Made a knife

Years ago I started making a knife from a file. I put the project aside, but when Mia and I started watching Forged in Fire earlier this year I was inspired to pick it up again.

knife as ground

Knife as of Dec. 1 2021. File initially ground into knife. Started from an 18″ file. Prior to December 2021 I had ground it into this shape.


Forge improvised from old Weber kettle. Coals rest on terracotta saucer from Home Depot, reinforced by pizza pan. Holes were drilled to allow air circulation from below. Blower is an old hair dryer, connected by a short length of PVC pipe to an iron pipe that actually goes into the fire.

blade clamp

Clamp to hold blades flat. Two right angle brackets stiffened by poplar 2x2s. C-clamps used hold the sides together

Heated the blade to orange color in forge. Alas, no picture. Quenched in cold water. Big mistake. Placed in clamp to stop warping.

Broken Knife

Knife broken after quenching. The tip of the blade just snapped off with finger pressure

Chop test

Tested the strength of the remaining body of the knife against some scrap wood (Southern Yellow Pine, I think). The blade survived.

Reshaping the blade (1)
Reshaping the blade (2)
Reshaping the now shorter blade. Ground down about 1.5″ of the file blade to make the tang longer.

Almost finished knife (Right side)

Almost finished knife (Left side)

Almost finished knife. The guard is a piece of aluminum. Brass would have been better, but the aluminum was on hand. The handle was made from two wooden scales on either side of the tang, with additional pieces of wood added above and below the tang. I was able to add rivets to make a mechanical connection between the handle and the tang, but I need more practice at peening them.

Finished Knife
Here is the finished knife with the leather sheath I made for it.

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