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a great cheap tinkering, knife making project for all

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by worldwood, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. worldwood


    Sep 30, 2012
    hello people i found this site online where this guy makes cheap survival knives out of saw blades. i like the idea and plan to give it a shot for fun. this is a very cheap way for us to play with making our own knives with there own unique shapes. i think others would enjoy it too so im posting it here. NO these wont be the best of the best, but for only a couple bucks why not?

    here is the site and you can scroll down and see all his designs.

  2. fast14riot

    fast14riot Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 27, 2010
    <Sigh> please don't do this. Recip saw blades don't make acceptable knife shaped objects. The don't make acceptable saw blades most of the time either! I bar of 1080 or 1084 steel is so friggin cheap, and so easy to work with, it wll also make a perfectly acceptable knife that will be a known hardness.

  3. calvinw


    Feb 28, 2012
    I agree, the cost of the steel blank shouldn't really concern you as much as the time and effort/work going into making the knife. You can get D2 for like less than $15.
  4. worldwood


    Sep 30, 2012
    I dont plan on using this knife for anything at all, i just wanted to cut out a shape. i know its thin and will snap. i know the blade will be worthless. but itll take 5 minutes at less than 1 dollar im not really seeing the negative, unless is will harm me making it or something. hard steel blanks require special tools and alot of time. i can do the above with just a dremel.

    exactly the time and effort that goes into making a good blade is crazy and im not that patient. i also would never rely on a blade that i made. and i cant do it with just a dremel

    Ok to re-cap, im the only one who thinks it looks neat. and others think its a bad idea? ok but besides the blade being shit when its done whats a reason not to do it?

    now if you said something like, "when you cut a recip saw blade due to its blade composite and how thin it is there is alot of chipping snapping metal flying around" (fake example) then i would not proceed, but at the moment it looks like the only reason not to do it is because the end result wont be any good. and hell i expect that.

    Im not disregarding your advice, i understand the knife wont be good at a knife. but i tried using a dewalt demolition blade in my hand and its sawing better than my cheap ass survival wire saw. put too much pressure and it snaps. i snapped 1 on purpose to test its strength which i must say was stronger than i expected but not STRONG.
  5. willseeyalater


    Jan 7, 2012
    The chance of it snapping while you are asking it to do something normal is a prescription for an avoidable injury to you or someone who borrows it. What it costs for your out of pocket or insurance deductible for lidocaine, iodine and stitches to get patched up could have bought you all kinds of nice steel to use or a decent custom knife ready made.
  6. aread


    Aug 8, 2012
    The only reason I can see to make a knife shaped object (KSO) out of those saw blades it to get a better idea of what the knife would be like if made from decent steel. IMO, wood would be a better medium for this.

    A useful small, special purpose blades could be made from this metal, but even then it's not worth the time or effort in most cases. Maybe if you had to have a special blade right now and didn't have good steel, then it becomes a possiblilty.

    However, it's your choice. The Bladeforum police won't come to your door and confiscate the knives you maked from sawzall blades. :)

  7. parbajtor


    Nov 24, 2010
    I made a blade prototype out of 316 once. Never again.
    If it works, you'll wish it was made from proper steel and if it doesn't you're $14 richer. What will you spend it on?


    Jul 17, 2012
    I am certainly not as experienced as most posting on here. That said, I see no harm in making this knife if it is made just for the experience of doing it. It could be a great conversation piece to others that don't have the knowledge or ability to do this "craft project". As long as the OP does not expect more out of it than the satisfaction of the project, and does not actually try to use it as a viable knife. More power to him I say. My Grandfather made a "Bowie" type knife several years ago out of an old crosscut saw blade, and put a walnut handle on it. It was a beautiful blade, and we cut up lots of deer with it over the years. I understand this is a lot better steel than the sawsall blade is. However, it could be good practice for a better blade in the future, and knowing whether or not he wants to pursue this project further.
    Just my $0.02 worth that you don't even have to pay for. ;)

  9. fast14riot

    fast14riot Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 27, 2010
    If all your looking to do is work with some thin steel to make a "knife" with and you only have a dremel and some files, get some 15N20 in .060 or 1/16 thickness. It will work as a knife MUCH better than sawzall blades, be just as easy to work and will only cost a couple bucks to send out for HT or can be done yourself with a plate quench. It will be just a few dollars more expensive and at the very worst you will have an ugly knife. No matter how good a sawzall blade knife comes out, it wouldn't be good for more than opening letters.

    I'm not trying to discourage you at all from tinkering with knife making, just trying to help you get better end results from the effort put in.

  10. worldwood


    Sep 30, 2012
    lmao, These days you never know, in philadelphia its a felony to carry a multitool with a blade on it in your pocket.
  11. worldwood


    Sep 30, 2012
    I already replied to this but i guess it dissapeared-

    Thank you very much for this, i was using the saw blade because it was all i have ever seen done with just a dremel, i had no idea i could make it from a better metal and still with minimal tools for so cheap. This is a perfect reason to NOT do it the way stated in the op. thanks again i will order a piece from aks shortly and give it a go!!!
  12. worldwood


    Sep 30, 2012
    this was how i felt as well- the practice wouldnt hurt and im too green to understand the difference with all the metals. but since theres other better metal thats just as easy to work with and cheap i might as well go with the better of the 2-
  13. olpappy

    olpappy Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    Perhaps the web page you referenced makes it look relatively easy, but note that he heat treated his own blades. If you do not plan to heat treat the steel he mentions that the steel will be less hard but still usable as a knife. I do not know what kind of steel those blades are made of, there are so many unknowns that if you did go to the trouble to make a finished knife you would not know what properties to expect from the blade.

    I hope you understand that the steels you buy from knife supply places will need to be filed to the right shape, blade bevels rough ground, properly heat treated, finish ground, handles applied, then sharpened and a sheath made. You would need a bench vise, clamps, either a belt sander or a well thought out hand sanding setup at minimum. Making a knife from a bar of metal is about the most difficult way I can think of if you have limited tools and experience. That is basically what a professional knifemaker does with all of the tools of a full shop setup. It is not a shortcut by any means. Grinding even unhardened steel without better tools you will find becomes tiresome rather quickly.

    If you like this sort of project maybe you have read Wayne Goddard's $50 knife shop, it has many interesting ideas for simple knife projects using simple tools. The knife supply places have plenty of finished blades in many shapes that you could add handle scales, modify the shape of the blade and hand finish / sharpen it yourself. If you want to do some easy projects I would suggest maybe starting with restoring/modifying some old knives you may have around the house. Doing a good job of refurbishing an old knife can be challenging and satisfying and requires some basic skills without requiring a lot of tools.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  14. worldwood


    Sep 30, 2012
    I was going off what fast14riot said, i only looked up the price. the way you make it sound is how i originally felt about using steel slabs and the reason i was going to do the dewalt demolition blade.

    I also have already started playing with kydex in my oven and a homemade book vice. And i already ordered some different types of g10 and will be playing with that as well.

    yes i love projects, there doesnt need to be great results or any results at all. in the end i still learn something. im young and retired with a lot of time but not enough money or space for any table/bench saws grinders and what have you. If we were only motivated to try something when the results are guarunteed, we would of never made it passed the rope and to the wheel.

    Wayne Goddard's $50 knife shop........... looking it up now thank you.
  15. fast14riot

    fast14riot Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 27, 2010
    Don't get discouraged. Go with your original plan, but use the better steel. You will figure out on your own what extra tools you will need. I think you can make a decent performing knife with patients, attention to detail, and some basic problem solving skills. I say start with a small knife, maybe a 2.5" blade and a 3.5" handle. Cut your profile out, grind some short bevels, maybe 1/2" of 5/8" tall but don't take it to a sharp edge leave about half the thickness of a dime, drill your handle pin holes and then sand everything to 320#. Its now ready for HT, post over in shop talk and someone will be able to do it for you, possibly for free. Once you get it bck, sand it again, regrind your bevels down to about .010" t the edge and then start on the handle. Get some 3/16" slabs of whatever handle material you want and then drill, glue, cut and shape. Sharpen nd enjoy.

    This is the grossly oversimplified version, but if you are a mechanically minded person, you should be able to get your way through it.

  16. worldwood


    Sep 30, 2012
    yea im going to try it, worse case scenario it doesnt work and i learn what would of worked better and what better tools i could use. i will also try the dewalt blade, because i already baught a pack of blades. Im also looking at a wooden knife hobby kit. I WILL SHAPE A KNIFE damnit!!!!
  17. willseeyalater


    Jan 7, 2012
    Definitely do what you can to learn by doing. Every decent knifemaker has a collection of knives that were learning projects. Each one gave them one or two more ideas of how to do the next one better. The ones who get real serious take those pieces and test out what the steel has for hardness, toughness and all kinds of terms that sound alike but mean really different things when it comes to knives.

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