jmccustomknives
One of the biggest hurdles for a new knife maker is the mysterious heat treat.  One way to make a quality knife is to go around the heat treat, that is use a file that has already been heat treated from the factory.  First, not all files are the same.  I prefer to use Nicholsons or the best of them all;  The original "Black Diamond".  This brand had their own steel formula which had more carbon than most other.
To start out I use a belt sander/grinder to begin to polish the file, then draw out my profile.  I then used a side grinder with a cut off wheel to rough cut the blade.  Use quality wheels for this and don't let the file get hot by cooling it in water.  Remember, any color in the steel will ruin the temper. 001.JPG  Grind the blade with a belt sander/grinder.  Use sharp belts, keep the blade cool.  Remeber that as the edge thins out the quicker it will over heat and ruin the temper.
003.JPG You'll need a torch to heat the tang up to a blue/purple color.  This wil make the tang stronger so it wont fail.  Be careful not to let the heat into the blade.  Place the knife in an oven, for small blades 425F should reduce the hardness making it less brittle and better suited for a knife.007.JPG  You can also use the torch to do a soft back draw by heating the back of the knife.  It's a little tricky to keep the heat from the edge.  The next step is to fit the guard.  The cleaner the fit the better the finished knife will look.  Since the bolt that is used is bigger than the file is thick you'll need to put the guard on first.  Next you can braze the threads on.
003.JPG  I braze a threaded insert on a pommel (I like to use the original stamped tang) fit up the handle material seal with epoxy and put it together.002.JPG

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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