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View Full Version : How to cut out steel?



pugsrok
04-23-2010, 06:34 AM
What do you use to cut your knife blanks out of the steel? ( looking for options lol)

Ernie Swanson
04-23-2010, 07:09 AM
There are alot of different ways, here are a few that I know of.

Angle Grinder with a cut off wheel..... I know there are some people who do this. I have heard(not 100%sure if its true) that you can get the steel hot enough to harden a little with this method.

Hacksaw.......... Get a good hack saw and just start sawing, There are people who drill holes along the whole profile then just connect the dots with the hacksaw.

Bandsaw........ This is the most common, You can either get a big bandsaw or get a portable bandsaw and mount it on a bench.thats what I do. There are alot of other makers who use portabands. The most common is the dewalt but I have a harbor freight and its working just fine.

Hope this help!!!

EdCaffreyMS
04-23-2010, 08:08 AM
A HAMMER! OK, that was a joke...I'm just feeling froggy this morning. Actually I do use a hammer, because most of my blades are forged.

Cutting out blanks for stock removal knives can take on many forms. Bandsaw, cutoff wheels, and some folks who don't have a lot of tools will drill holes all around the profile and hacksaw the rest.

Personally, I think that the best low-tech method is to purchase steel stock in sizes that closely match the patterns your making, and if you have a belt grinder, it's much easier and far less time consuming to just grind out the profile(s).

Gabe Newell
04-23-2010, 08:17 AM
I use a cnc to profile.

Ernie Swanson
04-23-2010, 08:24 AM
Yeah there is also laser, mill, waterjet, and plasma!!

James Terrio
04-23-2010, 08:46 AM
I'm a stock removal guy. Not having a bandsaw yet, I use rotary tool with a fiberglass cut-off wheel to chunk off the big corners and do the main profile on the belt-grinder. Smaller contours get ground with a sanding drum mounted in the rotary tool, and really small details are shaped with files.

If you want a few that are all the same, talk to Dave at Great Lakes Waterjet. I've only had one batch cut by him, but they came out really nice and the cost was offset by what I saved on belts, time, etc. He will also do single pieces to your design.

pocomoonskyeyes
04-23-2010, 09:52 AM
I'm a stock removal guy. Not having a bandsaw yet, I use rotary tool with a fiberglass cut-off wheel to chunk off the big corners and do the main profile on the belt-grinder. Smaller contours get ground with a sanding drum mounted in the rotary tool, and really small details are shaped with files.

If you want a few that are all the same, talk to Dave at Great Lakes Waterjet. I've only had one batch cut by him, but they came out really nice and the cost was offset by what I saved on belts, time, etc. He will also do single pieces to your design.

That is also what I do, Did you know they have some new attachments with newer cutoff wheels? They work MUCH better than the older ones and even have a "Fast Change" shaft.

James Terrio
04-23-2010, 10:11 AM
Got a link, poco?

Fletch Helical
04-23-2010, 10:58 AM
Got a link, poco?

http://www.knifedogs.com/forumdisplay.php?f=12

GLWJ/CK is a member here. Send him a PM. ;)

Ernie Swanson
04-23-2010, 11:08 AM
http://www.knifedogs.com/forumdisplay.php?f=12

GLWJ/CK is a member here. Send him a PM. ;)

I think he meant the new attachment and cut off wheels for a rotary tool!!

stabber
04-23-2010, 11:46 AM
I'm with Ed on this one:p No waste;)

James Terrio
04-23-2010, 11:49 AM
I think he meant the new attachment and cut off wheels for a rotary tool!!

Yup, that's what I meant. Thanks for the GLWJ link anyway, Fletch. It does belong in this thread :) Dave is a good guy and does good work.

pocomoonskyeyes
04-23-2010, 11:56 AM
Got a link, poco?

Here you go James. I got mine from Lowe's, so I just searched their site and came up with this. These wheel will last longer than the other Cut-off wheels. I use them to thin it down and then finish with a Hacksaw just to prevent a flying piece of steel. I don't think it would send it flying, but I'd rather just be safer.

Look here (http://www.lowes.com/pd_241287-353-EZ406_0_?productId=1207887&Ntt=dremel%20accessories&Ntk=i_products&pl=1&currentURL=/pl__0__s?Ntk=i_products$rpp=15$No=30$Ntt=dremel%20 accessories$identifier=). Just click on the word "Here".

James Terrio
04-23-2010, 12:47 PM
Hey, that looks cool!! I will look for those next time I go shopping. Thanks for the heads-up poco :)

pugsrok
04-23-2010, 03:33 PM
well, my dad being the awesome person he is went to harbor freight and got me a 4 inch angle grinder with cutoff wheels :D and a bunch of other grinding stuff, i will get pics with the finished knife :D or maybe a WIP thread :D

James Terrio
04-23-2010, 05:45 PM
rock on, pugsrok! Wear your safety glasses or a face-shield when you use that thing. Do not direct the impressive blast of sparks towards the dirty-laundry pile.

Remember, Father's Day is comin' up in a couple months. Give your dad something you made, ball-game tickets or his favorite snack. NOT a tie.

pugsrok
04-23-2010, 06:18 PM
rock on, pugsrok! Wear your safety glasses or a face-shield when you use that thing. Do not direct the impressive blast of sparks towards the dirty-laundry pile.

Remember, Father's Day is comin' up in a couple months. Give your dad something you made, ball-game tickets or his favorite snack. NOT a tie.

A knife? :D cool 1:running dog:

JAWilliams
04-23-2010, 06:25 PM
Pugs I am looking forward to seeing what you do. If you have any question ask them. All of us here on KD would rather answer the same questions a hundred times than you thinking it has been answered and you can't find it. We are here to help you as much as you will let us.

pugsrok
04-23-2010, 06:37 PM
Pugs I am looking forward to seeing what you do. If you have any question ask them. All of us here on KD would rather answer the same questions a hundred times than you thinking it has been answered and you can't find it. We are here to help you as much as you will let us.



I love how welcoming you all are, i don't see why more people don't make knives, the people are much more friendly than most other hobbies ( at least most i have looked at)

Kevin Cross
04-23-2010, 07:35 PM
I'm pretty sure Jantz has the cut-off wheels and mandrels in their new catalog.

James Terrio
04-23-2010, 08:12 PM
A knife? :D cool 1:running dog:

Why didn't I think of that?!? :D By all means, throw out your ideas and ask for help like Mr Williams said. I don't have many answers but I've made plenty of mistakes, so at least I might be able to warn you about them! :o

kdc, thanks for the tip.

pocomoonskyeyes
04-23-2010, 10:21 PM
I'm glad your Dad is willing to help you out, Supporting Family members make these life experiences all that much sweeter!! Pugs, as far as I know you are the youngest member here. You have a LOT of time ahead of you to make knives, IMO. Take the time to learn from all the MANY experienced Makers here. Look at it like this, you just gained a BUNCH of "Uncles" who are willing to teach you what you want to know. Ask the questions, bud. You CAN do this!!

pugsrok
04-23-2010, 10:49 PM
I'm glad your Dad is willing to help you out, Supporting Family members make these life experiences all that much sweeter!! Pugs, as far as I know you are the youngest member here. You have a LOT of time ahead of you to make knives, IMO. Take the time to learn from all the MANY experienced Makers here. Look at it like this, you just gained a BUNCH of "Uncles" who are willing to teach you what you want to know. Ask the questions, bud. You CAN do this!!

Thanks poco, you will like this knife i know it :D

pocomoonskyeyes
04-23-2010, 10:59 PM
Thanks poco, you will like this knife i know it :D

I know we all will. Pugs you are the next generation!!

pugsrok
04-23-2010, 11:01 PM
LOL, it is a cross between a bowie, a kabar, and a buck model 119, and has some butcher knife thrown in :D

JAWilliams
04-23-2010, 11:40 PM
LOL, it is a cross between a bowie, a kabar, and a buck model 119, and has some butcher knife thrown in :D

Pug post your drawings. You know we like that and it gives you a chance to run ideas past us and get questions started. Oh and what are you using for handle material?

pugsrok
04-23-2010, 11:42 PM
Pug post your drawings. You know we like that and it gives you a chance to run ideas past us and get questions started. Oh and what are you using for handle material?

I didnt draw it, i outlined a blade i have that i liked with chalk, then i modded it so i liked it, and then took a paint marker and cut it, i am using straight grained maple, and how should i attach the wood?

JAWilliams
04-23-2010, 11:49 PM
I didnt draw it, i outlined a blade i have that i liked with chalk, then i modded it so i liked it, and then took a paint marker and cut it, i am using straight grained maple, and how should i attach the wood?

Well that is going to be a hard one to answer. Is it a full tang? Hidden tang? Have you drilled holes to lesson the weight? Do you want pins or corby bolts or lanyard holes? I am not trying to be a butt, but give us some idea of what you are thinking about. Then we can go from there. Are you going for a primative look?

pugsrok
04-23-2010, 11:59 PM
Pug post your drawings. You know we like that and it gives you a chance to run ideas past us and get questions started. Oh and what are you using for handle material?

I didnt draw it, i outlined a blade i have that i liked with chalk, then i modded it so i liked it, and then took a paint marker and cut it, i am using straight grained maple, and how should i attach the wood?

Mike Carter
04-24-2010, 12:14 AM
I have cut many blanks with an angle grinder but honestly those things scare me. If you get it in a little bit of a bind it can take off in unexpected directions or worse, break the cut off wheel and send pieces flying.

I finally invested in a Wilton metal cutting bandsaw and I am so glad I did.
http://www.cartercrafts.com/images/CarterKnives/Shop/RIV%20115.jpg

I can cut very close to my outline including cutting curves with a lot of control and very little waste. It did cost me $1000 but I think it was worth it. When you get to the point that you are trying to make some money making knives every bit of efficiency helps.

pugsrok
04-24-2010, 12:16 AM
Well that is going to be a hard one to answer. Is it a full tang? Hidden tang? Have you drilled holes to lesson the weight? Do you want pins or corby bolts or lanyard holes? I am not trying to be a butt, but give us some idea of what you are thinking about. Then we can go from there. Are you going for a primative look?


It will be pinned, and have a lanyard hole, no extra holes in the tang, the tang is shaped like how i want the handle to be, i havent drilled anything yet.

N.D.
05-10-2010, 12:16 AM
Some good ideas here!
I don't mean to hijack, I'll start another thread to ask this if any one feels that would be more appropriate, but I was wondering if a small plasma cutter would be more time/cost efficient VS a band saw or maybe even an angle grinder and if it would be worth the investment to buy one to cut out knife patterns with?

Thanks.

N.D.
05-20-2010, 08:16 PM
bump1
I really am curios about the plasma cutter idea, any 1 know the answer?

12345678910
05-22-2010, 08:30 PM
I really am curios about the plasma cutter idea, any 1 know the answer?

It will work, but the high temperature will cause decarb and you must leave at least 1/8" extra material to be ground off to eliminate the damaged zone.

Archer Moon
05-23-2010, 08:54 AM
What ever you go with, please go out side in the driveway. Those sparks will start to burn in the most inconvenant places, cobwebs, leaves, dust, rags, steel wool, and many, many more. Angle grinders work well, but please do so out side. Your family will thank you for not burning the house up.

And have lots of fun! Stay safe. James Clair, Archer Moon.

N.D.
06-09-2010, 05:51 PM
It will work, but the high temperature will cause decarb and you must leave at least 1/8" extra material to be ground off to eliminate the damaged zone.

2thumbsThank 's to both of you guy's for the answer.:)

Gary Miller
06-26-2010, 11:52 PM
my first 30 blades I cut out with a hacksaw and for the tight places I used a jewlers saw. rotery tool with a cut off blade works really well on thin stock. where there's a will theres a way. Gary

Dan Keffeler
06-27-2010, 01:28 PM
portable bandsaw

Here is an example of one I have. if you get one make sure that the motor is Perpendicular to the blade. If the motor runs the same way as the blade it affect the depth of cut and your are limited to about 6” before your piece runs in to the motor.
http://www.grizzly.com/products/Portable-Bandsaw-w-Stand/G8692 I got mine on ebay for $50 its used and rough but it cuts.
Dan

jblincoe
08-09-2012, 01:18 PM
reviving an old thread:

I am currently using the angle grinder approach but I read a while back about someone using a handheld jigsaw, I have tried this already, but havn't found a blade that holds up long enough for me to use in 1/4" 1080 steel. Anyone use this method?--blade reccommendations?