Homemade Knife

Last week, I began my first go at full on knife-making. I'm not sure if anyone else can relate to this, but I had been very slow to take on the metal work because of the seeming enormity of the process. Equipment, trial and error, temperatures, forging, heat treating - it all added up to a lot of new territory for me. So for roughly a year, I have been customizing and building knives around existing blades and kits. As much fun as it was, I've been very careful to not call what I do "making knives," but rather "building knives," instead. Tonight I finished the heat treat on my first homemade knife. Perfect it is not, but it is uniquely satisfying because I have been wanting, and moving toward this, for so long now. I have a long way to go in bringing my skills forward, but this first blade feels like a stride in an exciting direction!

A few pics from the project...

Two blanks cut out of the same length of O-1. Roughed out with hacksaw, files, and a belt sander

Convexed edge

Having little experience with forge design, this was the structure I came up with . From my reading, it sounds like I will be much better off using soft fire bricks for the guts of the forge and then supplementing with these hard ones as the floor. I'll be making this change before my next knife. Using the above design, it was difficult to reach critical with propane

Just beginning to glow

Tempering in the oven
I'm not going to spend time on a nice handle until I have had a chance to use it for a while and make sure the heat treat  went okay. I'm not confident that the temp I got it to was as high as it needed to be or that my quench was quick enough. I'll use it for a bit and either re-treat or handle it.


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