I have been making videos on the art and craft of knifemaking. So far I have one youtube video which shows you the first part of how to make a knife by stock removal. You can see that video here on my youtube channel Knifemaking tutorial.
The template for that project is located right here: Knife Pattern Template Check the print size on your printer. You should be able to print up this image in whatever size you need depending on how large or small you want to make your knife. My knife totals nine inches in length.
New I am starting a new series of tutorials on knife making and the first part of this is a look at the various steels that are used. Includes a look at the popular steels and their characteristics: Steels for Knifemaking
The Two Major Types of Knife Making
There are lots of different ways to make a knife! I guess this goes for just about everything! And with knife making there a lot of variables and a lot of different ways to go about it. A lot of this is based on three factors, the type of steel you have, the types of tools you have and the type of knife you want!
But there are two major ways to make a knife. These are proven and very common. They are the Stock Removal Method and the Forging Method.
The Stock Removal Method of Knifemaking
The Stock Removal Method of knifemaking: This is where you start out with a piece of steel, draw a pattern out on it and then use tools to cut out the profile of the blade. You get the whole knife including tang to the exact shape you want. You can use any number of metal working tools including a hacksaw, jeweler's saw, cut off grinder, bench grinder, belt sander and more. This method is often the method of choice for beginners because it requires less of an investment in time and skill. And you still make a perfectly beautiful knife.
You can see in the picture here that I am using a hacksaw to remove the stock from the knife. The white pattern is the shape of the knife. A hacksaw will not cut the curves. It is used to cut away most of the steel. From there you would use a bench grinder, belt sander or something else to get the profile of the knife exactly right.
The Tutorial on making a knife using the Stock Removal method is right here
The Forging Method of Knife Making
This method is quite a bit different than the stock removal method. You work your billet or piece of steel on the anvil to bring it to the desired knife shape.
The tutorial is here
The single most important thing you should know about knifemaking - When thinking about knife making we often think about the size, shape, look and aesthetics of the knife or maybe the type of steel. But there is something that is so much more important than all those things. I explain it here.
Here are my tutorials on making specific knives:
Make a Damascus Steel Knife
Damascus steel is challenging to make. But you don't have to make it for a knife. You can buy a blank and make a knife with it. I show you how in this tutorial: Make a Damascus Steel Knife (I also have a video for it) And I hated to hide all that striated steel under a wooden handle so I made a clear epoxy resin handle so we could see through it.
Make a Karambit Fighting Knife- We use the stock removal method to make this vicious fighting knife. I also have the template for you.
Forge a Rebar Knife
Rebar is a cheap and readily available material. It is easy to forge and in this tutorial I show you how to make a knife with it. I also show you some new techniques like how to bend the steel into curves. Make a Rebar Knife
Make a Railroad Spike Knife
This is a great little project if you are just beginning in blacksmithing. RR spikes are so easy to work with and you can whip up a nice little knife in no time. Practically can't do wrong with a project like this and it will help you to develop a feel for hammering hot metal. Make a railroad spike knife.
Make a subhilt knife
This is a complete tutorial where I take you through all the steps of making a subhilt knife. It has the extra guard on it which prevents it from being pulled out of your hand. Good looking knife! Make a subhilt knife
Make a Push Dagger, (Or push knife) - Interesting little weapon and pretty easy to make. But it does pose some interesting little challenges when making it.
Make a throwing knife - This is a fun project to make and a fun project to use! I had a lot of fun with this. All you need is a piece of steel and some basic tools. And you don't need a forge. You can harden and temper this with a torch. Make a Throwing Knife
How to make a dagger . It is very similar to making a knife. But there are a couple of differences. A dagger is edged on both sides and made for sticking not slicing! Make a Dagger
Custom Knifemaking: 10 Projects from a Master Craftsman
Spanning the gap between pre-cut and 'art' knives with step-by-step illustrated instructions for unique and beautiful knives. Learn how to make projects, or designs of your own: Kitchen paring knife; Full-tang all-purpose knife; Partial-tang carving knife; Through-tang skinner; Wilderness knife; Forged camp knife; Kitchen chopper; One-blade pocket knife; Lockback folding knife; Damascus steel dagger.
Note from Will I own the book Custom Knifemaking and really like it. The ten knives you see on the cover are the knives you learn how to make in the book. So you get a good look at a lot of different ways to make a knife of just about any kind and style. The book also has a lot of very useful information about metals, forging, stock removal, tools to use and more.
Wayne Goddard's $50 Knife Shop, Revised
-Reveals secrets to crafting durable knives without spending a lot of money -Speaks to a ready audience: BLADE Show -- largest custom cutlery show in the U.S. draws 10,000 people each year -Presents simple, expert instruction in full color photos
Knife-makers, veteran and novice, know and trust Wayne Goddard's techniques and teaching, and it shows in the level of craftsmanship featured at the nation's knife shows. The very book that changed the face of bladesmithing is revamped, with full color photo instructions and the tried-and-true format knife-makers will refer to for years to come.
-Tools needed to make knives, and outfitting a personal workshop without breaking the bank.
-Forging and heat-treating techniques, to help improve existing bladesmithing skills
-200+ color photos demonstrate basic knife making techniques
The easiest guide to making knives is Wayne Goddard's $50 Knife Shop, Revised.
Note from Will I own this book too! It is loaded with lots of full color pictures and has lots of great information. This book is more in-depth than the ten projects book and it has a lot of information and tips on tools to use, tools to improvise and how to make your own tools and more so you can keep the expenses down.
Knife Engineering: Steel, Heat Treating, and Geometry
How to make the highest performing knives. A book for knife enthusiasts, knifemakers, and bladesmiths. Not a how-to on knifemaking or bladesmithing but an in-depth exploration of the effects of different steels, metallurgy, heat treatments, and edge geometries on knife performance. This book provides ratings for toughness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance for all of the popular knife steels. Micrographs of over 50 steels. Specific recommended heat treatments for each steel. And answers to questions like: 1) Does a thinner or thicker edge last longer? 2) What heat treatment leads to the best performance? 3) Are there performance benefits to forging blades? 4) Should I use stainless or carbon steel? All of these questions and more are answered by a metallurgist who grew up around the knife industry. Note: The book now has conversions to Celsius throughout after feedback from Global readers.
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