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Old 05-04-2017, 06:02 PM
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Default Circular Saw Blade Knife

I used this old saw blade to make this knife. I used a 1" belt sander to shape the blade and a 4-1/2 inch disc grinder to cut the shape from the circular saw. The second knife is an old Rigid knife blank I had in a kit form from the early 70's. I made the leather sheath for this one. I would also like to advance this skill as well. Since I retired this is something I might pursue.
Anyone else have home made knives to show? I hope to get past the primitive stage soon and start turning out some nice ones!
Thanks for looking
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Old 05-04-2017, 06:14 PM
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what did you use to cut that blank out of the saw blade? I like it. keep them coming. lee
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Old 05-04-2017, 06:51 PM
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Great job! Nothing better than making something yourself
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Old 05-04-2017, 07:08 PM
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My Dad had one made out of a power hacksaw blade used to cut railroad rails. That sucker was sharp and seldom needed any touch up.

Whoever made it, left the saw blade on the back of the blade. My Dad used it to saw thru the spine and other bones while quartering elk and moose to put on pack horses.

I don't know whatever became of that knife. He gave it to someone while I was gone.
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Old 05-04-2017, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Barner View Post
what did you use to cut that blank out of the saw blade? I like it. keep them coming. lee
Thanks!
I used a 4-1/2" metal cut off disc on my angle grinder.
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Old 05-04-2017, 07:40 PM
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Well, I don't know much about knives, but that looks great! Have fun!!

Best Regards, Les
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Old 05-04-2017, 07:45 PM
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Well done. I am sure it is not as easy as your pictures make it look, there is probably a lot of time spent between cutting out the blank and the finished product. If you ever decide to go retail I would be a buyer, something like either shown would be cool to own.
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Old 05-04-2017, 08:02 PM
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Good looking knife..
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Old 05-05-2017, 01:09 PM
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somewhere around here there is a knife that I made from an old cross cut saw blade, and I used a old antler base for the handle, it was not as nice looking as yours, and I gave up on making knifes after that attempt
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Old 05-05-2017, 04:56 PM
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Nice looking work!
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Old 05-06-2017, 01:03 AM
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When I was still in school I got a job in the machine shop of a
small manufacture, clean up man. There was a old machinist
that taught me to make knives out of power hack saw blades.
This was in 60s and most power hacksaw blades were only
tempered on the teeth. This is the section that would hold a
edge. When your blade left parallel with teeth you would lose
the benifit of the tempered edge. He had two tests he preformed
on any stray metal I drug in for blade making. See how well it
held a magnet and he would put it on grinder to "read" the spark.
Cutting blanks from a circular saw blade is kind of iffy too, most
aren't tool steel, and if you heat them up with a cutting tool you
can ruin any temper they have. If you can't temper the steel you
are wasting your time. The last knife I made used a industrial
chipper blade, already a piece of tempered steel that held a fine
edge.
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Old 05-06-2017, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opaul View Post
I used this old saw blade to make this knife. I used a 1" belt sander to shape the blade and a 4-1/2 inch disc grinder to cut the shape from the circular saw. The second knife is an old Rigid knife blank I had in a kit form from the early 70's. I made the leather sheath for this one. I would also like to advance this skill as well. Since I retired this is something I might pursue.
Anyone else have home made knives to show? I hope to get past the primitive stage soon and start turning out some nice ones!
Thanks for looking
I like the design of your knife, particularly the profile of the blade. How did you heat treat it?
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Old 05-18-2017, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
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I like the design of your knife, particularly the profile of the blade. How did you heat treat it?
Sorry for the delay. I did not heat treat it. Reason being, and I'm sure there are many different opinions, that when I ran the edge of a file over the steel it skated across. I was also careful not to overheat the steel when I cut out the shape.
It takes and holds an edge well. I just made the bottom one in the photo out of the same saw blade.
But I am in the process of getting a propane forge and study up on metallurgy
Added second picture with the leather sheath I made for the smaller knife.
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:23 PM
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OPaul--have you seen the TV show "Forged in Fire?" You would love it. I saw for the first time this week and enjoyed it immensely.

Forged in Fire (TV Series 2015– ) - IMDb
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:46 PM
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Really likin' the little one ! Congratulations !

Larry
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Old 05-19-2017, 02:07 AM
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During the early 1970s I made a knife out of a broken power hack saw blade that my high school metal shop teacher provided. He said there were two types. Some only had the teeth edge hardened with electricity but the blade he gave he was hardened throughout. I only had to careful to not over heat it and after it was finished to never loan it. Steel that hard used by a fool as a pry bar will snap.

I made an aluminum hand guard and spacers out of scrap and drilled holes through a piece of purple heart wood to slip over the tang. I assembled it with epoxy and a cross bolt through the hack saw blade's mounting hole. It looks amateur but not to shabby for a 16 year old.

If I had it to do over I'd leave the teeth on the back dulled for scaling fish, make it shorter and not give it a clip point. It was more than enough work without making a pommel or butt cap.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:27 AM
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Now I REALLY have the itch! Those all look great, and what a great project. I'm gonna try it for sure. Thanks for posting
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:01 AM
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I HAVE ONLY INSTALLED AN ANTLER HANDLE TO A BUCK 119...... NOTHING NEAR TO WHAT YOU DID FRIEND. REALLY NICE WORK YOU HAVE DONE!
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:26 AM
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I make knives. If you use circle saw blades that are NOT carbide tipped you are probably fine, if you do not get it overr about 450f while cutting and grinding. Higher than that your going to be removing some of the hardness.

Large older saw blades where usually L6 or 15n20, both good steels. Newer smaller blades are suspect and "mystery steel" You can tell some about the alloy of steel by the sparks it sends off while grinding.

The power hack saw blades mentioned are a whole different ball game. Usually something like M4, which is a carbon and tungsten rich steel. When heat treated it forms small tungsten carbides in the steel matrix. This makes it very wear resistant and it takes much higher heat to cause it to loose its temper. It is often used for lathe and mill tooling.(as opposed tto purer carbide tooling). It is very difficult to grind (wear resistant) when compared to many tool steels. It also has a very abrupt elastic limit. In thin sections like power hacksaw blades it will flex some, but, then abruptly snap similar to D2 which forms vanadium carbides as apposed to tungsten carbides. Most good files are 1095 or W2 which are mainly just plain high carbon steels. Good springs and many farm implement tooling like disks and non hard faced harrow teeth are 5160. All of which can make good knives if heat treated properly. Found steel can be fun and good practice material.

But, many found steels are mystery steels. It can be fun to mess with them and experiment. But, really the piece of steel is cheap when you start looking at things like grinder belts, good burl wood for handles corby fasteners. Then there is the time spend grinding, hand sanding, heat treating and fitting it all together. Even if I pay $20 or more for a quality piece of known steel to me it is cheap in the long run. On knives for sale I only use known steels. That is because every steel has a best heat treat method to achieve the best results. A common saying among many knife makers is "if the Lord himself send down the perfect steel it would be nothing without the proper heat treat."

I have watched Forged in Fire. On common high carbon steels an experienced smith can do a very good job of hardening by eyeballing the color of the steel before quench. But, that show never shows a temper cycle. A proper temper cycle takes time for the best result. Untempered high carbon steel is very brittle. It would never survive a chopping test. Just dropping it could cause a hardened untempered piece to shatter.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:54 AM
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I have seen guys put a lot of time in on making a knife out of
unknown steels. What they usually end up with is a very classy
butter knife. I recently bought some old tool steel blanks.
2"x16" in different thicknesses. The brand is Simmons and each
piece is individually wrapped. There is heat treating information
on the labels. It is given by the color of the steel under heat. In
present state it can be filed. I'm guessing this stuff came from
the 1950s, blanks have fine rust on them but no pitting. I'm
going to make a blade out of this and take it to a shop that has
controlled tempering to have it done.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelslaver View Post
I make knives. If you use circle saw blades that are NOT carbide tipped you are probably fine, if you do not get it overr about 450f while cutting and grinding. Higher than that your going to be removing some of the hardness.

Large older saw blades where usually L6 or 15n20, both good steels. Newer smaller blades are suspect and "mystery steel" You can tell some about the alloy of steel by the sparks it sends off while grinding.

The power hack saw blades mentioned are a whole different ball game. Usually something like M4, which is a carbon and tungsten rich steel. When heat treated it forms small tungsten carbides in the steel matrix. This makes it very wear resistant and it takes much higher heat to cause it to loose its temper. It is often used for lathe and mill tooling.(as opposed tto purer carbide tooling). It is very difficult to grind (wear resistant) when compared to many tool steels. It also has a very abrupt elastic limit. In thin sections like power hacksaw blades it will flex some, but, then abruptly snap similar to D2 which forms vanadium carbides as apposed to tungsten carbides. Most good files are 1095 or W2 which are mainly just plain high carbon steels. Good springs and many farm implement tooling like disks and non hard faced harrow teeth are 5160. All of which can make good knives if heat treated properly. Found steel can be fun and good practice material.

But, many found steels are mystery steels. It can be fun to mess with them and experiment. But, really the piece of steel is cheap when you start looking at things like grinder belts, good burl wood for handles corby fasteners. Then there is the time spend grinding, hand sanding, heat treating and fitting it all together. Even if I pay $20 or more for a quality piece of known steel to me it is cheap in the long run. On knives for sale I only use known steels. That is because every steel has a best heat treat method to achieve the best results. A common saying among many knife makers is "if the Lord himself send down the perfect steel it would be nothing without the proper heat treat."

I have watched Forged in Fire. On common high carbon steels an experienced smith can do a very good job of hardening by eyeballing the color of the steel before quench. But, that show never shows a temper cycle. A proper temper cycle takes time for the best result. Untempered high carbon steel is very brittle. It would never survive a chopping test. Just dropping it could cause a hardened untempered piece to shatter.
Thank you steelslaver! Lot of good info there!

I should have my propane forge available soon. I do plan on using 1080 steel initially and move up to stainless when I learn more about the process. I think the availability of outsourcing the heat treating process is also a possibility.
I'm also fortunate enough to have access to some old (maybe very old) farm plow implements that should make nice building steel.

I've also wondered about the tempering process on forged in fire. I don't think they show that segment of the show, since it takes additional hours. I have also seen a few of the blades get dropped and broken just as you described, obviously before being tempered.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:37 PM
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Harden of simple steels is possible with a forge. Most simple steels reach their critical temperature around 1500f. Big clue is a magnet will not stick to them after about 1450. A few shade lighter red and your there. Guys who do good HT this way use a low light in the forge area to recognize the right color consistently. If you polish hardened steel and heat you can recognize the lower temps by color. Straw is around 400. But, this does not give the best temperature as a good temper needs time for the structure of the hardened steel to fully temper. 2 2 hr cycles at 400-450 is best. If you want a very hard edge that will never be banged on hard material 400, if it will be abused 450. The harder it is the more prone to edge chipping the softer it is less likely to chip, but starts to get edge roll over if to soft. But a kitchen oven or a good well regulated toaster oven does a good job of this. High carbon steel hardened in an oven or forge will have a very thin layer of steel on the outside that has lost some carbon. This needs sanded off. Sometimes people file a piece after its hardened and the file bites a bit. This doesn't always mean the steel is soft. Just a bit on the outside is decarbonized. A few thousands in it can be fully hardened.

Stainless steels are very poor candidates for hardening in a forge. It can be done, but never real well. The high amounts of chrome make itt more difficult for the carbon to get in full saturation. Most stainless steels call for a temperature of around 1850f or more and about a 30 min soak time at that temperature. Very difficult to hold a consistent 1850 with a forge for that long. Plus at that temperature the steel will lose a bunch of carbon on the outer areas very quickly. I HT stainless steels in a envelope formed from 309 stainless foil. This keeps the oxygen away from the steel so it does not burn of any carbon.

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Old 05-20-2017, 01:01 AM
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Nice job, OPaul.
Classic blade shapes for skinning and caping.
Well done!
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:51 PM
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Paul, great looking knives. When you get up and running, please, let me know. I'd love to be an early customer.
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Old 05-21-2017, 09:11 PM
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Opaul:

Those are some very nice knives that you have built there. I hope that you will continue to grow in your hobby/avocation.

I don't know if you are aware, but steelslaver is being modest, and probably doesn't want to derail your thread. He is very well known on the knife forums, and has produced some very stunning, functional and highly regarded custom knives. I shouldn't out his real name here, but he uses it on his knives. (steelslaver, if you're reading this, don't blush!).

I would regard any advice that he has tendered as gospel.

Best Regards, and hope that you find great sucess in your new endeavor!!

Les
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Old 05-22-2017, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
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Opaul:

Those are some very nice knives that you have built there. I hope that you will continue to grow in your hobby/avocation.

I don't know if you are aware, but steelslaver is being modest, and probably doesn't want to derail your thread. He is very well known on the knife forums, and has produced some very stunning, functional and highly regarded custom knives. I shouldn't out his real name here, but he uses it on his knives. (steelslaver, if you're reading this, don't blush!).

I would regard any advice that he has tendered as gospel.

Best Regards, and hope that you find great sucess in your new endeavor!!

Les
Thanks Les. This hobby is fitting in nicely with my recent retirement!
I agree, steelslaver has great advise and his knowledge is very evident in his replies which are honest and straight up, which I respect.

Hopefully this grinder will gets lots of use as I ramp up my experience and learning curve. Forge is on it's way!
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:45 AM
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The making of a correctly tempered blade is the key to knife
making. Guys that know how to do this are artist in their own
right. I have made a lot of knives but have mostly failed in
tempering process. Which I attempted while making knives out
of files. I take the easy way out and look for items of carbon
steel that are already tempered. Actually this is about the same
as making a "kit" knife. Believe me there are a lot more Handle
artists than blade smiths.
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Old 05-22-2017, 07:54 PM
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Well you got a top flight grinder. Good equipment goes a long ways. Practice does do. I grind at about a 45 on both sides until I have about a dime thick edge then start working the flats. Getting them even and correct takes time and practice once your close go to a finer belt. Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 05-23-2017, 08:17 AM
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PS making sure the edge goes down the middle of the steel. I made an adjustable deal with a tungsten carbide tipped scribe, but a simple cheap way to mark the edge is to use a drill bit of the same size as the thickness of your steel. Lay drill and steel on dead flat surface and run edge on tip of drill and it will mark the center. A slightly different sized bit will work just do it twice once on each side of the blank and get 2 parallel lines on edge with dead center in the middle of those.

Where you press on the blank as you grind the flats will cause the angle of the flat to change. Want to grind more towards the spine press closer to the spine. Work bare handed. It the steel is to hot to press on it needs cooled or it will lose temper. Unhardened steel it doesn't matter and I use a big rare earth magnet mounted with a small handle and grind with course grit belts and don't worry about steel's temperature as it will all get reset when I HT it.
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Old Yesterday, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
The making of a correctly tempered blade is the key to knife
making. Guys that know how to do this are artist in their own
right. I have made a lot of knives but have mostly failed in
tempering process. Which I attempted while making knives out
of files. I take the easy way out and look for items of carbon
steel that are already tempered. Actually this is about the same
as making a "kit" knife. Believe me there are a lot more Handle
artists than blade smiths.
Take that file and put it in your oven at 425f for 2 hours, then cool it off, then do 2 more hours at 425f. If the steel is still to hard and has edge chipping take it to 450f. Some guys lay the side of a thin edge on a piece of brass round stock and pull it across with a bit of pressure. Should deflect slightly, but go back to straight. If it gets little chips in the edge up temper temperature. If it stays deformed your temper was to hot. I have a hardness tester and use that to tell me whats happening when I temper. I also use a digitally controlled oven for both hardening and tempering.

Reason for second temper is that a certain percentage of the steel gets stuck as Austensite when quenching. This converts to hard Martensite on the first temper. That percentage of steel needs 2nd temper to become tempered. Very little of the matrix will be left a austensite doing a double temper on simple high carbon steels. On complex alloy steels like 440C and D2 it helpd the steel all complete the transformation from austensite to martensite to super cool the steel before tempering. I use a bath of acetone and dry ice to do this, some guys use liquid nitrogen. Which is hard to get when you live over 100 miles from anywhere.

Hardening happens really fast. With straight high carbon steels like 1095 you have .8 of a second to quench from 1350 to 750 (you have seconds between 1500 and 1350) Air harden steels like D2 you have about 8-10 seconds to cool it. That is to harden it.


Tempering is different. It takes time for the Martensite formed by hardening it to get reformed. Some people simply heat the blade up to say 425, this will cause some tempering, BUT, it will not allow complete transformation. Temper-time temper time.

Last edited by steelslaver; Yesterday at 08:01 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 01:47 PM
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Another thing people constantly confuse hardening and tempering. 2 completely different things. First the steel must be hardened which converts it from a pearlite matrix into a martensite matrix. Once hardened it then needs tempered. This forms the martensite structures into smaller finer structures.

All steels have their own best HT. Temperatures, soak times, quench speeds and temper temperatures for the desired hardness. Taking a piece of high carbon steel to red and where a magnet don't stick then quenching it in oil will leave much to be desired. Old motor oil isn't going to quench a steel like 1095 fast enough. Lots left unconverted.
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