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Thread: Making knives

  1. #1
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    Making knives

    Hey guys ive been passionate about knives since I was about 5 haha and own a decent amount of nice knives. The more I buy the more I want to try and make some. I live in an apartment with an inclosed balcony so I really limited to what I can do at the moment but I think its possible to make knives even if its just the grinding method. What grinders do you guys use and do you use belt grinders? What other tools might I need and what can I use as a small cheap thing for heat treating my knives? I dont care if they arent the most accurate ways. I just want to start making knives now and eventually once I get a house with a yard ill build my own forge and buy more equipment. I have started reading a book about knife making with a 50 dollar forge and and its quite interesting. But I dont mind spending a bit more haha. So what do you guys reccomend buying to start out and what books should I read to help me get started. the biggest thing is practise and determination but I need some gear to atleast get the ball rolling

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    Also what steels would you guys say are easy to forge/ obtain.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nmko's Avatar
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    I'm just a home hobbyist when it comes to making knives and i don't do anything full time/professionally other than run a kitchen.. (full time chef)

    In terms of tools> I use all Ryobi, never had problems... Bench grinder, Bench sander, Rotary tool, Drill press/Drills and a bunch of files, rasps, saws, clamps etc...
    You can build a makeshift forge for around $50 BUT your property manager will surely evict where you are living now... not to mention the hammering on an anvil would drive your neighbors nuts... maybe outsource to a local blacksmith or see if you can "have a play" with him and his forge.. They will have just about all you would need to get it started. If there's no smiths near you maybe you have a friend with a spot in his backyard for a small forging pit / pizza oven (latter being the selling point)

    If you want to get up and running and start something, maybe buy a small sander and set yourself up a little workspace on your balcony, buy some wood and some handle materials/supplies and have a play at re handling knives/making handles or buying pre forged blanks and working with them to start off - even forgecrafts or other vintage knives... It would help you to learn the basics without much initial outlay and develop your interest further. This is how i started out and most others i believe, and I'm still working on handles and haven't jumped to forging anything yet. Baby steps... I wouldn't want to make an inferior product and rush my way through it, i would rather perfect the methods and learn the techniques before progressing.

    Youtube has tonnes of vids of forging and knife making, great for downtime...
    There are a few books available in OZ about knife making and getting started. I've got a few i could send you if you want?

  4. #4
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    I just download the books online if you pm me the names and also I have been reading about the stock removal method wheee you just get blanks like bars of steel grind them sand them heat treat them and finish them.

  5. #5
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    Thats how I think I would like to start out I just need a small forge or something so I can heat treat not so I can hammer my blades. I was reading about a fire brick propane forge that is quite small. How do you heat treat your knives?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Nmko's Avatar
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    HT is tricky, many factors at play. For me - It's best left to the pro's... I don't know enough to go into detail, here's hoping Del, Devin or some of the other makers/pros chime in...

  7. #7
    Senior Member NO ChoP!'s Avatar
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    Most use a 2x72 belt grinder. Grizzly and Kalamazoo can get you started for the $550 to $700 range. I use a 1x42 Kalamazoo that ran me $250ish. You can go cheap, but things like a solid platen, ease of belt change, strong motor, ease of tracking will make a huge difference. These are also all only single speed. High end grinders are variable, to help control blowing the temper. If your handy, you can find plans to build a nice grinder for cheap.

    To start you can cut your blanks with an angle grinder, rough shape with the belt and send them off for heat treat....
    The difference between try and triumph is a little "umph"! NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!
    chefchristophermiller@yahoo.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member NO ChoP!'s Avatar
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    Also, I think 1095 is a good steel to start with for carbon. You'll use less cutting wheels and belts than others like 52100, and is maybe a bit less money.


    ***I have extremely limited experience, just something that interests me. I have read up and paid attention around here...
    The difference between try and triumph is a little "umph"! NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!
    chefchristophermiller@yahoo.com

  9. #9
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    Thanks no chop. From my experience you learn the most when you shove youself in amongst it

  10. #10
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    Can you link me the grizzly and kalamazoo grinders

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