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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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Old 05-02-2003, 04:44 AM
Fritzers Fritzers is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Pismo Beach, California (Central Coast)
Posts: 44

Built my "forge" today...a big trash can filled with vermiculite with red bricks on top to make the oven. Funky but today I went non-magnetic! Could not even spell anneal yeaterday and now I are doing it. Got an real old file and got it glowing red with Mapp an inch was starting to glow and a magnet would no longer stick I would push it down into the vermiculite and work on the next inch while at the same time was building up heat in my "forge" and heating the vermiculite. When I got to the last inch I pushed the file to the middle of the trash can...see tomarrow if it worked.

The question, in reading all the possible post I came upon the term "case hardened files" and it seemed to have a negative conitation...what is it? Also, I was hoping that because this is a real old file it would be 1095(?)...any way to find out what it is?

Thanks all already for all you have taught me just by reading all the past post!

Last edited by Fritzers; 05-02-2003 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 05-02-2003, 08:00 AM
Ray Rogers's Avatar
Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wauconda, WA
Posts: 9,838
We've had a lot of discussions about making knives from files on this forum. Use the blue Search key at the top of the page to find those threads.

Case hardening basically means that the file is made of cheap steel that had a surface hardening process applied to it to make the outside hard enough to be a file. Won't make a good knife.

No way to know for sure what steel you have unless the manufacturer can tell you. I've heard that Nicholson files are 1095 but most manufacturers use different steels from time to time according to availability. 10XX steel is so cheap that there is simply no reason not to just buy it unless you just want a knife that looks like it was made from a file. If you buy the steel, you'll know what you have and will you get consistant results....
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Old 05-02-2003, 04:02 PM
Fritzers Fritzers is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Pismo Beach, California (Central Coast)
Posts: 44
If you buy the steel, you'll know what you have and will you get consistant results....

Yes, I read that thread...the file was free so for practice I really am not too concerned about it. I read you could tell what type of metal by looking at the sparks...must take alot of practice cause the sparks looked like all the examples at one time or the other, was seeking a way to test it, like putting acid on it or some other "lipnus" test. Just ground the rust's a Delta?

I did buy some ATS-34, definantly not cheap...if I make a knife to keep or sell I only want the best steel. But, my first "few" knives probably won't be worth either...does one use the best steel just in case they find a work of art in the steel or use the cheaper steel to practice, then what do you do with the cheaper knife?

Last edited by Fritzers; 05-02-2003 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 05-02-2003, 04:34 PM
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Drac Drac is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Richardson TX
Posts: 1,781
I hope no one minds me jumping in here.

I don't think there is a cheap knife making steel. O1 may not be the most fantastic steel but several of the guys around here turn out some #### fine blades with it. It can be hardened at home relatively easy; there are a lot of threads on O1. It can be found fairly easy around most metro areas and doesn't carry the cost of the stainless or the new high tech steels.

If you want to go a little further down the price scale and live near an auto junkyard there are several threads on using a car spring. Bob just was talking about leaf springs in a thread right above yours.

Here is a link from British Blades on springs:

If you turn out a good knife, and a lot of the guys up in the display forums first knives look more than good, either of these steels makes blades worth keeping.

Hope this helps out,

Last edited by Drac; 05-02-2003 at 04:42 PM.
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