knives, project, tools

Make a knife out of an old hacksaw blade

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I am a terrible hoarder, I keep things that I really should throw away. In this case I had kept an old hacksaw blade after replacing it with a new one. It even had a chunk taken out of it. At the time that I replaced it and did not throw it away, I had no plan to use it.

 

I then came accross a video on the Artismia youtube channel in which he took an old hacksaw blade and used the steel to make a set of knives ;-)

This is a fun little project, it doesn't take that long and and you can make the handles to your own hand size/shape for maximum comfort

Materials

1 old hacksaw blade

some hardwood for the handle

4mm masonary nails

epoxy resin  

Tools

Dremel (I have the 4000)

bench grinder

bandsaw

pillar drill

chisels

 

Method

First, clean up the old blade

Then cut it in half, each blade is enough for two knives. 

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Use a bench grinder to form the basic shape of blade you want. I wouldn't try to go for much longer than an inch, since the the hacksaw blade is quite thin, it will flex around too much if you make it overly long. 

Cut a couple of blocks of wood large enough to form a handle

Chisel out a shallow recess in one half to take the thickness of the blade so that the two halves will press together firmly. 

the hacksaw should alread have a hole on one end of your half, which we can reuse to put a pin through. mine had a hole about 4mm, so I selected a 4 mm drill bit to create a second hole further up the blade such that it will provide good points to put pins through the handle. This helps secure the blade in place properly.

I drilled through the blade and through one side of the handle. Then I could use that side of the handle to template agaisnt the other side and drill through. 

With all the pieces ready, check the two halves or your handle will press well together, if necessray plane the faces to get a nice flat joining surface.  It's assembly time.

Epoxy come in various forms, I used a fast setting variant so I had about 5 minutes of working time which is plenty.

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Put epopxy all over the parts of the blade that will be inside the handle, and cover the handle also, I also put some expoxy over the nails before I inserted them through the holes in the handles to pin everything. Then clamp it all together and let it set. 

At this point you should have something a little odd looking, a block of wood with a small knife blade protruding from one end, and two nails through the middle.  

Use the dremel to cut-off the nail protrusions flush with the handle. The cut off pieces will be HOT. I say this from first hand experience, I picked up one of the cut off nail heads and earned myself a blister. 

Now comes the fun part of shaping the handle to your prefered shape. roughly draw the profile shape with a pencil, then use the bandsaw to cut roughly to your line. 

Depending on how much bulk you want to remove you can use a chisel to more aggressively shape the remaiing wood. Don't be afraid to keep getting out the pencil to draw rough shaping lines at each stage. I used a chisel, but if you have something like a spoke shave it might be easier to do the shaping. 

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Once you've got the shape pretty much where you want it, you a drum sander in the drill press to do final shaping, and finish with hand sanding.

Finally - apply some wax to the handle to seal it and protect the wood. 

With the handle completed, you just need to sharpen the blade using whatever sharpenning process you have. I did initially shaping on teh bench grinder, then finer work with my tormek water grinder. and finished on oil stones until the blade was sharp enough to sharpen my pencil

Video:

Check out my video of the process

 

Conclusion

This was quick and simple, a great use for an old hacksaw blade. I will definitly be making more, at least one more as I have the other half of the blade. It also makes me keep my eyes out for any useful tool steel that I can repurpose. This kind of project does nothing to stop my hoarder tendencies ;-)