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  • Knife Making Steps

    I recently found an old knife that has been severly mistreated and the blade is totally mis-shapen, mostly due to large amounts of rust over an extended period. It is made of some good steel.

    I want to re-shape the blade and sharpen it, but don't know what the proper steps are. I think what I would do is as follows: take a hack saw and shape the blade; then use a file to put an initial edge on it; then sharpen as usual.

    Can some of you who are experienced at knife making let me know if these are the right steps and, if not, what steps should I take?? Thanks very much.

  • #2
    Re: Knife Making Steps

    First, I'd go to a stiff wire wheel on an arbor (either bench or drill mounted) and get as much as that rust off as possible. That should give you a much better idea of what exactly has to be removed.

    If you have a bench grinder, I'd forget the file! Just grind that back to where you want it. Quench often in cold water as you grind and take your time so you don't burn the steel (blue it).

    You should than be able to make your first bevel with the grinder, then go to a wetstone or diamond stone to finish the edge.

    I'd also use a cloth or felt wheel on the grinder, and jeweler's rough to polish the blade to a bright finish, one more trip to the stone and then strop.

    You can do the same with a file, but some blade steel is nearly as hard as the file and it is very slow work. Old Marble Arms blades are of this material, as are many others. I've refurbished several old knives and made a few new ones out of old blades in this manner. It might work for you, too.

    Al

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    • #3
      Re: Knife Making Steps

      I have already taken the rust off. So, that is not part of the problem here.

      This is like a long filet knife that has considerable edge damage. I want to make it into a bench knife for carving, but it doesn't seem like a bench grinder is the right way to take off all the excess metal. It seems like cutting with something like a hacksaw would be better. Is there no way one can cut the knife blade??? I understand how to sharpen it once I get it shaped properly. Your thoughts?

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      • #4
        Re: Knife Making Steps

        What I've done is just to snap these long blades off by holding the side I want to save with a vice grips and putting the rest of the blade in a vice. Bent it once and it snapped right off. Not very accurarte, and it could snap where you don't want, but it worked for me several times. You might try cutting it off with an abrasive wheel, disk in a dremell or drill. Heck, try the hacksaw and see if it works.....sure won't put you out much more than some effort if it doesn't.

        But snapping them has worked best for me. I have four knives I've done this with. You need to make sure the blade is secured in the vice and pliers when you bend it, though. I've broken them off a bit longer than I wanted just in case. Grinding them down from there was easy.

        Hope this helps.

        Al

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        • #5
          Re: Knife Making Steps

          You can cut it using the corner of you bench grinder xxx just be careful not to burn it xxx patience and frequent quenching will get the job done.

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          • #6
            Re: Knife Making Steps

            As for final shaping xxx if you have one a belt sander will do the job for you xxx floor or bench mounted is best, but a hand held unit clamped in a workmate or some such will also work. Once again, slow and easy does it, you don't want to get this far and burn it.

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            • #7
              Re: Knife Making Steps

              I have also had good luck with a 'score and snap' method. I score the blade with a cutoff wheel and then holding it with visegrips, I snap it with pliers.

              After getting the rough length with this, I go to the grinder to shape the blade. ('tap' the blade on the grinder wheel, taking only a small amount at a time, and cool often) I then go to the stones and strop for the final shaping and sharpening.

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              • #8
                Re: Knife Making Steps

                I know it was on here before, but I would like to try my hand at making a knife! where do I get a piece of good steel andwhat was the name of it? thanks

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                • #9
                  Re: Knife Making Steps

                  If you want to go on the cheap get an old file. Or if you want to do it the 'right' way, best wait on Rick or Capt. Band-Aid for advice.

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                  • #10

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                    • #11
                      Re: Knife Making Steps

                      HiHo, check with a local machine shop and see if they have tool steel available. You can get it in rod or bar form. round rod will have to be forged but flat stock can be ground to size. T1 or 01 should be available. You can also ask them for heat treating and tempering advice. Or wait for Rick or Band-aid for advise. They seem to be the best as far as knife making goes!

                      Al

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                      • #12
                        Re: Knife Making Steps

                        I make my blades by the 'stock removal method' (grinding). I use worn out reciprocating saw blades that I get from scrounging the trash barrels at work. I mount them with epoxy in oak or maple handles made from scraps I also get from work.

                        I have been using the detail knife I made last fall for almost a year now and like it as much as the store bought carving knives I have as far as keeping an edge and making smooth cuts.

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