As for the sharpness, well, it isn't as sharp as those knives you see people shaving paper with. It will cut paper as well as other more solid things and I certainly wouldn't want to get stabbed with it or cut myself because it is quite pointy and sharp. But you can only sharpen rock so far and still keep it from being brittle, so it obviously won't be as sharp as a metal knife.
February 5, 2009, 07:57 PM
You all are too kind. I appreciate your comments! The finger grooves we a request from the guy I made it for. I am not a big fan of them myself. Here is a riflewoman's knife I made for my sister. I pre-bent the blade before forging the edge. I like the throwing knife! Once again, thank you for your comments. I am always looking to improve and to help.
February 6, 2009, 07:58 AM
That stone folder is awesome! Perhaps less than practical, but what art!
I like the coffin handle onthat last hunter too....
Mac, anvilfire is weird. I've never posted there. I do use the "iForge How-to's", their presentation is strange but it does the job.... The Armoury link is helpful, and where I bogarted my spear style from (tho I simplified it...)
They have some nice stories and other time-wasters there too, stuff to read and file away for later....
February 6, 2009, 08:37 AM
fantastic craftsmanship on exhibit in this thread- keep it coming
February 6, 2009, 01:00 PM
7X57chilmau, Yeah I think the best I can do with Anvilefire is use it as referance. Thanks for the link though, as I saw several projects I had wondered about, the basket weave handles for kitchen ware for one. Although I consider that way cheating since i want to do it by splitting out one solid bar.... :D I enjoyed seeing some of the tricks they use too, like forming the heart hook. I made other items than weapons, and so seeing how others make some of the things I made is nice.
messerist, Your methods are very much like mine. I see the pins in the brass (i think) bolster, which is exactly the way I would do that.
I do not believe in soldering bolsters because it could risk temper in the blade.
The hammer marks or scale/rust from them make no difference to me. I am all about use and not pretty. If pretty happens thats ok, and I strive for pretty in file working. With ease i could live with that knife.
Now I am confused... That coffin handle isn't a thrower I hope! (on edit: I see you mean 7X57chilmau's thrower now)
Critical criteria. I always hate this, but..... Since there is no criss guard quillion, when that blade was formed it might have been improved upon, by forging the rear lower edge just below the tang, to 'upset'/'bump up' that area to be slightly wider, so then a 'blade catch' could be drilled and formed, and so have a wider and dull vertical line at the area below the bolsters.
Probably this has already occured to you, and it is pretty much too late now anyway, but next time the idea should be considered.... maybe :confused:
If that knife had that to me it would score a 10!
That marble knife isn;'t the first stone knife I ever saw, but it is the first folder in stone I ever saw. Is it functional? very nice art, lots of tooling control, which shows if it can be done in stone it can be done in steel.
February 6, 2009, 07:58 PM
Constructive criticism is always welcome. Most of my knives are made for friends and relatives so they tend to be "just what the doctor ordered." With three little ones and a fourth due next Wednesday I don't find much time to put out a lot of knives. Here is one I finished last fall. I used Sambar stag for the handle and some brass barstock for the guard. Blade is forged from a leaf spring.
February 6, 2009, 08:05 PM
February 6, 2009, 08:19 PM
Very nice skinner!
I think I'd have cut the rear of the guard flush with the handle... Kinda looks like a fighter guard on a skinning blade...
How long is the tang? I see the front pin, is there another hidden in the dark stag?
Congratulations on the new little one, and good luck for a smooth delivery! Our second is due towards September, I know whatcha mean about finding the time for knife making.
February 7, 2009, 11:18 AM
It is always risky lending advice on what another man makes. You had asked.. So I took the risk hoping things would still be ok.
Is it safe to assume you understand the meaning of a blade catch? That you just choose to not build one, because if you don't understand what I mean you need to know.
The catcher and the dull area behind it are all about protecting the user, and serve a very valid purpose, and so it isn't just another little 'fancy' on a other wise very nice knife...
Also be it known I typo with the very best, and criss was meant to be cross... oops!
February 7, 2009, 12:43 PM
blade catch ? I think you are referring to a guard perhaps ?
February 7, 2009, 03:16 PM
A "spanish notch" on a SW bowie blade is a form of blade catch. The purpose is to give another blade something to drop down into before it gets to YOUR fingers. Some consider the unground ricasso between the sharpened edge and the guard to serve that role as well, but that's not it's primary purpose. A guard is entirely separate and a different part to protect the hand and is not (usually) part of the blade.
February 7, 2009, 06:40 PM
The knife above shown as a "Riflewoman's Knife" 2 pics up, has no cross guard and has no blade catch.
I didn't know there was a term 'spanish notch', which just in my opinion would serve knives like that one well.
I can not personally hadle that knife, but as I see it it is sharp very near the bolters and the grips..
By forging the back of the blade just a little and cutting that notch could help a user not get a nasty cut.
Some many years ago I made this knife and didn't know about the notch at the time or one would be there. I did recognise that if i didn't do something, who ever ended up owning this, which turned out to be my wife, would get a nasty cut, so I forged the area some.
February 7, 2009, 08:09 PM
Macmac I am very thankful for your input. I also agree that some sort of blade guard was needed in the "Riflewoman's Knife" but My Sister is bigger than me and always beats me up. Really, she likes the knife and I hope that her use of it does not result in a visit to the emergency room! She mostly uses it for "belt jewelry" at rendezvous. I wish I had more of my knives on digital so I could post them for you. Alsa they are on that archaic floppy stuff called "photographs," remember those? As soon as wife is without child we'll see if we can scan some for posting. Macmac and 7X57 chlimau, you guys must read my mind, or we were triplets separated at birth! 7X57 chilmau the big skinner's tang is about 3/4 into the stag handle. Never hesitate to add your much welcomed criticism of my knives. Here is another one I recently made(summer 2008). It is a skinner forged from a file with a 100 year old antler handle! Unfortunately it will be my last post until I can digitize some more photos.
February 8, 2009, 02:11 AM
I plan to build a workshop that includes quite a few knifemaking tools including a forge. I've never made a knife from a bar of steel but I want to try. I'm a kinesthetic learner, I don't get knowledge from reading about it but from watching and doing. As such I'd like to watch one of you guys who make knives do a project. Since I'm a teacher I have summers off much of the time, if I could come to watch one of you make a knife I'd appreciate it.
February 8, 2009, 10:17 AM
While I agree that a guard of some sort or a ricasso with choil is needed to help keep the user safe there are endless scandinavian designs with neither.
February 8, 2009, 03:55 PM
You're always welcome at my shop, alaskanativeson!
February 8, 2009, 05:30 PM
:D messerist, See if you can learn to call me mac.. Most places have all mac's taken so I added the non-sence. Comes from the fact my real first name is Bill, My middle name is McKay. The primitive events I go to end up with me, and 40 other deaf guys all named Bill, and some poor fool will come along and say "Hey Bill", and 41 fools look back, and in unison say HUH? :what:
There are other Macs there to like Billy Mac, and Wild Bill Mac, and so on, but being subtle I am just Mac.. :D
I am not sure how to steal a picture on line and post it here. I don't have any picture of a knife with what I am talking about. I made them, but never took a pic at the time and they are long gone now.
Maybe hso can help us out..?? I don't know a thing about bandwidth, but I hear about it, just don't get the idea.
hso knows more terms about knives than I do too. I just make them, and don't know all the names of the parts and areas.. I do on canoes, so I am not a total loss.. LOL :D
Why I can't even pronounce all them fancy words, and my wife is too busy doing who knows what to go ask. She can say any words just by reading them and then somehow she knows what they all mean too, but she is a upstate NY girl and they all know all the words to all the songs by heart.
What really bothers me most about her is she types about 95 words per minute, and can look at me the whole time and talk about any other topic than what she is typing. Sometimes I think I should shoot her because only a demon can do this. But then she is pretty, and so thar's no sence wastin nuthin ... is there?
Oh yeah I am supposed to talk about that knife! Well first of all you don't have to place a picture in each post just to post, so I hope you are not going to have to go away because you ran out of pictures.
And then I am kinda slow, and I might get a new question about a old picture anyway. And how do you know that deer antler is over 100 years old anyway?
I got a big metal trunk stuffed full of antlers and cow horns and some of the antlers look like that one. In fact maybe that one was in my box!
You been pokin in my antlers box lately?? :D
I like that skinner pretty well. What is between the brass guard and the antler? I can't make out just what that is. Might be leather?
February 8, 2009, 05:41 PM
alaskanativeson, Is NH USA floats yer stick you could come here too. This Spring after sugarin I must set my forge up, and get it working, just to survive. We could compare skeeters and the like too. I think ours are bigger! :D
I have a hard hankerin to forge up some hawks too. I never have before but I got the How To in my head, and while I need to learn some more skills, my bet is I can and a will.
I don't have the dough but there will be "Hammer In's" over in the Lewiston Auburn area of Maine where some of the best will do demos and lessons.
These are held in many places so it doesn't need to be way east of where you are now though, just thought to extend an offer.
Summer of 07 a I had a female Kiwi rider (motorcyclist) come for what was supposed to be 3 days or so. The idea to get here, then get the bike here, uncrate it, assemble it and get her moving. Just didn't work out that way.
Took nearly 4 weeks for that bike to come, so I took her places in NH Main and VT on my bike. Sometimes over night which my wife trusts me for. This gal now wants to return to see a NH winter? Her mind is gone..
February 8, 2009, 07:36 PM
Mac, The spacer between the handle and guard is leather as you suspected. Before I drill for the handle pin I put a similar spacer between the guard and handle just a little thinner. When I am ready to assemble I use a tad thicker piece so that everything snugs up when I put the pin in. I file a point on the brass pin so that it starts easier because with the difference in spacer thickness the holes don't quite line up. I also use a good 2 ton 30 minute epoxy for insurance. I picked up the antler for the handle from a burned ruin out in the woods near Titusville Pennsylvania. The antler had been used as a coat hanger for years in the house. My friends grandmother gave me the antler and she said that she remembered it from when she was a girl. This was in 1988 and she was 95. I just now got around to using it.
February 8, 2009, 08:17 PM
Valkman, I appreciate the offer. I'd love to see your set up, but it's going to have to wait for a Christmas break trip to Vegas. About the only way someone will get me to visit a place that is 100 degrees is with a summons and a straight jacket. My Athabascan blood would evaporate. Luckily, I'm willing to bet I'll be able to find a good deal to Vegas in the holiday season.
Macmac, my brother lives in Iowa. There's a good chance we're going to visit him this summer break, if we do I hope there'll be enough time to throw in an East Coast trip that would go from Virginia to New Hampshire.
February 8, 2009, 08:26 PM
It's nice in May and April and October but in the summer I'd like it if it were only 100! I don't even go out to the shop until 7pm - just too hot.
February 9, 2009, 08:41 PM
Well there is a native here from Ak in summer, winter too, but he goes back to fish in Spring times.
So long as the big one don't come I 'spect ta be around.
I hear ya too on heat. My wife and I went riding on the motor bike one day and found ourselves in South Dakota in 108' We both thought we were gonna die....
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