Simple heat treating simple steels for (and by) simple minds

For those who live in areas where firearms are not an option and those that are smart enough to have a back up.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

huntingohio
* * *
Posts: 687
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:18 pm
Location: deep in it OH-IO

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by huntingohio » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:08 pm

So.. i wanna make a brake drum forge to do this, but i cant find a brake drum big enough to do larger knives.

Would it be that har to make something like a kuhkri, I have one I like for a shape to go from, proper heat treating would be my main worry

User avatar
Fixxxer
* *
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:44 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead (Snyder remake), 28 Days Later, Homecoming
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Contact:

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Fixxxer » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:21 pm

A standard brake drum should do fine. The drum is really just a means of holding your coal. The actual "hot spot" should be no bigger than the size of a baseball. Work your blade in sections using the hot spot and when you want to heat it for quenching, slide the blade slowly back and forth through the hot spot until it's evenly headed.
Rule #1: I'll not be laid a hand upon.
Rule #2: Never leave the house without a knife.
Rule #3: If you have the shot, take the shot.
Rule #4: [Removed by request of moderator].
Rule #5: There's an exception to every rule.

maddmatt
* * * * *
Posts: 1016
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: Richmond, KY

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by maddmatt » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:31 pm

rainbow_pact wrote:What do you think of A2 tool steel? It's my understanding it's air-hardening.
Oh god, A2 gives me nightmares. I have tried forging it, and it crumbles under my hammer blows, I have tried cutting it with and acetylene torch, it cut like crap, I never could get the stuff annealed in my wood ashes. I still have a bar of 3/8"x4"x4' that I'm trying to figure out what to do with it. I may see how our table cuts it at work, and making it into steels for my lathe. Starting out I would avoid A2 like the plague, and stick to a good 1095 or O-1.
Image

"It is the tradition that a Kentuckian never runs. He does not have to…[he] is entitled to stand his ground, and meet any (life-threatening) attack made upon him with a deadly weapon…" Gibson v. KY, 34SW936(Ky.1931)

User avatar
jnathan
Meat Popsicle
Meat Popsicle
Posts: 1328
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 11:45 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by jnathan » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:58 pm

This thread is fantastic! The LM105 Micarta project that Kyle linked to produced some amazingly tough Micarta. Tougher than I've ever seen by a considerable bit.

The subject of this post reminds me of a video on YouTube which I watched about a year ago. The presenter demonstrates how to make a knife from a file (presumably a Ferrier's file) from start to finish:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ysKd1cswlo

The presenter also explains how he got his fire hot enough to heat-treat the steel after it had been annealed and shaped.

Homemade knife making is a great project to undertake because you can develop blacksmith/tool making skills, fine woodworking (or Micatrta working) skills and leather working skills.

When it's warmer, I'd like to try my hand at this. It might make a great project for chapters to work on as a group.

-Jeff
My name is Jeff, not Jonathan. Jonathan would fit...

ZSC:020 Chicagoland | How to search ZS | GHB

Image

Storm Crow
* * * * *
Posts: 1956
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:09 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead re-make
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Storm Crow » Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:33 am

huntingohio wrote:So.. i wanna make a brake drum forge to do this, but i cant find a brake drum big enough to do larger knives.

Would it be that har to make something like a kuhkri, I have one I like for a shape to go from, proper heat treating would be my main worry
You might try a Tim Lively style forge: http://www.google.com/images?q=tim%20li ... =en&tab=wi" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

They're designed to be flexible in length to allow a longer fire for heat treating for longer blades or smaller to conserve fuel while shaping. Tim's a great guy who made an excellent video on low-buck no-electricity knife making. He's retired now.
Proud to be a Neo-Tribal Metalsmith scavenging the wreckage of civilization.

Forged blades: http://www.helmforge.com

Stock removal blades: http://www.helmgrind.com

The Wasteland Crow Project: http://wastelandcrow.blogspot.com

Image

User avatar
Sealegs
* * * *
Posts: 901
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:13 pm
Location: Sweden, Västra Götaland

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Sealegs » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:08 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTIyqfA4avs" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Found a video of a re-handling technique I've seen before but never tried myself.This would work quite well as a cheapskate handle seating of a rat-tail knife I think. The bit of pipe makes it a kind of reverse axe handle seating with the actual knife tang as the wedge.

Wood needs to be fresh when seating, or it'll crack from the pressure. The subsequent burning checks it for weakness and dries it out. Allowing for a good finishing carve of the handle. This is very close to the old "re-handle your Mora with a branch out in the bush" method. (featured here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJWkU-QQbqA" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; )
austere [ɒˈstɪə]adj
1. stern or severe in attitude or manner
2. grave, sober, or serious
3. self-disciplined, abstemious, or ascetic
4. severely simple or plain an austere design
[from Old French austère, from Latin austērus sour, from Greek austēros astringent; related to Greek hauein to dry]

Gixxer1237
* *
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:37 am

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Gixxer1237 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:05 pm

elkhills wrote:I'm hung up on the guys heat treayment :?
Will a hardwood campfire really getcha up to 1100+ degrees?
Wondering if you rigged up an air compressor (or leaf blower/shop vac?) to a BBQ briquet chimney starter... would that work? I have to think the heat treat is critical to a project like thi!
I have forged knives in hard wood fires, but its not easy. Barely gets hot enough. And a leaf blower is way to much air. A camp air pump for air matresses will work. The best way to get a differintial Hardening is to coat the back of the blade with refractory cement and let it dry. Heat the blade up quickly to just past magnetic(if using simple carbon steel), leave it there for 30 seconds to a minute, and quench is the oil of choice. Then put it in your home oven(even better is a garage sale toaster oven) at 400 degrees for 3 cycles of 1 hour, letting it cool naturally inbetween to room temp. This should give you a good middle of the road hardness. Temper it after hardning fast, don't leave it sitting around to long, they are very brittle. Then finish sanding it and get it good and sharp. Leave em thick for hardening, or the edge may crack.

User avatar
Dedsquirrl
* *
Posts: 136
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:21 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Bubba's Chili Parlor
Dawn of the Dead
Outpost (Not sure if it qualifies)
Shaun of the Dead
Zombieland
Location: Pensacola, FL

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Dedsquirrl » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:13 pm

That link is awesome.

I have some old lawnmower blades stacked up in the greenhouse.
Would that be good enough steel?
I will probably give it a go anyway just to get a feel for the process.
Image

"The dead are likely dull fellows, full of tedious complaints - 'the ground's too cold, my gravestone should be larger, why does HE get more worms than I do...'"
Edd Tollett

Storm Crow
* * * * *
Posts: 1956
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:09 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead re-make
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Storm Crow » Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:01 am

Lawnmower blades tend to be a bit more of a crap shoot than spring, but there are a lot of folks who make good knives out of 'em. Test harden a piece as I describe in my thread on heat treatment, and if it hardens appropriately, have at it!

Free material is free.
Proud to be a Neo-Tribal Metalsmith scavenging the wreckage of civilization.

Forged blades: http://www.helmforge.com

Stock removal blades: http://www.helmgrind.com

The Wasteland Crow Project: http://wastelandcrow.blogspot.com

Image

User avatar
Jeriah
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 18722
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 4:12 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Original Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead 04, and 28 Days Later are my top three, in that order.
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Jeriah » Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:04 am

I am loving the idea of a ZSC:20 chapter project where we get together and build knives.

My place is out, by the way, I live in an apartment. :(
Image

User avatar
Osiris Risen
* * * *
Posts: 964
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 3:24 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: The first three Romero movies, Dance of the Dead, Versus, Flight of the Living Dead (Zombies on a Plane), and most anything else really.
Location: Beaufort, SC

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Osiris Risen » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:08 am

Definitely going to try this; I'm looking online for steel, but can't seem to find much thinner than 1/4". I'd like to start with a smallish knife for my first try and that seems a little thick. Should I just go with that and file it down some?
Never trust a corpse.

User avatar
doctorwho42
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:32 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead (2004) and 28 days later
Location: Troy, Ny
Contact:

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by doctorwho42 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:21 pm

Storm Crow wrote:http://www.hossom.com/jonesy/

I saw this years ago and have been trying to find it off and on to post it here. Someone on another forum linked to it today, so here y'all go.

The only thing I would take exception to would be to please use veggie oil instead of used motor oil to harden the blade, particularly if tempering afterwards in your kitchen oven like he's showing.

This is a lot of work, but I can pretty much guarantee that if you do it right (shaping as well as heat treatment), this will outperform anything you can buy for under $100.

And, quite frankly, I'd rather see a lot more folks posting things like this that they've made than asking, "I have a $20 budget and want a great knife. What can I get?" or any of the blue phone cord ninja nonsense.
'

ok... i like the idea of making knives and will be working with some leaf spring steel this summer in trying to create a fixed blade... but i think it is a bit of false advertising to say you can make something that can outperform anything made under $100. Ultimately the overpriced stuff you can get off of some sites but there are plenty of nice steel you can buy under 100 that is really nice steel.

Mainly i point this out to stress the fact that it would take a lot of practice to get the same craftsmanship that say a nice high-carbon steel blade made in japan by some of the best blade companies for the lower priced smaller stuff
_______________________________________________________________________________________

1942 US Ranger's Training *Declassified*: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?p=9613D38CE6104AB7" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

evisceration
*
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:51 pm

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by evisceration » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:11 am

I made a forge that I use for my knives out of two old brake drums. I dug a hole in the ground where I stuck an old blown heat gun that just blows air to feed the fire, above it sits the brake drums in a clam fashion. I just stuff MDF and baltic birch in the bottom drum stick my blade in and close it. I have a slot where the handle sticks out. If you ever have any useless brake drums they work wonders.
hopefully this doesn't offend you.

Storm Crow
* * * * *
Posts: 1956
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:09 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead re-make
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Storm Crow » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:07 am

Osiris Risen wrote:Definitely going to try this; I'm looking online for steel, but can't seem to find much thinner than 1/4". I'd like to start with a smallish knife for my first try and that seems a little thick. Should I just go with that and file it down some?
Thinner high carbon steel is definitely available. Where are you looking? http://www.admiralsteel.com/pdf/bladesteel.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Unfortunately, they don't list their 5160 sizes, which is the alloy I'd recommend, but you can call and see what they have.

Doctorwho - Wait, you telling me that someone might have to practice/have some natural hand skill/know what they're doing to some degree/actually know what constitutes a good knife in order for a knife they make to be of quality? Get right out of town! What kind of world do we live in? Oh wait, that's why I have the caveat "if you do it right (shaping as well as heat treatment)".

Evisceration - Careful with that setup. From how I'm envisioning your description, it makes it where you can't really see the blade while heating (of course, a solid fuel forge always makes it harder to see the steel in it, meaning you have to be a bit more careful with them), and it can easily overheat and burn the steel. I've had it happen plenty of times, most recently on the second-to-last heat on a three pound hammer head I was making at a workshop.
Proud to be a Neo-Tribal Metalsmith scavenging the wreckage of civilization.

Forged blades: http://www.helmforge.com

Stock removal blades: http://www.helmgrind.com

The Wasteland Crow Project: http://wastelandcrow.blogspot.com

Image

User avatar
Sealegs
* * * *
Posts: 901
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:13 pm
Location: Sweden, Västra Götaland

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Sealegs » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:49 pm

Inspirational video time:

Parang maker:
http://youtu.be/ZIjl2YX-DnI" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Not in English but you get a nice inspirational view of it.

Kris maker:
http://youtu.be/RkvTpr4rz5s" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Same as above.
austere [ɒˈstɪə]adj
1. stern or severe in attitude or manner
2. grave, sober, or serious
3. self-disciplined, abstemious, or ascetic
4. severely simple or plain an austere design
[from Old French austère, from Latin austērus sour, from Greek austēros astringent; related to Greek hauein to dry]

User avatar
doctorwho42
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:32 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead (2004) and 28 days later
Location: Troy, Ny
Contact:

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by doctorwho42 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:00 pm

was more trying to point out the that being able to make your own that is better than most you could pick up below 100 dollars is not entirely correct
_______________________________________________________________________________________

1942 US Ranger's Training *Declassified*: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?p=9613D38CE6104AB7" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Storm Crow
* * * * *
Posts: 1956
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:09 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead re-make
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Storm Crow » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:06 pm

Based on the production knives I've seen, I stand by my original statement.

ETA: YMMV :D
Proud to be a Neo-Tribal Metalsmith scavenging the wreckage of civilization.

Forged blades: http://www.helmforge.com

Stock removal blades: http://www.helmgrind.com

The Wasteland Crow Project: http://wastelandcrow.blogspot.com

Image

rustyboy
*
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:47 am
Location: San Antonio TX
Contact:

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by rustyboy » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:51 am

here's admiral steel online catalog. There 1075/80 is a good place to start.

Cpt_Jack
*
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:18 am
Location: Malaysia

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Cpt_Jack » Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:28 am

Sealegs wrote:Inspirational video time:

Parang maker:
http://youtu.be/ZIjl2YX-DnI" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Not in English but you get a nice inspirational view of it.

Kris maker:
http://youtu.be/RkvTpr4rz5s" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Same as above.
If you want a translation just message me and I'll do it but there isn't a huge amount there that you can't see or you won't read in my ramblings below. I actually know of this guy, becuase I hope he will be casting the Kris I'll carry when I marry, we call him Pak Mazin. He learned from his father who learned from his father who used to be the royal sword maker. He himself started making his first blades aged 12, been doing it ever since and has cast the Kris the local Sultan uses, the work on them is incredible, crap connection right now but I'll try and post some pics later. Unfortunately it's a dieing trade and none of his 12 children (!) want to carry it on, the government gave him a grant to build a museum but such a shame to see it die.

Also, someone was asking about Kukuris? The method of making them is a bit unique but message me and I can put your questions to a proper Nepalese Kukuri maker I vaguely know, he is one of the group that forges them for the Gurkha regiments.

And as for this, if anyone hears of a large fire engulfing downtown Kula Lumpa, tell them I was forging blades on my balcony with a forge made out of biscuit tins and you tried to warn me not to ;-) No, I'd never do something so stupid... would I? I'd use a cracker tin at least...

User avatar
Sealegs
* * * *
Posts: 901
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:13 pm
Location: Sweden, Västra Götaland

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Sealegs » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:23 pm

Thats just plain awesome. You could see from the vid he knew damn well what he was doing.

Hehe, enjoy forging on the balcony while you can! Such stunts get very difficult once married. :mrgreen:
austere [ɒˈstɪə]adj
1. stern or severe in attitude or manner
2. grave, sober, or serious
3. self-disciplined, abstemious, or ascetic
4. severely simple or plain an austere design
[from Old French austère, from Latin austērus sour, from Greek austēros astringent; related to Greek hauein to dry]

Cpt_Jack
*
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:18 am
Location: Malaysia

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Cpt_Jack » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:41 am

Yes, he certainly does, made me a bit pissed off to read one comment on that vid from some prick who thought he knew better...

His work is actually reasonably affordable when you consider the work that goes into it (something not mentioned on the vid is how he spends days in the jungle finding the right materials). Starting price 500RM (US$165) which I don't think is that bad for what is really a work of art.

And that is why I'm doing it now, while I live a few hundred miles away ;-P Hunting for a bit of steel right now and I hope to do the actual work on it sometime after my exams next month. The forging is the only hard bit for me to do, I just can't see how I'm going to have the space, I don't even have an oven. Anyone got any ideas?

User avatar
Sealegs
* * * *
Posts: 901
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:13 pm
Location: Sweden, Västra Götaland

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Sealegs » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:40 am

Some day I hope to own a knife like that.

I have all my stuff in a garage right now so I'm out of space as well. Looking to rebuild the old smithy on my farm in the original style. Log cabin and slate roof.
austere [ɒˈstɪə]adj
1. stern or severe in attitude or manner
2. grave, sober, or serious
3. self-disciplined, abstemious, or ascetic
4. severely simple or plain an austere design
[from Old French austère, from Latin austērus sour, from Greek austēros astringent; related to Greek hauein to dry]

Storm Crow
* * * * *
Posts: 1956
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:09 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead re-make
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Storm Crow » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:10 pm

Cpt_Jack wrote:The forging is the only hard bit for me to do, I just can't see how I'm going to have the space, I don't even have an oven. Anyone got any ideas?
Sealegs wrote:I have all my stuff in a garage right now so I'm out of space as well.
Go all Tim Lively on it:

Image

The whole idea of this thread is making knives with minimal resources, including space. The method in the OP's link ( :D ) could easily be done in a college dorm room with the possible exception of heat treating, which can be done in a buddy's back yard with a charcoal grill, a har dryer, and a toaster oven or kitchen oven.

This guy is making awesome knives on an apartment balcony in Eastern Europe using an angle grinder: http://www.tomasrucker.com/knives/Custo ... Rucker.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Proud to be a Neo-Tribal Metalsmith scavenging the wreckage of civilization.

Forged blades: http://www.helmforge.com

Stock removal blades: http://www.helmgrind.com

The Wasteland Crow Project: http://wastelandcrow.blogspot.com

Image

User avatar
Chef
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 3600
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:56 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Whatever that one with Bruce Campbell in it was
Location: Behind you, HOT!

Re: "Absolute Cheapskate Way to Start Making Knives "

Post by Chef » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:23 am

There's something about makeshift workshops that's really inspiring to me. :D
Orville Wright did not have a pilot's license.

Post Reply

Return to “Other Weapons”