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I know rebar is generally worthless fore blades. I am not by any means suggesting that anyone waste their time and efforts on rebar knives. 


 A couple years ago while wandering a patch of woods for mushrooms, I found a 3.5 ft length of thick rebar(11/16-3/4'' diam.) I brought it home to throw in the pile, but the grinder said it needed further investigating. I flattened a piece out to 3/16'' or so heated to nonmagnetic and quenched in water. Very hard and brittle, even scratched my file. It did warp, so I tried with oil, and it was very hard and no warping. I was happy with double tempering at 400.


I decided to make a simple blade to test it out.  Yes it is ugly, but over the last year and a half it has become my favorite knife in the kitchen. I intended to use it for fish decapitation, but I use it for more things than any knife I have and it just keeps cutting. I not easy on it either. 


 I decided to make a new reknife that was thinner and longer. I ground the ridges off the rebar before starting this time, to avoid cold shuts and stress. Nothing fancy but this metal hold its edge like a champ, and I made something of useful out of scrap which I love doing.


The small knife in the last pic is 1095 not rebar.


Thanks for looking










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Dustin: Sure rebar is usually not blade steel but the biggest problem is how unpredictable it is alloy wise. However like any found steel dealing with a little mystery is a must, it's just not very often a good report with rebar.


If your blades take and hold an edge without being brittle you got a piece that'll work. The fish cleaver actually has some post apocalyptic appeal. The other blades look like good work, I wouldn't apologize if they'd come out of my shop. Then again, I'm not a bladesmith guy.


Good score and nice results. Well done.


Frosty The Lucky.

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Definitely unpredictable stuff. I have only ever found this one piece of rebar that seemed to have promise, most is random. But I hated to scrap this piece without trying something and was willing to have wasted my time. I have plenty of known blade steels and spring but the rebar was just asking for a new life and was more fun for me. This is a hobby  and if its not fun what's the point.


A lot of people like the fish cleaver for its crude appearance, myself included as I am somewhat of a crude fellow with similar crude appearance ;)


Thanks for the kind words Frosty



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I've run into some square rebar from the 1920's that seemed to be a medium carbon steel.  Quite usefull for tooling and easily found along the river bank spoil piles where I used to live, Columbus OH


But like all found steel:  no guarentee what it really is and no guarentee that any teo pieces will be the same.  TEST TEST TEST!

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Thanks Arbalist and Bikecop. I need to learn more about cord wraps as well. These were my first real cord handles, and I really like the way the feel in hand.


This piece of rebar was found dumped with old concrete in a ravine that has become a forest. A truck hasn't been able to access this area to dump in this area for at least 40 years(based on the large cottonwood and elms blocking the way) and I'm doubting it was new rebar when dumped. I am sure it is quite old, and I have not encountered any other rebar with a useful carbon content. 


Definitely test testy test, and sometimes you get lucky. I got skunked mushroom hunting but brought home something I enjoy more.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This rebar thread seems to come up frequently in knife making. Why, I don't know, as many have attested to its uselessness as a blade. As a letter opener, it's probably ok, but that's it. It's kind of like a railroad spike being used as a bona fide cutting edge. Not going to happen.


My suggestion to those who want to begin making pointed things...and it's a slippery slope :)  is to begin with a known carbon steel and pound away.

In the end, at least you'll have a blade that will be useful assuming proper heat treat etc. Try some spring steel, leaf or coil, which is probably 5160 and very forgiving, and give it a go.


Make art out of that rebar as it's pretty cool twisted.



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Again, I do not recommend that people use rebar for blades, I did because my testing said that this one piece would make a decent knife. The cleaver has only been sharpened once in a year and a half. It was still cutting/chopping pretty well when I sharpened it. These are useful blades. I certainly did not use rebar to save money, as I already own enough 1095, 5160, springs, and files to make plenty of knives.  I definitely would not have made a second if the first had not worked so well. I have almost 2ft left from this piece and I will use it for blades eventually, and that will likely be the last rebar I ever use.


Rebar is bad for knives most of the time. Please do not waste your time.



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