Make Your Own Bushcraft Knife (With Simple Tools) From An Old File

Image courtesy of Instructables.com user casvandegoor

Image courtesy of Instructables.com user casvandegoor

I came across a very well done Instructable the other day, in which the contributor makes a Woodlore-style knife from an old file, using simple tools and virtually no specialized equipment. The knifemaking bug has been starting to call to me, and the L.T. Wright GNS that I tested has shown me that the Woodlore is a great pattern to use. For a first time knife project, the simple shape and scandi-grind should keep the complication level down.

As modern files are typically case-hardened, it is important that the file be an old one to ensure the steel is good enough for use as a knife blade. If you want to try something like this yourself, here is a list of materials that are used in this DIY project.

From Instructables.com, From File to Knife (with simple tools) 

Image courtesy of Instructables.com user casvandegoor

-Old file
-Piece of hardwood
-Two-part epoxy adhesive

-Coal
-Forge (something to burn the coal in)
-Air pump
-Tongs
-Quenching oil
-Kitchen oven

-Scriber, permanent marker
-Caliper
-Vice
-Clamps

-Hacksaw
-Lubricating oil
-Files
-Sandpaper
-Drill
-Hammer

Image courtesy of Instructables.com user casvandegoor

After annealing the file using nothing but a bed of coals and an air pump as a blower, casvandegoor is able to cut out the shape with a hacksaw, and clean up the shape/grind the bevel with another bastard file.

Image courtesy of Instructables.com user casvandegoor

After heat treating and tempering, he fashions bolsters for the knife out of the same file he has been working from.

Image courtesy of Instructables.com user casvandegoor

Next he roughs out a handle from a solid piece of hardwood.

Image courtesy of Instructables.com user casvandegoor

After everything gets epoxied together, the handle shape is refined and any tang still sticking out of the end of the bolster is trimmed. With some proper sharpening and Danish oil for the handle, casvandegoor winds up with a rather handsome little blade.

Image courtesy of Instructables.com user casvandegoor

Any of you getting ideas? For more great photos and a full step-by-step, be sure to read the whole Instructable.

comments

  1. Mike L.. says:

    No doubt that is a beaut ! But at my age I just don’t have the energy. I’ll spend the 20 or 30 bucks out of my pension money for a Mora.

  2. sean says:

    that is pretty awesome! i watched a video of a guy making a knife from an old shovel and some concrete for the handles. twas pretty spectacular

  3. Sam L. says:

    Thanks, Sean!

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Make Your Own Bushcraft Knife (With Simple Tools) From An Old File

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