Monday, September 1, 2014

DIY Bush Knife

I Wanted A $300 Hunting Knife (Didn't Have $300)

The Stock
I got this flat-bar from a yard sale. I don't remember what I paid for it, but I remember I bought it because it looked old and was beefy as fuck.
The Cut Out
I used a 4 1/2" angle grinder with a thin cut-off wheel to cut out the basic shape.
It retained a slight curve from the original design of the flat-bar so I had to heat it up and pound it straight with a hammer.
Lost Temper
From what very little I know about steel; This was hardened steel, and after my straightening escapades, it was probably mild steel now. Time to build a DIY  forge.
Grinding And Sanding
I ground down and sanded it into the knife I wanted, and it was ready for heat treating. "TF"...huh, hadn't noticed that stamped on the original flat-bar.
The Forge Pipe
I had a stainless steel dispensing tube from an old beer keg, and cut grooves into it for the air supply to my forge.
The Forge
I used a air mattress inflator, along with a piece of copper pipe.
The Forge In Action
Yeah...a ghetto forge. Bricks, ash, hardwood charcoal, and air.
The Quench
It flamed up after it was quenched in vegetable oil. I had a big ass magnet from an old speaker to test whether or not the steel had lost its magnetization before the quench (you can see the magnet two images up resting on the edge of my fire-pit.)
Out Of The Oven
Looking good. After 2 hours tempering at 400F in the oven.
After a brief google search, I still don't know the company that made the flat-bar. But I love the fact that "TF" remained on the knife.
Sanded and ready for the handle.
I had a nice piece of 3/4" walnut scrap laying around and got 12" of 3/16" brass rod off of amazon for a few bucks. I used a two part epoxy.
Needs more work, but I'm digging it.
Paper Mock-Up

I ordered a two-pack of ferrocerium rods off of amazon for $4 and made a matching fire striker. I'll be god-damned if after all this work I don't make a sheath too.
Veg Tan Leather
The most expensive item of the project at $12. 8 1/2 " X 11" 8oz veg tan leather.
Wet Shaping
Had to mold the leather into the shape I wanted by getting it wet and letting it dry.
Dry & Glue
After I had the desired shape i glued the leather in place and sewed it up with artificial sinew.
Linseed Oil
Multiple light coats of linseed oil on the sheath. Note the handy snap button I added to the fire striker and the sheath. If you zoom in on my fine leather work you are banned from the internet! ( could I have fucked up the leather work so badly?) I used a lot of two part epoxy so it's sturdy anyway.
Pretty knife, ugly ass leather work. It's not the best knife or sheath out there, but there's no question that it's my own. The knife can shave hair after much abuse. All in all; this knife and sheath will be more important to me than the $300 one I couldn't afford in the first place.
Total cost: $20.00
My Knife

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