Blacksmithing from a woodworkers perspective #3: Crooked and hook knifes - from steel to tool I

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Blog entry by mafe posted 05-05-2016 12:27 AM 4079 reads 4 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Forging a iron age knife - first wood working tool made Part 3 of Blacksmithing from a woodworkers perspective series Part 4: Crooked and hook knifes - from steel to tool II »

Crooked and hook knifes
from steel to tool

(Part one).

To get a forge was a wish of being able to make tools when I needed them, tools I would love to try and use or that I could not get.
So first project was to make me a crooked knife and a medium sized hook knife, that is what this is about.
The hook knife just for the joy and to have a medium size after making the small version on the blacksmith class I took. This knife will join me on the Turkey travels in the future.
The crooked knife because I suffer from chronic pain after a neck operation and find it interesting that the knife is used in a inwards pull motion instead of the traditional pull stroke with Western tools. I have good experiences with the pull strokes used with Japanese tools and use these to ease the pain and give me possibility to work a little longer on the same energy. So this one is out of curiosity and a old wish to make one when I saw the ‘making a crooked knife’ on the web.

Starting with the blade for the crooked knife, I had to make it from a old file, fore the reason alone that I had seen this so many times on the web that it had become a wish to try.
(You can see more here on THIS Google search, there are plenty of material).
Right under the anvil you see a part of a car spring that will become the hook knife.

Ok lets go back to where the day started, talking of spring reminds me that spring are just on the stairs here in Denmark.

So let’s get started, the iron goes into the forge to make it soft again.
Just bring it to red hot and let it cool slowly.

First step is to cut the file to length.

Then heat it again and again while working on it.

I try to condense the metal a wee first, then straighten it out to it’s knife shape and getting the spine a wee broader than the cutting edge.

There a also time for having the shop is full of guests.

Wine and good food and company, what more can we ask for.

Ok let’s continue the beating on metal.
Now time to shape the car spring.

Once it is in shape it is time to use the files.
First shape the back.

Then the cutting edge, ending with a fine file and then sandpaper down to grid 600.
Going 120 – 240 – 320 – 600.

Here the hook knife blade finished up to grid 600.

And the back gets the same tour.
Grind of the sharp edge of at the end so it will not wrap when heat treated.

Back in the forge.

Shape it on the anvils horn.

Carefully making it a hook and not getting it out of shape or hitting the cutting edge.

I’m pleased, yes I am actually a wee proud.

The crooked knife gets the same tour.

Flattening the spine.

Then I try to shape the back and cutting edge on a standard band sander.
Must admit this is not optimal, but it works.
It uses the paper fast and I feel I need a lot of control, but it works.

Not bad after all.

Collecting the metal dust and having a extra long hose on the vac to make sure I don’t get a fire here…

I colour the edge with a Sharpie.

First flatten the back on the water grinders side until I feel we have a fair flat back.

Then I freehand the cutting edge.
Grind of the sharp edge of at the end so it will not wrap when heat treated.

Back in the forge.

Now shaping the crooked blade.
I want a straight blade with a curved end.

So making the bend on the anvil.
Shaping while red hot.

Kind of like the small break one gets when heating.

Bending the tang also to secure the blade in the handle later.

My friend Flemming caught me here focused on the final detail.
As you can probably see I wear glasses and heat protection, also you can see a crooked knife on the computer screen that was a inspiration.

So in and out the forge.
Have to say I am really pleased with this little forge.
Clean and fast at a fair prize.
Keeping a waken eye on the metal so it will not get too hot.
Will cut the blog here, see you soon.

Hope this post can inspire others to make their own tools, after all this is why I take a detour out the black road now.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

11 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5340 days

#1 posted 05-05-2016 01:00 AM

Very interesting…

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View mafe's profile


13405 posts in 4377 days

#2 posted 05-05-2016 01:04 AM

Smiles Joe, new ways, new tools, now to bed here.
In next part they will become tools and get WOOD handles, laugh.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View lew's profile


13442 posts in 5043 days

#3 posted 05-05-2016 02:11 AM

Another wonderful photo trip through the blacksmith shop!

That hook blade looks perfect.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Northwest29's profile


1713 posts in 3778 days

#4 posted 05-05-2016 04:18 AM

You are definitely a very multi-talented craftsman! Thanks for sharing.

-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View CFrye's profile


11376 posts in 3127 days

#5 posted 05-05-2016 09:09 AM

It is so much fun to watch you making your own tools, Mads. Thank you for sharing and, please, thank Flemming for helping!

-- God bless, Candy

View Redoak49's profile


5419 posts in 3276 days

#6 posted 05-05-2016 11:25 AM

Good work..great to hear how someone really enjoys making tools

View 3DBMe's profile


134 posts in 4972 days

#7 posted 05-05-2016 05:43 PM

Fantastic Mafe.
I’m so glad to see integration of life and work in that space of yours.
I may have to get some of your crooked knives for my NW carvings.
Cheers, Bruce

View bondogaposis's profile


6069 posts in 3639 days

#8 posted 05-06-2016 03:06 AM

Thanks for this blog. I have been wanting to dabble in blacksmithing some myself. Great inspiration.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Brit's profile


8457 posts in 4130 days

#9 posted 05-06-2016 11:12 PM

Fine work Mads and some lovely tools to show for it. I love the handles too, but I have two questions.

1) If you keep making tools out of old rusty files, won’t you run out of files to shape the tools with?
2) You must get a lot of people walking by your shop who are curious as to what you are doing in there. Has anyone come in and asked you to make them something yet?

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4092 days

#10 posted 05-10-2016 07:09 PM

Gr8 stuff Mads. Luv the dust collector

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View mafe's profile


13405 posts in 4377 days

#11 posted 07-03-2017 11:04 PM

Hi there,
Just saw I never answered this one, sorry.
Roger, smiles, yes that is hightech.
Brit, big 1) laugh, yes if I did not have my friend Flemming I would run out of files, but he keeps bringing me files, so for now I’m good. 2) I have daily people looking at the window, putting their nose on the window, or saying hello, often asking ‘what do you sell’, my reply is ‘nothing, not even me’, then we laugh together. This is my meditation room, so I don’t do orders. ;-)
bondogaposis, happy if I can inspire a man who have already done some. Thanks.
3DBMe, I will admit I love my workshop, every day I come I feel like a gift has been handled to me. The crooked knife takes some time to get used to, but it is interesting.
Redoak49, yes I love it, smiles. Actually did some today. ;-)
CFrye, I will send him your hello, he is a wonderful friend.
Northwest29, thank you, I smile here.
lew, I enjoy making these blades, even it is a wee hard for my neck – arm problems, but as long as I don’t over do it, it is fine. Thanks.
Hope the answers were late, but not too late.
Best thoughts and thank you,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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