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I have started to get interested in knives. So I am asking if anyone can tell me some good techniques on how to transform an old kitchen knife into a good survival knife. Thanks.:)
 

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reluctant sinner
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If it was a crappy steel kitchen knife (read china) it will most likely stay crappy steel. If it was good steel and you are careful it could stay good steel. When grinding do not get the steel hotter than you can hold bare handed. A bucket of water to plunge the blade in works good. Try and use the whole surface of the grinding stone, don't make a deep grove in the center. Wear eye protection. The buffing wheel will yank blades out of your hands, throw them at the floor or table only to have them bounce back at try to stab you.

This a good book to start with. http://www.amazon.com/Wayne-Goddards-Knife-Shop-Revised/dp/0896892956
 

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Adventurer
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If it was a crappy steel kitchen knife (read china) it will most likely stay crappy steel. If it was good steel and you are careful it could stay good steel. When grinding do not get the steel hotter than you can hold bare handed. A bucket of water to plunge the blade in works good. Try and use the whole surface of the grinding stone, don't make a deep grove in the center. Wear eye protection. The buffing wheel will yank blades out of your hands, throw them at the floor or table only to have them bounce back at try to stab you.

This a good book to start with. http://www.amazon.com/Wayne-Goddards-Knife-Shop-Revised/dp/0896892956
one thing i did for my hatchet to remove alot of mettle fast is i took a drill and drilled alot of small holes close together then used a hammer and chisel on the anvil and removed a rather large hunk of mettle then i got to grinding and filing to profile the mettle

heres the link has some pics to give better idea
http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=233698
 
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Vigilant
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Funny that I should come across this thread today. Today at work I ook a grinder to my Kershaw Tanto Blur. I took out the serrations. And am putting the finishing touches as I write this.

I satrted a thread a while ago looking for suggestions on what to replace it with. Didn't get much help and have bought many knives since then. All of them sit in a drawer practcally new with little hope of getting used. All of them...

These are "good" knives too. The blur has been my go to knife since I got it. Even though I've always hated serrated blades. Now my blur is "perfect". So good luck!
 

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For my first post here, I'll try to help some. First, I strongly believe the knife needs to be carbon steel, like an Old Hickory butcher knife. There is a lot of metal there, and the knife can be made into a variety of useful shapes, from a Bowie-type to a Nessmuk. I like to remove the wood handle so I can replace it with one that is pinned and epoxied. Next, mark the new shape with a sharpie. I use a dremel with a cutoff wheel to cut the shape. Work slowly here, and dip the blade into water frequently to avoid heating it to a point where the knife will need to be heat-treated again. If you work with bare hands, you will be able to feel when the blade gets hot, and dunk it in water.

Once the shape has been roughed out, clamp the knife to a workbench or table, and use a file to bring it to its final shape. A belt grinder works, also, but can remove the metal too fast, and excessively heat the thin edge. I prefer to use a file on the blade, but a belt grinder on the new handle.

When the shaping is complete on the blade, clamp both handles onto one side of the blade, and then drill through the tang holes for your pins. You can find brass rods pretty cheap at a home improvement store like Lowes or Home Depot. I also cut some vulcanized fiber for spacers, and punch corresponding holes in them. When the drilling is complete, mix some 2 ton epoxy, apply to the surfaces to be clamped, assemble the handle, and then clamp in place. Let it sit overnight, so that the epoxy fully sets.

The last step is to shape the handle to fit your hand. You can either do this with files/rasps, a belt grinder, sandpaper or a combination. You should end up with something like this:



 

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Good thread, OP. Reshaping a blade, if it is soft enough, isn't much problem, but you can always draw the temper and reharden if you are dealing with Carbon steel. Most of these are relatively forgiving, and if you heat 'em to the point where they won't attract a magnet, then let 'em cool slow, you can work the metal much more easily. After you're done, take 'em to that heat again, and quench in cool water (not cold). Then heat to 300-350 F. and draw the stress (tempering), and you're ready to sharpen it and give it a workout.
 

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lots of old high quality butcher and skinning knives work fine just the way they are.reshapeing them and adding a new handle is fun and you end up with a custom knife you can be proud of.but i just use them the way they are.
 

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If your going to have to retemper any ways , why not make your own knife from scratch .
From scratch you can control bade thickness , distil taper blade shape etc , and therefore customise a little more .
Leaf spring steel ,and old files make good knives , some welding and car shops will sell high carbon steel as well , I have found 4140 works nicely if you edge quench it .
 

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For many in the past there wasn't a difference between their kitchen knives and their field knives other than they'd make a sheath when going camping or going to war. Full tang, thick steel, not great for slicing, but good for general work. There are some kitchen knives with great blade designs.
 

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For many in the past there wasn't a difference between their kitchen knives and their field knives other than they'd make a sheath when going camping or going to war. Full tang, thick steel, not great for slicing, but good for general work. There are some kitchen knives with great blade designs.
I take exception for "not great for slicing". I have used a modified OH butcher knife for years and have had no problem with anything I wanted it to do.

It is true that the Pre-Colonial thru the Mountain Man Periods the only knives used were, or were based on, standard kitchen knives, especially butcher knives. I have the knife carried by my gggrandfather during the Civil War. A butcher knife modified to a bowie pattern.
 
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