View Full Version : files and rasps????

07-25-2010, 02:47 AM
hey guys. I thinking of making a couple of file and rasp knives. What type of files should i be looking for? also what is the best way to heat treat them once ground?

I am going to try and make a couple for bushcraft and camping.

thanks for your help!2thumbs

Justin King
07-25-2010, 08:39 AM
I have made decent knives from Nicholson files. I annealed them, forged/ground the blades, normalized once, then heated to non-magnetic and quenched in olive oil, and tempered. If you can get ahold of some I would suggest a faster quench oil, if treated like 1095 I think you would get somewhat better results than I did.
It can be worthwhile if you are willing to experiment a little but unless you like the novelty of it or can get files for free it is probably just as cheap if not cheaper to buy some annealed 1084, and you can save yourself the step of annealing.

07-25-2010, 09:40 AM
I have used old Nicholson files too. I have tried tempering down in a kitchen oven. I have also tried anneal, grind, normalize, heat treat/quench in fast oil, finish grind/sand and temper.

I am not a steel snob yet, but I am getting there. Tempering a file just leaves something to be desired. If I believe the files are W1 or W2 I might temper at a different temperature than if I believe they are made from 1095. Get it wrong and have a blade too chippy or too soft. Which eventually will lead to me to listen to all the makers who've said over and over "why not use a known steel?". Just a few more files then I'll join the club:D

07-26-2010, 04:02 AM
for me its really is just a novelty. I am thinking of making a camp knife to be a beater.

thanks for the help!

Doug Lester
07-26-2010, 10:19 AM
JC, developing a preference for a certain steel doesn't make one a steel snob. That's more of an attitude that if you are not making a blade out of X steel then you're not really making knives. It also applies to those collectors who want a blade forged out of a steel that is rarely use to forge, usually with good reasons, just for the purpose of being exclusive, as in :" I've got a blade forged out of X steel and no one else does, nah nee nah nee nah nah".

Doug Lester

07-26-2010, 12:10 PM
Bootstrap enjoy the file/rasp knives and post em up when done. Doug, I hear ya on the steel snob comment I made. I hope pointing out the downside of files doesn't dissuade anyone from trying to make knives from them.