many different kinds of knives. They have different uses.
They have different ways to be made. For a consistent, uniform,
and reliable knife flat stock with factory steel using known
heat treating techniques can be ground to shape and finished
into a blade which will perform well. If you make 1000 blades
they can all come out exactly the same, consistency.
On the other hand you could start out with raw materials
and make your own steel from scratch. Heating the raw ore,
beating out all the impurities, and forging your blade.
There are many who prefer this method because it shows the
craftsmanship involved to come up with a good blade. One
could also take advantage of both worlds. You could take
advantage of the commercial steel mills and use one of their
modern steels and forge it into a blade.
This method uses the consistency of the modern steel with
its known properties to start with. Forging uses heat to
make the steel pliable so it can be manipulated into shape
with a hammer. Temperature is critical in that to much can
burn out the beneficial properties and in some steels not
enough heat can cause stress cracks which could ruin the
blade. These might not be visible in the finished knife
but could cause it to break during usage. When a blade is
forged from these modern steels using the scientifically
known parameters it can come out OOOOOOOOOO so sweet.
First you have to decide what you are going to use your
knife for. Remember it’s a tool usually designed for
cutting. Large camp knives will be made differently than
a small skinning knife. After that one studies all known
properties of the steel and puts together a recipe. This
would contain all the steps required to complete the knife.
Once you decide on this recipe stick to it. Some steels
can be unforgiving and if you sway from your recipe it will
ruin the knife.
The knife in this recipe happens to be for a fighter.
It must be strong enough to handle thrusts and soft enough
to handle slashes. It must also stay sharp and cut well.
Tapers will determine how well it cuts. Chisel grinds are
strong but tend to bind on deep cuts. Hollow grinds cut
deep but tend to loose some strength. A taper which works
great is one which uses natures golden mean. These tapers
start with the thickest part at the top of the spine at
the finger guard and get smaller towards the point. They
also get smaller towards the edge. This allows the knife
to do the work by cutting it’s own path rather than
forcing its way through whatever its cutting. A side benefit
of this taper is the built in balance it gives to the blade.
When finished it will feel as if it is floating in ones
hand giving great control.
On to the recipe. First we must have the tools. They are
simple, a hammer, an anvil and the steel.
The steel for this will be D2. It has some great qualities
but it also has a small window of heat which will allow
its forging without damage to the steel. It should only
be forged at temperatures from 1800 degrees to 2400 degrees.
The fire will be a gas forge
We first draw the steel to a point. This will give us a
starting point where the steel is thin.
Next we draw the point out to the desired length.
Next we draw the width of the blade.
The tapers are forged into the blade through the whole process.
We then cut the steel with enough left of form the tang.
This will have a full tang.
The tang is then drawn back to the desired length.
This is the rough forged blade.
The blade profile is then ground in.
The heat treating process allows the edge to be hardened
while letting the spine stay soft.
Notice the line showing the difference between hard and
The blade is then buffed and ray skin applied.
This one gets a cord wrap for its finish.