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How to instructions for making a knife

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith, Nov 28, 2009.

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  1. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    These are the instructions I use to get someone started with a profiled stainless steel knife blank. I thought there might be those who could use the tutorial and pointers. Some details are specific to a particular knife project, but the info is universal. You can start with a bar of any type of steel and shape it to the knife profile you want. 1084 is a good starter carbon steel, and CPM-154 is a good starter stainless steel.

    Files needed are a 10-12" mill bastard (or a magic-cut), and a 10" second cut file. A finishing file is nice, but not necessary. Here is a great file and filing tutorial - http://www.appropedia.org/Filing_Metal
    As to the paper, use wet-or-dry metal working paper in grits from 100 to as high as you wish. Most folks use it in steps of roughly doubling the grit. A good set would be, 100/220/400/800/1000/1500/2000/2500. Buy the best paper available. 3M or RhynoWet are both good. I am posting this in two parts.

    The knife:
    I have preformed the knife shape to your template.The handle scales will be rough shaped and drilled to accept the Corby bolts ( this will ship after HT). When you get the knife, unscrew the bolts and remove the handles. Take a look at how things fit for reassembly later.

    Let's get the names of all the parts clear.
    The end of the handle is called the BUTT.
    The two pieces of wood are called the SCALES.
    The attachments for the scales are called RIVETS.The type of rivets I am supplying are called CORBY BOLTS.
    The flat area directly in front of the handle is called the RICASSO, and is the space between the end of the bevels/cutting edge and the handle.
    Any inward curve or indentation at the ricasso area or ricasso end of the handle is called a CHOIL.
    The little rounded notch at the end of the sharpened edge ( at the ricasso) is called a SPANISH NOTCH
    The top of the blade is the SPINE.
    the cutting part is the EDGE.
    The end of the cutting edge is the PLUNGE LINE.
    The taper from spine to edge is the BEVEL.
    The taper from the ricasso to the tip ( looking down on the spine) is called DISTAL TAPER.
    The point is the TIP.

    Work area and procedures:
    Find a place where you can safely work on the knife and have room to move. A picnic table outside will work, or any small work surface in the garage. Don't use the kitchen table or the resident cook may become upset with you.
    If possible, screw or clamp a strong piece of wood so about 10 inches sticks out from the corner of the work table. This is the sanding arm. A piece of 2X4 will work. The knife is clamped/screwed to the board, with the edge just off the wood, to allow sanding and filing.
    File with smooth strokes in one direction only. Never file in a back and forth motion - it will ruin the file. The files I sent are new and from medium to fine. They should be fine for working on this knife. When sanding, cut the paper into strips, or fold it, and use a six inch long block of hardwood as a backing block.I cut 8X2" strips and use a heavy rubber band to hold the ends on the block. Get a small plastic tub or something that will hold about a quart of water for when you do the wet sanding. You will dip the block and paper in the water. Sand in one direction strokes. Most sanding should start at the ricasso and progress toward the tip. The initial sanding can be perpendicular to the blade ( spine to edge) but the finer sanding should always be parallel to the blade ( ricasso to tip). When changing grits in the coarse to fine range ( 50 to 400 grit) change the angle of each grit so you can tell the old sanding lines from the new ones. Don't move to a finer grit until all the scratch lines from the last one are gone. It is very hard to get them out later. They have a nasty habit of showing up again as you get to the fine grits. If you see a deeper scratch.....stop....and go back at least one grit until the scratch is gone....then proceed back up the sanding steps. Skipping grit sizes is not going to speed things up. Progress from the coarse grit to 400-800 for the pre-HT sanding. In final finish, the finer the grit, the better the blade looks. The rule of thumb is to double the grit size ( more or less) each grit change. That would roughly be 100,200,400,800,1000,1500,2000,4000,8000. When doing the final sanding many people sand dry to 800, then wet sand to 8000. With the 3M polishing papers ( the colored pack) wet sanding is not as necessary, but works very well if you go that route. wet sanding will give you a brighter and shinier final finish. Save the 3M papers for final finishing after the HT. They are super for getting the handle sanded and polished. When wet sanding, clean off the blade, the block, and change the water in the tub at each grit change. BTW, putting a 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap in the quart of water makes it sand better.

    Getting Started:
    Mark the blade tang with a marker where the handle ends at the ricasso. When working on a blade, don't sand or file any of the metal that will be under the handle scales, or the wood may not sit flush with the tang when reassembled. This is a common error, and often shows as a little space where the handle comes down to the ricasso. Avoiding it now is how to keep from having to deal with it when you start to assemble the knife and discover that the ricasso is curved up under the handle a bit. By marking the handle area, and not doing any sanding/filing there, you will assure that the area is still flat when you finish the knife after heat treatment. Some folks actually tape this area with masking tape ( the blue painters tape is what I use), to make it clear that there is to be no work done there. That is a good procedure to learn. I often tape any part of a knife that I am not currently working on ( the handle area when doing the bevels, the blade when working on the handle, etc.)

    Decide how you want the blade to be beveled ,and where the plunge line should be. For this blade, I suggest a full bevel - from edge to spine - and the plunge line about 3/8" to 1/2" in front of the handle. ( I pre-cut the plunge line)

    Screw or clamp the blade to the board. File the bevels in slowly. take a little off at a time, easing up on the final shape. Flip the blade and work the other side regularly, allowing the shape to form from both sides. Don't try to do one side and then the other. That takes a lot of experience, and gives many old smiths trouble.

    Stop each step before it is fully to the point you want. Look it over carefully before taking the final strokes of the file. It is easy to take a little more metal off later, or to go back and change the shape, but impossible to put any metal back on once it is filed away. Also, don't file the bevels to a sharp edge. This is one of the most common errors. Leave the edge a fairly wide flat surface. About the thickness of a nickel in the filing stage (.050-.060), and the thickness of a dime after sanding before HT (.030-.040). Always remember that the next step will take off some more metal. I suggest filing to 80% shape, sanding to 90-95% shape, HT, then final sanding to shape, and the last step after the handle is assembled is sharpening the edge secondary bevel and sharpening.

    OK, get filing:
    When the bevel looks good, and you are happy with the plunge lines, it is time to start sanding. Sanding is where the blade shape takes on the final look. It goes fast in the coarse stages, and slower in the fine ones. Use even firm pressure on the sanding block. Avoid using a piece of folded up sandpaper and your fingers. You can easily make dips and waves in the blade that will show up after the final grits like a fun house mirror. Grits below 400 should be done on a backing block and applied just like they were a file. Finer grits don't gouge the metal as much and can be worked without a block if needed, but the block is your friend if you want straight and flat bevels.
    Once the filing is done, you can remove the tape from the tang area, but be careful that any sanding done at the ricasso still leaves the tang flat.The tang does not need to be sanded smooth, and bonds better with a rougher surface. Initially,a few strokes of the file to assure it is flat is all that is needed.The best way to avoid the ricasso dips is to flat sand the tang and ricasso area together with the paper laying down on a smooth and flat surface, and moving the knife over it in smooth strokes. Sand the tang/ricasso to 200 grit, then gently sand the ricasso area to 400. Now, you can proceed to the blade bevels without much risk of rounding the ricasso up under the handle. When the entire blade is sanded to 400-800 ( except the tang) and all surfaces are scratch free, the blade is ready for HT. Drill all holes in the tang before the HT. You will really hate yourself if you don't. Also, the holes should be larger than the rivets/bolts used, so for an 1/8" pin, drill a 3/16" hole;3/16" -drill 1/4";etc. Too large isn't a problem....too small is a big problem later on after the blade is hardened.

    Heat Treatment:
    When the blade is sanded to 400 and all is well, it is time for the heat treatment. This is where the soft (relatively) pearlitic steel is going to be changed into hard martensite. This steel is ATS-34. The blade needs more than just getting it hot and quickly cooling it off if you want a superior blade. It will be heated to 1900F and held there for 30 minutes, then plate quenched to cool and remain straight. After that it will receive two temper cycles at 400F
    I will send you a new email with all the HT information and a short metallurgy class later. When it is ready for HT I will do it, or you can have someone else do it . You won't be able to do it yourself.

    Please feel free to ask me any questions while working on the blade.If you can take photos of the progress, do so by all means. They will help me see what you are doing, and will be useful to you when you post the "My new knife" thread.
    Take your time. Spending a few more hours/days/weeks on the blade will result in a far better finished product than trying to rush it out in a single day/weekend.
    Work a while, take a break, and when you come back ,examine the progress before you start back up. You may see some area that needs attention that you would have gone right past.

    More later,
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  2. Tommegow


    Dec 16, 2004
    What a great starter tutorial! I have cut-n-pasted it into a Word.doc
    Is there a part II, a post HT fit & finish for the beginner?
    I am sure you get peppered with questions! Thank you for doing this
    for beginners!!
  3. Phil705


    Aug 23, 2007
    I sure could have used this tutorial about three year ago. And I still learned some things. It's all in one place! Thanks Stacy!
  4. childzplay


    Jun 13, 2006
    Thank you so much for posting this, it's very helpful.
  5. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    OK, here is part two ( in two installments). It is part of the book I am writing.
    Post HT finishing

    Once you receive your blade back from the heat treater it may look dark, spotty, and unattractive. It was shiny and smooth when you sent it off, they must have ruined it! Don’t despair. The changes are normal.

    The first step is to remove the layer of discolored and de-carb metal on the surface. Start with 220 grit. paper. Clamp the blade on the work board , and using the sanding block, re-sand the blade completely ,exactly as before. Once the surfaces are cleaned and bright, start going up the grits. At 400 grit switch to making all strokes longwise ,and use an even but firm pressure. Try to avoid any strokes that don’t follow the blade length. When the 400 grit is done ,the blade should have a bevel that comes to almost an edge. Don’t let it get sharp yet. You really don’t want to be sanding on a blade with a sharp place on it. If the edge gets sharp, dull it with a few strokes of 220 grit paper along the edge. Look the blade over real well. If the surfaces are smooth and defect free, continue. If they are not, keep on working the 400 grit. At 800 grit you can switch to wet sanding. Put a quart of water and a 1/2tsp of dish soap in a plastic tub. Dip the sanding block in this and sand, re-wetting regularly. Wipe off the blade often, too. Other ways of wet sanding include using a spray bottle of water/soap, or using Windex. When you think you are ready to move to the next grit, wash the blade, change the water, and clean up any water and sludge from the previous coarser grit. These things have a bad habit of coming back to make scratches later. Examine the clean dry blade in a strong side light ( using an Optivisor or other magnifier is a good idea). Look for any scratches from the last grit that are still showing. If there are scratched, dips and ripples, blurry places, etc. go back to the grit you were doing and work some more. If the scratches are bad, go back one grit. The point is, don’t move on until the current grit is completely done.

    A note here - if the blade is carbon steel, add a 1/2tsp of washing soda to the water. This will change the ph and slow down rusting ( which can happen as you watch during polishing). On stainless blades, this is not an issue. In all cases, wipe down the blade well and completely dry it when done for the day. A light coat of oil is always a good idea when setting a project blade away for the day.

    At 2000/2500 grit, the blade should be smooth, shiny and scratch and ripple free. If it isn’t ,that means you did not completely finish a previous step before going on. The temptation is to say, “Heck, it is my first knife…that is good enough.” Don’t do it! You owe it to yourself to do a good job. Go back and take the time to re-sand as needed. I have often found a small place I missed, and gone back to 220 grit and completely re-done ten or twenty hours of work. It is worth it in self pride alone.

    Now, open the package of 3M polishing papers. Notice that each has an abrasive side and a “cloth” side. Each is a different color to designate its grit equivalency. The package has the grit size and colors on it. These papers can be used until they are shredded, so keep them after use for other sanding projects, especially handle work. Also, keep them in a plastic bag when not in use. You don’t want them contaminated with sandpaper grit and making scratches. I go back to the green sheet - which is about 400 grit. Since you have gone way past this point already, progress up the grits will be fast, but you will notice that then surface gets smoother and shinier than it did with the sandpaper. The papers can be used wet or dry. Try it both ways, but I usually go dry, as they polish so well. You should use the sanding block up until the blue sheet, and then can switch to folding the paper, or continue to use the block. I have a 2X1X4” felt block that I back the papers with . Going all the way to the white sheet is a polish up to about 8000 grit. The blade should be mirror shiny at that point. If you want a more matte finish, just stop at a lower grit, or go back down the grits until you get the desired look.

    OK, now your blade is polished. Keep it that way by wrapping tape to protect the smooth shiny bevels. The blue painters tape is the best. Another trick is to wrap the blade with a layer of paper toweling, and then tape over that with the tape. This is easier to remove, and requires less clean-up of the tape’s adhesive. In any case, the blade should be well protected from sanding grit, tools and other hazards during the handle work.

    Take the handle scales and look them over. Are they a good match? Is there a certain orientation that looks best ( grain direction, burl pattern , etc.)? Are they the right material for the knife ? Again ,just as in the sanding, don’t accept OK as good enough. If they are right, fine. If not, change them or modify them to be right.

    Mark the inside of each scale and put an arrow towards the front and top. This sounds silly, but you would not believe how often one is put on backwards. Place the scales together, and tape them tightly. The front end, where the ricasso will be, needs to be shaped and sanded before assembly. Saw/file it to any curve needed, sand it smooth, rounding up to the flat sides. Sand the ends to 800 grit, or finer. They should be smooth and scratch free. This area will be impossible to sand and polish without ruining the blade finish once the handle is on the knife, so make sure it is right. If you are applying a finish to the scales, apply it to the ends and sand/buff/polish it now . The scales only need their front ends done right now, the rest can be a rectangle, you don’t want to shape anything else yet.

    I hope you remembered to drill the holes in the tang before HT, because that will be a lot harder to do now. Also, the reason you want to drill the holes a bit large is to allow for any miss alignment in drilling. I make the holes at least 1/8” larger than the rivet.

    Lay the blade over the still taped together scales, and position it where the scales should be. Use a small clamp to hold it there, and take a look at arms length to check the positioning. Once it looks good, mark the exact center of each rivet/bolt/thong hole. Set the blade aside for the moment. While the scales are still taped together, drill the front hole through both scales, using a drill press if available. Drill as straight and accurately as possible. Use a drill bit that is a little smaller than the pin/rivet that will go through that hole. Re-drill it the correct size. The correct size is a few thousandths over the pin size, so a 1/8” pin gets a .130” hole, or there about. Now, take a piece of the rivet stock you will be using and check the fit.( It is best to determine the correct drill sizes on a piece of scarp wood before drilling the handle. Also, sand the ends of each rivet to a slight taper to aid with insertion.). Re-drill as necessary until the rivet goes through with little or no pressure needed. Leave the rivet in place. If using Corby bolts, drill both sides for the shoulder, and screw in a bolt. This step you just complete now has the two scales firmly locked together to make sure the rest of the holes will all align. Now it is time to drill the back rivet. Drill it the same way, inserting a rivet in the hole when ready. Continue to drill the rest of the holes as needed, fitting the rivet/tube/etc. as you go. If you cut the rivets ¼” longer than the scales thickness the rivets will be ready to install during assembly. When all is done, remove the rivets/bolts/tubes and take the scales apart. Place on the blade and dry fit again, going in the same order as before ( front, rear, etc.). If there is any trouble, re-drill that hole to make it allow the rivet to pass through. If a rivet is hitting the tang, and moving the blade a tad doesn’t solve the problem, you will need to enlarge the tang hole a bit. A carbide or diamond burr in a Dremel tool will enlarge it quickly. Unless you have carbide bits, and know what you are doing, don’t try to drill out a too small hole. This is one place bad accidents can happen . Once all is fitted with the blade in place, remove the pins again. Lay the tang on the inside of one scale, aligning the holes carefully, and gently clamp it in place. Trace around the tang with a pencil ( avoid markers, as they can absorb into the wood and make stains that show later). Do the same for the other scale. Cut the excess off with a coping saw, or a band saw if available. You don’t want to get any closer to the tang than 1/8”. The rest will be filed/sanded away. If desired, do any pre-shaping needed. Check all fits again and if it is good, you are ready to assemble the handle. Tape the blade ricasso to keep the epoxy from running down the blade, leaving about ¼” of the ricasso exposed.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  6. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Here is the rest:

    This is a good time to talk about adhesives. The best way to assemble a handle is to glue and bolt it together. That way it is never coming loose. This is not always the way it is done, so the glue should be able to do the job by itself. With the exception of bolts, rivets are really just to prevent lateral blows from shearing the glue joint. Top grade structural epoxy is what you want for the job. Forget all the advertisement hype about super glues and Gorilla glues, etc.. They all have things they do best…..but for handles, epoxy is king. There are many types available, but the slowest curing time and maximum strength make for the best joint. Don’t use 5 minute epoxy ever. Acraglass is a resin made for gun work, and is really good, but the 24 hour cure epoxies from any wood working shop will be just as good, and much cheaper. I prefer System Three T-88. If you can’t swing the $18 for the two bottles kit ( enough to do a couple dozen knives or more), then at least use the slowest curing syringe tube that the hardware store sells. Get it from a place that moves a lot of glue, too. It goes bad with age, and a small hardware store may have had it on the shelf for a year or two. Mix the resin in a small disposable plastic cup ( I use the 12oz. party cups). The ratio of hardener to resin is critical, so get it perfect. Using a medicine cup or a scale is a good way to assure things are equal. (Note that the part A is usually a tad heavier than part B per volume.)
    Spread newspaper covering the entire work area, put on work clothes, and put on a pair of nitrile gloves. Lay out about five or six pieces of paper toweling (I tear them into ¼ sheets), and unscrew the lid on the acetone can. Check that everything is ready, and all materials and tools are there. Hit the bathroom, kiss the wife, do anything that needs doing for the next hour. Once you mix the epoxy the clock is ticking. You don’t want to get epoxy all over your gloved hands and suddenly realize you don’t have something you need.
    Stir the two parts of the epoxy well with a popsicle stick for one minute….I mean a whole minute! The epoxy can be cleaned up easily with acetone while uncured. Acetone will remove cured epoxy with some elbow grease, but the solution is to clean up any excess and drips while it is uncured or half cured.

    Take the pins and tubes and lightly roughen them by rolling them across a sheet of 120 grit paper. Don’t sand them or they will get smaller. Corby bolts need no preparation.

    Apply the resin to the rivet holes on the scales first, getting it down in them with a bamboo skewer if needed. Now put some resin on the rivets and slip them through one scale. Apply epoxy to the inside of that scale, place the tang over the scale, apply resin to the exposed tang, place the other scale on. Snug this sandwich up with your fingers until the rivets are evenly sticking out both sides, and the scales are positioned on the blade in the correct alignment. If all is good, clamp it.

    Now, lets talk clamps…and gluing. The purpose of a clamp is to hold something in place…in this case while the glue cures for a day. If you clamp the scales to the tang so hard the glue all gets squeezed out, you have defeated the entire purpose of all the work you just did. All you need is a couple of light tension spring clamps ( $2-3 at the hardware store) . If you can’t easily open it with one hand, it is too powerful. All it needs to do is hold the scales down against the blade with a layer of glue between the two. There are several ways of preventing a glue starved joint, and thus not having to worry about the clamp strength. The simplest is to drill a lot of 1/8 to ¼” holes all over the tang. This allows the epoxy to pool between the scales, effectively making epoxy rivets, and assuring a strong joint. When using structural epoxies, like T-88, this is an excellent choice. The other way is to grind out ( hollow grind) the tang center, leaving only about 1/8” of surface around the perimeter of the scale area. This makes a shallow reservoir of resin between the scale and the tang, which can’t be squeezed out by the clamp. One of these procedures should be used on any glued up handle.
    Back to the clamps. Two clamps are far better than one. They don’t need to be as strong, and you can position them to make sure the scales are in contact with the tang evenly. Place one in the front at the ricasso to get a seamless seal, and one in the back to make sure the butt does not rise up. One strong clamp in the center can actually make the ends curl up, causing a gap at the ricasso and butt.

    Take a piece of paper towel and wipe any large amount of excess epoxy off the handle sides( no need to do much more than avoid dripping). Take another clean piece and wipe the excess at the ricasso, making sure you get any off the finished ends of the scales. Put some acetone on a new piece, and wipe the ricasso area again. Don’t overdo it with the acetone at this point, you only want to remove any puddles. Too much acetone, and you can affect the epoxy strength. Set the clamped knife down flat ( not edgewise) and let it sit until the epoxy in the mixing cup is starting to set up. This can be from 10 minutes to 6 hours, but for T-88 ,and most other 24 hour resins, about one hour is normal. While you are waiting for the epoxy to gel, clean off all tools and things that have epoxy on them….and put them away. Use acetone as needed. Wash your hands well with soap and water to avoid any contact dermatitis caused by the chemicals in the epoxy. Throw away any paper towels you used, and tidy up the work area. There should be nothing but the clamped knife, the acetone can, and some paper towels left out.
    Check the clamps and handle after 10 minutes to make sure nothing has moved, then set it back down. Another quick wipe at the ricasso may be necessary if there has been more squeeze out.
    Once the epoxy is gelled ( about an hour), clean the ricasso area again with an acetone dampened ( not soaked) paper towel. Clean any off the blade and other places that will not be getting sanded down in finishing the handle ( Now you know why we taped up the blade so well).
    Set the knife down and go to bed. Leave it undisturbed for at least 12 hours. Remove the clamps, clean up any spots that need it with acetone. And set it aside to cure for another day. If you follow this procedure you will have a very strong handle .

    Once the epoxy is cured, tape up the ricasso right up to the scales. Put several layers of tape here, as it will get abraded when sanding the handle, and you don’t want to mess up the nice sanding job you did earlier.
    Clip/saw/file off any excess rivet material, and start shaping the handle. Go slow, removing a little here and a little there. The first step is to take it down to the point where the tang metal shows all around the sides. Then, round the corners to make the handle a roughly oval or egg shaped cross section. All this can be done with files, rasps, and coarse sandpaper. Look it over and make any adjustments in the profile as needed. While a belt sander makes this an easier job, it can be done by hand. Most inexpensive 1” belt sanders ( harbor freight, etc.) do a fairly good job on handle work. A Dremel tool can be used ,too.
    After the rough shape is done, continue to refine it and smooth it, starting with 120 or 220 paper and going up the grits to at least 1000 grit. At some point you will have to un-tape the blade and make sure the handle and spine are a smooth transition. Just be careful not to scratch the blade. While fairing in the spine, tape the sides of the blade to protect them.

    The 3M polishing papers are the absolute champ at handle finishing and can make your handle shine like glass with no finish at all if the material is suitable ( many stabilized woods and some exotics are great for this). If you are using a finish on the handle, apply it in very light coats, and rub it into the wood ( not painted on the wood) . Allow to dry and sand off until the surface is just down to the wood. Repeat until it will take no more into the wood. Allow to dry for several days, then finish out with the 3M papers for a prize winning shine.

    Un-tape the blade, and clean everything well.. Check for any small rubs and scratches and fix them now with the 3M papers ( hopefully there will be few or none). The tendency for things to show up at this stage….and the words that it makes you say…..are why very few ministers make knives. Buff up everything with the last two grits of 3M papers and your knife is done.

    Make or purchase a sheath if it us a user, but never store the knife in the sheath.

    Sharpen the knife carefully.

    Congratulations, you have make a knife that you and your grand children will be proud of. On that note, never sell or give away your first knife. It may be tempting, but don’t do it. Someday you will regret it. Ever wonder where the first knives made by Moran, Loveless, Scagel, Randall, etc. are……and what they are worth? You never know, your first knife may be one of those some day????

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  7. go mike

    go mike

    Dec 5, 2008
    Stacy, thanks for all your effort in making this.
  8. m. wohlwend

    m. wohlwend Banned BANNED

    Apr 21, 2007
    This NEEDS to be a sticky! Bad!
  9. Frank Niro

    Frank Niro Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 10, 2000
    A super dooper presentation and just a wonderful thing !!!! I have tried to help several by use of emails and know how difficult it can be to send out the right stuff. On the other hand I also know how much help is wanted.
    An extremely fine presentation. I will use this or some of it to help others when they ask . Frank
  10. SBuzek

    SBuzek KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 7, 2006
    This is absolutly Sticky material.
  11. Phantom Steelworks

    Phantom Steelworks KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 28, 2008
    Very cool Stacy.

    The time you put into this shows great character for you and helps newbs such as myself a great deal.

    Big thanks Stacy.

  12. Bufford

    Bufford Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2006
    Very well done, this should be a sticky. A beginner with a bit of practical experience with tools should have no problems making a knife with this advice.
  13. Matthew Gregory

    Matthew Gregory Chief Executive in charge of Entertainment Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 12, 2005
    Stacy, your devotion to informing the neophyte is awe inspiring. Truly incredible.

    The forums are vastly improved by your presence!
  14. Fletch Helical

    Fletch Helical

    Sep 29, 2009
    I know I've said this quite a few times but Stacy is the man! Thanks again Stacy for all the help so far and now I have the rest of the instructions :).
  15. WA Martin

    WA Martin Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jan 23, 2007
    Very good write up, Stacy. Makes me want to ask you if you have any starter kits made up and ready to go.

    But that will have to be for another day.
  16. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    WA Martin
    I don't sell starter kits ( but it's not a bad thought).
    Several times a year I send a kit to a newbie who has posted that they are interested in making their first knife, but lack equipment and don't know what to do. After some exchange to determine what they want to make,I make up a starter kit with a profiled blade, and all the supplies the will need. I do the HT and provide drilled scales. It is something I am glad to do.
  17. Atlas Knife Company

    Atlas Knife Company KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 16, 2010
    Stacy, you're a mod now!!! Could you please make this a sticky on it's own. I think most would agree it should be stickied. How is your book coming along?

    Thanks Fletch Helical for bringing this thread out again!
  18. godspeed


    Aug 23, 2010
    Thank you so much! Priceless info.
  19. mainetrapper


    Aug 25, 2010
    Hey thanks for this post, I am gathering all the info i can on how to make knives before I make my own and this post has hands down been the most help full so far.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  20. Oklahoman


    Sep 12, 2010
    Been a member less than a couple of hours and ran across this, I'm a pen maker who came here looking for something and think I might want to try knife making. Thats one hell of a tutorial, thank you Mr. Apelt
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