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Introduction to Knifemaking
The Beginner's Guide to Making Knives
By Dan Berg and Jason Northgard
Basic Steps to make your own Full Tang Knife
Please click on links below for additional information and how-to videos on each knife making task. Each task is basically listed in the order preformed. Some of the tasks are optional like blade etching or Spine file work , the order of both can also vary between before and after heat treating depending on the particular knife project. Note that most of our knife making videos start with our stock knife blanks. You can click on each blank style to see the assortment of finished blades made from each blank. We would also recommend watching a few of our complete knife build videos. All we ask is if you like the videos please like, comment and subscribe as a means of supporting the Channel.
1) Basic Shape
Knife Blanks from Berg Blades
2) Drill Pin Holes for Handles (before Heat treating)
4) Grind Bevels
5) Blade etching and texture
General Knife Making
The steps to making a full tang knife from High Carbon steel are actually pretty straight forward. This page and the associated links are designed for the beginner and novice knife maker. For additional details or to watch our how-to videos on each topic just click on the above listed links.
The first step would be to pick a piece of steel and cut or forge it into the shape of a knife. If the steel is already hardened like an automotive leaf spring or a file it will have to be annealed or softened before working on it. A great option would be to start with one of Berg Blades precut knife blanks. These blanks are cut from 1095 high carbon steel and already have pin holes. In fact the majority of our How-to knife making video projects start with these blanks.
Step 2 is to drill pin holes through the tang which will later be used to secure the handles or scales in place. Its important to drill these holes prior to heat treating.
Step 3 Surface Grinding or Flat sanding. This is typically done to make sure the blank is completely flat on both sides. The blank is usually ground flat before grinding bevels and again after heat treating and before the final bevel polishing grind.
Step 4 is Grinding the bevels. New knife makers can use a variety of jigs to assist with this.
Step 5 and 6 are completely optional. Blade etching can be done either before or after heat treating and before or after the final polishing bevel grinding. Most of the Blade textures are done prior to bevels and heat treating. The exception is spine etching which I like to do after the handles are completed. This is done so the handles can to glued and pined in place and both the scales and handle ground to shape together prior to spine etching. Otherwise the etching could be damaged during the scale forming process.
Step 7 is heat treating. You will need some sort of coal or propane forge or as I did for years was to visit a friend with a set of welding torches. Again I will refer you to the links above for how-to videos. Another option would be to send out a small batch of blades for heat treating.
Step 8 is to mount the handles or scales. These are typically attached with a good two part epoxy, pined in place and then clamped while the epoxy dries. The handles are then sanded to the desired shape. We use a couple "Tricks of the Trade" when mounting handles. Especially in combination with bolsters so be sure to check out our topic related videos.
Step 9 Sharpening. Sharpening can be don with fine belts on the belt sander or by using stones or special sharpening machines.
Step 10 Sheath Making. We cover the details on how to make both leather and Kydex knife sheaths. Our videos keep the process simple so that anyone that has crafted a knife can also make a beautiful sheath for it.
As you read through these pages and view the variety of how-to knife making videos please remember to like, comment and subscribe as a way of supporting the channel.
FREE downloadable instructions on how to make a knife using one of our high quality knife blanks.
Over the years Berg Blades and DIYeasycrafts have produced close to 100 How-to knife making videos. On this page we have picked some of our favorites and organized them so viewers can use them as easy to follow video instructions on each step of the knife making process. To start we will be working with full tang high carbon steel blades and in the near future will add additional information about heat treating stainless steel.
DIY Easy Crafts and Berg Blades
The Complete online Guide to Knife Making