Fixed blade Tutorial

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knifemaker3
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Fixed blade Tutorial

Post by knifemaker3 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:31 am

Hey all,
This Feb. I will have been making knives for 20 years. I primarily do fixed blades and utilize the stock removal method. So I thought for my 20th Anniversary I'd do a tutorial for AAPK. I contacted Bryan to get the go ahead and he graciously has allowed me to do this. Thank you Bryan!!

Now for the legal disclaimer: If you choose to make a knife you must realize the inherent danger of working around power tools. Booger County Outfitters LLC. nor it owner Craig Blankenship will not be held responsible should you try to make a knife using any method shown in this tutorial. This is only for purposes of showing how a knife is made at Booger County Outfitters LLC.

Sorry, but in this world we live in you have to cover yourself from lawsuits. ::td::

NOTE: This is how I make a knife. There are many different ways to accomplish a certain task. You may have another way to do the exact same thing I do a different way. Just remember that whatever works for you in your shop is the best way for you.

OK, Here we go. Please understand that I am no photographer. So the pics may not be the best. Also, if you have questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Here is a quick tour of part of the shop
Attachments
Drill press, Grizzly sander, workbench
Drill press, Grizzly sander, workbench
Mini mill, mini lathe, and sandblast cabinet
Mini mill, mini lathe, and sandblast cabinet
metal cutting bandsaw
metal cutting bandsaw
God Bless!

Craig Blankenship
Booger County Outfitters LLC.

Maker of Custom Knives and Custom Screenprinted Garments

knifemaker3
Posts: 582
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:56 pm
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Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Post by knifemaker3 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:37 am

For this project I decided to make a new style of blade. I'm going to do my version of a wharncliffe (spelling right?) fixed blade. It will be from 440c stainless with a brass bolsters, 3 3/4" Blade, 8" OAL. I will probable use stabized walnut burl for the handle unless I change my mind.

First lets lay out all the parts needed. Steel, 2 sets of drawings, the original, and another to cut and layout the steel with. Brass barstock for bolster, brass pins, and handle materials.
Attachments
100-0007_IMG.JPG
God Bless!

Craig Blankenship
Booger County Outfitters LLC.

Maker of Custom Knives and Custom Screenprinted Garments

knifemaker3
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:56 pm
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Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Post by knifemaker3 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:42 am

Next, cut out the paper pattern, keeping the original for reference, and either glue it to the steel, or in this case I painted dykem layout fluid on the steel and then scribed around the pattern.

Once the profile of the blade is on the steel, start cutting. I use a metal cutting bandsaw, but you can use a hacksaw and elbow grease if that is all you have.

Here is a pic of the starting cuts.
Attachments
100-0008_IMG.JPG
God Bless!

Craig Blankenship
Booger County Outfitters LLC.

Maker of Custom Knives and Custom Screenprinted Garments

knifemaker3
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:56 pm
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Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Post by knifemaker3 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:48 am

I should have mentioned it but you only cut next to the scribed outline of the knife. Then, once it's roughed out you grind to the line on a grinder.

Here is one ugly fat knifemaker picture holding the rough cut knife.
Attachments
100-0009_IMG.JPG
God Bless!

Craig Blankenship
Booger County Outfitters LLC.

Maker of Custom Knives and Custom Screenprinted Garments

knifemaker3
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Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Post by knifemaker3 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:58 am

Next, refine the contour of the blade on the grinder. Here I am using the Grizzly grinder. I started out years ago with a homemade grinder, but then bought a grizzly. It's served it purpose well as long as you take into consideration it's limitations. Tracking is not very good with this grinder. Someday I'd like to upgrade to a KMG, but until then I will cripple along with the grizzly.

Grind right up to your scribed lines until the blade blank looks like you want it to look. Notice the safety glasses and respirator. REMEMBER TO WORK SAFELY!!! You only get two eyes and two lungs so take good care of them!
Attachments
100-0011_IMG.JPG
100-0012_IMG.JPG
100-0012_IMG.JPG (97.25 KiB) Viewed 7541 times
God Bless!

Craig Blankenship
Booger County Outfitters LLC.

Maker of Custom Knives and Custom Screenprinted Garments

knifemaker3
Posts: 582
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:56 pm
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Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Post by knifemaker3 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:01 am

That's all for today!
God Bless!

Craig Blankenship
Booger County Outfitters LLC.

Maker of Custom Knives and Custom Screenprinted Garments

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Ringmaster
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Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Post by Ringmaster » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:45 am

Bravo Craig !

That cedar-lined shop must be a nice place to work. Keep up the good work, and continue to show your progress, please.

Take Care,
JR
"A knife without a blade, for which the handle is missing."
"Buy more ammo" - Johnnie Fain.

knifemaker3
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Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Post by knifemaker3 » Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:07 pm

Good Day all!

Next thing to do before heattreating the blade is to drill any holes needed. Once it's hardened and tempered it's a real bear to drill the holes.

Here I'm finishing up a hole to hold for pins for the bolsters. I usually JB weld and pin the bolsters on. I used to solder and pin but have since found out that you can get the same thing with the jb weld and pins. This way you just wipe off the jb weld before it hardens and you don't have to spend any time at all cleaning up the joint.

For this knife I'm using 1/8 pins for the handles and 1/16 pins for the bolsters. TIP: Use the next size number drill to make the hole slightly larger to make it easier to push in the pins. The alternative to this is to ream the hole with the correct size reamer although occasionally I've found that it still needs to be slightly bigger for some pin material.

I used a size #30 for the 1/8 pins and #52 for the 1/16.
Attachments
100-0002_IMG_2.JPG
God Bless!

Craig Blankenship
Booger County Outfitters LLC.

Maker of Custom Knives and Custom Screenprinted Garments

knifemaker3
Posts: 582
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:56 pm
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Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Post by knifemaker3 » Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:19 pm

Next, I flat sand the sides on 60 paper and a granite plate to remove any burrs left from drilling
100-0003_IMG_2.JPG
Then, I apply dykem layout fluid and mark where the plunge cut goes on both sides. This gives me a good reference to go by when sanding. I grind freehand without the help of the rest on a grinder. So, it's easier to have a reference line to go buy at least for me.

I also coat the edge of the blade, measure the thickness, and mark the center line of the edge. I use my sherline mini mill and a dremel cutoff wheel to do this. Measure the thickness of the steel, divide by 2, and you now know where center is. On the mill lower the cutoff wheel to the table and then using the micrometer readings on the mill, raise to the center measurement. Don't forget to measure the cutoff wheel and adjust how far you raise it to ensure you are dead on center on not a few thousandths off. Then simply turn the mill on and run the edge of the knife against the cutoff wheel. I do it once, flip the knife over and do it again. This will help line it up should you be off just a little.
100-0006_IMG_2.JPG
God Bless!

Craig Blankenship
Booger County Outfitters LLC.

Maker of Custom Knives and Custom Screenprinted Garments

knifemaker3
Posts: 582
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:56 pm
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Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Post by knifemaker3 » Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:44 pm

Next, I rough grind the blade bevels in. I like doing it this way as soft steel is a whole lot easier to grind than hard steel. Belts last longer this way. The key is, leave plenty of sacrificial material for regrinding later. Here I'm starting to grind. Notice you can see the layout lines.
100-0007_IMG_2.JPG
Grinding a blade freehand is a lesson all in itself. I learned this when first starting out as a necessity. My first homemade grinder didn't have a work rest. :roll:

I will try and explain how I grind:

I grind with the edge of the knife facing upwards like in the picture. This knife will have a flat grind, so here I'm using the flat platen on the grinder. If hollowing grinding I use the contact wheel. With either method I visualize a center line on either the wheel or platen. While grinding I try to keep the edge of the blade on that center line. With this knife it's easy because of the straight edge. With a curved blade it gets harder. Just try and keep the edge on the center line. Move the handle of the knife up or down to keep the edge on center.

Another thing I worry about is thumb placement. Depending on where I'm concentrating on grinding will determine where I place my thumb. The placements are this:

1. Towards the edge of the blade.

2 Midsection of blade.

3. Towards the spind of the blade.

When I first start out grinding, I place my thumb in postion 1. I also start at a 45 degrees angle. This starts the grind right on the edge of the blade. Then I start dropping the angle to start raising the height of the grind. I do this by thumb placement in #2 postion. Then, to keep the edge from getting too thin, I place thumbs in #3 postion. This will further raise the height of the grind. I hope this makes some sort of sense. I have a hard time explaining what I mean.

Keep the blade cool while grinding even thought it's not tempered yet. Grinding puts lots of stresses in the steel and there is no need to compound the problem by getting the steel too hot.

A note about the plunge cut. I start grinding a little ahead of the plunge cut area. This way I can work the blade backwards to meet the layout line for the plunge cut. This is easier for me. You can clamp a guide on the blade and use that to file in your plunge cuts. Whatever works the best for you is how you should do it. Sometimes I will use a file to refine the plunge cuts. But, I just do it freehand.

Also, a plunge cut with a small radius is better than a 90 degree angle. A sharp 90 degree angle looks cool but it gives a stress point that is likely to break should the knife be used to pry with. I know you ain't supposed to pry with a knife, but when doing some chores like field dressing an animal or something you pry a lot of times and don't even realize it. A radius at the plunge cut will help keep it from snapping there.
God Bless!

Craig Blankenship
Booger County Outfitters LLC.

Maker of Custom Knives and Custom Screenprinted Garments

knifemaker3
Posts: 582
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:56 pm
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Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Post by knifemaker3 » Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:00 pm

Here is the rough ground blade ready for heat treatment.
100-0010_IMG_2.JPG
100-0010_IMG_2.JPG (65.27 KiB) Viewed 7453 times
It has been ground down to a 100 grit. I have left plenty of sacrificial material to regind after hardening and tempering.

Next, the blade will be heated to 1860 degrees. It will be held at that temperature for 30 minutes, and then taking out of the kiln and air quenched. This blade is 440c stainless, so it can be either air quenched or oil quenched. Air is a lot cleaner of a quench so I air quench 440c.

After quenching, the internal stresses in the steel need to be relieved. I temper the knife at 400 degrees for 1 hour, let cool until you can hold it in your bare hands, and then temper again at 400 degrees for 1 hour. This should give me a blade with a hardness of 57-59 on the Rockwell C scale. For this steel this gives you good edge retention, and toughness in the blade.
God Bless!

Craig Blankenship
Booger County Outfitters LLC.

Maker of Custom Knives and Custom Screenprinted Garments

knifemaker3
Posts: 582
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:56 pm
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Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Post by knifemaker3 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:19 am

Hey Hot tempered steel, did you get the reply to your pm? Just wanted to make sure.!
God Bless!

Craig Blankenship
Booger County Outfitters LLC.

Maker of Custom Knives and Custom Screenprinted Garments

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Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Post by gmusic » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:36 am

I'm gleaning some good stuff here.........................................keep-um coming!
http://www.musicmadeknives.com

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Bill Price (CCBill)


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knifemaker3
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Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Post by knifemaker3 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:32 pm

Hey Guys,
Took the day off today. Hurt my back yesterday and went to the Chiropractor today. Thought I'd rest it this afternoon so I don't throw it out again.

Will work again on the tutorial knife tomorrow.

Later!
God Bless!

Craig Blankenship
Booger County Outfitters LLC.

Maker of Custom Knives and Custom Screenprinted Garments

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philco
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Re: Fixed blade Tutorial

Post by philco » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:11 pm

Take care Craig.

Hope you are feeling better soon.

Phil
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