Making a knife, start to finish.

I don’t think I’ve done a complete, start to finish knife build on this here blog, and several weeks ago I started one on a knife forum.  Since I haven’t posted here for awhile, I thought I’d cheat and just copy it from there to here.

So, here goes.
The knife is being modeled somewhat after this one:

which was arguably the most popular knife I’ve ever made. The blade will be pretty much the same. I’m altering the pattern slightly, and the handle will be ivory paper Micarta instead of carbon fiber.

So, without further ado, here’s the first round of pics. Pics follow the explanations.

This billet is starting out as 4 layers, 2 each of O1 and L6. The O1 layers are 3/4″ thick, the L6 is 5/8″ thick. The pieces are 1-1/4″ wide and 4″ long.

Cutting to length with the chop saw:

After grinding clean:

Now the pieces are clamped in my special billet welding vise and tack welded together at the corners:

Then a handle is welded on:

Recently, I’ve switched from borax to oil for forge welding flux. Works great, and is so much cleaner and safer. It only works of the billet is cold. If you have to take another weld when the billet is hot, then you still have to use borax. I do this anyway, because sometimes using oil, the very outside edges of the seams don’t take, and the borax closes these up.

Some people use diesel, some use kerosene. I’m using vet grade mineral oil, because it’s what I have.

It flares up quite a bit when you first put it in:

Once the billet is a uniform color, and as hot as it’s going to get, then it’s time to squeeze it under the hammer. I didn’t get any pictures of the actual forging, but here it is at temperature:

and here is it forged out to 16″ long

Now the scale is ground off the billet with an angle grinder, it’s cut into 4, 4″ pieces, and they are ground smooth on the belt grinder. I use the angle grinder along one edge so I know how to orient them all later, like so:

It’s tack welded together again, and forge welded.

Then the process is repeated again, for a total of 64 layers. The billet is drawn out to 12″ long:

It will be cut into 3 pieces, and some thin layers of O2 will be inserted in between. The O2 has to be forged down as thin as I can get it with my hammer, which is about 3/32″:


Just before the last weld:

Then it’s welded and drawn out to about 3/4″ square:

Then I started twisting. I did a left hand twist, about one twist per inch.

After twisting, the untwisted section of the end is cut off:

Then it’s forged flat and widened and the tip is started. I forge it flat at a welding heat with flux in case there’s any welds trying to open up. I didn’t see any, but it doesn’t hurt.

I was afraid there wasn’t going to be enough material to get the width and thickness I needed, but I think it’s ok. But it would be better next time to leave it 7/8″ square before twisting…


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