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Discussion Starter #1
As I like to build things, I've always wanted to make a knife. So for the last couple days I built my first one, as a heavy clever-ish kitchen knife.

It started as a lawnmower blade (because I had some and wanted to practice), cut it to shape, ground flat to 3/16", free-handed the bevel, heat treated, sanded smooth, made ironwood handle and hand sanded all the way up to 1500 grit.

Next up will be a pair of drop point hunting kives made out of high carbon steel.

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Looks good! Were you able to get a fine cutting edge on it? I built one years ago but never could get it super sharp. I don't think I put a good bevel on it.

That knife would be bad arse for cutting catfish heads off.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Looks good! Were you able to get a fine cutting edge on it? I built one years ago but never could get it super sharp. I don't think I put a good bevel on it.

That knife would be bad arse for cutting catfish heads off.
Thanks man! The bevel was the hardest part and it isn't perfect...but I was shaving arm hair with it last night. And it would certainly cut some fish heads off, which is what I was originally going for, just a rough camp knife...got a little too shiny for that.
 

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Looks great!!!
. The guy that works at the local atlas shop builds knives on the side. He swears buy old vehicle leaf springs. Says it works great and don't cost much if anything and holds a good edge.... Idk **** about it but that's what he speaks and I've seen A cool knife or 2
 

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How do you make it so the blade doesn't rust?
Like afflicted said, stainless doesn't make the best blade. You can brown or blue the blade like you would a gun, and that will help a little. I usually just let them get a good covering of surface rust, and then kill the rust with WD-40. It turns the steel a nice plum brown. It sounds like GPierce is going to use fish oil as rust preventative on this one.:laugh:

What did you use for rivets in your handle? I tried to make some Damascus out of old mower blades a few years ago. I tried several different methods of cleaning them, but never could get them in good enough shape for a good forge weld. I wish I had thought to do it your way!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As both Afflicted and Payphone have mentioned...steel will rust, and if you use something that won't rust, it won't be worth a chit as a knife. You can however do coatings (Cerakote, Duracoat), deliberate patina finish, leave the heat treat scale on, or let a natural rust patina form as Payphone mentioned. Don't forget it in the yard, a little maintenance, and some ever abundant fish oil will keep it just right. A common middle ground for rust inhibition and edge holding ability is 440C stainless, which is very common in production knives.

I have seen some cool leaf spring knives as well and just like the mower blades, is considered a bit taboo...but I don't care, I really like the idea of re-using something old and making something new and cool. The trouble with using "mystery steel" is that you don't know the proper heat treating, but I made an educated guess at this one and it passed the initial test. Now I will just have to see how the edge holds up after use. If it doesn't hold up cutting catfish heads off, then it's back to the drawing board!

The "rivets" are actually just 5/16" mild steel barstock as I had some laying around. Damascus is very cool and would love to try, but not gonna attempt it until I gain some skills.
 

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Like the length of the blade should work in the kitchen on the cutting board cutting up your veggies may need one thinned down on the cutting side.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Like the length of the blade should work in the kitchen on the cutting board cutting up your veggies may need one thinned down on the cutting side.
I had fish heads and cutting up a chicken in mind for this one. But I have one sketched out for my buddy that will be a vegetable clever, and I plan on doing a higher grind to thin it out.
 

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Leaf springs make great blade steel. Easy to relief grind to the desired shape so long as you are careful to keep the heat out of the cut edge. I really like an old coil spring for knife steel, but it's a bunch of work. I make a ton of using type knives out of band saw blades.
I helped a cousin make some a few years ago for a handful of Frogmen. We had them powder coated and then laser engraved the Trident into the blade. I'll try to track down some pictures. They were BA.
 
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