Knifemaking is an ancient art. But like many other skills, the skill making knives seems lost in our modern world of convenience. You can include knifemaking in your essential primitive survival skills. Challenge the blacksmith inside you and transform an old wrench into a knife!
Knifemaking Skills Using an Old Wrench
In this article:
- Knifemaking Tools and Materials
- Choosing the Knife Side of the Wrench
- Setting Up the Blacksmithing Forge
- Putting the Wrench on the Hot Forge
- Pounding the Steel
- Making the Blade
- Heat Treating the Steel
- Sharpening the Blade
- Appreciating Your Work
Knifemaking Tools and Materials:
- an old wrench
- a grinder
- blacksmithing forge
- a hammer
Also, don’t forget that a knife maker needs protective clothing. You don’t want to burn yourself with sparks from the belt grinder or get bits of steel in your eye. Use goggles, gloves, even breathing protection so you’re making knives safely.
Choosing the Knife Side of the Wrench
First, choose which end of the wrench you want for the knife blade and the handle. Use a portable grinder to straighten out the end you chose to be the knife blade. Then, use the grinder to cut through the steel to shape the blade.
Setting Up the Blacksmithing Forge
Meanwhile, you can create a simple blacksmithing forge at home. You can use an old grill or any solid platform where you can place a burning coal. And, make sure to incorporate a blowing mechanism in your forge to make enough heat for forging steel.
Putting the Wrench on the Hot Forge
After using the grinder on your knife, place the knife side of the wrench on the burning coals. And, keep it there until it’s hot enough for the steel to be shaped. You should be able to determine when the steel reaches forging temperature. At this point, the color of the steel should be red hot or yellow.
Pounding the Steel
Once the steel gets really hot, place it on an anvil or any metal surface hard enough for support. Now, you can manipulate the steel. So, pound it with a hammer until you get the desired shape for the blade. The metal may move in strange ways when hit by the hammer. Take this as a test of your blacksmithing skills.
Making the Blade
You can start making the blade as soon as you have achieved the form you want for your knife. A belt grinder or belt sander for metal is perfect for the job, since it helps refine the blade. It also gives the blades an even, smooth stainless appearance.
Heat Treating the Steel
After you’re done working on the blade’s sharp edge, put it back on the hot forge. Wait for the color of the blade to turn into glowing red. Then, remove the knife from the forge then douse it in engine oil to conclude the process. Finally, try not to apply pressure on the blade and allow it to cool for an hour.
Sharpening the Blade
Once your blade has cooled down, give it a nice edge. So, keep your knife sharp by making sure you have these materials.
Appreciating Your Work
After making the knife, appreciate your work! Only a few people make custom knives and can call themselves knife makers today. If you want some knife sheaths for your blade, follow these steps. Soon, you can try making pocket knives, hunting knives, and other blades to test your skills.
If you want to see the full video knifemaking video, check out this video from Trollskyy:
Knifemaking is a really great first blacksmithing project. We’re lucky to have modern tools at our disposal to simplify the work. Forging steel and blades must have been really difficult, centuries ago. Lucky for us, we have all the tools and means needed to transform any old wrench into a knife. Take advantage of this opportunity and continue improving your knifemaking and blacksmithing skills!
What can you say about this knifemaking project? Have you ever turned an old wrench into a blade? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in March 2017, and has been updated for relevance.