Knife Making for Beginners

Knife making is an exciting craft that will not only keep you busy but can also earn you some decent income. The process is,

however, slow and delicate and you have to be patient if you want to perfect your skills and produce great looking and

functional knives.

If you are interested in knife making, this article will help you understand the process involved in knife making, the tools you

need and how you can test the sharpness of a knife.

Knife Making Process

Design

The design is the most important element in a knife’s construction. Your main aim where design is concerned is to compromise between looks and functionality. The first step in knife making is plotting the blade and handle on a piece of paper. Having a computer at this stage will help a great deal as you can use it to scan your drawings and scale them up or down depending on the type of knife that you are making. At the beginning, you should experiment with different designs. You can then settle on a certain style as you become more experienced. The good thing is that there are numerous books and magazines with different types of styles and designs. You can use these for inspiration and you can also look at the numerous resources available online.

Metal Working

This process involves the cutting of steel. Get some good steel and scribe your template on to steel using a the piece of hard steel. Once the lines are clear, cut the length of the steel along these lines. After cutting, you then need to do the forging before grinding starts. The next stage is grinding and profiling the shape of the knife. Once this is done, you need to drill holes where the handle will be before stamping the blade and progressing to heat treatment.

Woodworking

This is the least complicated process. Wood is usually used to make the knife handle. At first, you can use cheap wood and use more expensive material as you master the art. Basic wood preparation is important before you can cut it to the desired shape and fix it on the blade.

Basic Tools that you need

Simple tools will ensure that you ease into knife making without having to sink in a lot of money. Simple tools that you need

include:

An angle grinder

You will use a grinder for most of the cutting and the shaping. You can get an inexpensive grinder for about 30 bucks and get a more advanced one later. If yours is a tight budget you get a hack saw though the process will be more involved.

Files

Get a variety of files ranging from rough to fine. Also, get some that are rounded on one side.

Drill

A simple hand drill will do but you can also get a drill press to make your work easier.

Clamps

These are for holding your knife as you work on it. You can get simple clamps or have a working area fixed with a c-clamp

Sandpaper

With the right tools, all you need is to get a piece of steel, some wood for the handle, pin stock, epoxy, and some linseed oil to finish the handle.

A beautiful knife will be of no good if it is not sharp enough. Blunt knives are also dangerous. You need to test the sharpness of your knife after making it to ensure it is functional. The best way to test a knife is obviously to use it and see how it performs. As a start, you can slice a paper with your knife. The knife is sharp if the knife cuts the paper effortlessly without catching or tearing the paper. You can also use your knife to slice an onion, a tomato, or any other round food item around you.

If the knife does a perfect job, then it is ready for use. If not, you can file any rough edges until the knife can cut clearly with minimal effort.

Though the knife making process may look complicated, things will become easy as you gain more experience. Once you get started, everything else should be about problem solving and never giving up. Just ensure that you have fun as you learn and over time you will become the expert in this field.