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Young Blood
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2,676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been making knives out of files, the grind in way. now since i have no way to heat treat the knife is always too soft. Also the edge is wavy. Are there ways to stop that from happening? Also should i get a different type of steel like 01 toolsteel, or 440 stainless? And should i stop using my benchgrinder, and save up for something made just for knifemaking?
Also What should i use forheat treating?

Thank you for any help
 

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bushmaster
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129 Posts
Too soft: if it is a good file, it is probably so hard that it is brittle, too hard in fact for a decent knife. If the edge seems too soft, then likely you are annealing it during the grinding process. If the edge gets too hot to touch, you are generating too much heat and you will affect the hardness.

Wavy edge: slow down some, use a jig. Experience will help keep those grind lines straight and even.

My understanding of using files for knives is to anneal the file first (heat to non magnetic, then allow to cool as slowly as possible, the traditional method is to bury the hot steel in ashes and wait a day or three) then grind to shape, then heat treat.

Heat treating is getting the steel hot to non magnetic (just as a rule of thumb; different steels have different temps) then quench fast to get it as hard as it can be, then heating to a known temp and holding it there to reduce the hardness to a good compromise between hard and brittle and soft and tough.

Here is a good link that explains things very well and also has a how to.

A belt grinder is the tool you want to use for shaping. This might work for you as well.

You can always send your pieces out to be heat treated.

Bladeforums is likely a better place to get such info from.
 

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Registered
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Said it before, go to a hammer/grind in with reputable smiths/cutlers and learn from the masters first hand -- especially tempering a blade...

You'll learn more in the week-end the years of trial and error will ever pay off! I don't make knives and I attended parts of one to learn how they're made so I can get a better idea what to look for when buying? Caveat Emptor!
 
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