Last week I read a little article from an old Popular Mechanics magazine. The article explained how a person with limited tools and a kitchen stove could fashion a knife from an old file. I was half way through the article before I had started digging through my collection of bastard files to find one that I could part with.
I softened the metal as per the instructions over a stove (in this case, I used and old Coleman stove running “white gas”) until it was just past “blue” in color, and let it air cool.
I then drew out my design with a Sharpie, and cut it into shape with a 4-1/2” angle grinder. I chose a modified version of a tanto blade for several reasons, but that’s just my preference…
After cutting out its shape, I switched to a 120 grit flap wheel on the grinder, and did all the rest of the grinding with that (including the “glass breaker” on the tip of the tang).
Once everything was as it should be, I made up my own version of a paracord wrap for the handle, and then put the final edges on all three sharp sides.
At this point, I needed a way to transport and store the knife, and the article said nothing of what to use in that endeavour… So, after considering all the options of things and of materials I had in my shop, I came up with a patch of leather and got to work. By the way, this was my first leather project! After stitching it all up, and wet formed the sheath, and then grabbed my grommet kit and found a problem… All I had were bright brass grommets! I went back to my Coleman stove, and heated them up and quenched them in used motor oil, and then reheated them on the stove one last time to give them a nice “old” look. Let me note that the wet forming of the leather gave the sheath a VERY positive retention aspect, that made a retention strap/snap obsolete.
When I got done trying not to cut myself playing with my new toy, I realized that the top stitches were vulnerable to the knife’s edge… This brings me to my last detail. I got out some copper wire, and gave the first stitch 6-8 laps, and now it’s done!
This project was super fun, and was actually free! I used only things that I had on-hand, and only pretty basic hand tools (an angle grinder is basic, right?). I am dying to make a few more now, and already know several things I would do different/ to improve the project.