I like to make something for my son every Christmas out of wood. I enjoy woodworking and it would be nice for him to have something I made to pass down to his kids. He is 5 and a half and increasingly hard to shop for and build for. I am a hunter and outdoorsman and he is often my shaddow. He has a healthy fear of knives and guns, so I though I would introduce him into the world of knives. I often carry a fixed blade knife and I figure that is a great place to start for a five year old, put of wood of course.
Wood- I used ash from a dead tree for the blade and walnut from an old barn beam for I the handle.
Glue any wood glue is fine
Any finish- I used shellac
Scroll saw- I used a scroll saw, but a band saw or hit saw would be fine.
Sander for final shaping
Dremel, for detailed shaping
Hand file for the hard to reach places.
Drill for a hole at the end.
Step 1: Wood Grain Is Important
wood grain is important. I like the grain to run straight with the work piece. It makes the item stronger especially if kids are using it.
Step 2: Pick a Knife Shape
I traced the outline of a smaller fixed blade knife. and cut out the shape of the blade on my scroll saw. Again you could use a jig saw or band saw for this step.
Step 3: Clamp on Your Handle
This knife is a "full tang" knife, meaning the blade runs all the way through the knife handle. This is the easiest way to make a real knife and a wooden knife. You can see in the picture that the knife handle pieces are over sized. These pieces were already cut and I didn't want to cut them down, I wanted as much clamping area as possible. Let the wood stay clamped up for a few hours before proceeding to the next step. (Read your glue label for proper drying times, take into account air temperature).
Step 4: Cut Out Your Knife Handle
Once my glue dried I cut out the handle shape and again I used my scroll saw. I wanted to give my son a good place to grab onto that his hand wouldn't slip. I made a finger relief to give his pointer finger a dedicated place to rest. Once you get it cut out its is time time to shape.
Step 5: Shape Your Knife
Now it is time to "hone your blade" and shape the handle. I used a stationary belt sander, Dremel, and a file in real tight spots. Shaping and is up to your own discretion and how big your child's hand is. This hand fit perfect in my sons hand, but in about 3 years his hand will be too big. I left the tip blunted and the blades "cutting" edge 1/16" blunted as well. I did this to avoid injury, but also damage to the blade in use.
Step 6: Apply Finish
I applied 4 coats of finish. I used a lacquer, but I have used Shellac in the past. I put on four coats for durability. I sanded between the last two coats, but left the last coat a little rough for grip. Total time working on project (not including drying) maybe 2 hours. It is an easy project for a beginner and the kiddo loved it.
Thank you for your time. I do not write instructables very often, so I apologize that it is brief. I hope to write more in the new year and take better pictures. Please feel free to message me with questions.