Newbie questions.

bigdan574

Member
Hi guys, I am really just getting started.. I am only doing stock removal for now. I am using a hacksaw and a files atm. I am only in two blades in and have not even heat treated on yet. I have fire bricks on the way and I am using o1. Firstly is O1 ok to heat to non magnetic and then quench I have seen conflicting info on this.. Secondley. I am hooked and really am enjoying this.. My arms not so much presently.. HEHE.. Next question, I can and have the ablitity to build a 2x72 and am willing to do so but finding the materials for me is a drive.. Any suggestion on plans to build one? I am willing to pay for them but dont want to purchase them and then waste the time and effort and money into making a piece of garbage.. Any thoughts on OBM?? or Ameribrade?
I might be getting ahead of myself of this one.. Best way to make stencils or a place to have them made.. The marker is not a problem..
 

opaul

Well-Known Member
You can do a search here for HTing 01 but as I remember 01 requires a longer soak time at a controlled temperature, What type of quench oil are you using?
 

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
You'd be a LOT farther ahead to get some 1075, 1080 or 1084.

O1 is a great steel but you will be leaving a lot on the table heat treating it with rudimentary equipment. It really benefits from carefully controlled accurate temps and some controlled soak time as Opaul mentioned.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
My best advice is to order a copy of Kevin Cashen's guide to 1080 and 1084 watch it about five times. Then order you some 1080 or 1084 and roll on. I have made knives from 0-1 and simple heat treat and while it will make a decent knife you will do far better with 1080 or 1084 AND the knowledge Kevin imparts in his video. From a metallurgical standpoint, I learned more from that video and why the information is important in making knives than anything else. You WILL understand how to properly heat treat a 1080 or 1084 blade after watching it...five times.
 

Heikki

Well-Known Member
I also started with a hacksaw and hand files. Good way to learn before making big investments in tools.

+1 on the 1080/1084. The steel is much more forgiving for a backyard heat treat. Kevin Cashen's video guide was a HUGE help to me as well.
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I've made one knife for my wife from O1 using a small forge and Canola oil. It worked, but not very well. It's used in the kitchen mostly by me now because it doesn't keep a very good edge. I have to constantly sharpen it. When it's freshly sharpened it cuts very well, but it doesn't last long.

In short it worked but not anywhere near as good as it should. As John Doyle mentioned 1075, 1080 or 1084 are much better for home heat treat.
I use 1084 almost exclusively now for home heat treat. If I'm using something else, such as a stainless, I send it out for heat treating.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
I agree that in your beginning stages, the best chances for success with come with the 10XX steels. They are in general, far more forgiving of mistakes throughout the process.

Grinders....... Without a doubt the most important, and the tool that has the most impact on how good, or how poor your efforts come to fruition. A word on grinders. IF you decide to buy base on cheap price, that money is gone forever. IF you purchase one of the "Top Shelf" grinders, they hold their value. The reason you don't see many on the secondary market is because even one that has been used for a decade, demands just about the same money as a new one. Why is that important? Well, if you decide knifemaking isn't for you, and choose to see it, you will get what you paid for the grinder, or nearly so.
Building a grinder is not as easy as assembling parts. You have a series of "Wheels" that all need to align, on the same plane, and be each centered upon the other. If you have that kind of mechanical ability, I say sure.....but if you even question whether or not you can do that, then you best bet is to purchase a grinder......otherwise you'll dump lots and lots of time, effort, and money, only to be frustrated, and wind up spending more money on a "better" grinder, again, and again, until you finally get one of the "Top Shelf" grinders...... I have seen it time and time again over my career, and I was one of them too. So do yourself a favor, and "buy once, cry once".
 

bigdan574

Member
Again thank you so much for all the input. I ordered some 1084 tonight. I got it from Jantz. USAknife only had .250 I ordered .125. I was having a hard time finding 1084. Any other resources that you all can suggest.
 

Heikki

Well-Known Member
Again thank you so much for all the input. I ordered some 1084 tonight. I got it from Jantz. USAknife only had .250 I ordered .125. I was having a hard time finding 1084. Any other resources that you all can suggest.
New Jersey Steel Baron and Alpha Knife Supply.
 

One Armed

Well-Known Member
For steels, I generally go USAKnifemaker, AlphaKnife & NJsteel baron as Heikki point out. I to started with O1, but then switched to high alloy CPM tool steels after my accident.

As for a belt grinder. Let your heart guide you. YOU know better than anyone if you are capable of building a high quality belt grinder. I knew I was, and it was absolutely the correct decision. (you’ll hear this again & again from DIY’ers). If you know you have the ability, don’t let naysayers sway you. In the end, I spent a fraction of the price of a top shelf grinder....a FRACTION! Also remember there is a difference between a hobbyist, like myself, and a someone who makes blades for a living. They don’t have the time to worry about “building” a belt grinder, when they have mouths to feed! For me, it was logical to build. Making knives is a passion for me, not a moneymaker. As well as being a DIY’er, and the enjoyment of building the grinder itself.

All that said, you build a good grinder and it will do everything $3,000 grinder will do. Remember, it’s not the tool that MAKES the blade. It’s just a helping hand. Files & sandpaper can achieve the exact same quality, given materials used are the same. And the cost savings can be dramatic. I’m not a wealthy man. I can’t just drop $3,000+ on a tool! You get arguments against this I know...but what you won’t get is the evidence I bring. So, do your research and like I said, let your heart guide you. I know there are many people here who would love to help you with anything you may need.:)

This is mine.


And here, along with the “FIRST“ DIY Surface Grinder Attachment.
 

bigdan574

Member
At work and break is over. I will reply when I get home. Thank you so much for taking the time for a in depth response.
 

Randy Lucius

KNIFE MAKER
When I started I didn’t want to spend $3000 or more on a grinder. Wasn’t sure I could make a knife or if I would enjoy making them. I built a no-weld grinder from the plans on USA Knifemaker. I’ve made 75 knives with it and it has served me well. I’ve been saving money and ordered a KMG-TX last week and will use the no-weld for handles and other work.


A63A517C-3686-448C-9C86-4B93AED8D85C.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Bruce McLeish

Well-Known Member
When I started I didn’t want to spend $3000 or more on a grinder. Wasn’t sure I could make a knife or if I would enjoy making them. I built a no-weld grinder from the plans on USA Knifemaker. I’ve made 75 knives with it and it has served me well. I’ve been saving money and ordered a KMG-TX last week and will use the no-weld for handles and other work. View attachment 73450
Randy, how much did your grinder end up costing you?
 

Randy Lucius

KNIFE MAKER
Probably had a little less than $700 in the no-weld grinder but I bought all new parts and didn't really shop around much. It could be done for less. The KMG_TX was $3178. I bought the articulating work rest and an extra tool arm. Can't wait to get that bad boy. :)
 

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
My thoughts on a grinder are to start simple and cheap. There are 2 or 3 free plans and blogs online that show guys building 2x72's. It's kind of hard to know what you want until you have one for a while. I built my own and now after a few years of use, I know exactly what I want and what I don't like. When I first started I used files too and any grinder sounded awesome. You just gotta jump on the bus, hang on til you get more experience, then build/buy your dream machine. Just start cheap until you know this is for you. Google DCKnives, he's got an easy basic grinder plan to get started.
 

One Armed

Well-Known Member
My thoughts on a grinder are to start simple and cheap. There are 2 or 3 free plans and blogs online that show guys building 2x72's. It's kind of hard to know what you want until you have one for a while. I built my own and now after a few years of use, I know exactly what I want and what I don't like. When I first started I used files too and any grinder sounded awesome. You just gotta jump on the bus, hang on til you get more experience, then build/buy your dream machine. Just start cheap until you know this is for you. Google DCKnives, he's got an easy basic grinder plan to get started.
This ain’t bad advice really. My first grinder was a Dayton 2x48 that I converted to 2x78 with an aluminum arm & a wheel. I bought it for $300, & spent about $75 converting it to 2x78. I made a whole lotta knives with it and then sold it for $275, after years of use. That’s when I built my current setup. I think I’ve invested $650 into my grinder and it’s made of 1018 cold roll bar & mostly 2024 Aluminum. (Few pieces of 6061 & 7075 billet.

Here’s that first Dayton after I modified it.
 
Top