Today I´m making this all metal folding pocket knife using templates from John Heisz. No more words are needed, let´s get into it!
Materials: old saw blade (1,5mm or 1/16" thick), off cut aluminum (4mm or 5/32" thick), nails(4mm or 5/32" and 6mm or 1/4" thick), sprayglue.
Tools: anglegrinder w/ cut off wheel, beltsander, flat, round and small square files, P400-P2500 sandpaper, buffing wheel with green wax, drill press, jigsaw, hammer.
Step 1: Blade
First I attached my template from John Heisz to the saw blade using spray adhesive. Then I started by rough cutting the shape with my anglegrinder and cut off disc. Then I approached my belt sander and finished the shaping. I used sander that is designed for wood and such so it´s not very fast, but for ocassional metal work, it will do the job.
Then I clamped the end of the blade in a C clamp which I later clamped in my vise. As you can see here this allowed me to hold the blade securely in horizontal position. I painted the blade with a blue sharpie and I marked a distance with my calliper from the edge of the blade, so I would know how deep to file. Then I started to make a bevel first with large and coarse, then with finer flat file.
Now It was time for my least favorite thing about knifemaking. The sanding.
I used just a flat board and several acres of sand paper. I left nice finnish after the filework, so I started with P400 sandpaper and worked my way up to P2500. Then I attached a buffing wheel in my drill, applied green polishing wax on it and buffed the blade to mirror finnish. After all the sanding this was piece off cake, since almost all the work was done by the drill.
Step 2: Guts
I, again, used the templates with the spray adhesive to attach them to my saw blade. Then I cut them, again, with anglegrinder with cut off disc and brought them to final shape with the files. If you follow the template, it´s pretty straight forward, there´s just couple of things to look for.
When drilling those holes, make sure to center punch them first, since sometimes there´s not much room for mistakes. Also, if you´re using the old saw blade like I did, chances are that it´s hardened, so make sure to either anneal the workpiece, or to use appropriate drill.
Step 3: Handles
I made the handles from the off cut piece of aluminum I had. I applied the templates and cut it to rough shape, using a jigsaw this time. For this application, the jigsaw was a better choice, since the aluminum is pretty soft and I could do more complicated shapes with the jigsaw than with the angle grinder.
After I had the rough pieces cut, I glued them together, drilled the holes with my favourite tool, a drill press and filed them to final shape with variety of files. Finally I sanded the handles, however, I left a brushed finnish on them as a contrast to mirror finnish on the blade.
Step 4: Assembly
I run nails through the holes I previously drilled in the handle. Then I slid on a butt with a spring, a spine and the blade. Then I played for awhile with size of each part. I put it together, checked where it doesn´t fit, filed a bit and checked again. Finally, after everything fit nice and tight I closed the guts with the other handle. Later I placed a razor blade between the blade and the handle to allow the blade to open and close. Then I shortened the nails to appropriate length with the anglegrinder and peened them in place using a hammer.
This was my second folding knife, check out the first. I´m quite happy with how this turned out, the mirror finnish always looks nice :-) Let me know what you think about this project and check out my other knives here!
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