View Full Version : My First (Not even done yet)

05-31-2010, 09:33 PM
Well I was bored on a bowhunting website and saw a topic on making your own knives. I was intrigued and decided to learn more and maybe try it. Two weeks later, I had some O1 barstock at my door. Constructive criticism is welcomed.

I decided to document the whole thing just for fun and to see how far Ive come.





Where Im at now.


Much more to go but so far enjoying my time.

05-31-2010, 09:58 PM
Looks good. I started with a HF 1X30 and still use it for handles and sharpening. Keep plugging away at it and just be patient. Also course belts help makes things go quicker for the initial grind.

Bennie Lovejoy
06-01-2010, 07:43 AM
Lookin good so far. Keep us posted, we love pics :).

06-01-2010, 03:02 PM
Looking good. Is it going to be a chopper? Looks like the profile would be good for one.

06-01-2010, 04:43 PM
hey brother, lovin' the pics...have fun and i'll pm you some updated pictures of my WIP soon.

06-01-2010, 05:12 PM
Thanks for all the kind words. To answer Byron, more than anything, it was a simple design that would allow me to complete it with minimal room for screwing it up. Whatever it turns into, it will be a test drive.

06-01-2010, 05:51 PM
How long is it? What are you thinking about for handle scales?

As is, I think it's coming along swimmingly. It's amazing how rough a knife can look at this stage and still end up looking really professional when done. The key is to take your time and do more hand sanding than you would like.

Oh, and make sure to lube with WD40 when handsanding as it gives a very smooth finish!

Can't wait for the next installment.

06-01-2010, 08:15 PM
9 inches overall. Blade approx 4.25in. I got an 18in piece of barstock because I anticipated screwing one up and then learning from my mistakes and fixing it on #2.

And yeah, I am reading for hours of tedious hand sanding...thanks for the tip about WD40.

Advice/comments on jimping? I feel that there needs to be some kind of spot for the thumb on it. I was tempted to just kinda have small "notches" but a divot of some sort also would be nice...

Gonna borrow my neighbors drill press for the handle and send it to be HT pretty soon. Also, I have no idea on the scales yet. Just some cheap oak probably.


Thinking of trying to make that as my next design. After some thought, a basic skinner maybe?

06-02-2010, 10:16 AM
I will update with probably three sketches later tonight and would like some input as to which one should be pursued. Thanks for everything guys.

06-02-2010, 08:06 PM
Three designs I just drew up. Liking 1 and 3. Summer school is taking me behind the woodshed as its a foreign launguage but hope to have this one cut and send off with the first one by the end of next week.


06-02-2010, 09:14 PM
i happen to really like the middle drawing :) but i'm a sucker for anything that looks like a coffin handle...but not much on the recurve..

06-03-2010, 08:41 PM
We have a winner. Way outside of my skill set but theres only one way to change that.


06-04-2010, 06:41 AM
I'm a new knife maker compared to many people at Knife Dogs but I have made a few knives and learned a couple things. One thing is that people are very nice on knife forums and usually don't say anything to new makers that might discourage them and that is not my intent here. I saw the drawing for your second knife and I thought that maybe you need a nudge in a different direction. I would keep your second knife simple and concentrate on the lines and flow of contours. Take out the little dips and humps and just focus on the lines of the profile. Try not to have any straight lines and keep the design simple. The best looking knives to me are knives of elegant simplicity. I made a couple quick sketches of knives that might get you thinking about a more simple design that would be more workable for a new maker and also produce a better looking, more user friendly knife.


These are just quick sketches not perfect designs but they may give you a couple ideas. I really think you need to change your mind about the design for your second knife and go with something more simple with nice lines and countours.

06-04-2010, 06:59 AM
I will second "Squawsach's" comments about keeping the simple flowing lines on your first few projects. Even though some the designs we come up with seem simple, the more curves and angles you throw into the design, can cause them to quickly become complicated.

To test your designs (and practice your grinding), find some inexpensive wood with the same dimensions as your steel. Trace out and cut your pattern from the wood and then grind it just as you intend to do with the steel. If you find it to be difficult to get the desired effect with wood, you'll know it will be even harder with steel.

By the way (Squawsach), those are some great designs to recommend.

06-04-2010, 08:33 AM
Well let me say I somewhat understand how difficult that knife would be. My intent was honestly not to finish it or come close but to use it as a learning experience. Its like in a movie where the main character tries to fight his nemesis and gets his butt whipped and the rest of the movie is building up to his rematch as he learns new skills and so on. Like Karate Kid or something :).Part of the reason is I accidentally ordered relatively thin steel in 5/64in. In summary, I wanted to bite off a large amount, and chew like hell. That's an interesting idea with the wood, I definitely like that. Until I get something thicker (probably 3/16), I was going to hold off on really making something and such and just try like hell to learn something. Honestly, I was really unsure as far as what to do with the other 9 inch piece of steel because I anticipated having to throw the first one out but then it became a success in not being an overwhelming failure. This piece is something of a "throwaway" so I figured why not. Dont mistake the ambitious design for delusions of grandeur.

I really like that first knife you put up, and Im going to be ordering another piece of steel soon. That will be the first one I try with it. Thanks for all the thoughts and kind words. I hope you dont see me as blowing you guys off here. You are the ones who I look to for help and advice so please dont take it that way.

06-04-2010, 10:34 AM
Reb, you're on the right track, but I think Squaw is on the money when he advises you to go simple first. A complex shape is time-consuming and very frustrating, and the odds of a goof are high. What's the gain?

For me, a knife is a utilitarian tool and should function comfortably in all types of grips (saber, hammer, inverted, etc), as well as being suited to the main task it was designed for. The more complicated you make it, the less well it might serve as a tool. For that reason, finger grooves are anathema to me.

You have plenty of time to work up to the more complicated designs as you progress in this craft.