BLADE Magazine is the 800 pound gorilla of print publications in the knife world. In addition to their dead-tree edition, they also have an online edition, edited by Ben Sobieck – a super-nice guy who I met at last year’s BLADE Show. This piece, titled “Knifemaking 101: Read this before making a knife” is incredibly comprehensive for an online article, and was written by knifemaker Wayne Goddard. It covers everything from design, materials, setting up a shop with basic tools, and even covers some basic grinding techniques. If you are at all toying with trying your hand at making your own blades, I cannot recommend this piece highly enough.
Our project is to make an everyday working knife. The knife we decide to carry for our daily cutting chores will depend on our experience and the type work we do. An electrician working in the mild climate of Eugene, Oregon, will need a very different knife than that used by a rancher from Wyoming. On the other hand, my experience is that most folks actually get the work done with whatever knife they have, regardless if it is truly suitable for the job. The governing principle is that when real work has to be done, any knife is better than no knife.
I’ll be taking the approach to making the working knife as if it will be the ﬁrst project for a new maker. I’ll use simple equipment and methods to work my way through the basic project knife. Along the way, I’ll explain how it would be done with more sophisticated tools.
The project knife will have a narrow tang with a two-piece handle that is carved out to receive the tang. This is a handle that requires no attached guard, and can be done with all hand tools. I like the lightweight feel of knives put together with this method and employ the process often for every type of knife, from small utility pieces to larger camp knives. See the drawing showing the proﬁle of all the knife parts, and use it as a pattern for pieces necessary to complete the project knife.
For those who want to take the next step, there is a download edition of this piece, complete with step-by-step illustration, for $4.99. You can find it here.
(h/t Mike C.)