homemade knives

Primitive (and modern) knives, hatchets, cutting tools; ONLY as they relate to wilderness survival. *NO* discussion about using knives for fighting or defense.

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homemade knives

Postby coon4492 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:42 pm

How could I take scrap metal and recycle it into a working knife? What metals would work?
"The diference between danger and food supply is simply the presence of a killing tool."

- LDS
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Re: homemade knives

Postby halo2 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:53 pm

I've made a dozen or so. None pretty, lots of mistakes but all functional to a degree. Lots of fun.

Buy an old Nicholson file or two at a flea market for $1 and have at it. The older ones have good steel. Of course, there are many good steel sources: car springs, saw blades, tire irons, or commercial O1 or 1095 tool steel. O1 is fairly cheap. Ask a local machine shop or spring maker.

Outside shops may even be able to do the heat treat for a fee. Otherwise you'll want a forge (you can improvise a hot fire) for annealing, hardening and tempering though you can soften a file in a toaster oven if left in long enough. If you do your own heat treat, use vegetable oil as a quench when hardening. Works fine and easier to work with than transmission oil in my opinion.

Most of this should be done outdoors.

The basic process is:

1. Soften the steel so it can be worked - annealing. The steel may already be annealed. Most recyled scrap is hardened and needs this.
2. Cut or grind out the shape & drill holes if necessary (profile the knife.) Use hand or power tools, files, sand paper, or sander/grinders. However, get the steel too hot at this stage and you'll ruin it. Quench in water if too hot to touch.
3. Bevel the edges of the blade - again, don't get it too hot.
4. Sand smooth
5. Harden with a very hot source and a quench appropriate for the steel (oil for O1, etc.)
5A. Sand again.
6. Temper with a oven
7. Sand and polish again
8. put the handle on the finished blade
9. Sand & polish some more (do the handle.)
10. Sharpen

Some of these steps can be skipped and you can still make a working knive. Also, you can add more steps. A lot depends on your patience, abilities and tools. I've left out a lot.

See GreenPete's tutorial on Youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ysKd1cswlo It's about the best out there for free.

Good luck. Have fun. Be careful - power tools can flip a blade around and into you, so think before acting and wear eye, ear and breathing protection.
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Re: homemade knives

Postby coon4492 » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:38 am

thanks thats the info I needed
"The diference between danger and food supply is simply the presence of a killing tool."

- LDS
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Re: homemade knives

Postby LDS » Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:53 pm

BE CAREFUL, HAVE AN ADULT PRESENT TO SUPERVISE.

Yea, right! I was about you guys ages when i started doing this stuff. I have knives on every continent except Antartica now.

Anyway, if you lose any body parts or get preferated in any way don't blame us. You were warned!

This is definately a good place for the use of safty glasses. No kidding.

Simpler and not requiring the heat treatment a file requires, would be the use of a saws-all blade.

These recipricating saw blades make excellent first time knives.

You can shape it with a simple grinder, or a grinding wheel chucked in a drill, or a sanding disk or belt.

Keep a can of water handy and dip the blade every pass against the wheel. Do not allow the blade to get hot to the touch. Grind the bevel with the edge up in smooth passes against the wheel or sanding belt.

if you use a long blade you can leave part of the blade unground and wrap it with tape.

You can also use the blade to saw a slot in a scrap of wood before you grind, then have a perfect fit for gluing the blade into the handle after the job is done.

Use JB Weld for the glue up and it will never come lose.
Come to the dark side, we have cookies!
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Re: homemade knives

Postby halo2 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:49 am

The paradox of experience is that you never have it when you need it.

Oh, and don't use so-called bi-metal blades. The "bi" in bi-metal is a metal that doesn't harden, so it won't take an edge. Use high speed steel instead.
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Re: homemade knives

Postby coon4492 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:49 pm

Alright then I think i've got the information I need and don't worry I'm not going to lose a hand and blame anybody I'll be safe
"The diference between danger and food supply is simply the presence of a killing tool."

- LDS
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Location: Pennsylvania

Re: homemade knives

Postby Bernoulli » Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:39 pm

halo2 wrote:
See GreenPete's tutorial on Youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ysKd1cswlo It's about the best out there for free.



Thanks for that! Terrific series.
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Re: homemade knives

Postby coon4492 » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:04 pm

yea it helped me out alot too.
"The diference between danger and food supply is simply the presence of a killing tool."

- LDS
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Re: homemade knives

Postby Kingoftheflock » Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:11 am

use sheets of metal, or old saw blades and use a high powered jigsaw to cut it out. just be sure to lubricate the jigsaw frequently, especially on carbon steel, becuase the sparks that occur will harden the edge, and make it hard to file, then youd have to come over to my house and use my bench grinder to take the hardened part off, and then it would look worse than what you wanted. ive been researching this stuff, and i dont need my parents permission becuase ive worked with a jigsaw on wood for years. :P
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Re: homemade knives

Postby coon4492 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:35 pm

yea I don't have alot of modern tools bud :D but I was going to use a saw blade to make a good knife or a lawnmower blade.
"The diference between danger and food supply is simply the presence of a killing tool."

- LDS
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Location: Pennsylvania

Re: homemade knives

Postby Kingoftheflock » Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:59 am

hey joe i remember you saying something about having spare lawnmower blades, you think i can buy one off of you?
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Re: homemade knives

Postby coon4492 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:55 pm

yea I'll give you one for free its gonna need to be hammered straighter though.
"The diference between danger and food supply is simply the presence of a killing tool."

- LDS
coon4492
 
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:52 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: homemade knives

Postby Kingoftheflock » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:38 am

i can do that thanks man
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