View Full Version : My First One

10-21-2010, 04:18 PM
Here is my first attempt. OA length is 10 3/4. Cutting edge is 6 1/2. i made it out of some old steel i had laying around in the barn. Chose Dark red micarta for the handle. Hoping for some tips on how to improve before moving on to O1. Thanks for looking16205.

10-21-2010, 04:32 PM
Sorry about the pic. hopefully this will be better. 16206

Keith Willis
10-22-2010, 03:57 AM
The profile looks real good.
Since it is unknown steel,practice bringing your grinds
up about halfway to the spine,then get you that O1
and make a good knife that looks just like it.
Good luck,

God bless,Keith

Doug Lester
10-22-2010, 09:42 AM
I agree with what Keith said about the looks of the knife but I've got a few questions to consider before you put a handle on it. One is what state the steel is in; is it annealed or hardened and tempered? If the steel is soft it is great for grinding but will never hold an edge. If you have some steel left over from cutting out the blade, the piece needn't be large, heat it up until it's bright red or yellow, if you have an old magnet check the steel to be sure that it's not still magnetic, and plunge it into water. Then strike it with a hammer. It should shatter. If it doesn't then you've used a piece of structural steel and the knife will never keep and edge.

If it does shatter then the knife can be hardened. Unless you know positively that the steel has already been hardened and tempered you will have to do the the operation yourself or send it out to someone who can do it for you. This leads me to my next question. What reference material do you have on knife making? If you don't have any I recommend that you pause in your knife making and get some. Wayne Goddard wrote two good books for the beginner, "The $50 Knife Shop" and "The Wonder of Knifemaking". Both of them will give you the basics wherther you are doing stock removal or forging (actually it should be stock removal or forging AND stock removal). You seem to have some skill sets that give you real potential as a knifemaker you just need to take some time out and learn some of the finer points. Stick with it.

Doug Lester

10-22-2010, 10:33 AM
Thanks guys for the tips. Doug, right now my reference material consists of this forum and my grandfather. He was a very talented bladesmith about 20 years ago and I have been learning all I can from him. I will try what you suggested tonight with a piece of the scrap, and try to find those books asap. My resources are limited and I dont have a lot of money so Im just going with what I have, but this forum is filled with great knowledge and great people so thank you again for your help.


10-23-2010, 05:21 AM
...right now my reference material consists of this forum and my grandfather.

Have you seen this ?

The Standard Reply to Newbies v6

The answer to a 13 year old student is different than to a 40 year old engineer, and you may have a helpful neighbour.
We can often recommend a local supplier, but that depends on where you are.
Fill out your profile with your location (Country and State at least), age, education, employment.

Look at the stickies at the top, many are expired, but not all.

The basic process in the simplest terms

This is a very detailed set of instructions by Stacy E.Apelt.


A list of books and videos on the KnifeDogs Forum

BladeForums - E-books or book previews Google books

I like:
David Boye-Step by Step Knifemaking
Tim McCreight-Custom Knifemaking: 10 Projects from a Master Craftsman
These are clear, well organized, widely available and inexpensive too.

Knife Design:
On the Google books thread, you can find
Lloyd Harding drawings
the Loveless book with large variety of proven classic styles.

Forging Books:
Lorelei Sims-The Backyard Blacksmith
A modern book with great photos for forging in general - no knifemaking.

Jim Hrisoulas- has 3 books on forging knives. Check for the cheaper paperback editions.
The Complete Bladesmith: Forging Your Way To Perfection
The Pattern-Welded Blade: Artistry in Iron
The Master Bladesmith: Advanced Studies in Steel

The $50 knife shop
It is popular, but it confused me for a long time.
Forging is NOT necessary, you can just file and grind everything away to create a knife (stock removal)

The goop quench is total Bull, commercially made quench oils are cheap and easily available, even grocery store canola oil works much better.

Junkyard steels require the skills of an experienced smith to identify the steel and heat treat it properly.
You can buy proper steel like 1084 very cheaply.
(Mentioned in the new edition)

I like cable damascus, but that is an advanced project for an experienced smith and has no place in a beginners book.

The home built grinders are the best thing about the book, but there is now a huge amount of info on home built 2x72 belt grinders on the web.
The revised edition of this book should have included this.


Heat Treating Basics Video-downloadable

Many specific how to knifemaking videos are available.
Some are better than others, but all better than nothing.

The best overall Knifemaking video I have seen is
“Steve Johnson-Making a Sub-Hilt Fighter”

The best video on leather sheath making I have seen is
“Custom Knife Sheaths -Chuck Burrows - Wild Rose”

You can see a list of some older videos and their reviews at this rental company.
They are not the quickest on getting new titles, but some videos are worth buying, some are worth renting…
Rental wait times are measured in months, buying is MUCH faster, but more costly.

Green Pete's Free Video
Making a Mora bushcraft knife, -stock removal, hand tools, and neo tribal / unplugged heat treat.
"Green Pete" posted it free for those who can use torrent files.

You can also find it on YouTube broken into 4 parts.

The “welding steel” at Home Depot/Lowes… is useless for knives.
If you want to ship out for heat treating, you can use ATS34, 440C, plus many others.

If you want to heat treat yourself, find some 1070, 1080, 1084,
1084 FG sold by Aldo Bruno is formulated just for knifemaking.

You can find lists of suppliers here

Aldo’s website inventory is unreliable, call instead.

Heat Treating
You do not have to buy a lot of equipment to start with.
You can send out for heat treating, 10 or 15 $ per blade

This is a PDF brochure which gives good general info

http://www.knifemaker.ca/ (Canadian)
and others

Grinder / Tools

Hand Tools
You can do it all by hand with files and abrasive paper.
The Green Pete video does it this way.

Photo of a nice bevel filing jig .

Entry Level Grinders
Many makers start with the Sears Craftsman 2x42 belt grinder.

DIY 2 x 72” Belt Grinders

KMG Clone
Free Plans

NWG No Weld Grinder

EERF Grinder (EERF =“Free” backwards)
Free plans

Buy the kit

Mapp arm

10-23-2010, 10:53 AM
I had not until you posted it, thank you. I also purchased both books that Doug Suggested.