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Making knives?

This is a discussion on Making knives? within the Edged Weapons forums, part of the Gun Forum category; My son has showed interest in making knives, and so have I. Just curious what a guy would need to start doing just that. My ...


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Old June 28th, 2015, 03:51 PM   #1
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Making knives?

My son has showed interest in making knives, and so have I. Just curious what a guy would need to start doing just that. My wife is quite ammenable to any type of project that my son and I can work on together, so it might be an opportunity to get a pretty nice shop/setup.

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Old June 28th, 2015, 04:27 PM   #2
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If your not going to be forging blades, i.e. making them out of files or other scrap metal.

A simple setup for me is a...
- good, sturdy bench
- vise
- bench grinder
- files (coarse, medium, fine)
- sharpening stones
- tape to protect the blades while working on them.

You'd also need stuff like sandpaper, saws, hammer, etc. for handle making too.

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Old June 28th, 2015, 06:16 PM   #3
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In addition to a bench grinder:

The standard Chinese 1X30" bench belt sander is probably cheapest through Harbor Freight if you get a coupon. A lot of knife guys use this sander to put on a factory edge using grits from 80-600 (or better if you get he SurgiSharp 1X30" leather strop).

Sanding belts:
http://trugrit.com/

If you really get into it and start doing your own heat treating, you'll need to look into making/buying a gas forge and a tempering oven.

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Old June 28th, 2015, 07:29 PM   #4
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A belt grinder will be the #1 thing that you'll want to acquire. The most common knifemaker size is the 2x72" but some make due with the 2x48". You'll use a belt grinder regardless of forging or not for both blade shaping/finishing and handle work. If you can forsee that you guys are going to really get into this then go big and get a pro machine such as the KMG, Bader, etc. These are quality machines that will last, are upgradeable, modular, and retain a lot of their re-sale value.

If you're forging you'll want a small gas forge, an anvil at least 110 lbs (bigger is better), a hammer, and some multi-use tongs.

You can heat treat yourself using the forge and a bucket of quenching oil but going with a heat treat oven is way better although way more expensive. Alternatively there are heat treat companies that accept small jobs from knifemakers specifically, this is a good option to consider if you want to be 100% sure your H/T is spot on. You don't learn from having someone else do it for you though.

There's obviously a ton more to it then this but you can get started as small or as big as you like.

For a lot more info check out Bladeforums - ShopTalk - forum.

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Old June 28th, 2015, 11:46 PM   #5
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Check out Track of the Wolf for basic starters .

http://www.trackofthewolf.com/list/category.aspx/436

Here are a couple of green river blanks made with osage handles
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Old June 29th, 2015, 04:10 AM   #6
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You could try something like this to see if it really interests you.


Then you can mess around with stuff like railroad-ties before moving to quality metals(high carbon steel, etc).

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Old June 29th, 2015, 04:10 AM   #7
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Duplicate?

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Old June 29th, 2015, 06:01 AM   #8
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There are some good books available. Check out the $50 Knife Shop some time. There is usually a copy on the shelf in each of my local Barnes and Nobles.

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Old June 29th, 2015, 11:44 AM   #9
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I missed on a really nice traditional hand forge at a farm auction a few weeks ago. Forge and hand blower went for $140, I was getting a chesseburg...... I can use my torches but oxy/act is too expensive

The anvils went for too much. A piece of railroad track will work in a pinch.

If you are working from scratch files from tag sales or truck leaf springs are good stock to start with.

Work the metal soft at first, then harden. Read up on this.

Also look for some cross peen hammers, files (for working with), and tongs at tag sales.

Electric grinders are great but if you can get a wheel that will work great too.

A good drill press and some cobalt bits.

Teach the son about heat, you can get hurt quick. As with the other tools.

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Old June 29th, 2015, 11:48 AM   #10
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I saw a video of a guy that had great success building them from old lawnmower blades.

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Old June 29th, 2015, 11:52 AM   #11
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Some of the best blades are made from old leaf springs and lawn mower blades.

Check out this site, www.knifekits.com

Great started method.
Need to first start with the basics, before you go off and start forging metal.

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Old June 29th, 2015, 04:30 PM   #12
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You will have to decide to forge or grind. Forging takes a little more time, tools and skills (it ain't rocket science cause I do it). If you go the forge route don't buy anything less than a 250 pound anvil. One of the 1st mistakes most blacksmiths/knife makers commit is getting too small an anvil. Gas forges are great, but I love my coal forge. I guessing need to apologize for that evil State of Mississippi flag in the background with its oppressive Confederate battle flag.
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Old June 29th, 2015, 04:54 PM   #13
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Lawn mower blades make great knives. High carbon steel and really holds an edge well. As far as a belt sander/grinder get a 2" X 72". I know the spears are not knives, but I'm trying to get time to finish them. European boar spears with counterbalance end caps.

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Old June 29th, 2015, 05:00 PM   #14
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Maybe this time the picture will load! The head on the right is forge welded and rough finished. Needs grinding and polishing. The left head still needs the end to be forge welded shut.
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Old June 29th, 2015, 07:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanceM View Post
You will have to decide to forge or grind. Forging takes a little more time, tools and skills (it ain't rocket science cause I do it). If you go the forge route don't buy anything less than a 250 pound anvil. One of the 1st mistakes most blacksmiths/knife makers commit is getting too small an anvil. Gas forges are great, but I love my coal forge. I guessing need to apologize for that evil State of Mississippi flag in the background with its oppressive Confederate battle flag.
Hey Vance, Your flag is just fine with me and lots of folks who aren't buying into all this politically correct BS. Fly it high and be proud of your history.

Rich

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