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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Let's Make a Knife, pt 2

Let's continue with this little beastie....

Step 7: We left off yesterday with a 50 grit grind. Tonight I brought it up to 120. You don't want to go all the way to an edge, leave it dull...just a small flat along the edge of the blade.
Step 8: Now is a good time to make sure you know what hardware you want to use. Presumably you would do this at the beginning. I just left it until now so that it would be fresh in our brains for this step. The hardware you're using will determine what size holes to drill into the handle in the next step. These are Loveless bolts, and require an 11/64" hole. There is a good variety of hardware out there to use. From simple pins, to rivets, to Loveless fasteners, and more. Your imagination is your only limit.

Step 9: At this point, I use the wooden pattern to transfer punch the handle holes onto the blank.

The hardware holes are marked, and I added another center punch to the heel for a decorative pin.

Step 10: Drilled up for the handle hardware. The little hole is 1/16" and will just hold a pin.

Step 11: Flatten the blade. After drilling the holes, I like to check the blade for straight against a straight edge. If it needs tweaking, it gets straightened at this point. Once it is straight, I hold it with a magnet against the flat platten on my Kalamazoo grinder.

Step 12: After the flattening step, I mark the blade. I put my initials in one side, and the number on the other. So far, I've marked all of my blades in sequence. I don't know if that is a regular thing or not...its' just what I do. Stamping is actually a practice I want to get away from. However, electro-chemical etching machines are $300+. Not in the budget right now.

Flat, marked, drilled and ready for heat treat!!!! (secondary step...after I mark the blade, I do a quick hit on the grinder to smooth out the marks).
That's all for tonight. The next installment will be final prep for heat treat (cleaning/wrapping) and we'll stick it in the oven. Not sure if I'll have time in the next day or two, but we'll see.


  1. Stick with the hand stamping. I like the personal touch it imparts and you can save $300 to spend on something else.

  2. Ralph-
    I mostly feel the same way. One reason to go electro-chemical is that I can mark the blades AFTER heat treat. I am, however, looking at having a custom stamp made to replace the simple "MB" is use as my maker's mark. A custom stamp comes with a price tag, but I like stamps over etches.
    There is another argument against stamps, though. Bob Loveless (a knifemaking legend) who pioneered etching for custom knives believed that stamping added stresses into the blade. He is correct. After stamping I have to recheck for straightness. Often times the blade needs a little tweaking.