1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

Homemade File Knife

Discussion in 'Do-It-Yourself & Gear Modifications' started by JUNK, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. JUNK

    JUNK Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    30
    Hey, don't really get to post much on here, but just wanted to get thoughts and suggestions on my first file knife I made over the weekend. It still needs polishing and some finish sanding to round out the scales a little better. I made this with an old file, bench grinder and a little 1x30 harbor freight belt sander. Now that I bought the belt sander, I'll have to make a couple more to make it worth the cost. Any ideas for future projects?

    [​IMG]
    IMG_20120219_161118 by dajunker1, on Flickr

    The pins are from an old screwdriver shaft and the scales are cut from a fiberglass beam used in a waterfront structure design I did at work.
     
  2. vegassprky
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    vegassprky Loaded Circuits

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    11,578
    Likes Received:
    63,699
    Looks nice, did you de-temper it?
     
  3. Dane1957

    Dane1957 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    1
    Very nice keep up the good work...Some of my favorite knives started from a file. They were made by RD Nolen Texas
     
  4. JUNK

    JUNK Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    30
    No. It took a lot more work to grind and keep cool without annealing and retempering but I wanted to avoid heat treating as I really don't know much about it. I may give it a shot on the next one

    Sent from my LS670 using Tapatalk
     
  5. JUNK

    JUNK Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    30
    Thanks. Ill have to check those out. My inspiration was Anza knives made a little bit east of me in east county San Diego.

    Sent from my LS670 using Tapatalk
     
  6. TCC

    TCC Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Messages:
    245
    Likes Received:
    3
    It looks great! Now it just needs a sheath. ;D
     
  7. oronocova

    oronocova Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    448
    Likes Received:
    18
    Looks good. I've really used the snot out of my 1x30 from harbor freight and it keeps on chugging. I'd buy another tomorrow if it broke today.
     
  8. JUNK

    JUNK Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    30
    Thanks. Hoping to get better with practice. I have some kydex laying around but would really prefer leather.

    Sent from my LS670 using Tapatalk
     
  9. JUNK

    JUNK Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    30
    Yeah it seems relatively decent. The two year warranty was like 6 bucks so definitely a good buy.

    Sent from my LS670 using Tapatalk
     
  10. temujin

    temujin Uber Prepared

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Messages:
    1,926
    Likes Received:
    340
    "De-temper"? I think you mean "temper", which is what you do to draw out some of the hardness/brittleness from a blade.
     
  11. vegassprky
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    vegassprky Loaded Circuits

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Messages:
    11,578
    Likes Received:
    63,699
    Think I've got dis-temper, you're right!!
     
  12. ZippoVarga

    ZippoVarga Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    8
    Heat treating made simple. Having been in the industry for 11 years, I learned enough to be dangerous..lol.

    To "normalize" carbon steel is a process of bringing the item up to it's Austenetic temprature, based on its composition. This aligns the Pearlite and Martensite structure or grain of the metal. A general carbon steel will normalize well at or around 1600 degrees. How do you get it to that temperature? Hot coals or Mapp gas/O2 set up. A generic way to know when you've "sorta" reached this austentic range is when a magnet will no longer stick to the item. BUT.....you actually want to Anneal the file to work it, then Normalize it, then "oil case harden it. To anneal, heat to austenetic temp and slowly let it cool. The best way to do this is to use some bricks, make a small box from the bricks and heat them up. If you're using coals (like in a wood burning stove or a charcoal grill) then use a fan or small blower in the damper to bring the coals to a cherry red, insert the file, then just leave it in there until you can take the file out by hand and not get burnt. This will soften the file to make it (ductile) very easy to work with. After the primary shape is established, before putting the final touches on it, go ahead and Normalize the file. Heat it up until a magnet no longer sticks to it then let it air cool. Do the finishing touches to the blade, then Temper the file. The best way to do this is heat it up with a torch until the blade starts to discolor (turn purple,blue) then dip in used motor oil. Why used motor oil? The phosphates and other minerals that accumulate over the life of engine oil will soak into the surface of the file which will help to give the blade a shallow case hardening (albeit a generic one). You'll find that edge retention will be more evenly distributed over the length of the blade and it won't be so brittle as to snap in half should you need to use it to pry something. There are other ways to accomplish the same degrees of metal conditions during the life of making the blade. These are just the most generic ways to make the process easier on you and your equipment.

    The knife looks AWESOME! I sure hope you continue to make your blades and share them with us here!!
     
  13. thatotherguy

    thatotherguy EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    1,768
    Likes Received:
    1,706
    If I may make a suggestion for your next knife, maybe a skinner if you hunt, or a FFG spearpoint for EDCing.
    Nice work, you did a good job!
     
  14. Logrus9

    Logrus9 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for the inspiration, I've got some old files I've been saving to convert into knives. I hope my first attempt comes out as good as yours.
     
  15. ElChingon7

    ElChingon7 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    9
  16. JUNK

    JUNK Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    30
    Thanks very much for the insight. This process seems like it may take quite a bit of practice to get decent results. Do you think that the file left as is is too brittle for duty as a knife?
     
  17. JUNK

    JUNK Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    30
    The shaping is not too bad. If you just take your time and grind slowly it seems to go ok. With a thicker file, you can afford to make a few mistakes without loosing too much material and still have a fairly thick blade.
     
  18. JUNK

    JUNK Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    30
    Thanks, I'm going to make another possibly this Sunday if I can find time or the weekend after. Tough to find time to play around as I've been traveling for work a lot lately. I'll post another pic when its done.
     
  19. Ren

    Ren Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    161
  20. Kilted1

    Kilted1 Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Messages:
    2,503
    Likes Received:
    1,899
    Love the knife! Been thinking of doing one myself. Nothing so satisfying as using something you made yourself.