Watch: Make a Homemade Knife Without a Forge

   07.13.18

Watch: Make a Homemade Knife Without a Forge

Tired of watching videos about forging knives, when most of us do not — and never will — have a forge? Well, here’s one showing how to make a nice big homemade knife without a forge.

It begins — after 20 seconds or so of unrelated intro — with a large file. A profile is drawn onto the file, then he starts cutting it into shape using a handheld angle grinder with cutoff wheel.

At the 1:13, he demonstrates why it might be a poor idea to make a file into a knife: files are brittle. This is seen when he cuts notches and then breaks off the resulting “tabs” of steel by prying with a screwdriver.

The bulk of the metal-shaping work is done with the angle grinder, until he uses a belt sander later in the process.

Some handle scales are cut from a hunk of random wood — think ‘old pallet’ — and simply epoxied to the file. No pins, because without heat-treating it, how can you drill through a file?

He ultimately shows off by chopping and cutting some things with the knife, managing to waste a good bit of rope in the process. Stabs and hacks at sheet metal. Heck, he even throws it into a board several times.

In the end, the knife is pretty and all, but it seems likely that it will break if much sideways torque is applied, and how hard is it to sharpen? Still, it’s a cool demo showing how you can make this simple-yet-vital tool out of any decent hunk of steel, without a forge or even a torch.

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