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Make a knife


Logan

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Just to warn you, you've opened a can of worms with that question. Everyone's going to tell you to practice basic blacksmithing skills first. Me personally, while I haven't had any formal training other than a class or so and demo'ing, I believe you can learn the same skills while practicing making "knives" if you want to and you have a relatively cheap source of good steel. Being from a farm there's a surplus of old springs and hydraulic arms and shocks and not enough mild steel so I seem to use it more. By "making knives" which seems to be frowned upon, I was ahead of the game when it came to the class I took. Unfortunately the advanced classes run around $100 for a night seminar of watching the blacksmith demo so I haven't gone to any.

After that, start with a small knife since they're easier to make and more likely to be something you'll carry and use so you can test your knifemaking abilities. Do lots of research too on heat treating and steels and such. There are many good books out there on both blacksmithing and bladesmithing, some of which are online. Read forums online but remember to be critical on the info posted and always use your head. When something doesn't feel safe, don't do it.

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let us know a bit about your skills background. If youve not done any forging or knifemaking in the past, and are just intersted in making somthing pointy and sharp have a go at 'stock removal' thats basically grinding a knife from a piece of steel, a cheap angle grinder ($10 walmart or wherever), a lump of steel and somekind of vice to hold the metal in and your away.

Before I ever forged anything I made loads of knives at work by grinding old hacksaw blades sharp, and ducktaping a handle on them (only because i used to loose my stanley knife all the time!)

give a bit more info any im sure folks will help point you in the right direction! - welcome to the site! :)

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Logan you already have a couple of answers to help you with your question but let me add a couple of things. First no one on here can tell you how you must do things. There is a fair amount of wisdom on here that you may want to listen to to get started. But that is for you to decide. However your questions reminds me of: which car should I buy? or how do I pick a wife? Anyone that may have some insight will need to pull a lot more information from you and when that happens you may still not get the information you were looking for. Please take no offense but if you go back into the blueprints on here and the getting started portions,,and read back through all of the information on knives. and even look at a lot of the pics of knives in the gallery you may come up with a style, size or shape of knife that you would like to make for yourself. And lastly, no you do not have to learn to learn basic blacksmithing skills to make a knife. Nor do you have to have any shop experience to craft one from a bar of steel. Keep us posted on your progress,,,good luck.

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Before I ever forged anything I made loads of knives at work by grinding old hacksaw blades sharp, and ducktaping a handle on them (only because i used to loose my stanley knife all the time!)



in prison?.. sounds like a shank to me..

I think he is asking what kind of style of blade would be easiest to make..

and I would have to say, a flat groound double beveled 2.5in hunter with a cord handle. heat treated with a torch, and toaster oven..
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Thought I might offer one more unsolicited comment...

Logan has asked about "making a knife"... okay. A noble venture, indeed.

However, I believe that "making" involves more than simply hammering out a blade and then wrapping something around the grip area. I know that there are certain tactical applications where the concept of a blade wrapped in para-cord might be desirable, but this should be considered the exception.

Point is this... "making" a knife should include every detail; handles, guard and/or bolsters, fit & finish, and probably even a decent sheath.

How will the first one look? Probably bad, but probably not near as bad as my first one. It is a bowie from an old circular concrete saw blade, big brass guard with an atrocious looking solder joint, osage handles with home-made cutlers rivets. The sheath looks better than the knife, but the knife sure is ugly. But I still use this knife from time to time, mostly to cut small branches and such.

I went to a lot of trouble to make this knife, I was pleased when I was done with it, but I did better on the next one. After a couple dozen, I still go to a lot of trouble, and still try to do better than I did on the last one.

Quality, not quantity. Start out with this in mind.

Don

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Well, the first thing you must do is purify your inner Spirit with a month of fasting, then make a journey into the dark mountains of Mordor to learn at the feet of ancient dwarf masters for 36.765 years or until you have a moment of clairity. After that,, you must journey back to this world via the secret map from the last Pirates of the Carribean movie. After that, you mine the ore for the iron of your new knife from crater of meteorite strike from the 3rd century BC. Then, you must extract the magical uber special meteor iron with the fire from a purple dragon of 2222 years of age. THEN, using the hardened anvil of Allfred Krupp himself, forge your blade using only your fists and stern language.
The hard part is finding enough unicorn blood (red unicorn,,,not green) to quench the blade. The last part is to hone the blade on the 5 O'clock shadow of the Venerable and Powerful Chuck Norris. Then bind the handle is skin taken from the belly of the meat eating voles of the Andes mountains.
This should pretty much do it for your first knife.

Or,,,,, Keep it simple and concentrate on what you are doing, and how you are doing it. Check out the blueprints,, scour the forums. There is a MOUNTAIN of knowledge here. Don A is right,, learn your craft well,, even if you are making a paring knife, or a coffee pot hook, or an ornate stag handled damascas bladed bowie.


Good luck,, ask questions,, they will be answered.

Phil

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My thoughts fall along one of two lines. First, with the proliferation of knife "kits" available today, that might be a good avenue. It will provide all of the necessary parts, and some even come with instructions. That way you will be able to see all of the required components, and can practice assembling them. They will require you to attach the handles and finish them down. If your not used to working with your hands, its a very good exercise for a beginner.

The second thought is to do like most Bladesmiths/Knifemakers have done....gather what tools you think you need, then jump right in and start from scratch! As you stumble along, you'll run into things that might require you to seek advice or assistance, both of which will only gain you knowledge and experience. As you progress your going to realize you need/want this or that tool, and then one thing will lead to another. Its a path of discovery, and a whole lot of fun.

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in prison?.. sounds like a shank to me..

I think he is asking what kind of style of blade would be easiest to make..

and I would have to say, a flat groound double beveled 2.5in hunter with a cord handle. heat treated with a torch, and toaster oven..


yup, your right :o, but the best knife for a beginner (as the original post asked )is a simple one that cuts things, hence my reply to the post. it was an overly simplistic question, to which I gave an honest, albeit overly simplistic answer. (and I still use the 'shanks' at work all the time!)

r.r. spikes are non existant on many continents. Ive worked retailing blacksmithing stuff, and industrial forging equipment for 16 years now in the UK and ive never seen a single one!
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