Knife making

Knife making is the process of manufacturing a knife by any one or a combination of processes: stock removal, forging to shape, welded lamination or investment cast. Typical metals used come from the carbon steel, Damascus or stainless steel families. Here we cover the main production processes such as Damascus steel forging, carbon steel blade forging, blade grinding, bolster and knife hilt making, knife engraving, and leather sheath making.
23.11.2022
Although to a beginner it might seem that a quality blade is everything required to make a knife a perfect cutting tool, the reality is a bit more complicated. The grind is an aspect often overlooked by knife owners, and every true knife lover has to understand how the grind impacts the use of a knife. The word ‘grind’ stands for the shape of knife’s blade and depicts how exactly the blade is made thin enough to cut with it. Explore the different edge types, their properties and strengths, to better understand how to have the best of your knife.
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17.11.2022
Damascus steel is easily recognized for watery or wavy patterns in various shades. While easy on the eye, the material is surprisingly tough and has great edge retention. Modern Damascus steel is a result of patter-welding several steel types. You can forge Damascus steel at home, but it is a process that takes a plenty of time and attention to get a distinctively adorned pattern. Apart from being exceptionally good for basic cutting, Damascus steel is frequently used to make chef knives that can withstand the toughest job. Crafting Damascus steel is a great way to upgrade your knife-forging skills.
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13.11.2022
Scrimshaw is a traditional folk art form in which designs are etched into mammoth, walrus tusk or bone, then colored with ink. Although you can’t legally use whale ivory, it’s still possible for you to practice this folk art as well! Once you’ve gotten the right materials, it’s just a matter of tracing, etching, and inking your design onto a piece of mammoth tusk substitute or bone.
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13.11.2022
Choosing the right too for the job is key to learning how to engrave by hand. Here are some of the steel hand engraving tools you can use to ensure a high-quality finish, for hand engraving metal.
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07.11.2022
Handle making can be done in several different ways depending on the tang of the knife. Full tang knives usually have handle scales either pinned, riveted, or screwed on to the tang itself while knives without a full tang may be inserted into a solid handle and then attached in one of the previously stated methods. Handle materials can range from natural materials including wood or elk horn to man-made materials like brass, plastic, polymer or micarta. A knife makers grinder may have additional attachments for making knife handles, such as small diameter contact wheels.
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07.11.2022
The finish quality of the blade is determined by the Grit of the finishing grind. These can range from a low-shine 280-320 grit finish to a mirror-shine. The high polish shine can be accomplished by buffing with chrome oxide (ex. white chrome, green chrome), hand rubbing with extremely fine wet-or-dry abrasive paper, or with a Japanese water-stone, which has an approximate grit of 10,000-12,000. Most high quality manufactured knives have about an 800 grit finish.
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07.11.2022
Blade heat treating (or heat treatment) is a group of industrial, thermal and metalworking processes used to alter the physical, and sometimes chemical, properties of a material. The most common application is metallurgical. Heat treatments are also used in the manufacture of many other materials, such as glass. Heat treatment involves the use of heating or chilling, normally to extreme temperatures, to achieve the desired result such as hardening or softening of a material.
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07.11.2022
If no power equipment is available, this can be done with files if the piece of steel has not yet been hardened. Grinding wheels, or small belt sanders are usually what a beginner uses. Well equipped makers usually use a large industrial belt grinder, or a belt grinder made specifically for knife making. Pre-polish grinding on a heat treated blade can be done if the blade is kept cool, to preserve the temper of the steel. Some knife makers will use a coolant mist on the grinder to achieve this.
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The art of making custom knives

A premium custom knife – unlike an ordinary off-the-shelf edge tool – requires much effort and multiple processes to be produced and honed to the utmost level of artistic perfection. Various processes and techniques are used by expert craftsmen to create unique art knives. A knife is manufactured by any one or a combination of processes: stock removal, forging to shape, welded lamination or investment cast.

With the stock removal technique, a knifemaker applies saws, belt sanders and abrasives to remove material away from a metal workpiece. Stock removal is an efficient process for many designs and often allows a quicker production of blade shapes.

Forging to shape has some advantages too: it produces less dust than stock removal, is more convenient for ornate designs, and less steel is wasted. Today’s sophisticated machine-driven techniques have not ousted the good old forging – many custom knife makers believe that forging to shape uniquely allows achieving uncommon welding effects, imposing shapes and patterns.

Welded lamination involves amalgamating many layers of various types of steel by forge welding to create distinct patterns, like in the famous Damascus mosaic steel.

Investment casting is often used to make tiny, highly detailed jewelry pieces. Those small ornate products of investment casting are then affixed to the knife with pins or brazing.

An effortful process of manufacturing a premium art knife

In this section we cover the most distinct production processes for art knives such as Damascus steel forging, carbon steel blade forging, blade grinding, bolster and knife hilt making, scrimshaw, knife engraving, and leather sheath making.

  • Damascus steel forging is what makes the famous Damascus-like pattern-welded steel and beautiful Damascus mosaic designs. The metal we produce today is not really the pristine casted (wootz) Damascus steel, however it is still crafted using forge welding which is what gives it the famous multi-patterned design. The handmade forge-welded blade does have the famous plasticity and hardness of the ancient Damascus unreachable for many types of modern steel.
  • The Carbon Steel Blade Forging section covers how high-end carbon steel blades are crafted. Blade grind is an often overlooked yet crucial component of knife’s performance. Our blade grinding guide will brief you on the most common knife grind types and how they affect how your knife works.
  • The Bolster And Knife Hilt Making section unpacks what techniques shall be applied for a knife bolster and a knife hilt to make a perfect cutting tool.
  • Engraving or chase carving an art knife with an elegant image or tracery can make it even more custom-tailored and exquisite.
  • Scrimshaw is another carving technique where a sketch is being engraved on a mammoth or walrus tusk or bone.
  • The Leather Sheath Making section covers the peculiarities of manufacturing a handle, scabbard, sheath and casing for a custom knife. It is yet another challenge for a knife artist – because all constituents of a premium gift from Noblie shall look awesome and savor of high-class museum elegancy.

Manufacturing luxury custom knives is a sophisticated art that requires huge efforts, large investment of time and creative energy of bladesmiths and artists. This combination of devotion and forgetive skills makes each Noblie’s knife genuinely unique.

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