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

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by RogerP, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

    Messages:
    8,381
    Likes Received:
    5,857
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario, CANADA

    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.
     


  2. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

    Messages:
    12,658
    Likes Received:
    1,717
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Princeton, NJ
    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.
     


  3. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

    Messages:
    8,381
    Likes Received:
    5,857
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario, CANADA
    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    Drilling a hole in the walnut to accomodate the tang:

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    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:

    [​IMG]
     


  4. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

    Messages:
    8,381
    Likes Received:
    5,857
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario, CANADA
    You have to take things slowly and in sequence - you can only remove material, you can't put any back.

    [​IMG]

    The following series will show the handle taking shape:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    Very close to the final shape here:

    [​IMG]
     


  5. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

    Messages:
    8,381
    Likes Received:
    5,857
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario, CANADA
    Next, holes are carefully drilled for the pin (which will add mechanical means of securing the tang within the handle) and the lanyard hole:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (The leather work is not mine)


    [​IMG]
     


  6. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

    Messages:
    12,658
    Likes Received:
    1,717
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Princeton, NJ
    Gorgeous work. What did you finish the handle with?
     


  7. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

    Messages:
    27,426
    Likes Received:
    7,614
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Location:
    NE PA
    Dear god that's beautiful. 5* thread. Thanks so much for sharing.
     


  8. UnnamedPlayer

    UnnamedPlayer Senior member

    Messages:
    763
    Likes Received:
    120
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012


  9. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

    Messages:
    29,128
    Likes Received:
    1,309
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    Texas


  10. js4design

    js4design Senior member

    Messages:
    1,968
    Likes Received:
    828
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Location:
    Tidewater, VA


  11. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

    Messages:
    8,381
    Likes Received:
    5,857
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario, CANADA
    Thanks gents.

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


  12. engar

    engar Senior member

    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Lovely knife and sheath!
     


  13. Fred G. Unn

    Fred G. Unn Senior member

    Messages:
    2,759
    Likes Received:
    752
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Really incredible work!
     


  14. Kai

    Kai Senior member

    Messages:
    3,207
    Likes Received:
    800
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003


  15. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

    Messages:
    5,326
    Likes Received:
    4,824
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by