I had a friend of mine over these days with two well-used and now dull knives – this inspired me to write this article. At a certain point of knife usage, just honing a blade’s edge won’t do the job anymore and you will have to re-sharpen your knife and give it a nice clean edge again.
This is how I do this with all my knives, kitchen or outdoor, in this case using a Lansky knife-sharpening-system (which I know is discussed controversially on the internet). With a little training and devotion you can achieve excellent results with it – and in a much easier way than with a traditional whetstone. This is my way to do it and it works absolutely satisfying for me.
I was fascinated by a japanese blacksmith’s video where this guy was working with a (seemingly) traditional two-stroke box bellows, and as things worked out, my hairdryer that I used as a blower for my coal forge recently threw in the towel. So the mission was clear, I wanted to make such a cool box-bellows-contraption myself. After doing some internet research, here’s what I did and what I used:
I finally finished my Outdoor-/Fishing Knife that I was working on for so long this time. See previous posts #1, #2 and #3 if you like. It’s made from 3 mm 90MnCrV8 steel (type 1.2842), hardened at ~830 °C, quenched in oil and annealed for two hours at 210 °C in the oven. The scales are mahagoni with a cutout for the glass breaker at the end of the handle.
Due to some… ahhh… “peak” in workload over the last few days, I didn’t have the time to dedicatedly work on the new knife very much. But after sanding the handle with 200 up to 600 grit sandpaper, I was finally able to apply the first coat of boiled linseed oil to it – more layers will follow. Next thing is cleaning and at least roughly polishing the blade and then – finally – sharpening. I find it looks great 🙂
See part one of the building process here if you like.
I finally found time to continue working on my long-planned new outdoor knife. I wanted to create a sturdy, yet slender multi purpose knife to carry with me when I go fishing or into the outdoors. Here are some images:
I got myself a piece of good old german steel railroad track from eBay to use for an anvil (you can find a shitload of videos on that topic on YouTube). So my simple construction consists of no more than a piece of a oak tree stem (left from last year’s round-up) and said railroad track piece, screwed tight with the meanest, thickest and longest screws I could find in the shop. Drilling the mounting holes was such a pain in the ass…
I wanted to make a coal forge for quite some time now, and (everything has a bad and a good side to it) now in lockdown-mode I had the time to do it. It took me three days, mainly because I wanted to allow the concrete to cure adequately between steps. It’s a simple construction from what I had on hands, now I’ll let it sit for some days before gently firing it for the first time and see what happens.
I finally seized the opportunity to bring my gas forge back to life and try to harden some steel. It’s the predecessor of this Becma forge here and I can in good faith recommend it. I love the hissing sound and the bright colors.
A small carving knife I made with a 5 cm blade and a handle from last year’s christmas tree.
I finally got hands on some hardness testers (via Amazon USA) for knife making. Of course I had to test them right away and they’re great!
HRC. (Pictured above is my fishing knife, that I made 2015. It has a hardness of about 60 HRC!!!)
I watched a very inspiring YouTube Video lately from a guy who made himself a meat slicer. Now, since I’m rather productive making bacon, dried meat or sausages every so often, I decided that I wanted one of these too! Mine is not as sophisticated as his (he is definitely “carpentry level: god”), but it works and I’m proud!
I made a skinner knife for my brother-in-law as a birthday present. He’s a hunter and I hope he can put it to good use!
I have realised with a little dismay, that most of my knife making tools (such as for example this one or this one) are back at home in munich and that I’m not overly well equipped with the little things here at the northern germany refuge. So I made the working vise some days ago and now I finished a bevel grinding/filing jig to be mounted on my bench vise. Although they’re simple, non-complex tools, it feels very good to do things by hand again.
I have the same one at home but now I had to make another one for the northern germany refuge. It’s a simple construction, consisting of not much more than a wooden block with two holes for attaching clamps and a smaller block at the bottom so I can mount it to the bench vise. Additionally, I added two small holes on the top for a “stop-screw” that keeps verything in place when working.
Another interesting info image with the english terms for a german DIY-er. Taken from here.
I found this post on metallurgy on Tumblr and thought I’d share. For me as an amateur knife maker, this is very interesting!
I made this one in 2014 (I wonder why I never posted it) for a friend of mine. It’s modeled after the knife in the Film “The Hunted” (2003). He wished for it and I tried my best.
I found the time to work on the new knives a little, so I made some parts for the handle of the smaller one. It’s Bone -> Rosewood -> Guitar-Pickguard-Material -> and for the Rest I’m not sure yet.
This is another approach on grinding bevels to my self made knives. It consists of an angle grinder connected to an adjustable arm with a ball joint at the end to allow it to move freely. It can be set to multiple grinding angles and it’s swinging radius is also big enough for large blades.
I was finally able to continue work on the two knives still in the queue last weekend. Ground the bevels, smoothed the edges and drilled the holes for the handles. I also grabbed some material for the handle pins.
O.K. Call me mad… nuts… crazy… I want to try an Axe-makover. I had this hatchet lying around in my garage, cheap, blunt, neglected and dirty. Aaaand I want to turn it into some object resembling a viking battle-axe (something looking roughly like this).
On two knives to be exact and I began the rough shaping today with the angle grinder. Both of them are going to be made from the carbon steel that I have here and that I always use (“1.2842” or “90MnCrV8”).
I also made a Karambit for named friend in the last two weeks as a christmas present (since he’s practicing Escrima). This is the finished thing.
A new kitchen knife for one of my best friends, Steve. It has become rock-hard and razor-sharp, and I hope it will really serve him well for a long time!
My brand new gas forge! I’m really excited about it because it’s a professional tool, heavy, sturdy and neatly worked.
Blade hardening at night with my home made coal forge.