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#11873580 - 03/04/17 DIY Knife Tutorial  
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ACLakey Offline
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I've been asked to do a knife making tutorial so here goes. Normally I make knives in small batches so I can have blades at different stages of production and always have something to work on. I was finishing a blade recently for a fellow Archery board member when I made a mistake and had to scrap the knife. He has been patiently waiting so I jumped in this morning and started a new blade.

I am using a piece of twist 1095 /15n20 Damascus that measures 1.75"x9.5"x 0.156". I start by tracing my template.

[Linked Image]

I then cut the billet using an angle grinder to a rough shape. I use my belt grinder to profile the blank further. My next step is to drill the pin holes and some additional holes to reduce weight and give the handle epoxy something to key into.

[Linked Image]

From there I use the belt grinder to make sure the sides are flat. I didn't take any pictures of this but basically I use a large magnet to hold blank while I press it to the platen.

My next step is to grind it bevel and make this blank look more like a knife. With this thin material I grind the bevel so the portion that will be sharpened later is about 0.035" thick. The extra thickness will help to prevent warping during heat treatment.

[Linked Image]

At this point, the blade is ready for heat treatment which I will post later.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

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#11901077 - 03/15/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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longarm Offline
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Any updates available? Neat thread

#11909841 - 03/19/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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A quick update, these pictures are from the heat treating process. With simple high carbon steels you need to heat the blade until the critical point when it is no longer magnetic. Then we quench in canola oil heated to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

I test the edge with a file, the file will scate off like glass and not dig in or start to cut..... Success.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Now it's time to temper the blade with two one hour cycles at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the blade come to room temperature between the cycles. This should produce a knife around 59RC with this steel.

Note to self, don't bend over and pick something up near the forge while heat treating.... I'll call this frosted look Porcupine!

[Linked Image]

#11910153 - 03/19/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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After tempering it's time to clean up the flats, and finish grinding the bevel. I took this hunting knife down to a thin slicing 0.10".

[Linked Image]

Bevels cleaned up to 240 grit, plunge cleaned up and ready to hand sand to 600 grit and dip in acid.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

#11910154 - 03/19/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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Should read 0.010"...typing on my phone again.

#11911207 - 03/19/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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After a little sanding the knife is ready for a dip in ferris chloride. I clean the blade with acetone and then alcohol to remove any residue that will affect the etch.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

After a few minutes, spray the blade with windex to stop the chemical reaction and wipe off the excess with steel will... Nice and subtle.

[Linked Image]

#11911230 - 03/19/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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At this point it's time for a handle. The order was for Red Lava Kirinite and carbon fiber pins. I start by taping the scales together then using the blade as a drill guide. Place the pins in the holes as you go to keep things lined up.

[Linked Image]

Now I cut the excess material, cut the facets on the front and give them a polish. Do this step now because those facets are impossible to clean up later!

[Linked Image]

I dimple the inside portion of the scales to give the epoxy more to bite into. Clean everything with alcohol and test the fit, now mix the epoxy and make a knife sandwich.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Clean and epoxy that squeezed out by the facets on the front with a qtip dipped in alcohol. Again, these are impossible to clean later. Set the knife aside over night to cure.

#11912319 - 03/20/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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Fascinating!
Thanks for posting

#11912998 - 03/20/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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Nice pics, and good looking knife. When you grind the bevel into the blank, do you have a jig you use to keep it the same or do you freehand it?

#11913805 - 03/20/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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Okay, sense I'm leaving for a trip wednesday I figured I better get this knife done.

After the epoxy has set I grind the pins flat and profile around the edges to give the handle the same shape as the blade.

Then I grind a taper so the handle is narrower at the finger side than the spine.

(I forgot to take pictures this)

I then use a contract wheel to contour and give the blade a "Coke bottle" shape.

[Linked Image]

Time to clean up the edges.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Ready to start hand sanding. Take your time and do this right!

Using the buffer to find my scratches.

[Linked Image]

Still more work to do.

[Linked Image]


Last edited by ACLakey; 03/20/17.
#11913809 - 03/20/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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At this point I'm going from 400 to 600 grit. I wet sand at 600 then 1000 before buffing on a soft wheel.

[Linked Image]

Ready to buff.

[Linked Image]

Not bad

[Linked Image]

Now for my favorite part, transforming this into a sharp knife!

The Frankensharpener,

[Linked Image]

I've found a 220 grit belt then straight to a leather belt makes for a very functional cutting edge capable of push cuts and easy sliding.

https://youtu.be/gexZyOds6dM

#11913811 - 03/20/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: BillyGoatGruff]  
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Originally Posted by BillyGoatGruff
Nice pics, and good looking knife. When you grind the bevel into the blank, do you have a jig you use to keep it the same or do you freehand it?


I use a combination of both. I am really trying to improve my free hand grinding but I do use a jig to clean up my lines from time to time.


#11913814 - 03/20/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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All finished up and ready for a new home.

[Linked Image]

https://youtu.be/FW9NpEDsiR4

[Linked Image]

#11917856 - 03/22/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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ironbender Online happy
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In the shadow of the Kenai Mtn...
Why canola for the quench?

How far up from the edge are you heat treating? i assume you don't quench the entire knife?


If you take the time it takes, it takes less time.
--Pat Parelli

American by birth; Alaskan by choice.
--ironbender
#11918097 - 03/22/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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woodson Online content
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Ackley thank you for taking the time to do a thread like this. I love the WIP threads.

#11929569 - 03/26/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ironbender]  
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Originally Posted by ironbender
Why canola for the quench?

How far up from the edge are you heat treating? i assume you don't quench the entire knife?


Heated Canola oil works very well to quench simple carbon steels, I got the tip from a couple Master Smith knife makers and the process has served me well.

I hardened the entire blade and about 1/3 up the handle.

#11931767 - 03/27/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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In the shadow of the Kenai Mtn...
Thanks.


If you take the time it takes, it takes less time.
--Pat Parelli

American by birth; Alaskan by choice.
--ironbender
#11931783 - 03/27/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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Thanks for posting the how to.


"There's more to optics than meets the eye."--anon

"...most of us would be better off losing half a pound around the waist than half a pound on our rifle."--dhg

#11932323 - 03/27/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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+1!


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#11944519 - 04/02/17 Re: DIY Knife Tutorial [Re: ACLakey]  
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