Friday, August 23, 2013

The Seven Day Knife Project

I've recently become very interested in knife making. I've been collecting knives since I was a tween and now I want to make my own. Pursuant to this goal, and for a school project about ritual and artifact, I've decided to make one knife a day for one week. I will attempt different styles and techniques, and not work on them again once the day is up. This will be difficult not only because I've never made a knife but also because school is in session and I have plenty of homework already.

Regardless, here is my first knife build:

I wanted to start by setting up real quench tanks, no more plastic bottles of water. I've had this medical oxygen cylinder kicking around for years, so I cut it in half. 

I wanted to use both halves but the top (valve) side didn't like to stand up, so I whipped up a quick and easy stand.

One half will hold water and the other will hold oil, both for quenching hot metals.

Starting with a piece of mystery steel from my pile (not the best way to start, but it was Friday afternoon and I wasn't going to go on a high-carbon hunt) I made the length about the same as my current pocket knife.

I sketched my first idea with soapstone onto the cleaned metal and rough-cut it with a cut-off wheel.

Then I smoothed the lines and started grinding the edge.This took a while.

When the edge was nearly done I heated the blade and quenched it in oil

New quench tank.

After finish-grinding the blade I used some wood I had lying around (pine? again, not the best start, oh well) to make the handle sides.

And used high-strength epoxy to attach them. Next time I will probably use brass pins as well.

Once the epoxy had set up I sanded the wood down into a nice grip-able handle.

Again, this was my very first try at making a knife, I have a long way to go still.

Another new thing I'm trying is time lapse photography of my work sessions, I cherry picked from the 400+ photos from today the ones that I thought were cool and in which I don't look too flabby.

Hipster safety goggles.

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