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DIY Survival Knives From Old Saw Blades  RSS feed

 
John McDoodle
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Location: ontario, canada
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I've recently made some DIY Bush-Craft knives from a 10" carbide tipped saw blade , which I found in the scrap pile for free.  It's cheaper than any survival knife I've seen for sale, and try San be made custom mostly any shape or size.

 
John McDoodle
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wayne fajkus
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I did this last weekend. Crude but functional.  If I can get it sharp enuff I'm gonna try shaving with it.
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John McDoodle
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That's awesome wayne.  I'm guessing you forged it from a hi-grade bolt?  what size diameter bolt it that? 5/16" ?  my friend has some railroad spikes he wants to try, so I might make a propane forge made from some of the insulative fire bricks left over from my last rocket stove build.  but so far these saw blades are my first home-made knives.  I enjoyed drawing out my own template and shape and size, only limited by my own imagination and the dimensions of the saw blade, which felt more like an artist's canvas when working with it and designing the template/shape.   my friend said he was going to use his for processing and de-fleshing a rabbit hyde, so I will have to ask him how it worked.  I made the 2nd blade for him. 
 
wayne fajkus
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It's just a bolt I had to cut off. I made a kiln from firebrick and a propane torch.

I have a more modern knife I made. I'll post a pic later. It was shaped rather than heated/hammered like this one.

I also have one I started from A saw blade, but had to abandon it. The saw blade was a sandwich of a copper plate between 2 pieces of steel. Wierd. It was a granite blade, not a wood blade.
 
John McDoodle
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well that's interesting.  i've seen a guy on youtube who made a saw blade from a piece of paper and it even cut through some small wood chunks lol.   I found my carbide tipped saw blade at the dump scrap pile lol.  I was lucky it was a hardened solid steel blade, so I was careful not to distemper the blade with excessive heat while sharpening and shaping the blade and bevels.  I want to make more, including a leaf spring machete, perhaps when spring comes since my Canadian pole-barn workshop in unheated and uninsulated :O
 
Joel Bercardin
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Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Very cool to see what you guys are doing with repurposed steel.  Thanks for posting, and I’d love to see more added to this thread.

I haven’t made knives, but I do general homestead stuff with O/A torches and MIG set-up.  I’ve posted two or three things along this line here on Permies & plan to post more when I take more pics.

I don’t want to divert this thread, but I’ve thought about starting a thread about homestead shops (for metal, wood, electrical fix-it, general handyman stuff).  Would you be willing to contribute your situation and approach, if I start a thread?  (I’m thinking I could post it in Homesteading sub forum - but would be open to suggestions.)
 
John McDoodle
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Joel Bercardin wrote:Very cool to see what you guys are doing with repurposed steel.  Thanks for posting, and I’d love to see more added to this thread.

I haven’t made knives, but I do general homestead stuff with O/A torches and MIG set-up.  I’ve posted two or three things along this line here on Permies & plan to post more when I take more pics.

I don’t want to divert this thread, but I’ve thought about starting a thread about homestead shops (for metal, wood, electrical fix-it, general handyman stuff).  Would you be willing to contribute your situation and approach, if I start a thread?  (I’m thinking I could post it in Homesteading sub forum - but would be open to suggestions.)


Thanks Joel.

    I think sharing your ideas and photos are a great idea.   I've learned a lot from good people here sharing thier experiences and knowledge.  I enjoy sharing my back-yard builds and I even make a tiny amount of income from sharing my ideas via videos on my YouTube from Google Adsense. but my first entire year of posting DIY videos and sharing ideas was not compensated for, and I made no money, but I do get pride and self accomplishment from my builds and sharing ideas with the online communities.  

If you want to share ideas or simply talk to people about homesteading or self sufficiency, I say go for it.   I was worried nobody would watch my videos when I started my YouTube partnership but if you don't stick your neck-out and try, you won't ever know.   I take pride in sharing my back-yard amateur builds even though my subscriber community is small.  

I'd say go for it.   Permies here is a great place to talk and discuss and share ideas regarding such topics so you're probably in the right place.   There are many different forum topics here and I've contributed my ideas in several different topics from rocket stoves to tiny homes to gardening to survival.   I guess I'm not really that shy when it comes to sharing my ideas and photos.   I also enjoy watching others ideas and videos.  

Sometimes living in a small rural community I crave more human interaction and I don't always find that out here in the Canadian boonies lol.   It's good to converse with like-minded people and discuss things besides politics and the kardashians.   Just Real life personal info and experiences.  And real learning and sharing.  
 
wayne fajkus
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I'd participate joel.

Here's my first knife.  It's carbon steel. Not hot forged except to harden it. Handle is native pecan.
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John McDoodle
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That's awesome Wayne.   I appreciate the hard work and craftsmanship that goes into making a good knife.   Good job.
 
John McDoodle
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just a couple update videos on the saw blade knives.  
all 4 knives were made from the one free saw blade



 
Daniel Kaplan
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Location: Adana, Turkey, Zone 9b
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Making knives is a lot of fun. I made a few from saw blades but I always avoided carbide-tipped ones. I figured that if the edge holding ability came from the carbide the rest of the blade would be pretty soft. How did you cut it? I used an abrasive cut-off wheel. If it can be cut with a hacksaw it's too soft. Assuming you go slow and use water to keep the steel cool while cutting and grinding, it should stay pretty hard. Heat treating it would be better but that takes a little more skill and equipment. Check out "Wayne Goddard's $50 Knife Shop" if you want to tackle that. That book got me started in knife making. The only important thing it didn't cover was sheath making. A good test to see if a piece of steel will make a good knife is to heat it until a magnet won't stick and then quench it in oil. Then hit it with a hammer. If it shatters it will be hard enough to make a good knife.
I've made lots of knives with a one-brick forge with a propane torch as the burner. My torch had a long burn tube and was a lot hotter than normal soldering torches. I could braze with it. I think Turbo Torch sells ones like it.

Of course, this seemed to be more aimed at a survival situation. Recently I've been trying my hand at flintknapping.

I wouldn't have left the teeth on the butt end of the handle. A comfortable handle is really important and it would be way too easy to cut myself on the teeth. In a survival situation, an infection might mean death.
 
John McDoodle
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Saw blade knives are quite common because saw blades are made from hi strength hi carbon steel and they are already tempered and treated.   The secret is to use caution when cutting and sharpening, not to distemper the steel.  I've done my own heat treatments and two stage tempering on a home made cutting wheel I made for my DIY wire stripper, but if you use a saw blade and if you are careful not to distemper the factory strength treatment, it's unnecessary to treat steel that is already treated.

If your steel gets hot or discoloured while shaping or sharpening, then you will need to start over, or then you can do a 2 stage temper treatment.   The first stage you mentioned only makes it brittle, the second stage makes it less brittle so it doesn't snap or shatter.  

Thanks for following and watching.  Have a nice day and stay happy and positive
 
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