Blacksmithing, knifemaking, and knife filework

It was a busy weekend.

I spent a lot of the weekend painting the house but somehow still managed to sneak in forging a new knife. I have made several stock reduction (grind away everything but a knife) knives. I wanted to try making one mostly in the forge.

This is the knife sitting on a piece of the spring that it was made of. In this picture, the knife is shaped but not yet hardened and tempered.

Here is the knife completed. I hardened and tempered it then blued the entire thing with gun blue. I wanted it to keep that blackish look it has right out of the quenching oil.

It’s not a fun project if it doesn’t require making a new tool…

I wanted the knife to look like the steel had been lying on an abandoned barn floor in Montana for 50 years. Unfortunately, the blank my friend roughed out from the spring was smooth and straight. A few minutes with a fifty cent garage sale hammer and a welder came up with this texturing hammer:

Here is a detail of the ‘rustic’ area of the knife…

Here is a closeup of the file work on the spine. I tried to stay pretty simple in accordance with the rustic style of the knife:

Knife Filework on spine

This was a great project and I learned a ton. My blacksmith friend is teaching me more bit by bit. I am trying hard to soak it all in.

I hope you had a great weekend.

Go make something,


8 Responses to “Blacksmithing, knifemaking, and knife filework”

  1. nice texture, its nice to see someone else who likes the look of old steel.

  2. Thanks Steve. I like the birdhouse on your site – is that a lamp?

  3. i really like that knife question how did you make that hammer id love to try that i dont weld so if you,d tell me were i can tell someone at a shop how to THANKS!!

  4. Hey Bruce,
    There was nothing fancy done, I just tapped the end with a wire welder to make the junk. It should take someone with a welder about 2 minutes to do.
    Does that make sense?

  5. Very nice knife, I just started smithing myself and love it. I have made a couple blades and am planning to use antler for handles. I like the hammer with a texture idea, I may have to borrow that one myself in the future.

    Have fun with hot metal!

  6. Thanks Wicker. I would love to see a pic of the antler handled knife when you get it done.

  7. I really like that rustic look. My question is: At what stage of making this knife did you apply the hammer?

    • I put the texturing on just before packing the edge on the forge. After I got the edge packed, I straightened with a wooden mallet so I wouldn’t lose all the texturing.

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