Bushcraft Knife Project
It may be that my workshop has been turned tn to a knife shop in the short term, while I make my version of a Bushcraft knife as seen here in its early beginnings.
For the record, years ago I made quite a number of knives, but for some reason I got away from making them.
So I am finding it refreshing to be making my first handmade knife in years.
The knife was started out by my laying out the profile that I desired on a piece of D2 tool steel, that measured 1 1/2"W x 9"L x 1/8" in thickness.
The D2 is in its annealed state allowed me to do the profile sawing in my metal cutting vertical bandsaw, and then moving to the belt grinder, the profile was ground to shape, followed by grinding the bevels in place on the blade.
Once the belt grinding was completed, and because I no longer have a heat-treating furnace in my workshop, I sent the knife blank out to be heat treated at a local heat treating shop here in Calgary.
The knife seen here as it came from the heat treating furnace can now be called a knife now that the heat treating is complete, with the knife having a hardness of 58 Rockwell.
With that hardness, the blade will be reasonably easy to sharpen, yet will allow for an edge that retains its sharpness well.
If you are not familiar with Rockwell hardness, it is a hardness scale based on indentation hardness of a material. The Rockwell test determines the hardness by measuring the depth of penetration of an indenter under a large load compared to the penetration made by a preload.
Anything that tests between 55 and 66 on the Rockwell scale is considered very hard.
On the subject of heat treating, its a very interesting procedure if you have never seen it done before.
The D2 knife blank as seen was placed in the vacuum purged chamber of a gas-fired heat treating furnace.
After being pre-heated at 1350°-1450°F, the blade was then heated to 1800°-1850°F, holding the blade at the hardening temperature until it was completely and uniformly heated.
D2 being an air hardening steel, the knife blade was then annealed at about 1000°F in still air.
The next step after the blade had cooled to where it could be handheld at about 150°F, was to temper it at 500°F giving the blade a hardness of 58 Rockwell, allowing for the knife to have a good combination of hardness and toughness.
With the knife blank back from being heat treated, the next step in the process of making my bushcraft knife, is to put the 22° cutting edges in place, and do some other minor work on the blade, including glass-bead blasting the blade to give it a non-reflective finish.
Once that is done, I will make up the handle, which I am making from Cocobolo wood native to Central America.
I have made knives in the past using Cocobolo wood for the handle scales, and it makes a beautiful and very tough knife handle that stands up well to anything you can throw at it.
The handle scales will be fastened in place to the tang with epoxy and brass pins through the two holes visible. The hole at the very back of the tang is for a brass sleeve that will allow for a leather thong to be installed.
The holes in the tang were drilled in place before the blade was sent out to be heat treated, as it is impossible to drill the holes after the heat treating has taken place.
The finished knife......