First knife build

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Forum topic by hackery posted 10-09-2016 07:10 PM 836 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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49 posts in 1104 days

10-09-2016 07:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: knife build scratch scales cherry hardwood handle danish oil shaped bandsaw

Hi Guys and Girls

Not really sure if I am allowed to post this but given half of the knife is wood I thought it might be ok.

I live in Northern Ireland which is a small country of 1.8 million people and there is literally one place in the whole country that sells hardwood anywhere else it’s pine or plywood. As a result the one place that sells hardwood isn’t cheap as they have cornered the market and I got fed up of throwing out small offcuts that were no use for my normal woodworking projects…. so thought I would make knife scales. I wasn’t prepared to pay for knife blanks so ended up making my own from 01 tool steel (carbon steel 1095 I think it’s called in the US).

Made a small forge from refractory (kiln) brick, aluminium angle and threaded rod powered by both propane and map torches to heat treat the blade and tempered in a toaster oven. Blade profiled and ground using my little 1” woodworking belt sander.

Scales which is the woodworking bit are made from cherry hardwood scraps cut on the bandsaw and then resawed on the bandsaw to split down the middle to give two equal sides. Holes for brass pins down with drill press and then epoxy’ed on and a mechanical lock by peening the ends of the brass pins once the scales were all shaped by using my belt sander and then by hand using broken belt strips from 60 grit right up to 400 grit. Finished with a coat of Danish oil.

Blade passes the standard “internet sharpness test” of shaving arm hair and slicing newspaper but think I won’t keep quite a fine edge on it as I camp a lot so will go for a more robust edge rather than a razor edge.

Sorry if this breaks any rules.

Thanks for taking a look.


-- Notice woodworker and now metal worker - Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

3 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3364 days

#1 posted 10-09-2016 07:32 PM

That’s a neat little forge.
Does the hole go all the way through with the burner at the back?

No rules broken as far as I’m concerned.
Those things are just made to be broken anyway.

View hackery's profile


49 posts in 1104 days

#2 posted 10-09-2016 07:45 PM

Thanks Crank. The forge is two half bricks hole sawed to create the chamber no hole stops about 4mm short from the back. That image was during it’s build. I used a spade drill bit to put hole at front right side and another at back side left for two blow torch heads one powered by a bottle of map gas and the other propane… two is overkill one is plenty. It’s a great way to reuse old circ and table saw blades I cut them up with an angle grinder and shape them on sander and heat treat to made crappy little workshop knives that are used for trimming, carving, glue ups etc this was my first go at a proper nice(ish) knife.

-- Notice woodworker and now metal worker - Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

View Woodknack's profile


12810 posts in 2773 days

#3 posted 10-10-2016 12:52 AM

Looks good. Edge retention and sharpness are different things. Most important factor will be the steel plus heat treat, then edge profile. So was this made from a saw blade?

-- Rick M,

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