Band saw blade knives

Discussion in 'Knife Maker Shop Talk' started by D.Douglas, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. D.Douglas

    D.Douglas Well-Known Member

    Awhile back i was buying some knives from a guy on ebay who made these type knives. They were very reasonable and i used them to practice making sheaths with. Well he started selling supplies also so i picked up some sections of blade he put up for auction. Being fairly new at this i decided to try and make a few since it was something different that i had not tried before. I grind the sharp teeth off with a bench grinder first then take it to the belt. Getting that cut in the wood the correct size took a little practice also. These blades are about .060 inches thick and are very tough. Used a carbide bit for the holes. You can bend them quite some distance before the break. When i looked at the break the structure was very fine. Some pretty nice steel with minimal grinding to do for an edge. I will pass these on to some deer hunting buddies after completion. I have some knives i use in the kitchen with this steel and recently resharpened them with some Japanese water stones. They take on a nice patina and stay sharp for quite awhile. Another bonus is you do not have to heat treat either.

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  2. franklin

    franklin Well-Known Member

    D that looks like a good start cant wait to see that handle is the way i made my first.
  3. D.Douglas

    D.Douglas Well-Known Member

    Hey Franklin. Thanks, I know some people probably dont think to much of them but i am here to tell you they make excellent user knives. Teaches most of the basics also. I should have at least one finished over the weekend. If anybody out there wants to try one shoot me a pm and ill see if i can send you a section.
  4. gaelic forge

    gaelic forge Well-Known Member

    D, are these metal cutting bandsaw blades or those designed for wood cutting?
  5. D.Douglas

    D.Douglas Well-Known Member

    I sure that they are blades that are for wood. After some testing i decided that they were not quite hard enough to use as is. Took care of that with an edge quench in oil and temper at 375 degrees before grinding the cutting edge.
  6. Todd Robbins

    Todd Robbins Well-Known Member

    I'm currently trying out a new design for an edc that I used bandsaw blade steel for the blade. I re-did the heat treat as well. I quenched the entire blade in McMaster-Carr's fast oil and also tempered at 375. I've used this steel a lot for some smaller knives and kitchen knives. It works very well. It isn't the best at edge holding, but it is very tough, and it's easy to resharpen as well. I got a pretty large stock of this steel from a friend who works at a sawmill and was able to verify with the sawyer that the steel is Uddeholm 15n20, which is basicly 1075 with 2% nickel added for toughness.
  7. Doug Lester

    Doug Lester Well-Known Member

    Interesting, could you define what you mean by not being the best for edge holding? I would think that something like 15n20 would have enough carbon in it to be pretty fair at edge holding and tempering at 375 sounds like it should be just about right on for a knife.

  8. Lagrange

    Lagrange Well-Known Member

    Very interesting. I've done some saw blade knives in the past, it can be rewarding. The good part is yoiu get plenty of practice for minimal cost.
  9. Todd Robbins

    Todd Robbins Well-Known Member


    It does OK as far as edge holding, just not great. Nowhere near what a lot of other steels can do, but better than most of the commercially available kitchen knives I've used. For example, we also have a couple of smaller kitchen/steak knives that I made, one from 440c and one from ats-34, and they both hold an edge longer than the 15N20. The downside is that they are harder to resharpen. Really the only thing that is ideal about the 15N20 that I have for small kitchen knives is the thickness, or rather thinness, of it, being just a tad over 1/16". It's a really tough steel, owing to the lathe martensite structure and the 2% nickel, so it is great for knives that really need toughness, but it does sacrifice some edge holding. However, I don't mind frequent sharpening and I have a whole lot of it, and it is really easy to work with, so I'll probably continue to use it for any application that I want thinner blade stock.

    I'd use it for bigger blades if I could get it in thicker stock. I need to make a small machete from it and really check out the impact toughness. I am making a garden hoe from it in the next few days, again because I have plenty of it and it's so easy to work with.
  10. gaelic forge

    gaelic forge Well-Known Member

    Usually the Uddeholm brand name is stamped into the steel. This stuff is awesome! The late David Boye made a great many knives from this stuff from heavy bandsaw blades left over from the heavy logging era in California. I have been looking for the heavy stuff for years. Try a heat treatment with greater heat....around 400 to 425 and I think you will find great edge holding ability. At this time I am using round sawblades which are usually L-6 and similar to the 15N20. The thinner stuff you have should make a very good fillet knives. David Boyes's book covers the heat treating of these steels extensively.

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