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Thread: Knives and knife making

  1. #1

    Knives and knife making

    My nephew (who has already made me a fantastic Gambrel and S-Hook) is looking at getting into knife making. He is thinking about making high quality knives of Damascus steel from scratch and I was wondering what the other folks on here who make them could advise. Do you normally buy in blanks and grind them to suit, or do you forge the blades from scratch?

    Also, as regards handles, I have seen numerous knives on here with wooden handles but Food Safety etc would advise plastic, is there some way of treating the wood that renders them impervious and therefore considered "safe" under food hygiene regulations?

    Thanks in advance

    Adam
    Beretta Silver Pigeon 20 Bore
    Browing X-Bolt Stainless Stalker - 30-06
    Countryside Management Diary - http://www.leagueofwrath.co.uk/cmblog/

  2. #2

  3. #3
    [QUOTE=adjman;324505]My nephew (who has already made me a fantastic Gambrel and S-Hook) is looking at getting into knife making. He is thinking about making high quality knives of Damascus steel from scratch and I was wondering what the other folks on here who make them could advise. Do you normally buy in blanks and grind them to suit, or do you forge the blades from scratch?

    Also, as regards handles, I have seen numerous knives on here with wooden handles but Food Safety etc would advise plastic, is there some way of treating the wood that renders them impervious and therefore considered "safe" under food hygiene regulations?

    Thanks in advance

    Adam



    Adam

    Yes he can do either but if he buys a pre ground blank in Damascus ( actually patterned steel is the correct term ) he may well be sold a piece of junk! True blades use steel that takes along time to produce and hence why a finished knife can command hundreds of pounds. Yes he can get the stuff from India, but it might not harden when quenched. As for handles, well there a load of old tosh spoken by folk who know Zip about knives on this subject, yes you can use wood for knives as it can be pressure stabilised. Not only that many folk dont clean there knives after stalks, or do it the day after....the good thing about Patterned steel and 01 carbon etc is...it makes you clean your knives cos it will rust if you dont...hence why Ray Mears always cleans the 01 blade he uses.PM me and I will dig out some links to my knife supply mates.

    ATB

    Pete

  4. #4
    Not a fan of imitation Damascus (all most of it is Electro etching on regular steel and overcharging for it)

    Here is one I had made recently for General Hunting

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Johnny Cash; 11-02-2012 at 22:51. Reason: pic

  5. #5
    Hi,
    the way to make wood knives handles up to hygeine standards etc is to Stabalize them, which i think is some sort of high pressure injection process

  6. #6
    Adj,

    It sounds like your nephew has talent, in which case he'll be wanted to grind his own blanks. If that's the case, I suggest he gets hold of a metre or two of 3 or 4 mil bar stock in 01 tool steel. It's easy to work, can be hardened without specialist kit and is cheap. He can grind and fettle away, learning the basics. You'll hopefully be getting some nice bits of kit for Christmas and birthdays.

    When he's got the knack with 01 he can invest in some quality damascus from the States or Scandinavia. Such steels (and the Scandinavian powder steel that are designed for making hunting knives) are very expensive and are more difficult to harden correctly in a home workshop. For that reason, I'd suggest he cuts his teeth on the cheaper stuff.

    Best of luck with it.

    Cheers,

    Bob

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dovebob View Post
    You'll hopefully be getting some nice bits of kit for Christmas and birthdays.
    I've already got several orders in with him

    Cheers for the replies folks - he is currently studying blacksmithing and forging and is looking to make his blades completely from scratch, hence my questions about how others do it. He is doing some careful market research and I figured it was a good idea to ask the folks he will (hopefully) be selling to in the future as well as those that are already in this line of work.

    A big thank you to chickenman for the info he has supplied by PM - all really good stuff

    I will keep you up to date with how he is getting on hopefully with some pics etc
    Beretta Silver Pigeon 20 Bore
    Browing X-Bolt Stainless Stalker - 30-06
    Countryside Management Diary - http://www.leagueofwrath.co.uk/cmblog/

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Cash View Post
    Not a fan of imitation Damascus (all most of it is Electro etching on regular steel and overcharging for it)

    Here is one I had made recently for General Hunting

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Johnny Cash.jpg 
Views:	53 
Size:	165.4 KB 
ID:	12599
    What are you hunting, Red Indians at the Alamo

    Neil.

  9. #9
    Re knife handles...it's funny how dsc1 etc recommend non slip knife handles and yet loads of folk use materials like wood and micarta etc. which can be pretty damn slippy when wet .

    Does anyone supply anything non slip which can be made into a knife handle reasonably easily ?.

    fraser

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