Archive for July, 2011

Making a knifemaking file guide for for two dollars

Posted in Gear Making, knifemaking, metalwork, Tool Making with tags , , on July 29, 2011 by Jim

For my current dagger project, I am worried about getting the plunge lines straight and equal; that and the edges of the ricasso where they meet the guard. I have known about file guides for a while but have a hard time spending fifty dollars to get one. Or even $150 to get the really nice carbide faced one from Uncle Al’s.

Here is one I made last night in the shop.

Knife filing jig made from 0-1 steel

The most expensive parts on this jig were the bolts. Two of them for $0.98. The rest is scrap from around the shop. I spent a couple hours getting it together.

The jaws are O-1. The guide rods were scrap 3/8″ rod stock. I drilled four holes and tapped two opposing holes in each piece.  I checked that everything was ground flat, square, and parallel as I could get by hand. I don’t have a mill. I hardened with straight soybean oil from the grocery store.  I just barely tempered the O-1 (350 for an hour). I wanted to leave the face hard so files will not wear thorough them.

These are not as pretty as store bought but I think they will work just fine.

O-1 hardened knife filing jjg

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Oh Happy Dagger…

Posted in Blacksmithing, Forging, knifemaking, metalwork with tags , on July 26, 2011 by Jim

Making a dagger from a file.

Dagger blank FromOld file

A friend had this blank for years. It was started by his pal. He told me that he wanted to make or have it made into a finished dagger so he can return it to its original creator as a surprise. Maybe there is a little romance in the fact that he has carried it around all this time. I get sentimentally attached to objects myself, so this project interested me.

I’m all in when I think there is a little history or romance in a project. I spent a little quiet time with it last night and here is where we got:

viking dagger blank

The blank was still hard as diamonds when I got it, so it went in the forge and got annealed. After, I ground the sides flat just enough to put the purple layout dye on it, scribe a center line, and begin to layout the tang.

More to come soon as I can get back into the shop.

Happy Making,

Jim