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Michael Mercier




Location: Durham, NC on my way to Iraq
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Reading list: 6 books

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PostPosted: Sun 17 Jul, 2005 5:00 pm    Post subject: my first knife making project         Reply with quote

I wanted to post a quick picture of my first knife making project since I am really proud of the results so far. I have made a lot of stuff in the past. Chainmail, leather projects, wine, mead etc. but I have never got into much metal working until now.
I got a piece of scrap barstock from work and first, made a dull training knife for reenacting purposes. A co-worker saw that and wanted a sharp knife to take when hunting. After he offered $75 I couldnt resist.
Here is the work in progress. All I need to do is finish polishing the other side, sharpen it, and add a handle.

What do you think?

Mike



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Matthew Kelty





Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Reading list: 61 books

Posts: 164

PostPosted: Mon 18 Jul, 2005 11:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very pretty!

Details as to the steel used, tools, techniques?
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jul, 2005 11:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey, that's sweet. Do you have any ideas for how you're doing the grip? Materials, etc?
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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jul, 2005 11:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Like Matt and Nathan said, I think you're off to a good start!

Are you going to treat and temper it, too?

Looking forward to more/final pics!

-Aaron Schnatterly
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(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
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Michael Mercier




Location: Durham, NC on my way to Iraq
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Mon 18 Jul, 2005 11:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ahhhh... the grip. Good question. Well, I have attempted to make wooden grips in the past and they turned out like crap. The last one I made was a tightly stitched leather grip with celtic knotwork engraved in it. That was ok. The request from the future owner was to wrap it with 550 cord (for those of you not in the military it is green parachute cord).

As for tempering it, all I have at home here is a propane torch that obviously wont get hot enough. I did go camping this past weekend and although probably not the best way to do it, I tossed it in the campfire.
Yes, I am very new to the knife making scene, but for a first project I think it turned out well. I will have to work on a better way to temper it next time.

Mike
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jul, 2005 4:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael;

Good work there grinding out the bevels but you might consider professional heat treating as a large percentage of professional knife makers don't do it themselves.

Not an easy thing to do without the right equipment and very hit or miss if you only have a vague idea how to do it.

Oh, I assume you have some idea about the steel you used: Carbon content ? Water, oil or air quenching steel ?

I'm in no way an expert here to advise you and not knowing what you do know I risk telling you stuff that you already know.

I don't think a camp fire will produce enough heat to get you to quenching temperature and you do have to quench it at the right temperature. For a small blade with simple carbon steel an acetylene torch might work ? Then you have to temper it by bringing it to about 400 degree F. and let it cool slowly: If you don't your quenched blade will be glass hard and glass breakable ! ( A regular oven at the right temperature could be used for this last step. )

The good news is that you seem to have potential and anything you don't know you can learn: Best wishes. Big Grin

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Cole Sibley




Location: Montana, USA
Joined: 19 Apr 2005

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Posts: 60

PostPosted: Mon 18 Jul, 2005 6:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean had some great suggestions, don't hesitate to have it professionally hardened and tempered, I suspect the price would be quite cheap for a small knife like that. Or, with a bit of research, no doubt you could do a reasonably good job yourself, with a good torch and a hot oven. My opinion is the edge bevel is the hardest part of any blade, and you did an excellent job at that Happy
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Jesse Frank
Industry Professional



Location: Tallahassee, Fl
Joined: 04 May 2005

Posts: 144

PostPosted: Tue 19 Jul, 2005 5:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is it hardenable?

If it's scrap, you never really know what it is. You might have an idea, but.....

If it's mild steel, you wont have any luck with it. It's possible to carburize it, but that's probably beyond the scope of what you want to do.

You can get a knife hot enough to harden in a wood fire. All that's needed for carbon steels is 1400f to 1600f, which really isn't very hot in the grand scheme of things. The hardest part will be getting the heat even.

Good luck.

Jesse
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