Where to start?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by BaliLover, Apr 18, 2001.

  1. BaliLover


    Oct 25, 2000
    I've never made a knife before (unless you consider grinding a piece of scrap sheetmetal to an edge) and I need some direction in my life. I have a bench grinder with stone disk and a new sears 2 x 42 belt sander/grinder with 6" disk. I have access to a variable speed buffer too.

    I am interested in playing with something that has a Japanese flair to it, possibly a traditional tanto w/cord wrapping.

    Where should I start. I need to know what kind of steel to use, how to figure out angles, belt grits, etc. I also need to see how to wrap the handle so it won't come unwrapped.

    Thank you in advance

  2. Crayola


    Sep 23, 1999
    I'll say it, as someone's gotta!

    Use the search function (look UP) and do a search on handle wraps. There is a lot of different ways to do it.

    I have the same Sears grinder and it works fine. It isn't all that powerful and the platen will lose its flatness somewhat quickly, but that is o.k.

    I'd suggest that you start with a simple project. You'll be flat grinding a blade obviously. Do a nice japanese shaped blade but do a full tang handle, where you pin/epoxy handle material onto the metal tang. This is an easy first project to do. Trying to do too much at once will make you put the project down.

    440-C is a ncie stainless to start with. 1095 and O1 grind easily (I have tried 1095 once, but never O1 myself). I think O1 is easier to heat treat by the sound of it, but 1095 will be o.k. too if you are quick. You'll have to send a stainless blade to a pro heat treater or to a knife maker who has an oven.

    Good Luck.

    "Come What May..."

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