Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Artsy Sgian Dubh


Recommended Posts

Hey folks,

I found a knife blade I made as probably my second knife (and soon after the first) and had to finish it up. My forge is inactive for the time being, with snow and college keeping it up gets difficult. But I'm glad I got to at least do this.


So, as mentioned, probably second knife I've made. I was going for a leaf shape. Might've been two years ago and I've learned since then (stupidly, I may have hammered scale into the metal, and the scale was caused by low gas levels). It's made of mild steel, which I think is irrelevant as it's more decoration for my kilt, but I did want some practice on heat treat, so its hardened and tempered (if that did anything).

I spent a lot of time trying to work the purple heart I had for a one peice handle, but I decided this would be easier and better. The black leather is wrapped around a peice of dowel, and Dacron was used to wrap around again (plus some super glue) and just in case, I applied polyurethane to the Dacron.

The most fun I had was with the copper for the sheath. I had a peice if thick wall copper pipe I opened up, so I used my ball peen and worked it cold, cut it, and messed it up a little with the hammer again. Those prices are secured by super glue and have holes with Dacron holding them (glued the joints to prevent wear)

Not shown, but there's a belt clip on the back secured mostly by Dacron wrapping. Unfortunately, won't hold on wider belts, and certainly not on my kilt hose.

I'm proud of it, even with its imperfections. In fact they may make it look more hand crafted.


I'd like to reiterate though, purple heart is a xxxxxx hard wood. Really doesn't want to cut, drill, or burn.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love the concept you were going for, the combination of handle materials and matching sheath is quite nice.

I'm not sure if my critique is applicable to this knife since it's technically a KSO, but there are some things you will want to keep in mind for your next knife. 
Sharp indentations forged into knives before HT lead to stress risers. Even the tiny teeth of a file pose a risk, so those large notches will spell trouble for you if you do that in tool steel then harden - it is likely to ping, warp, or crack. You can carve and engrave blades after HT to get designs in the blade using a dremmel or sharp chisel (I'm sure there are many more ways too).
Yes, purpleheart is more difficult to work than many woods, but don't let that discourage you from working with it. Keep the file clean and the sandpaper fresh, add a little elbow grease, take your time, and it'll really shine. Purpleheart and cocobolo are tied for my favorite hardwood.
In my experience, super glue in knifemaking should only be used to stabilize/seal handles, it is far too brittle for absorbing shock/torque. Grab yourself some epoxy, you'll probably find it's even easier to work with than super glue, and will outperform it tenfold.

I like where you're goin, keep on forgin buddy :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're also a lot less likely to glue your fingers to your . . . eh HEM in the bathroom with epoxy than super glue. The slower the cure time the stronger the epoxy. Set time is different than Cure time, read the package carefully so you don't get fooled. It's an easy mistake to make. 1hr. epoxy is the set time, it's a 24hr. cure for full strength and longer is better. Using minimum catalyst is stronger as well. Don't push the catalyst faster is NOT better and in fact getting carried away its a fire hazard.

Frosty The Lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...