Making a knife, start to finish, part 2

Now the billet is cut off of the rebar handle and reheated:

The shape of the tip is refined:

and the recurve is forged in. If I had rounded dies for my hammer, it would be great for this, but I don’t, so I had to do it the old fashioned way, with hammer and anvil.

When the shape of the blade is as good as it’s going to be, it’s cut off from the rest of the billet:

Then start forging out the tang:

All done forging:

Now I grind the edges clean on the belt grinder to make sure there are no bad welds or deep grooves from the twisting that will relegate this blade to the scrap bucket:

It’s a little narrower than I’d intended, but still within specs, so I went ahead and thermal cycled it. I do this in my heat treat oven. I didn’t want to heat it up for just one blade, so this afternoon I forged out a couple kitchen knife blades and a hunter to keep it company in the oven.

I cycle my blades three times. Once at 1600 F, then at 1525, then 1450. After the last one, I quench them, then anneal them in the oven at 1250 for a couple hours. By morning they’ll be cooled down and soft and ready for grinding.

Here’s how it looks after annealing:

and then grinding. One benefit of quenching the blade after the last thermal cycle is that it really softens up the scale. Actually, most of it comes off. So there’s very little grinding to do.

After grinding the blade flat and straight on the belt grinder, the shape is marked on with a Sharpie, and the extra material is cut off with the bandsaw:

Then the profile is cleaned up on the belt grinder, and the edges are painted with Dykem:

and the centerlines are scribed:

Now I use a dull belt to grind a short bevel down close to the center lines. I also made a couple sharpie marks half way across the blade:

After a few passes with a fresher 60 grit belt, grinding up to the mark:

I like to do blades in sections several inches long, rather than taking full length passes. Here the second half is done:

Then the top edge:


Next, grinding to 240 grit. Didn’t get any action pics, but here it is with all of the blade except the “inside” curve ground to 240 grit.

Here it’s all done:

and here I’ve filed in the guard shoulders. Sorry, no pics of that either.

Have to file in the serrations before heat treating, for obvious reasons. Here I’ve layed them out with a sharpie. The marks are 1/8″ apart.

And here I’ve started the grooves with a three corner file.

Then I continued the grooves with a 1/8″ file:

and decided to go to a 3/16″ file:

After doing both sides, it’s time to heat treat. Here’s the four blades I did just before coating with anti-scale compound:

The fighter blade coated:

After hardening and tempering, another guide bevel is ground on the edges, taking it down to it’s final thickness:


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