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Author Topic: Knife designing, steel preferences, and manufacturing methods  (Read 556 times)

Roper1911

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Knife designing, steel preferences, and manufacturing methods
« on: November 19, 2016, 04:25:16 PM »
so I know a few of us here are knifemakers, and I'm looking at getting back into it myself.

starting with a rather large blade, working name "Crimson" or "Courageous"
I haven't done a knife build since around 2013, and I mostly did forged blades. so to the pro's out there, what tools, jigs, ect. are absolutely necessary to make a knife? and where can I find an ACME Big A-- file?


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    booksmart

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    Re: Knife designing, steel preferences, and manufacturing methods
    « Reply #1 on: November 19, 2016, 05:09:07 PM »
    Nice looking blade, but I'd recommend going with three screws on the scales instead of the four. 

    Roper1911

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    Re: Knife designing, steel preferences, and manufacturing methods
    « Reply #2 on: November 19, 2016, 05:27:53 PM »
    it's a rough design. the four was just because I wanted something different. drilling tool steel is a pain though, so I get where you're coming from.
    I haven't yet figured out how i'm going to get the crossguard on to a full tang blade, I might end up running retention bars down the inside of the scales to the screws. or wimp out and just weld or solder it on. time will tell.
    North Carolina"it has two fire modes, safe, and most decidedly unsafe"
    ~Chief Warrant Leon McMurdo. Shilo Mountain Rangers, sixth battalion. Mount Hector School of Military tactics. November 8th 3451.

    Yes. When the question is 1911, the answer is "yes". ~HVS

    booksmart

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    Re: Knife designing, steel preferences, and manufacturing methods
    « Reply #3 on: November 19, 2016, 10:16:04 PM »
    I wasn't suggesting that due to tool steel being a PITA to drill (which it is), but just for visual aesthetics.  Plus, I don't think it will be as comfortable to the hand.

    As for the crossguard, I think you'll have to go with a thicker crossguard out of the same metal, and either pin it or weld it (pinning it would probably be better - I suspect welding it in place could lead to warping and temper issues).

    BTW, have you read any of the books mentioned in the threads I started regarding knife making?

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    Re: Knife designing, steel preferences, and manufacturing methods
    « Reply #4 on: November 19, 2016, 10:25:35 PM »
    While a knife could be made using files, sandpaper, and a drill, if you are serious about doing it regularly then I would suggest a 2x72 inch grinder along with a drill.

    The 2x72 offers a broad range of abrasive options to help you get the most out of the experience. 

    Also, you could buy a bar of 1095 or O-1 instead of using a file unless you just want the experience of forging the file.  You could also use brass pins in the handle instead of the bolts as long as you use a decent epoxy to fasten the scales on

    Oh, and as far as the guard, you would probably have to brazen it on. I get away from that by making the finger groove deeper so that it serves as an integral guard
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    Re: Knife designing, steel preferences, and manufacturing methods
    « Reply #5 on: November 19, 2016, 11:49:25 PM »
    Nice looking blade, but I'd recommend going with three screws on the scales instead of the four. 
    Agreed.  Three would be plenty in terms of strength and having the two in the center of the handle so close to the edge of the handle material will encourage splits as the handle material ages, undergoes thermal expansion and contraction and is subject to knocks and dings.  If you've ever seen an old bone or celluloid handled pocketknife many of them had the same problem. 

    While a knife could be made using files, sandpaper, and a drill, if you are serious about doing it regularly then I would suggest a 2x72 inch grinder along with a drill.

    The 2x72 offers a broad range of abrasive options to help you get the most out of the experience. 

    Also, you could buy a bar of 1095 or O-1 instead of using a file unless you just want the experience of forging the file.  You could also use brass pins in the handle instead of the bolts as long as you use a decent epoxy to fasten the scales on

    Oh, and as far as the guard, you would probably have to brazen it on. I get away from that by making the finger groove deeper so that it serves as an integral guard

    ^This^ .  If I were going to attach the guard to the blade I'd probably use silver solder.  O1 or 1095 are fairly simple carbon steels and pretty forgiving to work with but 1095 can be tricky to get the heat treatment right on a large blade.  You can get brittle spots and some warping if you're not careful.  I'd cruise around some garage sales, estate sales and pawn shops if you're looking for old files.  Sometimes you can score a whole box of them for next to nothing - especially if they are worn out.  If you're going to use a grinder just be sure to get eye protection, hearing protection and a particulate filter mask. 
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    Roper1911

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    Re: Knife designing, steel preferences, and manufacturing methods
    « Reply #6 on: November 20, 2016, 01:18:31 AM »
    the file was for bulk metal removal. The steel will probably be 5160. I prefer spring steels for large blades, and while edge retention isn't as good as 1095, its also almost completely unaffected by pitting, tempers pretty easy, and has really high toughness. Even if you're looking at a maximum edge hardness of about 58 Rockwell. That said, I have a line on 1095, O1, and 1084/80 of the appropriate size.

    Honestly, for a blade this size, 5160 and 1084 are both pretty tight runners. I've got more experience with 5160. 1084 is new to me though, I've heard it's better for the really big blades then 1095, but I've got 0 real hands on time with it.

    And the scales will be red linen micarta so I'd hope they could take the shock.
    North Carolina"it has two fire modes, safe, and most decidedly unsafe"
    ~Chief Warrant Leon McMurdo. Shilo Mountain Rangers, sixth battalion. Mount Hector School of Military tactics. November 8th 3451.

    Yes. When the question is 1911, the answer is "yes". ~HVS

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