Step By Step Knifemaking

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Overview

A knife is the most basic tool, and the average adult uses a knife almost every day. Yet there are very few individually made knives in existence, and few people who know how to make knives.

Step by Step Knifemaking, by master knifemaker David Boye, is widely regarded as the classic on the art of handcrafted knives. Thorough, clear, detailed instructions guide the reader through each step in how to make a knife. Generously illustrated with photos and drawings on most pages, this...

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Overview

A knife is the most basic tool, and the average adult uses a knife almost every day. Yet there are very few individually made knives in existence, and few people who know how to make knives.

Step by Step Knifemaking, by master knifemaker David Boye, is widely regarded as the classic on the art of handcrafted knives. Thorough, clear, detailed instructions guide the reader through each step in how to make a knife. Generously illustrated with photos and drawings on most pages, this book reads like a one-on-one workshop with a thoughtful teacher. The reader is led to discover the spiritual connection between himself and his work, to develop his sense of artistry, and to acquire practical skills for self-sufficiency.

Completely self-taught, the author guides the beginning knifemaker through the thinking processes necessary to make a knife; inspires confidence in the reader to begin at his own skill level; and shows how it can be done on a financial shoestring.

Topics covered include tools, setting up a shop, knife design, grinding, heat treating, polishing, sharpening, blade etching, sheath making, and more. Boye's outdoor knives, kitchen cutlery, and utility knives are functional and "peace-loving," and the chapter on etching designs into the blades is one of the few guides to this unique art in print.

With over 175,000 copies in print, Step by Step Knifemaking has deeply moved thousands to involve themselves in this craft, and they constitute a visible portion of today's knifemakers. This book can impel the reader to a personally satisfying, alternative backyard career, making his own useful knife art. It is an enjoyable, indispensable reference for those wanting to learn knifemaking, become more self-reliant, or for anyone with an interest in the ancient craft of blades.

"Handmade knives are unique," writes David Boye, "reflecting the skills and personality of their maker. They impart a personal touch to what would be a cold impersonal item. Thus it is with a handmade knife, or a handmade article of any kind, that there is a subtle exchange of electromagnetic energy that is transferred from the heart and the hands of the craftsman to the heart of the person who sees and uses the handmade article. Hopefully, the product will be the embodiment and expression of love and beauty in a useful, sanitary, and safe cutting tool - a hint of a deeper, more profound spirit in the process of living."

272 pages; 170 illustrations; 155 photographs.

Boye takes readers through each stage in the design and fabrication of a knife, showing how the process is completed, from cutting the blank from new or used steel to tempering the blade to grinding, polishing, and coating to the addition of the handle.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780615116594
  • Publisher: Boye Knives
  • Publication date: 6/1/1977
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 293,556
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword XI
Preface XIII
Introduction XV
1. Starting Out 1
The First Knife 1
What Is a Good Knife? 6
Design
Workmanship
Materials
User's versus Collector's Knives
A Knifemaker's Overview 9
Basic Skills
What Is a Good Blade?
What Kind of Steel?
Saw-blade Steel
Analysis of Sawblade Steel
Corrosion
2. Tools 19
Oxyacetylene Torch 20
Motors and Power Application 21
Variable Speed Machines
Electric Power 23
Phase
Voltage
Amperage
Wiring
High-speed Grinders 25
Grinding Wheel Safety
Grinding Arbor
Proper Direction for the Tightening Threads
The Work Rest
Pressure Guide for Production Grinding
Grinding Wheels
Belt Sander/Grinders 28
Controlling the Belt
Clearance
Abrasive Belts
The Work Wheel
Work Rest
Sleeve-type Drum Sanders
Abrasive Strip Drum Sanders
The "Flap-sander"
Other Equipment 33
Drill Press
Band Saw
Electric Kiln
Forge
Anvil
Micrometer
Small Tools
Arranging the Shop 37
Lighting
3. Different Kinds of Knives 41
Vegetable Knife
Filet Knives
The Butcher Knife
Carving Knife
Carving Fork
Boning Knife
Chopping Knives
Bread Knives
Paring Knives
Meat Cleavers
Skinning Knives
Utility Knife
Hatchet
Different Types of Handles 56
Designing the Knife 58
Designing the Handle
4. Cutting Out the Blade 61
Drawing the Knife onto the Steel 61
Cutting the Steel with a Torch
Cutting the Steel with a Band Saw
Refining the Shape 65
Straightening the Blade
5. Grinding the Blade 69
Types of Ground Edges 69
The Proper Attitude
Grinding Technique
The Hollow Grind
The Straight Bevel
The Convex Bevel or Rolled Edge
Finger Guard for Dropped Blade 74
How Much to Grind Before Heat-treating 75
Preparing the Blade for Heat-treating
Regrinding the Blade
6. Building the Bolster, Finger Guard, and Butt Plate 79
Brazing on the Bolster and/or Butt Cap 81
What Kind of Brass?
Bolster Construction for a Full-tang Slab Handle 82
Brazing Technique
Brazing the Butt Piece
Fairing Down the Bolster
Removing a Hole
Building a Bolster for a Partial-tang One-piece Handle 97
Silver-soldering the Bolster and Butt Cap 100
Ready-made Bolster/Finger Guards
Connecting the Bolster with Pins 102
7. Heat-treating the Carbon Steel Blade 105
Hardening the Blade 105
Warpage
Discoloration
Decarburization
Internal Decay
Hardness, Toughness, and Wear Resistance
Grain Growth
Quenching Temperature
The Quenching Bath
Tempering the Blade 116
Tempering Colors
Annealing the Backbone and Handle Areas 117
Annealing Underneath the Bolster
Spark Test for Hardness
How Hard Is Hard?
8. Trueing Up the Blade 123
Hammering the Blade
Untwisting the Blade
Wavy Edge
Straightening at the Bolster
9. Regrinding and Polishing the Blade 129
Removing the Grinder Marks
A Short Cut
10. Drilling Rivet Holes 137
Placement of the Holes
Changing the Placement of a Metal Rivet Hole
Losing Weight
Drill Bits
Sharpening a Drill Bit
Use Tooling Fluid
11. Rivets and Pins, Pins and Rivets 143
Brass Pins 143
Inexpensive Rivets 145
Improving the Rivets
Making a Countersink Bit
How to Set the Brake-shoe Rivets
Removing a Rivet
Knifemaker's Rivets 149
12. Handle Materials 151
Wood 151
Milling the Wood
Handles from Animals 152
Micarta 153
Moisture and Stability 153
A Drying Kiln
13. Making a Full-tang Scale Handle 157
Cutting Out the Slabs 157
Fitting the Scales to the Tang
Fitting the Scales to the Bolster
Drilling the Holes in the Slabs
Clamping the Scales to the Shank 163
Epoxy Glue
Fastening the Scales to the Shank
Shaping the Handle 168
Getting into the Tight Spots
Making Finger Grips
Which Grit Sizes?
Finishing the Back of the Blade and the Bolster
Wood Filler
Healing Wood Checks and Hairline Cracks
"Flapsanding" the Handle
Danish Oil
14. The Partial-tang One-piece Handle 177
Finishing the Handle
15. Buffing the Knife 183
Buffing Safety
Cleaning the Buffing Wheel
16. Sharpening and Maintenance 189
Forming the Burr
Stropping the Edge with the Buffer
How to "See" the Sharpness
Hand-sharpening 192
Tools
Cleaning the Whetstone
Sharpening
Stropping the Blade
Maintenance of the Knife 197
17. Step-by-Step Checklist 199
Step-by-Step Order of Process for Full-tang Handle with Brass Bolster 199
18. Production Notes 203
Mass versus Individual Production
Developing a Relationship with Your Tools
The Strategy
Regrinding After Tempering
Water-cooled Belt Grinder
Oil-cooled Belt Grinder
Building a Stock of Blades
19. Etching Designs into the Steel 211
Preparing the Surface of the Blade 211
Applying the Wax
The Etching Tool
Cutting the Artwork into the Wax
Using the Acid Bath 214
Mixing the Acid
The Temperature of the Acid Bath
Light
The Bath
Biting the Knife
Multilayer Etching 225
Artwork 225
20. Sheathmaking 233
Making a Snap Sheath
Making a Pouch Sheath
Appendix Introduction to Alloy Steels 249
The Anatomy and Physiology of Alloy Steel 250
Adding Alloys 251
Carbon
Manganese
Chromium
Tungsten
Molybdenum
Silicon
Nickel
Vanadium
Phosphorus and Sulfur
Popular Knifemaking Steels 254
W2
O1
L6
A2
F2
M2
D2
44OC
154CM
On Working With the Different Alloys
Addendum: Controlling the Atmosphere in the Kiln 266
Index 267
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