My New Knife Project


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Tophernj
July 13, 2013, 05:55 AM
So, I built a kit knife which was a lot of fun. A little folder from Texas Knife Supply. While I was on there for the second go-'round, I decided to get some steel and take a shot at doing my own fixed blade. So an order went in for 01 steel.

I like beefy knives so the steel is fairly thick. Close to a quarter inch if I am remembering correctly. I have a really cool little knife that I got in New Mexico on vacation a couple of years ago at a "Mountain Man" festival in Santa Fe. Something so very cool about meeting with and shaking the hand of the guy that makes what one buys. Plus the story about the handle material was cool as well. So, I am using that knife as a loose pattern.

As for tools, I have a nice Hitachi grinder, a Grizzly bench mounted belt sander that is proving to be hopelessly underpowered, and a bunch of files and sandpaper. I will be sending the blade out to be heat treated off site as I don't have the time nor inclination to attempt that myself.

So far it looks ok. I am NOT a pro by any stretch, but I feel that this knife will be pretty special.

Oh, I also took a bunch of old jeans and made my own handle material.

Christopher



PS A quick pic of the inspiration, the pattern, the steel, the blank I ground, and the denim micarta.

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Valkman
July 13, 2013, 06:45 AM
That's great! You'll have fun and hopefully make a user that you'll be proud of.

Good luck!

Tophernj
July 13, 2013, 01:42 PM
Thank you! I'm looking forward to th journey and arrival on this one.

C

Sam1911
July 13, 2013, 02:10 PM
Wow! Sounds like a cool foray into the hobby! Good luck and keep us posted!

Sam Cade
July 13, 2013, 03:09 PM
I like the lines on that blade!!!

Tophernj
July 13, 2013, 03:24 PM
Thank you Sam's!

C

RTR_RTR
July 13, 2013, 04:01 PM
Do you have experience working with metal? I have a feeling my first go would look nothing like that :)

Tophernj
July 13, 2013, 04:53 PM
Not in the knife making sense however I have built a motorcycle in the past. I suck at that. But, it gave me the some of the tools that I am currently drawing on for this.

Essentially I traced the pattern onto the steel with a sharpie and went at it with a grinder with a cutting disc on it. I got the shape VERY rough and spent the next several hours refining the shape starting with the grinder with a grinding wheel then a sanding wheel. I moved to the belt sander and then to files. There was a bit of back and forth on it as well. As she sits right now, I'm happy with the overall but want to tweak it just a bit more. Gotta wait a bit as I am going out on the town with the wife in a few.

That's about as much metal working as I've done. I'm a hairdresser during most days so this is just a very fun hobby and diversion.

C

RTR_RTR
July 13, 2013, 05:23 PM
Your lines look great. The only thing that jumps out to me is that the handle could maybe use a little more concavity on the finger side. Grips are obviously strongly personal preference though. I'm hoping to try my hand at a knife in a week or two, but I'll be working with only a file, so I have a feeling I may give it up after the first 3 hours of zero progress :D

Tophernj
July 13, 2013, 10:10 PM
Your lines look great. The only thing that jumps out to me is that the handle could maybe use a little more concavity on the finger side. Grips are obviously strongly personal preference though. I'm hoping to try my hand at a knife in a week or two, but I'll be working with only a file, so I have a feeling I may give it up after the first 3 hours of zero progress :D
I agree with the shaping on the finger side.

IF all you have is a file, go for it for as long as you can take then rest. Pick it up again in a few days. Go for it again. Repeat until the shape is right. Good luck.

C

Valkman
July 13, 2013, 10:12 PM
Yea, making a knife with only files and sandpaper is very tough. I made my first one that way and swore I'd never do it again! I then bought a Grizzly knife grinder. :)

Tophernj
July 14, 2013, 10:09 PM
I got a little more done this evening but it's nothing all that exciting. Mostly just smoothing spots that need smoothing and refining the shape where it needs refinement. Hopefully this week I will start grinding the blade. Gonna watch some more tutorials and then give'er a go. I'll post pics when I get to where I want to be.


C

Deltaboy
July 14, 2013, 11:32 PM
It is looking good.

Tophernj
July 15, 2013, 10:38 PM
So, the current project MIGHT be on hold for a moment...

I have been emailing a knife maker that is somewhat close to home. He has graciously offered to help/teach me to grind my blade correctly. If it comes to pass, cool. If not, cool. I'll just move forward. We'll see where it goes. I will keep y'all updated.

C

Tophernj
August 3, 2013, 06:17 AM
So, it's official...



I am going to go to a semi-local custom knife maker to learn how to grind an edge on this knife. I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am to get the opportunity to do this. I will share the pics when I get back. I am heading over there on Sunday 8/4 to spend the day in his shop so look to this thread for updates.



C

hso
August 3, 2013, 08:33 AM
Bring a fist full of wooden paint stirrers or very flat sections of wooden slat so you can burn up something cheap learning to grind.

Also, bring your own safety glasses and a dust mask so you don't have to borrow his.

Tophernj
August 3, 2013, 09:01 AM
Bring a fist full of wooden paint stirrers or very flat sections of wooden slat so you can burn up something cheap learning to grind.

Also, bring your own safety glasses and a dust mask so you don't have to borrow his.
Already in the box that is going with me.

C

Tophernj
August 4, 2013, 04:37 PM
I just got back from the knife maker's place. If it wasn't for him, it would NOT look as good as it does. He is an incredibly patient person with a knack for teaching. 8 hours later and this is where I am at. Has been heat treated. Needs to be tempered and then finished. Scales and such will be amongst the last things to happen. I'm pretty psyched with how it turned out.

What do y'all think?

C

RetiredUSNChief
August 4, 2013, 05:53 PM
I think it's looking very good so far!

Part of any new project/hobby that I find interesting is learning how to apply the knowledge and skills one has to turn one's vision into reality. It's amazing what one can do when they put their mind to it. Researching and developing additional skills needed is a fascinating part of the project, as well.

I made a 2/3 scale replica of a 24-pounder off the USS Constitution as a carbide cannon for my kids last year in time for July 4th. It took some imagination to figure out how to make it look so real, but was well worth the effort. (There's a link in my signature below which shows a video of the test firing of the finished product.) My next project along those lines will be a pair of Civil War era mortars for next year.

But you've put a bug in my ear that makes me want to try my hand at making a knife of my own, now. If this puts a kink in my plans for the mortars, I'm blaming you!

:neener:


Seriously, though...this knife project looks to be a sweet first attempt that is going to turn out to be a real beauty! I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Tophernj
August 4, 2013, 07:19 PM
I think it's looking very good so far!


But you've put a bug in my ear that makes me want to try my hand at making a knife of my own, now. If this puts a kink in my plans for the mortars, I'm blaming you!

:neener:


Seriously, though...this knife project looks to be a sweet first attempt that is going to turn out to be a real beauty! I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Thank you for the kind words. If I'm to blame for you delaying the mortar project, so be it. That's the kind of blame I can live with!! :neener:

I can't wait to finish it. It's so close but this evening the Harley needed my attention. Just got done fussing with it and only one broken part which isn't too bad for me. I will spend a little more time the knife tomorrow evening.

C

Valkman
August 4, 2013, 09:31 PM
That looks great! Temper it and get some handles on it!

Tophernj
August 6, 2013, 10:29 PM
Made some progress this evening.

I got home from work early due to a cancelling client. Always a double edged sword as it gets me home early, but with less money in my pocket. Eh, I'll take it.

Anyway, got the scales 80% done. Got the blade prepped as I'm going to blue it. Nothing too crazy as there are some imperfections in the steel that I really don't mind. Anyway, we're getting there. Lots of dust, some minor sparkage, and a healthy dose of "???" means I'm on my way. Too tired to take any pics. Thanks for following along.

C

Sox
August 8, 2013, 03:09 PM
This is great post. Keep it up, can't wait to see it.

Tophernj
August 15, 2013, 08:21 AM
Basically, she's a done. The "knife" is there. Needs to be sharpened and a sheath made, but I'm callin' it.

Brownells bluing cream was applied to get the finish. Pins are stainless. Handles are homemade "Deni-Micarta" Steel is 0-1.

All in all this was a very fun project and an amazing learning experience. Thanks to all for following along.

C

bikerdoc
August 15, 2013, 08:45 AM
Very nice.

I got to get back to the bench.

Sam Cade
August 15, 2013, 09:02 AM
Oh, shoot!

That came out great!

Carry and use it with pride!

Deltaboy
August 15, 2013, 09:14 AM
Great job.

Valkman
August 15, 2013, 11:18 AM
That looks REAL good for the first time. Sharpen it up!

hso
August 15, 2013, 01:04 PM
Very good.

Would you describe the heat treating process, tempering, and sharpening process?

Tophernj
August 15, 2013, 01:25 PM
Heat treat was done in someone's shop in a heat treat oven. We ate pizza while that happened. Blade was oil quenched.

Tempering I did at home in the toaster oven. Two cycles of 90 minutes each at 400deg I believe. Knife was cooled to room temp between each cycle.

I'm trying to figure the sharpening thing out.

C

Shanghai McCoy
August 15, 2013, 02:16 PM
I'd say you nailed it ... :)
Darned good looking knife ! Now the next step is getting into leatherwork and making the sheath.

Did I mention that it is a "slippery slope"..?;)

RTR_RTR
August 15, 2013, 03:10 PM
VERY nice, well done

Tophernj
August 15, 2013, 08:14 PM
Thanks all for the kind words.

As to the sharpening, I will need a bit as I hyper extended my thumb on Monday and it's pretty sore. So, gimme a minute.

As to the sheath, I just picked up a leather sewing awl thing and will be ordering leather in the next few weeks. Want to get vacation done before I start buying stuff. So yeah, that's on the list.

C

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