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xyszha 10-12-2004 12:02 AM

new to custom knives
 
well i am new to all of this but i have been interested in making my own knives forever so i figured it was about time i started, a few things i wanted to know ... i hear alot about heat treating your knives well i dont got the equipment to do that.. what do the people without the equipment to heat treat usually do? is there a place to bring them or is there another way to do it without that special oven also what is the purpose of heat treating? would my knife be ok if i didnt do it?. i wanted to get into throwing knives so i figured id start out making a few throwing knives im guessing there pretty simple and straight forward so a good place to start, i have acouple pieces of thick enough steel for a knife laying around i got no idea what kind of steel it is its been laying outside for awhile and needs some cleaning up would this be ok to start making my first knife or should i just go get some proper steel. i got no idea what to get so if someone could fill me in that would be great keep in mind i dont need a show piece ill be tossing it around alot any links to information i should read or any additional advice would be great

AUBE 10-12-2004 03:30 AM

if you are not able to heat treat a blade yourself then you can have a local heat treat company do it for you or send it out to a mail order heat treater. if you need contact info for some heat treaters that specialize in knives myself or another maker will happily supply it.

heat treating is one of the most important things u can do while making a knife. it will determine the qualities the steel will have. a high rockwell hardness will hold an edge forever but be very fragile, a low hardness will bend easily and dull quickly..you are searching for something between these two.

if you decide to heat treat or send it to be heat treated you have to have some idea of what kind of steel it is. if you want to just play around with a cheap chunk of low carbon steel to learn how to grind blades thats ok..but it will never be a "good" knife. i started with crap steel, then moved to old metal files(which can be made into excellent knives) then finally into barstock from knife/tool suppliers. my recommendation is..if you have money, buy good stuff..if your broke(as i was) then use whatever just to learn how to grind..i messed up many, many blades before making a decent one.

to make a kinfe that your going to throw is easy..to make a throwing knife is hard. what i mean by this is although it may look pretty basic to make a knife geared just for throwing it can be complicated. you need the heat treating to be right so it doesnt break or bend, the grind geometry needs to be right, the balance needs to be right, etc. but hey..its for fun so doesnt need to be perfect, i even used to throw scissors :D

i know i didnt go into much detail but its 4;30am and i just got home from work and bed is looking nice, someone else will be by to help you and of course you can always dig through all the info on here...this forum is a GREAT tool, wish it had been around when i started.

-Jason Aube

ps..be carefull with throwin those babies...i did it for years til a freak ricochet stuck a blade a good 3/8" into my ankle bone..i could feel it quivering like an arrow hittin a target...kinda lost my cravin for thorwing after that

xyszha 10-12-2004 01:42 PM

thanks for the information AUBE you answered my questions just fine, but i got some more haha.. well what kind of steel should i pickup for my first custom throwing knife
and what kind of files should i use all i got are big big files i doubt they would work. also how do you get such an even edge for the cutting part of the blade is there a special way of doing it, i find it amazing all these custom knives i see have amazingly even diffulicult cutting edges but maybe i just think its harder then it is. if this has been covered before ill look harder thanks again

AwP 10-12-2004 02:09 PM

For a throwing knife you want steel that's more "tough" then "hard", 5160 or 1050 would be good choices for that. Big files ARE what you use for most of your filing work unless you have powertools or are doing fine filework on the spine. You want to use a tecnique called "draw filing" which is where you hold both ends of the file and pull it sideways along the blade instead of the normal one handed motion.

xyszha 10-12-2004 05:10 PM

what kind of powertools come in handy and for what purpose would i use them for my biggest concern is the blade cutting edge... i got access to pretty much anything.

AwP 10-12-2004 05:44 PM

A good belt sander is the most useful piece of power equipment for a knifemaker, though some other sorta power sander or an angle grinder or something similer can be used with decient results.

xyszha 10-12-2004 05:51 PM

ah thats probably one i dont got access to i got a hand electric grinder, air grinder cuttoff tool, and bench grinder, dremel... would those work at all

AwP 10-12-2004 06:11 PM

You can make any of those work alright though they're not the most ideal. Dremmels are awesome, they can do a cruddy job at ANY task, sure a proper tool for X job is best, but a Dremmel is better then nothing and works for nearly anything imaginable.

Some people use bench grinders, I'm not sure what a hand electric grinder is I'm guessing it's similer to an angle grinder? The cutoff tool can be good for cutting out blanks if working from oversized steel.

xyszha 10-12-2004 07:22 PM

what i meant by hand electric grinder is its one of those grinders that uses round disks and you hold it in your hand instead of the type that bolts to a work counter desk or something and it uses electricity not air

xyszha 10-13-2004 07:17 PM

what is the best thickness of steel i should get to start out with for a throwing knife i read somewhere 1/8" to 3/16" but i got no idea if that is suitable for a throwing knife

AUBE 10-14-2004 04:12 AM

the thicknes is personal preference. i prefer about 3/16" thck for the types of blades i would throw. you must grind the blades with the proper geometry in order to work right. grind them too acute and they may snap, too obtuse and they may not stick good. look at blades youve thrown before and base your knife on a design that seemed to work well for you.

-Jason Aube


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