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Making Knives

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Mencius, Sep 24, 2010.

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  1. Mencius

    Mencius Member

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    Do many of you make your own knives? I saw a place, KnifeKits.com, and thought about trying it out. This is the first time it has even crossed my mind, but I thought I could kinda get it just the way I want. And, it seems like something fun to have. After practicing with some of those I thought the next step would be to make my own blades even though I have never done anything like that all before.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Enthusiasts can become hobbyist makers that become part-time makers that become full-time makers. That's usually the path many part-time and full-time makers have taken.

    A kit is a great way to start out.
     
  3. BRad704

    BRad704 Member

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    Welcome to my world from last week... :D

    Looking back, I am glad I didnt go the route of a kit. I used an old machete blade to cut my first knife from and for what it is, I am totally pleased!
     
  4. Flobert

    Flobert Member

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    It intrigues me. I like to make stuff.

    I've heard old files can make good knives, for beginners starting out.

    What holds me back is, I don't like getting cuts!
     
  5. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    Making knives becomes an addiction, once you start you won't be able to stop! LOL
     
  6. Black Toe Knives

    Black Toe Knives Member

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    Kits are great way to get knifemaking. I started out little over two years ago. It all started when I seen a pair of Damascus hair cutting shears. I then research Damascus and seen Damascus Knives. I told my wife that day, I was going to make knives for a living. I sold my scissor equipment and bought knife equipment. It was history at that point. Six months later I quit my job and started making knives full time.

    My first knife I sold. (Oct. '08)
    HPIM0375.jpg

    This is my latest one. (Sept. '10)
    SAM_1159.jpg
    SAM_1160.jpg
     
  7. BRad704

    BRad704 Member

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    If you don't have anything laying around to make your first blades, then I would say the kits are great. There is SO much to truly making a blade out of raw steel that I have not even begun to learn yet! Plus the kits will at least get you thinking and once you finish one, you will already have your plans for the next 2 or 3...

    Btw, I think we might have scared the OP away...
     
  8. Flobert

    Flobert Member

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    Black Toe I have seen your stuff on here and .... incredible. Your work is outstanding.

    I hope you are doing great, given how the economy is these days.
     
  9. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Mencius and Flobert,

    Go for it! It is fun and very rewarding.

    Kits, old files, big blades to small whatever, just remember the three componants of a good knife, steel, heat treat, and geomety.
     
  10. Mencius

    Mencius Member

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    Nah, I have not run away scared yet. My wife thinks I have enough "hobbies" as it is. I am just now getting into trapping and am trying to figure out a decent knife for skinning out raccoons and such. I am guessing basically the same thing as cleaning a squirrel, but when I clean hogs I like a different one.

    I would like to go "start to finish" with a knife, especially with one of them purdy damascus blades, but I guess I gotta start with a kit until I can find someone with some steel working equipment. There is pretty much no way I will be able to get any myself at the moment.

    Steel, heat treat, and geometry? Well, I once was pretty good at geometry...
     
  11. cpirtle

    cpirtle Member

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    I got started about 10-11 years ago by customizing factory knives.


    Personally I like them better than kits because you can buy whatever quality you want and then turn it into a one of a kind item.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. surbat6

    surbat6 Member

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    I make my own knives from files. I forge the blades and reharden them which avoids the big problem with file knives - brittle blades. I've seen knives ground from files that snapped when dropped on the ground or after the user applied a little side pressure. After forging, grinding, hardening and tempering the blades, I whack them HARD on the horn of the anvil. Any brittleness shows up real fast! My knives are essentially copies of a type collectors call American primitive knives.
    Kit knives are a good way to start out, and if you like the result, you can try buying blades and other parts a la carte, or (in extreme cases) setting up a forge and REALLY starting from scratch.
     
  13. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    Nuttin fancy

    These are not fancy beautiful specimens like those knives above but I like them. Made them for myself. Three utility knives:
    Two inch dropped edge with Osage orange scales and brass bolsters;
    Osagehandleknife.jpg

    one and a quarter inch Utility with Mt. Laurel root scales;
    uteknife.jpg

    four inch blade - from an old circular saw - Mt. Ash scales;
    IMG_1772b.png

    Pete
     
  14. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    Welcome Pete, and nice work!
     
  15. nevermas

    nevermas Member

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    Spyderco is releasing a new mule on the 1st of October, damascus VG10. Those interested can buy it and craft custom handles/scales for it.

    Limited to 600 to 1000 pieces.
     
  16. StephanFowler

    StephanFowler Member

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    Another oft overlooked option is to look up knifemakers in your area (you'd be surprised how many of us there are) and give em a call.

    I know many many many knifemakers (myself included) that are more than happy to have a new guy come over and start learning.

    If your in the Atl Ga area consider this an invitation...
     
  17. Mencius

    Mencius Member

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    Stephan - Damnit, I was just in Atlanta a couple weeks ago and could have easily worked in stopping by. That is a good idea to just look around and find a knife maker around to give me some tips.

    The pics on this thread are pretty awesome. Hopefully I can come up with something even half as nice as some ont his thread. In one aspect I like the idea of modifying a knife already made, but in the end I want to make as much as possible. I know this is pretty stupid, but I would even like to go find some raw iron, mix in some nickel, etc. to make some stainless and start from there.

    I have a question for ya'll, though. If I was concerned with nothing else but functionality for skinning/cleaning game what handle material would you use? I want something that does not get too slick if I get a little blood and/or water on it, ultra-durable, and I could leave it outside in the dirt for a week and see little to no effect. I don't plan on leaving it outside or anything, but want something as durable as possible. Price, however, is an object to me so perhaps not a $1000/sq inch material developed by NASA last week.
     
  18. CoastieShep

    CoastieShep Member

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    Cord wrapped handle maybe Mencius?
    Wrapped the handle of a fillet knife with some cord once, had a much better grip when covered in fish slime. Just had to make sure you washed it out really good though.
     
  19. StephanFowler

    StephanFowler Member

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    you could even pot the cord with thin superglue or thinned epoxy
     
  20. cpirtle

    cpirtle Member

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    If you use cord wrap be sure to follow Stephan's advice, blood soaked paracord would need replaced and at a bare minimum seriously sterilized.

    The best material for grip when wet is going to be paper Micarta, followed by linen or canvas Micarta. Paper is a little less durable but not so much that you'd notice, for a novice it's slightly easier to work as well.

    Wet Micarta almost has a sticky feel but when you dry it out it goes right back to normal. Almost impervious to heat and cold, won't shrink or check the way natural material will. It's pretty amazing stuff.
     
  21. Mencius

    Mencius Member

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    Micarta looks like a good material.

    After thinking about this some I remember a knife guy I met once saying he used some material that is also used for, I think I remember correctly, power pole pieces that keep the wire off of the cross beams. The material looked kinda like a canvas type thing with some bare threads through it. I have completely forgotten what he called it, but he claimed it was really strong and durable. Any idea what he was talking about? Think it could be this micarta material?
     
  22. cpirtle

    cpirtle Member

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    Sounds like canvas Micarta. Micarta (phenolic) in general was primarily designed for insulating electronics.

    Here's some green canvas..
     
  23. P.shooter

    P.shooter Member

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    Jesus Hernandez has some nice pictorials on his site, showing the process he goes through when making steel & blades:

    http://www.jhbladesmith.com/
     
  24. Mencius

    Mencius Member

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    Ok, micarta sounds like the stuff to use then. Thanks for all the tips and inspirational pics and the tutorial links. Now time to gather the stuff...
     
  25. BRad704

    BRad704 Member

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    since Jim put up one of his first, I'll put up my first and second... just for more motivation for you. :)

    2010-09-25%2009.55.13_Memphis_Tennessee_US.jpg

    2010-09-29%2015.50.07.jpg
    2010-09-29%2015.50.36.jpg
     
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