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The making of a custom forged knife, start to finish. - Page 2

post #16 of 32
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by SkinnyGoomba View Post

I assume the tears start where the knuckles meet the grinding belt. I'm a woodworker by hobby so for me they start by mallet.



Indeed!  The woodworking part of this project is coming right up.


Black walnut is just about my favourite wood for a knife handle. Easy to work and stunningly beautiful. This gorgeous feathered gun stock blank would provide the man portion of the handle. An ebony spacer and stainless steel guard would complete the materials needed.








But before we get to the handle work, we need to finish the blade.  I'm skipping several steps of the heat-treating process, which is critical, but neither interesting to watch nor read. 


One thing I will point out is that the blade was fully hardened as a result of the quench and nitro bath.  Fully hardened is not what you want in a large knife or sword, because the harder the steel, the more brittle it becomes.  You need the cutting edge to be hard in order to take and keep a keen cutting edge, but the spine needs to be softer, and more resilient for strength.  One way to accomplish this is to "draw the spine" with a torch.  This heats that portion of the blade, and as it slowly cools (as opposed to the rapid cooling of the quench) it becomes less hard.  You'll notice the edge sitting in water - this is to prevent that getting heated / softened.



This pic also shows what I described earlier as the distal taper - or reduction in thickness of the blade as we move towrard the tip.  Some big knives feel like you have picked up a lead pipe.  Others are quick, liveley and well balanced.  This aspect as more to do with that result than any other.

post #17 of 32
Great looking piece of walnut. Really has some character to it.

Is there any way you can convince that fellow to replace that tablesaw, that thing looks frightening. You never know the value of a guard and a riving knife until you do. One rule I live by is that I never line my fingers up with the sharp edge of anything, be it saw, chisel, drill bit, ect.
post #18 of 32
Thread Starter 

Perhaps my least favourite part of the process - hand-sanding the blade in successivley finer grits of sandpaper until we get a nice, even satin finish.



Milling a slot for the guard, which is then soldered onto the blade:



Drilling a hole in the walnut to accomodate the tang:



Which is then further shaped and evacuated using these handy little tools:



The stack of materials which will form the handle are then epoxied onto the tang and left to set overnight:



The rough outline of the handle is then cut away using a band saw:



Then my favourite part - shaping the handle.  Dan is somewhat famout for his ergonomic handle designs, and here shows how to go about one aspect of it:


post #19 of 32
Thread Starter 

You have to take things slowly and in sequence - you can only remove material, you can't put any back. 



The following series will show the handle taking shape:





Handle and guard are shaped as a single, cohesive unit:



Very close to the final shape here:


post #20 of 32
Thread Starter 

Next, holes are carefully drilled for the pin (which will add mechanical means of securing the tang within the handle) and the lanyard hole:






Some more sanding of the handle takes to pretty much to the finished product:





(The leather work is not mine)



post #21 of 32
Gorgeous work. What did you finish the handle with?
post #22 of 32
Dear god that's beautiful. 5* thread. Thanks so much for sharing.
post #23 of 32

fucking awesome!

post #24 of 32
Well done!
post #25 of 32
post #26 of 32
Thread Starter 

Thanks gents.


SkinnyGoomba - the handle was finished with Permalyn gunstock finish / sealer.

post #27 of 32
Lovely knife and sheath!
post #28 of 32
Really incredible work!
post #29 of 32
I own a few hand forged knives, and a hand forged sword.

This is my current favorite, made by these folks:

post #30 of 32
Very, very cool, thank you much for posting!
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