How To Make a Knife
1. Design: The first step is to design the knife. We design our knives one on one with our customers to provide them with the exact custom knife each the customer is looking for.
2. Cutout Blade: Once we have a finalized design we transfer the design to the steel and cutout the blades. In below picture you can see several blades that have been rough cut from a plate of S35VN stainless steel.
3. Refine Shape: After the basic shape of the blade has been cut we take the blade to the grinder and refine the shape. Below you can see the basic shape of the knife alongside the basic building blocks for the knife.
4. Drill Holes: The next step in preparing blade is to drill holes into the handle section of the knife. We need to drill holes not only to allow us to attach the handle material but also to reduce weight and balance the knife when its all finished.
5. Surface Grind: Once we have the knife shaped and holes drilled we need to flatten the steel and remove all the surface imperfections. This picture shows the knife after all holes have been drilled and the blade has been surface ground.
6. Grind Bevels: Now this is where the blade really starts to look like a knife. We start by scribing center lines on the edge of the blade. Then we take the blade to the grinding wheel to rough grind the bevels. We start with a low grit to remove lots of metal as the grind gets closer to the scribe lines we move to finer grit belts.
7. Heat Treat: If the steel is the heart of a knife, then the Heat Treat is its soul. There is nothing special or proprietary about how we heat treat, but if not done properly it’s the quickest way to ruin a knife. We start by foil wrapping our blades to reduce oxidation. We then put the knife in our kiln and ramp it up to 1950 degree Fahrenheit. After it soaks at temperature, the blade is quenched then placed in dry ice overnight. Once the cryo-quench is completed we temper the blade twice for 2 hours each. The temper temperatures vary depending on the desired hardness of the finished blade.
8. Finishing The Blade: Once the blade is done with heat treat we need to clean it up. We final grind bevels, removing just enough material to make sure all the grinds are clean and even. At this point we polish up the metal and prepare it for the handle.
9. Handle Material Prep: This step can vary from knife to knife and can be started earlier in the knife making process depending on the design/ style of handle. This is where we epoxy all the different materials and fit them up to the blade.
10. Rough Shape Handle: At this point we shape the handle and make sure we have a nice clean fit-up of all pieces
11. Pin The Handle: We use two methods to attach our handles. We us mechanical fasteners to permanently affix the handle as well as epoxy to fill in any gaps and ensure we have a nice solid handle.
12. Final Shape/ Polish: Once everything has set we finish the final shaping of the handle and then polish up the handle material.
13 .Finishing Touches: At this point we pretty much have a finished knife. We do one last final polish/ cleanup of the entire knife and then etch our name and blade steel on the knife.
14. Make Sheath: Each sheath is custom made for each knife. Our sheaths are made from a thermoplastic called Kydex. The basic premise is to heat up the plastic sheet until it softens then fold it over the blade and place in a foam press. Once it cools we remove it from the press, install the eyelets and double check the fit. If a belt clip is desired at this point it would be attached.
15. Sharpen: The final step is to sharpen the blade. For safety purposes this is generally performed right before the knife is sent to the customer.
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